OperaHouse

Feedback, discussion & bug reporting on current maps
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Maniac
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OperaHouse

Postby Maniac » Sat 21. Feb 2015, 22:54

Just played this map... Well, I am not amused.
Sorry for the whining post in advance ;)

- the name is OperaHouse, and the only Opera-ish thing in it is that grey unnamed building in the middle
- many map flaws, such as invisible blocks, non-aligned textures etc
- bad global design - so much space, so many places to use - and so little space is actually used. You can never tell if that ruined house contains a node, a superweapon, a path to core, a clown from far space or just nothing. You can let 32 players there and they can wander around and never see each other
- bad local design - you can never tell where you are without a minimap... everything is alike in the bad meaning of this word

There are couple of good sides, though
- the "destroyed city" setting with buildings and all - it's nice to see that map has own style
- semi-open world (not Bitchslap corridors and not Kingdom fields)
- pretty good nodes layout (there was no clash on 1-2 nodes with other left idle)

What I can recommend about it:
- create artificial walls around the map (ruined buildings, debris... whaterver, just not the blocking volumes in thin air! at least the map borders could be different from all the other map elements)
- A hard one, but still: change internal buildings architecture. The good example is Call of Duty 2 Russia multiplayer maps - even with many doors, windows, holes in the walls; even with many corridors, rooms and multiple floors - there are almost always only so many entry points in any given location, or the location is of "arena" type. What is the use of 20 randomly placed ruined buildings on 100x100 meters square if they do not offer anything in tactical sense but, well, using them as obstacles?
- Change buildings density so they are clustered. Good example is Call of Duty 2 Africa multiplayer maps - even with many small passages and houses, it is perfectly clear if this "block" part of city is an arena or an obstacle. The idea of Onslaught is to strike where there are no enemies and to react where they are - and it implies that you KNOW it; you either have some choices (passages, like Primeval) or see them from afar (open space, like Dria).
Players don't like neither too many choices nor too few. Give them 1 passage and they complain that it's a spamhouse (see old version of MasterShower, without tunnels). Give them a map with hundreds of passages and it's a spamhouse again.
- Add more memorable landmarks that can be seen from ground-level - tall buildings, unique architecture, maybe even differently colored buildings. For example, in Spiffingrad there is a railroad that goes through all the map, and you always know if you are going parallel or normal to it, and on which side of it you are now.
- More like a whim, but I like to play maps with some background in them.
VK Playground is an arena created only for battle - and you expect to see exploitable elements there - and you have all those boxes, climbers, railings etc.
Hollon is something from another world (a shame that it's balance is bad, but I still like the visuals).
Even the cursed MTMU explains that you are in some kind of modern city.
OTOH, Torlan is something weird - you can never guess what is that tech tower doing in the middle of natural landscape.
If there is a "ruined 20th century city" setting, you expect to see some big roads, some small roads, some appartment buildings, some industrial/administrative buildings (an underground passage in Nevermore is a good example). You definetley do NOT expect a 2x2 kilometers square of copy-pasted ruins.

Verdict:
A moderate implementation of a good idea; can be turned into a nice map, but it'll require a big amount of work.

P.S.: I really thought the Opera House is the *insides* of it - all the seats, curtains et cetera, not the outsides :D

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Cat1981England
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Re: OperaHouse

Postby Cat1981England » Sun 22. Feb 2015, 00:10

A big thank you to GL for quickly editing this map over the last couple of days on my request :clap:

---------------

Thanks for the feedback Mani, I should put out though that this map is extremely buggy. On the original version which was hosted on here a couple of years ago, you could walk straight of the map because the map author couldn't place blocking volumes around the edge without creating lot's of bsp holds everywhere. TBH the only real way to get this up to standard would be to rebuild from scratch including all the buildings. If we had more man power and time before UT4 it could be considered, but we don't and there are more efficient ways of using our time on other maps.

This has been requested on the server a few times and here on the forum, such as link and link. All the main flaws are fixed including the mines, weapon lockers, skybox and general appearance, ambient sounds, bot pathing, bsp holes, performance, ladder volumes, open borders and a host of other issues.

It isn't perfect I admit, but lets give it more then a 7 minute match and 3 minutes before people start passing judgement ;)
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

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Maniac
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Re: OperaHouse

Postby Maniac » Sun 22. Feb 2015, 10:18

It isn't perfect I admit, but lets give it more then a 7 minute match and 3 minutes before people start passing judgement

I know that was not the most polite thing to do, but for me it still looks very similar to OmahaBeach: a really good idea, a nice sketch, and billions of small issues that ruin the map experience and move it from "self consistent finished work with unique idea" (e.g. Slated World - it's not perfect, too, but the main idea is implemented really well) to "one more decorated DM map". My perfectionist brain is bleeding for such things :(

// Offtopic ON

If we had more man power and time before UT4...

On this topic again... I think that UT2004 modding community (what remains of it at moment) will hang in there for some years more, at the very least.
The payment model of UT4 mods looks a lot like mobile apps market now, and I guess it'll inherit some feature of latter.
Most probably, there will be several (both free and non-free) implementations of each aspect of legacy UT games (weapons, vehicles, game modes, visuals...) with slightly different features and slightly different bugs, instead of one-size-fits-all community mod for each aspect.
Even with money question put aside, the marketplace rules on content are still... weird, to say the least.
https://www.unrealengine.com/marketplace/marketplace-business-terms-faq
The author retains almost full control over created assets and anyone willing to improve them have to do it via the author. And, the icing on the cake is Epic can remove any and all content, well, anytime they want - if it's not *popular*, if there are *complains*, if there are *potential copyright infringement*, if, if, if...
Therefore, I doubt it that we'll have UT2004 on UEngine4, especially if the editor itself is not free and if mods are not open to edit by anyone (it can be either legal limitations, or technical ones, or just non-free mods which start a subject of "who gets the money for improving an existing mod" - people are greedy creatures, you know...).

// Offtopic OFF

joeblow
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Re: OperaHouse

Postby joeblow » Tue 24. Feb 2015, 18:09

Played it once played pretty well I thought with minimal addition of vehicles to it.

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ThunderCat
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Re: OperaHouse

Postby ThunderCat » Tue 24. Feb 2015, 23:33

I tried this map for the first time the other night -- and I must say I was quite pleasantly surprised :mrgreen:
Sure it might have a few rough-patches (as Mani pointed out), but I still think its rather playable.

Sorry I dont have any real constructive feedback -- just hoping it will come back/stay up a little while longer :thumbup:

Cheers!
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Cat1981England
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Re: OperaHouse

Postby Cat1981England » Wed 25. Feb 2015, 21:37

Maniac wrote:I know that was not the most polite thing to do, but for me it still looks very similar to OmahaBeach: a really good idea, a nice sketch, and billions of small issues that ruin the map experience and move it from "self consistent finished work with unique idea" (e.g. Slated World - it's not perfect, too, but the main idea is implemented really well) to "one more decorated DM map". My perfectionist brain is bleeding for such things :(


That's a great way of looking at these maps :thumbup: It's just from an admin point of view, an editor could very kindly spend a few months on a map like this to get it to a visually good standard or get 2/3/4 maps up to a good bug/performance/gameplay standard in the same time.

On a side note, Turbo has very kindly given us the ok to edit his and Wormbo's copy of OmahaBeach. I'll start a thread this weekend for this map.

On this topic again... I think that UT2004 modding community (what remains of it at moment) will hang in there for some years more, at the very least.


I don't know how it's going to go tbh. We're doing very well at the moment and our player base is about 10% up on what it was last year, but those are not new players, they're players from other servers and the overall trend for UT2004 is down. UT4 is going to be a big shock to the current player base as UT3 was, and if I was forced to put money on what will happen I would say that it will finally kill off UT2004. I hope it won't, but I think it will :(
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

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Maniac
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Re: OperaHouse

Postby Maniac » Wed 25. Feb 2015, 22:37

OFFTOP on

...an editor could very kindly spend a few months on a map like this to get it to a visually good standard or get 2/3/4 maps up to a good bug/performance/gameplay standard in the same time.

As for me, the editor (especially the good and experienced one) is, first and foremost, an artist. He/she is spending time on maps not because he/she is paid for this or there is some "task pool" with strict order. I doubt it that GLoups! would spend time on 3 x TanksALot-level maps instead of 1 x FallenCity. But yet, it's only from mine point of view.

...and if I was forced to put money on what will happen I would say that it will finally kill off UT2004...

Finally - yes, but it takes years to end a game in natural ways. And I'd put my money on it, too - up to the moment I read about editor/content pricing and rules. I'm really not sure now... UT2k4 is last "classical" game in series, UT3 being way too much AAA. Last time I've seen a multiplayer game die was in 2007, and it was mostly because of bugs and small community. Hell, even Starcraft Brood War is played yes. Even UT99 is, to think of it ;)

OFFTOP off

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EmanReleipS
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Re: OperaHouse

Postby EmanReleipS » Mon 2. Mar 2015, 23:44

Okay, just played it for the first time and I have to second Mani's opinion: It will need a lot of work.

The city (streets and buildings) layout is confusing and could be cleared up a bit, with some major/bigger roads added. A lot of the ruins also have paper-thin walls, which is a bit unrealistic.

Vehicles are difficult to use since the ground is so uneven and there is so much rubble around everywhere. I think raptors (more of them) and some mantas (since they hover) would be more suitable for this map than badgers.

Finally, I'd recommend changing the node setup somehow.

Image

Having the primaries (3 and 4) connected to 3 nodes each is a bit much, especially because one of the secondaries (1 and 2 respectively) is so far away and hard to reach. How about connecting 1 and 6 (instead of 1 and 3) and connecting 2 and 5 (instead of 2 and 4)?
Image

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GLoups!
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Re: OperaHouse

Postby GLoups! » Sat 26. Sep 2015, 17:32

Somes serious feed-backs there :) , i'm actually playing with the static-meshes, import them in 3dsmax, treat them for bad vertex/lightning, re-texturing and re-import into ued, ******* seams :bam:

Todo list:

- Fix bads ambients-sounds.
- Link setup.
- may be fews news nodes..somewhere inside the buildings.
- Move the cores into the hangars (on the left of actual position) by making entrances in the mesh.
- To many badgers : need others vehicles (may be an aegis or something like).
- Add phantom painter (autonomous version) .
- Clean up terrain and fix holes in it.
- Making the comebacks easiers.
- Reduce file size.

ps: great idea with the fences Cat :thumbup: .

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Droopy_Bollocks
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Re: OperaHouse

Postby Droopy_Bollocks » Sat 26. Sep 2015, 18:53

Hi guys,

Just to add my opinion :

I don't think any more aerial vehicles will add anything to the map, one of the most frustrating (and challenging) things is the uneven ground, you can't really get from point to point on the map too quickly and end up with the constant influx of reinforcements as you do with other maps - i.e. endless pile ups of kills and camping at key nodes.

Simplifying the map too much will make it bland and easy, unless that's what we're now aiming for as a server then why do it?

there are buildings unused that could be made to serve good purposes (difficult to reach deemers, health etc) but simply making it smoother and faster to traverse will make gameplay worse, yes clear out a couple of routes but certainly don't make it easier to get tanks into camping positions - that's too easy already.

And I'm afraid adding Mantas will simply bring out the manta runners who will spend all game flatting out players without actually adding to the gameplay.

A tricky map to play is a good thing, make players work hard to get from node to node, fast isn't always a good thing because it just leads to boring stalemates where teams can ferry in vehicles and players endlessly in quick succession.

DB
Don't bother asking - I won't answer.

I'm not ignorant, just finding being quiet stops me getting a bollocking ;-)


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