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  • TG Community map

    As brought up here the idea has come up for making a map for the TG community. I know this is a not an original thought in and of itself, but this time it appears to be different.

    This will be more than a map for the TG community, it will be made by the TG community. You all have brains, let's borrow them for a little bit. Seriously, the members of this community are not only among the smarter of NS players, you are also some of the wisest. You know what makes a map what it is, the good, the bad, the unbalanced, the unoriginal. So the concept is simple, we get together and in a coordinated fashion come up with an idea for a map. Then we chop up that idea until it is balanced. Then we actually design the map, and fix the flaws in that design. Then we lock our mapper [OP8 has kindly offered his services] in a room until he makes it (I'm kidding, of course, maybe...). Then we test it, fix it, and submit it to become an official map.

    What we will want to make is an original map, not another clone. It should be something that follows the Ideas behind TG, should be balanced, should follow the official guidelines for an NS map (I can't seem to find them, could a consti member grab them from the NS site for me?) and should be designed to promote the TG style of gameplay.

    I strongly know that we can do this. Off the top of my head I can think of at least 12 people who by themselves know the game well enough to create a good map. This isn't even that massive a project, not when you consider the number of people we can get to work on it. As I posted in the other topic, here's the procedure, simple and effective:

    1) Gather ideas from the TG community.

    2) Sort out which ideas would work well together (judging by practicality, fitting in with NS, gameplay balance and fun).

    3) Use the ideas to create a rough concept of what the map will look like (keeping in mind the NS map requirements).

    4) Have everyone take their best shot at finding any flaws in the design of the map (hive too close to MS, MS too easy to isolate, that type of thing).

    5) Make a second conceptual map (trying to fix any flaws found in step 4).

    6) Have everyone take another shot at pointing out flaws.

    7) Actually make a beta version of the map (should take much less time than normal, seeing as a full map should already be drawn out).

    8) Short playtest of the map on the TG server.

    9) If any bug is found, fix it and repeat 8, otherwise send it for official approval and put it on the Server for good.


    So, I personally pretty much started on this yesterday, but realizing it's the holidays I'd recommend we don't get to serious work until after those are over. Until then, let's start bouncing ideas around.
    "Chance favors the prepared mind" -Sir Isaac Newton

  • #2
    Re: TG Community map. ns_tactical

    To get excited about this, I'd need to identify a gameplay need which is not accomodated by the game's present map offering.

    A part of me wants to get excited about it, but I really need to have that spark.

    The present maps allow for tactics. What's missing?

    I'll grant that it being 1AM may cloud my ability to answer the question, but I do think it's a valid one.
    Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

    Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

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    • #3
      Re: TG Community map. ns_tactical

      A few things that have yet to be done or adressed.

      a) It would be interesting to see if we could design a map that could serve as both a Co and Ns map.

      b) Fades, I've yet to see an official map that doesn't allow a fade to single handedly determine the outcome of a game. I'm not completely sure it's possible to design against that, but I think we could give it a good shot.

      c) Rushes, most of the maps allow the option of rushing and/or spawn camping the other team. I doubt we'd have problems coming up with ways to prevent that while not making spawns completely unassailable. That is part of what I spent yesterday on, and it doesn't appear to be as hard as it sounds.

      d) gameplay enforcement, the concept of making the map to promote the use of appropriate tactics for each team. I've seen little of this in the official maps. Conceptually, skulks should be things that go bump in the night, not screaming down a hallway at you. If you look at the early guide and the stories in it, you get the feeling of a hunter/prey relationship between the teams. That isn't very present in the official maps.


      I realize it doesn't look like the new maps have anything wrong with them, and that's becuase they don't have anything wrong with them. They have no significant flaws, what they do have is failings. There is room for improvement, and I say we try to improve.

      That answer your question? I could post more...
      "Chance favors the prepared mind" -Sir Isaac Newton

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      • #4
        Re: TG Community map. ns_tactical

        Weldables, Weldables... WELDABLES. Vents, Vents, VENTS.

        The map should work for the marines, and be extreamly dynamic. You should be able to weld closed rooms (to block upper life forms), weld open rooms and some resources... etc etc. There is not ONE single dynamic map for NS, and the welder + weldables is such an under utilized tool that it makes baby skulks sad. I see hallways that can be welded closed, causing another hallway/vent to open up. I see TIMED events. Yes, TIMED events.

        There isn't a map that really utilizes (well, none that you non PTS know of yet :p ) vents for aliens. There should be vents everywhere, under catwalks, connecting every room etc. I picture skulks lying in wait and NOT bunnyhopping down halls. I imagine intricate ceilings and walls were skulks can duck in and out. Shiva is a good example of some really great vent systems.

        Ok, its 2 am, time for sleep.
        USAR

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        • #5
          Re: TG Community map. ns_tactical

          We should come up with a theme for the map - is it a space station, a ship, a base on a planet, the Kharra homeworld or what?

          I had an idea a while ago (before I learned that making maps in NS takes forever) for a vaguely Deep Space 9-shaped NS map. Marine Start would be in the center, the 3 hives would be spaced around the outermost ring, and the map's main hallways would be concentric circles around MS. One of the hives would have a meteor crashed into it that was carrying the kharra invasion. This is probably getting too far into the story behind the map (it's not like any of the other maps have a story, so why should ours?). I still think it would be a pretty cool concept for an ns map. But, feel free to shoot my idea down here.

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          • #6
            Re: TG Community map. ns_tactical

            The idea I've been bouncing around in my head is for a Biological Research Station. One hive is O2 storage, with several airvents leading out of it. Another would be Water storage, with a number of water filled pipes leading out of it. The last is hydroponics, which is a large room (about 3 times the size of a normal hive) with lots of large and medium boxes turning it into something mazelike, it would have 3 walking exits as well as an airduct and water pipe exit. Another significant room would be the biodome, it would be a large dome, with an electrified roof, skulk sized tunnel ridden dirt, some trees, and 2 resource nodes on opposite sides of the room, seperated by the tree and tunnel system. The biodome would be designed as one of two focus points, the other being MS. MS would be at the end of a long hallway, behind it would be a shuttle (with barely enough room to drop a PG) that looks over the biodome. At the other end of the MS hall is a four way exit, one walking to O2, one walking to Water, another being a ramp towards hydroponics, and the last being a ladder that puts you on the path towards biodome.

            That's the idea for I map I personally have, but it's just in it's formative stages at this point. The concept behind it is to make it easy to move to a hive or MS. but make it so the defending team would have the advantage once actually in the location. The large number of exits from any one location means trapping a team completely in thier spawn would be insanely difficult. At the same time, those exits mean that defending a location completely would be just as insane. The water pipes I particularly like the idea of.

            I'm trying to think of how weldables could be made into it, but the idea of timed events gets me thinking about placing doors on some of the waterpipes that would occasionally open and shut.


            On a different idea, I've been thinking for awhile now how the commanders ability to hit switches is underused. What I think would be a neat idea to try would be to create a door/elevator/transport car that had large switches on both ends set into the wall visible but out of reach of any of the units. That way only the commander or a gorges spit could activate them. It's a thought.
            "Chance favors the prepared mind" -Sir Isaac Newton

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            • #7
              Re: TG Community map. ns_tactical

              I think a planet would make it very interesting... No engine rooms, no waste rooms...more space!
              This would make the aliens rely on the vents more so as not to get "wasted" by the marines. Open space, may also be an important factor when combating fades and onoses, mostly in the rooms.

              To balance this out we can make the hallways a little shorter, with vent access to every single one of them, so if a marine doesn't check his six and nine, then he's screwed.

              Yoshi, the TG guys want to do something in the map that the other Official maps did not have, and a story is one of those things.

              Also, I'd like to toy with the idea of a wholly underground vent system...
              Last edited by Heyman; 12-05-2005, 11:42 AM.
              "Knowledge is a weapon. I intend to be formidibly armed." -Richard Cypher

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              • #8
                Re: TG Community map. ns_tactical

                I seem to recall there being a rule against planets in the official mapping guide. That said, if it is allowed I like the possiblities. Particularly with the concept of having a large number of skulk sized tunnels crisscrossing the ground in an area, maybe even be real evil and add a sound so it sounds like skulks are moving down there at all times.
                "Chance favors the prepared mind" -Sir Isaac Newton

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                • #9
                  Re: TG Community map. ns_tactical

                  Frankly there's something about the motivations behind this effort that I'm not comfortable with. I don't feel like it's our place to re-design the game, which is essentially what you're trying to accomplish with most of your suggestions. Like it or not, NS is what it is, and it's been balanced rather intricately around current gameplay. It seems to me like you're trying to resolve personal complaints with the game's design through this map, but there's no way you can make a map that will reduce Fade dependence, nerf shotty rushes, etc without creating major balance issues.

                  For example, let's say you make a map to fit your criteria, with small rooms and corridors and lots of vents. This would certainly reduce the importance of Fades and Lerks(by nerfing them into uselessness against groups of shotties and/or HMGs), and skulks will have their hayday early in the game. Then marines get MT and the ambushing phase is over. Onoses will be the only alien unit of any value thanks to suddenly overpowered stomp spam. Hive rushes will be a nightmare thanks to tweaked hive rooms so the only option available to marines will be sieging.

                  In other words, balance would be thrown out of whack for both teams in various ways. It really doesn't work to take this sort of thing into your own hands, especially when the only thing you can modify is the map layout.

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                  • #10
                    Re: TG Community map. ns_tactical

                    Originally posted by Zek
                    Frankly there's something about the motivations behind this effort that I'm not comfortable with. I don't feel like it's our place to re-design the game, which is essentially what you're trying to accomplish with most of your suggestions. Like it or not, NS is what it is, and it's been balanced rather intricately around current gameplay.
                    This I don't agree with. There are certainly different.. styles of play in NS: CAL, pubs, and most notably TG. TG should handle NS like any other TG supported game (like PCS for CS), and I think that TGNS is something not, if rarely, seen in the rest of the NS community. There is nothing wrong with wanting a map that suits us and our community, or better yet a map that changes game flow and tactics.

                    NS is balanced around a huge player base, and I can certainly see where some things could be enhanced, even changed, in a map for TG. I certainly don't believe that a TG type map is something that is universal, and no one would be forced to play it or even play on our server.

                    there's no way you can make a map that will reduce Fade dependence, nerf shotty rushes, etc without creating major balance issues
                    I think this is the point. Who is to say that the community doesnt want something like this?

                    There are things to be considered of course: is there really a need for a TGNS map? What lacks in the standard maps that we just feel a lack of? Who has the final say on what does and doesn't get implemented?

                    I say if the TGNS community wants to make a map, wants to make a map the way they ought to have one... then wth? Go nuts, get involved, learn a little.
                    USAR

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                    • #11
                      Re: TG Community map. ns_tactical

                      I'm not suggesting making a map where fades are useless. Conceptionally, the idea is to make it so certain areas favor fades, while others would favor other lifeforms. This way the fade still plays an important part of the game, but no longer can win the game for thier team.

                      One major idea I've thought about is deliberately making a MS that is Anti-Fade. Long corridors, stoping geometry on the roof, etc. At the same time add something like trenches to increase the survival of the other lifeforms. That is what I meant by balancing the usefulness of fades.


                      And this is a chance for the intelegent players at TG to create a map that suits the TG style of gameplay. I don't see anything wrong with that, and I don't understand how you could be against it. We're not rewriting the game to create NS:TG, we're hoping to make one map.
                      "Chance favors the prepared mind" -Sir Isaac Newton

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: TG Community map. ns_tactical

                        Three map ideas that i thought of real quick. An outdoor/planet map, a missle silo/area 51, or maybe a pyramid. All of which have many opportunities within them. Even if an outdoor/planet map is not permitted for official NS play who's to say it's not permitted for tg play? A pyramid would also be nice with lots of traps and hidden passages. Maybe an AVP sort of thing where everything changes randomly that'd be cool. Could you make an ns map out of a school? Hives being possibly library, gym, band room, cafeteria. Why would aliens invade a school? Who knows but skulks could hide in lockers and in the ceiling tiles.

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                        • #13
                          Re: TG Community map. ns_tactical

                          Originally posted by Card AKA Karrd
                          I'm not suggesting making a map where fades are useless. Conceptionally, the idea is to make it so certain areas favor fades, while others would favor other lifeforms. This way the fade still plays an important part of the game, but no longer can win the game for thier team.

                          One major idea I've thought about is deliberately making a MS that is Anti-Fade. Long corridors, stoping geometry on the roof, etc. At the same time add something like trenches to increase the survival of the other lifeforms. That is what I meant by balancing the usefulness of fades.


                          And this is a chance for the intelegent players at TG to create a map that suits the TG style of gameplay. I don't see anything wrong with that, and I don't understand how you could be against it. We're not rewriting the game to create NS:TG, we're hoping to make one map.
                          I'm just saying that you're attempting the impossible with this quest to re-write the game's balance with nothing but map design. The more you design the map to play differently than the standard ones do, the more likely it is to be at odds with the standards of balance established throughout the game's lifespan. The game is balanced with official maps. If you make a map that significantly alters some of the assumptions that were made througout the development process, I guarantee you'll end up with severe balance problems with no good way to fix them.

                          How exactly are you defining this TG style of gameplay? I'd say the TG style of gameplay is the way we've been playing NS on TG for years...

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                          • #14
                            Re: TG Community map. ns_tactical

                            I'm in a hurry, so reading it all is out of the question. But heres one imho extremely important thing: make it fun. Not just fun to play, but fun to screw around in. When people don't feel like a dead on completely serious game, I want to see skulks highdiving into water, marines traversing vertically along geometry for five minutes before a skulk just comes and bites them. I want to laugh while I play the game, and I want the map to help me laugh.

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                            • #15
                              Re: TG Community map. ns_tactical

                              Or just make a place where it's not bad form to gorge-spit other gorges.

                              No wait, that's ALWAYS bad form...

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