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Regarding the future of Maps in UrT... Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   samalander (old) Icon

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 09:50 PM

This is a C&P of my post to the general forum. I wanted to make sure it gets ready by mappers.

Since no one has done a definitive map list of fun & interesting urban terror maps, I thought I'd make a list of my own.

Gametypes are included, since a map can be really fun in one gametype, but not very interesting in another gametype.

If a map is included with UrT and not on the list, that means I think that map is not interesting or not fun, or both. If a third party map is not on the list, the meaning is probably that I haven't played it, not that I don't like it. Of course, I could not like it, but it should be assumed that I haven't played it first.

There are special cases, which I will mention at the end, where a map has been included with UrT, but I have not had enough experience on the map to accurately judge.

BM = Bomb Mode, CTF = Capture The Flag, TS = Team Survivor

Abbey2 - BM
Village2 - BM
Algiers - CTF
Crenshaw - CTF
Filtration (without door abusing)- CTF
Ricochet - BM
Twin Lakes (with high FPS) - CTF
Casa - BM/CTF
Nimrod - BM (haven't played CTF)
Subway2 - CTF
Sliema - CTF
Proving Grounds - CTF
Cambridge - TS
Turnpike - TS/CTF
Riyadh - CTF
Mines - BM
Rommel - CTF
Sanctuary - BM/CTF

Included maps/maps I have which I have not played enough:
(Fort Dicks)

To reiterate, if I left a gametype off of a map, I do not think that gametype suits that map. Some of you may notice that I have only included team survivor in two maps. I do not think Team Survivor is very fun & interesting in most cases; the obvious exceptions are the maps I listed.

Notice that while there are only 7 bomb maps on that list, while there are 12 CTF maps.

I think in general, this is because changing flag positions and respawn times is much easier than changing bomb locations. Because of that, many maps are fine tuned for CTF while not so many are fine-tuned for bomb. I believe that many maps could benefit from a drastic redesign in favor of more balanced modes in general. Also, as I've said in the past, if maps were designed specifically for either bomb mode or CTF (or...loathe...team survivor), the maps would be much more interesting. Also, playing a different game mode would hold an even greater allure, that of the different and unique maps.

In fact, the process of designing a map for a specific game mode has not gone unrecognized by map developers. Maps like Crenshaw and Subway2, not to mention Proving Grounds and Riyadh, are obviously designed to have each side more-or-less mirror the other, the ultimate box-shape of the map making the balancing task even easier.

When I consider Bomb mode, however, I can think of only one map -- Casa -- that has gone extensive fine-tuning for Bomb mode. However, Casa is a CTF map and (unfortunately) a TS map in addition to a Bomb map, and only so much fine tuning for Bomb can be done.

What I find interesting is that while it is commonly acknowledged that maps may be developed exclusively for CTF (we all know what Crenshaw BM is like...), developing a map exclusively for Bomb Mode is, at the time of this posting, unheard of.

Which is not to say that there are reasons for developing CTF maps that do not exist in the context of Bomb Mode. Obviously, Bomb Mode is rarely played on public servers, and in the case of the most active bomb server (AAZ|ottenbraeu.stammtisch|AAZ, a European server) the only map played* is the map on which the most Bomb-related work has been done: Casa. In other words, the chance that your map will be played and be a hit is much more likely if you develop it with respect to a balanced/fun CTF experience.

*Casa is the only map in rotation. Occasionally, the admins will change to other maps: usually Abbey 2. Without fail, Casa is restored by the end of the day.

I think that the above is largely a result of the small size of the Urban Terror community: a paltry few hundred players. Considering that UrT for ET is going to be released sometime in the future, I would think that the amount of bomb players is giong to rise drasticaly once an influx of players resumes. That said, if the state of bomb maps post-ET-release is similar to the current state of bomb maps, perhaps bomb will continue to be the bastard child of league play and team survivor.

It is my sincere hope that map developers start to devote more time towards making interesting and fun bomb maps, because I think bomb maps are something this game needs sorely.

I have many ideas concerning bomb maps, and I would be delighted to share my ideas with any developers who are interested in making bomb-oriented maps. Developers who are interested in balancing/redesigning their current maps with more respect to bomb are welcome to contact me as well.

#2 User is offline   Roadkill (old) Icon

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Posted 06 May 2004 - 04:22 PM

Nice effort, but since you do not like TS, what's the use for the list? I might have missed something when reading your post (in a rush), if I have, sorry. Nice initiative though. :)

#3 User is offline   MidgetKiller (old) Icon

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Posted 08 May 2004 - 02:58 AM

[quote name='"Roadkill"]Nice effort' date=' but since you do not like TS, what's the use for the list? I might have missed something when reading your post (in a rush), if I have, sorry. Nice initiative though. :)[/quote']

The whole purpose of his post was so that you could make a list of your own maps and your own opinions. Or give your impressions of his list.

#4 User is offline   Shminkyboy Icon

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Posted 08 May 2004 - 07:20 AM

I think it IS possible to design a map that could play well in all game types, regardless of whether its symmetric or not.. This of course depends heavily on the design of the map as a whole from the outset, but this goes without saying.

Thats why they implimented new entities in beta 3, such as func_walls, and new keys for the door entities to allow them to be opened/closed per game type, to allow for this.

It just takes some research on how people prefer to play the mode, and adjusting the map to suit.. It was the exact reason for the making of the "survivor map size" post in the general forum, so if you have ideas you'd like to share on bomb mode samalander, spam away. It will only raise a dialogue that can be learned from, and should be an open discussion =)

At the same time, there are 2 other game modes that really aren't played on pubs all that much (FTL and CAH).. This is unfortunate, as both modes are great ideas... But I believe this is a product of map design not fully taking the needs of the game modes into consideration to an extent, and also due to the small size of the community at the moment, as samalander says.. Perhaps the influx of new players with the move to the et engine will change this, along with better awareness of how people like to play these modes, as well.

I think bomb's still too new, and thus hasn't been explored as thoroughly as say, ctf. Many maps that include it as a mode may not suit well to it in their current configurations, but certainly could be made to do so imo.

And imo, adjusting bomb locations is just as easy as adjusting flag zones, so long as the preferences of the community playing them is known.

I also think that TS can be un-fun on certain maps for the same reasons, not enough time went into adjusting the map for the mode. It really does come down to what vision the mapper sees in their map. If they like CTF, but either rarely play TS (or any other game mode for that matter, i picked those two for comparision's sake), or don't really like it to begin with, their map will reflect that, just as the current state of bomb maps reflects what samalander has postulated.

I think it would be good to share opinions on this, it's the only way the mapping community will know how the gamers prefer to play the modes.


In my last map that had bomb mode implimented, both teams spawn at relatively opposite sides of the map (but not at the extreme opposite sides), with the bomb site defenders being slightly closer to the sites than the attackers, to give them a couple of seconds to set up a defence, but no more (waiting for attackers gets boring). One site is easily attackable/defendable by both sides. The other is less so than the former. Both sites are relatively eqidistant to either spawn pair though, so either team can get to each site in roughly the same amount of time as compared to getting to the other site, the mitigating factor between site a and site b being that the one is slightly more direct an attack than the other. Both sites are relatively close to each other, to allow the defenders the chance to regroup if need be, but far enough away from each other as to not allow the defenders of one site to see or provide suppressing fire to the other site.

comments on this?

#5 User is offline   mrp (old) Icon

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Posted 08 May 2004 - 09:03 AM

it bugs me that u didnt put ts for casa, even if u dont like the mode.. imo its a much better map for ts than it is for say ctf (altho thats not to say it isnt a good ctf map)

Also i wouldnt agree with some of your bomb choices, altho keeping in mind im utterly biased towards village2 with all its head over boxes sniperiness ;x

Although on the whole i would agree with most the maps you chose .. especially for ctf, which makes me assume that you enjoy this mode the most.

Casa displays how a map can be cleverly designed to play well for all modes, however i believe that mappers should concentrate on making a good map for one mode, than a watered down one for three which doesnt suit any.


#6 User is offline   blackrayne (old) Icon

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Posted 08 May 2004 - 02:34 PM

what was the point of the thread??....

#7 User is offline   samalander (old) Icon

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Posted 08 May 2004 - 07:05 PM

Shminky> good post. I agree with a lot of what you said. Although I didn't say so in my main post, you are right that with special effort a map can be made to suit many game modes. However, because I figure most people are, like me, lazy, I thought at the time that posting about how a map should be made specific to one game mode would ring better in the ears of those people.

As for your bomb map idea... I think it depends heavily on the map and other factors. For example, can the defending team navigate between the bomb sites in relative safety (see: abbey2 or casa, nimrod, sanc. To a smaller extent, ricochet and mines too)? Are the bomb sites too hard to rush (too many places to camp behind/too much cover for the defenders) or too open to attack? etc.

mrp> I do not think that casa is a good TS map. I will now explain why. I'm going to assume that most people in this forum are familiar with the concept of 'choke points,' but for the sake of the reader who isn't, I will start with a small explanation of what 'choke points' are and how they effectively slow down gameplay.

Choke points (in Urban Terror) are areas on a map (such as narrow hallways, tight corners, etc.) through which passage is made difficult because of a few reasons. These reasons, in no particular order are:
- Limited space to manuever
- No Cover/Sparse Cover
- No other passageways nearby, so that passageway is the focus of attention for the enemy team in that in other words,
- Easily camped from the other side

Choke points certainly have their uses in Urban Terror. In general, they slow down gameplay, and add an advantage for the side of the chokepoint (if, in fact, both sides of the hallway/passageway are chokepoints) that decides to camp. However, if you had a map comprised of two sides that met almost invariably in chokepoints, the map would be really slow, and really campy.

Meet Casa in Team Survivor. There are 4 passages from one side of the map (I will use the 'patio courtyard side' and 'fountain courtyard side' from now on) to the other side of the map. 2 of these 4 passageways are chokepoints both ways, and two are chokepoints in one direction but not the other.

What happens because of this, is that the patio courtyard side, which is faced with 3 chokepoints basically next to their spawn, usually moves very little. The fountain courtyard side spawns a little ways back from the chokepoints on their side, but (disregarding those who head to the market, who often camp even though the market is NOT a choke point going in the patio courtyard direction) once they reach what is more-or-less the 'middle' of the map, and in doing so reach the chokepoints, the fountain courtyard side too begins to camp. You can't really blame either team or any players for camping, because as anyone here who has played Casa TS on the 16-player (ridiculous for most maps) servers, or even 14-player servers will know, if you rush without waiting for people to die from the L-Shaped hallway or the narrow side hallway, chances are you'll get grenaded, shot by an auto, or shot by an sr8.

The one exit from the patio courtyard side that is NOT a chokepoint, the main alley (under the bridge on the fountain courtyard side, for those of you not familiar with location names), is dangerous because it can be easily flanked.

I think that deals with why I don't like Casa TS :0

Now, still dealing with mrp, I do like CTF, but bomb is my favorite gametype. There are simply, as I said originally, more good CTF maps. I agree with you on Village2, and in fact I only included Village2 in the Bomb maps because I was feeling bad that bomb had so few maps with decent play. I do think that Village2 is better than most bomb maps not listed, but I don't think that it is a good bomb map. I will remove it from the list after this post.

Lt1> The point of this thread is to open up intelligent conversation regarding future maps in Urban Terror. Please don't lock it. :)

#8 User is offline   Shminkyboy Icon

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Posted 08 May 2004 - 07:48 PM

Samalander: the example I was speaking of for the Bomb placements/spawns exists in ut_suburb2 (currently available on ut-mapdepot).

Feel free to check it out and give me your thoughts/critique. My email address is shminkyboy@yahoo.com . If it merits change, then I'll look into it, as I'm doing a 'ut_suburb2a' version (to be released shortly, if things go the way I'd like, otherwise i'll just wait for etut), which will ultimately be ported to etut as a final. The reason for this is I'd like the q3ut3/etut versions to be identical, using gameplay people will enjoy in as many modes as possible.

That said, people seem to really like suburb2 now for ctf (it does pretty well on Fuknut, they seem to enjoy the warzone play style, based on changes from the original made on the feedback recieved), so adjusting for the community's likes/dislikes after initial release has some merit, and I'd like to do this for the other modes as well.

I'd like to also get feedback on it for TS, as I'm not entirely happy with it in that mode... But this feeling is likely due to the fact that TS players seem reluctant to try new community-made maps, on top of the fact that getting feedback on maps to make them better from TS players seems more like pulling teeth, yet they complain about being sick of overplayed maps. Go figure.

mrp: If a map doesn't play well in ANY mode (watered down syndrome) then in my opinion the mapper didn't do enough research into what people prefer (to work it into the context of their map), or has ideas on gameplay that aren't popular anyways. The tools are in place to allow a mapper to potentially make a map that plays well in several modes, though more likely than not it'll play play better in 1 or 2 modes, and be not so good in others. It still depends heavily on the modes the mapper prefers to play himself at the outset, barring feedback from the gaming public.

Ps- for the record, my favorite modes to play are CTF and TS...I haven't played bomb enough to have an 'I like it/I don't like it' opinion. If anyone else played CAH, I'd prolly like that one too. FTL, I'm suprised it never caught on, being nothing but TS with an objective (just as bomb is).. I don't actually consider TDM to be a worthwhile game mode, It's more like a holdover to me, same with FFA...

#9 Guest_UE|FinnY

Posted 09 May 2004 - 04:14 AM

lol lt1 :D well pld :shock:

#10 User is offline   tub (old) Icon

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 05:40 AM

All my beta3 maps are mainly designed around bomb. The fact that ctf works so well with algiers is more good luck than good judgment, though with an L shaped map its not too suprising.

In any case Salamander, as always, I'm open to suggestions.

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