Deathmatch Mapping: General Guidelines

Discussion in 'Maps' started by MacD11, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. MacD11

    MacD11 Not a Noob

    Hey everyone! I'm one of the official mappers for Team Fortress 2 Classic. Today I feel as if would be a good day to go over some general guidelines for making deathmatch maps in TF2C, now that people seem to be working on maps for deathmatch. With this guide, your maps would be even more likely to make it inside of tf2c itself as an official, base part of the game. Here we go!

    <font size="5">Entities:</font>

    Deathmatch has a number of new entities. Each of these entities are vital to the gameplay of the Deathmatch gamemode inside of TF2C.

    tf_logic_deathmatch: This is how the game knows that the level's gamemode is the Deathmatch gamemode. Placing this inside of your map will activate the Deathmatch gamemode.

    tf_weaponspawner: This entity is the weaponspawner entity for Deathmatch. With this entity, you have a variety of weapons to choose from to place inside of your maps. Don't worry about making or finding places in your map to place every weapon available (unless you want to), since you dont have to have your DM map feature every weapon available in the gamemode. It's recommended you place these entities 32 hu's above the ground.

    item_healthkit_tiny: This entity is the entity that adds the tiny floating overhealing health pills that you see inside of Deathmatch. It's recommended you place these nearby eachother, generally in lines or clusters for players to pick up. We also recommend you place this entity 32 hu's above the ground.

    item_powerup_(powerup): These entities are the powerup entities that deathmatch maps use. Each powerup has a unique effect and the ability to, for mappers, alter the respawn rate of the powerups like weapons. Currently there is only one powerup available in Deathmatch, but more will be added in the future. It's recommended that you raise these 32 hu's above the ground as well.

    All of these entities are of rather great importance to the Deathmatch gamemode.

    <font size="5">General Gameplay:
    </font><font size="5"><font size="1"><font size="3"><font size="2">
    Deathmatch</font></font></font><font size="2"> is a very unique gamemode compared to the usual TF2 gamemodes, so maps for them are built in a way that is somewhat different than the maps for other gamemodes. For one, asymmetrical maps for deathmatch are less of a hassle to make, as there are less gameplay related troubles in regards to making a map asymmetrical for it's gameplay. However, variation between areas of play is very much encouraged, as it would be beneficial towards the gameplay of a map. When taking the layout of your map into consideration, please playerclip any staircases that you add on your maps as well, as that would be beneficial for bunnyhopping, which is a vital part of the gamemodes gameplay. Ramps dont need to be clipped since they are just ramps, which playerclipped stairs are essentially just ramps. Try to make sure the rest of your map is adequately clipped as well.

    Good weapon and powerup placement in areas inside of your map where the placement of the weapon/powerup would make sense would help benefit the gameplay of the map, as good weapon and powerup placement is also vital to improving a map's gameplay since it helps direct the flow of the action inside of Deathmatch maps.

    Something to note when making a Deathmatch map for TF2C is that generally gameplay areas in levels should be pretty wide. Tight spaces are still fine in moderation, but for the most part the majority of a DM map should be fairly wide and maneuverable, rather than tight and confined. Try not to make hallways as wide as the merc's playermodel for your entire map especially.  Also, if you want to save space and not use stairs and ramps all over your level, ladders are a great way of doing that by using the ladder tool texture applied over a model!

    Overall, have good placement of items, keep your areas of gameplay fairly spacious and varied, and overall your map should work out fine!

    <font size="5">Pickup Placement:

    <font size="2">Although the basics of deathmatch pickup placement were covered in the previous section, the more finer details of pickup placement in deathmatch should be covered here.

    First off, lets talk about Overheal Pills, or item_healthkit_tiny. The placement of pills in maps should be dispersed fairly evenly inside of levels, usually in small groups or lines where players can pick them up. This gives a sense of generally gaining overheal to the player and helps them keep moving forward in deathmatch without being mowed down instantly, and also helps players explore the level that you are making more by rewarding them for doing so.

    For weapon pickups, placing the pickup for certain weapons in areas that would make sense for them in a gameplay perspective would help too, doing so mainly helps the gameplay flow better than when not doing so because when weapons are placed inside of certain rooms rather than others, it can help direct the flow of action inside of a level better. For example, placing a shotgun in an area thats wider than others rather than in a hallway can help direct players to outdoor areas to pick up the shotgun before going into tighter areas of play, rather than just giving them what they need in the exact area they need it. However, doing that is also fine as well, but only really in moderation.

    Finally, for powerup pickup placement, powerups are best when they are placed in areas that are either tricky to get into, in the middle of alot of action, or both. Normally, a map usually has one powerup. However having 2 or 3 spawners in a map is fine too depending on placement.

    <font size="5">Respawn Placement:</font>

    Due to the lack of respawn rooms in Deathmatch, spawns in Deathmatch are very different from the other gamemodes and are mainly placed around areas inside of maps that contain items for the players to pick up and use nearby. This makes it so that although you could start out with rather weak equipment in DM, you could find more equipment easier so that you wont be just completely obliterated within a matter of seconds. In addition, there is spawn protection to take into account, which is a period where after respawning that a player in Deathmatch is invincible for 5 seconds unless they shoot and it wears off, so make sure to place spawns in areas that would make sense in regards to pickups.

    <font size="5">A Note on Art:</font>

    Art is a great thing that can really help make a level in a game really shine and stand out in a way. However, if placed in ways that would be an obstruction to the player, this could end up being tedious and could potentially interrupt gameplay, so try not to clutter your map's playing space too much with a ton of models, or else you could end up harming the flow of gameplay in a level, especially within deathmatch. This doesnt mean that adding detail to your levels is a bad thing though at all, this just means that you should try to avoid adding things that block players from maneuvering around an area in a way, unless there is a gameplay purpose behind it (such as cover, or something thats intentionally supposed to break the flow of gameplay.). In the end, try not to let the art of a level obstruct gameplay too much.

    <font size="5"><font size="2">Overall, a solid layout with solid pickup & spawn placement can really help make your level shine, and could even have it end up in the base game of tf2c itself.</font></font>
  2. Aichten

    Aichten Noob

    Great guide. Though I do recommend stairs rather than ramps for visual reasons and also sorta considering most weapons are hitscan and not projectile so stairs don't pose that large of an issue.
  3. Benjamoose

    Benjamoose Well-Known Member

    My suggestion (too busy to get on the Slack) TF2 has some decent ladder models and it seems to be a more appropriate standard to create a ladder model that can easily be stacked for variously lengths with TF2C.

    Then make the ladder tool texture an invisibly-rendered texture such as other tool related textures (assuming it's not already like that) and put that around the model.
  4. Digivee

    Digivee Noob

    Nevermind, my FGDs weren't setup.
  5. I agree with @Aichten however I think what you should do is use stairs as the visual component and use a clip brush to make ramps on top of them, so movement is smooth. It's a very important detail a lot of mappers don't consider. Ramps are just so much better gameplay-wise.
  6. MacD11

    MacD11 Not a Noob

    @SquishyPon3 We do this on official maps like Wiseau. This is true.
  7. Habber

    Habber Noob

    Ì do notice you said player clips, you should make them bullet clips as long as you use rocket/grenade launchers in your maps, so explosions don't get caught in the stairs and deal no damage. Less cursing about hit detection that way.
  8. @MacD11 One of the new official DM maps has a spot in need of a player clip brush, it can break the flow of bhops otherwise.

    Little video to show what I mean, sorry for the poor quality.
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