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Describe your ideal map

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6 days ago
Hey,

I have game design/programming classes and I got task to make a 3d terrain/map for some game - so I thought it's a great chance to create my first ZK map.

Please help me decide what to make by describing what do you value the most in the good maps or draw some shitty paint graphics concepting your ideal map layout.

I'll share results in 2 weeks. Thanks!
+3 / -0
Here's my take:

Good map tier:
- Starting position has 3 mexes
- A fairly defensible natural expansion with 2-3 mexes
- At least 2 other expansions to choose from
- No or very few mexes on the shortest path between start position
- No or very few mexes on the line that is equidistant to both start positions
- All mexes accessible by rovers
- Some regions should be completely free of mexes
- Distinct visuals for vehicle, bot, and spider-only passability areas
- Tasteful but not dominant amounts of reclaim (less than thornford, more than adansonia)
- Strategic use of obstacles, natural spider pillars, etc
- All of the land factories are playable, with at least 3 viable in competitive play
- Try to avoid supermexes if at all possible

God map tier:
- All of the land, air, and sea factories are playable, with at least 5 viable in competitive play:
- Wide use of depth-6 zones to make areas of the map accessible both to ships and to land units.
- All mexes buildable and killable by ships.
- A depth-20 channel near starting position to allow ships to be plopped with minimal walk time.
- Some depth-60 zones for Grizzlies to submerge completely.
- Only a few full depth-20 zones for ships to retreat to where land units can't reach them; all outside Envoy range of nearest mex.

Overgod map tier:
- A railroad network.

Machine god tier:
- Any of the above, but done procedurally, built upon Random Crags.
+4 / -0
How about a ravaged-style 5 way FFA map? Like with low/mid/high areas.

EDIT: also if you need help with texturing I have a lot of experience with it. :P
see: temple redux, living lands, sands of time, sea of dunes
+0 / -0
6 days ago
I want a 3v1 map to use in customs, where a 'starship' has crash landed in some lowlands south, depositing half the map's metal extractors from the engine chamber with fuel core reclaimables, mostly energy so you can spam cons/rush a geo/fusion. To my knowlege, 3v1 is an unsupported gamemode, but Supcom2 had a nice metal balanced coridor style map modified from a campaign mission to support that. Spawning neutral walls to prevent a no rush is a bonus, and giving support for a map like this would be awesome, and it would be fun to win 3v1 or dogpile 1 player.

[Spoiler]
+1 / -0
quote:
Please help me decide what to make by describing what do you value the most in the good maps or draw some shitty paint graphics concepting your ideal map layout.


I might bring out my mighty (not existing) art skills to give you a map concept, but first you need to have a clear idea of what you actually want to have.


You definitely have to decide on multiple points:

- preferred team size (1v1,4v4,7v7+) and adjust map size and metal spots accordingly
- symmetrical or asymmetrical map, I prefer point symmetrical or diagonal symmetrical (corner vs corner) maps
- do you want to support sea or land on this map, I tried pretty hard to make all facs viable on a map which resulted in a total disaster and was a shit ton of work to make everything path properly
(e.g dont forget subs need deeper water then normal ships, veh and even bot pathing can suck (especially with water involved) and you have to check everything for all facs)
- do you want a flat map or a more hilly map (veh/bots/spider favored or even a mix?)


General layout stuff:

- make 1 intended start spot (3mex) per player and maybe 1-3 smaller starts close by (2-3mex) for either expansion or extra players.
Dont randomly spam mexes without purpose as you can direct which parts of the map get more attention. Maps with lots of scattered mex feel worse in my opinion, as pushing forward doesnt feel like a big accomplishment if you only get 1 mex more. At the same time parts of the map might be contested even without mex, if they hold significant strategic value.
- Use terrain to create narrows but always leave multiple options to move around
- make some spots to easily defend your base and close expansions but dont support porc fortresses in middle sections of the map as they tend to be boring and make it very hard to come back if one side captures the spot.


General mapping stuff:

- test if you can make a map which launches in Zero-k first before trying anything else, this really helps in troubleshooting and reduces stress later on
- try to use 2.0m mex as these feel the most natural (adjustable by colour density and mapinfo)
- only apply better textures if you are really sure the hightmap and the map itself is good as you can waste quite some time here. (You should do this after you tested it yourself AND some other players had their opinion)
- dont hesitate to ask when things arent working, as you can often get stuck at easily solvable stuff.
+3 / -0
Thanks for the comments so far, it's going to be a big help :) USrankSteel_Blue - your idea seems too exotic to me to comprehend. Some paint sketch would help with that.
+0 / -0
6 days ago
I (personally) wish there was more big maps with decent narrows and ambush spots with worthwhile mexes (mountains, defensive flats, etc.) but I don't think many other people like the idea of narrow ways to ambush enemies. Would also be damn good if there was more positions that make use of troop transports, but most maps just become spider-based with insane uneven hills. personally, I know basically nothing about good mex spots, but paths that offer multiple attacks on a single area defended by terrain would be a deff yes for me (areas with mexes, surrounded by hills/mountains with 2-3 paths)

note: IM NOT A MAP DESIGNER! I do with though that more maps supported the more linier battles with heavy defensives actually being useful.
+0 / -0
6 days ago
ayee so this is my map idea to make a 3v1 zero-k map. team 3 has 3 start location on a rim of mexes at the ends of the map, team 1 has the pink area crashed spaceship site. The 'story' is a comander crashlands into enemy territory, mines the spaceship to get an advantage. just like 3 million mexes and some juicy reclaim to advance their economy faster than usually posible. the team of 3 plays normally, where team 1 has to spam cons to build the mexes ASAP, reclaiming some lucrative mixed value recliamables and building cheep geothermal plants at the powercore/mexes at ship shards.

Some map-specific features need to be in place to prevent crazy rushes. Team of 1 sits in the low ground, surounded by enemies, but eco-rich. Team of 3 has more micro, 2 players are on the front and 1 has a flank position and overlooks the ship. red is lowest ground/lavapit and purple is a high mountain. yellow is geo spot for team1, orange triangles are juicy reclaim, 1500E 250M a piece. you can see large pieces of the ship, nose at south and back engines at center, providing cover and whatnot. Grey crossout on the right is something unpathable. Team 1 sill spam the fuck out of things and try and overrun enemies, team of 3 contains, isolates from the outside mexes, and crushes the insurrection.



Probably not gonna be a croud pleaser but whatever.
+2 / -0
USrankSteel_Blue I think I can sort of see what you mean there. That kinda reminds me of gecko island the way the corners are elevated and walled off.

EDIT: if one of the 3 team opens air you'd be totally screwed. Also why does the defender start in a lava pit? lol..
+0 / -0
6 days ago
the team of 1 starts at like height 20, near lava but not in lava. The pink is just a large start zone lol.

one of the team of 3 starting air shouldn't be that devastating, but could be solved by hacking in light neutral AA near spawn, or have some building-placeable areas accessable and high in the sky at ship corners. Somthing like rocks from starcraft 2 that have depletable HP values, or firebombs that last for the first 2 and a half minutes.

the metal spots are essentially what I want, 30 for team of 3 coms and 36 for team of 1 com, perhapse that's a little insane, but from base metal income from mexes+com each team has a baseline 78 metal, or 26 metal per player on the team of 3.
+0 / -0
First thing: When (not if) you run into technical troubles hit up the #zkmap channel. Some parts of the process are pretty finicky.

Given that you have a limited amount of time to produce the map I would suggest aiming for a map on the smaller side, although if you are enthusiastic about making a large map that will offset this.

My ZK map making experience is mostly in competitive 1v1/small teams maps so most of my comments will be directed there. Some things you should make up your mind about before making such a map:

Symmetry


There are three main ways your map can be symmetric.

[Spoiler]

Terrain type


How hilly do you want your map to be? Should it favour bot factories or vehicle factories?

[Spoiler]

Metal distribution


The density of metal points and ease of expansion is just as important as the heightmap. What properties do you want your map to have?

[Spoiler]

+1 / -0

5 days ago
quote:
one of the team of 3 starting air shouldn't be that devastating, but could be solved by hacking in light neutral AA near spawn,

That can't really be done outside of missions, and the "neutral" ai would pretty much have to share vision with the defender.

quote:
or have some building-placeable areas accessable and high in the sky at ship corners.

That could be done easily enough.

quote:
Somthing like rocks from starcraft 2 that have depletable HP values, or firebombs that last for the first 2 and a half minutes.

There's some screwy map that puts an impassable barrier down the center of the map that's only removed after a counter reaches zero. That's a really crappy way to handle things though.

Destructible features are possible, but units won't auto-target them. Consider that works both ways though, and would merely encourage all three attackers to go air since they wouldn't have to worry about getting raided except by other air or maybe fleas.

quote:
the metal spots are essentially what I want, 30 for team of 3 coms and 36 for team of 1 com, perhapse that's a little insane, but from base metal income from mexes+com each team has a baseline 78 metal, or 26 metal per player on the team of 3.

I don't think that'd work unless the defender had supermexes. With regular mexes the cost overhead of just building the mexes would make it unwinnable. You'd need like 6x 4 metal mexes and 8x 2 metal mexes around the defender's start pos. The reclaimables are also of limited value since that just leaves you bp limited vs 3 coms. Giving the attackers the high ground also gives them a wind advantage.

Conversely putting all the mexes on the far side of the defender's base would probably make the late game suck, assuming you managed to get that far, since there would be practically nothing to fight over aside from seeing who gets exterminated first.

idk.. it'd be a nightmare to balance that. Might be a fun side project but I dunno if it'd ever be really playable.
+1 / -0
5 days ago
Speed metal is my idea map ;)
+0 / -0
I coughed up a rough idea of a 3v3 map (playable in 1v1 and maybe up to 5v5)
start pos is bottom left/top right corner, maybe including (barely) the 2x 2 mexspot

Colours:

Black -> very steep terrain (weired black lines are good pathable slopes)
Brown -> highground/hill (darker brown higher)
Grey -> lowground/pit
Red -> mexspot
Yellow -> Geospot

+4 / -0
DErankManu12 holy crap that looks cool. If zenfur doesn't make that then I will.

EDIT: in fact he may have to fight me for it :P
+1 / -0