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chem

Maps to show im not just polluting cnc.net

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Any popular map that I make and that you see that look like something very ugly fast to make and unbalanced will be updated so its at least reasonable looking and reasonably balanced taking heed in what White and Cn2mc have taught me about map making.  All final versions of the maps I make will be of this reasonable standard. Here are two maps for proof of that.

 

I havnt decided on the final designs of these 2 but I just wanted to show that im not just polluting the place with low effort badly balanced money maps, I am making an effort to make good maps and hopefully the final versions of these maps will cause the older versions and less decent maps to stop circulating.  

Unreal.jpg

drainyourballs2.jpg

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I see very little to no advice of mine or White's implemented in these maps.

Adding eye-candy around the edge of the battlefield, like in the first one, does not give the map more strategic depth or the player more choices on how to proceed with the game, nor does it change the fact that it is a completely open and tib-infested circular affair, no different than most maps you churn out.

Second one is basically Matt's Sierra Nevada: Remastered. 

About the 'pollution' effect you have on CnCNet's map-sharing system: If I were you, I'd pick the maps I want to stay and kindly PM Funky (or whoever currently runs the updates for TD/RA) to ask if it's possible to delete all the obsolete ones from people's folders automatically, or at least to exclude them from the map selection list. It is indeed swamped by half finished and mostly samey maps of yours, which probably make up a good 40-50% of it. 

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, cn2mc said:

I see very little to no advice of mine or White's implemented in these maps.

Adding eye-candy around the edge of the battlefield, like in the first one, does not give the map more strategic depth or the player more choices on how to proceed with the game, nor does it change the fact that it is a completely open and tib-infested circular affair, no different than most maps you churn out.

Second one is basically Matt's Sierra Nevada: Remastered. 

About the 'pollution' effect you have on CnCNet's map-sharing system: If I were you, I'd pick the maps I want to stay and kindly PM Funky (or whoever currently runs the updates for TD/RA) to ask if it's possible to delete all the obsolete ones from people's folders automatically, or at least to exclude them from the map selection list. It is indeed swamped by half finished and mostly samey maps of yours, which probably make up a good 40-50% of it. 

*What would give more strategic depth to my maps? What does that entail? Different routes /paths /choices for people to take? What else? (I always thought making it as easy for people to learn as possible was a good idea because people don't like having to learn a map and be at a disadvantage due to map unfamiliarity)

The second one is empty your balls remastered I wanted not just an open field like you said.  I made a viral map so I tried to then add balance to it and not just have an open field like you recommended. The Nevada map is for 4 people not 6 and its blocked in the middle , you cant base creep everywhere, and has no water nor is it the middle start game style, its also natural looking and therefore unsymmetrical not unnaturally themed. (see earth scar vs ruby ridge for a remaster, and that shouldn't be a bad thing anyway its nice to have choice and there are only so many tiles or combinations many maps are going to look somewhat similar )

The eye candy around the edge is simply to create a circular shaped map so it has optimal balance for all 6 players (which is why I use this samey template alot I have to) as its something that is impossible/near impossible to balance on a square map.  I cant put eye candy in the middle because you need to make room for enough tiberium, for people to move,  etc but im free to put eye candy around the outside so I do.  Theres a massive space constraint on 6 player maps especially circular ffa ones

People want alot of tiberium and for 6 player maps  you need alot more tiberium too just for 6, and the maps are small so its very difficult to fit in strategic depth balance symmetry and not just have an open field, you are limited by room, I think I did as much as I possibly could, if I reduced the tiberium amount no one would play it at all.

Also if I make more 2/3/4 player maps no one will play them either everyone wants the 6 player maps these days. Which are really hard to make due to limited room to fit everything on.  

 

What do you recommend I do concerning these problems?

 

 

Edited by chem

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I do have to agree with Cn2 that these maps seem to be a lot more about adding some objects, not really focused around strategy etc.
Though, I also haven't ever had that much of a go, nor written about, big FFA maps.

Not sure how  we'd ever get rid of maps that way. They're saved on people's computers and such... deleting them would mean that we'd be flat out taking them off of people, too.
I don't really want to do that. People still should be able to play how they choose to play.

I've obviously talked a bit about this before, but I think the better way would be to have a sandbox mode and a competitive mode; you could put the well crafted maps into competitive and let people still have free reign with sandbox.
It'd also mean that if the maker updated their competitive maps, we could get rid of other copies that are floating around.

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, AchromicWhite said:

I do have to agree with Cn2 that these maps seem to be a lot more about adding some objects, not really focused around strategy etc.
Though, I also haven't ever had that much of a go, nor written about, big FFA maps.

Not sure how  we'd ever get rid of maps that way. They're saved on people's computers and such... deleting them would mean that we'd be flat out taking them off of people, too.
I don't really want to do that. People still should be able to play how they choose to play.

I've obviously talked a bit about this before, but I think the better way would be to have a sandbox mode and a competitive mode; you could put the well crafted maps into competitive and let people still have free reign with sandbox.
It'd also mean that if the maker updated their competitive maps, we could get rid of other copies that are floating around.

How can I add strategic depth I played zodiac today and the pathways really added something especially when playing another good player, how else can I add for strategic depth?

Is vertical limit more strategically deep that the above circle map? 

 

Edited by chem

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Posted (edited)

Also if you don't cater to whats popular like high numbers of people (6 players) and high tiberium amount (higher the better for most people) and perfect fairness (people get irritated when map design causes their loss rather than skill)  is there any point making a map if it just doesn't get used? It may as well not exist? Even if its technically very advanced?

Edited by chem

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, chem said:

*What would give more strategic depth to my maps? What does that entail? Different routes /paths /choices for people to take?

Mostly this. An open field certainly looks bigger, but adding a maze-like structure between opponents, even a very simple one, actually makes the maps feel bigger because units need to travel farther and expansions need to be carefully planned. Even with the obstructions you placed on the two maps in your first post, they still look less like mazes and more like open halls with a few pillars supporting the ceiling. When you reach one of the obstacles, it doesn't really matter if you go left or right of it. Tiberium is everywhere, so it doesn't matter where you expand. Offer people actual choices: should I risk expanding to the big tib field that's far away or should I stick with the smaller, closer one? Do I push out of this spot, or do I defend the choke because it gives me an advantage? Do I go for a frontal assault, or do I sneak troops in from the back entrance? Do I tech or do I tank? Etc...

Now, all of this is much harder to apply in practice for 6P maps than it is for 2P and 4P. There's just not enough room. With that being said, the circular design is a very bad one if your aim is to maximize space. Just look at all the wasted squares around the edges in the first map. If you're so keen on making 6P maps, maybe try a diamond shape of start points? Have two spawns in two extreme opposing corners and the remaining four near the middle of each side of the map. That way, besides the common mosh pit in the centre, players can also have smaller battlefields between their starts, with everybody sharing two smaller tib fields with two other guys. Your Tiberium Garden remake is actually not a bad example of this. IIRC, Oasis, even though it's a 4P map, also has nice interactions between starts on the side, but I might be remembering wrong. 

 

EDIT: Here's something quick I made to illustrate what I mean:

 

concept.png

Edited by cn2mc
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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, cn2mc said:

Mostly this. An open field certainly looks bigger, but adding a maze-like structure between opponents, even a very simple one, actually makes the maps feel bigger because units need to travel farther and expansions need to be carefully planned. Even with the obstructions you placed on the two maps in your first post, they still look less like mazes and more like open halls with a few pillars supporting the ceiling. When you reach one of the obstacles, it doesn't really matter if you go left or right of it. Tiberium is everywhere, so it doesn't matter where you expand. Offer people actual choices: should I risk expanding to the big tib field that's far away or should I stick with the smaller, closer one? Do I push out of this spot, or do I defend the choke because it gives me an advantage? Do I go for a frontal assault, or do I sneak troops in from the back entrance? Do I tech or do I tank? Etc...

Now, all of this is much harder to apply in practice for 6P maps than it is for 2P and 4P. There's just not enough room. With that being said, the circular design is a very bad one if your aim is to maximize space. Just look at all the wasted squares around the edges in the first map. If you're so keen on making 6P maps, maybe try a diamond shape of start points? Have two spawns in two extreme opposing corners and the remaining four near the middle of each side of the map. That way, besides the common mosh pit in the centre, players can also have smaller battlefields between their starts, with everybody sharing two smaller tib fields with two other guys. Your Tiberium Garden remake is actually not a bad example of this. IIRC, Oasis, even though it's a 4P map, also has nice interactions between starts on the side, but I might be remembering wrong. 

 

EDIT: Here's something quick I made to illustrate what I mean:

 

concept.png

Thankyou this is really good and helpful! I hope you release that map!  Infact please do!! Its imo one of the best FFA maps around! Id love to play it!

I cant wait to start implementing these ideas into the maps thanks alot for the help and taking the time its really appreciated!!!

 

Edited by chem

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Posted (edited)

Why does White make that choice on Iron valley that has almost equal effectiveness which ever route you take, its like a decision to make that doesn't really matter that much in terms of overall effectiveness? So whats the purpose of it?

 

 

 

Edited by chem

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Posted (edited)

Not sure this one is up to my standards, it was kind of just a proof-of-concept thing, but maybe with a little tweaking... I did make another one in the meantime that's a lot more evenly-spaced and natural looking, and I'm thinking about how to approach a third one by using this type of spawn layout and some other tricks. When I'm satisfied I might release 2 or 3 in a bundle.

 

KD2.png

 

EDIT: I haven't played a lot on Iron Valley, but I'm pretty sure that taking the right flank gets you to your opponent faster. Merely providing a choice on where to expand towards forces the player to make a decision. On IV, if one player decides to go for his right flank and the other for his left, they will clash earlier in one half of the map with the other still unused. If they both expand symmetrically they'll split it.

Edited by cn2mc
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Iron Valley never actually was designed to have 2 true expansion routes. I explained this in the map design thread.

Iron Valley is actually very very simple in what I was trying to designed, and really it was the first map I made where I started to actually count the cells to make sure that opening builds reached the first fields, but only just.
The first map where I made a true double expand route was Frosted Hostilities.

Iron Valley is more just a good example of a defensive map that's still increasingly open as you expand towards the middle. And basic cliffs to get some back and forth micro between armies. A good map to learn to play GDI on, IMO. (Learning when/how you deffend and when/how to build economy).

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, cn2mc said:

Not sure this one is up to my standards, it was kind of just a proof-of-concept thing, but maybe with a little tweaking... I did make another one in the meantime that's a lot more evenly-spaced and natural looking, and I'm thinking about how to approach a third one by using this type of spawn layout and some other tricks. When I'm satisfied I might release 2 or 3 in a bundle.

 

KD2.png

 

EDIT: I haven't played a lot on Iron Valley, but I'm pretty sure that taking the right flank gets you to your opponent faster. Merely providing a choice on where to expand towards forces the player to make a decision. On IV, if one player decides to go for his right flank and the other for his left, they will clash earlier in one half of the map with the other still unused. If they both expand symmetrically they'll split it.

Epic thanks for making this cn2mc!!! Cant wait to play it and start making maps with more strategy to them! Thanks for the help guys!!

Edited by chem

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, AchromicWhite said:

Iron Valley never actually was designed to have 2 true expansion routes. I explained this in the map design thread.

Iron Valley is actually very very simple in what I was trying to designed, and really it was the first map I made where I started to actually count the cells to make sure that opening builds reached the first fields, but only just.
The first map where I made a true double expand route was Frosted Hostilities.

Iron Valley is more just a good example of a defensive map that's still increasingly open as you expand towards the middle. And basic cliffs to get some back and forth micro between armies. A good map to learn to play GDI on, IMO. (Learning when/how you deffend and when/how to build economy).

Got it, thankyou for the explanation and help on everything as always! Someone  revived my old hjk map that says white loves HJK etc that was a long time ago when I made it and it was only made as a joke, im not doing anything to disturb the peace

Edited by chem

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Posted (edited)

Not the final edit as some of the symmetry is off as are some of the tree circles. Will perhaps  need to make it bigger overall ie extend the circle so its vertical limit size

 

But added depth with very limited room. Might be able to add more with the bigger size I already have a pre made bigger template.  The  trees have the bush tile under them (except centre) so they function as space saving walls/decoration. I now understand the strategic paths, and depth and how to add them to maps  I will demonstrate something as  strategic as I can get on my next map, the next map I make will be all about  extreme strategy.

Thanks cn2mc!!

 

PRETTYSPIDERWEBFFA (3)take23.jpg

 

Looks like a Persian carpet, think I'll call it Dubai Imprisonment Holiday .

 

 

Edited by chem

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Oh, dear! We're just inspiring you to flood more. :) But do keep at it. Practice, etc.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, cn2mc said:

Oh, dear! We're just inspiring you to flood more. :) But do keep at it. Practice, etc.

Will do, thanks for your help and I hope I don't dish out negativity when discussing cnc and peoples contributions, but we have to risk damaging egos to get better results, realising my maps are not so good feels bad but its the only way I can get better so I appreciate the truth.  We also get your awesome map and my improved map so everyone benefits which is great overall I feel.

With map flood the real reason it flooded so bad was because I kept all my maps that were unfinished in my favourite folder and too many times I flicked through them and handed them out to everyone and they spread that way. I don't do that anymore, I un name them, so that problem is definitely solved. So its only a matter of time before the flood drains away. I will not be adding unfinished or slight variation maps ever again.

 

Edited by chem

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I do think that trying to make FFA maps work strategically is really hard... as much of the strategy happens politically (who chooses to attack who).

Have a look at what I talk about regarding a design phase for mapping (a phase where you're not using the editor). It's really really important. I never start work on a map in the editor.

It's important because it gives you the opportunity to move cliffs etc around without having to start over or delete large parts of your work. It is WAY quicker all in all, to use something like MSpaint. Have a look at both Iron Valley and Twin Peaks, and look at how both players start somewhat walled off, but as they expand, they expand into more and more open areas, until finally, they're out in the wide open.
Twin Peaks has the added advantage of having multiple places you can expand, but even making a basic map with a single expansion path can help you to wrap your head around these basic ideas.
Without them, it's like trying to add sprinkles to an unbaked cake.

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3 hours ago, AchromicWhite said:

I do think that trying to make FFA maps work strategically is really hard... as much of the strategy happens politically (who chooses to attack who).

Have a look at what I talk about regarding a design phase for mapping (a phase where you're not using the editor). It's really really important. I never start work on a map in the editor.

It's important because it gives you the opportunity to move cliffs etc around without having to start over or delete large parts of your work. It is WAY quicker all in all, to use something like MSpaint. Have a look at both Iron Valley and Twin Peaks, and look at how both players start somewhat walled off, but as they expand, they expand into more and more open areas, until finally, they're out in the wide open.
Twin Peaks has the added advantage of having multiple places you can expand, but even making a basic map with a single expansion path can help you to wrap your head around these basic ideas.
Without them, it's like trying to add sprinkles to an unbaked cake.

Awesome tip thanks White!! :) 

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Posted (edited)
On ‎1‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 1:58 AM, cn2mc said:

Oh, dear! We're just inspiring you to flood more. :) But do keep at it. Practice, etc.

Is it possible to get the files cn2mc? For your epic FFA map? Cheers! Hope you make some more maps for game types you don't like because not many people go for 1v1 so that means all your talent at map making isn't enjoyed by everyone or even many people,  which I feel is a shame.  You deprive ppl  and the map folder of your talent thay way imo. Hope you make a 3v3 map now that uve made a 6 player FFA map as given the choice which we have now ppl choose 3v3 over 2v2 every time and 3v3 are much easier than 6 player ffa maps to make. I hope white does the same, for the same reason.

Even if its just for teaching purposes show me and us how to make something good for a 3v3 like u did for the ffa map

 

 

Oh yea the reason for pillars in the new balls map is to help GDI players/players clog up their bases which helps their defence so it does have a function re it not being maze like enough, but im looking forward to clever pathways in my new maps they really add something fun imo.

Edited by chem

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As I said, chem, I might, or I might not release those maps. When I see fit. What did you not understand in that? Feel free to recreate the design.

Also, manipulations such as 'you're depriving people' won't work. You are the one who is depriving people of a varied gaming experience by spamming shit maps.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, cn2mc said:

As I said, chem, I might, or I might not release those maps. When I see fit. What did you not understand in that? Feel free to recreate the design.

Also, manipulations such as 'you're depriving people' won't work. You are the one who is depriving people of a varied gaming experience by spamming shit maps.

sometimes a manipulation is a valid point as well as a manipulation,  sometimes it wasn't intended as a manipulation even though it could be used as one,  like in this case,  but not going to argue it further

Yes I will recreate something like  it, wont take long as I have a template for the middle part. :) 

Edited by chem

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Posted (edited)

wHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK ABOUT A NATURAL REALISTIC LOOKING MAP VS AN UNREALISTIC FANTACY MAP?

 

KEEPING IT REALISTIC LOOKING IS MY PREFERENCE IF POSSIBLE BUT I FIND IT A MASSIVELY LIMITING PART OF MAP DESIGN IT LIMITS YOU SO MUCH, it limits fun, strategic depth resources space and so on (at least potentially it does)

 

Basically there are far more options for everything if you are not confined by "natural looking"

Do you guys prefer fantasy maps e.g. a spider web style map or something thats in-between e.g. semi natural looking but symmetrical with a design, or do you prefer totally natural looking?  

Edited by chem

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Posted (edited)
On ‎1‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 11:12 PM, cn2mc said:

As I said, chem, I might, or I might not release those maps. When I see fit. What did you not understand in that? Feel free to recreate the design.

Also, manipulations such as 'you're depriving people' won't work. You are the one who is depriving people of a varied gaming experience by spamming shit maps.

Before I start making the map look symmetrical and pretty etc  would you say ive understood and implemented what you've taught me about map design judging by this sketch map?

Does this map resolve all your criticisms?

 

Ive made it larger while keeping perfect symmetry (when its finished it will be symmetrical) (something your map loses  to gain extra space, your map is not and cannot be perfectly balanced or symmetrical)

Its no longer an open field its balanced between open and closed (I felt some of your map and maps are too closed off which is annoying because the AI is awkward and it is awkward to have to cram units through 1 cell spaces, especially when there are alot of units) that's why I always deviated to open,  and the pillars were to help GDI defend their base like an extra bit of wall.

There are many angles  of  attack so you can surprise people and fake them out adding to the adrenaline tactics and excitement. Im not sure if that qualified as the strategic depth you were talking about?  Mostly involving te pathways?

Less tiberium although I feel it needs more since its 6 player, with the extra room that's doable now I can fit more tiberium in if needed. I put 1 more small patch behind everyone's start position

Yea does this map  solve all the criticisms if it doesn't please criticise away so I can solve them before I make it properly.

 

Cheers

cliffmaze.jpg

Edited by chem

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I placed those starts with an offset on my maps because I wanted to use the space in the corners, not because it somehow balances the map better. It doesn't. Locking this spawn pattern up in your trademark circle defeats its single purpose of maximizing the playing field. 

Having slight asymmetries in a map will not skew the balance unless they prevent a part of the players from being able to build like the rest. A few squares of building space less won't harm someone if he can otherwise do everything the others can, if he can build the same number of refs in his spot, creep out of it as easily, harvest the same amount of tiberium, etc. 

The thing is, you don't really need symmetry for balance, or at least not complete symmetry. For making balanced starting points, a swastika-like design is also feasible, probably more so than completely symmetrical designs. In a swastika-like map each player's left and right flanks are not symmetrical but they are functionally the same as the left and right flanks of the surrounding players, and they fit together with them like a puzzle. Your right flank goes into my left, my right goes into the left flank of the guy that's to the right of me, and so on until we reach a full circle. Look at Cliffhanger again for reference. There people's left flanks bulge menacingly over their neighbours right, while their right flanks are more exposed to attack from that direction. White's Trichotomy and some other maps (the names of which I don't remember now) use this kind of design. 

Otherwise, your latest sketch looks workable but the map seems to become quite tight in the middle, which is kind of a faux pas as far as expansion paths go.

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1 hour ago, cn2mc said:

I placed those starts with an offset on my maps because I wanted to use the space in the corners, not because it somehow balances the map better. It doesn't. Locking this spawn pattern up in your trademark circle defeats its single purpose of maximizing the playing field. 

Having slight asymmetries in a map will not skew the balance unless they prevent a part of the players from being able to build like the rest. A few squares of building space less won't harm someone if he can otherwise do everything the others can, if he can build the same number of refs in his spot, creep out of it as easily, harvest the same amount of tiberium, etc. 

The thing is, you don't really need symmetry for balance, or at least not complete symmetry. For making balanced starting points, a swastika-like design is also feasible, probably more so than completely symmetrical designs. In a swastika-like map each player's left and right flanks are not symmetrical but they are functionally the same as the left and right flanks of the surrounding players, and they fit together with them like a puzzle. Your right flank goes into my left, my right goes into the left flank of the guy that's to the right of me, and so on until we reach a full circle. Look at Cliffhanger again for reference. There people's left flanks bulge menacingly over their neighbours right, while their right flanks are more exposed to attack from that direction. White's Trichotomy and some other maps (the names of which I don't remember now) use this kind of design. 

Otherwise, your latest sketch looks workable but the map seems to become quite tight in the middle, which is kind of a faux pas as far as expansion paths go.

Thanks for your  honest feedback and expert help,  I will make sure refineries can fit in the middle from all angles. Or do you mean its just a bad idea  tactically to expand into the middle? Would it be better filled with tiberium?

 

1 last  key thing I wanted to know is, is the above map strategically deep like your FFA map, do the pathways achieve that? Or the same level of depth as your 2 ffa maps? I do not know because ive only just learnt about the idea from you  

Edited by chem

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