Archive for December, 2007

TF2 Map Design: Balancing the Scale

Friday, December 14th, 2007

staredown_scale05.jpg

My biggest gripe about custom maps is that many of them are just too big. As in, it takes more than 60 seconds to get from one end of them to the other. A ton of stuff can happen in 60 seconds. A flag can be returned, a player can die and re-spawn at least 4 times, and a sentry gun can be built in taken all the way to level 3 in this span of time. Anyone can tell you running for 5 minutes just to get killed in 5 seconds is just no fun. Therefore, defining the pacing to the level is pivotal.

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TF2 Map Design: Bringing the Hammer Down

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

Building the BaseSo it’s all well and good that I have my sketch, but now I needed to get started actually MAKING the dang map.  This is where HAMMER comes in.  Part of the Source SDK, Hammer lets you create and modify level textures and models, as well as place scripted events.  Hammer is a pretty robust tool and is the same tool Valve developers use to create official maps.  At first, I was pretty skeptical…  I’ve used an earlier version of Hammer (back in TFC days) and it was rough.  Then, once again, when HL2 first came out.  It was better, but it still seemed impossible to achieve the level of complexity that one could see in the official maps.  The initial 5 minutes with the tool was changing my mind, and then I cam across the wonderful Valve Developer Community

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TF 2 Map Design Step 1

Monday, December 10th, 2007

Staredown Design SheetI have been playing Team Fortress 2 basically every free moment I with my friends and it’s been great.  Unfortunately, all the maps are Control Point/Assault style maps as opposed to Capture the Flag.  What this means is, I end up playing a LOT of CTF_2Fort.  I can’t escape it, especially when my friends feel nostalgic for the TFC glory days.  So after a swift kick in the pants, I have decided to build a map to put the CTF back in TFC.

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