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Common elements of popular competitive DM maps

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    #16
    Originally posted by FoeJred View Post
    ...Team Fortress 2 and CouterStrike GO are the only games that Im aware of that seem to make the best use of this.
    +1. Another good example of good and clean look of the areas - mirrors edge.

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      #17
      - First and foremost visual clarity. Imho there's no need for fancy statues etc, they provide nothing to gameplay (e. g. DM-RisingSun). Same goes for unaccessible areas outside the map (again DM-RisingSun)

      - Maps need to be closed, i. e. you cannot fall off somewhere
      - Set spawn points carefully to avoid respawnrapes (like DM-Penetrated if you're stuck at bio)
      - Avoid having locations (even more with spawns) where players are trapped (e. g. DM-Sentinel flak and rocket area, DM-Penetrated bio area) - unless it's a powerup area
      - Don't leave out half the weapon arsenal (e. g. DM-Biohazard). On the other hand, having every weapon twice isn't great either
      - Rather use ramps instead of stairs
      - Don't place similar weapons (flak/rocket, sniper/shock) next to each other
      - If you have multiple levels, make them accessible via lift jumps, pads or ramps (like on DM-Roughinery)
      - Avoid dead ends, they kill the flow when moving around
      - Avoid camp areas (e. g. air shaft on DM-Rankin, DM-Ironic's ceiling)
      - No hallways where you cannot walk through without hitting your head all the time (e. g. DM-Crash)
      - Avoid endless, straight hallways where you cannot escape (e. g. DM-Idoma)

      ...these come to my mind.
      Last edited by ramses; 07-20-2014, 09:28 PM.

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        #18
        Originally posted by Wormbo View Post
        *cough*

        Working on that. Though, it's still in an early stage and data gathering is restricted to UT2004 at the moment.
        Very nice Wormbo. I'd love to be able to use a tool like that to analyze maps. I think there was a tool like that for UE3/UDK but I never found a way to utilize it myself.
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          #19
          Originally posted by ramses View Post
          - Don't leave out half the weapon arsenal (e. g. DM-Biohazard).
          Can't agree with that point. The weapon set should be suitable for the map, especially if map is relatively small.
          But in other hand, small map are not likely to be super-popular. Most of great maps a big enough to fit all weapons.

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            #20
            With UT's broad weapon arsenal, it's entirely valid to leave out weapons that don't seem to fit the map. There will usually be demand for the main weapons like Rocket Launcher, Shock Rifle and Flak Cannon. But a smaller 1v1 map similar to DM-1on1-Roughinery probably doesn't really need a sniping weapon, as the Shock Rifle can take on the hit-scan role much better at that scale. Similarly a wide-open VCTF map might not necessarily need a short-range, small-scale area denial weapon like the Bio Rifle.
            Last edited by Wormbo; 07-21-2014, 02:19 AM.
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              #21
              Ye, lets leave out sniper on Rough (btw, smaller?! ) - so all you need to do is time belt and shock and it's done. Seriously?

              Anyway, this leads to another "don't do": Having dominant weapons (which ofc depend on the map) next to belt and thus creating a hyper important area is a bad thing. If a map is small and spammy, don't leave out flak or rocket. If a maps is open and about hitscan, don't leave out shock or sniper.


              Originally posted by ShurikMur View Post
              Can't agree with that point. The weapon set should be suitable for the map, especially if map is relatively small.
              But in other hand, small map are not likely to be super-popular. Most of great maps a big enough to fit all weapons.
              With the exception of DM-Penetrated (even though the spawns are crappy), which lacks sniper, I can't think of any playable map which doesn't feature all weapons.
              Last edited by ramses; 07-21-2014, 08:09 AM.

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                #22
                Wormbo is right (about sniper), but wrong about the bio-rifle

                DM-Roughinery does not need the sniper, but we all love headshots
                when re-made roughinery i had huge issues with bots spending all of their time at the flak cannon when using anything above the recommended player count and they rarely went for the sniper
                - even on 1v1 the sniper was just in a place they didn't want to go.
                - i could improve this now, but only because i can use Unreal very well, but this entails going far beyond the use of path nodes alone.


                - i really hope epic focus on AI/Bots and get them using rocket and hammer jumps to get to locations, Roughinery would be significantly improved as a result.

                as for the bio-rifle, sounds to me like you are using it wrong.
                - i have always played VCTF and i consider the bio-rifle a long range weapon, often i place a Glob behind a player and force them backwars with aggressive play, poke them into the glob with a shock push.
                - you can get huge distance with the bio-rifle and that is effective for vehicles close range or long range to block an exit/entrance
                Last edited by TKBS; 07-21-2014, 08:09 AM.
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                  #23
                  Originally posted by Plutonic View Post
                  The purpose of this thread is identify the common elements of popular competitive DM maps from previous versions of UT.[...]
                  Originally posted by TKBS View Post
                  [...]
                  when re-made roughinery i had huge issues with bots spending all of their time at the flak cannon when using anything above the recommended player count and they rarely went for the sniper
                  - even on 1v1 the sniper was just in a place they didn't want to go.
                  - i could improve this now, but only because i can use Unreal very well, but this entails going far beyond the use of path nodes alone.


                  - i really hope epic focus on AI/Bots and get them using rocket and hammer jumps to get to locations, Roughinery would be significantly improved as a result.

                  [...]
                  nfc.


                  Well ok, one further comment: Taking away sniper from maps like Rough (which is higly hitscan based, even more in 2k4 as it's a lot about hitscan) would end up in players timing shock more then belt. The one who gets shock, wins the game if there is no other hitscan weapon to deal with.

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                    #24
                    Roughinery may be competitive, but IMHO is not a good map for everyone.
                    BTW, minigun is a hitscan too

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                      #25
                      Most of the good ones I can think of brought up already. I can't speak much because I mainly did CTF and most of mine except the last few were quite random and not thought-about. DM's are hard - it's like having to create the same decisions you would for CTF except on a smaller scale, while still being highly readable and having to make them all connect to each other (actually Jailbreak levels are almost halfway between CTF & DM, but I digress).

                      Are you meaning specifically for competitive play or something that can suit both casual and competitive play? If the latter, I'd second these two:

                      Originally posted by ShurikMur
                      The most of a popular maps offers two main features: simplicity (easy to learn) and the feeling of "safety": when players (especially new) feels that they can run away in any moment yet an opportunity to engage opponents from a safe distance.
                      In contrast, "bad" (unpopular) maps are made of too many small rooms and tight passes, areas are not well defined and looks monotonous.
                      I've always found a lot of the maps that are deemed "well-designed" are actually "over-designed" - casual players don't seem to have much fun in them and they seem to get lost in the crowd / forgotten even if they are used in comp (hey remember that map with all the ramps and the uh... rooms... that had really nice lighting and stuff?). Some of that can be fixed with unique visuals but I feel the layout also plays a strong part, and making sure your intentions are obvious/readable (as in, your placement of a weapon to suit a particular area) - designed to really exploit the most fun parts of the game (as long as anyone exploiting it can be countered ).

                      Examples of DM maps that I feel hit those notes, while remaining suitable for competitive play: Curse (the lower ripper corridor and the corridor with the sniper rifle), Phobos (very unique layout with exploitable-for-fun-but-comp-guys-wont-fall-for-that spots), Deck16, Malevolence (clear intentions for the weapon placement and player movement).

                      Other things that help keep that casual friendlyness without hindering competitive play (imo): a Redeemer in an interesting place (since comp guys will usually have a mutator to turn them off or they'll play IG anyway); powerups in a trap (out on the end of a beam or an actual trap like a pressurization chamber).
                      Last edited by Spoondog; 08-02-2014, 09:22 PM.

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                        #26
                        Guys, can we discuss a bit about maps with falling risk? What do you think of them? For instance, Peak. Does the gameplay of these types of maps suffer from that risk of falling off? I'm currently working on a map that I could close off or leave open. I'm torn.
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                          #27
                          Originally posted by Teddie View Post
                          Guys, can we discuss a bit about maps with falling risk? What do you think of them? For instance, Peak. Does the gameplay of these types of maps suffer from that risk of falling off? I'm currently working on a map that I could close off or leave open. I'm torn.
                          This is a good point.
                          DM-Akidot currently has an area where players can fall off (most of the map is enclosed) and I am not too sure how this really plays out in competitive DM maps. Most of the maps that I've seen played competitively in previous UTs have all been closed but I wonder if this is just coincidence or if people really just don't like these "falling risks".
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                            #28
                            One of the most important features of good map design (in my opinion) is risk, more specifically, risk associated with obtaining powerups. For example:

                            In order to get the 100 Shield in Roughinery you need to go into a pit with only one safe exit and a requirement to shield jump out if your opponent locks you in.
                            The AMP in Curse takes time to get and is a dangerous place to get caught.
                            The amp and 50 Shield in Compressed can easily be spammed by your opponent and a surprise attack while you are grabbing the AMP can ruin your chances.
                            In Aerowalk (the UT2004 remake) the 100 Shield is a dangerous spot to be caught an a few blind flack shells into the corner can kill you.
                            The 100 Shields in both backspace and reverse are easy to spam into and are below the rest of the level which makes it harder to get out.

                            All of these examples encourage players to time pickups to reduce risk and reward map knowledge and the ability to judge where your opponent is. A good player will be able to find the perfect time and path to the powerups and be able to get out unscathed or if they happen to be cornered, they are able to use their extensive map knowledge in order to secure their escape.
                            :|

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                              #29
                              Originally posted by Wail View Post
                              Very nice Wormbo. I'd love to be able to use a tool like that to analyze maps. I think there was a tool like that for UE3/UDK but I never found a way to utilize it myself.
                              Splash Damage has developed a tool called "ECHO" to do this. Might be worth checking it out.

                              As for the characteristics of the DM maps, I don't think I've seen anyone talk about the traps. They are a lot of fun like in DM_Pressure with the pressure room. That's a good idea on how to place a powerful item in a risky location. Get away with it and you get a huge advantage, but if anyone sees you going there, you don't stand a chance. Another point which imo was more visible in UT99 was the number of levels in the maps. Take DM_Phobos for example: there was at least 4 levels linked with lifts or staircases. Same goes for DM_Galeon where you get the power ups at the top of the ship but you can still go on board and inside the ship.

                              Also gameplay wise the problem is often to keep a good level of action in every locations of the map. For this I would rely on the good old circle principle: make all your maps and routes as circles or combinations of circles.
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                                #30
                                Originally posted by Teddie View Post
                                Guys, can we discuss a bit about maps with falling risk? What do you think of them? For instance, Peak. Does the gameplay of these types of maps suffer from that risk of falling off? I'm currently working on a map that I could close off or leave open. I'm torn.
                                I think in normal gameplay movement spaces, falling seems like a cheap death, particularly when strafing or dodging. Hence, I found the outside paths in DM-Peak frustrating, despite them creating a cool theme for the map. Falling death isn't fun if the player didn't have a genuine choice about the risk associated with moving through an area.

                                Including falling as a risk for picking up a high value item (or accessing a short-cut), on the other hand, seems reasonable to me. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a stock map that does this (there are a few, I think), but going on an exposed and narrow path to get the redeemer, for example, seems appropriate. The player has to consider the risk vs the reward.
                                Last edited by Plutonic; 08-09-2014, 03:59 AM.

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