My first ZE map. Not sure how difficult it will be.
First ZE Map. Not sure if it's even possible or how hard it will be if it is.
- Changed a majority of the map.
- Added weapons, pretty lame ones though.
- Added more sounds/music.
- Added fog.
- Increased FPS, I think.
- Probably fixed some other stuff.
- Added roof.
- Fixed weapons.
However there is a problem which has annoyed me enough to create an account just to post this.
In my local zombie server, people will not attempt to finish the map and hide in the pipe near spawn. This results in the map being "rtv'd" every time it comes on which is a shame.
Could you please remove these pipes? I really want to be able to finish the map :]
I'll have to look into this z-clipping. I'll give some tests with the lighting in the caves. I'll probably be leaving the lighting in the bunkers alone.
EDIT: Just for anyone wondering, I would like to point out that the map should automatically set the round time to 9 minutes, and it is completable in that time. Part of the challenge is to be quick. With normal CSS settings, you can finish 30 seconds ahead of time with a good run. It's all about where you decide to hold and how fast you fall back.
Just something after reading your response: fog itself does not help the FPS. It's the z-clipping which 'blocks' the rendering at a distance. Also, I'd say that for this particular map, random paths could probably fit more than levels (as almost all the people nowadays release level-based maps, myself included, and most players are starting to get tired of it, myself included too). The lighting is not bad, but for example, at some cave areas, it could use some 'simple low-bright reflection bluish light' to make them look 'humid'.
Edit: I believe you could add just 'simple' secrets that aren't really secret but can't be found directly at the first run, special weapons or player buffs alike.
Edit 2: Maybe you could give the ambient light a basic color? This plain white lighting doesn't fit the skybox much...
Oh wow, thanks for the quick response.
Everything you mentioned there I'd thought about and was hoping for feedback on, since I wanted others opinions on the more optional ones. Anyway, I'll try and give a response on each point, and just my thoughts behind what I did.
Not really anything to discuss. Been a major concern for a while, and was hoping for feedback on how it affected other people, and you did. If it's possible, I would like to know if drops during hold points or major parts of the map, as then I would take a better look at optimising it. If not, I'll defiantly work on optimising it in later versions, but not to such a great extent. The props already have fade, and fog didn't seem to fit with the map, nor make such a great difference.
Biggest gameplay issue I had. The problem with this, is that unlike fps, there is no definite point on what makes good lighting. Of course I knew the lighting was a little dark, and I decided to leave it that way to see if it would be a problem for other players. To me it came down to whether I would leave flashlight on or off. Flashlight, I thought, would allow players to navigate these ease. I'll look into lighting it up for a later version.
I thought about how hard the map was to navigate while testing it. However, it seemed it was hard for me to come to a conclusion on how hard it was exactly, considering I knew my way around after playing it over and over. Also left this to be decided through feedback, and once again you provided. The forest was defiantly made to be hard to navigate at some points, but I guess a sign showing the general way to go at the split wouldn't hurt. I've always liked the idea of using experience to navigate through maps.
As for the exit at 75 second hold. Didn't even consider people getting lost. Probably slipped my mind, as I assumed anyone who had played the map once could find it everytime. I'll add a few exit signs and maybe a light to guide players.
Planned a 3D Skybox. Made the 3D Skybox. Couldn't align the 3D Skybox. Decided to leave it until later. But yes, you are correct. It would make it look a lot better.
Suppose I never got around to adding more music. In fact, the only reason the song at the end was added was because I had that planned for a long time. Which brings me to the issues raised about the song. I had simply no idea that it was used in other maps, never heard it before or didn't recognise it. The volume I wasn't sure about. Too low and people can't hear it, too high and it just gets in the way. I asked a second person, and they said it was fine, despite me still believing that it was too low, but couldn't decide since it was a settings thing. I'll bring it up of course.
Bit of a difficult one. I intend to improve on the how the map changes, mainly through difficulties, but I did consider changing paths. It came down to the fact that right now, a basic map seemed more suitable. Not to mention that I wanted the group split, simply because of that meetup section, and that one path requires barricading; a task which is terrible with a full group. Feedback before posting it suggested that two ways at once was better. I will change it, however, if one path seems a lot better than the other.
Was brought up while testing, and I was against it. I just don't like secrets in ZE maps. They make total sense to me in ZM maps and maps of other kinds, but it seems to be a bit out of place in ZE. A special weapon or two may suffice in this area though, give humans needed help, and give reason to take both paths.
Thanks for the feedback, it's invaluable right now.
The map looks really good and has a nice, fitting atmosphere, however, there are some flaws in it that you should look into.
First, and as you explain on the description, there are low fps. Not that low, but they could get higher by adding fade distances to all the props, and maybe some fog with z-plane clipping. With this said I feel that there are areas (for example at the very start there's a small cave) that look too dark and, on big servers, would make it easier to get lost. And about getting lost, the map is certainly confusing; of course, you should get lost in a forest, but it would be better if you added wooden signals here and there, decals, guiding sprites or something that helps the players. The same can be said about the 75-seconds-long hold, in which -I personally did- you can get lost when you have to get out. Adding a 3D skybox could also make it more enjoyable (and improve its looks without really decreasing the maps overall performance).
Music. With a map this long, you should add more music (remember to lower the bitrate so that the map size doesn't become to high). The song you've added at the end of the map sounds way too low, and has already been used in a few other maps. You could use Audacity for both bitrate changing and volume rising.
Randomize it! Having two very different paths allows you to make them random (ze_potc style) with a logic_case at the very start of every round. This would make it more enjoyable from the players' standpoint, as the map will be different sometimes and, therefore, more difficult/interesting.
Secrets. There's always good to add secrets to ZE maps. Remember, however, that some mappers add _broken_ secrets that basically mean insta-win. You could add a pair of special weapons, some kind of strange event or even something that is just a spritetrail. Most players enjoy those kinds of things.
I believe that, after working out the issues and -maybe- trying to add what gets suggested here, the map could become really enjoyable.