Squirrel Run

Discussion in 'Map Factory' started by Squirrelinabox, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. Squirrelinabox

    Squirrelinabox L1: Registered

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    Overview

    Squirrel Run is a single stage, 3 point payload map. Nothing too fancy here since it's my first Team Fortress map. With just 3 points in the map and a relatively short track, the gameplay should be quite a bit quicker than Badwater Basin. There are very few chokepoints in the map with multiple routes and options to flank opponents. The map starts out fairly open and then tightens up towards the end which should hopefully add some tactical variety during play.

    Please rip this map to pieces and be as brutally honest as you can. I can only get better through genuine critique - not sugar coated pats on the back. Of course, pointing out good parts help me learn as well so don't be afraid to toss in one or two "good jobs" for every dozen or so "that section sucks!".

    The map should be fully functional, though still fairly basic in its texturing and details.


    Issues/To-Do's

    • While the basic theme is in place, texturing, lighting, and other details are still in the very early stages.
    • Optimization is very crude right now with some hint brushes and limited nodraw brush faces. No area portals are in place yet.
    • Sounds are just about non-existant.

    Revisions

    a2
    • Red spawn is completely new and is now located behind the final cap point. This move also extends the final cap point further to a more open final area which lengthens the track between the 2nd and 3rd cap points while also giving a more "epic" area for red to make a final stand.
    • Blue spawn is completely new along with the entire beginning area. The starting area in the previous version was just too cramped and seemed out of place. This new starting area gives blue a better spawn along with more options to flank the defense.
    • New side route added that allows blue to go around the main tunnel at the beginning to avoid such a strong bottleneck.
    • Blue now has a forward spawn that unlocks after the 2nd cap point is taken.
    • A few more details have been added though texturing, lighting, and other details are still in the very early stages.

    a1 - first version, thus, no revisions.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2009
  2. flubber

    flubber L4: Comfortable Member

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    We gonne test the map in about one hour, if you like to join, contact me by steam PM.
     
  3. Squirrelinabox

    Squirrelinabox L1: Registered

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    Doh! I wish I could have made it to the test. If you guys still tested it out, I'd love to know how it played and what everybody thought. Also, if you guys plan on testing it again, let me know and I'll try to make it.
     
  4. Squirrelinabox

    Squirrelinabox L1: Registered

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    After trying out the map during gameday, there were quite a few obvious issues that need to be address.


    1) Blue spawn is too cramped and the area just outside blue spawn just doesn't feel right. I will be changing that spawn room and area to hopefully make it a better openning the the map.

    2) Red spawn is too far in front of the final cap. Once blue gets the second cap point, it's too easy for them to just pin down red in their spawn while red has a tough time moving backwards to defend their point. I will move the spawn behind the final cap point to remedy this.

    3) The big open area where the water is, is way too tough to defend. If blue is able to get the cart out from behind the short tunnel, they have no problem pushing it to the next two points. I will add some more cover and defendable positions for red which should help make it a more controllable area.

    4) Overall very short track. It was my intention to make the map a fairly short payload map for two reasons. First, it's my first tf map so I figured the less track I have to build for, the less I can screw it up. Second, I wanted it to be different from badwater where badwater is a fairly lengthy battle to the final cap point. Then again, squirrel run just seemed TOO quick. Perhaps it was the problems red had defending, but I will see about lengthening the track in some places.

    5) Things such as the cubemaps, unfinished details, lighting, etc. are all things I'm still working on. I didn't want to go too crazy with all the details when the layout wasn't 100% nailed down. I'll keep adding more details and lighting as I fix the gameplay issues.

    Thanks to everybody who played it today (sunday). I'd love to see what you all thought about it. Please be as brutally honest as you can because that's the only way I can improve the map.
     
  5. Pianodan

    Pianodan L3: Member

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    I feel like the area outside of blue's spawn should have another way out besides the main tunnel. You're right... it's just a bit cramped.

    One other thing I noticed. In the wide area around "A", on your right as blue comes out of the tunnel, there's a low roof that seems to be blocked with playerclips. You can't jump up there, but there doesn't seem to be any reason why, and there's no way for a soldier or demo to tell the roof is inaccessible. It should either be accessible, or there should be some indication that it's not.

    Other than that and the points you mentioned, I had fun, thanks!
     
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  6. Not_Yet

    Not_Yet L1: Registered

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    i liked it, but as red i found it very easy to snipe blu, maybe make it a bit bigger?
     
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  7. Squirrelinabox

    Squirrelinabox L1: Registered

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    Which parts were too easy to snipe Blue?

    I'm reworking the exit from the tunnel at the beginning that will block some sniping lines as well as make it easier to defend the currently way-too-open outside area.

    I'm also adding a side route that bypasses the main tunnel that will allow attackers to get around that choke point as it was definitely a bit too rough getting out of there when a couple competent engineers set up some brutally placed sentries.
     
  8. Squirrelinabox

    Squirrelinabox L1: Registered

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    a2 has been released! This version is a fairly big overhaul from the first version. The starting and ending areas are completely new along with new spawns (including a forward spawn for blue).

    The big open middle area has more cover now with a side route for blue to sidetrack the main tunnel to avoid the chokepoint.

    Lots of changes that will likely completely change the gameplay, but hopefully all for the better. Looking forward to seeing how it plays during the next gameday.
     
  9. DJive

    aa DJive Cake or Death?

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    I had a lot of fun on this map today, great job.

    only issues i really saw was reds spawn is a little to open, and blue has a MUCH easier time attacking then red has defending.

    As this is a PL map i would figure that blue should have it a little harder.
     
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  10. Squirrelinabox

    Squirrelinabox L1: Registered

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    Yeah it was pretty obvious right away that the red spawn gave blue an easy time pushing that last point because they could snipe and spam red before they could have a chance to get out and do anything.

    It still seems a bit too open everywhere else too, such as the area with water. Even though that area has been tightened up a lot since the previous version, blue was able to pretty much walk that cart right up to the second point without much trouble. I'm going to play with replacing that water section with a building which should cut down on the sniping lanes as well as giving red more of an oppurtunity to setup.

    There's a similar problem with the final stretch to the last cap point, where it's a fairly long, straight shot with no breakup in the sight lines. I'll have to do something about that, maybe make that walkway over the pipes an actual wall with cover.

    It definitely felt like it played a bit better than the previous version, though it's tough to tell the gameplay too much since with the spy/sniper update, the class balance was way off on both teams.

    Thanks to all who tested and I'd love to hear more feedback so that I can incorporate it all in the next version.
     
  11. DJive

    aa DJive Cake or Death?

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    For COMP play this map will be great with the changes you already know.

    For PUG play it will hurt and here is why.

    the middle building.

    Watch the demo, spectate me when i was blue *big heavy whining for a medic*

    You'll notice i went ahead of the cart everytime, cleared out the defense THEN I went into the build and disrupted red to attack me and forget about the cart.

    TF2 pugs have the "Ohhh shinny!!!" mentality.

    They would all spawn.. go towards the PL cart but then see a heavy in the side room and try to kill him.. all the while allowing the cart to advance.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I don't think the problem is with the cap being to hard or to easy to defend/capture.. i think it has to do with it being a PuG which means..

    Its prolly best to change this layout to not allow attackers to completely cut off defenders
     
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  12. Squirrelinabox

    Squirrelinabox L1: Registered

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    I definitely see what you're saying. It's funny because one of the main goals I had at the beginning was to make many routes and multiple ways of getting everyhwere, but as you've noticed, this seems to take away from the main objective - pushing and defending the cart.

    I'll probably take out that door you pointed out in the first screen, and I'm already working on changing up the area near the final cap which will likely help out with what you pointed out in the second screen.

    It's funny because a lot of people complain about chokepoints and spam on official maps like goldrush and dustbowl, but it's those same chokepoints that funnel the action towards a single goal (for better or worse). I think I need to find a happy medium between the two - tightening it up a bit so people are focused on the cart more, but still allow some flanking and side routes so that it isn't too chokepointy/spammy.
     
  13. luxatile

    aa luxatile deer

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    I liked this. It's a fun map, I especially liked the final area with the buildings by the side.

    A few things:
    - The scale seems a little off - some of the rooms seemed huge compared to the characters. Not an urgent issue, though, of course.
    - RED really needs a forward spawn or a shortcut for the first point.
    - The final stretch was very open. It's a good thing that it's not a chokepoint, but it seemed very Sniper friendly.
     
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  14. Squirrelinabox

    Squirrelinabox L1: Registered

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    - I'm hoping the scale issue will become less of an issue once I'm further along in the detailing department. I think most of the problem is that there are very few props and details inside and on the exterior walls of the buildings.

    - I agree RED had issues getting to the first point to defend it because of the long walk. This is going to be even more of a problem as I've removed the door that DJive pointed out in his first screenshot. I'm still debating whether or not to add a forward spawn, because in all the games we played, there wasn't a single teleporter setup by anybody which would actually make a huge difference. I may just make the RED forward spawn be where the BLUE forward spawn is so that RED gets it until BLUE takes the first point. When BLUE takes the first point, the spawn is nobody's, but when BLUE takes the 2nd point, it goes to BLUE. That seems like it'd be pretty balanced though I'll have to see about how to flip a spawn room between teams.

    - I definitely agree about the final stretch. I've already blocked off the section to the right of the large crates which will give the defense more of an opportunity to defend that last point while also limitting the sniper sightlines while still allowing them to be useful for most of it.
     
  15. DJive

    aa DJive Cake or Death?

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    bump. any updates? i really liked this one.