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Old 03-15-2010, 01:44 AM   #1
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Escape maps in Fortress Forever

Before I'm told to search before posting, I have done my homework - but much of the information is old and/or out of date; hence the new thread.

This is my first post on the FF boards, so hello everyone! Go easy on me!

Now, regarding escape maps. I have played the vast majority of escape maps made for TFC to-date, as have several of my friends. We are all big fans of escape maps and their unique gameplay - so much so that we have nearly exhausted the mostly-finite supply available in TFC.

We have also played several of the escape maps for the popular mod, SvenCoop - however I'd be lying If I said that they are of the same quality as their TFC brethren (most usually devolving into monotonous monster-slogs).

Since I am an avid mapper for GoldSRC/Source, I figured that it was about time someone filled the gap left in TFC's wake. Before I started on anything, I figured I'd look around and see if there is a game/mod/community either based around, or supporting the development of escape maps on the Source engine.

Previously I had hopes in Synergy, however they have since simplified (and castrated IMO) their mod so much so that escape maps are much less feasible. I have looked at Obsidian Conflict, however they haven't updated in some time. I pondered Kreedz Climbing, and honestly it seems like the most "escape-friendly" mod at the moment. I even considered standard HL2DM, but that build of the Source engine has issues with several entities, and missing features compared to newer iterations of the engine.

I never really considered TF2, as it's gameplay and mechanics are carefully tailored to standard play - however it did make me think back to TFC, and then forward to Fortress Forever. This finally brings me to my question(s).

Firstly, are there any escape maps worth playing in Fortress Forever? Are mappers tending to use FF as their platform for creating escape maps in Source? Is there a comprehensive list of entities in FF that would compliment "escape-like" gameplay?

Secondly, if FF isn't suited to escape maps, what Source games/mods are? Is there a community here at FF that uses another platform to get their "escape fix"?

I ask these questions in an effort to establish where the Source gaming community is rooting it's "escape platform" before I start developing (and encouraging further development) towards Source-based escape maps.

Sorry for the rather lengthy post, but I have always loved escape maps, and want to see them continue through the current generation of games.

Thanks for your input!
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:50 AM   #2
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There are very few escape maps, I think there are currently 2 - 3 maps. I may be wrong.

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Is there a comprehensive list of entities in FF that would compliment "escape-like" gameplay?
Lua.
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:12 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricey View Post
Lua.
To clarify, there are only three basic entities relevant to FF mapping--triggers, player spawns, and items. What these entities do depends on a Lua script that you release with your map. You can do a huge amount of customization of the rules of your game, but You are stuck with HL2's entities for the most part.
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazycarl View Post
To clarify, there are only three basic entities relevant to FF mapping--triggers, player spawns, and items. What these entities do depends on a Lua script that you release with your map. You can do a huge amount of customization of the rules of your game, but You are stuck with HL2's entities for the most part.
It's interesting to hear that there is LUA support for individual maps; that certainly opens up several possibilities. However with regards to the entities, have any standard HL2/Source ones been specifically disabled or removed for Fortress Forever? As in, are there entities that would exist in say, HL2 or CSS, but not in Fortress Forever?

With regards to my second question, do FF players tolerate, or perhaps even enjoy escape-style maps? Would that be something that the FF community would like to see more of?

If this is something that FF players would like, would FF developers be interested in at least making sure that FF remains in such a state that allows (and doesn't break existing) escape maps through future updates? Or if the FF devs are interested in being proactive, perhaps adding escape-style requests by the community (if there were to be any)?

And if the FF playerbase doesn't want to see escape maps in this mod, what other mod or game do you play them in/would like to see them in?

These are very open-ended questions (except for the dev-related ones), so everyone's opinion is both warranted and encouraged! Thoughts and ideas are very welcome!
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:28 AM   #5
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Most of the basic Source entities are there--you can't use anything from CSS, nor can you use any NPCs or weapons from HL2.

I'm sure players will be happy to see well-made maps for FF; whether they will play them is another matter.

We certainly try not to break existing maps with updates. Whether we implement a new feature is up to the interests of the individual dev and their ability to do it. We're volunteers, after all.
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:58 AM   #6
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I do like do play a bit of ctf / skill maps but late night with some friends just to chill escape maps are the best : )

Im a mapper too (newbie one) and almost all entitys from hl2 will work in ff, and u also can use lua that allows you to do even + stuff, i would love to do some escape maps, but it requires advanced mapping skills to map them, because isnt only geometry and place resppaws and flags and ur done, u need logic entitys stuff and some advanced stuff : \

Atm the only escape maps in FF are is ff_escapebasex / ff_k_thegame / ff_heavy-machinery all made by the same dude.

Im pretty sure all FF comunity would love to see more escape maps, because its fun to frag, but cooperative gameplay like escape maps are great to chill , im a server owner too and people dont play a lot the existing escape maps because they already played them like a lot of times : )

About breaking stuff in future versions and stuff, i did some maps that here broke with some new versions, but trought lua, i was able to fix them without new compiles and stuff : )

And btw u can decompile or get the files of the sourcegold hammer files save it as rmf, and open them in hl2 hammer and just change spaws entitys and textures and a lot of stuff will work for sure.

What i miss in FF atm compared to TFC is the tons of escape / fun maps.
If u make any escape map, ill upload and run it on my servers like right away

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Old 03-15-2010, 04:10 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies!

I have used Worldcraft/Hammer extensively, so I already have a firm grasp of how to design maps for the Source engine. In the past I tried to recreate k_thegame2_r for Synergy back before they cut out many of the features that made said mod awesome, however after that change, I halted development and haven't picked it up since.

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Atm the only escape maps in FF are is ff_escapebasex / ff_k_thegame / ff_heavy-machinery all made by the same dude.
Does anyone have a copy of that "ff_k_thegame" map you were referring to? I wouldn't mind giving it a spin to see what entities were put to use within the confines of standard FF gameplay. A completed (or close to complete) escape map would let me see the feasibility of creating such gameplay for FF in the future.

Keep your opinions coming!
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:26 PM   #8
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I replied in the private message thing D :
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:06 PM   #9
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I would love to see more escape maps. Nothing was more better than to break away from the sometimes dull kill and cap gameplay.

I'm a mapper myself and all I can say is that FF mapping doesn't differ from your standard source mapping.

I look forward to seeing and playing your escape maps in the future.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:08 AM   #10
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Thanks for the interest in this endeavour of mine!

I have to admit, as appropriate as it would be to make escape maps for FF (as the natural evolution from TFC), I would love to create an "escape mod", based solely around the unique gameplay found only in escape maps.

Unfortunately, I'm only an environmental artist, and have very little coding skill - hence why I'm trying to guage community response in an established mod in order to determine whether it would be worthwhile to create these maps here - and if not, perhaps elsewhere.

Please keep your thoughts and opinions coming; they are much appreciated, and help me to get to know the FF community better.
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Old 03-16-2010, 03:25 AM   #11
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I would personally love more escape maps, and I know lots of people that would agree on that.
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:05 PM   #12
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Since I can't play and my addiction to FF is so arcane and un'sas'ified - I spent a couple of hours installing and playing with hammer. Not sure I have it installed correctly (that is another thread). I can see how escape maps would be difficult to make.
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:08 AM   #13
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What are escape maps?
Everyone else seems to know already
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Old 03-17-2010, 07:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nezumi View Post
What are escape maps?
Everyone else seems to know already
I'd recommend taking a look at this video.
It's a small compilation of some of the obstacles that need to be overcome in a TFC map by the name of k_thegame2_r. My friends and I have played that particular map to death, speedrunning it endlessly. I am not featured in that video, but my friends Ace7 (red), SiberX (yellow), and the videographer toastfox (white) are the three players.

As for a textual description; escape maps are co-operative maps designed to be completed with multiple players (usually 2, sometimes more). The puzzles and obstacles featured both test one's knowledge and ability to navigate the nuances of the engine the map was designed for, as well as test one's thinking and problem-solving skills in various ways.

Examples of simple mechanics could be pushing two buttons that are distant from each other at the same time to activate something, or "stacking" on one person to reach something not low/close enough for a normal jump by one person, and even backtracking through part of the map in order to reach a previously locked area.

The objective of every one of these maps was usually to make it to the end and "escape"; in other words, to complete all of the tasks presented to you successfully. Because some of the maps could take quite some time to complete, there were usually progressive spawn points as players inched their way towards the end - another option was to use a teleport near the beginning that changed destinations as players made their way closer to their goal.

Since I can't do much more in terms of explanation, I'll list some of the decent ones I've played, and encourage some FF players to jump into a map with some determination to complete one (or more!).

For TFC;
k_thegame > simple, gives a good representation of escape gameplay, next to no "thinking" puzzles

k_thegame2_r > tougher, I've personally played this one ad nauseum, some thinking required

arcticescape_r > mostly well-designed map (except right at the end), some thinking/timing puzzles

hackers_beta2 > very long, very well-designed (albeit tough), several thinking puzzles; this is a great example of what escape maps can be - with a checkpoint system, this map would be near-perfect

There are SvenCoop escape maps, but I stress that the best are for TFC. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:09 PM   #15
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Don't forget colony_xr (or whatever) and artifact
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Don't forget colony_xr (or whatever) and artifact
You mean colonyx_r.

There are many, many escape maps for TFC; I only listed a few as an example. A couple more good ones I didn't mention are jurassicpark, and saw_beta.

..I was tearing my hair out trying to jump across those lilypads in artifact when I last played it. Stupid Sun Sceptre.. :P
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:13 PM   #17
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nice vid, love the song. Had to look up who it is.
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Old 03-20-2010, 08:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
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nice vid, love the song. Had to look up who it is.
Thanks!

That video was taken by one of my friends, and like I mentioned earlier I'm not in it. D: But it is a good example if anyone is wondering just what escape maps are.

Also, after tossing around some design ideas, I feel I have the basis for a decent "first attempt" at making an escape map for FF. Of course by first attempt, I'm referring to my first attempt, as there are one or two escape-style maps currently available.

I'm no stranger to Source mapping, so with any luck it should turn out rather well (at least I hope)! Keep in mind that I've only recently completed the draft for the basics of the map; location, theme, puzzles, etc. I've begun layout planning, but that should take me at least a week, and then finally by then I should be able to start some actual mapping!

Look for a dedicated thread sometime in the near future, with development updates, screenshots, etc. Hopefully with its release, other mappers will come to the fore and realize that FF is a great platform to revitalize this type of gameplay.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:14 PM   #19
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I would make some escape maps, but I'm all out of creativity. Actually, in the past we were thinking about creating a community attack and defend map. There would be four sectors and four mappers each with their own theme and style. That never worked, but it might work if the community tried to do an escape map. Each person contributes a few rooms with a puzzle or something; add all the rooms up into one big map.

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Old 03-20-2010, 09:59 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I would make some escape maps, but I'm all out of creativity.
Nonsense! I started several days ago with a blank slate, and just today I finished another layout draft. If originals are too tough at the moment, focus on a recreation of something you like or find interesting. My friends and I recently completed jurassicpark for TFC and we had a blast! The theme and setting were unoriginal, but the gameplay and puzzles were definitely well done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
Actually, in the past we were thinking about creating a community attack and defend map. There would be four sectors and four mappers each with their own theme and style. That never worked, but it might work if the community tried to do an escape map. Each person contributes a few rooms with a puzzle or something; add all the rooms up into one big map.
That's a great idea! Start a thread about it, create some interest, and gather some mappers! I suggest popping into Interlopers to see if there's anyone there that might want to participate (and perhaps promote the map a bit while you're there?).
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