Tips for making a good TC map?...

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by insane3004, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. insane3004

    insane3004 L1: Registered

    Positive Ratings:
    Because Hydro is my favorite map, and TC is by far my favorite gamemode... I have decided to pay tribute to this fantastic, underrated gamemode...

    I am still working on making the map itself... planning stages and what not... so before I make a huge mistake with the layout... I was wondering if anyone has some good general tips for making a TC map good...
  2. Faux Rhinoceros

    aa Faux Rhinoceros Also known as Dr. Element

    Positive Ratings:
    you better have a good lot of experience with layout design first of all, because this will be like going from jigsaw puzzles to rubik's cubes.

    You're going to make multiple territories that each affect each other, and where an attempt to fix the balance between two of them may throw off the balance on the other combinations those territories are part of.

    I am working on a tc map myself, and my approach so far has been to take it slow, review and revise big parts of the layout for each change i make, and attempt to build it in a way that makes it easy to build new routes that connects with the territories i haven't started on yet.

    So to make a good TC map, take your time building it carefully. You might also want to read some of YM's entries on his own rather succesful tc map, strata.

    But yeah, slow and steady. This is the ultimate task for a tf2 mapper, so don't expect it to be easy :p
  3. Tarry H Sruman

    Tarry H Sruman Large Orphanage Proprietor

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    I made a TC map in the last 2 days of the 72hr contest last year, because #yolo. But honestly, Element is right. TC is by a significant margin the hardest mode to map for. If this is your first map, you will almost certainly be overwhelmed. The entity setup in particular is pretty agonizing to work with. But if you want to do it, definitely take a shot. It's a severely underrated mode.

    Here are the important things to remember:

    • Each of the four main territories can be attacked from three different directions. Make sure that all of these directions are equally apparent; don't design the point with one round in mind and then tack on side entrances.
    • Reuse of space is critical. If you want your map to be a reasonable size while still chopping it up every round, you need to make sure you design spaces that can easily be reused by blocking off certain entrances. If you look at my 72hr TC map, the big warehouse is an excellent example of this. The warehouse is in play in 4 of the 6 main rounds.
    • If you neglect to reuse space, you'll end up with something like Hydro's middle rounds: a tangle of tiny narrow corridors that always end in spammy stalemates. Make sure that there are 2-3 "lanes" or "routes" connecting the two points in play during any round.
    • Keep your routes straightforward and use signs properly. TC maps are by nature complex and if your map is too convoluted and/or your signs are not placed well people WILL get lost and they WILL get pissed off at your map and probably quit.

    Keep fighting the good fight, brother.
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  4. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

    Positive Ratings:
    You need to sacrifice your first born to GabeN

    Also, take everything you know about designing TF2 levels, put it all in a box, douse the box in petrol, set it on fire. Then aim a terrawatt laser at it. Once it's naut but a pile of ash, scoop it up and put it in a rocket and fire it at the sun.
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  5. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

    Positive Ratings:
    Also something to note, you'll hit a lot of engine limits building a TC map. You'll have so many dynamic entities that you'll have to use details sparingly (Even more so than Hydro as hydro was made before recent engine limitations got decreased), including water indices (which have nothing to do with water, incidently). It's to do with how the engine cuts up brush faces into triangles.

    I would recommend only very experienced level designers go for a TC map as it's going to push your limits for balanced map design (knowing the game in and out and predicting what will be good and bad before it's even play tested so it doesn't bomb right out of the hat), the development process (because cutting corners is less forgiving in a map where there are so many variables), engine knowledge (water indices and lightmaps, using layout to control line of sight for optimisation purposes and skybrushes to seal areas without cutting up visible geometry), time/patience and entity knowledge/ability to understand the I/O flow.

    Doing any other map will be far more productive for you in terms of A: Learning at a respectable pace B: Finishing a project and B: generally getting experience through an entire development sequence for testing and getting feedback.

    A good learning curve would be KoTH > 5cp > payload. Increasing the load in terms of scale, entity knowledge and I/O flow, number of objectives to balance, spawn room sequencing and balancing each time.