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Author Topic: Mapping Considerations (Guidelines/Item Conversions)  (Read 10567 times)
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ConfusedUs
 

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« on: 2004-07-18, 03:57 »

Originally posted by Tekhead

There are no special item/player spawns that differ from what works in vq3 and TA.*

However, while constructing a map for Gen, there are gameplay elements to keep in mind, such as which item translates into what for each class, since item definitions get translated across classes when they're picked up. For example, when a Slipgater picks up a LG, they get the Shaft, along with the amount of cell ammo typically recieved upon that weapon pickup for Quake1.

The big translations I'd recommend keeping in mind would be the GL (and ammo), BFG ammo and the RG. GL spawns translate into a RL for Doom, and a Mortar for Earth. Keep in mind that there was no seperate grenade ammo in Quake1, and that the Slipgater's GL and RL share the same ammunition. An abundance of grenade ammo could easily empower a Slipgater into dominance. BFG ammo is a big cell pickup for Doom, Slipgate and Strogg and extra bullets for Earth, while merely being BFG-exclusive ammo for Arena. It's a good itee to have included in a map for Gen, but not for vq3 if there's no BFG on the level. The RG translates into the Sniper Rifle for Earth, CG for Doom, RG for Strogg and most importantly, the SNG for Slipgate, which is a weapon that requires about the same range as a shotgun and a huge stash of ammo in order to be effective (Dynamic translation, isn't it? =]). If there's a RG spawn in the level, please ensure there's also a RL or LG spawn as well, otherwise the Slipgater will not stand a chance.

If you're thinking about remixing or creating your own Doom map, please try to include the Medkit, which translates into the Beserk Pack pickup for Doom. Everyone surely remembers punching through hordes of demons back in the day, and doing the same with players is just as entertaining as well as nostalgic

One last note to remember is that each class has their own set of physics, so they all move around maps differently. Strogg can strafe-jump up slopes, Slipgate can turn on a dime (see my Slipgate Trickjumping thread for demonstrations ), Doom has a fast acceleration and normal running top speed, whereas Earth is all-around slower. It's OK to build in class-specific trickjumps to get to certain items and paths, so long as those same items/paths are reachable by all classes. If only the Slipgater can get the MH or RA due to being able to complete a U-jump, that's bad map balance for Gen. The 125fps extra height trickjump is fine as well, so long as there is a way to climb up the same (or a similar) route for players who don't have machines that can run that sort of framerate (or would like to enjoy the game rather than run the map at r_picmip 8 just to play well in it).

One final rule: Have some fun! That's what Generations is all about =]

*Note: Version 0.99e will feature an improved machinegun spawn. Will post details once 99e is out.
« Last Edit: 2007-07-10, 15:33 by Tabun » Logged
ConfusedUs
 

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« Reply #1 on: 2004-07-18, 04:05 »

Here's a list of which standard Quake3 items change to which in Generations.

Machinegun
Earth: mp40
Doom: chainsaw
Slipgate: nailgun
Strogg: machinegun

Shotgun
Earth: Gatling gun. Two gats = Dual gats. Dual gats are a BFG-class weapon, and drop as such.
Doom: Double-barrel shotgun
Slipgate: SSG
Strogg: SSG

Grenade Launcher
Earth: Mortar (Grenade ammo grants hand grenades)
Doom: Rocket Launcher
Slipgate: Grenade Launcher
Strogg: Grenade Launcher (Grenade ammo grants hand grenades)

Rocket Launcher
Earth: Mortar
Doom: Rocket Launcher
Slipgate: Rocket Launcher
Strogg: Rocket Launcher

Lightning Gun
Earth: Gatling Gun
Doom: Heavy Chaingun
Slipgate: Thunderbolt (shaft)
Strogg: Chaingun

Plasma Gun
Earth: Flamethrower
Doom: Plasma Gun
Slipgate: Super Nailgun
Strogg: Hyperblaster

Railgun
Earth: Sniper Rifle
Doom: Heavy Chaingun
Slipgate: Super Nailgun
Strogg: Railgun

BFG
Earth: Dual Gats
Doom: BFG9000
Slipgate: Thunderbolt (shaft)
Strogg: BFG10k

Also note that weapons that aren't in a map can still show up through weapon drops. If a map contains a railgun but no lightning gun, it's still possible for a LG to show up. Doom gets a chaingun for running over the railgun pickup. If he dies with the CG out, it drops as a lightning gun-class weapon. This also applies to BFGs. If an Earther dies with the dual gats out, he drops a BFG-class weapon.

Powerup Conversions
Medikit -> berserk
Personal Teleporter -> Lost Soul of Vengence
Battlesuit -> invulnerability

Other things to note
Doom's armor is extremely weak, but his health doesn't count down if above 200. Therefore, if a map doesn't have a megahealth, Doom is weakened considerably.

Earth gets 10 armor per shard. Lots of shards means Earth is tougher. No shards means Earth is weaker. Finding a balance is tough, but I'd suggest erring on the side of more shards. Earth is toast without armor. Strogg also benefits greatly from shards.

Slipgate gets rocket ammo from rockets and grenades. The Skippy RL's only weakness is lack of ammo. A map with lots of RL/GL ammo makes Skippy stronger.

Strogg is mincemeat without his railgun and chaingun. A map without a rail and LG hurts Strogg.  Lack of rail is definately the worse of the two, however.
« Last Edit: 2004-07-18, 04:18 by ConfusedUs » Logged
ConfusedUs
 

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« Reply #2 on: 2004-07-18, 04:17 »

Tabun has compiled a list of Gen-themed textures in a sticky on this board.

You can find it here:
http://forums.wireheadstudios.org/index.ph...T&f=11&t=136&s=
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WolfWings
 
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« Reply #3 on: 2004-07-18, 08:55 »

So a seperate question...

...what happens if a weapon-spawn or ammo-spawn has the 'count' key set? Is the ammo given out by the translated items proportionate to the 'count' value, or is that useful key completely disabled in Generations?

Alternatively, if it only affects VQ3 classes, could seperate keys be enabled in 0.99e for the other four classes? I.E. count.earth, count.strogg, count.slipgate, count.doom, and count.arena, to allow for specific settings for each class, with 'count' being used to set the proportionate value if specific values aren't set?

I'm only asking for this, as code-wise it should be quite minor even if the item pickup code has undergone severe revisions, and the 'count' key has been a useful play-balance tool I've used in Q3A maps I've built before. At the very least, making sure the 'count' key works properly across classes would be very useful.
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ConfusedUs
 

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« Reply #4 on: 2004-07-18, 16:14 »

I'm not sure about that, to be honest.

I do know, however, that different classes get a different amount of ammo (and sometimes different types) than each other.

A good example is the rocket launcher.
Arena (vq3) gets 10 rockets for a RL
Slipgate only gets five.

And for the Railgun
Arena gets ten shots for a RG
Slipgate gets a super nailgun and 20 ammo (or something like that)

Setting strange ammo counts and random ammo spawns is a good way to make a map difficult to play in Gen at the least. If you're unlucky, you'll end up with a map completely unbalanced in favor of one class or another.
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WolfWings
 
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« Reply #5 on: 2004-07-18, 21:48 »

Quote from: ConfusedUs
I do know, however, that different classes get a different amount of ammo (and sometimes different types) than each other.

Setting strange ammo counts and random ammo spawns is a good way to make a map difficult to play in Gen at the least. If you're unlucky, you'll end up with a map completely unbalanced in favor of one class or another.
Ergo why I asked if 'count' was respected and re-calculated in proportion to the class picking it up (I.E. Is RL ammo 'count' is halved in your example for slipgate picking up rocket ammo?) and if not, could that be corrected for 0.99e?

As for setting non-standard ammo counts and random ammo spawns... I haven't seen it make a level any harder to playbalance. Usually it makes it easier for me, in fact. In my experience, as long as the same 'unit' of ammo for a given type is used throughout (I.E. If I'm going to hand out grenades by the 2-pack, it's ALWAYS by the 2-pack) it doesn't make the map any more confusing, it adds an active and dynamic deterrent to camping, and helps guarantee that no single area of a map will be too heavilly tread, because if it is, it will tend to 'empty out' of powerups, at least (in the case of the Wolf3D-themed leve I'm working on) allowing for a bilateral flow back and forth across the level. It also prevents memorization of the map from being as large an asset, which also seems an asset.

The only down-side (unless Generations doesn't support the 'count' flag at all, which I would consider a bug, but one I could work around to some extent) is that it ends up using a few more entities in any given map.

But the pro's seem to outweight the cons in my experience. Easilly improved flow, de-emphasis on camping, and de-emphasis on memorization of the level and where all the good ammo and weapon sets are, versus slightly higher server-side load, and maybe a dozen more active entities in any given level at any given time, total.

But, admitedly, I am an unproven mapper on-line, so you've every right to call all I'm saying hogwash. Most of my maps to date have been built for LAN parties, and I never bothered to keep copies of most of them after any given gaming night, since I could make another one easilly enough. Been doing that since the Doom1 days, in fact. *laughs*
« Last Edit: 2004-07-18, 21:48 by WolfWings » Logged
ReBoOt
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« Reply #6 on: 2004-07-19, 01:23 »

Pinned this topic this is great help to all "newbie" Gen mappers! Slipgate - Smile
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Tekhead
 
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« Reply #7 on: 2004-07-19, 02:12 »

What I don't see is the significance of reducing an ammo pickup. We play FPS games for a goold ol fragging time, and reducing the ammo count in their pickups does hinder that experience since we can't shoot as much stuff!

Most camping results from poor item layouts in maps. The real way to discourage camping is to move the items away from the ambush points, so that players are forced to roam the map if they want to have more ammo/health/weapons.

 - Example: Simply Dead: the BFG corner (exit). Traditional item layout, but having a BFG with two BFG ammo boxes in fairly open space garuntees people will rush and lurk around that area.)

 - Example 2: req2dm5 - Frag Pipe Reborn at the Invulnerability. Sure, that area is disjointed from the rest of the map, but there's a railgun, three large health pickups and an invulnerability spawn which makes for great bait, strong firepower and recoverability against anyone who tries to RJ up to that room (Yes, rocket/grenade-jumping is the only way to get up in that spot).

As far as flow goes, nerfing ammo is like thinning out one's blood, which isn't healthy unless your map is congested in many areas. It weakens the importance of those ammo pickups, and makes weapon pickups more meaningful. If all you get from a normal grenade pickup is 2 grenades, it's not even worth the effort to get it since 2 grenades will practially do nothing against a tanked or agile opponent.

What I don't understand is your strong stance against memorization of maps. That makes abseloutely no sense. How is one supposed to deal with campers if they have no idea where they're going, or where they are? Map memorization is very important, because knowing the map's item layout gives players objectives on where you need to move in order to get a weapon and stand a chance versus everyone else playing. Knowing the structure of the map and how the action flows in it will assist  players in making tactical decisions which could give them an edge over their opponents. Afterall, knowing is half the battle =]

The only maps that I've seen where altering ammo pickups adds to the gameplay experience is in the mod Defrag, which isn't designed for combat but rather trickjumping gameplay.

A good reason for reducing ammo pickup amounts is to deter spammers. However, Generations has (imo) already fairly balanced this issue out  across all classes, so I don't see it as a big concern.

Let me know if and how you disagree with anything I said =]
« Last Edit: 2004-07-19, 02:15 by Tekhead » Logged
ConfusedUs
 

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« Reply #8 on: 2004-07-19, 03:23 »

I'm pretty much in 100% agreement with Tek, but I couldn't put it into as many words
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WolfWings
 
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« Reply #9 on: 2004-07-19, 03:25 »

Quote from: Tekhead
What I don't see is the significance of reducing an ammo pickup. We play FPS games for a goold ol fragging time, and reducing the ammo count in their pickups does hinder that experience since we can't shoot as much stuff!

*laughs* I'm all for having plentiful ammo in a level, but I like having it in small, movable quanties instead of large lumps. That's all. Slipgate - Smile

Quote from: Tekhead
Most camping results from poor item layouts in maps. The real way to discourage camping is to move the items away from the ambush points, so that players are forced to roam the map if they want to have more ammo/health/weapons.

I guess my goal is to keep the ammo and weapons where they'd be most generally effective (railgun on a high perch overlooking an area, for instance), but keeping multiple points set up for any given weapon, and making the supplies and weapon itself migrate if you stay in one single place too long. So, sure, you can get to the weapon, but you keep having to move from useful place to useful place. Akin to having two or three railgun platforms on Q3DM17, that you have to bounce-pad back to the main platform to switch between, so yeah, you can use the railgun from afar, but you need to keep switching platforms or you'll run out of ammo... and have to leave the platform anyways.

I'm not against staying in one place... I'd rather move the items away if you sit in that one place too often, instead of trying to make there be no good places to sit to begin with. There's a difference between a defensive playing style and camping, so to speak. Slipgate - Smile

Quote from: Tekhead
- Example: Simply Dead: the BFG corner (exit). Traditional item layout, but having a BFG with two BFG ammo boxes in fairly open space garuntees people will rush and lurk around that area.)

So drop the BFG and ammo boxes down in ammo-count, and spread the two ammo boxes away from the corner, so it's a bit of a hop-skip to pick em' all up... seems easy enough to balance out the power of the weapon by making it have little ammo... or maybe even only 1 ammo in the weapon pickup, and placing the ammo pickup(s) across the room. That's my instinct towards fixing that. *shrugs*

Quote from: Tekhead
- Example 2: req2dm5 - Frag Pipe Reborn at the Invulnerability. Sure, that area is disjointed from the rest of the map, but there's a railgun, three large health pickups and an invulnerability spawn which makes for great bait, strong firepower and recoverability against anyone who tries to RJ up to that room (Yes, rocket/grenade-jumping is the only way to get up in that spot).

And the original version was one of the biggest things that made me despise maps where memorization of the secret nooks and cranies became more important than actual tactics, aim, and coordination. If you didn't know to rocket-jump from the lava-catwalk up into what looked like a pitch-black, suicide-fall corner of the map, you'd never find that set of powerups. Ergo, memorization of the item placement in the map, learned outside of gameplay, had far too large a value.

Quote from: Tekhead
As far as flow goes, nerfing ammo is like thinning out one's blood, which isn't healthy unless your map is congested in many areas. It weakens the importance of those ammo pickups, and makes weapon pickups more meaningful. If all you get from a normal grenade pickup is 2 grenades, it's not even worth the effort to get it since 2 grenades will practially do nothing against a tanked or agile opponent.

Actually, my idea was that then I could place the grenade pickups like one would normally place armor shards, but since they have several spawn points, the grenades would tend to organically 'flow' from one area of the map to others as they were used up in one section of the map.

Quote from: Tekhead
What I don't understand is your strong stance against memorization of maps. That makes abseloutely no sense. How is one supposed to deal with campers if they have no idea where they're going, or where they are? Map memorization is very important, because knowing the map's item layout gives players objectives on where you need to move in order to get a weapon and stand a chance versus everyone else playing. Knowing the structure of the map and how the action flows in it will assist  players in making tactical decisions which could give them an edge over their opponents. Afterall, knowing is half the battle =]

Actually, my stance is against memorization of item locations having any large degree of power in a map, because that's usually the largest deciding factor between players that play a map frequently and those that are just playing the map for the first time, again that's purely my own experience though. Memorization of the MAP itself is a given, you need to know your way around, and knowing where items COULD spawn is useful as well, but removing the guaranteed 'There will be a BFG in that corner, and a shotgun in the other corner' makes dynamic, in-your-face tactics more important than item-running or ammo-timing. Your 'Frag Pipe' example is one of my usual points for why I detest it so. Especially in the original Quake2 version, that area was something most players didn't know about, unless it was physically shown to them or they saw someone going in there. Suddenly, noclipping around levels and memorizing things, in that case where a quite hidden and semi-secret cache of very powerful items are, were more important than most other aspects of that map.

I hope that makes a little more sense? Or is my mapping-style really THAT foreign and strange? =O.o= Everyone at the small LAN parties I go to always seems to enjoy the one-off maps I make, and I never seem to have complaints with weapon or item placement, but maybe we really are just hooked on an odd off-shoot of normal Q3A-type maps and gameplay. =-.-=
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ConfusedUs
 

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« Reply #10 on: 2004-07-19, 03:30 »

Yes, it's really THAT strange.

Gen is already fairly complicated. You're advocating making it even MORE complex.
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Tekhead
 
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« Reply #11 on: 2004-07-19, 04:14 »

Actually, q2dm3 (sorry, it's 3 - typo) and its invulnerability is quite balanced. It's a deathtrap to anyone who goes up there and grabs the invuln as long as other players have ears. Camping the invuln, because the room is so detatched from the rest of the map, is a foolhardy tactic simply because the camper will barely get any kills once people catch onto what they're doing. Plus, when the camper decides that it's time to leave and grab the invuln, everyone in the level knows exactly what just happened, and good players (because they've memorized the map and know how it works) will wait for the camper to drop down so that they can push them into the lava with a well-placed rail or rocket. That tactic embodies one of the harshest ways to be killed in Q2 - Invulnerable, but good as dead =]

Knowing how a map works is not a bad thing.

Quote from: WolfWings
Actually, my stance is against memorization of item locations having any large degree of power in a map, because that's usually the largest deciding factor between players that play a map frequently and those that are just playing the map for the first time, again that's purely my own experience though. Memorization of the MAP itself is a given, you need to know your way around, and knowing where items COULD spawn is useful as well, but removing the guaranteed 'There will be a BFG in that corner, and a shotgun in the other corner' makes dynamic, in-your-face tactics more important than item-running or ammo-timing. Your 'Frag Pipe' example is one of my usual points for why I detest it so. Especially in the original Quake2 version, that area was something most players didn't know about, unless it was physically shown to them or they saw someone going in there. Suddenly, noclipping around levels and memorizing things, in that case where a quite hidden and semi-secret cache of very powerful items are, were more important than most other aspects of that map.

Item-running/timing is an important factor in Quake. If a player can memorize approximately when they can beef up (or save) themselves by being at the right place at the right time, that's a strength and an advantage over other players if they don't know the same. Especially so, since timing and collecting the items not only helps one player, but it also hurts the other players since they can't get it themselves in a timely manner. This strategy extends itself into many gamemodes including FFA and CTF, and especially TDM and Tourney where losing control of the Quad or Red Armor practically garuntees defeat.

As far as not knowing the layout and tricks to various maps, that's part of being a newbie - they don't know how the game is played =]   We all go through this stage, as it is a normal, natural phase in anything people do. Once people learn a few key tips and tricks though, their performance goes up and often they have more fun with what they're doing. Challenging strategies and sometimes beating them is what makes the whole experience fun =]
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Tabun
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« Reply #12 on: 2004-07-19, 04:17 »

Quote
That tactic embodies one of the harshest ways to be killed in Q2 - Invulnerable, but good as dead =]

This is exactly why I asked ReB. to remove the ladder that helps you out of the lava ;]
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Tabun ?Morituri Nolumus Mori?
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« Reply #13 on: 2004-07-19, 06:40 »

Quote from: ConfusedUs
Yes, it's really THAT strange.

Gen is already fairly complicated. You're advocating making it even MORE complex.
Actually I was just hoping Generations was capable of everything VQ3 was capable of, as a mapper. Nothing more as I see it. I seem to have just learned to (ab)use a feature that most folks didn't know existed, judging from the semi-bafflement I seem to be getting from talking about using the 'count' key on weapons and ammo. Slipgate - Grin

But I'll concede the point, I guess I just learned a different method of playbalance and ways to make a fun FFA map than the 'accepted gospel' most folks have learned to map with. Slipgate - Smile

And I have to state this... while Generations is complicated, it's nowhere near as complicated as some mods I've built maps for. Try building a 'balanced' map for DeadLoad 2 for Quake2 some time. The sheer customizability of that mod makes play-balance a fine line balanced on a hairy edge. Slipgate - Laugh
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WolfWings
 
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« Reply #14 on: 2004-07-19, 06:47 »

Quote from: Tekhead
Item-running/timing is an important factor in Quake.
Last bit I'll post, as this line let me understand my difference of viewpoint.

I don't build maps for item control. I build them for territory control, with the items merely acting as bait to lure folks around the map, and to provide the (in)appropriate tools for the appropriate terrain.

I'll keep working on the map... but trying to play-balance it to item-running ideals will be difficult, as it's not an idea I'm used to planning for. I tend to use the random-offset respawning and similair tricks specifically to break up any possible patterns beyond making sure a set range of ammunition and weapons are available over any given time-period in maps I make. Yes, I break it down to statistics and spreadsheets, instead of maps and distances. Slipgate - Smile
« Last Edit: 2004-07-19, 06:48 by WolfWings » Logged
Tekhead
 
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« Reply #15 on: 2004-07-19, 07:40 »

Interesting what you say, since item control and territory control run parallel with eachother =]

Good luck!  Thumbs up!
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Phoenix
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« Reply #16 on: 2004-07-27, 05:06 »

We ran into a problem with a shader conflict recently for our upcoming mappack, so I wanted to put a blurb out about shader useage and pk3 ordering.

PK3 files order alphabetically, ascending.  However, since Q3 loads them in an ascending order, whatever was loaded LAST is what stays in memory.  Take pak0.pk3, and pak9.pk3.  If both pk3's have files in them with the same name then whatever is in pak9.pk3 is what Q3 will actually load into memory.

This is important when it comes to any files, but shaders especially.  Something to bear in mind when using a texture pack is that even if your map only uses only a few textures as opposed to the whole pack DO NOT edit the shader file if it is a publicly released texture pack.  We ran into this with the e7 textures.  One map had an e7.shader file that was edited to have only one script, whereas the other map also had an e7.shader file but needed the entire script.  The pk3 that took precedent ended up being the one with the e7.shader that had only one shader reference, so several textures that needed transparency or alpha functions, double-sided textures, etc, were borked on the other map.

I cannot stress this enough.  If you use a public texture pack and need a new shader then WRITE YOUR OWN SHADER FILE.  Don't use the same .shader name as a pre-existing texture pack or you run the risk of screwing up a lot of other people's maps.  Don't worry about unreferenced shaders if you only use 3 textures.  The game only loads shaders that are explicitely referenced, so it won't bother to load the extraneous shader scripts.  Pruning that 2Kb off the file is not worth the headaches it can cause.
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« Reply #17 on: 2006-07-12, 10:07 »

Question: What does Earth's gat drop as? Seeing that it covers multiple pickups, I was wondering if a shotgun would "upgrade" to LG through Sarge, or "downgrade" in the opposite direction.
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Kingu
 

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« Reply #18 on: 2006-07-12, 12:59 »

When earth with gat gets killed, other classes see droping a shotgun, so I think it is shotgun.
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Phoenix
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« Reply #19 on: 2006-07-12, 16:02 »

You are correct.  Earth's single gatling gun drops a WP_SHOTGUN class weapon.  He picks up a gatling gun for WP_SHOTGUN and WP_LIGHTNING class weapons.  Running over any of these if you already have a gatling gun gives him dual gatling guns, which is a WP_BFG class weapon.  Running over a WP_BFG class weapon gives dual gatling guns as well as single gatling gun.  Dropping dual gatling guns drops a WP_BFG class weapon.

If Grunt is wielding his Q2 chaingun (WP_LIGHTNING slot) and Sarge kills him and picks up the weapon, it gives Sarge a WP_SHOTGUN pickup, even though what Grunt dropped was a WP_LIGHTNING.  The single gat uses the WP_SHOTGUN slot for it's functioning, so that's what it drops when the player dies regardless of how he acquired the weapon.  Sarge can get gatling guns everywhere, which is why it's primarily a shotgun-class weapon instead of a lightning-class weapon.  It would overbalance the other classes by dropping Skippy shafts and high-speed blenders any time you 86 an Earther.  Dual gatling guns uses the WP_BFG slot for its functioning, which is why it drops a BFG for the same reason.  Consider it the price you pay for being a badass with twin chainguns. Slipgate - Wink

Here's the ammo breakdown as well:

bullets = 25 bullet clip.
shells = 50 bullet standard ammo box.
lightning = 50 bullet standard ammo box
bfg ammo = 100 bullet large ammo box.
« Last Edit: 2006-07-12, 16:03 by Phoenix » Logged


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