Hologram42Hologram42 Join Date: 2010-05-12 Member: 71739Members
edited July 2010 in Mapping
Ns2_Power is a level designed to be intuitive and simple for newcomers while still allowing for a competitive and challenging experience for oldschool ns players. To that end, I decided to focus my efforts on keeping the design of the level straightforward and put more detail into making each res room and tech point unique and instantly recognizable. I adopted a variant on the basic figure 8 layout with 5 tech points and 7 res nodes. The end goal was to eliminate a common frustration for new players: getting lost in the sprawling sci-fi complexes that are the heart of the ns world. With that said, each power grid area of the map looks completly different from another through the use of varied color schemes and landmarks. To avoid making things look too out of place or random, I tied the map together through a common theme of yin and yang, represented by the positive blue power streams and negative red power streams. Most rooms have a nod to this dualistic signature in some form or another depending on their relative position to the rather unique center of the map. The result is the Alterra Idle Fusion Reactor Plant on Minerva Prime or ns2_power.

<img src="http://i.imgur.com/2jZ9L.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

<!--coloro:#FFC0CB--><span style="color:#FFC0CB"><!--/coloro-->The<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--> <!--coloro:#ADD8E6--><span style="color:#ADD8E6"><!--/coloro-->C<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--><!--coloro:#FFC0CB--><span style="color:#FFC0CB"><!--/coloro-->ore<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->

The center of the map needed to be both an important strategic location and a suitable combat area for all classes of marines and aliens. The original design was for a shrine-like theme with tall columns and a catwalk system that surrounded the core over a chasm. I scrapped the catwalk idea when I realized that I needed more space for Onos travel and buildings on the all-important center tech point. There are effectively 4 ways into this room at each cardinal direction, including a ramp that drops into the floor at the far end. I expect most of the fighting to be in and around the room but I also didn't want it to become an insta-win for the team that locked it down. With that in mind, the aliens have vents leading from their start that outlet very near the core and the marines have a tram system that carries them to a station very near (but not in siegable range, although I believe this is LoS now) the center tech point. This should allow for organized comebacks even when a side has captured the center as their 3rd tech point. Eventually I would like to make the core open and close to varied degrees based on which team controls the tech point. The open, powered core would brighten the room with it's light and the underpowered, closed core would make the room darker.

<img src="http://i.imgur.com/xq09L.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

<!--coloro:#4169E1--><span style="color:#4169E1"><!--/coloro-->Operations<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->

The marine start location was designed to have a feeling of a home on the precipice of danger. The cobalt blue and fiery orange are made to contrast in a way that gives the impression that while you are safe in front of the hearth, the night outside is waiting to consume you. The hanging bundle of monitors on the ceiling are a tribute to the original Starcraft's Terran briefing screen. Perhaps in a latter build of the game, the screens can display live views from security cameras from around the level? The lighting is rather dark and the area seems confided in the screenshot, but the unfinished room behind the camera branches into a broad "L" shape that contains a brighter res node and tram entrance tunnel area. There is also a pre-sealed door in Operations, only openable by an Onos or dynamic infestation reaching the bordering res node power grid. If the Kharaa team are able to break this door open, it makes the final elimination of Marine start much more viable.

<img src="http://i.imgur.com/Hj6On.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

<!--coloro:#F5DEB3--><span style="color:#F5DEB3"><!--/coloro-->The<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--> <!--coloro:#ADD8E6--><span style="color:#ADD8E6"><!--/coloro-->Plug<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->

The Plug is the marine's natural tech point expansion. I wanted to give the area a strong but dwindling quality, so I employed a lighting scheme of twilight blue and sunset gold to give an impression of standing between the calm of the day and the chaos of the night. It's position between marine start and the core makes it an ideal spot for a defensive "castle" design. The tech point itself is elevated above 3 of the 4 entrances into the room. Fences and support beams allow the marines to get semi-clear lines of sight on direct incoming attackers but the "back door" connects to the adjoining res node room and allows the aliens a chance for a sneak attack on the tech point if they take the long way around.

<img src="http://i.imgur.com/X2LYq.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

<!--coloro:#FFFACD--><span style="color:#FFFACD"><!--/coloro-->Socket<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--> <!--coloro:#FFFF00--><span style="color:#FFFF00"><!--/coloro-->7<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->

Socket 7 is the connecting res node area to The Plug. Being tucked away in the far corner of the map, this room needed a special, "hidden" quality to it's color scheme and design. I wanted this area to have a goldmine twist on it's sci-fi powerplant look. The res node itself is tucked away in the wall in a way that it perhaps could be hidden if the facility were fully running properly. The two weld bots hanging in their repair bays are just decoration for now, but perhaps they could be activated as a bonus for marines claiming the res node and powering up that section of the grid? This room is also my place to have a little fun with inside jokes. Of course I have my NS2 map pre-req FWLBT here. But why Socket "7"? If you have been using Spark long enough, you'll know the answer to the naming quirk.

<img src="http://i.imgur.com/AGiXt.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

<!--coloro:#A0522D--><span style="color:#A0522D"><!--/coloro-->Neutral Breaker<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->

This res node connects with the core down the middle of the map. It is an important alien res capture point not only because it is the closest to their start point, but also because it has a weldable door that allows the marines an alternate access to assault their main hive. I really had no preconceived theme when I started building this room. The eventual "beehive" transformers and "honeycomb" wall outlets materialized as the res node came together. The rust and red colors just came from this being in the negative power stream side of the map. The Surge Breaker res node on the other side of the core will probably have a similiar blue theme when completed.

<img src="http://i.imgur.com/4Tp1J.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

This is just a rough overview of the pre-playtested version of the map. Keep in mind that the halls that lead out of marine start and alien spawn at the very top and bottom are either going to be weldable/onos breakable locked doors, alternate res node areas or completly scrapped once I get an idea of how the map plays. Several areas are unfinished which would account for their empty look.

I am currently sitting at about 40% complete. While most of the marine side of the map besides the tram system is done, I still have alot to do on the kharaa side. Still to come is the "Dark Cathedral" themed tech point The Switch, the "Viper Pit" themed res node Crescent Coil and the "Gateway to Hell" themed alien start Transformer Outlet. I'd appreciate any comments or criticisms of the map. I have no illusions that this is anywhere near the quality needed to become an official map, but hopefully some newbie friendly servers will pick it up for some playtesting once alpha rolls around so I can clean up the layout and balance things where needed.


  • slayer20slayer20 Killed a man once. Join Date: 2007-12-13 Member: 63157Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    I love that first picture!

    I don't like the lighting in the 4th or 5th pictures though. Too much yellow.
  • LethalShadowLethalShadow Join Date: 2005-01-17 Member: 36026Members
    Great work Hologram!

    I love the Core room. There are some very original designs in there so far and every room is definitely unique and instantly recognizable.

    I agree that Socket 7 may be a tiny bit too yellow, but Neutral Breaker is awesome the way it is!
    That room really carries a "bug" theme that I can identify with the kharaa. It feels like "deep in enemy territory" from a marine's point of view, despite being all metal and tech.
    It makes you wonder why humans would build a room that feels so hostile, but logic should not get in the way of gameplay and maps that impress emotions on the player.

    Great job so far and I hope you keep up the good work!
    I'll be looking forward to seeing the complete map and playing it.
  • GISPGISP Battle Gorge Denmark Join Date: 2004-03-20 Member: 27460Members, Playtest Lead, Forum Moderators, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Onos, WC 2013 - Gold, Subnautica Playtester, Forum staff
    All of the rooms are real eye candy. Tumbs up, good job! :)
    Only criticisms would be: You have a overall theme to the map? Or are you defining that whit your hallways?
    Are you using the red/blue light as a easy navigational tool so people super fast are learing the layout of the map, or what are your plan whit this?

    Anyways, i think if you keep this standart and its balanced and stuff. It got a real shot at being incluede as a official map :)
  • GenomaxterGenomaxter Join Date: 2003-10-11 Member: 21597Members
    first and second pictures are amazing! i love the design and creativity. 4th and 5th need the lighting fix (i didn't want to say redone... but thats the best word i think)

    I LOVE it though.
  • DelphicDelphic Join Date: 2006-11-02 Member: 58262Members
    Those pictures are stunning, I mean really stand out, I think you've hit what you aimed for on the head and then some.

    Only really one criticism, those really blue and red lines on The Plug I think it is, look a bit fake (too much like you've put a line of lights over the top of those sections, rather than they themselves emitting light). The blue side looks better though, perhaps you should have something encasing the red-stripe too.

    Also what settings you running the game in, some how the pics don't look as sharp as some peoples, I'm guessing you've not got it on max settings?
  • SgtBarlowSgtBarlow Level Designer Join Date: 2003-11-13 Member: 22749Members, NS2 Developer
    edited May 2010
    wayy, Thats a cool usage of props, The whole thing looks like a crazy NS1 Combat map.

    We have an NS2 Combat Mod Mapper people :)
  • ianmcmillianmcmill Join Date: 2010-04-29 Member: 71569Members, Reinforced - Supporter
    the core looks pretty cool
  • Hologram42Hologram42 Join Date: 2010-05-12 Member: 71739Members
    Thanks all for the comments! Keep them coming, I have already reworked a few things based on the helpful criticisms and concerns. I'm gonna try and get a video up soon of me running around the "completed" sections of the map.

    I agree that the bright yellow, red and blue sections of the The Plug and Socket 7 are kinda overdone. The intense yellow to the left in Socket 7 is actually coming from the FWLBT. With the current build of the game the shadow is not displaying from the distance I am standing. It softens the glare a bit but I still think I might switch to a more orange/yellowish mixed tint. The zany blue and red works well in several other places in the map but it does stand out a bit too much in The Plug, I might cover both those areas with a different prop style to hide the brightness a bit or lower the intensity of the lights so they blend in more.

    Something kinda ironic about those last two screenshots is that they were done the most recent. I think they are influenced the most by the recent works of the outstanding mapping being done by others. In a way, they have a more traditional "NS" feel but that also makes them clash a bit with the other eccentric parts of my map. As far as flow goes, the connecting hallways and rooms actually blend the drastically different areas quite well. The video should hopefully show how it merges together without seeming like completely different maps.
  • GISPGISP Battle Gorge Denmark Join Date: 2004-03-20 Member: 27460Members, Playtest Lead, Forum Moderators, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Onos, WC 2013 - Gold, Subnautica Playtester, Forum staff
    Oh... Who is modding combat? And you know how soon after release we coult expect the first maps?
    <!--quoteo(post=1771156:date=May 14 2010, 12:23 PM:name=SgtBarlow)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (SgtBarlow @ May 14 2010, 12:23 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1771156"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->wayy, Thats a cool usage of props, The whole thing looks like a crazy NS1 Combat map.

    We have an NS2 Combat Mod Mapper people :)<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
  • PstranglerPstrangler Join Date: 2003-09-25 Member: 21198Members
    There are really nice looking pictures there: the Neutral Breaker is my personal favorite, from about 6 feet and up it looks like a crazy scene from an old-time sci-fi show. I love it!.

    The Core is gorgeous too. Overall, you have very well-defined different tones for different areas in a way that will help players find their way easily across the map. I intend to use this kind of lighting color coding for mine.

    Keep up the good work, this is very promising.
  • GregzenegairGregzenegair Join Date: 2009-06-26 Member: 67944Members
    The first room (Core) is awesome ! The other needs some work.
  • FehaFeha Join Date: 2006-11-16 Member: 58633Members
    I love the core, and I love the plug, the others are ok, but socket 7 looks bit hard to navigate (good for kharaa) altough the lightning is great, and natural breaker just looks a bit to... plain/flat?

    Only thing you would have to do to the plug would be encasing the red part like you did to the blue. Cause the room just looks awesome.
  • BrawBraw Join Date: 2008-03-21 Member: 63920Members, Constellation
    Looking pretty darn good! The Core is superb, nothing really to pick on there.

    Operations: need some rework on the lighting, it's excellent that you'r trying to distinguish the rooms by using different colors, but the room is a bit too blue I think.

    The Plug: Sexy "generators", I do not think you overdid the lighting on those two, the red and blue looks good. Although the blue generator looks far better, personally I would copy that one, turn the lights red and the replace the old red one. Creates in the back looks off, careful when stretching models and textures that much.

    Socket 7: I didn't care too much for it when I first saw it, but now I'd say it's not bad at all. I like how it's not all one-colored, although that might not fit in so well with the rest of the rooms. But maybe it's okay since this is a middle-point between tech points?

    Natural Breaker: Solid work. I think the things hanging from the roof would look less "carnival decoration/toy/candy" if you reworked the lighting on them and removed the metal "nails".

    Would love to see an overview though :)
  • LoeyLoey Join Date: 2009-10-31 Member: 69187Members
    in socket 7, that yellow ligh in the bottom left corner of the pic ruins it imo because you've used white light for the rest of the room.
  • amareisamareis Join Date: 2010-06-09 Member: 72001Members
    <!--quoteo(post=1773367:date=Jun 5 2010, 03:38 AM:name=Loey)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Loey @ Jun 5 2010, 03:38 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1773367"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->in socket 7, that yellow ligh in the bottom left corner of the pic ruins it imo because you've used white light for the rest of the room.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    That depends if he has a good reason for the yellow light to be there ;)

    Personally I believe that any sort of lighting goes as log as it is justified with some visible prop.
  • yimmasabiyimmasabi Join Date: 2006-11-03 Member: 58318Members
    Very nice graphics.

    I just wonder how is top view of this map and total number of lights used ?
  • aeroripperaeroripper Join Date: 2005-02-25 Member: 42471NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Constellation
    edited June 2010
    The first shot is great, its a really good landmark.

    I LOVE the second shot (marine start?), simply because its so moody. If you can apply that same kind of moodiness to the other parts of the level you could have a very distinguished looking map.

    I don't like the next two shots, the red and blue lights in that shot look bad. The next room seems a bit cluttered with that central support beam. It doesn't seem to retain the same moody feeling the first two rooms do.

    The last shot shows promise since it seems to keep that "moody" feeling the first two pictures have. It does seem a bit "weird" and alienish which I like.

    Not sure any of that makes sense, hope the feedback helps. I think if you're able to keep the distinguished look and feel you have with the first two pictures, you'll have a very good map. It would be easier to get a better feel for the map with a playable version, or at least a video walkthrough of all the areas.
  • MotherGooseMotherGoose Join Date: 2002-03-12 Member: 308Members, Constellation
    i like Neutral Breaker.

    puts me in mind of the inside of an insects nest with those red/orange stalagtites hanging down :D

    very creepy. +1
  • lame-olame-o Join Date: 2010-04-24 Member: 71517Members
    The Core == Darth Vader's chamber. Very cool looking.

    I especially like the lighting, very atmospheric. However, 1 or 2 of your pics remind me of Doom which I'm not sure is a good or bad thing.
  • TgaudTgaud Join Date: 2009-05-01 Member: 67323Members
    I Like the visual original design of each room.
    Each room is very original, that was a challenge, you succeeded !
  • TrCTrC Join Date: 2008-11-30 Member: 65612Members
    Nice, may I request layout of full map ?
  • Hologram42Hologram42 Join Date: 2010-05-12 Member: 71739Members
    Yep, I'll try and post a layout before the end of the week. I have been experimenting with some pretty crazy room designs over the past couple months and reworked alot of the secondary routes on the Marine side of the map.
  • Hologram42Hologram42 Join Date: 2010-05-12 Member: 71739Members
    This is just a rough overview of the pre-playtested version of the map. Keep in mind that the halls that lead out of marine start and alien spawn at the very top and bottom are either going to be weldable/onos breakable locked doors, alternate res node areas or completly scrapped once I get an idea of how the map plays. Several areas are unfinished which would account for their empty look. As always, comments and suggestions are always welcome.

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/4Tp1J.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />
  • TSSTSS Join Date: 2010-05-11 Member: 71716Members
    Looks to be reasonably balanced. though the alien start looks a bit more defensable then the marine start that shouldn't be much of an issue, as when it comes to that most games are already lost. You might want to put some curves in that long vent running from the alien start simply to break LOS, as currently any alien inside would be a sitting duck. I'm not quite sure about the little vent break off into the larger room because that would give the aliens a pretty fast acces to the middle.

    I would reccommend switching the lower right and upper left res rooms with the adjacent techpoints. It would make them a bit harder to defend, and since then they would be roughtly the same distance away from the start point as the middle hive it could give some intresting tic-tac-toe play which techpoint to expand to first. I don't mind tech points beeing close to the start but currently it looks like i could actually see them from the start and that's a bit much :p

    Otherwise looks sweet, can't wait to play it.
  • AlignAlign Remain Calm Join Date: 2002-11-02 Member: 5216Forum Moderators, Constellation
    edited July 2010
    Looks totally sweet, with really unique rooms. One problem I can see right off from the layout though, is that there are too many/too long corridors, as NS2 is trying to keep it to room-based combat (rooms being more interesting to fight in than corridors).
  • GISPGISP Battle Gorge Denmark Join Date: 2004-03-20 Member: 27460Members, Playtest Lead, Forum Moderators, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Onos, WC 2013 - Gold, Subnautica Playtester, Forum staff
    First ill like to say it looks like alot, but i realy think it would be worth it...

    Would it be posible to add some stuff to your hallways and vents? So they dont seem generic and long...
    Orange = Small rooms.
    Red ? unaccessable areas such as fans in the vents. Or rooms viewed true a window, you know Eye-candy :)

    <a href="http://img44.imageshack.us/i/4tp1jgisp.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img44.imageshack.us/img44/2147/4tp1jgisp.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>
  • AlchemdaAlchemda Join Date: 2004-02-01 Member: 25942Members
    Any update on this.? The Core is fantastic, would love to know how you made it..
  • BarerRudeROCBarerRudeROC Join Date: 2010-10-01 Member: 74264Members
    I must commend you, there's obviously a huge amount of time, thought and effort put into ns2_power.
    I tip my hat to you good sir.
  • JonacrabJonacrab Join Date: 2003-08-02 Member: 18705Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester
    Do keep in mind that the last post to this was done in july 2010, so more than likely the creator has abandonded the map. And it doesnt seem he frequents the forums much either. Despite that, would be good to hear if any progresss is being made, as well as on numerous maps that were in development but seem to have stopped. It seems like quite a few people have abandonded their maps. If that is true, why not release what is done, and announce that youve stopped, so maybe someone could pick up the map where you left off. Just an idea.
  • Deagle2Deagle2 Join Date: 2010-11-30 Member: 75360Members
    I think (hope) lots of people will comeback on mapping when ns2 mapping tools will be updated more frequently and get some newer tools. And when ns2 will be optimised as wel.
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