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#1 BlackAbsence

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 09:34 PM

Let's discuss maps.

 

What makes a good map?

- Symmetry.

- Fairness.

- Enough space for base.

- Reasonable tech structures.

- Theme/Neatness.

 

What makes a bad map?

- unfairness (unless it's a fortress map)

- Not enough space for base.

- Not enough detail.

- Plain/Flat land.

- Straight cliffs (unless it's an urban map)

 

Discuss your map ideas here.

What do you want from a map?

 

The maps I plan to make:

Beach Breach - A D-day like map between two players where they have to breach a beach with hedgehogs, scorch marks/craters, and bunkers. Tech structures shall be on small islands within this naval dependant map.

Artificial Forest - A dense, unnatural, looking forest between two players. Units may hide within this forest; that's the gimmick. Naval combat is allowed through a narrow waterway off to the right. Each base has a back entrance via naval. There will be a middle island that the players should fight over for resources.

Artificial Forest II - It's exactly like "Artificial Forest" but mirrored to allow 2v2 game-play.

Extreme Susceptibility - A gigantic desert where 2 players start off to the left and right of each other. Each base location is completely exposed to attack from every direction and has a ring of gold around them. The rings of gold intercept at the middle, creating a figure 8. Players start off with both a tech missile bunker and tech sat-uplink. Desert is too bumpy to expand anywhere, forcing each base to be completely exposed at all times.

Ever Lasting - A, just for the hell of it, urban fortress map with three Plasmarizers, a Blastcade system, and many choke-points/cliffs. Themed around Last bastion. Is a 1v7 scenario.

Land of Giants - A fortress map that is naval dependant. The fortress guy/gal will start at the top on a large peace of land with seven Centurions. These Centurions cannot attack the other bases because they are impossible to move over water. Maybe I'll throw in an Iron Curtain w/ Iron Guards too. Is a 1v6 scenario.

Concrete Gates - An extremely campy 3v3 map. Each side will have a base behind a base behind, yet another, base, all of which have only one entrance via land. There will be naval off to the right, which can breach any base from the side by where their resources will be too. Gems will be to the left of each base. It's a top vs down scenario. Tech anti-air and bunkers will also be a thing.

Forbidden Forest - A top vs bottom 2v2 map. Off to the right will be a large, dense, forest. Within this forest will be gap generators, mirage tanks, snipers... pretty much a giant hindrance, yet it's completely optional to dare the forest because it's out of the way and not necessary to go through to attack the opposition. Within the forest is a lot of gems and tech banks. It's like a risk reward thing.

Gamma Six - Gamma Six will be an urban version a Delta Six. There will be many tech radiators. Each will start off with two tech nuclear power-plants and four irradicators; two by each power-plant. A very nuclear themed map.

Dimension X - A 2v2v2v2 map. Each team starts in their corner. two roads lead to each team diagonally throughout the map making, what looks like, a giant X. between the roads is a giant trench that can only be accessed via the corners. Within the trench are crazy amounts of gold. Within the centre trench part are gems. Bridges connect the roads over the trenches. The players may only use these roads and/or trenches to advance due to cliffs arranged in wall patterns.

Cluster Comb - A 6p ffa or 3v3 map. Very close quarters, however the players cannot expand their bases as they are confined by resource patches. The map looks like a giant honey comb with each player starting in each hexagon. These hexagons are bordered with resource patches. The middle hexagon, however, is filled with gems. Protecting miners is a must on this map. It can get chaotic fast in ffa situations as each are very close to each other at start; that is what's intended in this map.

 

Feel free to share your ideas, too.


Edited by BlackAbsence, 10 October 2017 - 11:52 PM.

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#2 Pasidon

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 02:33 AM

In games like C&C, the best maps are always those that make clever uses of game assets and creates visually appealing areas with strategic advantages.  Things like symmetry, build space and fairness should be implied in every map equally, so those factors shouldn't even be debated.


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#3 StolenTech

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 04:12 AM

Extreme Susceptibility - A gigantic desert where 2 players start off to the left and right of each other. Each base location is completely exposed to attack from every direction and has a ring of gold around them. The rings of gold intercept at the middle, creating a figure 8. Players start off with both a tech missile bunker and tech sat-uplink. Desert is too bumpy to expand anywhere, forcing each base to be completely exposed at all times.

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already made a map with a similar idea to that, you can only expand with an MCV (or if you feel like basecrawling with 15 soviet barracks to get the middle you're welcome to try lol)



#4 Derxwna Kapsyla

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 02:24 AM

Here's an idea I have that probably won't get made for a while:

 

Map Name: Resonant Catastrophe

Player Count: 3

Game-Mode: Cooperative/Challenge

Description: Players team up to defend three towers from an onslaught of enemies. Each player is tasked with protecting an individual tower. Enemies will come in waves, with some waves having bosses at the end of them, and some having bosses at the very start. If all three towers are destroyed, then the mission is aborted.

 
Gameplay Notes: Players will not be able to build bases traditionally. Instead, an invisible structure (maybe the tower instead?) will act as a prerequisite for the Barracks and War Factory, and will provide the full tech tree for that faction. Power will not be consumed for these structures, so the player is free to construct however many they want. (As base defenses aren't buildable,) the area around each tower will be littered with defenses, as well as in some parts outside the tower's domain itself; these will include standard tech defenses, as well as the normal base defenses. The tower (or an invisible structure that gets destroyed if the tower is destroyed) will be a significant contributor to the player's economy, generating more income than a tech deposit bank. Should the player lose their tower, income will still be generatable via the Ore Refinery each player has. Further on the loss of a tower, losing one will not cause the player(s) to be defeated, and instead they can use their forces to help defend the other towers.Each player will get reward crates that contains money in it after clearing a wave.


#5 BlackAbsence

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 06:30 PM

already made a map with a similar idea to that, you can only expand with an MCV (or if you feel like basecrawling with 15 soviet barracks to get the middle you're welcome to try lol)

It isn't similar enough to my map idea. Within Extreme Susceptibility a player doesn't start in a corner for an easy camp, there is no expansion whatsoever, and the player can easily see everything (via tech sat) and has a mini super weapon (via tech missile) right at the start. As open as your map may seem, Extreme Susceptibility takes the concept to another level. I don't mean to come off as rude; your map is great; I just think it doesn't make my map redundant.

 

Edit: within your map, you can place defences around ore, and within my map that can't be done.

Extreme Susceptibility is the ultimate anti-camping map.


Edited by BlackAbsence, 04 October 2017 - 06:38 PM.

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#6 CLAlstar

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 12:11 AM

That idea is bad. What you're asking for is 2 player version of High Explosive Round. Which nobody plays.



#7 BlackAbsence

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 10:11 PM

Just because YOU don't like it, doesn't make it bad, Alstar.

It's much more open than High Explosive Round.


Edited by BlackAbsence, 06 October 2017 - 10:53 PM.

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#8 StolenTech

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 08:11 AM

nobody likes high explosive round and IT IS a bad map.
it all depends on how you make your map, just making it open doesn't justify anything.



#9 BlackAbsence

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 10:53 AM

Wrong: Making it open justifies a certain game-play. The game-play of being susceptible to attack from ANY direction on land. There is no map currently like this which makes it unique (correct me if i'm wrong). The tech missile is just another kind of attack you're susceptible to.


Edited by BlackAbsence, 07 October 2017 - 10:56 AM.

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#10 Handepsilon

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 11:10 AM

The community will be the judge of that (I won't, since I suck at PvP antways)

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#11 Destroyencio

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 01:54 PM

A map that is totally "wide-open" mostly benefits fast factions and makes heavy factions struggle. That's why they're not considered that "good maps". The good thing, in my opinion, is a map that allows yourself to defend, but at same time encourages fighting for something, like gems or tech buildings (Dune Patrol II is a very good example with the derricks).



#12 lovalmidas

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 01:55 PM

My own notions on how good a map is:

 

Remember that a map is, at most, a (mostly) environmental canvas from which the game is played, and hence the good maps are usually those that can utilize the existing game resources (engine) to meet or exceed player expectations.

 

 

What makes a good game?

- Compatibility with the player's expectations

- Compatibility with the rest of the game elements

 

 

Player's expectations?

 

- Activity control.

The human mind (and the human body) has a range in both type and multitude of activities for optimal engagement.

 

Too much activity = overwhelmed, feeling of helplessness as you cannot react sufficiently to adversaries.

Too little activity = disengaged, boredom.

 

Too complex activity = confusion, stress

Too mundane activity = grindingly tiresome.

 

This is usually dependent on the player, their opponent's skill/activity level and their expectations of the game. So it would be prudent to engage with what most would be comfortable with. 

Or use difficulty settings to discriminate the players for a better fit.

 

 

- (PvP) Fairness

Nothing ruins a game more than perceived unfairness. Especially in an area where you have expected, and in an area you have no control over. (Note: Don't expect fairness from our campaign :p )

A symmetry is the simplest way to ensure fairness, but a complete symmetry is not always required.

We love symmetry in maps. Partly because the changing meta means it is going to be hell to balance the asymmetry in asymmetric maps.

But other things can break the illusion of fairness as well. Map elements, even if symmetrical, can benefit one faction more than another, so keep that in mind

 

Of course, that is if you plan to make true multiplayer maps that are fair.

 

 

- Resource balance

The main resources here are

 

Money (map: ore, gems, money generators VS game: costs of units)

Space (map: buildable area, paths to strategic areas / opponents VS game: size of structures / armies)

Advantage, usually 'Technological' and/or 'Environmental' (map: pre-placed tech structures, strategic areas, high ground + game: tech tree)

Time (not very relevant to the map)

 

Deploy them as you see fit to keep the Activity Control in a good spot.

 

 

- Aesthetics

This is also part of the map's function: To immerse the player in the game environment, because the map is the environment. As all aesthetics are as abstract as art and asserting art achieves agony (woah, that alliteration),  do not take my following words as some gospel.

 

Aesthetics should be sufficiently engaging but not overwhelming (see Activity control, but in the context of the eyes and ears)

Aesthetics should make sense to the overall design (sometimes, putting people off-track and implementing crazy ideas can work - behold the gimmicks! But only sometimes.)

Aesthetics should not get in the way of the player's objectives, or they may be deemed as irritating (too bright, too dark, too flashy, too much rain, enemies too camouflaged)

 

 

The game elements?

 

Foremost, the game engine. Few would play on a map that runs on 5 FPS. (Unless you are into pseudo turn-based MO, or are simply trying to cheese a little more micro)

 

Very incompatible elements and arrangements may result in crashes or desyncs (e.g. overlapping buildings). Consult the forum.

 

Next, the pathfinding engine. The pathfinding is not the best (see Westwood's attempts in CnC and RA1). Please don't stress it further.

 

Then, the graphics engine. This is usually handled by the mod assets. On the map, just make sure the lighting settings make sense. Consult existing maps to learn their settings.

 

Lastly, the meta. This is the least controllable because the meta shifts before the balance can say "kurwa". Straying too far from the meta can lead to either (1) sub-optimal gameplay, or (2) a surprising breakthrough in the meta. There is no such thing as 'too open' or 'too restrictive' if you do not clash with the other points mentioned, but remember that some maps are more enjoyable than others. Use maps that to not confirm to 'standard tactical map designs (whatever that is)' at your own risk.

 

 

Happy mapping!


Edited by lovalmidas, 07 October 2017 - 02:01 PM.

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#13 BlackAbsence

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 09:56 PM

A map that is totally "wide-open" mostly benefits fast factions and makes heavy factions struggle. That's why they're not considered that "good maps". The good thing, in my opinion, is a map that allows yourself to defend, but at same time encourages fighting for something, like gems or tech buildings (Dune Patrol II is a very good example with the derricks).

That's exactly the intention; to promote offence rather than defence.

imo (as well as others), the maps that are too campy are the "bad" ones because then all people do is hide and rush super weapons.

I guess there really should be some kind of balance between offensive and defensive game-play within a map but if there can be stupidly defensive maps then why not stupidly offensive ones?

A good defences is offence anyway x)


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#14 Leitch Blitz Persimmon

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 11:22 PM

A map with a lot of Secret Labs.

#15 mrvecz

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 10:05 PM

Heres a thing i am wondering about, what do you guys think about hostile neutral "creeps" on the map, and having non tech structures as capture-able objects on the map ?

 

Hostile neutrals on the map.. i could sum it up as non AI non player bases placed in editor, who are hostile to everyone, who guard something somewhere. Like tech labs, airfields, silos etc....

It prevents engineer rush, needs some attack force before claiming said tech structures like silos.

 

The next thing is non tech structures present on the map.

As example, if map had barracks, or even war factories somewhere that you could cap. That would enable you to build cross factions basic units to supplement yours. So as Soviets, capping allied barracks would give you access to GI's.

Or Yankees capping Russians war factory and building Rhino tanks to replace their weak Bulldogs



#16 doctormedic

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 10:12 AM

Some 2.0 maps did have neutral base defenses guarding something and most tiberium games had tiberium critters around tiberium so it isnt too farfetched of an idea.



#17 Handepsilon

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 02:17 PM

A little bit technical question. How does making AI build stuff work in co-op, without having to script MCV deploy on them?


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#18 BlackAbsence

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 02:37 AM

A problem with neutral units on custom maps is that your forces don't target them initially on their own.

So one "neutral" dog could kill an entire infantry battalion if unnoticed.

It's like the neutral brute problem from geno-mines currently in 3.3.2.

 

On the map "Avalanche Valley" (I made a really long time ago), I did put a sniper on a cliff that would prevent engineers from capturing an oil derrick.

I wouldn't mind remaking that map again with some much needed improvements to it.

 

As for there being neutral structures belonging to certain sides... that might make things imbalanced?


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#19 Handepsilon

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 02:48 AM

It will, especially if one subfaction just happens to be in the same side as the neutral structure of his (sub)faction and the other doesn't.

 

And no, there's no trigger to detect multiplayer faction choice


Edited by Handepsilon, 31 January 2018 - 03:26 AM.

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#20 mrvecz

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 05:56 AM

A problem with neutral units on custom maps is that your forces don't target them initially on their own.

So one "neutral" dog could kill an entire infantry battalion if unnoticed.

It's like the neutral brute problem from geno-mines currently in 3.3.2.

 

On the map "Avalanche Valley" (I made a really long time ago), I did put a sniper on a cliff that would prevent engineers from capturing an oil derrick.

I wouldn't mind remaking that map again with some much needed improvements to it.

 

As for there being neutral structures belonging to certain sides... that might make things imbalanced?

ARES has a function for that "Treat civies/neutrals as enemies"

http://ares-develope...ians-as-enemies

 

Hmm, if the neutral structures were a new building on its own would it be better ?

I am thinking about something like Tech forward barracks, or Tech forward vehicle factory. Where you can build your units, but doesnt give you new units. Just a place in the front lines or even a backup war factory if your main one gets nuked and you need an MCV.






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