Break Your Maps!!!

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Break Your Maps!!!

MDFlash
This post was updated on .
By the way, now that I have written this, I apologize in advance for it being a bit long.  (I also apologize if someone has posted about this before.)  If you don't like reading, the bottom line is in the first few sentences.

Hey everyone.  I am by no means a forging expert but after seeing this be an issue in three different maps thus far, there is a simple "fine-tuning" suggesion that I wanted to make: try to break your map.  No, I don't mean after you've built it, see how fast you can delete the objects; what I mean is pull up your map in an untimed custom game, grab a jetpack or evade (and maybe some friends) and see what areas you can get into that weren't intended to be accessed.  This is especially an issue in forge world, but can be problematic even in small enclosed maps due to unintended ledges, etc.  Now, you may be thinking, "Well, that corner is up so high..." or, "Well, those rocks are so far away from the action in the game..." "...that it won't matter."  Wrong.  There are always people in games who want the highest ground possible (snipers), people who want to hide after a lead (HLGers), or people who just want to explore.  Second, these errors can drastically change the intended flow of gameplay and ruin the perception of what would have otherwise been a very good map.  So what can you do?  First, I would suggest dropping a soft safe zone around your entire map in forge after you're finished with building structure and placing vehicles to take care of any possible areas outside of the bubble you just dropped.  Next, get a jetpack and play your own map in a custom game, preferably at lesat once by yourself - no one knows it better than you (though having outsiders play can be helpful too, because they may look in places you never consider going).  Fly around; use the vehicles; try to get to another safe zone by briefly running outside of the playable area (e.g., remember the original Asylum cheat Infection players so loved to use?); do anything you can think of to break your own map.  Additionally, if you find ledges, etc. that make you think "actually, I kind of like that nook up/down there," consider if it is an area that can be countered or not - for example, a high ledge that also allows a sniper to be mostly hidden is no good, but a high ledge that offers little to no cover and can thus be countered can be fine.  Then, go back into forge and soft kill those areas.  Also, one final suggestion that actually MythicFritz rightly pointed out in one of my own maps, consider soft-killing any teleporters that you have unless you want people to be able to stand on and block access to them.  By doing this, the exits can still be camped, sure, but they cannot be so easily blocked.

Obviously, this is not something that needs to or even should be done before you're done building the map or placing weapons and vehicles; however, it is imporant and should not be overlooked.  Alright, that's it.  I'm out.

Cheers!
Dies omnis est donum.
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Re: Break Your Maps!!!

grimcreepr
When I test maps, especially my own, I go into it with the mind set of breaking the map. Whether it be balance, or spawning, or like you said hidy holes. I try to imagine the worse case scenarios, and act them out. best way to know if things are really working as they should, IMO
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Re: Break Your Maps!!!

noklu
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In reply to this post by MDFlash
Moved into the Halo subforum.
The otters are coming with whiskers honed to razor blades.
Know this and fear.

Email me at xnoklu[at]gmail.com should you need to contact me.
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Re: Break Your Maps!!!

mrgreenwithagun
In reply to this post by MDFlash
You can analyze your maps' spawning - testing only verifies the analysis of problematic spawning (e.g., spawn traps).

I also look for how much people are engaged in the map, do they move around a lot very quickly? Or are their movements looking like they are bored?

I also look along all the edges to see how I can escape, but this is not the usual case since I try to always build the map around a Safe Boundary rather than trying to plug holes with kill boundaries.
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Re: Break Your Maps!!!

FuN Fortress
mrgreenwithagun wrote
I also look along all the edges to see how I can escape, but this is not the usual case since I try to always build the map around a Safe Boundary rather than trying to plug holes with kill boundaries.
That's a much easier way to start, in my opinion. Lay out your basic 'skeleton', and throw down your safe zone. Build within that, and plug up trouble spots in the END with kill boundaries. Kill boundaries shouldn't be used, in my opinion, to form the map boundaries. They should instead be used to define tiny areas that you don't want the player to access, otherwise you'll have hours up on hours of work in adding what feels like a million killzones.
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Re: Break Your Maps!!!

noklu
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In reply to this post by MDFlash
It seems to me this thread is based on the same test that pretty much every engineer has: the stress-test. If it can't handle that, then back it goes to the drawing board. It's a good rule of thumb that the more ad hoc "solutions" slapped on after the flaws are revealed, the worse engineered and designed it is, and there is frequently more problems caused by the "solutions". A case of the cure being worse than the disease.
The otters are coming with whiskers honed to razor blades.
Know this and fear.

Email me at xnoklu[at]gmail.com should you need to contact me.
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