TF2Maps.net Major Contest #15: Payload Checklist Contest [PRELIM VOTING]

Discussion in 'Contests' started by Idolon, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. dexc34

    dexc34 L1: Registered

    Messages:
    20
    Positive Ratings:
    5
    MAPS No Opinion Yes No
    Amaryllis x
    Bella x
    Berlebeck x
    Bombastic Forest x
    Burner x
    Canale x
    Cannonburg x
    Cavern x
    Descend x
    Fractal x
    Frostwire x
    Highwood x
    Josh x
    Kahoalii x
    Kinder x
    Longhaul x
    Munitions x
    Preinvention x
    Rush x
    Slipway x
    Snowthistle x
    Thorium x
    Tumble Tech x
    Wizard Town x



    Will edit later: Not finalized
    Feedback will be written for all maps once I get the time
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019 at 1:55 PM
  2. 14bit

    aa 14bit L14: Bit Member

    Messages:
    246
    Positive Ratings:
    691
    MAPS No Opinion Yes No
    Amaryllis x
    Bella x
    Berlebeck x
    Bombastic Forest x
    Burner x*
    Canale x
    Cannonburg x
    Cavern x
    Descend x
    Fractal x
    Frostwire x*
    Highwood x
    Josh x
    Kahoalii x
    Kinder x
    Longhaul x
    Munitions x*
    Preinvention x
    Rush x
    Slipway x*
    Snowthistle x
    Thorium x
    Tumble Tech x
    Wizard Town x

    Here's some feedback and reasoning for my votes.
    Amaryllis:
    Seems to play pretty well over all, and while the artpass isn't anything spectacular it's better than some of the other entries. It feels like a lot of the spaces could be simplified or opened up a bit more (everything feels a bit claustrophobic), but it's not a deal breaker. B is my least favorite just because there's so many little bits of cover and flanks that enemies can duck into that it's hard to keep track of. The left side (while attacking) of the B->C area (before the spiral) didn't seem to get much use, and I think simplifying it could help the area flow better. Final is a bit cramped for my liking, but it's fun enough to play in. The crocodiles in the pit are funny.

    Bella:
    One of the most visually interesting maps in the contest; clearly a lot of effort went into the custom assets around the map. Unfortunately the lighting is extremely bland and the way the buildings are structured makes the whole thing feel very artificial. The gameplay is awful. It's far to easy to defend second, and attacking final isn't terribly fun. Every round I've played it's either a roll all the way through, or Red locks down 2/3 so hard that it's not fun anymore. There's a super hard choke right before the third point, and there's a weird dead-end where it feels like there should be a flank for this area. Third and final are weirdly close, and final is incredibly bland from a gameplay perspective. It's just an empty room! Finally, some of your checks are a bit iffy in my opinion. Sure you technically have a non-standard cart because it's taller than the standard one, but it doesn't impact gameplay in an interesting way; I didn't even notice it was larger than normal until I went to go double check your checklist items.

    Berlebeck:
    I really can't tell if this one is good or not. I've never been a particularly big fan of ToW, and the layout of this feels a bit wonky. The track layout is interesting and some of the spaces are neat to fight in, but I'm not sure I can give good enough feedback about the map without playing it more. I've not played the contest version on a full server yet, so I'm holding judgement until then. Thank you for slowing down the cart though, it was way too fast before.

    Updated feedback coming soon!

    Bombastic Forest:
    At first I was worried that I wanted to give this a no only because of a sense of "the loss of what could have been." Let me explain. I've played two versions of this map: A3, and the contest version B6B. I really liked A3, particularly the area around the train and the rollback zone immediately following it. Sure it had flaws, but it was quirky, fun, and unique. That third point was one of the most interesting things I'd seen in a map in a long time, and I was excited to see how it would eventually turn out. Fast forward to B6B, and that whole area is gone. Much of the personality the map had in my mind has been sandblasted off. The most interesting part of the map to me is gone, while much of the fairly forgettable first point is still the same. It doesn't help that the clean dev textures have been replaced with a rainy mess that doesn't look terribly great in my eyes.

    It looks like you've been working very hard on this (22 updates, wow!), so I was willing to admit that I may have just be upset at the loss of what could have been rather than judging the current version on its own merits. Because of this skewed perception of the map based on a perceived failure to live up to the expectations I held of an old version of a map, I was not fully willing to commit to a "no" when I originally wrote this feedback.

    After further testing, I can confirm that it's a no from me. Second is a mess for both attackers and defenders, what with Red spawning right behind the point. In multiple rounds I've seen Red get spawn camped there, but Blu still couldn't cap! Final is also really small and strange to attack; it's worse to defend since you're suck in the low ground, surrounded by pits, and there's no good way to get out.

    Burner:
    A decent layout with a lot of dev textures. I don't have much to really say about this one at the moment. It plays pretty well from what I've seen, and it does some interesting layout stuff around final that's grown on me. B, C, and D are pretty forgettable, but you made good use of your height and cross-over checks to create an interesting layout as a whole.

    A bit disappointed that it all looks the same with all the grey dev textures. I have very mixed thoughts on this map, so I'm moving it to "no opinion."

    Canale:
    I can't comment much on the layout, as every singe round I've played Blu never makes it past B. The routes are somewhat confusing, and there's a general lack of health kits that are easily accessible. Red not being able to reenter spawn unless they are a jumping class is really bad as well. Visually it's a bit of a mess, the feeling of propspam, bland lighting, and some really odd texture choices that don't work well together. The payload being a boat is a neat idea, but I think it needs a lot of work.

    Cannonburg:
    For an early map this is very impressive. Pretty average payload map overall, but there's a few shining gameplay spaces that help this map feel special, notably stage 1's B and all of stage 2. Visually it needs work, and could use a bit more visual variety, but it does have a nice sense of place that a lot of early mappers don't quite nail. Nice work!

    Cavern:
    A pretty decent attempt for what appears to be a relatively inexperienced mapper. The layout needs a lot more work. The track consists of mostly large straight sections, which aren't terribly interesting or fun to push though. There's some crazy sightlines as well. The legth seems to be alright, but a lot of the map is wasted space that could be used to create cover, routes, and flanks separate from the cart's path to keep it interesting. The most interesting part of the layout is the bridge in the cave, but there's so little room to maneuver and little time for red to set up that I never saw much fighting over the cart even there.

    The map's visuals feel very much like they were made by someone new to artpassing, which it seems like you are. I'd up the texture scale on the rock displacements, the texture you chose was meant to be used at a much larger scale so it doesn't repeat as much. The lighting is also very uniform, which isn't visually interesting.

    Finally, the map is quite broken. There's no func_respawnroomvisualizers keeping enemies out of the spawns, and there's a bug that makes Red's first spawn exit get stuck open. This lets Blu enter red's spawn, and they can even use Red's resupply lockers to spawn camp! Even while doing this, Blu still had difficultly capping final because of how far they had to run to get to the cart.

    Descend:
    While some of the other entries are being marked down from me for not being artpassed, I'm willing to bend a bit just because of how well this map plays. You've done one of the best jobs integrating the checklist into the map that I've seen, and the clever routing and multilayered layout is truly impressive. The whole A->B section is good enough to carry the whole map though to the next round of voting in my opinion. I've somehow only played C and D on Red, so far, so I can't comment on them too much. C is alright, and final could use a bit more work. All the fights at final take place from quite a distance due to Blu having to push through so much open space, so many of the classes aren't the most useful in the final fight. It could feel different from Blu's side though, I'll have to see.

    Fractal:
    I was worried during the first few versions, but you seem to have turned the rather funky layout of the first stage into something truly unique and interesting. Stage 2 is pretty great as well, though obviously not as polished. Final is neat. Not too sure on your implemetation of crossing a hazard/non-death pit hazard, both of which I assume is the portal-thing at the end. The fizzle effect is neat, but I'm not sure those checks were used as well as they could have been.

    Frostwire:
    I'm torn on this one. It seems to play pretty alright, and there's some semblance of detailing that's been put in, but I'm not quite sure where I stand on this at the moment. Yeah, your checks are there, but they're not used particularly interestingly (especially the "payload goes straight" and "256 unit ledge" ones). It's a perfectly serviceable payload map, but none of the sections stand out to me in ways some of the other entries do. Overall, the map feels quite labyrinthine and the dedication to keeping the map within city streets makes the whole thing seem repetitive. It's not confusing per say, but it's not memorable, and it feels like some of the routes might be superfluous. The choke right after the bridge is probably the most interesting part of the map at the moment, and the only part I can clearly remember having a fight in. Some more open areas or memorable gameplay moments could really help.

    I need to play this again before coming to a decision.

    Highwood:
    I love the first point. The map as a whole is solid, and the visuals are very well done. Second feels impossible to hold as red, and final is really cramped. Blu's rolled all but one of the finals that I've played, but I'm willing to chalk it up to coincidence for now. Great work!

    Josh:
    I like it.

    Kahoalii:
    Both stages feel like completely separate maps. The one thing they do share is a feeling that the checklist items were not implemented well, and feel kind of forced. It seems like the only reason the first stage exists is to accomplish the multistage and track-crossing checks.

    The first stage is visually bland and uninteresting, with tall, barren walls that don't provide any sense that this could be a real place. It's also got some major layout issues, with Blu's first flank presented to them taking them almost all the way to final, passing the first point entirely, and offering no options to rotate once they're committed to the route.

    The second stage is much more visually interesting, has a great sense of place, and plays much better than the first. Excellent use of angled geometry at the start. It just doesn't play well and final is uninteresting.

    Kinder:
    I really like the first point, and second point's area is super neat how it wraps around. I'm not a fan of the A->B area itself, and there's a few areas that feel... off. Both the gameplay and visuals in the second half are forgettable, but I like the first half a lot.

    Longhaul:
    This map has a lot of issues. We'll skip talking about the HDR lighting issues that make the map hard to even look at. The detail work is quite messy, and the map is inconsistent in it's visual direction. There's both wooden doorways and metal ones on the same metal buildings, and there's hazard strips around the track when it's not a rollback/rollforward zone. The whole thing just lacks a sense of identity.

    The heavy reliance on shutter doors hurts the flow of the map. It's easy to get lost, and hard to figure out where to go. Blu really could use a forward spawn, final is a ridiculous distance away from spawn, even as a scout. Your checks aren't implemented in a interesting way; the dynamic element doesn't meaningfully contribute to the map in any way, and the train is so far off to the side that it pretty much never interacts with the fights happening. The lead up to final is one of the more interesting areas, but final itself is too close to the defender's spawn doors and lacks any height variation at all.

    Munitions:
    Feedback coming soon.

    Preinvention:
    Very technically impressive especially for an early map. Unfortunately the layout doesn't flow well and it feels like it's trying to do too much at once. The tutorial is neat, but players don't like to read and if the map needs a tutorial it's probably too confusing. In the future, I recommend focusing on making a simple and memorable layout, rather than focusing on the gimmicks. The visuals could use work as well, but that will come with time and practice.

    Rush:
    I love the first stage of this, and the second one grew on me as I played it. The layout of stage one is super clever, and I love the use of rollback zones. I don't have much to say on stage two at the moment, but it's fun. Visually, the center area of the first stage could use some work, as it's quite empty and boring. I'm sure it'll look great with improved lighting and a 3D skybox in the future though.

    Slipway:
    I'm tenatively giving this a "no," but the player counts were low and there were a few good moments, so I'm willing to change my vote if a full server convinces me of the gameplay. The third point is the big standout to me, I really like the crane bit. First is fine, so is second, but final just doesn't do it for me. Final looks and feels like a gmod map, which isn't a good thing. I can see what you are going for with the visuals, but it needs work.

    Snowthistle:
    Feedback coming soon.

    Thorium:
    There's no detailing, and you didn't use the check marks well at all. There's huge height variation at final that makes it a mess to both attack and defend, massive sniper sightlines at first, and a generally uninteresting layout. It feels like you were fighting the checklist rather than embracing it to do something unique. I think the best way to look at this is to walk though your checklist:

    - 256 Unit ledges present
    Yep, they're here. There's some interesting use of the height around first, but it gets a bit ridiculous around final.

    - Payload Crosses Hazard
    There doesn't seem to actually be a hazard that the cart path crosses...? Unless it's the pit at final, which technically counts, but you already had enough checks without this.

    - Payload goes Straight For 1500 Units
    You've overused this idea, and there's some crazy sightlines around the map. This also causes issues with the "respawn never moves" check later on.

    - Payload goes down 256 units in Height
    This one's fine.

    - Non-death pit hazard
    Sure, the toxic sludge is there. But it's way off to the side and has little to no gameplay impact.

    - Respawn never moves
    This is the big one. Only one of the spawns had to remain in place, and it really feels like Blu could have used a forward spawn for attacking final. This also leads to some ridiculously long walks for Blu to reach the cart.

    Tumble Tech:
    Feedback coming soon.

    Wizard Town:
    Feedback coming soon.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019 at 1:59 PM
  3. Wyvern

    aa Wyvern Certified TF2 Cartographer

    Messages:
    89
    Positive Ratings:
    72
    MAPS No Opinion Yes No
    Amaryllis x
    Bella x
    Berlebeck x
    Bombastic Forest x
    Burner x
    Canale x
    Cannonburg x
    Cavern x
    Descend x
    Fractal x
    Frostwire x
    Highwood x
    Josh x
    Kahoalii x
    Kinder x
    Longhaul x
    Munitions x
    Preinvention x
    Rush x
    Slipway x
    Snowthistle x
    Thorium x
    Tumble Tech x
    Wizard Town x

    I was really only able to play Maid's map thoroughly, and I really enjoyed it. I'll edit my vote once I get the chance to play more maps.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. CactusRobot

    CactusRobot L1: Registered

    Messages:
    27
    Positive Ratings:
    9
    MAPS No Opinion Yes No
    Amaryllis x
    Bella x
    Berlebeck x
    Bombastic Forest x
    Burner x
    Canale x
    Cannonburg x
    Cavern x
    Descend x
    Fractal x
    Frostwire x
    Highwood x
    Josh x
    Kahoalii x
    Kinder x
    Longhaul x
    Munitions x
    Preinvention x
    Rush x
    Slipway x
    Snowthistle x
    Thorium x
    Tumble Tech x
    Wizard Town x
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019 at 11:50 PM
  5. Narpas

    aa Narpas Failing at Scaling

    Messages:
    276
    Positive Ratings:
    268
    Finally actually got to playing some of the maps. Hopefully I'll manage to vote on all of them, or at least a majority
    MAPS No Opinion Yes No
    Amaryllis x
    Bella x
    Berlebeck x
    Bombastic Forest x
    Burner x
    Canale x
    Cannonburg x
    Cavern x
    Descend x
    Fractal x
    Frostwire x
    Highwood x
    Josh x
    Kahoalii x
    Kinder x
    Longhaul x
    Munitions x
    Preinvention x
    Rush x
    Slipway x
    Snowthistle x
    Thorium x
    Tumble Tech x
    Wizard Town x

    • Bella: Alright detailing, but the gameplay isn't very good at all. The map felt way to small and short, and there's a glaring lack of flanks which makes it unfun to attack
    • Burner: Pretty alright, still has a somewhat confusing layout, but seems much more polished than when I've tested it before. Pretty much on the edge of getting my vote, might change it later depending on how well the other maps I've yet to test are
    • Rush: Decent fun, though my biggest complaint would probably be how awkward it is to defend at the end of stage 2. I'm not quite as bothered by the amount of rollbacks as most people seem to be, since I think that add a bit more interest to the gameplay, but I definitely wouldn't complain if some of them were taken out
    • Snowthistle: I didn't have a lot of fun playing this map the one time that I have for judging, but that was mostly a problem of the test (mic spam, unbalanced teams) than the map itself. I really like how the map goes out of it's way to try something different, and it seems like it worked pretty well. There are a couple of things I would change (spawns, adding a bit more structure to the routes), but all in all a pretty good map
    • Tumble Tech: I'm a fan of the detailing, and has some interesting gameplay spaces, but overall I feel the layout doesn't work too well

    To be updated when I hopefully test more of the maps
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  6. Tumbolisu

    aa Tumbolisu  I ⌄ I 

    Messages:
    976
    Positive Ratings:
    961
    MAPS No Opinion Yes No
    Amaryllis x
    Bella x
    Berlebeck x
    Bombastic Forest x
    Burner x
    Canale x
    Cannonburg x
    Cavern x
    Descend x
    Fractal x
    Frostwire x
    Highwood x
    Josh x
    Kahoalii x
    Kinder x
    Longhaul x
    Munitions x
    Preinvention x
    Rush x
    Slipway x
    Snowthistle x
    Thorium x
    Tumble Tech x
    Wizard Town x

    • Bella
    • Bombastic Forest
    • Canale
    • Kinder
    • Longhaul
    • Thorium