[WIP] CTF Peak Coal

Discussion in 'WIP (Work in Progress)' started by chpmmttn, Dec 24, 2007.

  1. chpmmttn

    chpmmttn Guest

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    [BETA] CTF Peak Coal

    I'm about ready to release a Beta for the map I have been working on, CTF Peak Coal. The following is a rambling description of it with a few screenshots.

    It is a symetrical map with two bases and a hill in between them.

    [​IMG]

    Several tunnels go through the hill and the middle is hollowed out into an upper room and a lower room which are connected through a vertical shaft in the middle. The upper and lower rooms connect to a side room through twisting tunnels and then to an alternative entrance to the base. This entrance goes past the train tracks, and you can go through one of the train tunnels to move back to the outdoor entrance area.

    The base has a very large battlement/roof area with a large opening in the floor leading to a storage area. Behind the battlements is a door which leads to a room filled with pipes. There is another door in this room which leads to a full life and ammo pack. This is designed to be used as a forward base for the invading team, if not properly defended. Two pipe filled hallways lead from this room, one leading back to the battlements and one leading to the back roof area.

    In the storage area (under the large floor opening on the battlement) there is a narrow straight tunnel (coal chute) which leads directly to the flag room. Anyone in this coal chute would be easily shot by a sniper or any other range class. The coal chute has two side exits which lead to the basement area. The exit which leads to the flag room has a door which does not open from the flag room. The door is also high on the wall so only a rocket/grenade jump would reach it if the door is held open.

    [​IMG]

    The other exit of the storage area leads to an office area. This is slightly maze like and has ramps to the battlement/roof and also leads to the two exits of the single respawn. The respawn exits are seperated by a wall, allowing allowing the defending team to have a slightly quicker way to move through this part of the base.

    Past the respawns are ramps leading to the back outdoor/roof area and past that the basement area. The back outdoor area has a large smokestack. A rocket/grenade jump will get you to the top and it leads directly to the flag (the fall will cause damage). A scout can also reach it by jumping across window props on the wall.

    The coal chute passes through the basement and gives cover to various parts and provides a nice place for sentry placement. There are four exits in the basement which are large pipes. These pipes connect to other pipes which in turn form a large rectangle around the basement. On the far side is a small room which is the flag room. The other side is a long pipe, with the side exits of the coal chute. This screenshot, looking up at the basement and flag room may help make some sense of that.

    [​IMG]

    I do not think that it is an overly complicated map, but I am at the point where I need to get some play testing on it to know if it actually works. Any further work I do on it would just complicate the issue immensely if I need to go back and make some major change to the basic geometry of the level.

    The thing that I am the most worried about is the small flag room. There are many ways into it, but I do not know what will happen if it is packed full of sentry guns, or if snipers are sitting in the tunnels getting head shots on anyone nearby.

    Also, leaving with the flag will require you to pass through the basement. This may become too much of a choke point if well defended. Although it would be possible to rocket jump with the flag back into the coal chute if you have someone stand by it to hold it open, or if you manage to do a double grenade jump back up out of the smoke stack (I have not been able to survive doing this, but a medic could help out). These might be more advanced tactics that may not be readily available on a public server.

    Any comments on the description or screenshots would be greatly appreciated. I am planning on making it look prettier, but that will come later, along with optimization. Hopefully I will be releasing the actually map within a day or two and I will post a link to it here when I do.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2007
  2. chpmmttn

    chpmmttn Guest

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  3. Armadillo of Doom

    aa Armadillo of Doom Group Founder, Lover of Pie

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    Very cool. I think this could just as easily be a deathmatch map lol. One thing that jumps out at me is the rock walls. So much repeating texture makes my head hurt :( You definately want to spread it out, and use some NatureBlends as well. Other than that, looks like a fast-paced good time.
     
  4. Wiebbe

    Wiebbe L1: Registered

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    The scout of criticism returns!

    I took him around your map for some screenshots where i think it needs some improvements. Firstly, your map is VERY bad performance wise. When i started in the spawn room as red, i had 20!! fps which for my system is very low.

    I decided to use mat_wireframe 1 to check what is beind rendered, behold:

    [​IMG]

    wow! Basicly i get to render the ENTIRE map from the spawn point. I think its a good idea to check for any leaks : P

    i could even see the intellligence rotating ^^


    Now, while we have that out of the way, lets get to the map itself. The flow of the map is too large imho, when you run from the intelligence spot all the way to the other side, it will take you something like 1 or 2 minutes even without fighting.

    While map size is a preference the flow of certain area's is broken as well. Multiplayer maps need to flow, you need to be able to run through them map while fighting just like a deathmatch map.

    The only exclusion of this is maps like Dustbowl or Gravelpit because those are attack/defend maps. The first spot i noticed which breaks up the flow is the pipe hallway.


    [​IMG]

    One heavy could annihilate en entire army in this party, more with a medic behind him. The flow of this hallway just breaks the speed any class will have running through here.

    Also only 1 player at a time can walk through this, try to remove 1 pipe to make it a bit clearer or change the layout of this hallway.

    [​IMG]

    wow, you have alot of jumps in this part of the map, do you expect a player that comes running through here to jump like 3/4 times? : P 1 jump and they get stuck which might kill them. Being killed because of a flow error makes someone's skin itch!

    [​IMG]

    Disco lights! Lights are the way TFC used to assign locations where you needed to go to, TF2 uses textures and decals to show you the way : P

    Try to ease up the red and blue lights in this map, it doesnt look natural in the cartoon world of TF2. Ofcourse you can use lights to show the way, just dont make them dominate that bad.
     
  5. Wiebbe

    Wiebbe L1: Registered

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    [​IMG]

    This hallway just screams lonelyness. Its a hallway with nothing it but metalic textures and just looks quake1ish. Try to use the wood textures for red more, give the red a warm and darkish red tones, like a farm house lit by yellow lights on a cold winter night. Not this cold harsh white lighting on a red metalic colour!

    [​IMG]

    Some flow changes, if you get at this ramp, you HAVE to jump up, you could rais the ramp a bit, or add some player clipping to help players.

    [​IMG]

    This looks plain odd, is this area floating in the air? Try to add some detail behind the fence.

    [​IMG]

    ack! more jumping, if my memory serves me correctly, the highest spot a TF player can just walk over is around 16 units? NEVER let players jump if its a normal regular flow spot. Because these area's will be heavy with fighting (it goes to the Intelligence after all) having to jump these pipes makes people cry!
     
  6. Wiebbe

    Wiebbe L1: Registered

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    [​IMG]

    Placing the intelligence in the sewers might work, but the general idea is odd as well. Why is it here anyway? I think you could just place 2 sentry's in this room and no one would be able to get in. also, this part is VERY boring, a engineer being stuck here whacking a sentry would get bored looking at the same blue tones in the entire room! Spice it up and while your at it increase the size of the room.

    [​IMG]

    I like the idea to only give soldiers and demo's a chance to enter this room, but having to aim to this spot is very annoying. Try to give it a ramp to get to and then enter the pipe.

    Also those windows look out of place, its like a metal wall which has windows popping out.

    If i dare to say so, it looks like it wasnt well though out when you started this map. you need to draw the area's on paper before you start, decide which way players will take when they never played the map before.

    The map kinda looked like a maze when i checked it out. you want players to feel a flow in a map, that when they start playing they will automaticly end up at the enemy base to shoot people. The "secret" quicker or harder roots will be taken by experienced player after they place the map a couple of times, but the newbies will get lost.

    It actually took me like 2 minutes to know the flag was below that pipe room because the flow took me to that room. I ran around, suddenly thought maybe the flag is below here? (because the compass doesnt show it being down) Only then i noticed some sign saying intelligence!
     
  7. chpmmttn

    chpmmttn Guest

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    Thanks for the comments. I agree on the textures being an issue, and that is something I was planning on redoing.
     
  8. chpmmttn

    chpmmttn Guest

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    And I appreciate it. Thanks for ripping me a new one. :D

    huh... well that is odd.
    I'll need to take a look at it again with that command. Does svcheats need to be on for it to work?

    I was under the impression that brushes would block visibility and keep things from rendering, taking into account areas that can see into other areas. A leak would cause the entire map to render?

    Now I would like to point out that the purpose of this release was for the flow of the map and not its optimization, as I have not done any real work on that, but I had no idea it was that bad, so thank you for pointing it out.

    It is 38 seconds for a scout to run from the spawn to the enemy intel, when they take the most direct path. This is too long? I was thinking that a slightly long walk would give the defensive players time to setup. Also, it lends importance to offensive engineers who can setup teleporters in the enemy base (several areas were designed with this purpose in mind).

    That area is an alternative path. It is meant to slow down players. I do not know why a heavy would go into that area, let alone with a medic, because it is very easy to take a different and quicker route, or cover the exit from the area if they are defending. The area was meant as a slower route to the full health/ammo, and to the back outdoor area for the offensive players. It gives spys a hidden area to disguise and a place for an offensive engineer to place teleporters. Also it gives demomen an area where they can effectively use indirect fire.

    Scouts still move very quickly through this area as they can double jump and crouch over the pipes. Other classes either need to jump twice with a crouch on the second jump or to the smaller pipe on the wall which does not require a crouch.

    I agree, I also dislike the disco lights. They were a quick fix for showing which direction the bases are from the middle area. I think that decals would not be enough for this area, but I will be trying to find a different way of dealing with this. Most likely it will be a combination of textures, lighting and decals, but as the purpose of this beta was for the flow of the map I went with the quick heavy handed method.

    Other than the disco lights, I tried to only use heavily colored lighting to tint the shadows of the areas.

    well.. cough cough, I believe that is a wood texture.

    The bright lights are there as that is the main entrance into the base and are meant to make it unappealing for offensive players coming in, who would either be coming from the darker lit underground area or the warmly lit outdoors. Under those lights is an ideal location for a sentry as it can cover both entrances (the alternative entrance which I think you are standing in on the screenshot, and the main entrance around the corner), so ideally in a large game it wouldn't be quite that lonely. :)

    and again, prettying it up is planned for later.

    Is jumping such a bad thing? Regardless, I will try put in some props or func_details to allow moving without jumping, or raise it up some. Although the height that it is currently at allows you to jump to it from the top of a prop in the lower room, I'm not sure I can have both things working. I'll look into it.

    That is where the 3d skybox goes once I get it fixed. Would a leak cause a 3d skybox not to show up? i followed a tutorial found in these forums but couldn't get it to work correctly (HOM, no props in the 3d skybox showing up and being able to see the playable map), while my 2d skybox seems to work fine.

    Yes! More jumping! this was intentional to slow down a scout with the intel. Slower classes can jump from pipe to pipe (excluding turns) while scouts hit their heads forcing them to move into the room and jump or possibly double jump. Maybe it is too mean. I'll think about removing the jumping requirement.

    I envisioned this area being a slow and hard fight, clearing out sections of pipes and advancing to the next small room. The multiple paths would allow for feints and ambushes, while the two additional entrances to the intel room bypass this entirely (although you would still need to exit through the pipes, barring some team work on the offensive side).

    technically it is a "furnace" (hence the chimney) although it is more of a furnace envisioned by someone who has never been inside a furnace. While two sentries would be very tough to overcome, I think the room is small enough that a demoman would be able to clear it out without too much trouble (either from the chimney if the sentries are in the middle or from the pipes if they are on the sides.

    Also it seems that since ubers are a pretty standard way of dealing with sentries, that the smaller room would actually make it easier for an ubered heavy or pyro to clear out the room.

    If the room was made larger I feel that it would actually be harder to clear. Of course I could be wrong in my thinking. Any empirical evidence of the difficulty of clearing this room would be very much appreciated. :)

    And of course I am planning on spicing it up a bit for the poor engineers, although it will still just be a furnace.

    It is a direct path to the flag room, so it seems that it should be a bit of a challenge. Is it really that hard to land on it? If someone is shooting you I could see that it would be, but then again, it should be.

    Scouts can also reach it by jumping across some of the ugly windows. I didn't think they were that bad, but I will bear it in mind when I get to the prettying up phase.
     
  9. chpmmttn

    chpmmttn Guest

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    you can dare say it if you like, but you would be wrong. I sketched it out through several revisions before mapping. There were some changes that occurred as I was creating it, but they actually led to it being more streamlined.

    Which way players would go when first playing is exactly why I released the map in its current form. I thank you very much for the input that you have given me, since it appears that you have skipped a somewhat large portion of the map (the downstairs area, under the pipe room and hallways) and the long narrow path leading directly to the flag room (if you saw it i'm sure you would have admonished me for too dim lighting :)).

    Would more signs pointing towards the intel have helped? There are several signs already, but since there are multiple paths it seemed I would either need to specify one path or have several different Intel signs at every junction.

    I am a bit confused by this. If you are referring to the outside area with the chimney, then you took a somewhat longer way through the base, or since you were a scout you double jumped to the battlements and went through the upper portion of the base.

    If you are referring to the the room that the large pipes in this this screenshot connect to, then that is just outside the flag room, and I do not understand how the flow leading you there is a bad thing. I suppose it could use some more signs, maybe pointing down to the bottom so that players know they should go down there.

    Now that I think about it, there are two rooms in the "office" area which lead to the battlements or further into the base. There is a sign pointing to the battlements, but perhaps I need a sign pointing towards the intel here, or rework the props in the room to direct a player that way. The flow of these rooms would probably lead someone to the second floor, which is the "harder" way to go to the intel.

    Again, thank you very much for the input. You have given me a lot to think about and I welcome any more comments or criticisms you may have.
     
  10. chpmmttn

    chpmmttn Guest

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    uploaded a beta 2 after finding the leak in the map and taking some of Wiebbe's suggestions. Much better frame rate now, and you don't need to jump as much. Also got the 3d skybox working as the leak was apparently causing a problem with that.

    Same link as before for the download.

    http://tf2maps.net/downloads.php?do=file&id=61

    Hopefully the next release will be for a more refined map instead of just fixing problems. :)