layout advice - moonbase alpha

ruprechtruprecht Join Date: 2013-03-16 Member: 184022Members
i would like to attempt to give back to the game some of the fun i have had over the last 800+ hours of play time. my inspiration comes from two things, my distaste for square looking maps and the old Space: 1999 series from the seventies. if my design cant pass the scrutiny of this mapping community i am not sure i would follow through with another idea. what can i say, i like my idea! so after some considerable thought i think i have gotten it to the point where i can take constructive criticism, and make it even better.

your thoughts?


  • Dictator93Dictator93 Join Date: 2008-12-21 Member: 65833Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    edited February 2014
    I really like the circular design obviously. THe thing about circular maps to be aware of (or maps with closely aligned rooms) is sieging and player speed.

    I think if you cover those you have a pretty great start. The only problem I see right now is how the map has a rotating fashion (obviously). THe only way teams would probably go to the middle is not for res, but for a long strategic push accross the map or to take a round about way to attack an adjascent room. This could be interesting, but it could end up that people end up fighting always along the circle and not through it.
  • BeigeAlertBeigeAlert Texas Join Date: 2013-08-08 Member: 186657Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Diamond, Reinforced - Shadow, Subnautica Playtester, Pistachionauts
    edited February 2014
    Not to mention... GOOD LUCK with making this level in spark! Working with curves in spark is extremely time consuming and maddeningly tedious.

    But I like the concept! Would definitely make it a very unique map. But, like Dictator93 said: there might not be too much fighting in the middle. Perhaps if you moved the non-base rt's closer to the middle it would work? Holding the middle would allow that team to pressure all rts on the map... that would be very valuable indeed.
  • ruprechtruprecht Join Date: 2013-03-16 Member: 184022Members
    thanks for the comment, but i apologize that i am not exactly sure of the points that you bring up: siege and fighting along the circle.

    each tech point (why do we still come them that? :) can be arced from two locations outside the room. the arc locations for alien starts can be flanked through vents.

    as for fighting along the circle, the whole thing is a circle! heh. if the teams spawn in adjacent locations the shared natural RT will become a focus for sure, but each team has a good path through their other natural and on to the next tech point (along it). if the spawns are opposite sides the naturals are pretty evenly spaced, making the decision to hit opponent RT (through it) or grab a third (along it) at the next tech point a solid choice. the distances really arent long; the measurements are on par with summit and tram.

    controlling the middle may favor marine advancements, like hub in tram or system in nano. but unlike those examples, you cant arc from it or completely cut off aliens from valuable res. the aliens also may find it favorable to make use of the middle by choking off whole sides of the map. i would hope that through or around the map could be strategically dynamic game play.
  • SamusDroidSamusDroid Colorado Join Date: 2013-05-13 Member: 185219Members, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Gold, Subnautica Playtester, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts
    A circle map in spark? I bid you good luck.
  • ruprechtruprecht Join Date: 2013-03-16 Member: 184022Members
    yeah the circle thing is daunting, but i think i have the patience for it. making the map with ns2 models is definitely the first step, but the hard part would be to model and texture the t.v. series look into the game.

    it is not my first choice to put a RT in the middle. in my experience the ones in refinery dont really bring people into lava falls for that reason. lava is always just a pass-through to get eslewhere. all the other RTs are natural for their respective TP and to move them closer to middle could mess things up.
  • FlaterectomyFlaterectomy Netherlandistan Join Date: 2005-02-03 Member: 39643Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow, Subnautica Playtester, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts
    I'm going to be pointing out what I think are issues with the map. Don't feel discouraged, I simple hope you can fix problems and produce a fantastic level. :D

    The first thing I thought of when looking at the layout was how I always feel frustrated when the route to the room next door exists of u-turns and other winding paths. When the destination is close, but you have to take multiple winding turns to get there, a lot of people will get a sense of frustration. We've talked about this during our Sunday night custom map tests, and it seems to be a widespread sensation.

    The distance between the alien starts seems unbalanced in this layout. The distance and number of rooms between Recreation and Maintenance seems faster to traverse than between Recreation and Life Support.

    Another thing to avoid is having a location outside a tech point where you can cover both exits of that tech point. I know that Geological isn't an alien start, but the tech point itself and its immediate surroundings should at least be a viable option to expand to for aliens. Weapons Store and AI Labs are very close to each other, and a phasegate in either one of them gives marines a very easy time covering both exits, aided by the lack of vents.

    Siege distances, as mentioned before, could be problematic. Would an arc in the southeast corner of Dining cover both Recreation and Medical? If so, that's three res towers and a hive. Remember to make a 2048 diameter circle in the editor to measure siege distances (which is 1024 units) while you make these locations. :)

    Keep it up!

  • Soul_RiderSoul_Rider Mod Bean Join Date: 2004-06-19 Member: 29388Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue
    edited February 2014
    Here comes SoulRider with his obligatory connection diagram... (I might Necro my old mapping tips and techniques thread, cos that has some great advice in it..)


    So as you can see, it is too easy to get from one point on your map to another without passing through main rooms. Here you can see you can walk directly from ANY res node on the map to any other res node. You can also get from 2TP's directly to any RN on the map. While one TP allows through a short vent, access to all the RN's and the two open TP's.

    There are just too many ways to get around the map. I can go between every RN on the map, taking them down, without ever have to move through an enemy Tech Point or safe zone. As an example, here is the ns2_summit layout diagram for comparison:


    Can you see the difference? 2 of your TP's can be walked to directly from 7 different places on the map. That is just too much :D

    I must also say the wheel of connection is not entirely full proof... back in the day I made one for every NS2 map, and while you could see most map flaws etc from the diagrams, the one that really breaks the connection diagram is ns2_tram...


    This is because it has a central route, which everyone must pass through for most of those connections, rather than your map which only has a central room which they must all pass through. Overall, I think you map design needs work on the consideration of how to get from one point to another, unless you are doing a tram type big path through the middle map. Note, they are generally harder to balance than wheel maps.

  • UncleCrunchUncleCrunch Mayonnaise land Join Date: 2005-02-16 Member: 41365Members, Reinforced - Onos
    SamusDroid wrote: »
    A circle map in spark? I bid you good luck.

    Same. Geometry isn't the Editor cup of tea.

    In the mean time. Try to make a table (excel/OOcalc) and try to see how many connection each room has.
    You'll see fast enough that some rooms are nexus (too much connection).

  • ruprechtruprecht Join Date: 2013-03-16 Member: 184022Members
    great comments all around. thanks guys.

    flat: i can see where non-linearity of movement can disorientate and not be fun. i would agree. i really tried to model this design based on existing maps but threw some in some twists too (pun intended), but the players have to separate themselves from what appears close and what is close. for instance, if marines find themselves in nuclear and crew quarters RT gets hit, what do? they can hear through the wall the RT getting munched but they have to run through two rooms to get back. the reality, distance wise, is that nuclear is to crew as (in the case of tram) north logistics is to ore. why are marines overextended? spawning marines can get to crew faster. having a gate in nuclear is a huge advantage for marines. there are a lot of possibilities. if players cant process the design, it will fail. you are right. i am hoping enough will get it.

    as for alien start distances, as it appears i would agree. although, i imagined a large reactor in nuclear that would make the room more like a u from hall to hall. in that case they are pretty even, but you couldnt have know that. i will admit vents really get me, i cant figure out how to use them correctly, and what i have done may be crap.

    lastly for seige, i had placed the hive there to be within arc range of both medical and dining. i have an arc circle that i used to measure, but i missed the hat trick. great point, ill adjust accordingly. thanks.

    soul: wow, please do necro or at least point me in the right direction of any info you got. i prefer to tread some steps already taken, learning from scratch is too time consuming! i am convinced my vents need work, but the yellow is confusing me for now, so ill skip it and think about it some more later tonight. as for the walking the map, can i assume you mean as a marine? because as an alien the summit diagram does not hold up at all. but you are right, my map is tram! almost room for room too. make radio into shipping, geological into repair, etc and follow it around. you can circle my map without entering command tower so i am not sure i understand the "which everyone must pass through" vs "which they must all pass through" can you clarify?

    crunch: i see what you and soul are saying, but my map is a kind of tram clone. there are a lot of three way choices. ill do what you ask and make alpha vs tram and see what i get. there are some differences though. weapons store is a unique spot so it is a bit different, but i was trying to give marines a perk like cafe and terminal in docking. also, life support puts aliens into command tower quickly which may balance being close to a marine geological start and to facilitate a bit more aggression. recreation is a bit more defensive being removed and in the corner, while maintenance is a bit of both should marines start at radio. if marines go geological and aliens maintenance it could be a long game.

    great discussion; i really appreciate it! ill do some homework and get back later. last night i set up my circular grid in spark so i will start throwing down rooms tonight.
  • ruprechtruprecht Join Date: 2013-03-16 Member: 184022Members
    did some homework. so is tram just an anomaly? i always felt it was the most balanced, next to maybe summit.
  • Soul_RiderSoul_Rider Mod Bean Join Date: 2004-06-19 Member: 29388Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue
    Tram has received a lot of work. If I remember correctly, It was an official map before summit was taken on-board, and summit was finished before Tram was balanced and finished.

    Here is an old overlay of tram:


    Here is a link to the Pre-Map thread, There are some golden bits of advice, some silly mistakes, and some great inspirations... Some of the best mappers from the early periods contributed some amazing advice.

  • ruprechtruprecht Join Date: 2013-03-16 Member: 184022Members
    Thanks for the link; gleaned a few nuggets.

    I walked tram and summit, and those walk times are in the 15s. Why all the 20+ times posted everywhere?

    Had some motivation last night and started laying out the floor. Crew might be too close, but its not any closer than summit vent is to data and sub. I will probably finish up the floor plan today and run around it tonight.

    If anyone has two cents, please throw them in.
  • Soul_RiderSoul_Rider Mod Bean Join Date: 2004-06-19 Member: 29388Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue
    Not being able to get an exact size from your screenshot, the only thing I could say is it looks like the res node between the TPs could be used to siege both hives at the same time. That is an important thing to check for early on.
  • ruprechtruprecht Join Date: 2013-03-16 Member: 184022Members
    edited February 2014
    here you go.

    also, after spending all morning finishing the floor plan, the map is borked. spectate looks fine, running through it looks fine, commander view looks fine...


    edit: unpowered resource nodes appears to have been map problem.
  • Soul_RiderSoul_Rider Mod Bean Join Date: 2004-06-19 Member: 29388Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue
    How big is the circle you have made? From the looks of it, compared to the size of the TechPoints, you have made a 1024 Diameter circle, instead of a 1024 Radius circle....

    They still look too close together. Your walk times may be the same as summit, but summit goes around the edge of the circle, it doesn't fold in on itself. If the walk in that section is the same timing as Sub>Vent>Data I can almost guarantee that you will be able to siege both hives from one room.

  • ruprechtruprecht Join Date: 2013-03-16 Member: 184022Members
    you are pro; great eye. i had radius and diameter mixed up.

    finishing up some floor plan and starting to design room concepts. damn lot of props to go through!
  • BeigeAlertBeigeAlert Texas Join Date: 2013-08-08 Member: 186657Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Diamond, Reinforced - Shadow, Subnautica Playtester, Pistachionauts
    Looking good! I like the concept of it being a big circle, just don't be afraid to change it up a little for each room. What's the elevation going to look like in this map? You shouldn't have the whole thing be flat either.
  • CCTEECCTEE Join Date: 2013-06-20 Member: 185634Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    Cool! Reminds me of this map from Marathon: infinity (Bungie)
Sign In or Register to comment.