TF2 Environment and Game-mode Categorization

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by hutty, Sep 17, 2015.

  1. hutty

    aa hutty

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    [​IMG]

    A while ago in the SteamGroup chat, we were having a discussion about themes, and it came to light that half of the maps in tf2 are listed as "alpine", and there was a large disagreement on what exactly alpine is.

    So I have decided to break down the official tf2 maps and categorize them by theme.

    This page is broken down into 2 sections at the moment. Theme definitions, and a list of gamemodes (sorted by how valve manages it's servers) and an analysis of what themes are overused in what areas (payload+desert comes to mind).

    Link to data (google sheets)
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1lC5OGbQiP9gNgyGKKnnO9SN2VbJZDr4ZPYIkXewQs00/edit?usp=sharing

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    List of Themes
    The themes are breifly described in the document, but I shall restate them with greater detail here.

    [​IMG] Farm
    koth_harvest, pl_barnblitz
    The farm environment usually contains copious amounts of wood buildings and farm structures. Common motifs include, large slanted roofs, hay, milk jugs, grain-sacks, cows, yellow grass, and other low tech farm tools.
    Sometimes combined with Industrial1 or Industrial2.


    [​IMG] SpyTech
    cp_junction, koth_nucleus, ctf_turbine
    The super secret theme of super secret stuff. Most maps have a little bit of spytech in them here and there. Spytech is almost always underground or indoors. Common motifs include round doors, rockets, computers, more computers, big computer screens, maps, desks, tapes, waxed tile floors, decorative gravel with lights in it (why ... idk), and even more computers.
    Almost always combined with Industrial3

    [​IMG] SpyTech2
    rd_asteroid
    The moonbase theme. Its all white walls with moon computers. What do you expect.
    (also see Spaceturf for the non spytech parts of rd_asteroid)

    [​IMG] Industrial1
    cp_foundry, cp_well, plr_pipeline
    Industrial 1 is the basic industrial theme. Common motifs include, trains, shipping containers, large equipment, smokestacks, plenty of bricks and cement, more trains.

    [​IMG] Industrial2
    cp_gorge, tc_hydro, cp_process
    Industrial 2 is a cleaner version of industrial 1. Typically it includes white tile floors, lab equipment, brighter and cleaner white concrete walls, and rockets. The skyboxes for industrial 2 are usually devoid of smokestacks or pollution. Industrial 2 can also be seen as a dirtier version of spytech. This theme is commonly combined with Alpine 1.

    [​IMG] Industrial3
    cp_gravelpit, cp_badlands, pl_badwater
    Industrial 3 is a dirtier version of Industrial 1. It usually includes run down concrete or wood buildings. Things are dirty, barren, and seemingly unused.

    [​IMG] Desert 1
    cp_dustbowl, cp_gullywash
    TF2 has so many kinds of deserts that I had to make it 5 sub themes. This is for dustbowl desert. Dry yellowish rocks sometimes combined with yellow grass. Often includes mining motifs as well as caves and tunnels.

    [​IMG] Desert 2
    tc_hydro, cp_powerhouse
    This is the cleaner desert that hydro takes place in. The rocks and ground have a redish -purpleish color to them.

    [​IMG] Desert 3
    cp_badlands, pl_badwater, cp_fastlane
    This is the badlands desert. By far the most popular kind. It includes alot more terrain variation (hills, dunes, hoodoos, spires) as well as having very orangeish ground and rocks. Usually combined with Industrial 3.

    [​IMG] Desert 4
    cp_egypt, koth_lakeside
    This is the Egyptian desert. It contains way more yellow and almost always has Egyptian styled ruins as main structures.

    [​IMG] Desert 5

    pl_upward
    Similar to other deserts, except the rocks have a low saturation tan color. And there is usually more gravel.

    [​IMG] Alpine 1
    arena_lumberyard, cp_gorge
    This is every comp player's favorite environment. It is bright, clear, and has bright yellow-green grass everywhere. Usually includes wood buildings, logging themed stuff, pine trees, a giant fucking mountain, and grey rocks. The other 3 alpine themes are pretty much the same except vegetation color.

    [​IMG] Alpine 2
    arena_sawmill, pl_thundermountain
    A damper version of Alpine 1, the grass and mud are a darker color, and there usually are more water featers and/or a rainy atmosphere and skybox.

    [​IMG] Alpine 3
    cp_yukon, pl_frontier
    A drier version of Alpine 1, usually has brownish pineneedles all over the ground. Sometimes mixed with desert 5.

    [​IMG] Alpine 4
    koth_viaduct, cp_coldfront
    A snowy version of Alpine 1. All the grass is covered but there are still pinetrees and a giant snowy mountain.

    [​IMG] Urban 1
    koth_kong
    It seems that every city map in TF2 has its own theme to it, so there are 4 diffrent urban themes.
    Urban 1 is the hongkong-esc. It contains tall buildings, lots of pipes and tiles, hastily translated chinese signs (there is a blue sign on blu side that says "red hotel")

    [​IMG] Urban 2
    mvm_mannhatten
    This theme is a Manhattan esc city (no shit), it includes skyscrapers and older brick apartment buildings.

    [​IMG] Urban 3
    mvm_rottenburg, cp_degrootkeep
    The medieval theme, almost always combined with alpine 1, it includes buildings and details that fit in with a traditional Europe style.

    [​IMG] Urban 4
    koth_suijin
    The classical japan theme. Includes tiled roofs, traditional japanese buildings, pink trees, bullet proof paper walls, the works.

    [​IMG] Spaceturf
    rd_asteroid
    Includes white/grey rocks with craters and little rocks floating around. Goes very well with Spytech2.

    [​IMG] Jungle
    pl_borneo
    Large deciduous trees with lush flowers and ground plants.

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    Data Analysis
    So, lets take a look at the current quickplay catigories and figure out what themes should be pursued and avoided.

    Attack/Defense
    [​IMG][​IMG] cp_gorge
    [​IMG][​IMG]cp_mountainlab
    [​IMG]cp_gravelpit
    [​IMG]cp_junction
    [​IMG][​IMG]cp_dustbowl
    [​IMG]cp_egypt

    Attack Defense is actually a terrible first example due to the large variety of themes used.
    Themes good for new AD maps Farm, Urban(1/2), and Industrial 2.
    Themes to avoid for new AD maps. Spytech, Industrial1, and desert 4.

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    BEEP BOOP

    So, before I go on further, I need your other opinions on this topic. I'm pretty sure many will dissagree with my theme choices, and I would very much like to hear your opinions.

    Are any map's miss themed? (is gravel pit dersert 5? )
    Are there any themes missing (does mountainlab have enough swampieness to count as a theme?)
    Are there any themes that need to be merged?
    Any mistakes (I noticed I had egypt set as a 5cp map in the spreadsheet while setting this up)


    Also some parts of the sheet (namely the time of day for some maps) isn't fully set up yet, i'll get to that when I have time to.


    Do note the purpose of this sheet is to provide insight on what theme a new map could follow. It is not meant to enforce that as a rule, it is merely a guideline. This also isn't meant to discourage the creation of new themes.

    Also note that the theme icons aren't final. If this thread gains traction, i'll make some higher quality ones and then poke the mods so see if they could become forum emotes.


    tl:dr :: alpine desert industrial WOO THEEMES
     
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    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015
  2. Vel0city

    aa Vel0city func_fish

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    "Alpine 1: Yellow-Green grass, pine trees, logs, comp players."

    Nice one there.

    OT: It bothers me how many maps are in clear weather. We have the effects and the skyboxes to match, why not make things rainy a bit more (besides fps issues to which I say get a graphics config).
     
  3. Hoplitejoe

    aa Hoplitejoe

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    i'm glad my whining about pointless stuff can on occasion end with something productive.
     
  4. hutty

    aa hutty

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    Dreary weather makes people dreary, its pretty simple. I'm actually a little worried that we won't see any new gravel pits or nightfalls with the steam workshop, because they simply wont get upvoted due to looking depressing.
     
  5. Zed

    aa Zed Certified Most Crunk™

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    I'd say Standin is more Alpine 3 than Alpine 2, given that it uses the same textures as Yukon.

    EDIT: Also how is Nightfall "noonish"
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015
  6. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    Desert 1 and Desert 5 seem the same to me. The only difference is that Upward is less saturated, which makes it feel abandoned (bleached by sun).
     
  7. Turnip

    aa Turnip The 80s Vegetable

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    You neglected barn blitzs swamp and ruins of spytech
     
  8. hutty

    aa hutty

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    @ZeNewDragon Your right, I updated Standin's listing to match.
    @tyler Desert 1 has dried grass scattered around, Desert 5 is literally a pile of rocks, while they may be similar, I would still categorize them differently based on color alone.
    @Davekillerish i had to read your post 5 times before understanding it due to lack of commas. I'm assuming you meant "barn blitzs, swamp, and ruins of spytech."

    pl_barnblitz is on the spread sheet, it's themes are Alpine 4 and Farm
    Swamp im on the edge about, cause its only map that uses it is mountain lab, and it barely uses it.
    What official map has a ruins of spytech theme (unless your talking about areas with wet spytech equptment, like sawmill's intel, side rooms in mountainlab). I don't think that those areas are really major enough to constitute a new theme.
     
  9. henke37

    aa henke37

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    I'm not sure, but isn't urban 1 normally called soho? I have no idea what it means, but that's what I think it is called.
     
  10. hutty

    aa hutty

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    The assets for koth_king are listed under props_soho in the files. I'm calling it Urban 1 to group it in with the other urban themes.

    (although that leads to the question of whether or not suijin is "urban" enough)
     
  11. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    I'd argue Suijin is more derivative of the alpine environment than an urban one. There's nothing city-like about it.
     
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  12. Turnip

    aa Turnip The 80s Vegetable

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    I was on mobile when I typed it, and I also didnt render the image until AFTER i posted it. Though, I would argue that even though its not used as often, its still a viabale build theme because there is an entire content back for it.
     
  13. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    Soho is a district in Hong Kong (named after the one in London); if you do a Google image search for it, you'll see that it's very similar to Kong King, with its long staircases and covered, elevated walkways.
     
  14. Jivvi

    Jivvi L1: Registered

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    Hightower, Lakeside and Nightfall use traces of ruined spytech areas, then like you said there's also a little bit in Sawmill and Mountainlab. It might be prominent enough to mention, but it wouldn't qualify as a defining theme even if you were assigning tertiary or quaternary themes.
     
  15. about drew

    about drew L1: Registered

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    I love this thread. Thank you.

    I would suggest that instead of numbering the themes, you could use an adjective for people to remember the different themes without having to cross-reference the (awesome) spreadsheet you made (i.e. for the 5 desert types: 1 - Dry Plains Desert, 2 - Red Desert, 3 - Desert Badlands, 4 - Egyptian Desert, 5 - Rocky Desert)
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
  16. henke37

    aa henke37

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    Or how about "Desert ruins"?
     
  17. MrHatlf

    MrHatlf engineer main, majoring in exploiting

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    The thing with those dreary maps is that no one has seemed to go out of those "boundaries" of the whole map being dark. Buildings/interior should have warm lighting which tends to make players stay near those areas. Open/outdoors areas wouldn't have much warm lighting due to it not being a building.

    I wonder if it would be possible to use this technique in order to make a less "desirable" path and not spamming signs everywhere.

    10000000 hours in GIMP later, I present this crude proof of concept.

    [​IMG]

    You can choose either Path 1, outdoors gloomy like Sawmill, or Path 2, wooden buildings with warm lighting, to get from Point A to Point B.

    With the goal of only walking to Point B, which path would you choose?
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
  18. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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  19. Anreol

    Anreol L6: Sharp Member

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    What about a "Swamp" theme?
    And i think that Urban 4 should be renamed "Japanese", To avoid too much "Urban"

    Wow too confusing for me
     
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  20. JMaxchill

    JMaxchill L5: Dapper Member

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    Is I2 good or not?