TF2 Map Design: Balance and Bugs

With the landmarks in place, it was time to get some actual gameplay in.  So we set up a dedicated server for a few days and got some small games in (View Gallery Here).  It was very quickly discovered that Snipers were WAY too overpowered.  There was only enough cover to make a sniper difficult to pick out.  Even with the alternate paths, snipers could just stand near the bridge and no one would get anywhere.

staredown_balance00.jpg staredown_balance03.jpg staredown_balance01.jpg

It was really quite exciting to play with friends and occasionally strangers!  To see people actually employ the strategies I’d planned was great, but seeing them use the level in all new ways was even better.

Even with small games, most of the players were pretty surprised at the speed at which they were able to staredown_balance04.jpgcross such a large map.  Everyone flipped at the idea of being able to see directly into enemy spawn and flag rooms.  The only other major issue was the second spawn room.  See it all the way on the right?  It turned out that was REALLY REALLY annoying to spawn at.  It put everyone much too far away to do anything.  It was no fun.

The spawn room had to go, and just to remind myself what a death sentence it was to spawn there, I destroyed that section of the base.  It was a blast creating a cave in and then in that terrible spawn room, an empty mine shaft that just so happens to be a nice little back door and rear base.  A little health and ammo for enemies taking refuge or defenders falling back to defend. 

As for the spawn room, instead of useless sniper battlements, I placed it above the entrance.  This way players can literally drop right into battle.  Then, I tightened up those hallways a little to better accommodate sticky bombs and sentry guns.  Some heavy shadows and debris make good hiding spots along the way for spies.  Overall the next few iterations of the map really helped refine the gameplay.  Because there were a nice number of embarrassing bugs along the way.

Bug 2 - 0 Bug 0 - 1 Bug 1 -0

Some texture issues, some gameplay issues, mostly lighting issues.  It’s come a really long way, and because I never really got around to releasing it sooner:

Check Out the Latest Build of Staredown (version F2)

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