Map Testing/Suggestions

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Postby iller » Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:23 pm

CrashFu wrote:Greetings. I am here to humbly submit my own brain-child for your map-testing approval.

koth_ziggurat_b3: http://www.fpsbanana.com/maps/98757


First thing I noticed about it was really awful FrameRate performance everywhere went. ...there's so many things I would recommend doing differently to improve it FrameRate-Wise and strategy wise:
-Metal? Trying to play engie, heavy, or spy on this one would be a real Chore...
-Enclose conveyor ramps somewhat to allow Area Portals to be placed in front.
-More doors on the outter hallways to allow more Area Portals.
-Lower the caged light fixtures 1ft and allow Building on top of those base sections jutting out.
-Hints/portals on the windows just incase
-Access to the outside middle teir of the 'Zig' from the inside of it & doors on the zig to optimize portal flow.
-Catwalks or Scaffolding up above the Zig to make use of all that wasted space up there... Either that or replace the whole damned roof with a 3D Skybox/Camera-box Roof to improve performance.

...that's just off the top of my head... Otherwise Cap times seem good enough and health pack distribution is sufficient.
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Postby CrashFu » Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:43 am

iller wrote:
CrashFu wrote:Greetings. I am here to humbly submit my own brain-child for your map-testing approval.

koth_ziggurat_b3: http://www.fpsbanana.com/maps/98757


First thing I noticed about it was really awful FrameRate performance everywhere went. ...there's so many things I would recommend doing differently to improve it FrameRate-Wise and strategy wise:
-Metal? Trying to play engie, heavy, or spy on this one would be a real Chore...
-Enclose conveyor ramps somewhat to allow Area Portals to be placed in front.
-More doors on the outter hallways to allow more Area Portals.
-Lower the caged light fixtures 1ft and allow Building on top of those base sections jutting out.
-Hints/portals on the windows just incase
-Access to the outside middle teir of the 'Zig' from the inside of it & doors on the zig to optimize portal flow.
-Catwalks or Scaffolding up above the Zig to make use of all that wasted space up there... Either that or replace the whole damned roof with a 3D Skybox/Camera-box Roof to improve performance.

...that's just off the top of my head... Otherwise Cap times seem good enough and health pack distribution is sufficient.


Aah, thank you! This is quite a treasure trove of feedback for me to work with. Hmm..

The previous build of the map had a weird thing about framerate as well. Like, 90% of the people who played it, it played really smooth, but then a small percentage of people with older hardware would report the awful framerate; I noticed on your FPS Banana profile that you are running some older hardware, good sir? Originally I had the 'Zig' as you put it made with normal brushes, but for this build I made a lot of them func-details, thinking that rendering a view all the way across the map would be less strenuous on the hardware than having the whatchamacallit divided up unnecessarily, since I didn't think it would really be blocking that much. But clearly, doing it EITHER way doesn't help much with the framerate-on-older-hardware dilemma.

Do you have any suggestions on locations for additional ammo box emplacements?

And could you go into more detail/clarification about enclosing the conveyor ramps, as well as the following point about more doors in the outer hallways?

For the caged light fixtures, you mean so that it would be easier for certain classes (including engineers) to make their way up on top of the big enclosed hallway parts? What if I made a short ramp that anyone could go up?

On the issue of all of the wasted space, up in the "dome" area, and putting catwalks or some such up there... what would you think about if I, say... expanded the 'Zig' up an additional level? I'm thinking I would certainly need to have any catwalks leading up there actually lead TO something, or do you think that a series of catwalks by themselves would see use as places for people to snipe from? There are certainly a lot of ways I could go from here, and I definitely want to find one that does not involve scrapping the dome all-together. That thing took an excruciating amount of time to make and seal the leaks of.


Oh, by the way, did you feel like there were enough useful locations for engineers to build at? I'm slightly worried that they might find themselves under-valued in the map. I'm also wondering if I should find an alternative to the health and ammo in the 'Zig' that only the controlling team can pick up. I think that might confuse some people...

And on a final note, are you Duo?
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Postby iller » Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:39 am

LoL, I wouldn't call it a treasure trove since I'm the only one here who seems to care about optimization.
But to really go into details I'd need to decomp your map and have a look in Hammer ... and due to etiquette,
That's really your call to make, not mine. As for metal placement, Frau would probably be a better judge on that than me.

PS: Nope, ...tho I have technically known Duo since before he was "Duo" and I don't think his wrist could handle this game. But you can click my profile if you have a FA account, and get the full story on that pic there. Try not to be too confused about his "quitting" either, I figure hitting the reset button comes naturally for him ever so often.
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Postby Ayeaka » Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:28 pm

I can run around a bit with it to give opinions on metal placement I guess o_o (I'm a metal consultant now? xD )

Ideally you want enough to build for engies, but not so much that there's no need for dispensers.

You want to place your largest metal spawns where there's a need for heavy defense at either side.

Another approach; run through as a spy with the normal watch. If you can run all the way from one side of the map to the other without losing cloak once, there's too much metal. (Which some Valve maps even have a problem with. xD )

CTF maps notably have less metal than capture points or cart push maps, additionally, where additional defense is required, as in CTF you're expected to be able to run back for spawn and grab metal.


Take a look at where teams will likely defend. Where are defensive locations going to be? Where is the team defending going to be able to hold off offensive attacks?
Where is the team attacking going to be trying to construct forward bases? This is where you'll want your metal to be placed. Make sure the defending team is given the most metal, naturally. This is one of the few ways Valve gives 'convenience' to the 'losing' team; Badwater is a good example here.
At the final point there are two full metal spawns in the pit, making it easy for Engineers to quickly build up. A short ways out, just up the ramp, there's another full metal, and there is a mid-sized metal box in the balcony overhang.
While badwater has a lot of metal all throughout, the heaviest concentration is at the very last point for capture, giving RED a chance to build up a defense without being slaughtered once the cart gets to that point.

This is a problem with a lot of player-made maps. Once one team gets going, they literally steamroll through. Steel still seems to retain this problem, although it's greatly alleviated by metal around areas engineers are likely to be defending E, and by small metal spawns at D.
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Postby Stormcaller3801 » Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:39 pm

Hoodoo's a pain in the ass about metal as well, specifically the second stage. It seems like I'm never able to find anything except the smallest ammo boxes on defense, while all the best places to defend are either too far or too isolated to run back to the spawn room to get more metal.
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Postby Ayeaka » Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:41 pm

Stormcaller3801 wrote:Hoodoo's a pain in the ass about metal as well, specifically the second stage. It seems like I'm never able to find anything except the smallest ammo boxes on defense, while all the best places to defend are either too far or too isolated to run back to the spawn room to get more metal.


Ah! Right, I forgot to mention Hoodoo, there.

(Perhaps one of the reasons I main Spy and Heavy on defense there, so that I can either spend most of my time on the enemy's side, taking THEIR metal, or just kill people and take ammo from them.)

Very frustrating as engie, when really, it shouldn't be. It has a LOT of wonderful areas to defend from, on all stages, just not enough metal to do so.
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Postby CrashFu » Fri Jul 17, 2009 8:46 pm

Hmm. By design I have the actual capture area (The 'Zig') containing few resources, both to encourage the participation of medics and engineers (though maybe less so on the engineers. I think that's something I need to work on) and to make it much harder to defend. That's one of the key differences between CP and KotH; in CP if the map is hard to defend, then the attackers can just steamroll their way right through and the match ends too quickly, but in KotH if the map is hard to defend then you simply get a lot of changover in ownership of the point, which leads to a more exciting, prolonged match (though never more than 10 minutes, since it takes 5 minutes for one team to win in mine)

I had assumed that the frantic battling, and thusly lots of dropped weapons, would make up for the paltry amount of ammo boxes actually contained in the 'Zig'. It's fun to encourage the engineers and heavies to go scavenge after a fight. But if you really think I should, then I might upgrade those ammo boxes to a larger size and make them more convenient to access.

And Iller, if you would like to help me more with the optimization then I give you permission to open it up and look around. I'm not terribly secretive about any of the designed-from-scratch goodies I put in my map. Heck, if someone wanted I'd probably let them copy or reconstruct parts of it, s'long as they asked me first and gave credit in their map. ;)
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Postby Andrew » Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:53 pm

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Postby Stormcaller3801 » Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:55 am

With regards to the Ziggurat, I thought it would be worth noting that the map seems to shift back and forth between two styles of gameplay. The first is when the CP is inside the zig- this heavily favors short-range assault types and Engineers, the latter particularly because of Sentry Guns. The small area and darkness means that anything that explodes, burns, or doesn't rely on light to see is going to be at a significant advantage. The second is when the CP is on top of the zig. At this point the game favors Snipers heavily. While you can't see (clearly) terribly far, you can see far enough to hang out near the rim and snipe anyone on the point, or hunt other Snipers doing the same. The very long, clear passages make it difficult to avoid being shot, and the widely spaced health and ammo packs means you have to hope there's no Sniper looking at you while you cross the area.
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Postby Sekh765 » Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:18 pm

Suggestions for the Reactor Room map

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I like the map, but the points are FAR to easy to defend right now. One reason is because there is a med health/ammo right ontop of the point. Myself as a medic, one heavy and one sniper defended the point against multiple rushes and a few ubers by counter ubering and using the health packs. If they were moved out of the room into a side room or hallway so you had to leave to get them, that would help greatly.

You also might want some sort of sign or something in the spawns so people know whats up.

---

Suggestions for Ziggurat map.

No one can see what is going on in the point. I'm sure it was said earlier, but not being able to see what your fighting is really really irritating. Most fights just devolved into pyros flame spamming everywhere.

The sniper thing is a problem to..there's really nowhere to hide until you get into the middle, so maybe some cover/covering the conveyor belts would help alleviate getting picked off constantly by snipers.
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