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Geta-Ve
11-23-2007, 10:12 AM
Well, having been inspired by the likes of Swizzle and Kromano, I have decided to attempt my own map.

Having my first idea shot down due to technical difficulties (damn gravity) I am going with a slightly different approach.

The idea is still to have 2 towers you have to run up but I think the map will be more self contained. Attributing most inspiration from swizzles canyons and 2forts layout I hope to be able to pull this off and do enough of it to test tomorrow on the cgtalk weekly TF2 game (if that is of course alright with you guys. Though it is 5am so I doubt I will get that much finished.

Anyhow here is the initial concept

edit: btw, the boob looking thing (for those that arent aware) is the top down view)

http://ts-studios.com/Mike/tf2_map1.jpg

As you can see the map revolves around the two main pillars. Taking a leaf out of 2forts design and also improvising a bit I decided to have a path way from each base leading straight to the others intel. The catch is however that the gap on the path with be wide enough only for scouts to be able to double jump accross.

Now the path way and the actual pillars won't be as 'open' as this, I will have fences and metal walls and such for strategic SG/Snipes positions, and to help with having the scouts get to the intel too quickly there is of course a path leading to your own intel that connects with the path leading to THEIR intel.

I know I am explaining this really badly but it should all be more clear when I get some modeled.

What you don't see right now however is the underground. I know many are thinking that the openess of this map could lead to snipes dominating, however there will be a significant portion of the map underground, a safe passage if you will to the other base. The catch is though it will take almost twice as long to get to the other base so you will want to work together to go top side, utilizing your own snipes and medics.

I think I will probably add shacks and such around the battle ground for safeway points as you make your way to the other base but we shall see.

Anyhow off to draw some more!!

Geta-Ve
11-23-2007, 10:37 AM
Alrighty, I know it has only been 20 minutes but here is an update. I have the underground worked out a bit. The spawn points will indeed be underground, though probably not in the rooms labeled.

As you can see the big area underground will be a half way point which most will want to defend as I am thinking of having paths leading up top as well as to the back of their pillars.

The stairs are marked in Orange With neutral areas in black. The pink is just to show you where that path will reside as there will be 2 levels to the neutral battle area.

The trick here is to make sure that up top is just as fun as underground. Which I think it will be considering the scout path. People will be forced to defend both areas. I can imagine SG's will be placed at the intel, and at the exit from the back of the base. But if soldiers and demo men can rocket/nade their way up the scout path then that would eliminate the SG's at the intel spot.

As I stated earlier the intel will be protected by fences/metal walls or whatever so that soldiers/heavys can't just spam shoot that area.


http://ts-studios.com/Mike/tf2_map3.jpg

Geta-Ve
11-23-2007, 11:07 AM
By the way, does anyone else keep getting disconnected after compiling your map and running it? I only get about 30 some odd seconds in to testing and I get disconnected (timed out) or what not..

:(

Geta-Ve
11-23-2007, 01:18 PM
Well its been 2.5 hours and I have an update for you. Just the basic scout path thus far. What you will notice is that it is now segmented at the top as well as the bottom, I have done this for a specific reason. After having looked over my design again I questioned myself, who is faster than the scout? No one, thusly he will be the first to the top. With that in mind there should be a bigger challange for him to get to the intel.

Another idea I have is to have 2 spawns. One near the intel (behind it perhaps, to allow engi's and such to set up before scouts get there) and one underground. We shall see however.

Anyways, crits comments welcome
http://ts-studios.com/Mike/tf2_ctf_pillar20000.jpg

http://ts-studios.com/Mike/tf2_ctf_pillar20002.jpg

Ziggurat
11-23-2007, 01:31 PM
By the way, does anyone else keep getting disconnected after compiling your map and running it? I only get about 30 some odd seconds in to testing and I get disconnected (timed out) or what not..

:(

Before you run your map, do sv_lan 1 in the console. I believe this should fix your problem.

Your layout looks great so far, but remember not to get too set in your visual looks just yet, since you may need to alter them to change up the gameplay a bit. I'm looking forward to your updates!

Geta-Ve
11-23-2007, 02:27 PM
Here is another update. Having tons of fun building this. The only issue right now is of intersecting geometry. very noticable when soldiers shoot at the particular areas.

But ya, the scouts are definitely able to get to the others intel, however it is a very tricky jump (for me at least). Though the problem is how quickly they can get back to their own intel pillar. I shall figure something out though. Unless any of you folks have any ideas?

http://ts-studios.com/Mike/tf2_ctf_pillar20004.jpg
http://ts-studios.com/Mike/tf2_ctf_pillar20007.jpg

Swizzle
11-23-2007, 02:47 PM
It's looking pretty nice, Geta-Ve, though I'm sorta worried about how easy it might be for people to fall off those towers and bridges. That's an easy thing to fix, though.

Remember that in very open maps, it's not so much the scouts that dominate (even though they're very fast) as much as snipers, heavies, soldiers and demo men. One thing you'll have to consider is that scouts don't have much health, so they need lots of cover and tight spaces they can run through very quickly lest they get taken down by a sniper or somebody spamming their rocket launching or sticky mine abilities. Those same sticky mines and rockets can also be used for jumping, so keep that in mind as well.

If you're still having problems compiling, you could try using this compile log checker to see what could be giving you problems:

http://www.interlopers.net/index.php?page=errors

Geta-Ve
11-23-2007, 03:28 PM
Most excellent points! I probably should have mentioned that it definitely wont be this open. The walls of the level will most likely be fairly close to the cliffs there.

Ya I plan to add railings and such at specific points along the scout path, though we have to remember that while this is the quickest possible way it is most definitely not the safest ^_^ so I don't want to help the scouts out too much.

I hadn't thought about heavies dominating though, I will have to think of a strat for that. An idea I have now that the intel are out in the open. Once you grab the other teams intel you will not have to bring it back to YOUR intel but to your .. intel room? or some such thing, which would be underground. So while the scouts could definitely grab the intel at the beginning it will be a trek to get it back for the point, however I am thinking now that that might lead to players being confused as to where to bring it..

A second approach would be to have the pillar as the extrance to a top cliff side base (second spawn point) and (like 2fort) you have to run straight past the spawn to get the their intel.

many ideas for sure. Thanks for the words swizzle!

Geta-Ve
11-25-2007, 03:03 PM
Howdy all! Well I have another update. Going a tad slower than I would have liked but my enthusiasm still remains so I am thankful! I am finding that the further I develop the map the further I realize just how complicated balancing it for 9 classes can be. So much to consider!

Anyhow with this update I think I have done about 75% of the teams pillar, with simple color swapping here and there to differentiate. The spiral ramp was incredibly dificult as getting the ramp slope JUST right (so they could actually climb it) was time consuming. There is still a whole heck load of stuff to do but at the point I am fairly happy with how the pillars are turning out. I think with the next update you will probably see canyon walls and such, I have some pretty groovy ideas for the surroundings. Once the top side is laid out fairly well I will then delve underground, and after that, assuming it all plays well I will go in and add the details and such. Fun!

Also if anyone has any ideas for the lighting at this point feel free to lay it on me as that is one aspect I have NO clue about.

http://www.ts-studios.com/Mike/tf2_ctf_pillar30000.jpg

http://www.ts-studios.com/Mike/tf2_ctf_pillar30001.jpg

http://www.ts-studios.com/Mike/tf2_ctf_pillar30002.jpg

http://www.ts-studios.com/Mike/tf2_ctf_pillar30003.jpg

kromano
11-26-2007, 04:28 PM
Not much to say as I'm supposed to be paying attention to class, but you might want to start with just a light_environment and work from that (to get a better read on structure and shadows) until you're ready to commit to a better lighting setup.

I'm sure I have more to say but I've lost my train of thought... I'll get back to you again I'm sure.

Swizzle
11-26-2007, 05:51 PM
I agree with kromano on adding a light_environment to your map. It'll give you the lighting information you need to see things that aren't otherwise visible and people looking at the screenshots will be able to see what you're doing a little easier.

Another thing is that you definitely want to think about what everything else besides the pillars will look like. You can't just have a couple of pillars in the middle of a flat plane because you'll end up with a giant deathmatch, so you need some sort of environment. Keep in mind that adding overall restrictions to anything, be it a map, a character, an entire game, an art project or anything at all will push you to be more creative. Put something around the players that restricts them (but not too much!) and restricts you (but not too much!) and good things will happen.

kromano
11-26-2007, 09:22 PM
I'm not trying to sound negative with the following comment, but it's something that I'm sure we've all figured out as we learned a new app. If this is your first Hammer map ever, it might take a few iterations before you come up with something that's streamlined and playable. Don't feel bad if you finish your concept and find all kinds of bugs like intersecting brushes, invalid deforms, leaks, clipping errors, general optimization flaws, you name it.

It takes time to construct a well balanced, optimized map just as it takes time to construct a well designed, optimized game model.

That said (and to reenforce my non-negativity) I don't see any flaws in your map to date at all (besides lack of light), I just want to point out it's likely you may have to start from the drawing board as you develop your environment and try new things.

Uh oh, I'm being distracted again, better stop talking before I sound like I'm putting you down, because I don't mean to!

Geta-Ve
11-27-2007, 03:39 AM
Thanks guys, and I do realize what you are saying about restrictions and things not going totally as planned (which has happened to a degree already, as I am not quite sure if I am happy with the intel position currently. I know that pretty much I will be fixing things until the sky turns blue but this is my... 3rd map ever made and I am just having fun being able to play in my creation.

As per what else will be shown, the ground will have a lot of variation me thinks. The walls will be in a lot closer to give it a more frantic feel, and I am not quite sure what else. I will probably add other rocks here and there for cover support, random shacks, etc etc.

I definitely want a more organic feel topside, with underground having a very distinct squared, cement, etc etc feel, if that makes sense?

Thanks guys I appreciate the comments. :)

edit: On these notes I have a few minor questions.

1) how do I stop things like this from occuring;

http://www.ts-studios.com/Mike/tf2_ctf_pillar30004.jpg

and

http://www.ts-studios.com/Mike/tf2_ctf_pillar30005.jpg

And 2) how in the would can I snap to grid while rotating? I swear I have tried looking everywhere but I guess this is such a basic element most figure everyone should know? lol

Thanks guys!

Swizzle
11-27-2007, 05:44 AM
If you're having problems with intersecting displacements, there are a few things you can do. The first, and easiest, is to just deal with it and move on. Something else you could do would be creating your displacements in such a way that you could sew them together. Be careful with sewing displacements, though, as they sometimes flip out if the shapes you're trying to sew together aren't regular. Lastly, you could just hide the seams with rocks, scaffolds, or other geometry.

There's no way I know of to snap rotations to the grid, but you can change the rotations to default to 15-degree increments. In one of the tabs in the preferences dialog box, there's a checkbox you can set that will turn this option on.

Geta-Ve
11-27-2007, 09:19 AM
If you're having problems with intersecting displacements, there are a few things you can do. The first, and easiest, is to just deal with it and move on. Something else you could do would be creating your displacements in such a way that you could sew them together. Be careful with sewing displacements, though, as they sometimes flip out if the shapes you're trying to sew together aren't regular. Lastly, you could just hide the seams with rocks, scaffolds, or other geometry.

There's no way I know of to snap rotations to the grid, but you can change the rotations to default to 15-degree increments. In one of the tabs in the preferences dialog box, there's a checkbox you can set that will turn this option on.

Indeed I have seen this option, though I was waiting for a snap solution, but alas if it isn't there I shall have to use it. Seems funny to have the bounding box able to snap to the grid with translations and scales but rotations don't work that way. Ah well.

As per the intersecting displacements, I have cleared it up a bit, though I think I will more than likely have to use your solution of hiding them. I have actually been in the process of redoing a few of my dmaps so as they are sewn together. The pillars for instance are redone, and the path around the pillar is 4 or 5 dmaps sewn together. So ya that should help. But I am happy with the way it is coming together thus far.

Appreciate the reply! :)

aNdi-
11-27-2007, 10:36 AM
Im always building the whole shape as one subdiv and then edit it... hate those intersections. one clean mesh out of quads and then Im making it to one big subdiv and alle intersections are gone!

Geta-Ve
11-27-2007, 12:13 PM
Im always building the whole shape as one subdiv and then edit it... hate those intersections. one clean mesh out of quads and then Im making it to one big subdiv and alle intersections are gone!

Ya I think I most definitely will do that where possible. As you say, I dislike the intersections.

Geta-Ve
12-07-2007, 07:31 PM
Well here is a long overdue update with many changes. The original design is still intact but I have added a base directly behind the pillars as I had thought about earlier. So far I think it is coming along fantasticly, small issues here and there but I am really digging it.

My goal is something similar to 2fort, small(ish) map with large areas to fight in. I don't want too many tight areas, and I am trying to avoid having very many areas period, hopefully this will help in memorizing the layout and all that jazz.

Screen shots I think are self explanitory but if now I will detail each as I go. I also think textures will add a lot to the map. Right now I am working strictly on the red base, taking ideas from valves set up the red base will be a lot of wooden design where as the blue base will be colder cementish feeling. It is funny how different the red and blue bases are in 2fort when you reallly look at them.

So first off we have the right side of the base (from outside). The outcropping is going to be a little sniper area so to speak, I think it has a pretty good vantage point and you can see most of the map from there.

http://www.ts-studios.com/Mike/tf2_ctf_pillar40001.jpg


This next image is of directly inside the left side of the base. A lot of the holes will be covered up by walls. Directly to the scouts left there is a passageway that leads underground (where characters will spawn) The idea is that the scout will run up the stairs from underground and have many choices on where to go. He can either a) keep going out the door directly to his right which leads outside and to either his intel or their intel, or b) he can go straight (in this picture) and use the stairs to go directly up to his intel.

It is much easier to understand when playing obviously.
http://www.ts-studios.com/Mike/tf2_ctf_pillar40002.jpg


This screenshot is of the right side of the base (if you were outside) the big gap in the ceiling will be covered but the wooden poles will be as is, allowing you to look outside and others to look it, its more of an interest piece than of anythng functional.
http://www.ts-studios.com/Mike/tf2_ctf_pillar40003.jpg


This shot is simply looking out from the sniper area. I may bring up the height a bit for a better view.
http://www.ts-studios.com/Mike/tf2_ctf_pillar40004.jpg



This is the path leading to the intel (from inside) and to the sniper area (directly left)
http://www.ts-studios.com/Mike/tf2_ctf_pillar40005.jpg


This is a view from the room of the base simply to give you an idea of the path leading to the intel from inside the base. The sniper area is directly behind me (providing there was no wall)
http://www.ts-studios.com/Mike/tf2_ctf_pillar40006.jpg


Just a long shot of the right side of the base
http://www.ts-studios.com/Mike/tf2_ctf_pillar40007.jpg


Long shot of the left side of the base
http://www.ts-studios.com/Mike/tf2_ctf_pillar40008.jpg


And this is simply a shot of the stairs that lead TO and FROM underground. I realize it is dark and you probably can't see it very well but I shall have a better lit version next time. :P
http://www.ts-studios.com/Mike/tf2_ctf_pillar40009.jpg

kromano
12-07-2007, 09:29 PM
Oh man, this is looking really interesting now that the design has been fleshed out more. I'm beginning to think that we should collect a team and design some kind of HL2 single player campaign series... I had some ideas on how to turn it into a kind of MGAC too..

I can't wait to try this map out on a friday deathmatch now, too.

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