1. Hey there Guest,

    The game servers have moved to semi-dedicated hardware and IPs have changed. Please see front page server widget for up-to-date game server information.

Well this looks familiar...

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by littleedge, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. littleedge

    aa littleedge L1111: Clipping Guru

    Messages:
    983
    Positive Ratings:
    599
    The title is odd, I know. I'm one for weird titles.


    I'm curious if anyone here has noticed things that usually occur in many maps. it doesn't have to be a bad thing, just some general layout or use of props that you tend to see in many maps.

    Like in most 5 point control point maps, it's a control point followed by a tunnel/hallway, to a control point, to a tunnel/hallway, etc. Some maps that don't do this are Badlands and Granary, and everyone likes Badlands and Granary.

    Many Gravelpit-Styled CP maps have BLU spawn leading to A and B in a raised tunnel (Gravelpit, Furnace) that is mainly only accessible by RED team if they're a Scout, Demo, or Soldier.


    Hae you guys noticed anything else? Also, if you feel like it, say somethign those types of maps could change. Like maybe more 5 point control point maps should be like Badlands or Granary where in between the points are large area to fight in, not just tunnels.
     
  2. sniprpenguin

    sniprpenguin L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    266
    Positive Ratings:
    130
    I assume that this happens due to the fact that this setup allows for both visibility optimisation and good gameplay flow.

    Essentially, the visibility optimisation comes in with the fact that tunnels can be placed inside of giant buildings or natural formations that serve as a very visible, and very blocking partition between the big areas. Thus, areas on either side of it don't draw each other in their vis leaves.

    And gameplay flow is assisted by this because it basically creates several small areas that usually don't cross. This allows for pockets of fighting area, and allows for several entrances into and out of an area. Better to have 4 entrances than 1!


    That being said, big areas in between the areas around points wouldn't be a bad idea. It allows for more gameplay oppurtunities and could possibly be different enough to gain praises of originality. However, there are some downsides.

    Let's look at a diagram.

    0=0=0=0=0

    This is the basic layout of a 5cp map with tunnels between points. 0 is a point's area, = are tunnels.

    If you replace the tunnels with areas, you get

    0o0o0o0o0

    where o is a big non-point area. Unless you do some crazy stuff with geometry, the areas still need visual definers as per my explanation before, i.e. giant buildings or walls separating them. This is mainly due to visual optimisation.

    So, if | are walls seperating areas, then we get:

    0|o|0|o|0|o|0|o|0

    If each character represents an area that must be detailed/balanced, then this last figure needs 17 areas done as such, compared to the tunnel layout's 9 (!). That's nearly double the work.

    I'm not saying this is a bad idea, I'm just saying that there is more work to be done for it.



    tl;dr: Tunnels are used for ease of placement and workload.
     
  3. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

    Messages:
    1,591
    Positive Ratings:
    405
    Sightlines (both for sniper balance and rendering distance) and optimization spring to mind.

    You can avoid some of the tunnels in maps like badlands and dustbowl simply because the layout curves a lot. Indeed, in S-curved five-point maps (S-shape to maintain symmetry) you'll tend to see more continuously-open areas.
     
  4. littleedge

    aa littleedge L1111: Clipping Guru

    Messages:
    983
    Positive Ratings:
    599
    @sniprpenguin Ah. But what about Granary and Badlands? Badlands setup is really different from any of the diagrams you showed. Yet, Badlands is a great map to play. Same with Granary. It's more linear than Badlands, but it's more like OOoOoOO, yet it plays great as well.
     
  5. Icarus

    aa Icarus

    Messages:
    2,246
    Positive Ratings:
    1,182
    My Golden Rule: 2.5 routes into every objective
     
  6. Sgt Frag

    Sgt Frag L14: Epic Member

    Messages:
    1,443
    Positive Ratings:
    356
    Even Granary and Badlands are bsically tunnels between areas.

    Granary just substitutes narrow halls (room with ramp) to a large room. But the other side through the cylinder is a small tunnel.
    Point 2 just happens to be inside, but there are tunnels (doorways) going in both directions.

    Badlands isn't tunnels per se. There is the mid through the building area which is a tunnel.
    Around the stairs by the train is more open, but it's just a very large tall hallways basically.
    So is the other side.

    It's just slight changes in layout that allow the open areas, but they are still one pathway.

    I hate granary but love badlands.

    As far as gravel pit style there still aren't alot of maps. Furnace is similar with the raised platform leaving spawn. I think it's a good gameplay mechanic and was probably chosen for that reason. It just helps blu to not get spawn camped.
    Glacier is similar also.
    ---------
    There's just a certian point where some things work well for layouts for gameplay and optimizing. Valve did it and they are good examples so they get followed.

    When it comes down to it good maps don't have to be that different in layout than valve maps for the most part (2fort could be argued).

    Most maps are just a few hallways and open areas linked together. If they get too complicated it can hurt gameplay.
     
  7. sniprpenguin

    sniprpenguin L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    266
    Positive Ratings:
    130
    Alrighty then, here are some super-special-awesome diagrams of the 5cp maps done by Valve to prove my point. Note that open areas are designated by rectangles, while halls/tunnels/paths that can't fit 5 heavies holding hands out without clipping are designated by lines.


    [​IMG]

    Granary.

    5 Major Areas, with those paths between. This map must rely on huge blockage in between each area just because it is straight-forward. Imagine Granary with no walls. :O


    [​IMG]

    Badlands.

    5* Major Areas *(The center area I had to split into 3 areas just to do so), with paths in between. This map can get away with having its huge areas due to the slight S shape it takes.


    And finally, Well.

    [​IMG]

    Although you never mentioned it, Well would probably be the closest example of what you mentioned in your OP. Big open areas with big paths between them. Shame it isn't that popular.



    Also, with the whole Gravelpit/Furnace/Glacier high tunnel things, this is a great oppurtunity to look at height differences and how that plays into advantages for either team. Study it yourself, my throat hurts from my dissection of push maps. But yeah, the tunnels are mainly used for optimization.
     
  8. Remix

    Remix L69: Deviant Member

    Messages:
    69
    Positive Ratings:
    15
    5cp linear formatted maps tend to become very stalematey, while most 5cp S-curved maps are often difficult to defend.

    Maps that achieve an even balance are successful, ie Yukon, badlands . . .

    And I think that a more accurate diagram of Granary would be:

    0=0o=0=o0=0
     
  9. Open Blade

    Open Blade L7: Fancy Member

    Messages:
    439
    Positive Ratings:
    34
    I don't mind the different kinds or routes used in the 5 CP layouts but what I often see is the same type of route overused in one map. For example, take Furnace, it's a nifty well thought out map but I would have liked to seem some of the narrow canyon passages as a different type of passage altogether. It really helps to give a player a sense of where they are on the map without having to search for signs and what. I think having a few of the canyon passages along with some tunnels or building passages would really help distinguish the routes from the other routes, if that makes any sense.
     
  10. Icarus

    aa Icarus

    Messages:
    2,246
    Positive Ratings:
    1,182
    Last caps should always be quick

    slow caps always bother me

    the CP should also never be in full view of the spawn
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  11. Garner

    Garner L4: Comfortable Member

    Messages:
    154
    Positive Ratings:
    38
    +1

    Absolutely, i love spy capping :D
     
  12. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

    Messages:
    1,591
    Positive Ratings:
    405
    The problem with fast final caps is that it can tip things too far the other way, forcing one team to concentrate almost solely on defense.
     
  13. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

    Messages:
    5,436
    Positive Ratings:
    3,768
    Well, Valve's intention is that the team that has been pushed back to their last CP deserves to lose, but if they can push back, then good for them. The map then swings in their favour. The central CP with the longest cap then acts as somewhat of a buffer for the previously attacking team to modify their tactics to prevent a steam roll.

    It's sort of a reward for playing well initially for the 'attacking' team, and punishment for playing badly for the other. It also helps to prevent stalemates. Considering the defenders usually spawn right behind the last cp.
     
  14. jpr

    aa jpr

    Messages:
    1,095
    Positive Ratings:
    543
    People are afraid to try new things and end up copying other maps.
    Apparently no one likes pipeline, but still most of the annual contest plr maps work just like pipeline.
     
  15. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

    Messages:
    7,099
    Positive Ratings:
    5,920
    You don't have to re-invent gameplay to do something better, you know. And reinventing gameplay leads to confusing the fuck out of dull-witted players. But it can be done, the A/D ctf mode and steel go to show that new things can work without valve's explainations.
     
  16. jpr

    aa jpr

    Messages:
    1,095
    Positive Ratings:
    543
    I know, I just found it kinda funny
     
  17. Sgt Frag

    Sgt Frag L14: Epic Member

    Messages:
    1,443
    Positive Ratings:
    356
    True, but steel even confused the hell out of people initially. Now that it's been officialized and has gotten alot of playtime for awhile people have got it.

    So sometimes it just takes patience from players which seems to be very hard to get. One person starts bitching then it turns into a chorus. TF2 players are like frogs.
     
  18. alecom

    alecom L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

    Messages:
    516
    Positive Ratings:
    121
    Badlands has huge area portals (in the outside areas of course)