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Fu3lman

Map: Crunchtime

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Posted (edited)

Features:
- Any denomination of players against any denomination of opponents. Favors 2v2v2v2, 4v4, and FFA.
- Resources and placement as fair and balanced as possible for tournament-style play.
- Players MUST compete for resources. Other than a couple of oil derricks in/near base, ore+gems are first come/served.
- Navy is encouraged, but clearing FoW with ground units will make naval units MUCH more powerful.
- Early sabotage of bunkers can help, but it may force you to overextend and leave yourself wide open elsewhere.
- Control of center resource-hub helps, but it puts you in an incredibly vulnerable position if you're not spending as fast as your earning.
- Naval presence/strength mitigated by strong land-based defensive advantage where it matters most (mid-base choke-points).
- Placement of tech for deliberate expansion of defensive/offensive structures. Lose them, and they're gone forever.
- Aerial LoS for aircraft to reach every base without intersecting another base entirely. The longer the game, the harder this will be to accomplish.
- Long games are not unwinnable provided you have means of production. You may have to repair a bridge or engi some tech to come back.
- Bunkers for early game threat smoothing for the intent of creating a more drawn out (fair?) game.
- Tree zoning for the sole purpose of lending Mirage Tanks full strategic power.
 

 

crunchtime.png

crunchtime.map

Edited by Fu3lman
Errors fixed.

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Posted (edited)

i played this map with some people and they thought it was okay, but they didnt really like how there is almost no ore near the bases with it being a "first one to the middle wins" type map. its a very 'bay of pigs-esque' map

i think that these nice, symmetrical, moderately detailed, balanced maps are something that everyone wants, but i also think this needs a solid re-weighting in terms of strategic layout for it to catch on as a popular map.

now about the actual iso tiling of the map; i can see that these were kind of haphazardly placedimage.png.cfdc8e22023d849b56bddb7081fe26c4.png

and while it almost doesnt make any difference with pavement cliffs, the attention to tilework can really break or make a map.
for example, you paved over one of the bottom tiles of one of the ramps (on the innermost, lower left base), and as a result of that, it
caused a nasty pathfinding break. anyone to try and move any units between their base and that mach shop nearby is going to hate this.
image.png.12cea8fd76ad37fa8ed1e2d9842c8945.png

but yeah. the map stands out as having superb detail and symmetry, though i do believe that it would be more popular if you were to do a detailed inspection of the iso tiles, and re-consider the general layout after giving it a few plays

EDIT: also i forgot to mention that it doesnt have an image for use by the cncnet client injected, and also that the name 'arena' is
as generic as it gets; people find those things off-putting when they see it in a lobby

Edited by McPwny
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Posted (edited)

I'm by no means a talented mapper, and a lot of what you're describing are (were) above my pay-grade before you pointed them out, so I appreciate that.

For the cliffs, I use the "paint cliffs" tool to the best of my ability. Outside of cleanup involved with the inner-tiles in certain corners and so on, I haven't really seen an incredible need to manually place cliff pieces if they constitute a single, straight line. Some might... I've just never really ran into any problems with letting the tool do what it does. I did notice on the back-edge of each base area is a single tile along the edge that's unintentionally allowing construction. Will fix that.

As far as ISO tiles on/near that specific ramp, I'm not entirely sure what you mean? Is it just that single ramp?

EDIT: I now see what you mean about the ramp, and I'm fairly confident that I've fixed it, but the shore being flush with the cliff is creating a bit of an aesthetic issue. For the time being, I'll leave it as-is (working properly) and deal with how it looks.

Also adding ore to bases, and replacing the ore/gems on the islands with some form of tech... or possibly just leave it open as a stage for encounters and an engress/egress choke point.

Edited by Fu3lman

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what i mean by the ramp that it looks like thisimage.png.afb60820c655bb2dbd3807815177ee68.pngbut should look like thisimage.png.fbe85dd9da34e6f41150dc5208f8499a.png
the absence of that one impassable tile makes units which move across this ramp fail to respond to orders in a very noticeable pathfinding glich. the actual design of slopes is important to keep intact.

as for the cliff thing, all cliffs in westwood maps are placed by hand, so its kind of a tradition and norm to do it like that. but yeah, being pavement cliffs and all, it doesnt really matter a lot, just because the way they were designed.

 

oh hey by the way, i am going to do a terrain expansion for the CNCnet client's temperate theater terrain soon, how would you like to test it out before its implemented?

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Posted (edited)

Yep, I saw exactly what you were talking about and took steps to fix it :)

"oh hey by the way, i am going to do a terrain expansion for the CNCnet client's temperate theater terrain soon, how would you like to test it out before its implemented?"

Oh absolutely! I'd love to have something new to work with.

EDIT: Map renamed, problems addressed, preview injected. :)

Edited by Fu3lman

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okay here check it out. putting these files in your ra2 folder will enable the new temperate terrain.expandmd06.mixtemperatmd.ini

the things that i am looking for are: 
- do any of the pieces not fit together right?
- do any of the pieces cause pathfinding bugs?
- any other notable visual weirdnesses

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Posted (edited)

I'll keep this singular reply updated.

So far, the pieces look fantastic, one concern I'm having is with the northeast/west facing short cliff ramps. The southeast/west ones look great and behave perfectly, but the northeast/west don't look nearly as clean (which might be out of your control) and the additional ramp pieces required to complete them are (for me at least) quite confusing.

Please don't take any of this as criticism, for all I know, there may be a billion limitations that force these kinds of design choices, and if that's the case, then I LOVE the new ramps (and other rampy set pieces), this is as far as I've gotten into it so far.

EDIT: One more small observation about the " :) " ramps. Would it be possible to "smooth" the left and right leadups onto the ramps with the same slight inclines used on the official ramps the way you did on your northward ramps?

Image1.png

Edited by Fu3lman

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you could probably place a powerplant on there, yeah.
i know that the back ramps are a little weird, but its sort of a design limitation. i could have made them like in the tiberian sun terrain expansion (which doesnt include framework tiles by the way), but made the executive decision to painstakingly make these ugly overengineered things on account of 'i dont like game-breaking pathfinding errors all over the place'. please bear with them/

i also breifly considered making front and back ramps like this image.png.d6781bb92e2f98114053c6992fb9e7fa.png
but they would break the game in a pretty bad way.

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Posted (edited)

I figured as much. I'm basically building a map that's point A to B where units must follow a path that includes all of the new elements (that i can find) to the point of congestion to see what breaks first, if anything. I'll get back to you as soon as I find anything.

Will these new elements eventually make their way into CnCNet client proper, or will they always be optional?

EDIT: It just occurred to me that placing a tech oil or power on that ramp plateau would be an interesting way to "gate" a location off from ground units unless players want to get rowdy or conquest-hungry.

Edited by Fu3lman
Epiphany

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once i am satisfied with them, the tiles will be added to the cncnet client, presumably whenever the next update is. all i want to do now is have someone test them a bit as i try and get these stupid tunnel pieces to work properly.

dont build any full-scale maps with this set though, they will probably get corrupted when i make my final changes.

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Posted (edited)

You've actually answered a big question I've had about CnCNet for a while: Essentially, whether or not elements can be added transparently without breaking the existing assets. Hell, even FA2 worked with the new assets without any extra config, and I loved that, and an super-excited that you're building upon what's already there (along with all the heavy lifting you're doing for us map-makers, which I appreciate greatly.) The ability to use URBAN assets in TEMPERATE is also incredibly nice :)

My approach is to build a "workflow" (I'm an ex-programmer) of pathing where I can send any denomination of units of different types/sizes to see where the plumbing gums up. Nothing large-scale or with any permanence... just an objective test. If you need me to, I can record footage/share the sample with you to help you iron out any issues that you see (which I'm not guaranteed to, since there may be subtle clues that are lost on me).

One thing I haven't been able to discern from the .INI or the .MIX is precisely what elements were created, as I stumbled into the ramp pieces as I was visually scanning for unfamiliar parts. I did also notice what may have been a few ground tiles (shores and so on) might've been condensed?

Give me a bit, and I'll let ya know what I find.

Edited by Fu3lman

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Just observations.

I know it's probably a HUGE undertaking, and there may be technical limitations preventing it... It would almost certainly require the creation of a host of custom elements, and it's not that big of a deal if you can't, but wow... it would be amazing if you could.
cliffblend.png.e26436bab81b9ee883ff02d8444de8cf.png
I'm guessing this is due to how THEATER works in RA2. Certain tiles will behave certain ways if they don't have the correct version of the Pavement tile? Is this correct? It's autoshoring to the above image no matter how I try without placing every tile manually. Didn't know if this was the intended behavior. If it is, disregard.

While on the subject of cliffs...
cliffcleanup.png.8f2f3f6eb1d3d70f6618049897616736.png
Perhaps I'm just missing it, but I couldn't find any cleanup pieces (for the adjusted height, at least) to get these areas looking/feeling the way I felt they should. Any attempt to use the pieces within the category resulted in either broken ISO tiling, or visually incorrect results.

Is it possible to use the full-height TEMPERATE cliff cleanup pieces to fix these by just placing and lowering their height? If that's the intent, then disregard.

I also had a bit of confusion with the following...
cliffslopes.png.f6341ad15932c0258c70508e1d819a3d.png
I am probably just missing their purpose entirely, but I was scratching my head a bit on exactly how to use these.
They did, however, beg a question: Would it be possible (like above) to implement some cleanup pieces to allow these slopes to transition into your custom URBAN cliff faces?

This is all I have atm, but I'll get back to you as soon as I get this together and brute-force some pathing.

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yep they can add assets to the cncnet client, they name the .mix file they do it with "expandspawn", and you can see them in your ra2 folder.

i made all the assets in that mix file, and their framework tiles, with the exception of the few pavement cliffs, their ramps, and some pavement 1x1 tiles.
i honestly did think about making transitions from paved to normal cliffs, but i cant think of any way to do it that looks decent.

as for the thing about the concrete not bonding to the paved cliffs right, it is because fa2 (and the ra2 engine both, its some weird shit), have a system
where the game looks at what kind of tile each tile is, then looks at the tiles next to it, and makes a decision about how they should interact with eachother
(for example pavement and paved cliffs). thats actually what LAT is about, it means "Lookup Adjacent Tile". at any rate, you can use the tiles labelled "NON-lat)
to fix that problem.

those corners you cant seem to fix are actually easily fixable by using the depressed tile mode (toggleable by pushing "D" in the editor), but seeing that
many experienced mappers dont know about that one, i will make a walkthrough about it when i release the set.
short cliffs actually have 2 inherent problems: 
1) the cell directly behind them isnt impassable by default like it is for tall cliffs 
2) when using the auto-level tool on them, the tiles in the hidden area behind the cliff get morphed and it causes pathfinding issues 
to solve both these problems, i made an impassable tile built into the short cliff backs, which you can see are red in the screenshots
i guess they can be a bit obtrusive when placing sharp corners. the ts TX didnt have those backers, and it was a dumpster fire because of it.

and finally, those pieces are to transition high and low cliffs together, like you can see in this picture
image.png.190e7646800529c312674c37fdf4868c.png

i really appreciate you taking the time to test the tileset like this.

 

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1 hour ago, McPwny said:

i really appreciate you taking the time to test the tileset like this.

It's my pleasure! I'm really looking forward to mapping with these goodies when they're released proper :)

I'll get back with you after a bit more testing. Haven't run into any other problems thus far.

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