Gameplay and Map Design - Discussion

Keebler750Keebler750 Posts: 3,125Beta Tester
edited May 11 in Mission Editor
We have a lot of map makers now and players who've sampled User Made Maps. Is it enough to just be creative and make a beautiful map, or is there something about good map design and how it works that makes it fun?

I've seen some maps that are just plain fun, and some that are a pain to play. In your opinion what features of map design make things more fun, and what causes you grief? Things like:
  • Too much/Too little cover, hiding spots, angles
  • Too many/too few routes
  • Imbalance in team advantage for objectives or battles
  • Distracting colours or textures, or difficult lighting - hard to see opponent, etc
  • Distracting world geometry - player stutters or gets caught on objects
  • Hidden, tricky or pixel peek sightlines give snipers an advantage
  • Lack of identifiable features make it easy to get lost
  • How easy is it to communicate locations to your team? Recognizable features, colours etc that you can say quickly to ID targets or strategies.
  • Other design issues - LIST THEM!

What things do you LIKE when you see them in a map? I'm still trying to learn what makes good and enjoyable gameplay. Let's have a discussion about what we've learned about map making Best Practices...
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This has been a test of the emergency flame-fest system. Please do not adjust your set.

Comments

  • Keebler750Keebler750 Posts: 3,125Beta Tester
    edited May 11
    Not a single interested party after 40 days. Hmm.

    No one designs for gameplay issues? Or, my questions are too 'out there?'

    I'm noticing creative, huge, intricate and beautifully artistic map designs but a pretty hodge podge nod towards gameplay, and since I suck at both aspects, I thought a little 'symposium of the experts' might be helpful.

    No?

    :shrug:
    ______

    This has been a test of the emergency flame-fest system. Please do not adjust your set.
  • -SD-DELTON-ACI--SD-DELTON-ACI- Posts: 1,288Player
    edited May 11
    I try to make a map with 3 attack routes from spawn I find that way there can be more team play and planning rather than just starting off on a open map running wild.
    Although I don't like playing hospital 24/7 I think this is one of the reasons its so successful.
    https://www.souldefenders.co.uk
    -SD-Souldefenders FunHouse-ACI-
    -SD-SoulDefenders Map Vote-ACI-
    BC1NPiE.jpg
  • Keebler750Keebler750 Posts: 3,125Beta Tester
    edited May 13
    I want to learn and promote map design that's not only gorgeous, but also plays well, and want to understand the factors that make that happen. This is why I haven't properly finished a map yet! I'm always thinking about gameplay, and not getting it right.

    Here's another one I should add to the OP:

    - How easy is it to communicate locations to your team? Recognizable features, colours etc that you can say quickly to ID targets or strategies.

    Delton, I think that one above is a good reason Inner plays so well...everyone quickly understands how to communicate about the map. Everyone knows where "Dark" is, where "Main Choke" is.....etc. It really helps, IMO. It's also laid out simply with fairly little clutter and excess angles.

    THAT is the formula I want to understand!
    ______

    This has been a test of the emergency flame-fest system. Please do not adjust your set.
  • DrawnDrawn Posts: 132Player
    Have parts of the map in different hues or colors. Different trees and bushes, one birch tree can make a good callout! different vehicles not just multiple humvees. I don't mean to clutter with different textures, but a spread of different objects can really help reporting locations.
    For example i can't for the life of me report in rocky road properly, because of all the similarities between zones.

    Recognizable features, colours! :chuffed:

  • -SD-DELTON-ACI--SD-DELTON-ACI- Posts: 1,288Player
    I have seen some really bad maps that just don't work and when you give feedback on them they get upset because they think they know best so be carful on the feed back you do give map makers some cannot take it =)
    https://www.souldefenders.co.uk
    -SD-Souldefenders FunHouse-ACI-
    -SD-SoulDefenders Map Vote-ACI-
    BC1NPiE.jpg
  • Z0naGaming_Z0naGaming_ Posts: 464Player
    The only thing i hate on maps is that to much crap is around it or under it that we don't use during play, for example on Intercept the dragon under bell tower. We don't see them during play, but it still eats frames for low end pc's. Instead of having all those hidden stuff, remove them and give performance, so when some one makes a map make sure you don't build unusable and unnecessary stuff around the map that compromises performance.
    Steam - YouTube

    I wish they were as fast in fixing bugs as they are in closing topics.
  • -SD-DELTON-ACI--SD-DELTON-ACI- Posts: 1,288Player
    https://www.souldefenders.co.uk
    -SD-Souldefenders FunHouse-ACI-
    -SD-SoulDefenders Map Vote-ACI-
    BC1NPiE.jpg
  • Z0naGaming_Z0naGaming_ Posts: 464Player

    Well done, you should make some comp maps :chuffed:
    Steam - YouTube

    I wish they were as fast in fixing bugs as they are in closing topics.
  • Dct.F|LeventeDct.F|Levente Posts: 393Beta Tester
    edited May 12
    The only thing i hate on maps is that to much crap is around it or under it that we don't use during play, for example on Intercept the dragon under bell tower. We don't see them during play, but it still eats frames for low end pc's. Instead of having all those hidden stuff, remove them and give performance, so when some one makes a map make sure you don't build unusable and unnecessary stuff around the map that compromises performance.

    Those things on Intercept won't have a major effect IMO. Their cull distance is really low, I doubt they have a real impact even on low end machines - the dragon is simply not rendered when you are playing normally. (I know this thing relatively well, I play from an relatively bad laptop sometimes.) What hurts your framerate on that map is the vegetation because the opaque textures. But yes, performance is really important.

    Keebler, what do you mean under 'gameplay'? Gameplay focusing on gunfights? IMO for that you need relatively simple geometry, so you can 'clear' angles one-by-one. So as you move into an area, you won't get shot from 5 different places at once, rather you can take 1 step, check 1 spot, take the next step, check the next spot ect. Of course this is just 1 thing out of a lot, but this one was simple to put in words...

    Colors and simple unique objects (e.g. a car) are good for callouts is general. An added benefit is that most people know these simple English worlds, even when they barely speak English. So they might not report the enemy 'behind the pine tree next to the coffee shop' but the will report the enemy 'behind blue box'.
    Theory and reality are not that different. In theory.
  • -SD-DELTON-ACI--SD-DELTON-ACI- Posts: 1,288Player
    I made these for comp they was 6v6 but players liked them so much I had to change them to 12v12 https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=669893982
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=491197557
    https://www.souldefenders.co.uk
    -SD-Souldefenders FunHouse-ACI-
    -SD-SoulDefenders Map Vote-ACI-
    BC1NPiE.jpg
  • Keebler750Keebler750 Posts: 3,125Beta Tester
    Levente - Good point. I guess I should define what I'm talking about (though inferences could be made from the OP)

    To me, "Gameplay" is how we use "Game Mechanics" (which is hard-coded) to interact with the "World" (in this case User Made Maps) to achieve our goals in-game, whether those be fun, kills, getting or defending the objective, being part of a team, socializing, etc.
    gameplay (from Wikipedia)
    A player's interaction with a video game, defined through game rules, player-game interface, challenges, plot, and the player's connection with the game.

    What I'm sure we've all noticed is that not all map designs are equal in terms of the above definitions. Some are more 'fun' than others, and I think an inspection of WHY could make us all better mappers.

    For example, have any of you noticed how 'un-fun' it is to get stuck on invisible mesh collision right in the middle of an important maneuver or fire fight? There are ways map makers can improve this experience so that a player can concentrate on the inter-player challenges instead of trying to imagine some distraction imaginary world issue. In my opinion, unnecessary decision-making takes away from the fun quotient. (Note here that some designed-in world interactions CAN be interesting and fun. I'm talking about the unintended stuff.)

    Each of the bullet points in the OP, and many others, can be analyzed and optimized with this type of thinking.

    ______

    This has been a test of the emergency flame-fest system. Please do not adjust your set.
  • Keebler750Keebler750 Posts: 3,125Beta Tester
    NOTE
    As an aside, let me reiterate that I don't think I'm very good at making maps. I'm trying to understand how to be better, and I'm an ...analytical type. That's all. I'm not saying I have the answers.
    ______

    This has been a test of the emergency flame-fest system. Please do not adjust your set.
  • [ENG]Uni-Sol[ENG]Uni-Sol Posts: 3,129Player
    I know one thing about map design, it's blummin hard. It's one thing throwing a map together and making it look pretty (which i guess is an artists job) but it's a completely different monster trying to make it fun and addictive game-play wise. I used to study successful multiplayer maps to try and get ideas and pointers to what made them so popular, the problem isn't knowing what makes them so good, it's getting in the editor and from scratch actually making anything near as good. It's hard doing it alone, I'd suggest getting a group together, thrash out ideas and playtest-tweak-change-repeat constantly, until you find a formula that works, that not only ends up looking good but plays even better.

    It's hard.. I've been there, put in the hours, been through the trials and errors.. made some OK maps for my abiltiy I'd say but I've also lost and scrapped many maps, ultimately I found that I sucked and I would make a far better artist than designer that's for sure haha!

    Good luck people!
    If my trollery drives you crazy, you'd better put on your seatbelt.






  • doogle!doogle! Posts: 471Player
    edited May 12
    sorry, wrong thread
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