By TheMasterDS 3 Comments
So six months ago I posted about a map I was working on called Thunderclash. This map was of a mode of my own creation called Timeline (Well, it was called Advantage originally, but Timeline is better) which sought to solve problems I saw in KOTH and 5 Point Control Point maps like Granary, Well, or Blackmesa. Designed specifically with the mode in mind, it was an elaborate proof of concept. However, as the semester started up I found myself with less free time, and what free time I had ended up being spent watching Whiskey Media content or playing a variety of video games, plus purchasing Starcraft II right after returning from a vacation didn't help the map get made either. That said, while I am one who has abandoned many many great ideas in the past due to lack of time or more likely another new idea, I can't help but regret abandoning Thunderclash because whenever I looked at the layout, I remembered how brilliant it really was.
So the other day, as the holidays are closing up and I finish up the 5 or so games I decided to play through over the break (Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Darksiders and Alan Wake namely) I got the urge to step back and give it another shot.
So then, the map and the mode. I'll start with the mode. Way I saw it, KOTH has a simple problem, and that it's very static. There's never any place in KOTH where there is a dramatic shift in the action, no place where you say "Alright, I've captured X, now I need to push forward more before they are ready for us" because once you've done X in KOTH you're done, and all that's left is to see how long you can sit. Meanwhile, in 5 point CP maps a lot of games would end up being big long stalemates where two teams would exchange the central 3 points for a half hour until one, by some miracle, managed to push all the way. Way I saw it, most of the conflict was over the middle 3 points, yet it doesn't really contribute to the result of the game in the grand scheme of things.
The mode was designed to fix that. Instead of 5 points, it had 3, and instead of saying that once all 3 are captured one team wins, instead there are 2 timers, and when one team has all 3 points, only their timer counts down. Otherwise both timers count down. This way, the games would become more about gaining an advantage over the other team and forcing the disadvantaged team to be on the offensive, because it not merely a matter of "We have to stop them from taking our point or we'll lose instead of stalemate" it's "We have to push forward, or we'll lose." Additionally when you capped the center 30 seconds would be added to your opponents timer, meaning that a true advantage would be over 30 seconds, i.e. you could lose the center and still win if they didn't get any farther.
The map was designed to be a proof of concept of this mode, focusing on giving attackers of any point a variety of attack routes, whether they were in their own base or their enemies. For its center point, I looked at Black Mesa's Center point and took elements from there, while still building a more open point with a variety of good flanking routes. For the base, I went through several iterations as I struggled to find a design that was both simple, and offered a good variety of routes such that the point would be hard to hold, but not impossible to take. After giving it one last redesign, I think I've got it down though. The map is called Thunderclash, and uses stuff from the Swamp pack, idea being it'd be set in either a disused laboratory or a decrepit mansion, which I'd think would make sense for a bog.
Here's the most recent and hopefully final layout. For previous ones you can look in the previous blog. Darker regions indicate higher areas, the water is shallow apart from a single area where you can swim into a building, and there are some ramps that are expressed as a rectangle of the high color outlined with the low color, but it's not consistent as I only started doing that today. Also the map is mirrored.
That's about it, just have to build it now. By it I mean the base since the center point is (and was at the time I bought Starcraft II) just about completed. Only issue now is my laptop seems to have trouble compiling it since it isn't great, and it's not rendering the water properly for some reason. At this point I'm hoping the design is strong enough that someone would be compelled to help me build it and make it pretty at some point, but in the meanwhile I'm trying to stay optimistic and just build it so I can see if it works as a map soon.