Howdy everyone. It's been over 9 months since my last map release. And although I don't visit this site as much as I used to, or for that matter, should, I'm still level designing in my free time. I have 2 finals left and my summer begins, so free time will be more abundant.
Anyways, 3 months ago, I set out to make a map that featured a tilted and crashed cargo ship out in the ocean. The Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists would fight over a chemical weapon stowed and smuggled away within the ship's abandoned cargo.
Here's the end result:
![http://archer.gamebanana.com/img/ss/maps/thm__17404-.jpg](http://archer.gamebanana.com/img/ss/maps/thm__17404-.jpg "Main Picture")
What I'm looking for is Constructive Criticism PLEASE let me know how to improve this map for future releases. I really like this idea and I think it has a ton of potential. Help me make a better release next time around.
Thanks in advance,
The first thing I've noticed was that the cubemaps weren't built, so after doing that myself, I started scouting the map. I know this is supposed to be a freighter that has run ashore, but that's hardly a reason to black out half the map; I know it could be an interesting 'thing', a map with only flashlight battles, but it makes people miss a lot of the decorations I sometimes got stuck on one particular stairwell, but there's no reason that can't happen on the others, I suggest using a playerclip ramp for people to walk on. Angled doors are sometimes hard to navigate through, thinking you can clear it in your current heading, only to not go through it; I don't really know how to fix it, but it gets annoying fast. I got somewhat lost in the interior, it'd be nice to have certain markers pointing one in the right direction, even if there's only one bombsite and all routes go to it. Try adding some thematic decals on the wall pointing to the cargo hold (and maybe other mundane stuff).
Excellent Feedback bro. Yeah my next big thing was to create some decals for the ship, being that most of the ones supplied in the CSS and Source GCFs are either terrible, don't look right, or are in Russian. The biggest problem with decals is that they don't rotate with the map. The map is rotated 10 Degrees on the Y axis, but the decals remain at 0 degrees no matter what.. :(
It also upsets me that the cubemaps weren't somehow built. I built the cubemaps twice, once with HDR on and once with HDR off for the correct reflections and after each time, restarted the server and reloaded all materials (mat_reloadallmaterials). This displayed them correctly on my computer, I'm surprised it didn't stick.. Idk how that would happen to be honest..
I didn't really have trouble with the angled doorways, but that's just personal experience, but there isn't much that I can do about that to be honest.. As for the stairways, I did add playerclip ramps up all stairways that ended up being more horizontal due to the tilt of the ship. The other stairways (going up towards the rear of the ship) didn't require them, in fact players had no problem going up those steps. If anything they only things we got stuck on from time to time were spaces between the posts on railings in the cargo bay.
As for the lighting, another reviewer brought this aspect up as well. I toyed around with the idea of making it brighter in the ship. I think that the cargo bay should remain the same. But the interior I wasn't completely satisfied with. I was hoping the community could come up with some ideas on how to light the interior better. I didn't want it to appear like the ship's lights were still working, because that'd be unrealistic and dumb. So I placed the glowsticks in two locations to light most of the hallways in the map. This gave the appearance that the CTs had already been in that area and cleared it before moving onto the Cargo Bay (the spawn area). I toyed around with the idea of making another hole in the hull of the ship to light up the crew quarters, but the brushwork proved to be very difficult. The also dim lighting helps distract from the fact that the textures used within the ship are pretty common looking and get boring after a while (run the map on fullbright, you'll see what I mean). Using custom textures usually ends up being a hassle for both parties, as they prove to be rather difficult to find ones that don't clash with other textures used, and in the end, even when using PakRat, someone always figures out how to get it so that the custom textures don't load on their map and they're faced with purple and black checkerboards all over the place..
You could try overlays for the decals, those can be scaled and rotated. For the lighting, some decreased structural integrity would probably work, though you stated holes were too much of a bother; you might find some solace in emergency lights and a bullshit backstory that the CT's needed the lights back on because the T's were coming (which doesn't really sound much like a backstory of the bullshit variety in all fairness, just look where it brought us).
Some of the rebar at CT spawn is floating. You need to sew your displacements. Some things don't have borders that should have (only really noticed on the walkway bits at the back of the boat with the metal grate texture on, handrail just goes down onto the grate). The propeller blades aren't at an angle, so they wouldn't do a very good job of getting you anywhere. You could do with some props or something on the top of the boat (boxes etc). Lastly, how did they get there? They don't appear to have any boats, so were both teams flown in by helicopters?
Anyway, I like it, but I think it's a bit small. As Devieus said, the lighting inside could do with some work. I like the idea of breaking the walls a bit. I didn't test normal lighting but I don't think HDR cubemaps were built as some things were bright white. Also perhaps make the water stretch out further or something as you can clearly see it cut off, especially with that skybox and no fog.
Also the hole in the side of the boat with the light shining through looks awesome.
lol I can't believe I didn't see that. Fixing it now..
Also, yeah the skybox could use an expansion now that I think of it. Also good point on how the teams got there. It's plausible the CTs arrived there by Helicopter, but a terrorist group? Probably not. I'll look into some dingy or boat models and ropes to climb the wall of the ship in the next release. Good observation about the grate floor as well. I'm usually pretty good about that. Adding those now.