Symmetrical Design vs. Unsymmetrical?

Discussion in 'Team Fortress 2 Talk' started by Nemetoad, May 25, 2010.

  1. Nemetoad

    Nemetoad L1: Registered

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    Hello people! I'm new to the forum and also eager to get into the mapping scene this summer. I have zero experience with the Source SDK and am hoping to correct that by the end of the summer. As such, I'm probably going to be spending a ton of time in the mapping part of the forum; before that though, I had a slight curiousity about people's preference in map design. Also, since I'm new to the forum, please let me know if this is in the wrong place. I figured this would be the best part to place the question in due to it not really being about the SDK yet. I'm not into design yet, but more looking for a direction.

    The question I got is this: Do you guys prefer your Capture the Flag maps symmetrical through-and-through or would you prefer them to be in a more...diverse set up? Most of the maps I've played, pretty much all of them actually unless they're Attack/Defend and Payload, have been symmetrical in level design all the way to how you even start. Is this because this is preferred, or because that's all that's been really designed thus-far? If a non-symmetrical map has been designed for CtF, what were people's complaints about it?

    Mainly I'm curious on if people are open to the idea of...say, the Red team having in advantage in one area of level design while the Blue team has a different one. An idea would be the Red team having a more high-ground base where snipers have an easier time doing their job best, while the Blue team has a murky swamp-like base that helps hide Spies better and be better defended against Pyros, as there would be more submerged areas for people to drench their flames with. It may create an unbalance overall, but the idea is to create different settings so each team has to use different strategies from each other. It's not a fully ironed out idea yet, but was something that came to mind back when I saw the swamp template a while back.

    Does this sound worth pursuing or do you guys believe it would be better to design more towards a symmetrical standpoint, where each team has the same strengths and weaknesses due to layout?
     
  2. Firest0rm

    Firest0rm L4: Comfortable Member

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    i think that asymmetrical ctf is a great idea, but it would have to be pulled off perfectly. Balance would be a major issue, because both teams have the same objective so they should have the same difficulty achieving it.
     
  3. Nemetoad

    Nemetoad L1: Registered

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    Well that is my intention: Trying to figure out a way to design a asymmetrical map so that both teams have the same difficulty achieving their goals, however have different strengths and weaknesses in their base designs and the surrounding areas. I'm sure someone has tried this before, just don't know how successful it was D:
     
  4. Grim Tuesday

    aa Grim Tuesday

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    I personaly dislike symmetricle maps, because of the phase in which you have to spin the map around. It lags my computer. The real problem is if you make any layout changes, then you have to go and retexture everything, which can be a bitch.
     
  5. Geal

    Geal L4: Comfortable Member

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    It could work, but only if done VERY well. I wouldn't recommend it for your first map, it'd be more wise to try something simpler to get some experience, then come back to the idea when you have a better understanding of TF2 level design.

    Also, the pros/cons of each side would need to be very carefully done. From your example: red having a great height advantage would benefit red snipers, soldiers, and demos. Meanwhile having blu in a swamp would benefit BOTH team's spies, and hurt BOTH team's pyros. What if red doesn't have any pyros, and blu does? Suddenly blu's "advantage" is actually a disadvantage. It's situations like these you need to take great care to avoid, and having some experience under your belt can help you avoid them.
     
  6. Prestige

    aa Prestige im not gay anymore

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    line symmetry = easier
    asymmetry = more exciting (because of different areas to fight)
     
  7. Nemetoad

    Nemetoad L1: Registered

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    Very true, it would be a bad thing to do as a first map... Hrm. I'll consider doing a plain symmetrical map to begin with, work with more interesting ones as I gain more experience. That's true about my example though and it is very true that the balance would need to be perfect.

    I'll work on some ideas for easier maps to begin with though. I might attempt a Prop Hunt map at some point too.

    However, I would appreciate ideas to keep in mind when I do tackle something a bit mor asymmetrical though.
     
  8. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    TFC CTF map Casbah was probably my favourite TFC map, it had a lot of balance in its asymmetry and an interesting layout+nomans land; but blue did have a slightly easier base to defend (due to some layout sentry exploits).

    It would be fucking awesome to have an asymmetric map that was well balanced but i fear that due to the removal of grenades which muddied the water of TFC combat between class performance and player skill, it would be even harder to balance asymmetric layouts in TF2 than it would have been for TFC.

    It would also be important to switch teams between rounds which isn't the standard CTF mechanic. Symmetrical maps would be a much safer bet and unless you are extremely versed in CTF mechanics, TF2 combat mechanics and Hammer, i wouldn't waste your time attempting it unless you have a lot of free time to kill and only intend to experiment rather than release a quality map.
     
  9. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    It would be too difficult for CTF, you'd need to make sure that all routes to/from the flag on each side are exactly (within a second) the same run length.

    any of the CP modes however would be much easier to balance as longer/shorter walk times can be made up for by ease of attacking/defending an area and even time taken to cap a point.

    Getting it statistically balanced is one thing, making it fun for both teams, that's another.
     
  10. Bad Vlad

    Bad Vlad L2: Junior Member

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    I'd like to make a symmetrical map at one point because you can detail two identical areas in completely different ways, going by the established differences between RED and BLU.