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cowtrix
09-29-2008, 05:07 AM
Time to challenge myself with a payload map for Team Fortress 2. And as the name would suggest, it's theme is the Boston Tea Party - Blu Team being those nasty brits trying to get their tea to home base (the payload), and Red Team being those quaint colonials from the USA.

The payload will be a small ship you must cap all the way to end of the canals (does Boston have canals? Meh...) and eventually through the gates of the... tea... thingy... place...

So anyway. That's the basic premise.

Sketchy plan:

http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/9219/finalsketchdx2.jpg


And some screens of some preliminary Hammer work:

http://img229.imageshack.us/img229/2259/94518228be9.th.jpg (http://img229.imageshack.us/my.php?image=94518228be9.jpg)
http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/9863/72102963gf2.th.jpg (http://img72.imageshack.us/my.php?image=72102963gf2.jpg)

So any ideas you guys have, anybody who has done some payload maps before, any criticisms would really be appreciated.

cowtrix
09-29-2008, 10:35 AM
Updates:

http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/4140/71899373yi9.th.jpg (http://img72.imageshack.us/my.php?image=71899373yi9.jpg)
http://img101.imageshack.us/img101/7549/93470292oi6.th.jpg (http://img101.imageshack.us/my.php?image=93470292oi6.jpg)
http://img510.imageshack.us/img510/9456/21252238kz9.th.jpg (http://img510.imageshack.us/my.php?image=21252238kz9.jpg)



More Redbull, then more mapping :D (mapping for pretty much the whole of today - someone make me stop!!)

Also - bad news. Following a Payload tutorial on the Valve wiki seems to be crashing TF2 when I try and run the map. Any clues?

Snipergen
09-29-2008, 03:35 PM
Hi, I'd just like to show you that we're having our 5th contest on tf2maps.net, and this time it's a 1 stage payload map.
http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=3707

I'd like to comment you on your map so far, but I can't see much than the orange dev textures (great that you do this step, playtesting is needed first indeed).
Except maybe your layout, you should take a look at pl_goldrush and pl_badwater, they all have a U or G form if you follow the track, the maps wrap around themselves a bit, and your layout is a bit straightforward.
But please, continue :)

kromano
09-29-2008, 05:40 PM
It does seem that your map will be a bit short, as well as it seems that it will be either way too easy or way too difficult for red team to stop the "cart" from progressing, mostly I see it as too easy either by getting under the boat in the water or by constantly flinging themselves at the large boat and standing on it with a flamethrower or something.

I really like the idea so far though, it looks like you've progressed a long way since your first TF2 map. Have you been joining in the weekly games with CG Talk still? I don't think I've seen your name in the roster for a while, unless you're playing under something else now.

We've had a few new maps added in that we're playtesting and PL is always popular once you've solved the crashing. I haven't touched PL yet so I can't offer you much help in getting it off the ground, sorry.

cowtrix
09-30-2008, 01:00 AM
Yay! I do love coming back to replies...

@SniperGen: Cool contest - anything for a TF2 t-shirt! But it looks like the ship idea violates rule two of the competition:

The cart may be any sensible cart sized model, the official bomb, snipergen's dirty bomb (http://forums.tf2maps.net/downloads.php?do=file&id=394), the mining cars, the little alpine train thing, etc.

@Kromano: Thanks for the reply. Well I guess this is what playtesting is for. By the way, do the CGTalk servers playtest new maps at all?

As for the ship, My plan is to have something like this: The ship is just a big prop dynamic parented to the func_tracktrain as usual, but the cap area is only at the front of the ship (near the steering wheel or something?). So to move it forward, BLU team has to actually stand at the front area, not just anywhere on (or under) the ship. Also camping on it will be hard because while their capping they're sniper fodder.

As for the CGTalk gib-o-ramas, I've been missing them lately due to a timetable conflict. Hopefully I should be able to play a bit more now I'm on holidays.

As for length and general shape I decided to make it longer and curve it in a more U sort of form.

http://img519.imageshack.us/img519/1069/10590753ql8.th.jpg (http://img519.imageshack.us/my.php?image=10590753ql8.jpg)http://img519.imageshack.us/images/thpix.gif (http://g.imageshack.us/thpix.php)

Like this.

Anyway, every building so far has had a sort of theme: building 2 is and alehouse, 3 is a storeroom, building 4 is a bank, 5 is a barracks, etc etc. Anyway, anybody else have ideas as to what some more buildings could be?


Okay, anyway hopefully by the end of this week I'll have a functioning map that I can playtest.

cowtrix
09-30-2008, 01:24 AM
BAM! Brainstorm...

Okay, say we have the ship being capped, and it comes to a closed midway gate, which is also a capture point so it doesn't roll backwards. BLU team has to cap a red control point to open the gate and continue - and red cannot capture that point again.

Holy crap that's going to be hard to pull off. I must be crazy.

Oh well.

cowtrix
09-30-2008, 12:13 PM
More updates. Just figuring out the layouts of the buildings so they flow and are usable is hard. I'm going to have to redo the entire bank building, and I don't even know how to start on the others...

Also I might have to consider moving the first red spawn point, as now it takes too long to get to the gate - not long enough for an engineer to build a teleporter entry, a dispenser and a sentry at a good spot.

Anyway, latest screens from Hammer:

http://img511.imageshack.us/img511/3103/38979388rf7.th.jpg (http://img511.imageshack.us/my.php?image=38979388rf7.jpg)http://img522.imageshack.us/img522/945/87859011oo1.th.jpg (http://img522.imageshack.us/my.php?image=87859011oo1.jpg)http://img296.imageshack.us/img296/6539/94171230nd2.th.jpg (http://img296.imageshack.us/my.php?image=94171230nd2.jpg)

kromano
09-30-2008, 10:02 PM
@Kromano: Thanks for the reply. Well I guess this is what playtesting is for. By the way, do the CGTalk servers playtest new maps at all?
We play all manner of new maps, but we often need a reminder, so talk to Kirt and see if he'll put the map up for you, then join into a game and remind us to try it out when it's at a playable stage. You'll get oodles of feedback in game and after (probably more ingame than is useful though... people forget what they said after and you're too busy fragging to take critiques).

I like your idea for the boat, being at the wheel to keep it moving, just make sure there's room enough for multiple people to boost the speed the cart progresses at (as illogical as that may seem).

cowtrix
10-02-2008, 08:29 AM
Thanks kromano, I will indeedy. Thanks for the response.

Haven't got any screenshots, but I might as well give a little update. Right now I've just nodrawed the entire thing and am reapplying the dev materials from scratch to optimise the damn thing so it doesn't draw brushes were it doesn't need to. Hopefully we'll see the impact of that in frame rate and compile times.

That's step one on the current to do list

2. Actually put in a payload system, make it a functional map, attempt control point gate thingy idea.

3. Should have a functional map at this point. Then, hopefully, a whole lot of playtesting to show me were I (inevitably) have screwed up big time.

cowtrix
10-02-2008, 12:13 PM
Okay I have no idea what this is about... Any ideas?

http://img401.imageshack.us/img401/2790/75988661li9.th.jpg (http://img401.imageshack.us/my.php?image=75988661li9.jpg)http://img401.imageshack.us/images/thpix.gif (http://g.imageshack.us/thpix.php)

Snipergen
10-02-2008, 04:05 PM
If that is supposed to be water there, you have a leak sir. Or you made your water brush wrong (only top side of the brush water, rest nodraws).
First post your compile log in http://interlopers.net/errors
To find your leak, after the compile in hammer go to map->load pointfile. The red line shows you the leak.

kromano
10-02-2008, 05:21 PM
Thanks kromano, I will indeedy. Thanks for the response.

Haven't got any screenshots, but I might as well give a little update. Right now I've just nodrawed the entire thing and am reapplying the dev materials from scratch to optimise the damn thing so it doesn't draw brushes were it doesn't need to. Hopefully we'll see the impact of that in frame rate and compile times.
Optimization is king, if you ask me. People thought I was crazy when I made (significant) changes to ctf Escherhaus because it wasn't optimized. Their complaints were FPS was fine, you don't notice any glitches, what is there to optimize? If you ask me, I don't care if your map is a single cube room 128 units large or a complex network of caves and insane geometry. Treat every map with the same care and you'll create a masterpiece.

That said, nodraw shouldn't have an impact on compile times at all. It's still making all the same cuts in vis as it would normally, it's just the engine won't render those faces afterwards in the game engine.

As for your strangeness screenshot, I would agree. Leak. Either a leak, improperly textured water (as suggested) or you forgot to re-texture some nodraw faces.

cowtrix
10-02-2008, 11:47 PM
That said, nodraw shouldn't have an impact on compile times at all. It's still making all the same cuts in vis as it would normally, it's just the engine won't render those faces afterwards in the game engine.

Really? Damnit... Oh well, already done it now.

Anyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyway finished the first draft of the map, just fixing glitches, little problems, and then it's onto chucking in the payload thingy...

cowtrix
10-05-2008, 01:20 AM
Hey guys, here's a little update on some of the props that are going to be in the final map...

http://img296.imageshack.us/img296/4279/001es0.th.jpg (http://img296.imageshack.us/my.php?image=001es0.jpg)http://www.imageshack.us/thumbnail.png (http://img112.imageshack.us/my.php?image=001nq2.jpg)

Anyway I don't know why the second pic isn't showing up, but it does when you click on it so oh well.

kromano
10-05-2008, 02:41 AM
Your props are looking pretty cool. Be forewarned about your rooftop being one single prop object. The entire object shares a single material property, so if you made your rooftop wood, the windows would make the same noise and have the same decals as wood too.

I'm looking forward to seeing your first release. It should be sweet!

cowtrix
10-05-2008, 11:27 AM
Collision models. The bane of my very existence.

Okay, the first rough version of the ship has been modelled, and I'm trying to get it into Source. Of course, it can't just work nicely, it has to try and be all smart and rage-provokingly unhelpful.

Long story short, in C4D, 3DSMax, and importing back from a .smd into XSI Mod Tool the collision model looks like this:

http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/4514/physbox01rb6.th.jpg (http://img89.imageshack.us/my.php?image=physbox01rb6.jpg)

And when it gets compiled it looks like this:

http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/1438/physbox02uq2.th.jpg (http://img89.imageshack.us/my.php?image=physbox02uq2.jpg)

Here's the .qc file:

$modelname pl_boston\Ship\ship.mdl
$cdmaterials models\pl_boston\ship
$staticprop
$scale 0.7
$body studio "ship.smd"
$sequence idle "ship.smd" fps 30
$collisionmodel "ship_phys.smd"
{
$concave
}

And here's the model compile log:

GUIStudioMDL 2.2/Source - 2007 Neil 'Jed' Jedrzejewski - http://www.wunderboy.org/

Created command line: "---\sourcesdk\bin\orangebox\bin\studiomdl.exe" -fullcollide -game "---\steamapps\cow_trix\team fortress 2\tf" -nop4 -nox360 "---\Hammer\Pl_Boston\Models\Ship\SMD\ship.qc"

WARNING: AppFramework : Unable to load module p4lib.dll!
qdir: "---\hammer\pl_boston\models\ship\smd\"
gamedir: "---\team fortress 2\tf\"
g_path: "---\Hammer\Pl_Boston\Models\Ship\SMD\ship.qc"
Building binary model files...
Working on "ship.qc"
SMD MODEL ship.smd
SMD MODEL ship_phys.smd
WARNING: Model has 2-dimensional geometry (less than 0.500 inches thick on any axis)!
WARNING: Model has 2-dimensional geometry (less than 0.500 inches thick on any axis)!
WARNING: Model has 2-dimensional geometry (less than 0.500 inches thick on any axis)!
WARNING: Model has 2-dimensional geometry (less than 0.500 inches thick on any axis)!
WARNING: Model has 2-dimensional geometry (less than 0.500 inches thick on any axis)!
WARNING: Model has 2-dimensional geometry (less than 0.500 inches thick on any axis)!
WARNING: Model has 2-dimensional geometry (less than 0.500 inches thick on any axis)!
WARNING: Model has 2-dimensional geometry (less than 0.500 inches thick on any axis)!
WARNING: Error with convex elements of ship_phys.smd, building single convex!
Model has 8 convex sub-parts
Collision model completed.
---------------------
writing ---\team fortress 2\tf\models/pl_boston\Ship\ship.mdl:
bones 964 bytes (1)
animations 112 bytes (1 anims) (1 frames) [0:00]
sequences 220 bytes (1 seq)
ik/pose 164 bytes
eyeballs 0 bytes (0 eyeballs)
flexes 0 bytes (0 flexes)
textures 72 bytes
keyvalues 0 bytes
bone transforms 0 bytes
Collision model volume 22263474.00 in^3
collision 0 bytes
total 1720
---------------------
writing ---\team fortress 2\tf\models/pl_boston\Ship\ship.vvd:
vertices 13440 bytes (280 vertices)
tangents 4480 bytes (280 vertices)
total 17984 bytes
---------------------
Generating optimized mesh "---\team fortress 2\tf\models/pl_boston\Ship\ship.sw.vtx":
body parts: 8 bytes
models: 20 bytes
model LODs: 12 bytes
meshes: 9 bytes
strip groups: 25 bytes
strips: 27 bytes
verts: 2520 bytes
indices: 1278 bytes
bone changes: 16 bytes
everything: 3939 bytes
---------------------
Generating optimized mesh "---\team fortress 2\tf\models/pl_boston\Ship\ship.dx80.vtx":
body parts: 8 bytes
models: 20 bytes
model LODs: 12 bytes
meshes: 9 bytes
strip groups: 25 bytes
strips: 27 bytes
verts: 2520 bytes
indices: 1278 bytes
bone changes: 16 bytes
everything: 3939 bytes
---------------------
Generating optimized mesh "---\team fortress 2\tf\models/pl_boston\Ship\ship.dx90.vtx":
body parts: 8 bytes
models: 20 bytes
model LODs: 12 bytes
meshes: 9 bytes
strip groups: 25 bytes
strips: 27 bytes
verts: 2520 bytes
indices: 1278 bytes
bone changes: 16 bytes
everything: 3939 bytes

Completed "ship.qc"


Anyway, what is this error?? Has anyone encountered this before?

kromano
10-06-2008, 12:02 AM
Collision models. The bane of my very existence.

Okay, the first rough version of the ship has been modelled, and I'm trying to get it into Source. Of course, it can't just work nicely, it has to try and be all smart and rage-provokingly unhelpful.

Long story short, in C4D, 3DSMax, and importing back from a .smd into XSI Mod Tool the collision model looks like this:

http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/4514/physbox01rb6.th.jpg (http://img89.imageshack.us/my.php?image=physbox01rb6.jpg)

And when it gets compiled it looks like this:

http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/1438/physbox02uq2.th.jpg (http://img89.imageshack.us/my.php?image=physbox02uq2.jpg)

Anyway, what is this error?? Has anyone encountered this before?
Collision models, the bane of many existences. In Source a collision mesh MUST be made up of one or many convex pieces. They must all share the same smoothing group and they must all have a texture of some sort to export properly (from 3ds max anyway).

It looks like your ship collision mesh is 1 concave shape rather than a concave shape made up of multiple convex objects and also is multiple smoothing groups. Rebuild the shape using multiple objects and export again. If you still get your error message, export with the "flip normals" option. I've had some meshes where the normals inverted on me causing the compiler to spit out that message you got.

cowtrix
10-06-2008, 01:04 AM
Thanks for the help kromano. I have made sure that they are all convex (I think... Is there any automated way to do this?), and it is made up of 8 different parts. I have no idea what smoothing groups are (why can't everybody just use C4D, it's so much easier!), so I'll have to read up on them...

And I don't get the option of flipping normals when I export the smd, so where is that? And which exporter gives you that option?

EDIT: Sorta kinda maybe fixed. Collision model needs improvement, but it'll do.

kromano
10-06-2008, 02:07 AM
Sorry, I don't know C4D or its export tools so I'm not sure the options. I work from 3DS Max using uhh, I forget.. some export plugins. Anyway. I think it was actually the compiler that has that switch, which reverse ALL normals, and I don't think your boat mesh itself has a problem, just the collisions.

Smoothing groups are what they're called in 3D Studio, I think it's hard and soft edges in Maya. You don't want any definition between sides, you want all the edges to be soft or to blend into each other.

There might be a script or something you can grab to check if a hull is concave/convex, but it's generally not necessary. If an object is concave the compiler will fill in that section so as long as your mesh is roughly convex, it should work.

cowtrix
10-09-2008, 08:15 AM
Suppose I should give an update, this threads been pretty darn silent lately, this might inject some life into the poor beast.

Okay, so payload system is working. No apparent glitches, at least no major ones. Steps still to do is add more path_tracks to make the train much, much smoother. Right now it's like riding a go cart driven by an intoxicated parakeet over the Himalayas

Anyway, spawn rooms are... sorta working. None of the darn red spawns want to work, even though I've removed every damn possible obstruction to the point where I could spawn a hundred bloody aircraft carriers without drama.

I'm going to have to take a break on this with exams coming up. Just remember to PM me in six weeks and tell me to get back to work.

kromano
10-09-2008, 05:16 PM
Anyway, spawn rooms are... sorta working. None of the darn red spawns want to work, even though I've removed every damn possible obstruction to the point where I could spawn a hundred bloody aircraft carriers without drama.
Make sure that all the spawn points are around 8 units above the floor. The game will automatically move them to the ground at the start of the map. This ensures that they won't be considered "wedged" in other geometry and ignored.

Also make sure you're running TF2 with the -dev parameter at launch (or opening the console and typing developer 1") so that important error messages, such as spawn points being ignored, are reported to you to track them down.

Glad you got payload working, that's pretty sweet!

cowtrix
11-08-2008, 09:10 AM
Okay first update in ages, and will be the last for ages. Damn exams! Just quickly modelled this on a break...

http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/2392/001na6.jpghttp://img206.imageshack.us/img206/3221/002ue7.jpg

TheNeverman
11-12-2008, 09:16 PM
hey Cowtrix - happy to see Boston coming along, slowly. Was nice seeing you on the server last week too...

kromano
11-12-2008, 09:28 PM
I too am waiting to see how this map turns out. It looks like a huge improvement over the first work Cowtrix posted here. Amazing what a little time and practice can do. A shame I missed most of last weekend's games. Looking forward to the first playtest, Cow.

cowtrix
11-13-2008, 04:12 AM
Thanks for the replies! It's really very motivating. I should be able to restart work on this project by about next week.

cowtrix
11-17-2008, 05:49 AM
http://img371.imageshack.us/img371/7015/001ef6.jpg


A bit of texturing what what. Tally ho! Needs a fair bit of work, but you get the idea...

Now I just need to figure out what RED can stand for...

cowtrix
11-29-2008, 12:34 AM
Spawnpoint problems! Everything is falling apart. I fix one thing, and another breaks... Anyway way too many spawn point issues to go into in detail, espescially when I'm very unsure of that detail anyway. Hammer is very paranoid about spawpoints...


Say I get the error:

Spawnpoint at (-296.00 -736.00 49.77) is not clear.

How can I find this spawnpoint?

EDIT: Found it, don't worry... Any insights on spawn points would be appreciated though...

kromano
11-29-2008, 03:23 AM
I'd need more info to be of help regarding your spawnpoints but the "is not clear" message appears when your spawn points is too close to another object such as props or walls. Makes sure when you place your spawn points they're all at least 8 units above the ground. This makes sure that you won't get stuck in the ground when the game starts, the engine automatically moves them to the floor when the map is loaded.

brendo2026
11-30-2008, 01:01 PM
Keep it up, :thumbsup:

cowtrix
12-22-2008, 05:57 AM
Fixed the spawnpoint problem. OH GOD THE AMBROSIA-ESQUE GLORY OF SOLVING AN INCREDIBLY ANNOYING PROBLEM! It was so simple I will not divulge what was wrong for fear of exile...

Spawnpoints: DONE
Basic Functionality: DONE
Models: Not much at all. 6 models.
Skybox: Basic blocking.
Texturing: Oh dear.


Okay so I have a basic, working (I think) map. Can't really show any images of the progress cause it's been pretty much just minor tweaks. So now I'm just trying to decide if it's ready for playtesting. You guys have any playtesting standards or whatever?

kromano
12-22-2008, 06:25 AM
None at all, but if it's *too* terrible it'll probably be skipped until fixes are available. I imagine if you have a layout, items in approximate places and the whole thing works as theoretically intended then there's only one thing to do. Pack it up, have a friend download and install it to make sure all the props and textures appear as they're supposed to (I've forgotten to pack textures into a version on multiple occasions before releasing which screwed up a playtest pretty bad. WOO for pink mountains!)

Send a PM to Wyatt and Kirt to let them know what's up and then just make sure to make it to a few games and, when the time is right, request your map to be loaded up. We're pretty good about giving new things a chance and Payload is pretty popular.

cowtrix
12-22-2008, 10:44 AM
Sweet. And now, with great (if probably short lived) pride I can release Pl_Boston V0.1

Feels good. Now I've just got to find out if it works...

Download:

http://www.mediafire.com/?iauwowen2km
(http://forums.tf2maps.net/downloads.php?do=file&id=860)

WyattHarris
12-23-2008, 08:59 PM
Howdy Cow,

Just got the message from Kirt. I'll get this baby uploaded and ready for Wednesday night so we can beat it up nice and proper.

One thing for you to keep in mind. Your map is likely in a state that it is not balanced at all so certain classes will dominate. This means people may hate your map and we will not play it very long. Don't take it personally because that happens to every new map. :D You will get plenty of feedback on what needs work. If you can make it that will be even better.

cowtrix
12-23-2008, 10:01 PM
No problem Wyatt, I expected the hate thing with the first playtest. Now I'm just wondering if I should have put up signs so people know where to go... Oh well, I'll just have to yell FOLLOW ME for the first few rounds.

EDIT: Update on the models. 1105 polys

http://img368.imageshack.us/img368/5759/02jt5.jpg

WyattHarris
12-24-2008, 04:12 PM
Keep in mind I hadn't actually read anything about your map before testing last night. The payload mechanic is great. At first I couldn't tell what was going on, then I saw the ship and "DING" I immediately thought Boston Tea Party. So I think you've got a winner here.

Crossposted in the CGS TF2 thread
"Tried a little of CowTrix's level last night, holy crap what a cool concept. Bravo Cowtrix, simple and effective idea. If you haven't played it yet I'll save the surprise. However... its going to be a slaughter house I can already tell. In the current state the map is too wide open and offense is going to be hard pressed to make progress. Bedrinkable said it last night, raise the water level or lower the banks. Having to climb the ramps to get out of the water makes them an easy choke point. Maybe the others will think differently, we will see."

Additionally, there are some missing cubemaps so I'm getting the purple-black checkerboard on some of your custom models. When I hit the last point as blue team the doors opened but I lost. No idea why that happened. Collision map is shaky on the ship. Hard to stay on the bow and you can slip through the model in spots. What seems to be missing is the way the bomb cart drags you along as it moves. The ship slides around under you and will dump you in the drink if your not constantly adjusting. Considering Blue needs to stay put this will make staying alive and making progress very difficult. Maybe if the ship was bigger, more like the size of a real ship, Blue could move around better but only if you stayed at a certain spot would you actually make progress.

Last thing, and this is my opinion only the others may disagree, way too big, reminds me of Black Mesa. If I played defense I'd go sniper and I'd pick Blue off from way across the map.

But yeah, it is the first play test. I see great potential but its going to be rough tonight. :D

cowtrix
12-24-2008, 09:36 PM
Keep in mind I hadn't actually read anything about your map before testing last night. The payload mechanic is great. At first I couldn't tell what was going on, then I saw the ship and "DING" I immediately thought Boston Tea Party. So I think you've got a winner here.

Crossposted in the CGS TF2 thread
"Tried a little of CowTrix's level last night, holy crap what a cool concept. Bravo Cowtrix, simple and effective idea. If you haven't played it yet I'll save the surprise. However... its going to be a slaughter house I can already tell. In the current state the map is too wide open and offense is going to be hard pressed to make progress. Bedrinkable said it last night, raise the water level or lower the banks. Having to climb the ramps to get out of the water makes them an easy choke point. Maybe the others will think differently, we will see."

Additionally, there are some missing cubemaps so I'm getting the purple-black checkerboard on some of your custom models. When I hit the last point as blue team the doors opened but I lost. No idea why that happened. Collision map is shaky on the ship. Hard to stay on the bow and you can slip through the model in spots. What seems to be missing is the way the bomb cart drags you along as it moves. The ship slides around under you and will dump you in the drink if your not constantly adjusting. Considering Blue needs to stay put this will make staying alive and making progress very difficult. Maybe if the ship was bigger, more like the size of a real ship, Blue could move around better but only if you stayed at a certain spot would you actually make progress.

Last thing, and this is my opinion only the others may disagree, way too big, reminds me of Black Mesa. If I played defense I'd go sniper and I'd pick Blue off from way across the map.

But yeah, it is the first play test. I see great potential but its going to be rough tonight. :D


Damn, I actually forgot to build the cubemaps :sad:. Rookie mistake there...

With the ship, I hear ya, and it's going to be rebuilt. As for the danger of a sniper fest, I've spent the last few hours wandering around as a sniper and trying to find ridiculous lines of sight. The only big problem I can see is with the bank, so I may have to put some doors there.

Swizzle
12-24-2008, 09:52 PM
Damn, I actually forgot to build the cubemaps :sad:. Rookie mistake there...Once you start pushing more levels out with higher frequency, you'll go through a mental checklist of things you need to do before you release a new version. It's just happens naturally.

In the meantime, write yourself some notes on changes you want to make every time you playtest. That'll help your memory for the major things that always need adjustment or error-checking (leaks, cubemaps, displacement edges, shadow maps, texture alignment, etc.).

kromano
12-25-2008, 08:07 AM
We learned a lot about the map from this initial release, so don't get too down it didn't work. The areas are too large, it's much too easy for fast or distance classes to dominate while classes like the heavy get ruined.

Item placement needs work, being an engineer on that map is terribly frustrating. There's no ammo for building things.

Obviously you'll need to remember to pak in the model textures for the next release. Pakrat will catch custom wall textures and models but will NOT find textures used by models, you'll have to add those yourself (which pakrat makes super easy).

Cap point problems are an issue, and what's up with the announcer constantly yellin' about your cap point is being taken? I don't think you have all your entities set up quite correctly yet. Make sure you dig around your setup and see if something's off.

The boat is too small, moves too slowly and the area to push from needs to be a lot bigger, the entire surface of the top would be nice. Then there are the other problems people had noticed. Focus on fixing problem entities and the boat size before altering the map layout. Place some more ammo packs in somewhat key locations without saturating the map. Try to think like each class as you run through the paths they take to get places. Where would an engineer place a sentry? A teleporter? Is that spot completely impenetrable or can somebody get around to knock it out?

Is there a place where scouts or soldiers can double/rocket jump to that other classes can't get to shorten travel times or gain an advantage over the other team? Consider these questions as you place items so that they can augment but not overpower one team's advantage.

One last thing, always, always, ALWAYS append a version number to the end of your map until it's your final release. Each version you release will increment the number by whatever value you deem appropriate. Reason being, now that we have pl_boston, what if you release an update named pl_boston? How will we know it's updated except that we keep getting kicked from the server for having a map version different than the server? Worse yet, what if you were beta testing on public servers? They'd know even less about your releases than we do and might just give up on it completely due to confusion. I had a map release that confused people because of that, nobody knew which version was the correct one (de_kneedeep vs de_kneedeep_ztg).

All these little details to keep track of. A major pain, I know. But playing on a map you built with 20 other people who are enjoying it as much as you'd ever hoped is such an awesome thrill, it's totally worth the effort.

Melvil
12-25-2008, 05:55 PM
Yeah, no worries on the map trouble. It's not the first time an early playtest was problematic (I think we even had the stuck in spawn problem before). We got to play long enough to see what some of the issues are though, so hopefully some of this advice will be helpful.

The size of the map is definitely a problem. When blue first came out of their spawn after the setup, they pretty much got massacred from a distance. Then half their team changed to snipers. Not good. I really think the area of the map could be cut down nearly in half without being too small. The length might be able to be cut down a little as well (between the 1st and second cap point is a really long way).

I would consider making the canal narrower (it would be nice if the scout could double jump over it), and making the areas around it much more compact. There's a lot of potential with the idea of the canal, I would work on structuring the level more around it rather than the canal just going through it. Make it so you can't always just walk next to it, force us into the buildings, take more advantage of vertical space, make red have to attack from above.

Just suggestions, of course. Looking forward to seeing it progress. It's too bad we didn't get to the second cap point in the game, the gates are wicked cool.

removed
12-25-2008, 09:35 PM
Starts to look better as the progress goes... well can't wait to play this map with you guys.


:applause:

cowtrix
01-01-2009, 05:58 AM
Thanks for the crits everybody. The first playtest was a bit demoralising but oh well. Anyway I finally got around to texturing that roof.


http://img160.imageshack.us/img160/1334/003yh4.jpg

So, BLU stand for British Leaf Union, and I'm thinking RED could be something like Rebel Emigrate Division.

EDIT: New models/textures, nothing worth a new post though.

http://img57.imageshack.us/img57/2348/01nz7.jpg

TheNeverman
01-10-2009, 12:10 AM
came across another map that uses the boat... (for the first cap anyways) then it's cart the rest of the way...

still WIP
http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=4604

cowtrix
01-11-2009, 03:19 AM
Awesome Neverman, I decompiled the map and got some tips and tricks out of it.

Also, props.



http://img264.imageshack.us/img264/2341/003nk5.jpg

TheNeverman
01-22-2009, 06:25 PM
any updates there Cowtrix?

cowtrix
01-23-2009, 12:21 AM
any updates there Cowtrix?

Well I haven't had an opportunity to work on it in a while as I'm up in Sydney at the moment, and school starts in a week so that's going to be very chaotic. I've been sketching away though and I've got a tonne of ideas how to improve the map.

Hopefully should be able to post some stuff in about a week.

TheNeverman
03-29-2009, 06:22 PM
updates man?

cowtrix
04-10-2009, 06:23 AM
Not anything screenshot-ble, but this project is far from dead.

EDIT: Well I guess I lied here ^^, cause here is HMS Puteulanus (that's "blue" in Latin by the way).

http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/3621/21146070.jpg

TheNeverman
04-10-2009, 02:13 PM
nice...
how high will the waterline be?

it was pretty tricky to get on the original boat if it was moving

kromano
04-10-2009, 04:56 PM
looking cool, trix. Just keep in mind you only have 21 objects for the collision mesh by default. I count 9 objects so far for a simple design.

cowtrix
04-10-2009, 11:40 PM
Unwrapped the boat, first texture pass today.

@Neverman: I've raised the waterline on the entire map, as a few people suggested, so you can get in and out anywhere (well, almost anywhere). On the model, the waterline should just be below the planks on the outside so you can pretty easily hop on, which was the idea of the whole new design.

The plank on the side is for hopping on or off, have yet to see how well that will implement into the map, whether I will have to widen certain sections, etc...

@Kromano: Physbox is currently at 24 objects, so I guess I'll tackle that when I do the .qc file. Actually, I might be able to get it to under 21... Ah well, we are still just at the texturing stage now.

Also, and slightly worryingly, I am unable to find out where the last playtest went wrong. I've been running round the map, capping points, changing teams, checking spawns etc. and can't recreate what happened the first playtest. :argh:

Swizzle
04-11-2009, 12:27 AM
People were getting stuck in the spawns during that playtest, if I recall correctly, so make sure you have the door triggers set up properly. Make sure to change teams frequently when running around the map and testing for bugs.

cowtrix
04-11-2009, 01:17 AM
Textured Ship Mk2:

http://img214.imageshack.us/img214/3761/33044452.th.jpg (http://img214.imageshack.us/img214/3761/33044452.jpg)

Will do Swizzle. I might also just build in a "safety switch" to open the doors if anyone spawns when their not supposed to, just so the whole thing doesn't grind to a halt if it goes wrong.

Bug Report!

This: When I stand on the ship and fire into the water it does this:

http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/3200/97806161.th.jpg (http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/3200/97806161.jpg)

As if the water is right in front of me. Something to do with the particular water shader I'm using perhaps? Anyway, if anyone has encountered this, or better yet fixed it, give me a yell.

kromano
04-11-2009, 06:09 AM
I'm more than happy to lend you a hand with physbox trimming and such, Cowtrix. I can't remember if you've added me on Steam Friends or not, but feel free. I'm available for questions anytime you need some tips if I'm online. I mean, usually, when I'm around you can feel free to ask me about Source modding and I'll do my best to lend a hand.

I think the major problem we had with the ship and getting on/off was that the speed of the boat moving and the speed the players could swim then jump out of the water were pretty much equal, so players could never catch up to the boat and get on unless it was stationary.

Your water/model bug is unusual but may be related to the physbox geometry or information in the QC file. I forget the console command at the moment, but turn on model collision mesh rendering while playing in the console, it'll give you an idea of where your boat is sitting, maybe it's registering something underwater or some other anomoly.

And lastly, if you need some people to help you playtest I'm sure you can find a couple of us to guineapig via a locally hosted game. If you can host your map, I'll jump in and try out some of the triggers and such to make sure that things move as clear as gravey.

cowtrix
04-12-2009, 07:29 AM
Okay, new version of Pl_Boston is up, Alpha 1, Version 1. Hopefully not as broken as the last one.

Here:

http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?wzyewkekjj4

So hopefully we can playtest that and see what happens.

And this will hopefully be the last with the butt-ugly dev textures :eek:.

VanillaChicken
04-12-2009, 05:36 PM
While it's a good idea to keep your collision mesh as simple as possible, you can override that 20 mesh limit for very complex models. Add "$maxconvexpieces #" to the brackets of your collision mesh in the QC file.

The console command to draw the collision mesh is "vcollide_wireframe 1".

cowtrix
04-13-2009, 03:20 AM
Well it's all pretty superfluous anyway because I ended up making the boat non-solid, and building a brush skeleton (two reasons: physbox wasn't working and it caused way to many client clipping problems).

So a V2 will come out mainly with just a whole lot of tweaks that I really should have noticed before I threw out V1.


Rails on the boat are now non-solid. Will completely remove them later - just not working.
Lots of lines of sight have been removed, made it a bit less of a sniper fest. Still are a few havens, but no completely invulnerable spots.
Blu elevated spawn balcony now has cover.
Increased initial setup time to 90 seconds, Red engy can build lvl 3 sentry in that time if he is quick.

Swizzle
04-13-2009, 03:45 AM
I'd be careful making the setup time that long. Just the other day I was playing engy on Badwater during setup and I got a sentry, dispenser and teleporter (all level 3!) up before the setup period was over because I had access to a large ammo crate, and that's only a minute long. A minute and a half would be enough time for several engies to get set up with level 3 equipment, especially if they work together.

cowtrix
04-13-2009, 07:27 AM
V2

http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?ltgjxnojwnz

carlw
04-23-2009, 01:37 PM
Hey man, I tried version 2 and I got this error when trying to host the server:
http://www.carlwdesign.com/stuff/boston.jpg

cowtrix
04-24-2009, 02:48 AM
Hey man, I tried version 2 and I got this error when trying to host the server:


I get it too, runs fine from the TF2 client but not from the dedicated server... Has anyone else run into this? V1 runs fine so it's something I did in between there I guess...

Should really have tested it on the dedicated server before releasing it, but oh well I guess I'm learning as I go.

EDIT: Ah that's odd. About the third time I did it it worked. So I can't isolate the problem...

EDIT2: Aaah and now it's not working again. I'll recompile I guess.

TheNeverman
04-24-2009, 03:44 PM
I'd delete your entities (capture points) and start over.

cowtrix
04-25-2009, 01:59 AM
I'd delete your entities (capture points) and start over.

:sad:

:scream:

:cry:

kromano
04-26-2009, 02:58 AM
What a terrifying thought, no? But it might be the only solution. Vic PM'd me his map a while ago and while I saw some things that could be improved, overall there was nothing obviously wrong that would cause these errors. My only suggestions were to pull all the entities in the map and build them over again, just in case.

Feel free to drop me a line with the map if you want me to peruse it for anything irregular.

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