Effective Spawning Systems

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Effective Spawning Systems

noklu
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This post was updated on .
This thread was suggested by 'Feanor on Forge' and incorporates the existing discussion that was found in Serious Discussion but has now been moved to this forum and thread. Read through the existing discussion or just hop in where you feel like. you can stay free form discussion, or you can look at answering a couple of general questions here:

How do you design the geometry of your maps to create a good spawn system? What general rules do you have for spawning? Where can the current crop of maps be improved in spawning? How do you manipulate the spawn system in game? How can you prevent spawn trapping? How can you promote fair and equal play with spawning?

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Best way to use spawn zones?

FeanorOnForge
This is a question mixed in with a discussion since I have been to several sites and have watched several videos mentioning them, but people dont seem to agree on the best/most practical way to use these.

Three of the main ways I have seen them used are:
1. Invasion spawns (I use hill markers myself).
2. layering over the entire map with multiple overlapping areas mostly 3+ layers, some layers covering half the map, some a few square feet.
3. small sectioned areas covering just the actual spawn sites usually only between 1 and 3 layers thick.

so is there a best way or are diff tactics used for diff map types?
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Re: Best way to use spawn zones?

MythicFritz
You're right, it depends on the map really.

If we're talking invasion, I haven't dabbled in that yet but what I understand it's just simple as placing hill markers and labeling them for the fire teams. The actual arrow is where the spawing players view camera is, no matter how high, and the players spawn on the terrain below it.

With competitive maps, variables like size, complexity and desired game type change the requirements of the spawning.

Personally, with the standard competitive medium sized map, I use one spawn zone (hour glass not hill marker lol ;p) labeled for each team covering their respective halves of the map. (Your #2 I think) Fine tuning can be achieved, if needed, with weak and anti zones for trouble spots, but I use very few. The trick is keeping safe spawn spots in the back of your mind while you design the map.

Larger maps are similar but many require weak and anti zones to control players spawns so base camping doesn't happen and so objectives aren't too easy/hard. Other zones like flag home/away also come into play often with larger maps.

An understanding of how the engine chooses respawn points helps. Someone may correct me because I'm still using what I learned months ago, but from what I've read the spawn engine utilizes field of vision in addition to proximity of allies, enemies and deaths. Think of a cone extending from each players face, that cone affects the respawn points that are within it. (Objects like vehicles or rockets have cones too!) The respawn zones give each point a label to give the engine options and all the different cones flying around affect where the respawning player ends up.

Halo 3's engine was different, it used the actual zones to determine if an ally or enemy affected a respawn point. So often, many zones were used. Say an ally was in zone 1, an enemy was in zone 2, and a dead ally was in zone 3: all of zone 1's respawn points would have a higher priority and zone 3's would have the lowest. I see some of this thinking carried over into Reach, but I don't think the zones themselves have any affect when it comes to the players that occupy them. I do have one friend who swears by it but can't really prove it's his zones and not the cones. I'll be curious to see what of my thinking gets torn apart.
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Re: Best way to use spawn zones?

Gnappy As5A5sin
In reply to this post by FeanorOnForge
I dont know if it'll help anyone, but here's how my spawns are laid out for my 4v4 flag map Seafort.



I don't really have many problems with the spawning. If a team is making a push down mid and a teammate gets killed in enemy territory, there's a fair likelihood that they'll respawn in their team's tower or their team's bottom mid spawn hub. from there they can support the ones that are actively pushing.
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Re: Best way to use spawn zones?

mrgreenwithagun
In reply to this post by FeanorOnForge
I have studied this for quite some time in depth and slowly worked my way from believing we should use Weak and Anti zones at least a few time on a typical map to now believing we should only use two Respawn Zones, no weak and no anti zones at all.

I know some people will say that it depends upon the map, but look at Bungie maps. They vary quite a bit, but they continue to use the same Red v Blue Respawn zone split the map down the middle approach and nothing else. I tend to think it doesn't really depend upon the map. It depends mostly upon the functionality of the zones, and they tend to point us to this model.

The more I look at weak and anti zones, the more I am convinced they should never be used, because they alter the spawn engine's algorithms artificially. If you stop and think that through, you may come to the same conclusion. that is the key point of why I don't think they should be used.

(Also, Gnappy, a red anti zone outside a red Respawn Zone is meaningless. And piling up all those anti and weak zones on a map can break the spawn system. This is a bug in their spawn system.)
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Re: Best way to use spawn zones?

noklu
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Listen to Mr Green With A Gun. He is the single best amateur expert on the topic (I include 'amateur' for the sake of the Bungie programmers who no doubt know exactly how the system works) - or at least the best that I know of.

Oh, and the way I suggested spawning to anybody I used to help - that is, when I used to do so - was to basically use one "hard" zone for each team and then place spawn points where desired. If you really wish to place a higher or lower emphasis upon a certain area and you believe that this will actually help gameplay, then you can use weak or anti zones to do so. But generally, the design of the map should incorporate safe respawn areas as a part of the geometry.
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Re: Best way to use spawn zones?

mrgreenwithagun
noklu wrote
...But generally, the design of the map should incorporate safe respawn areas as a part of the geometry.
This is the crux of the matter, IMHO. A forger should not rely on Respawn Zones to make spawning safer, but rather the map geometry and Respawn Point layout design.

There is only one case I think a forger could really use Anti Respawn Zones and that is when they have Respawn Points in the open field of the Canyon (for example) and a Banshee or Scorpion is threatening those Respawn Points. The Banshe or Scorpion would have a feeding frenzy on people respawning in the open field. (This is the problem that I encountered that lead me to stop forging and learn about spawning in the first place.)

But then that takes us back to the question, do those Respawn Points even belong out there in the open in the first place? I used to think that the Anti Respawn Zones should be used to make the Respawn Points less likely to be used. But now I am a much more firm believer that they simply don't belong there to begin with. I would even go so far as to say their presence in the open is not just a very poor choice of design, it is out right wrong; but I know there is always going to be someone who says that their map is unique, so I will leave it at that...
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Re: Best way to use spawn zones?

SnoozieDoes
mrgreenwithagun wrote
noklu wrote
...But generally, the design of the map should incorporate safe respawn areas as a part of the geometry.
This is the crux of the matter, IMHO. A forger should not rely on Respawn Zones to make spawning safer, but rather the map geometry and Respawn Point layout design.

There is only one case I think a forger could really use Anti Respawn Zones and that is when they have Respawn Points in the open field of the Canyon (for example) and a Banshee or Scorpion is threatening those Respawn Points. The Banshe or Scorpion would have a feeding frenzy on people respawning in the open field. (This is the problem that I encountered that lead me to stop forging and learn about spawning in the first place.)

But then that takes us back to the question, do those Respawn Points even belong out there in the open in the first place? I used to think that the Anti Respawn Zones should be used to make the Respawn Points less likely to be used. But now I am a much more firm believer that they simply don't belong there to begin with. I would even go so far as to say their presence in the open is not just a very poor choice of design, it is out right wrong; but I know there is always going to be someone who says that their map is unique, so I will leave it at that...
I disagree. I see no harm doing back up spawns in the middle, when they are covered in anti or weak. All they do is prevent spawn trapping, that can happen in any map. This can also increase the player size for the map, as more safe spawns means more players can play.
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Re: Best way to use spawn zones?

mrgreenwithagun
SnoozieDoes wrote
...I disagree. I see no harm doing back up spawns in the middle, when they are covered in anti or weak. All they do is prevent spawn trapping, that can happen in any map. This can also increase the player size for the map, as more safe spawns means more players can play.
Well, I was only trying to express my opinion (hence, IMHO)... But I want to clarify something here. I am not certain if you worded your reply wrong or if you missed my intention.

I am not opposed to having respawn points placed through out the map, including the middle. My point was that they should not be in the open - that the map geometry should make it possible to cover and protect the spawn points everywhere, including the middle of the map.

The respawn zones are not designed to make spawning safer. They are intended to alter the algorithms so that some respawn points are preferred over others. To make safe spawning, the map requires cover. And my point about using weak and anti zones is that they should never be used, because they alter the spawn engine's algorithms that make spawning as safe as possible based upon dynamic influencers.

The more I think about this question, I come closer to believing that someone at Bungie said, "hey you know we need to give forgers weak and anti zones so that they can artificially give weights to spawn points for cases we cannot think of yet." But we are talking about very unique and extremely different map designs, which I don't think we can say is descriptive of 98% of the maps being forged today. Yet, well over 10% use those types of zones (and quite often incorrectly).
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Re: Best way to use spawn zones?

SnoozieDoes
mrgreenwithagun wrote
SnoozieDoes wrote
...I disagree. I see no harm doing back up spawns in the middle, when they are covered in anti or weak. All they do is prevent spawn trapping, that can happen in any map. This can also increase the player size for the map, as more safe spawns means more players can play.
Well, I was only trying to express my opinion (hence, IMHO)... But I want to clarify something here. I am not certain if you worded your reply wrong or if you missed my intention.

I am not opposed to having respawn points placed through out the map, including the middle. My point was that they should not be in the open - that the map geometry should make it possible to cover and protect the spawn points everywhere, including the middle of the map.

The respawn zones are not designed to make spawning safer. They are intended to alter the algorithms so that some respawn points are preferred over others. To make safe spawning, the map requires cover. And my point about using weak and anti zones is that they should never be used, because they alter the spawn engine's algorithms that make spawning as safe as possible based upon dynamic influencers.

The more I think about this question, I come closer to believing that someone at Bungie said, "hey you know we need to give forgers weak and anti zones so that they can artificially give weights to spawn points for cases we cannot think of yet." But we are talking about very unique and extremely different map designs, which I don't think we can say is descriptive of 98% of the maps being forged today. Yet, well over 10% use those types of zones (and quite often incorrectly).
First, I just woke up when I did that post.

Second, I believe one weak zone don't do any damage to spawn system.

I don't really want to use them, but sometimes I have to. Like when there is height difference near the spawn. I know this is a design fault, but I don't want to stop the whole project, when I can fix it with weak zone.
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Re: Best way to use spawn zones?

MythicFritz
Something I've been thinking about lately is if normal respawn zones stack/combine like weak and antis. My curiosity stems mainly from desiring an answer to these equations:

Normal+Normal >?< Normal+Weak

Normal+Normal+Weak >?< Normal+Weak

Any ideas?
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Re: Best way to use spawn zones?

GodlyPerfection
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In reply to this post by SnoozieDoes
SnoozieDoes wrote
mrgreenwithagun wrote
SnoozieDoes wrote
...I disagree. I see no harm doing back up spawns in the middle, when they are covered in anti or weak. All they do is prevent spawn trapping, that can happen in any map. This can also increase the player size for the map, as more safe spawns means more players can play.
Well, I was only trying to express my opinion (hence, IMHO)... But I want to clarify something here. I am not certain if you worded your reply wrong or if you missed my intention.

I am not opposed to having respawn points placed through out the map, including the middle. My point was that they should not be in the open - that the map geometry should make it possible to cover and protect the spawn points everywhere, including the middle of the map.

The respawn zones are not designed to make spawning safer. They are intended to alter the algorithms so that some respawn points are preferred over others. To make safe spawning, the map requires cover. And my point about using weak and anti zones is that they should never be used, because they alter the spawn engine's algorithms that make spawning as safe as possible based upon dynamic influencers.

The more I think about this question, I come closer to believing that someone at Bungie said, "hey you know we need to give forgers weak and anti zones so that they can artificially give weights to spawn points for cases we cannot think of yet." But we are talking about very unique and extremely different map designs, which I don't think we can say is descriptive of 98% of the maps being forged today. Yet, well over 10% use those types of zones (and quite often incorrectly).
First, I just woke up when I did that post.

Second, I believe one weak zone don't do any damage to spawn system.

I don't really want to use them, but sometimes I have to. Like when there is height difference near the spawn. I know this is a design fault, but I don't want to stop the whole project, when I can fix it with weak zone.
Actually one weak zone will damage the spawn system heavily... mainly because if a player knows where that weak zone is, they can just manipulate the spawn system to always force you to spawn there. I've learned me lesson... lol. If I do use weak zones I put two at different locations. These locations are the two safest areas to spawn on the map typically. That way if the opposing team does notice weighted spawns on one, when they try to trap it the deaths will cause players to spawn at the other weak spawn zone.


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Re: Best way to use spawn zones?

FeanorOnForge
Lots of feedback on this so ty guys, I will start looking at my map spawns again now

Would a topic covering this with appropriate diagrams and explanations be the kind of thing that could be suggested in the front page option thread?
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Re: Best way to use spawn zones?

FuN Fortress
In reply to this post by FeanorOnForge
Effectively.
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Re: Best way to use spawn zones?

mrgreenwithagun
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by MythicFritz
MythicFritz wrote
Something I've been thinking about lately is if normal respawn zones stack/combine like weak and antis. My curiosity stems mainly from desiring an answer to these equations:

Normal+Normal >?< Normal+Weak

Normal+Normal+Weak >?< Normal+Weak

Any ideas?
People read JonnyOThan's article on spawn setup and saw

Normal + Weak > Normal

and thought

2 + 1 > 2

When in fact it is more like

1000 + 1 > 1000

So you can see that by giving incredible weight to the Respawn Zone compared to the Weak Respawn Zone, Bungie effectively made it where a team is forced to spawn in the Respawn Zone and the Weak Respawn Zone only allows for minor adjustments in comparison. So if you could combine Respawn Zones, then a team would be FORCED to respawn within the overlap only. After all, how would they ever respawn at a point whose weight is 1000 when there are points whose weights are 2000? This is why bungie would not allow them go combine. It made no sense to allow them to combine, seeing that their purpose was not to add preference, but to create a boundary defining the respawn region for a team only.

More importantly, if you stop thinking in terms of weights and start thinking in terms of functionality, you would think of how they can be used much differently. When you think that a Respawn Zone bounds the region of a map where a team is allowed to spawn, the concept of overlapping never crosses your mind, as that has nothing to do with the functionality. When you think in terms of respawn points within a Weak Respawn Zone being favored, you won't think in terms of how much weight they apply. This is IMHO the key to how to effectively use zones. To think in terms of weights has gotten a lot of forgers off on tangents and confused. I think that JonnyOThan's articles should never have offered those equations, but just limit the discussion to what affect they have on the spawn system in general.



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Re: Best way to use spawn zones?

MythicFritz
I know there's much more to the spawning system than a simple equation. I was just trying to simplify my question.

I suppose I should've simplified it this way; does overlapping normal zones have an affect on respawn points DIFFERENT from the affects of a single zone?



Edit: Affect? Effect? I'm so confused. Noklu help me. I used to know these things. I suppose I could ask my English teacher of a wife...
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Re: Best way to use spawn zones?

mrgreenwithagun
MythicFritz wrote
I know there's much more to the spawning system than a simple equation. I was just trying to simplify my question.

I suppose I should've simplified it this way; does overlapping normal zones have an affect on respawn points DIFFERENT from the affects of a single zone?
No.
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Re: Best way to use spawn zones?

FeanorOnForge
In reply to this post by MythicFritz
MythicFritz wrote
Edit: Affect? Effect? I'm so confused. Noklu help me. I used to know these things. I suppose I could ask my English teacher of a wife...
To Affect is: To influence somthing- used most often as a verb
To Effect is: The result of change. somthing that was caused or brought about- used more often as a noun

I did in fact ask my wife who also teaches english... and she said the above was an acceptable way to explain it, with some exceptions (why is our language full of rules that only ever apply 90% or less of the time)

I've made this topic a suggestion in the possible front page  thread so if that does go ahead can I link your site MrGreen?
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Re: Best way to use spawn zones?

MythicFritz
mrgreenwithagun wrote
No.
Thank you for your concise response lol.

@Feanor  I think Halo:Reach respawn zones might be a little too narrow of a topic for the front page. Not sure. The front page tends to focus on game design in general with Halo as occasional examples because that's what the majority of readers relate to. Keep bugging Noklu. And thanks for the grammar lesson. I rewrote effect and affect so many time last night I confused myself.
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Re: Best way to use spawn zones?

FeanorOnForge
they are annoying to get right at times...

Hmm I think your right about it being too narrow but thought I'd put it in the suggestions neway as maybe it will lead to someone having a good idea from it
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