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Thread: TF2 World Domination!

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    Playstuff Member .ps SPHinx's Avatar
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    TF2 World Domination!

    As a few of you are already aware, I've been managing/mapping for an ambitious project to develop a kind of TF2-meets-RISK server. The basic idea being to have a dynamic server rotation of custom maps that allows for RED or BLU to "own" maps, with the overarching domination goal of "owning" all the maps on the server---like a TC map writ large.

    There's already a couple of threads about some of the technical aspects in the "coding corner" section here at playstuff. If you are curious to read these, here they are:

    http://playstuff.net/showthread.php/1482-Can-it-be-done

    http://playstuff.net/showthread.php/...erver-variable

    So it seems that something like this CAN be done. The tough bit is figuring out how to do it properly. And then even tougher is actually doing it. My original thought was to base the maps on Valve's wall_map.mdl (seen here http://sites.google.com/site/tf2worl...ed/master-list); however, I have lately been thinking that using the RISK board might prove more fruitful. A RISK board basis would have more total maps (42 vs. 36), but it is broken up into continents in a way that could help to make the project more manageable. For example, working on and developing one continent at a time. It also dates back to the supposed setting of TF2 (1950s), which is fitting; and might provide a familiar context to players.

    As things have stalled a bit with the original group of mappers, I thought I'd post up a new thread here to invite some feedback or help in re-booting and developing the project further. With an interested community, I can imagine this being a really fun and rewarding experience, both to create and to play. But it might also just be my pipe dream.

    Either way, your thoughts, comments, criticisms, are all welcome.
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    Greater crested hermit ninja Boylee's Avatar
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    Re: TF2 World Domination!

    It's definitely an interesting idea and one that would be fun to play if it was implemented well.

    One big question: for players to feel like they've had any actual impact on the war wouldn't they need to play on one side consistently? That could make balancing games a little tricky. Maybe that would be a non-issue as it's not really something that can be addressed easily.

    Also 42 maps is a LOT of maps, you might make your like a bit easier if you paired it down a bit.
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    Playstuff Member .ps SPHinx's Avatar
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    Re: TF2 World Domination!

    Quote Originally Posted by Boylee View Post
    One big question: for players to feel like they've had any actual impact on the war wouldn't they need to play on one side consistently? That could make balancing games a little tricky. Maybe that would be a non-issue as it's not really something that can be addressed easily.

    Also 42 maps is a LOT of maps, you might make your like a bit easier if you paired it down a bit.
    42 is the entire picture. Right now I am thinking about trying to implement it for 4 maps, using South America or Oceania. If it works, then try expanding to another continent, and so on. Or maybe try 6 and do 1 map from each continent. Then try another 6. I think breaking it up into manageable and testable chunks is essential. As you say, thinking about 42 all at once is making life too hard.

    Whether or not to restrict players to a single side and how to do it are both tough issues. There is probably a way to mod the team selection screen. But until such a system is in place, the players would have to address the team balance issues themselves. Given the specialized play environment, the hope would be that players would want to stick together. Unlikely on a PUG server. Maybe more likely on a community server.

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    Re: TF2 World Domination!

    Quote Originally Posted by SPHinx View Post
    Unlikely on a PUG server. Maybe more likely on a community server.
    This does seem more like a community game in most ways though.

    It sounds like an epic idea, one which I would love to try
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    🍕Mr🍕Man🍕The🍕Pizza🍕Fan🍕 Post Script's Avatar
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    Re: TF2 World Domination!

    Excellent idea I'd love to be part of this.

    How about a trial period whereby you assign a skill level based on kdar, points etc, then put people into the groups. Any new-comers have to then play X amount of games to be 'profiled' and assigned to RED or BLU. I know the notion of a skill level isn't ideal but at least it gives a starting point. That's if you're going to restrict people to certain teams.

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    Greater crested hermit ninja Boylee's Avatar
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    Re: TF2 World Domination!

    World of Fortcraft here we come!

    I jest. Seriously though I'm all for the idea and I'm sure there's plenty of people here who'd like to give it a bash, myself included.

    Can I call dibs on an artic map please?
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    Unreformed Convict SleeperService's Avatar
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    Re: TF2 World Domination!

    Just a note that the owners of the risk copyright are quite litigious and you may want to hint at risk without actually using the name.

    I would like to help with this but I'm a wholely unreliable and useless mapper

    Edit

    If you are going Risky the you could have this for Western Australia. Which you may have heard from Midnight Oils Blue Sky Mining

    Last edited by SleeperService; 13-07-2010 at 21:38.
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    Playstuff Member .ps SPHinx's Avatar
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    Re: TF2 World Domination!

    Quote Originally Posted by SleeperService View Post
    Just a note that the owners of the risk copyright are quite litigious and you may want to hint at risk without actually using the name.
    That's good to know. When I described the project elsewhere, someone made the RISK association. I think it's helpful for introducing the idea, but not necessary to include. I do wonder if they can copyright their map layout, since all I really want to use is the wiki commons image of the game board. Like so:



    Depending on how things go, I am hoping to tempt FireSlash to resurrect his WAR! script. I believe he can also tie it to a webpage to track the overall status on an image like this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Post Script View Post
    How about a trial period whereby you assign a skill level based on kdar, points etc, then put people into the groups. Any new-comers have to then play X amount of games to be 'profiled' and assigned to RED or BLU. I know the notion of a skill level isn't ideal but at least it gives a starting point. That's if you're going to restrict people to certain teams.
    I think something like this might work. There are some problems with permanently assigning players to teams. What happens if all (or most) of the people on the server at some time have been assigned to BLU? There is probably a good solution to this, but I have yet to settle on one. Hard to know without being able to test it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boylee View Post
    Seriously though I'm all for the idea and I'm sure there's plenty of people here who'd like to give it a bash, myself included.

    Can I call dibs on an artic map please?
    That would be wonderful if you, Boylee, or anyone else is interested in building a map toward this. I would like to first discuss a reasonable protocol of some kind---i.e., a list of map requirements or guidelines for eventually integrating whatever people do into the larger whole. This need not be particularly long or complicated, but I'd like to try and avoid some of my earlier pitfalls, where we just ended up with a handful of maps and no clear sense of how they would work together.

    So, for example, if maps can be "owned", then should they always be imbalanced toward the defenders? If jimbomcb is right and control point ownership can be set at map spawn, then I think this could be a really cool and novel kind of TF2 play. It also opens up some more map design possibilities, e.g., What would an imbalanced 5CP push map look and play like?

    I'm also tempted by the idea of making every map some kind of TC map. Not necessarily the 6 round beast that is Hydro, but given the overarching territory control, I think there are some untapped possibilities in TC. For example, I keep imagining a map where the opening round is a 3CP Push. Then the winning team moves to attack the loser's base in a 2CP A/D round. If the losers hold them off until time runs out, then it goes back to the 3CP.

    Sorry for the long post. Those are the ideas I'm kicking around at the moment.

    Funny: As I was writing this, I was listening to the old KritzKast interview with FireSlash. They asked him about the WAR! script (which, in case you don't know, is basically a SourceMod plugin that handles the map owning and switching). The folks at KritzKast seemed excited about it. FireSlash seems to think it is doomed by the team balance issues.
    Last edited by SPHinx; 06-08-2010 at 14:50. Reason: typos, formatting, blerg
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    Re: TF2 World Domination!

    Quote Originally Posted by SPHinx View Post
    So, for example, if maps can be "owned", then should they always be imbalanced toward the defenders? If jimbomcb is right and control point ownership can be set at map spawn, then I think this could be a really cool and novel kind of TF2 play. It also opens up some more map design possibilities, e.g., What would an imbalanced 5CP push map look and play like?

    I'm also tempted by the idea of making every map some kind of TC map. Not necessarily the 6 round beast that is Hydro, but given the overarching territory control, I think there are some untapped possibilities in TC. For example, I keep imagine a map where the opening round is a 3CP Push. Then the winning team moves to attack the loser's base in a 2CP A/D round. If the losers hold them off until time runs out, then it goes back to the 3CP.
    I think this is a fantastic set of ideas. The defenders should definitely get a slight advantage for the map, in set up.

    One idea would be a 3 or 5 CP map, but only the defenders get to defend the gravel pit like map? Or would this be TOO imbalanced? :/

    One final thought is on how where the next attack occurs is chosen?

    EDIT: Another final thought (yes, yes), will there be any continent bonus', or is this just getting far to complex? It could be something such as the first attack onto a fully controlled continent is slightly harder (a 1 CP shift?), or some such.
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    Playstuff Member .ps SPHinx's Avatar
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    Re: TF2 World Domination!

    Quote Originally Posted by The Sero View Post
    Another final thought (yes, yes), will there be any continent bonus', or is this just getting far to complex? It could be something such as the first attack onto a fully controlled continent is slightly harder (a 1 CP shift?), or some such.
    I was considering having territory control linked to spawn time. Which sort of makes logical sense. More territory means more resources, which translates into more troops, i.e., shorter spawn times. Hard to predict the appropriate metric for this, but you could imagine something like half a second multiplied by the difference in maps owned. For example, if RED owns 6 and BLU owns 4, then RED would spawn 1 second faster. If RED owns 8 and BLU owns 2, then RED would spawn 3 seconds faster. Something like this could conceivably help to re-balance the defender advantage discussed above.
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    Windows Only MacNetron's Avatar
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    Re: TF2 World Domination!

    Things like that will make it increasingly difficult to make maps, as you'll need that system implemented on each map.

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    Playstuff Member .ps SPHinx's Avatar
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    Re: TF2 World Domination!

    Quote Originally Posted by MacNetron View Post
    Things like that will make it increasingly difficult to make maps, as you'll need that system implemented on each map.
    I thought Sourcemod could hook into the respawn times. Couldn't it be handled with the same logic_case setup that adjusts the initial CP owners? The server passes a variable to adjust the respawn waves accordingly.

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    Re: TF2 World Domination!

    Hum, you might be right that that is possible: SourceMod API - GetEntData

    Otoh, it is kind of a contradiction that one wants to favor the defenders mapwise, but then aid the attackers on respawntimes...

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    Playstuff Member .ps SPHinx's Avatar
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    Re: TF2 World Domination!

    Quote Originally Posted by MacNetron View Post
    Otoh, it is kind of a contradiction that one wants to favor the defenders mapwise, but then aid the attackers on respawntimes...
    I'm thinking that the shorter respawn time would only favor the team that is winning overall. So it's not necessarily the attacking team.

    But such worries are getting a bit ahead of things. I'm putting together a TC map to test some of these ideas. Hopefully I will have something we could try at the next Blueprint.

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    Re: TF2 World Domination!

    This sounds like a brilliant idea

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    Re: TF2 World Domination!

    Quote Originally Posted by SPHinx View Post
    I was considering having territory control linked to spawn time. Which sort of makes logical sense. More territory means more resources, which translates into more troops, i.e., shorter spawn times. Hard to predict the appropriate metric for this, but you could imagine something like half a second multiplied by the difference in maps owned. For example, if RED owns 6 and BLU owns 4, then RED would spawn 1 second faster. If RED owns 8 and BLU owns 2, then RED would spawn 3 seconds faster. Something like this could conceivably help to re-balance the defender advantage discussed above.
    Good idea

    I am liking this project I'll stop getting ahead of it though xD
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    Re: TF2 World Domination!

    I can't say I like the sound of making maps biased towards defenders. They'd only be playable with this mod if they were. Surely it would make more sense to just create balanced maps and give the defender's the boost with respawn times.
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    Re: TF2 World Domination!

    Quote Originally Posted by Boylee View Post
    I can't say I like the sound of making maps biased towards defenders. They'd only be playable with this mod if they were. Surely it would make more sense to just create balanced maps and give the defender's the boost with respawn times.
    Fair point. But here's a question: In Hydro, the final defend stages have different layouts for RED or BLU. I don't know if Valve's official gameplay stats are to be trusted, but if we assume that they are, then BLU wins Hydro about 3/4 of the time. From one perspective, that means the map is structurally unbalanced. However, from another perspective (like the one I've considered above), we might think of BLU as the defender and consider the map structurally appropriate. Adopting one perspective or the other clearly speaks to the adequacy of Hydro's design, but how does it bear on Hydro's playability?

    I find this a concrete consideration since I am now in the midst of making a 3-stage TC map. 1st stage = symmetric 3 cp. 2nd stages = 2 CP A/D where the defending team is the loser of stage 1. Should the A/D stages be symmetrical? That maintains balance, but also limits the play. Given the proposed mod, it means that owning the map has no impact on strategy. Outside of the mod's context, it means that while your role (i.e., attacker or defender) may shift each time you play the map, there is nothing new to be experienced by playing as RED vs. BLU, as for example, one finds in Hydro.

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    Playstuff Member .ps SPHinx's Avatar
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    Re: TF2 World Domination!

    Since Hawk asked about it in a different thread, here's a quick run-down of where my thinking is:

    Goal: Develop a 6 map "demo" to test and implement some of the ideas for the World Domination! meta-game

    Setting: Africa (see the world map above for the rough territory divisions). Kicking around the following map names and types like so:

    (TC) "Tripoli"
    (5CP) "Mombasa" (posted an alpha http://playstuff.net/showthread.php/2711-cp_mombasa)
    (PL) "Sahara"
    (KOTH) "Congo"
    (CTF) "Swaziland"
    (A/D) "Madagascar"

    Obviously, this is still a flexible list. I thought these names were kind of cool and familiar to people. The range of maptypes would keep it diverse.

    Step 1: Develop them as standard TF2 maps. Get a solid layout.
    Step 2: Think about ways to implement map ownership. For example, the dynamic spawn script we discussed in the coding corner thread, like for the A/D and TC map.
    Step 3: If we get this far, who knows? Work on the art passes, play the shit out of it, have a ton of fun

    Step ??: Expand to making more maps of other continents and areas.

    What do you guys think? Reasonable? Insane? Have an idea for making this better? Want to claim and work on one of these maps? Collaborate? All thoughts, comments, criticisms are welcome.

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    🍕Mr🍕Man🍕The🍕Pizza🍕Fan🍕 Post Script's Avatar
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    Re: TF2 World Domination!

    Here's what I think about biasing the maps.

    TC - change the number of territories each team controls at the start.
    5CP - change the number of CP's each team starts with.
    PL - Spawn times/additional (1 way?) routes
    KOTH - Time required to hold point for a win changes.
    CTF - Number of caps required/routes change.
    A/D - Spawn times/routes change.

    Adding additional routes is really hard to do without handing the game to one team or the other so these would have to be done really well to help a team, but not help them too much!
    Last edited by Post Script; 17-09-2010 at 02:51.
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