ns2_co_skylight

DarkSeraphDarkSeraph Join Date: 2004-06-07 Member: 29174Posts: 539Members
edited February 2013 in Mapping
Link: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=129576328

Before there was a biodome there was the Skylight Test Facility. Designed to test the light limits of organics on space stations the facility was placed on a planet with plentiful water and constant light - on a planet orbiting three suns. However, on one of the darkest days of the year an infestation is discovered and must be expunged!


Getting turned around? Red lights are alien side and blue lights are for marine side. Also EXO can't go below catwalks in skylight.

To do list:
-Make long hallway floor pattern curve with wall prop
-Place-able invisible cysts in combat (Help me @JimWest! My fake infestation looks like ****!)
-logic_worldtooltip to be visible by people with ready room status (or the option to change who its visible to) with the above tip when you stand in front of a terminal


Skylight, where most of the action should happen
0HksTyw.jpg

Marine Start - Command
65ariMQ.jpg

Hive - Ventilation
LZOzE2y.jpg

Long Hall
Y7nt7qd.jpg

Curved Hall
DnYvNVw.jpg



The map has performance issues when you are at a far end looking across - help me improve performance (without having to delete half of the models)!

Please give me constructive criticism!
Post edited by DarkSeraph on
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Comments

  • SoundFXSoundFX Join Date: 2003-08-21 Member: 20048Posts: 233Members
    Judging from screenshots you have very long sight lines. I'm not educated in the matter of optimization, but I do know in general long sight lines aren't always best in terms of game-play.
    DarkSeraph
  • DarkSeraphDarkSeraph Join Date: 2004-06-07 Member: 29174Posts: 539Members
    The large room sight is similar to other maps - around 1024. That long hallway is closer to 1536. I've seen hallways get to around 1200 with little cover, but you're correct that it's longer than most. I've attempted to compensate by rounding that corner so it's easy to hide if you really want, and though its difficult to see there is an open skulk vent running across the length that provides good cover. I'm still really interested to see how it plays.

    Unfortunately I doubt I'll get many people to play it until it's optimized a bit, though I'd love to get some playtesting done if anyone with a server wants to contact me.
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  • Evil_bOb1Evil_bOb1 Join Date: 2002-07-13 Member: 938Posts: 915Members, Squad Five Blue
    For your occlusion, seal it off. It will still render the skybox.
    ns2_turtle modid=486cef9 Forum thread / duplexgaming page
    DarkSeraph
  • DarkSeraphDarkSeraph Join Date: 2004-06-07 Member: 29174Posts: 539Members
    Evil_bOb1 wrote: »
    For your occlusion, seal it off. It will still render the skybox.

    I'm confused. Do you mean use the glass texture in the places where needed? From what I've seen from summit window/open areas is they use the dev texture for occlusion but out of render range. If I use dev texture right in front of the window what is telling it not to render?

    Thanks for your help! Sorry, occlusion is very confusing to me.
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  • FlaterectomyFlaterectomy Netherlandistan Join Date: 2005-02-03 Member: 39643Posts: 485Members, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow, Subnautica Playtester
    If you put a face with the dev texture on it (or any other texture, for that matter) right outside the window, it will show the the skybox, as long as the face is assigned to the OcclusionGeometry group.
    DarkSeraph
  • DarkSeraphDarkSeraph Join Date: 2004-06-07 Member: 29174Posts: 539Members
    If you put a face with the dev texture on it (or any other texture, for that matter) right outside the window, it will show the the skybox, as long as the face is assigned to the OcclusionGeometry group.

    Oh, this is helpful. And it has to be the group, not the layer, right? Maybe that's where I was getting confused, since I rarely work in groups.

    It sounds like I have a lot of work to do! Thanks!
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  • Evil_bOb1Evil_bOb1 Join Date: 2002-07-13 Member: 938Posts: 915Members, Squad Five Blue
    Groups and layers kind of overlap in their function, but in general layers are mostly for ease of working and groups have certain functions. Such as the OcclusionGeometry / CollisionGeometry / CommanderInvisible groups. An exception is the Vents layer used to mark vents in yellow on the minimap.

    The occlusion geometry doesn't really care about the texture it has as long as there is a face. The face will occlude geometry and props behind it. The skybox is always rendered anyway. So if you have nothing behind your window and you are looking to the skybox, you can have the occulsion geometry right up to the window. But, if there is a scenery you want us to see out of the window, you need to include that in the same 'occlusion room' as the one with windows.
    ns2_turtle modid=486cef9 Forum thread / duplexgaming page
    DarkSeraph
  • DarkSeraphDarkSeraph Join Date: 2004-06-07 Member: 29174Posts: 539Members
    Thanks for your help guys - occlusion geometry is in and the map plays MUCH better.

    The one other thing I wanted to mention is despite my best efforts there are still a lot of minor lighting errors - things the engine does odd things with my 'sunlight' on some faces.

    I'm hoping we can test it out this weekend.
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  • peregrinusperegrinus Join Date: 2010-07-16 Member: 72445Posts: 2,426Members
    It needs more spot lighting to add interest, contrast, and emphasise architectural form.
  • DarkSeraphDarkSeraph Join Date: 2004-06-07 Member: 29174Posts: 539Members
    peregrinus wrote: »
    It needs more spot lighting to add interest, contrast, and emphasise architectural form.

    I'll look around for what I can add. In a lot of the rooms I shied away from too much spot lighting in hopes to emphasize the lighting from the sky itself (I might turn up some intensity there, but I've been trying to limit the atmospherics)

    I do really feel like the main skylight room needs something more to 'pop', but I'm not sure what yet. MS could use some spice, but I'm actually pretty pleased with the hive lighting (and already several spot lights in there). I think I'm OK with the Long Hall, but I'm definitely open to suggestions on how to spice up the curved hall (lighting looks bland).
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  • DarkSeraphDarkSeraph Join Date: 2004-06-07 Member: 29174Posts: 539Members
    I caught this map on a German server last night - awesome! Any other servers have it yet?

    I have not played this at all and would love to see some playtesting - please message me if you can host some NA play testing one of these nights!
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  • BicsumBicsum Join Date: 2012-02-27 Member: 147596Posts: 718Members, Reinforced - Gold
    Hi. We had the map in our map rotation some days ago.

    The map looks really nice so far, good job. The problem is that it is almost impossible to win as alien (at least on a 18 slot server). The hallways are too narrow to engage the inevitable exo train of doom.

    - the distance between the techpoints needs to be increased
    - the hallways need to be widened a bit (+ offer more cover)
    - there may need to be 1 more path on both sides


    The current layout might work on a 12 slot server though, not sure.
  • DarkSeraphDarkSeraph Join Date: 2004-06-07 Member: 29174Posts: 539Members
    Bicsum wrote: »
    Hi. We had the map in our map rotation some days ago.

    The map looks really nice so far, good job. The problem is that it is almost impossible to win as alien (at least on a 18 slot server). The hallways are too narrow to engage the inevitable exo train of doom.

    - the distance between the techpoints needs to be increased
    - the hallways need to be widened a bit (+ offer more cover)
    - there may need to be 1 more path on both sides


    The current layout might work on a 12 slot server though, not sure.

    Thanks for the suggestions - I haven't managed to play on a full server yet and aliens seem to have an advantage in small games. I'd love to see more actual stats, but very few combat servers run ns2stats which makes it difficult for me to keep track.

    I'll think of how to improve it - the total size isn't much different from faceoff which had a ~38% marine win % before last patch. After last patch all data seems to disappear :(

    The EXO train is a serious concern, but there should be enough ways to flank them by the time they actually enter the skylight room. I'll have to watch more gameplay and figure something out.


    There is an issue - the opening for the vent in the curved hallway isn't large enough to let lerks through. I'm also not pleased with the view distance down the curved hall into the hive room - on marine side it gives defensive advantage intentionally, but it's bad on alien side of map.
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  • peregrinusperegrinus Join Date: 2010-07-16 Member: 72445Posts: 2,426Members
    edited March 2013
    WhgOV3C.jpg

    3INSIdX.jpg

    rf4qjzI.jpg

    I'd make the corner here larger, where the fade is fighting, so players aren't constantly on a tight path which leads to clusterfucks.

    mHYWXD1.jpg

    pQCHBz2.jpg

    1RBMBbH.jpg

    BoEr3n1.jpg

    Qj5438H.jpg

    SXtuftX.jpg

    ypiPAUD.jpg



    Post edited by peregrinus on
    DarkSeraph
  • peregrinusperegrinus Join Date: 2010-07-16 Member: 72445Posts: 2,426Members
  • DarkSeraphDarkSeraph Join Date: 2004-06-07 Member: 29174Posts: 539Members
    edited March 2013
    Wow @peregrinus, that's awesome! Great job, the screenshots look great - I'll add some to the workshop. I can definitely make that corner just a little larger, though I'm concerned it would lead to marines sitting there for even LONGER as they'd have more cover from being able to sit back more. It's already the #1 marine kill zone on the map - though maybe putting a vent into that mini room would fix that a little.


    I'm a bit confused from that game though, aliens complained all game and then won.


    I've just uploaded these changes:
    -Vent entrance curved hallways larger (can't fit fade or lerk)
    -Line of sight from curved hallway into hive room obstructed (alien side only) - I don't like how that spot becomes a camping zone


    The complaint about EXO train still seems valid, but that game aliens held against EXO quite well. I'm still taking suggestions on how to improve anything, so please speak up.


    Edit: This image is my favorite, pretty cool looking:
    peregrinus wrote: »
    ypiPAUD.jpg

    Vents were also underutilized early game by aliens - I'm not sure how to increase that.
    Post edited by DarkSeraph on
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  • hozzhozz Join Date: 2012-11-20 Member: 172660Posts: 331Members
    A really well made map. The dimensions/rooms sizes/hallway sizes/distances are excellent. And it looks great.

    3 issues I've seen:
    - the lower pipe in the Alien start slows an Onos down, it should be a bit higher
    - in skylight, the space between the stairs to the upper level and the pillars the upper level rests on seems big enough for a Skulk to climb through (right on the side of the stairs' handrails), but you can't. Make it either narrower (so players instantly know they can't go there) or wider (so Skulks can climb up there)
    - the 3 rooms and 4 hallways should all have names so you can tell others where something is
  • DarkSeraphDarkSeraph Join Date: 2004-06-07 Member: 29174Posts: 539Members
    edited March 2013
    hozz wrote: »
    A really well made map. The dimensions/rooms sizes/hallway sizes/distances are excellent. And it looks great.

    3 issues I've seen:
    - the lower pipe in the Alien start slows an Onos down, it should be a bit higher
    - in skylight, the space between the stairs to the upper level and the pillars the upper level rests on seems big enough for a Skulk to climb through (right on the side of the stairs' handrails), but you can't. Make it either narrower (so players instantly know they can't go there) or wider (so Skulks can climb up there)
    - the 3 rooms and 4 hallways should all have names so you can tell others where something is

    Aww shucks - thank you very much, I worked hard on it. As usual I'd do somethings differently, but that's life.

    -The pipe is fixed - the whole point of it was to keep EXO from switching sides easily once in there, but its not worth the cost of onos having to crouch.
    -Good call. I've put crossbeams there to try to give the signal that you can't fit.
    -I thought the hallways are easy to call - curved & long/straight hall, marine or alien side. I guess I could label them a letter or something. Hall X?
    Post edited by DarkSeraph on
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  • DarkSeraphDarkSeraph Join Date: 2004-06-07 Member: 29174Posts: 539Members
    edited April 2013
    I've blocked off parts of the vents in the long hallways. It's now only open at the center and at the end.

    I want to thank Korn of Team GG and the NextLevelGaming guys for helping me get some more playtime on this map.

    Edit: 3/26 added reflection_probes (I hope I didn't overdo it, had to turn strength waaay down). Also added a little fun something to the RR.

    3/31 - fixed vent into skylight so fades can fit through. Still not sure anyone has found secret room.

    4/5 major edit to attempt to favor marines a little more - long hall is wider with no more railing and the vent on the marine side is mostly open now. Widened some vents to encourage jetpackers. Thanks to Korn again for a good suggestion.
    Post edited by DarkSeraph on
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  • DarkSeraphDarkSeraph Join Date: 2004-06-07 Member: 29174Posts: 539Members
    edited April 2013
    So this map has been stuck on a full server almost all day and it has been made apparent that the marine win % is likely around ~20%. I've removed the crate blocking alien curved hallway and several other crates, which might help as more openness & visibility should give marines an advantage. I'd love some suggestions, I'm posted some thoughts below:
    • Hive room seems difficult to push into - do I widen up the entry ways, make the pipes more sparce, make the 'shield' smaller, or what?
    • Winning as marine really requires marines with JP/GL in the vents- exo just sit in the hallways outside
    • Map seems to highly favor fade, but that might be pretty normal for ns2 combat... its so damn hard to tell

    The flow and dimensions are based on faceoff - the main difference is parts of faceoff are more open. I thought this was a problem in the center because you always end up with hydras in that vent which favors aliens heavily. As someone compared: faceoff has corridors that are more winding but more open areas.

    Faceoff's most recent win rate for marines was 36% (in Feb). My guess is that combat balance is off overall and has at best a 40% win rate for marines. I feel this is largely due to the fact that when alien life forms are not tied to any sort of time constrained resource the lifeforms are highly overpowered, and that aliens win by time default (for plot reasons?). A last stand mode with no cc/hive healing would be awesome.

    Lastly - go to the combat forum post and encourage them to do a last stand mode instead of alien default win and give your opinion. Then go to the ns2stats forum post to awesome JimWest's post and get them to hook their files in and fix stats in combat!
    Post edited by DarkSeraph on
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  • FlaterectomyFlaterectomy Netherlandistan Join Date: 2005-02-03 Member: 39643Posts: 485Members, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow, Subnautica Playtester
    Last time I played this map I went Lerk, and got a little frustrated a few times trying to escape the marine start through those long coridors. I guess that it's not that big an issue if aliens win 80% of the time anyway, but I felt there should've been some way to dive for cover in the wobbly coridor leading out of marine start on the left side.
  • DarkSeraphDarkSeraph Join Date: 2004-06-07 Member: 29174Posts: 539Members
    edited April 2013
    Last time I played this map I went Lerk, and got a little frustrated a few times trying to escape the marine start through those long coridors. I guess that it's not that big an issue if aliens win 80% of the time anyway, but I felt there should've been some way to dive for cover in the wobbly coridor leading out of marine start on the left side.

    I can put a frame on the vent so that vent in the middle of that corridor is easier to find. But as you mentioned I don't think that'll improve marine win %.

    Please I'd love some advice or suggestions on how to adjust balance from anyone at this point.


    edit 4/9: The more I think about it I think I should not change the map heavily until ns2stats and last stand are implemented. Last stand will change the balance heavily and ns2stats will give me a better idea of how large the issue is, and then I will adjust from there.
    Post edited by DarkSeraph on
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  • bluemanblueman Join Date: 2002-04-09 Member: 399Posts: 1,258Members
    some advice.

    The problem really is you made a half copy of the map, so marine and alien accesses to central room are the same. This is (in my opinion) a wrong choice. Marines need bigger areas so its easier for them to kill from the distance while aliens need the opposite. Maybe making the marines corridors bigger, maybe creating 2 more access points from the bases to central point or something.

    Also, the central area is dominated by a big f*******g biodome in the middle. In my opinion (dont take it as a harsh comment please) it sucks. Theres only 1 choke point area in the map and its not a wide open area, its totally blocked by the biodome so combat takes places at the entrances of the corridors, which doesnt help the gameplay. IMO it would feel really better to access central area and have a wide open space. Some covers at the entrances of the corridors would also help to keep the combat in that area.

    Anyways, i really like the map due to its small layout. It really helps to spawn and be in the combat in about 6-8 seconds. Im already bored of running 20 secs to the hive and getting killed and then the same patern all the game around.
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  • peregrinusperegrinus Join Date: 2010-07-16 Member: 72445Posts: 2,426Members
    I would put 3 or 4 smaller domes in the centre instead of one, which is a nice ornament, but is really dead space.
  • DarkSeraphDarkSeraph Join Date: 2004-06-07 Member: 29174Posts: 539Members
    edited April 2013
    Thanks for the feedback guys, here is my current game plan:
    • ns2stats starts working again - I get a baseline for the map (waiting on this currently!)
    • Remove the biodome and add some cover for alien hall entrances from skylight - check win % change
    • After results, consider widening marines corridors, or how to add another hall to each base

    The other piece that would help is last stand mode (no healing hive or cc after 25min) implemented for combat to even out the alien default win. Without that my best guess is that marine win % should be ~40%, but it's difficult to know since some maps will stalemate more than others.

    Again I really appreciate the feedback, and would love to get more once I adjust the map some more.
    Post edited by DarkSeraph on
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  • eliotmateliotmat Join Date: 2002-12-01 Member: 10350Posts: 423Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    Initially I didn't like this map.

    However, after multiple play sessions, I love it. Good work!

    I like the biodome. Don't change it.

    My only request would be to give aliens closer vent access to the command station. Close enough that gorges can harass the command station.
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  • DarkSeraphDarkSeraph Join Date: 2004-06-07 Member: 29174Posts: 539Members
    edited April 2013
    eliotmat wrote: »
    Initially I didn't like this map.

    However, after multiple play sessions, I love it. Good work!

    I like the biodome. Don't change it.

    My only request would be to give aliens closer vent access to the command station. Close enough that gorges can harass the command station.

    I'm glad you like it! In actuality the last few games I've played have seemed fairly balanced - removing those crates seems to significantly improve balance. I think initially the gameplay can be frustrating for people, but there is a surprising amount of give & take on such a simple flow layout. Fade overbalance definitely shows however.

    Vent near the CC? That is a big no-no, even on classic style maps. Gorges bile bombing from a vent in marine start sounds like a disaster. Sorry dude. In addition no decent combat map has a vent into MS - at best just outside of it, which I've already made more convenient than most maps.

    As for the biodome - I really have no intention to change it until I have a better understanding of the map's current state of balance (come on ns2stats!). If it's balanced as is, I will not remove it (as it's important to the 'story' of this map). The real last piece of balance is last stand mode for combat - no healing hive/cc after 25 min (alien default win is BS). Please go to the combat thread & suggest it!

    Thanks for playing and especially thanks for taking the time to post - I really appreciate it.

    Edit: the more I think about this, and watch some games, I'd really prefer to widen the hive room. Even the best marines end up stuck outside the hive unable to push in. I'll think on it more.
    Post edited by DarkSeraph on
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  • DarkSeraphDarkSeraph Join Date: 2004-06-07 Member: 29174Posts: 539Members
    edited April 2013
    The first of many steps to balancing this map has been done: I have increased the size of the hive room. I can expand behind the hive further if I wanted, but not really to the sides.

    We'll see how that plays - part of the trouble is I can't widen the entrances to the hive without moving the halls (since you don't want halls looking straight into hive). Any more suggestions are more than welcome; the next major change that I want to try (once ns2stats is up) is removing the biodome.
    Post edited by DarkSeraph on
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  • FlaterectomyFlaterectomy Netherlandistan Join Date: 2005-02-03 Member: 39643Posts: 485Members, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow, Subnautica Playtester
    Had a quick look this afternoon, and Loki and I bumped into an occlusion issue at the fan above the hive (the fan has just disappeared in this screenshot):

    eTRoST2.jpg

    You can also sit comfortably inside the fan while its blades pass through you:

    HroexlX.jpg

    This isn't a bug or anything, but I think these blinds (I'll call them that for now) would look better if they were trimmed in a more robust manner:

    dEwPSD4.jpg

    Decided to make a quick example to illustrate what I mean:

    HGsKs9Y.jpg
  • DarkSeraphDarkSeraph Join Date: 2004-06-07 Member: 29174Posts: 539Members
    Flat, great suggestions thanks! I'll fix hive occlusion & set death trigger on fan so you die if you go up there anymore. I REALLY like the suggestion for the blinds - the red texture will balance the hall out nicely as well.
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