KotH Stockyard

Discussion in 'Map Factory' started by TheBestUsername, Jun 8, 2014.

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Which of these did you find to be problematic (check all that apply)

  1. The underground route is USELESS!!!

    7 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. Rocket jumping Soldiers are ridiculously effective

    2 vote(s)
    28.6%
  3. The level was slightly too large

    1 vote(s)
    14.3%
  4. There was one or more overpowered Sniper sightline (please specify where in comments)

    4 vote(s)
    57.1%
  5. It took too long to get from the spawn to the point

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. mini-sentries were overpowered (I mean, they always are, but...)

    2 vote(s)
    28.6%
  7. (x) class was underpowered/overpowered(please specify in comments)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. health pickups were difficult to find

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. there were too many/too few routes (please specify in comments)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. other (please specify in comments)

    1 vote(s)
    14.3%
  11. Actually, TBU, your map is perfect and you're the best mapper ever!

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  12. I did not find any particular problems with your map, but you are not the best mapper ever, TBU.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. TheBestUsername

    TheBestUsername L4: Comfortable Member

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    Wow, now that I'm back in the swing of things, progress is going really fast. Major improvements are happening in a matter of minutes, so maybe A2 will be ready for release soon.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    KoTH_Stockyard is the first map I've ever completed or released! In hindsight, I probably could have taken better screenshots of it, but no matter.

    The original idea behind this map (ironically) was to make a small, simple KoTH map that I could finish quickly. After about four years of dabbling in Source and UnrealEd, I wanted to finally finish something and release it.

    That was nearly a year ago.

    After getting sidetracked by various other endeavors, I finally decided it was time to finish this level. I booted up Hammer, slaved over it for a few weeks, and voila! Finally ready for a1 (except that I was too lazy to add CubeMaps for now).
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Those of you who participated in the imp or gameday are aware that jump classes can do some rather absurd things in this map. This was my intention, although I did not predict just how crazy things would be. Did anyone find this to be a problem, or was it a good thing? If it was a bad thing, should I remedy the problem by giving jump classes less of an advantage, or by giving other classes more opportunities to counter them?
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  2. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

    Messages:
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    Use chrome!
     
  3. TheBestUsername

    TheBestUsername L4: Comfortable Member

    Messages:
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    Positive Ratings:
    39
    Wow, that was a quick response. I had the idea to use Chrome at the same time you did, and yeah, it worked.
     
  4. radarhead

    aa radarhead Hands out ratings like cheap cigars

    Messages:
    1,002
    Positive Ratings:
    533
    It looks almost big enough to be 3 CP.
    But, otherwise, nice job. Can't wait to test.
     
  5. TheBestUsername

    TheBestUsername L4: Comfortable Member

    Messages:
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    Positive Ratings:
    39
    It can take a little while to get from your base to the point, depending on which route you take. It takes a Scout using the most direct route from the base 15 seconds to get to the point. Maybe some people would say that's too much, but in playtesting I found that it was not that big a deal, and that the length of the map made spawncamping difficult and ineffective. Other KoTH maps like Sawmill have a more squarish shape to them, while Stockyard has a more forward focus to it, which is why the map is longer than it is wide and doesn't contain too many side flanking routes (there are some, don't worry). The idea was to prevent Spawncamping and block long sightlines by placing a "buffer" building in front of each base, and it seemed to work very well. One problem I can foresee, however, is that there may not be enough Health Packs around the point. In playtesting I found myself having to run back to my base for health somewhat often, and while it doesn't take as long to get there as it does in, say Viaduct, it can still be annoying to have to run from the action for a short while. I'm just at the point now where I don't want to guess how people might play on the map anymore. I want to see how they play on it and make adjustments based on that.

    P.S. Forgot to mention, there's an underground Spy/Scout route that isn't pictured in the screenshots, though you can see the stairs that lead to it in the third picture.
     
  6. TheBestUsername

    TheBestUsername L4: Comfortable Member

    Messages:
    151
    Positive Ratings:
    39
    Stockyard was tested in an imp today! I've created a poll to help me figure out any possible problems with the map, as well as how to fix them. Hopefully those who participated in the impromptu will be kind enough to provide some more feedback on this map. The comments I have already received were all friendly, constructive, and helpful, and I am already thinking about how to improve Stockyard based on them. Thank you, everyone; here's hoping more feedback will come in shortly.
     
  7. Inqwel

    Inqwel L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    308
    Positive Ratings:
    57
    Hello! Inqwel here!

    I was playtesting it that day during improv. This map has potential, but there are a few things that need to be worked out. Essentially, it comes down to two major areas of the map that I have problems with, and mostly its lack of height variation that causes this.

    First, let's address these

    Issue 1. This is prob just a player clip. It doesn't prevent a demo from spamming the spawn area of the opposing team. I can also attack from the inside.
    [​IMG]

    Issue 2. Lengthy, sniper-friendly sight-line
    [​IMG]

    So, my resolution to these two would be to alter the area completely:
    [​IMG]

    [crude drawing] Using that original dividing wall as a base, I say that you should raise the entire side area. I do not know if you want players on the roofs, you may have to raise heights of several roofs to compensate for this change. Closing off the open sky to the spawn will take care of that demoman spamming potential issue and update from the worst problematic sight-line.

    Now, as for that red wall in the picture...

    Issue 3. Well, the underground area seems interesting for play, but its bit and completely unused if its only recommended for scouts and spies. The entrance is outright unwelcoming to boot.

    I did not mention that quite yet because this could be a major change to your map that you may not want. What I am suggesting is the following:

    [​IMG]

    My suggestions are about making the underground a part of the capture point area. You will need to address the stairs that lead to this area already. That is very clear! You may even need to better the entrance entirely by moving it out of the area.

    Part 1. Allow the roofs highlighted in white to be usable for everyone but engineers (if they're already not!) The yellow lines along the wall represent a beam or some sort for classes who can't blast or double jump their way to the roof gain access.

    Part 2. You may even need to lower the point so that the drop into the "Pits" or Underground area be not overly damaging to the health of the player.

    Part 3. Now that there are pits, that would mean there are not a lot of escape points. I suggest making "B" lower than "A" so that a player can flee the point from "A" to "B".

    These of course are my suggestions. I hope this helps out.
    -Inqwel
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  8. TheBestUsername

    TheBestUsername L4: Comfortable Member

    Messages:
    151
    Positive Ratings:
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    Wow, that was an extremely helpful post. I'm going to have to think very carefully about what you've said, but here are my initial reactions to your advice:

    First of all, the Demoman exploit. I didn't even think of that, but now that I know about it, I can see that it clearly needs to be rectified. Fixing this is now top priority for me, because being able to shoot into or out of your spawnroom is just ridiculous.

    I intend to more or less completely redesign that building with the long Sniper sightline. I actually intended to entirely rework the underground route and add a staircase up to that building from it, hopefully allowing for a less terrible route. The idea of the underground route was to have a low-traffic "flank" that would allow players to sneak up on their enemies from behind, especially if those enemies were deeply entrenched near the point and their defenses could not be broken. That's why I said it was a "Scout and Spy route". What I didn't predict, however, was that the route would completely suck for anyone other than a Scout or Spy (well, it still sucks even for them, but at least Scouts can get out of there quickly). The route can be used as intended, as a stealthy flank, but players clearly weren't using it that way, so it's my job is to figure out how to redesign it in a way that encourages players to actually use the route occasionally (although it's definitely not supposed to be a major route). I really don't want to have to completely remove this route if I don't have to, because the unique idea of going right under the point is one of the defining features that make it stand out.

    You mentioned also that the stairs to the underground route are "outright unwelcoming". I'm not sure if you mean that they are ugly or that they look like a bad route to take (although I'm certain both are true), but in either case, how do you think I ought to redesign them if I want them to more or less retain their original purpose?

    Although I thought very carefully about your suggestion to make the point underground, I'm not terribly keen on the idea, mostly because it would require changing the entire level, more or less. My original idea for the Cap was to make it difficult to hold for the entire round, ensuring high turnover rates and many rounds where one team just narrowly defeats the other. If there's one thing I got right in this map, that's it, according to the Feedback data I've received so far. The fact that the cap area is somewhat lower than its surroundings makes it a terrible place to defend from, which forces players to find other places to defend from once they've capped. The pergola above the Cap, however, protects it from above. I guess I don't want to change that part of the map because, if I did, it would change everything, and my entire original vision for the map would have to be thrown out. I hope that I'm not being stubborn by trying to hold on to my original intent. I'm trying to fix the map in order to bring it closer to my original vision, not completely change that vision (unless I really have to).

    Now for the lack of verticality. I didn't even notice just how flat my map really was until you pointed it out to me. Non-jump classes mostly stay at about the same height no matter where they go in the map. That's rather boring, both visually and and gameplay-wise, so clearly I need to find a way to add some more height variation. You mentioned allowing players to walk around on the roofs of the buildings near the spawnrooms. I am very opposed to that idea; I don't want to replicate the spawncamping nightmare that is Harvest. I like your idea of making a ramp and/or staircase where those divider walls are currently, but I hope that doesn't make it easy for Soldiers and Demos to spam the spawnroom's exit doors, but there are other ways out of the spawn, so I think it would be safe to implement your idea.

    Getting back to the Sniper sightline problem, it's clear that there are sightline issues throughout the map. However, even now, Snipers are always very near to their target, and usually very vulnerable (except for that one building you pointed out), so I'm wondering if further reducing sightlines would make Snipers close to useless in this map. After I fix that one sightline you showed me, I'm going to be careful about blocking off many more.

    There are a few other problems I've perceived as well that I'd like to address. I've seen that mini-sentries are very overpowered if placed anywhere near the Cap. That's a very frustrating problem for me, because I'm of the opinion that minis are very overpowered. I think it's exceptionally difficult to try to balance something that you feel is unfair to begin with, so the only fix I can think of right now is making the Cap area somehow less open.

    Also, I can see that Soldiers and Demos seem potentially overpowered at the moment, but if I make the other changes I've talked about here, that problem should be fixed. Also, I've had a few people tell me the level is slightly too big. My solution to that right now is just going to be to greatly reduce the size of the spawnroom, and center the playerspawns in the middle of the room so that one door isn't more useful than the other.

    Cripes, that was quite an essay. Even so, I'm glad I've gotten my opinions out there, because if people know what my intentions are, they should have a far easier time helping me out. I just want to say that even though my map is riddled with problems right now, it's been an incredible experience so far, and I'm infinitely greatly for what all of you have done to help me. Even hearing feedback like "your map is alright", or "your map has potential" is extremely encouraging to hear from a community like this. The fact that you guys didn't immediately tell me "your map sucks, just scrap it", and instead actually thought it might be good someday... well, that's some serious motivation to keep pressing onward with this map.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014