UAC CQC CTF - Ultimate Doom Themed CTF (working title)

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Joseph Hicks
 
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UAC CQC CTF - Ultimate Doom Themed CTF (working title)

#1

Post by Joseph Hicks » Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:52 pm

UAC: Close Quarters Combat
- WORKING TITLE -

In my quest for mapping improvement, I've been making a few maps every now and then, fleshing out designs, trying out stuff. I've been offered to participate in a pack or two, but always declined because I was unsure if I'd be able to deliver. Something of quality, at least.

This pack is a result of that effort.

I also went ahead and tried making it cross-compatible among the three big multiplayer ports - Zandronum, Zdaemon and Odamex - both because I've never mapped for the latter two, and out of curiosity for what would it take to do that. And I think I've succeeded.


Features:
  • - 27 2-way CTF maps - (with token One-flag CTF compatibility - the flag is there) - (27/27 complete!)
    - Cross-port compatibility! - Runs with ZANDRONUM, ZDAEMON and ODAMEX! (Tested!)
    - 3 different item layouts, using difficulty settings:
    ---- HARD (Ultra-Violence and Nightmare) has SSG starts with the occasional SG;
    ---- MEDIUM (Hurt Me Plenty) has SG starts with the occasional SSG;
    ---- EASY (I'm too young to die and Hey, Not Too Rough) has SG starts and no SSGs AT ALL.

    - New flag sprites - For all three ports, along with a lame flag stand.
    - (Zandronum) Runs with either DOOM II or Ultimate DOOM IWADS.
    By virtue of Doom II already possessing most of everything Ultimate Doom had, save a handful of textures in the pack. You'll have to play on Easy or Medium on Ultimate Doom, though - because no SSGs then.
Pending:
  • - Thorough testing and balancing The reason why it's still a WIP and not a RC
    - New graphics (CONBACK, M_HTIC, TITLEPIC, CREDIT)
Spoiler: Maps ----- (slot: name - size) (Open)
  • EPISODE 1 - Techbase (Complete!)

    E1CTF1: - Hangar Hanger Hunger --- Medium
    E1CTF2: - Lobby --- Small
    E1CTF3: - Sludge Control --- Large
    E1CTF4: - Blitz --- Small
    E1CTF5: - Vats --- Medium
    E1CTF6: - Nukage Plant --- Medium
    E1CTF7: - Observation Decks --- Large
    E1CTF8: - Phobos Routine --- Large
    E1CTF9: - Shipping and Handling --- Medium


    EPISODE 2 - Deimos (Complete!)

    E2CTF1: - Gateway --- Medium
    E2CTF2: - Warehouse Omega --- Large
    E2CTF3: - Toxin Refinery --- Large
    E2CTF4: - Darkness Below --- Medium
    E2CTF5: - Administration --- Medium
    E2CTF6: - Aisle 4 --- Small
    E2CTF7: - Treatment Facility ---Medium
    E2CTF8: - Stadium --- Large
    E2CTF9: - UAC CQC --- Small


    EPISODE 3 - Hell (Complete!)

    E3CTF1: - Riverbank Styx --- Medium
    E3CTF2: - The Pit --- Small
    E3CTF3: - Manse of Despair --- Small
    E3CTF4: - Butcher's Manse --- Small
    E3CTF5: - Compluvium --- Medium
    E3CTF6: - The River of Fire --- Small
    E3CTF7: - Bloodway --- Medium
    E3CTF8: - Desolate Garden --- Large
    E3CTF9: - Peekaboo Fortress --- Large
Naming maps is hard.
Screenshots for your pleasure.
Spoiler: 12 Screenshots, 4 from each episode. (Open)
Episode 1
Spoiler: E1CTF1: - Hangar Hanger Hunger (Open)
Image
Spoiler: E1CTF3: - Sludge Control (Open)
Image
Spoiler: E1CTF5: - Vats (Open)
Image
Spoiler: E1CTF8: - Phobos Routine (Open)
Image
Episode 2
Spoiler: E2CTF3: - Toxin Refinery (Open)
Image
Spoiler: E2CTF4: - Darkness Below (Open)
Image
Spoiler: E2CTF6: - Aisle 4 (Open)
Image
Spoiler: E2CTF9: - UAC CQC (Open)
Image
Episode 3
Spoiler: E3CTF1: - Riverbank Styx (Open)
Image
Spoiler: E3CTF4: - Butcher's Manse (Open)
Image
Spoiler: E3CTF5: - Compluvium (Open)
Image
Spoiler: E3CTF7: - Bloodway (Open)
Image
Find good places to take screens was as difficult as naming the maps.



Download:
Going to get a server running at a later date - I wanted to get the thread in place and do some private testing first, and THEN open up a server for the public. But if you want to host it yourself and give me feedback, it would be much appreciated!

I'm going to cross-post this on the other two forums when I'm confident enough I've got something decent.


Don't worry, I've still got Heretic DM in mind - there'll be, like, 5 episodes!! And stuff!!
"Courage does not choose color, size or prime matter." - Army Men

Heretic - Silverspring CTF! 45 maps, 2-way, one-flag ctf compatible.
Questionable quality, but they look decent - rework on the way.


UAC: Close Quarters Combat CTF! 27 maps, one-flag ctf compatible.
Work in Progress - Thorough testing pending.


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RE: UAC CQC CTF - Ultimate Doom Themed CTF (working title)

#2

Post by Ivan » Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:55 pm

I really like some of these screenshots, we should see how they play sometime though.
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RE: UAC CQC CTF - Ultimate Doom Themed CTF (working title)

#3

Post by Joseph Hicks » Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:11 pm

Yes, it has yet to be tested. I've decided to post the thread to start gathering some individual feedback and general reception - it's still a very much work in progress in terms of balance and some layout things I was unsure of.
"Courage does not choose color, size or prime matter." - Army Men

Heretic - Silverspring CTF! 45 maps, 2-way, one-flag ctf compatible.
Questionable quality, but they look decent - rework on the way.


UAC: Close Quarters Combat CTF! 27 maps, one-flag ctf compatible.
Work in Progress - Thorough testing pending.


POSTAL BIRD - Water is disgusted

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RE: UAC CQC CTF - Ultimate Doom Themed CTF (working title)

#4

Post by HeX9109 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 2:08 am

This looks very interesting. Good luck with the project!
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RE: UAC CQC CTF - Ultimate Doom Themed CTF (working title)

#5

Post by Doomkid » Mon Aug 03, 2015 2:18 am

Cool, will chuck the beta on the public oda CTF server too to get some cross port stuff happening. Looks sick!

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RE: UAC CQC CTF - Ultimate Doom Themed CTF (working title)

#6

Post by Joseph Hicks » Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:30 pm

Thanks Hex! I've been working on this on and off for the past few months, trying out some designs. I don't really have much experience with releases, plus I'm not a very good CTF player myself, so it's practically guaranteed I'm missing nuances and design that might be pretty obvious to experienced players. I expect having to change quite a few things pretty much everywhere before even thinking about moving to a release candidate. Thanks for your support!
Doomkid wrote: Cool, will chuck the beta on the public oda CTF server too to get some cross port stuff happening. Looks sick!
That would be super cool, Doomkid - the only real testing I've got for ZDaemon and Odamex were basic compatibility: I've hosted a private server, joined, added bots (ZDaemon), scored some caps, changed map, verified there were no horrible texture/sprite screw-ups, very basic stuff. Checking on how things actually unfold with the engine's peculiarities (nuances in physics, and stuff) would be invaluable.
"Courage does not choose color, size or prime matter." - Army Men

Heretic - Silverspring CTF! 45 maps, 2-way, one-flag ctf compatible.
Questionable quality, but they look decent - rework on the way.


UAC: Close Quarters Combat CTF! 27 maps, one-flag ctf compatible.
Work in Progress - Thorough testing pending.


POSTAL BIRD - Water is disgusted

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RE: UAC CQC CTF - Ultimate Doom Themed CTF (working title)

#7

Post by HeX9109 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:03 pm

You know, I ran around the first couple of maps and saw some things you might want to think about. You said that you are not a CTF player yourself, but I recommend you look at some other popular CTF maps and think about why they are fun and popular. How do the maps flow? Where are the flags located? Are there any tricks to getting to or from the flag? Where are the weapons located? How many powerups are there and how easy are they to get? Are there a lot of powerups or too many? What is a fine balance? zdctfmp map01, map04, and map08 are probably the most popular maps in history and have 0 powerups. Oh but 32in24-7 map22 is also a very popular and respected map and has a single soulsphere. How easy is it to figure out where to go or how things work? You have to remember that when someone joins a CTF server their team is immediately relying on them to help pull some weight. Do I have time to explore 1 or 2 nooks and crannies or all 8? Am I lost? Help!!

For example. When I spawned in the flag room in e1ctf1, The first thing I did was try to run toward the enemy base. I immediately was met with a window I could not jump out of. This confused me because jumping is pretty much accepted by all levels of CTF players and the window looked like it should be easy to jump through. Also the big grey door confused me. I kept trying to figure out a way to open it because it looks like a normal door in a hall way.

Also I know the maps are homages to their respective doom.wad originals, but there is a such thing as a map having overkill on texture variation and detail. Keep it simple and looking nice! Think about zdctfmp2 map16. This is also a e1m1 homage and it is very easy on the eyes.

I'm not trying to be mean or rude. I like the idea of this project and would like to see it succeed. Keep at it and it will be a great mappack.
Last edited by HeX9109 on Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: UAC CQC CTF - Ultimate Doom Themed CTF (working title)

#8

Post by Joseph Hicks » Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:25 pm

No, no prob, I understand. Your feedback is sincere, and much needed, and I thank you for that. I'm still discovering/getting used to the dos and don'ts of ctf design, like:
  • - Avoiding double-symmetry whenever possible because people get lost and the map feels bland. A habit I'm slowly growing out of, e1ctf5 being the biggest offender in the pack - though I think e2ctf9 turned out good, even with double-symmetry
    - Avoiding placing too much health, or the runner gets too much survivability by himself. Still having a problem with that definition of too much: 100 hp combined per base? Or both? Map-wide? I don't want people to just last forever without help, but I don't want people to have to die to get more health.
Spoiler: About e1ctf1 (long post) (Open)
HeX9109 wrote:I immediately was met with a window I could not jump out of. This confused me because jumping is pretty much accepted by all levels of CTF players and the window looked like it should be easy to jump through.
That possibility did cross my mind, but I thought allowing a jump out of the windows would be too cheap - too easy to take the flag out of the base, when there's already 3 ways out of it: hallway, drop and elevator (with outside help, at least). And I didn't want to raise the floor too much because I wanted the people in the base to be able to look down and shoot, and to shoot at the other base with less impediment. I did think of a texture to show it's blocked, but I didn't want to block the view and I honestly didn't think it would bother people that much.
HeX9109 wrote:Also the big grey door confused me. I kept trying to figure out a way to open it because it looks like a normal door in a hall way.
zdctfmp map01 has a decorative door on each base, right across the flag, inside the flag room and, unlike mine, they even show on the map as being double-sided. I did try to find ways to open it in first few plays, but because the automap indicated it as having something behind it. So there is a very successful precedent for having decorative doors in a map.

But your point did get me thinking: should I make it functional? I could make another path going around the flag room from behind, ending near the elevator downstairs. I'm hesitant because I'm afraid to make TOO many paths, but I'm open to suggestions.

[EDIT] We had a discussion on IRC - how about I put a scrolling texture in front of these doors, saying "--- LOCKED ---" in bold red letters, like a hologram thing, without blocking movement?
HeX9109 wrote:Also I know the maps are homages to their respective doom.wad originals, but there is a such thing as a map having overkill on texture variation and detail. Keep it simple and looking nice!
I did follow the original music progression of the IWAD, and it sems my inspiration by them got a little overboard then :P

About the texture variation overkill, could you give me an example? I'm thinking you mean the hallway upstairs, but I really liked how the visuals turned out. But I'm open to change, if it's disruptive, something could be done about it.
HeX9109 wrote:Think about zdctfmp2 map16. This is also a e1m1 homage and it is very easy on the eyes.
I always considered "Return to Phobos" a bit too bland, visually - I've never been too fond of one-texture rooms, unless it's unavoidable.
I've been throwing a few ideas for the other maps, and I'd appreciate an opinion because I'm a bit stumped:
Spoiler: Ideas (Open)
Spoiler: Episode 1 (Open)
E1CTF2:
  • - Add explosive barrels to slow down the sludge run.
E1CTF3:
  • - Turn the right side of the blue base and the left side of the red base in alternative routes to mid - like a sludge underpass that ends up at the mid pillar - to break the double-symmetry in the bases.
E1CTF4:
  • - Turn the combined switch press for the direct route into a single switch, while making the blocking pillars much higher to buy some time. like idl201x map21 - "Scary Flaggers/Nice Sprites".
    - Turn the sludge in the mid pass damaging and remove the fence on the upper pass to allow people from the upper route to jump down.
    - Remove the tech pillars from the two entrances to each flag room. I wanted to see how much they'd block during a live match first, though, because I really like they way the look.
E1CTF5:
  • - Remove one of the side passages (merging with mid as an open space), place some obstacles in there to break the direct run (forcing mid to take a turn) and add stairs leading to the soulsphere on the survivng side passage from mid.
E1CTF6:
  • - Remove the Radiation Suits, because pursuing someone with a radsuit through sludge without having one yourself could be frustrating.
E1CTF7:
  • - Turn one of the passages between the bases into a solid, wide bridge to break double-symmetry, while eliminating the two corresponding underpasses.
E1CTF8:
  • - Allow ground passage around the portal thing/monument, while adding some obstacles and shortening the distance because the upper mid, while direct, is too exposed and long.
Spoiler: Episode 2 (Open)
E2CTF3:
  • - Add lots of explosive barrels inside the sludge shortcuts or make them more straightforward to prevent camping with the flag inside them with the radsuit.
E2CTF7:
  • - Convert one of the sides of the map into one large building, like E2CTF3's mid, to break double-symmetry and add some ceiling height variation to the outside area.
E2CTF8:
  • - This map was a total "I got nothing" moment - I wanted to create a map with that music, but I didn't know what to do without repeating a lot of stuff from the other maps. Accepting suggestions.
Spoiler: Episode 3 (Open)
E2CTF4:
  • - Move the flags to a more visible position - like the middle of the flag room.
E2CTF5:
  • - Remove the blue armor from mid.
    - Close-off the alcove passage from the sides of mid, next to the soulspheres and turn them into decorative sectors instead.
E2CTF7:
  • - Add direct teleporters to each base next to the elevator in mid (with or without a teleport back?). like idl201x map14 - Generic Gray
E2CTF9:
  • - Remove the plasma rifle altogether, with no replacement.
    - Add obstacles to mid, because it's too open (what kind of obstacles, and where?). I'm hesitant to shorten the distance because it's just enough time to run from one base to the other when the walls go down.
It's all passive to change, I'm all ears, folks.

So far, the known technical screw-ups:
  • - E1CTF3 has a problem with two of the bridges - DB2 accuses nothing, but the sludge sectors are leaking and making the bridges cause damage.
    - There's a handful of lines across different maps that weren't tagged as impassable as they should.
    - The mid window in E1CTF1 is slightly misaligned.
Once again, thank you guys for all the feedback and the support - both here and on IRC!
Last edited by Joseph Hicks on Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Courage does not choose color, size or prime matter." - Army Men

Heretic - Silverspring CTF! 45 maps, 2-way, one-flag ctf compatible.
Questionable quality, but they look decent - rework on the way.


UAC: Close Quarters Combat CTF! 27 maps, one-flag ctf compatible.
Work in Progress - Thorough testing pending.


POSTAL BIRD - Water is disgusted

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RE: UAC CQC CTF - Ultimate Doom Themed CTF (working title)

#9

Post by HeX9109 » Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:09 am

Joseph Hicks wrote: That possibility did cross my mind, but I thought allowing a jump out of the windows would be too cheap - too easy to take the flag out of the base, when there's already 3 ways out of it: hallway, drop and elevator (with outside help, at least). And I didn't want to raise the floor too much because I wanted the people in the base to be able to look down and shoot, and to shoot at the other base with less impediment. I did think of a texture to show it's blocked, but I didn't want to block the view and I honestly didn't think it would bother people that much.
Understandable logic. However you still have to think about it from a player standpoint. Imagine you were playing defense and the enemy had help with getting the flag out of your base by having a friend lower the lift. Your immediate response is going to be to give chase. Oh but the lift raised and you have no way of lowering it, and you can't jump out any of the windows. You're stuck in that room. Yeah you can aim down to shoot out the window but the friend is right next to them to defend or claim the flag upon the first runner's death.

Oh God. Oh God. OH GOD.

This would not be fun for me, this would be frustrating and I would probably hate the map and rage quit.

Of course someone else might see it totally different from me. After all I am bad at Doom. :wonk:
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RE: UAC CQC CTF - Ultimate Doom Themed CTF (working title)

#10

Post by Joseph Hicks » Wed Aug 05, 2015 4:51 am

HeX9109 wrote:Imagine you were playing defense and the enemy had help with getting the flag out of your base by having a friend lower the lift. Your immediate response is going to be to give chase. Oh but the lift raised and you have no way of lowering it, and you can't jump out any of the windows. You're stuck in that room. Yeah you can aim down to shoot out the window but the friend is right next to them to defend or claim the flag upon the first runner's death.
I see I'll have to replace/remove that blue armor downstairs. Didn't really think that powerup through.

Hmm, there's only one small exit bottom, which could be blocked with rockets by the assisting player, preventing pursuit.

I have two solutions: the first would be increasing the time it takes for the elevator to come up, to give the defenders a chance of pursuit - but that would make an ascend more laborious and easier to counter.

The second would be converting that side window next to the elevator into a ledge you can jump down from, but blocked by bars, activated by a linedef downstairs, but timing it just right so the attacker coming from the elevator can't jump down on his own (prototyped it real quick over here and I've found an ideal time for that, it's possible). This way, the guy downstairs wouldn't have to activate the elevator to let they guy upstairs down, by virtue of triggering the linedef again, but by making those bars take longer to go up than the elevator, the defenders would have more time to respond (ideally, until the attacker's elevator goes up) - without altering the time of the elevator and making an ascend more difficult. And, due to how the linedef is positioned (covering the entire width of the passage), it would be activated anyway, even if the second guy didn't activate the ledge again - the runner, having descended through the elevator, would have to trigger it anyway to get out of there, exposing his back to an SSG shot.

I'm inclined towards that second solution, because I've prototyped it here and it seems to work, but it needs testing.
That box of rockets is now gone, to prevent spam blocking downstairs.
"Courage does not choose color, size or prime matter." - Army Men

Heretic - Silverspring CTF! 45 maps, 2-way, one-flag ctf compatible.
Questionable quality, but they look decent - rework on the way.


UAC: Close Quarters Combat CTF! 27 maps, one-flag ctf compatible.
Work in Progress - Thorough testing pending.


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RE: UAC CQC CTF - Ultimate Doom Themed CTF (working title)

#11

Post by Doomkid » Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:30 am

I've got that Odamex server up thanks to the help of Dr Sean and Mr Crispy.

Type 'connect grandpachuck.org:10680' in console.

As far as I can tell, everything functions perfectly throughout the maps, so the cross port compat is definitely there! I'm not a fantastic CTF player so my feedback isn't as valuable as Hex's, but as soon as there's a new build be sure to let me know and I can update the server. :)

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RE: UAC CQC CTF - Ultimate Doom Themed CTF (working title)

#12

Post by Armitage » Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:43 pm

I am happy face this is One Flag CTF compatible :3

Not that anyone plays the game mode because the definition of 'Pro' is if your adept at playing the same CTF and duel maps constantly so your accustomed to their layout, rather than let's see how you perform blind on a brand new wad :P Oh and elitists down with wad variety let's just play the same thing over and over.
Last edited by Armitage on Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: UAC CQC CTF - Ultimate Doom Themed CTF (working title)

#13

Post by Marcaek » Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:31 pm

Hey, if you want to get more people playing OneFlag go for it, but we tried running it for FNF recently and maybe 3 people showed up. It'll require a concentrated effort.

More CTF wads is cool and all, but hearing some of the complaints here I'd recommend trying to grab a few people for private testing.
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RE: UAC CQC CTF - Ultimate Doom Themed CTF (working title)

#14

Post by Joseph Hicks » Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:41 pm

Doomkid wrote:I've got that Odamex server up thanks to the help of Dr Sean and Mr Crispy.

Type 'connect grandpachuck.org:10680' in console.

As far as I can tell, everything functions perfectly throughout the maps, so the cross port compat is definitely there! I'm not a fantastic CTF player so my feedback isn't as valuable as Hex's, but as soon as there's a new build be sure to let me know and I can update the server. :)
Thank you, Sean and Crispy for that! :biggrin:

Glad to know the compatibility works - I kept screwing it up between internal revisions.

About opinion worth: while a veteran's opinion is, indeed, more in-depth and technical by virtue of extended experience, I do believe that the normal player's opinion is invaluable when considering the map's layout's and aesthetic's friendliness and intuitiveness. Don't hesitate to say what you think about it! All feedback is considered and appreciated.

I'm working on a second version - implementing the changes I proposed and that side exit modification to the first map to manage Hex's concern, I'll have it uploaded as soon as possible.
Armitage wrote:I am happy face this is One Flag CTF compatible :3

Not that anyone plays the game mode because the definition of 'Pro' is if your adept at playing the same CTF and duel maps constantly so your accustomed to their layout, rather than let's see how you perform blind on a brand new wad :P Oh and elitists down with wad variety let's just play the same thing over and over.
I focused on normal ctf and added the white flag in there, so the ctf compatibility is pretty marginal - it's playable, but not really balanced around it. But it's there!

While knowing the map is vital to play well, people do tend to go overboard about it. I do pick the less-played maps on priv whenever I get the chance - It got me thinking one day - an adaptation tournament: a tournament consisting of less heard/less played map packs, just to see which team can adapt the best to the situation, plus a wildcard match every now and then - consisting of a different game mode/number of teams, just for kicks: say, the preliminary, score division phase is mostly 2-way ctf with a final match consisting of Skulltag or, say, 3/4-way One-Flag CTF, depending on how many teams were close to being classified to the elimination phase. Then, elimination phase resumes 2-way ctf, with the semifinals being something wild again. To make it even better: withhold the maps and the wild game modes to the last minute so people can't prepare for it.

I'm going to try starting something like that one day, iron out the details - even if just once, just to see how it rolls :razz:
Last edited by Joseph Hicks on Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Courage does not choose color, size or prime matter." - Army Men

Heretic - Silverspring CTF! 45 maps, 2-way, one-flag ctf compatible.
Questionable quality, but they look decent - rework on the way.


UAC: Close Quarters Combat CTF! 27 maps, one-flag ctf compatible.
Work in Progress - Thorough testing pending.


POSTAL BIRD - Water is disgusted

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