Hey, all. Guess I should start with a quick introduction/explanation. The Boring, Skippable Intro Rewind the clock to about one year ago. The Pyro Update is unleashed, and for the first time community maps are included in an official release. The update page includes an inconspicuous link, suggesting even I could make a custom map! Interesting... Throughout the month of July, I found myself browsing through the developer pages hidden within that little link. I installed the SDK for the first time, playing with Hammer in my free time. Little ideas began jumping around in my head, and I started to sketch out my very own map. Eventually, inevitably, I arrived at TF2Maps.net, reading 95% of the threads in tutorials section and following several project threads, lurking without posting. By August, I began seriously considering realizing my dream map of 3Way. I sketched out all four major regions of 3Way using basic brushes and entities, but before I could go any further, my first year of university grabbed me by the testicles. Many times I tried to return to the project, reread the tutorials, relearn Hammer, but something would always come up. Now I'm done with my schoolwork, and dammit, I'm going to finish this map even if it kills me! Arranging a 3Way Originally, I had intended to create this thread back in August to get some basic advice on the occasional hiccup in my learnings of Hammer until I could conjure up an alpha or something. With Valve's recent public release of their vmf's, I've found myself with much less to ask, though. (Almost seems like more than coincidence that those files were released just as I was returning to my 3Way...) If I feel the map is making any serious progress, I'll probably create a more appropriate thread in the Showcase section, but I figured this would do for now. The most important question I had is whether or not my map is even viable, which is want I want to ask here. However, to get an answer for that, I suppose I first need to explain the map itself... 3Way: An Explanation 3Way is a unique map in a lot of ways. Both RED and BLU have spawn rooms in the middle of the map, stacked on top of one another. Control Points A, B, and C are located at equilateral points around the map, each situated in its own sectioned off area of the map. The spawn rooms and points A, B, and C are all connected to one another via various means, and the points all have paths that lead back to Control Point D, located waaaaay above the spawn rooms. The map plays like a twisted version of King of the Hill and Rock-Paper-Scissors. The objective of the map is to meet a certain point (as in, score) threshold, reached by standing on point D. The rate at which a team accumulates score-points on D depends on a combination of how many team players are standing on the point as well as how many of points A, B, and C are under that team's control. Capturing any of points A, B, or C brings certain pathways under that team's control. These pathways include one that leads to D, and another that leads to the point it "beats". (These paths are A-->B, B-->C, and C-->A.) By "beats", I mean that the pathway gives the controlling team a better means of attacking the following control point than the normal spawn route. Game Design Elaboration/Explanation In theory, this creates a sort of "merry-go-round" effect. Teams will constantly be moving between points A, B, and C, as controlling one point makes attacking the following point easier. The strategy is to keep up the offensive and maintain a majority of control points while mitigating your (almost inevitable) losses from behind, resulting in teams revolving around the map, fighting for (the usual 2/3) majority control of the map. All the while, teams will have to juggle the triangle points with the map objective, winning D. "Expeditions" of players will need to be sent to D when the gettin' is good. However, sending players to D means less players at A, B, and C, giving the other team an opportunity to shift the momentum of the battle in their favor. There are just so many dynamics to this map, I love it! I haven't even gotten into the aesthetics (such as using the hollow portion of the large missile from the final points of Well as the location for point D) or other minor gameplay knickknacks (such as each point A, B, and C emphasizing certain classes and strategies that are in contrast to one another). *Bonus* Why the name "3Way"? The number 3 is central to much of the map's design decisions, such as there being "three ways" to attack point D, "three ways" to begin your initial point capture, etc. The name seems in tradition with other well-known maps like 2Fort and Mach4. (Better recognition...?) I'm immature and think the sexual connotations are funny as hell. (Also because I have three reasons to justify the name, but that in itself creates a fourth reason, so I don't like to bring it up... >_>) Stuff I Gotta Ask Okay, so I know I talk too much. (Sorry... ) Here are the things I could use some advice on: - Most importantly, is the gameplay on my map even viable in the first place? I haven't read much on logic entities and the like, so I wouldn't know. I would basically just need things like a counter, a means of bringing doors under a team's control depending on which control points are under their control, and logic connecting it all together. - Would I eventually be able to create HUD elements to facilitate all this, including "Total Points" or "Total Resources" for each team? (I won't bother with them unless I become really serious with finishing the map, but I just want to know for future reference.) - I'm a pretty sketchy, freeform type of person, so I've been sketching out my map using wide, general brushes to represent areas and spaces, and then cutting them down and detailing them afterward. Is this bad? Is there a better approach? - In an optimization guide linked in a tutorial thread, it mentioned creating brushes with standard sizes, such as x^2 (e.g. 8, 16, 32... 128, 256, 512, etc.). This seems pretty limiting to me, so I don't typically worry about it unless it's just convenient to do so. Is that alright? - Can I prevent Engineers from building within certain locked-off regions of the map? I figured I could do this by identifying them as spawn rooms (just without all the other crap). Is there a cleaner way of doing this, or is this pretty decent? - Due to the nature of points A, B, and C, they'll need to be symmetrical, but not in a Badlands/Well/Granary sense. I can't simply copy and paste (and turn) one side, as I need the map reciprocated as if a mirror divided the two sides. If I closed the map like both sides were on opposing pages of a book, they need to match up exactly. (...Does this make sense? I could whip up a picture to better explain if needed...) Is there a means for me to do this? - As explained, my map is arranged like an equilateral triangle, with each of the three adjacent portions of the map extending from the center. Obviously, this makes working on two of the points more difficult than it should be, as they are at an angle. Is there an option for "turning" the map in Hammer so that I don't need to work at an angle for certain control points? - I once played a surfing TF2 map set in Japan, and the water in it had a current that would push players. Is this easily implementable without any major issues? Are there any similar means of transportation, such as air chutes? (You know, the things the fling a player in a certain direction at a certain velocity.) Don't worry, I have an ingenious, responsible, non-tacky idea of how to utilize them... ------------------ Once again, I apologize for writing so much and taking up so much of your time. (I like to write...) Any responses to any of my questions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for reading!