[WIP] cp_cliffside

Discussion in 'WIP (Work in Progress)' started by NumbersAndNoise, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. NumbersAndNoise

    NumbersAndNoise L1: Registered

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    Cliffside is my first real map for any game, so a lot of this has been an exercise in learning through infuriation, but it's finally starting to come together. It is an assault CP map like Gravel Pit, but with a fourth point, D, that must be captured after C. It is a fairly vertically oriented map. I've got screenshots, so I'll walk you through it.

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    Starting off in the BLU spawn. Nothing special here.

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    The first major landmark from the spawn is this warehouse.

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    The roof of the warehouse is a vital hub of the map, providing passage to CPs A, B, and C.

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    It is not, however, safe passage. The inside of the warehouse, which most classes must pass through to reach the roof, contains huge #$@!-off missiles which, though they have a high enough strength rating to make blowing them up strategically impractical in some (but not all) situations, they will likely accumulate enough damage through stray bullets to eventually explode.

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    The roof of the warehouse connects to CP A by this bridge, seen here from A.

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    Cap A sits atop a one story building which allows roof access through interior stairs on the left and exterior stairs in the back. It also contains corridors inside well suited for ambushes, or for establishing a forward base. On top of the A building sits a small guard tower, a good spot for an engie to set up, or for explosive classes to deliver death from above.

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    In the back of the A building sits minecart tracks (note the upended cart near their end) that can be walked on to reach Cap D on the roof of the RED base, at least if no one knocks you off of them. But we'll come back to D later.

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    For now, we'll focus on Cap B. B sits on top of a large tower with a spiraling staircase wrapped around it. The roof of the warehouse connects to the staircase midway up by a large pipe that players can walk across. The B tower is the highest building in the map, which I hope will make for a lot of fun airblasting people to their deaths off the top.

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    Inside the B tower sits a partially hidden room full of spy computers and dangerous chemical weapons. It is also a nice place to snipe from.

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    This is the view from the top of B. On the left is the warehouse roof (with much of its architecture unfortunately out of frame) and on the right is the RED base, which contains both caps C and D. Cap C is on the ground floor in a configuration somewhat similar to Cap 2 of cp_well. I forgot to take a picture of it, so use your imagination.

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    The second floor is mostly residential. In addition to housing the RED spawn, it also contains these bunks. The second floor also has the outward exit to the battlements, which is this building's connection to the Warehouse roof, they're within jumping distance.

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    Continuing the risk/reward/explosion dynamic, this room on the second floor contains health and ammo. Those valuable items sit on the far side of highly explosive barrels, though, so you risk your life by attempting to retrieve them. You could also lure an enemy into this room and detonate the barrels for mutually assured destruction.

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    We now return to the barracks. Going through them is the only way to access this staircase, one of two on level two that can access the roof. The stairway is caged off from the rest of the room outside the barracks, so defenders can see the attackers coming up to the roof, but cannot stop them.

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    The roof is the site of mining into the cliffside, and of the final control point. The mining scaffold (pardon the crappy shadows) overlooks the CP, and is a great place for the defenders to mount their final push against the invading BLU team. It is also directly connected to the mine tracks from the A building (hey, remember those?) but can be accessed from those tracks, the attached stairs, or a rocket-jump.

    [​IMG]
    The view from atop the scaffold.



    These screenshots are all from the current build, Test 2, though this is a misnomer, as Test 1 was so horrifically incomplete that it was never used for any actual testing.

    Known problems/anticipated changes:
    - Aesthetics. I'm going to be doing a lot of detailing and other work on this front between this and Test 3. Any suggestions would be awesome.
    - Balancing. This map has not been played yet, so timers may need to be adjusted. Possibly more, but I won't know until we play it.
    - Going to add additional architecture to the roof as soon as I figure out what to put there. Again, suggestions would be great.
    - The warehouse is too open inside, so I need to add something. Still figuring out what.
    - Fix the spotlights on the crane to actually cast light on the parts of the scaffold that are covered in shadow.
    - The actual explosions look much smaller than they are. I'm using env_explosion, triggered by a func_breakable over the various explosive things. Any idea how to make the visible fireball a bit bigger so people don't complain about it looking like it's further away/smaller than it is?

    Don't know when I'll be getting to playtesting it, or what, if anything, is offered here, but I fully expect there to be balance problems until I can play through it, but setting up the timers properly might help. For now I have a 10 minute base time, with 2:30 added for each of the first two CPs, and 5:00 added for C. RED gets a five second respawn time penalty when A and B are both captured. A takes 14 second to cap, B takes 8, C takes 12, and D takes 8.

    Any questions, comments, suggestions, death threats, feel free to post. Thanks for reading through this whole long !*$#ing thing.
     
  2. MrAlBobo

    MrAlBobo L13: Stunning Member

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    just from the pictures the map looks very large and open, which allows snipers to dominate and cripples most other classes
    also...some of the lighting looks a bit dark

    of course all I can see is the pics...so...yeah
     
  3. NumbersAndNoise

    NumbersAndNoise L1: Registered

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    I've been trying to put in good sniper cover, but I probably need to add more. Like, that fence partially around A exists pretty much only to protect people capping from taking the point. I probably need some more stuff like that, though I don't want to repeat things all the time. I don't really play sniper much, so I guess I'm not totally aware of some of the things that keep them in check.

    I'm still tweaking the lighting as well, though there are a couple sections (not pictured) that feature very intentional dark corners. But for these, would you say I should add more light sources or just make the existing ones brighter?
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2008
  4. MrAlBobo

    MrAlBobo L13: Stunning Member

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    I really couldn't say, but most people around here are fixated on the fact that dark areas don't work in this game due to something about not being able to recognize teams immediately. So...whichever eats up the dark better would probably be your best bet.
     
  5. NumbersAndNoise

    NumbersAndNoise L1: Registered

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    I've made a few modification.

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    The bunks are brighter.

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    As are some of the corridors

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    I fenced off part of the stairway to B to give some more cover against snipers.

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    And built a structure to cover the stairway onto the roof for the same reason.

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    Snipers still have a shot at it, but it's not nearly as open as before.

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    And as a last bit of cover, I put some rocks outside the B exit of the BLU spawn.
     
  6. Nineaxis

    aa Nineaxis Quack Doctor

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    Could we see a noclip overview? It'd kind of hard to tell what's going on from those screens.
     
  7. NumbersAndNoise

    NumbersAndNoise L1: Registered

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    Yes sir!

    [​IMG]
    Bird's eye view.

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    West side, by CP A

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    East side, by CP B

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    Angled forward view

    Knew I was missing something important.

    At some point I'm going to have the walls in the middle of both sides curve outwards, fence it off from the skybox, and have some sort of road going out of the canyon in the 3D skybox. But that's a bit of a ways away.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2008
  8. Voztron

    Voztron L2: Junior Member

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    Looks interesting. Not a bad effort for a first time map. I can see what you are trying to do.

    As another person already stated it is very open this can lead to low fps and sniper heaven. I suggested adding the fence you have on the stairway to run all the way across with gaps to force snipers to time their shots. You could also vary the height to allow for an acccasional head shot.

    Add some trim to the lips of the rooftops, these can be complemented with generators or power transformers to allow other classes to find cover on the rooftops. Just take a look at how rooftops of real factories are not simply flat, there is always something going on up there.

    Keep up the good work, the layout is certaily different than most.
     
  9. Solynth

    Solynth L5: Dapper Member

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    It looks like the open areas are way too big maybe put up some walls or fences. Good map though.

    EDIT: Ahh I just realized I said what Voztron said, but I was writing my post before his came up. :p
     
  10. NumbersAndNoise

    NumbersAndNoise L1: Registered

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    Thanks. I'm still trying to figure out what to do next to the sides of the RED base. I really don't want to leave them as just dead, empty space, but I want whatever I put there to actually have a purpose. On the west, I'm definitely going to need to put in something to support the minecart tracks so that they don't look like they're just suspended in midair, so possibly some buildings that have scaffolding for the tracks on top of them. The problem with that, though, is that it would really decrease the "oh $*#!" factor of getting knocked off of the tracks, which is what justifies having such a direct shortcut there.

    Thank you. I've been looking for different ways to add stuff to the rooftops, and I just hit a creative wall in terms of what to put on there. And I will definitely implement that fence on the stairway, though I wanna keep it open enough for people to make the leap onto the battlements or even the edge of the roof.

    I'll be back tomorrow with more stuff. I'm also trying to figure out how to make the warehouse interior less boring. It's kinda hard to see from the pics, but right now it's just a row of shipping containers and a few explosive items. That's pretty boring, so if anyone has ideas on how to expand it, that would be great. One thing I'm thinking about it is rearranging the containers and the missiles to act more as a means of dividing the warehouse into smaller corridors. Yes? No? Maybe? All advice is appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2008
  11. NumbersAndNoise

    NumbersAndNoise L1: Registered

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    More revisions

    [​IMG]
    So, I added more cart tracks, made them lead to a shed with some extra carts in it. Then I put in a little shack with health and ammo in it next to it, with a fence in between, moving in front of the CP.

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    I added some more cover in front of the stairs.

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    It's supposed to match the general hodgepodge-of-metal look around some parts of the map, though I'm not 100% sure I like how it turned out.

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    This should make sniping require a lot more skill, but not impossible.

    I think the roof might still be too open, I'm not sure.

    Next steps:
    - 3D Skybox
    - Detailing
    - Playtest and balancing
    - Soundscape
    - Make explosion visual bigger
    - Fill the space on the sides of the RED base.

    If anyone has any suggestions or advice for these, please let me know.
     
  12. Armadillo of Doom

    aa Armadillo of Doom Group Founder, Lover of Pie

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    Definitely a good start :) But at the next possible opportunity, please stretch out some of those textures, especially the rock wall. So much repeating makes my eyes hurt, lol. Your track layout in the first pic (second page) also looks nifty. I see a lot of possibilities for filling in the space around it and really adding detail to the world. Keep up the good work m8!
     
  13. Vander

    Vander L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    It's looking nice, but that texture you have on the 'roof' is overused. Try breaking it up somehow.

    Also, it doesn't really like it's a certain place...if you catch what I'm saying. It looks like random placement of objects, buildings, and fences. Try to give the place more character and more of a "this place could actually be a real place used for xyz" kind of look.
     
  14. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    Turn the shadows off on yout track models, also you might note that the standard track models don't have a bottom; so where your track goes over that hole people will see up through the bottom of the wooden planks.

    Your map is on a large scale, a common mistake made by new mappers. Place some info_player_start entities around your map just as a temporary effert to get a measure of scale in your map.

    If you take a look at valve maps they're very compact connected to each other by specific choke points.

    Because TF2 is team based it is good to make routes rather than a building.. think of badlands, several paths that meet with an inevitable clash in the middle. Riddle the paths with cover, you don't have to worry too much about what the cover is, just some oil drums, crates, tyres, large rocks etc.

    Metal textures are good for roofs. Everything you have is made of wood at the moment. It'd break the monotony of textures.

    Keep in mind all classes when producing your map. corners make for excellent ambushes as do overhead platforms and catwalks. This will allow your pyro, demoman and soldier to see some viable combat.
     
  15. NumbersAndNoise

    NumbersAndNoise L1: Registered

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    First off, thanks for the tip about the tracks. I noticed the shadows, but not the issue from the bottom of the stairs.

    I've been scaling my map based around movement, is this a bad approach? Figuring out distances based on crouch-jump, rocket jump, cloak times, and so on, trying to make sure that those numbers are right.

    I'm in the process of adding some variety to the textures as we speak. The roof of the RED base is now a darker, more brown wood, and most of the smaller, angled roofs have been made metal. I've also made the warehouse brick, though I'm not sure I like it that way.

    As for the openness of the map, I'm not sure I've conveyed fully how I want it to work. It is more buildings-based than the valve maps, that doesn't make it directionless, I should hope. I've expanded the cliffs in both of the southern corners, mostly sending them north, to tighten the areas in front of the A and B buildings. A lot of the interiors, like the inside of building A, have a lot more small corridors with twists and turns, but it's been difficult to take pictures of them for that exact reason. As for ambushes, I have already put in a few holes in various floors that can be dropped through for an ambush, like from inside the guard tower at A you can drop down into the building, as is the case in the small building on the west half of the warehouse roof.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2008
  16. NumbersAndNoise

    NumbersAndNoise L1: Registered

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    I'm back with big changes.

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    Big noclip overview showing the new textures.

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    Notice the 3D skybox behind the B tower.

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    Exiting the BLU spawn.

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    The pyro triumphs over gates!

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    The warehouse now features elevated platforms, planks allowing players to walk between shipping containers, and, of course, explosions.

    There's a lot, especially indoors, that you can't see. So rather than try in futility, I'll let you see for yourselves.

    Feel free to have a run around. At some point, I want to try to get actual people playing it, but I don't know how one would go about doing that. I'd appreciate any feedback you would have.
     
  17. Aaronmiles2

    Aaronmiles2 L1: Registered

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    How long have you been working on this map? Looks really nice.
     
  18. Aaronmiles2

    Aaronmiles2 L1: Registered

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    [​IMG]
    Just some fun with the Skybox and Sentries. The Sentry Commander rules over all!
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    If you get ubered and blast up over the cliffs (use an enemy Demoman to help if you want it as Engineer or something) you can get behind it. Is this intended?
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    I guess you're meant to be allowed to jump over the fence. If this is correct, level out the metal panel that you walk up (to the huge containers) because it's floating off the floor.
    Also, some minor mistakes, the Cap Point signs are floating off the floor, as are the benches in the Blue respawn. Other than that, the map's cool.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  19. NumbersAndNoise

    NumbersAndNoise L1: Registered

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    Thanks so much for the feedback. You are not intended to get behind the cliffs, I need to put some sort of ceiling on them. It didn't occur to me that an ubercharge could be used to get up there. Do you think it's noteworthy enough to warrant putting an actual top on the cliff, or just block it off entirely with an invisible brush?

    You are meant to jump over the fence. It's there to slow you down and leave you a bit vulnerable if you get knocked off the side of the RED base.

    I've only been mapping for two weeks, and I started on cliffside two days after I first opened up Hammer.
     
  20. Aaronmiles2

    Aaronmiles2 L1: Registered

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    Hmm. I think you should put an invisible brush just below the top of the cliffs so people can't see behind them (it doesn't look realistic if the world just stops after the cliff and carries on into endless space.) But then again, it's up to you.
    Two weeks. That's a fairly short time to make this map, and the map's good. Learned pretty quickly didn't you? What site/tutorial (if one) did you use?
    I'm pretty sure this map's going to turn out really good. Can't wait for the result.