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My entry for the contest

de_grotto, as you might expect, takes place in a grotto, one half is set in a cave portion of it, while the other is set out in the open with a surrounding structure related to the grotto. 

I first though of the theme/idea of this map a few months after the 2017 contest ended and see it as a chance to redeem myself for the failures in my 2017 contest entry de_vermeil, most notably the awful displacement mountain and rocks that were made improperly and looked awful as a result. The cave system will prove challenging but I believe I now have the skill required to take on such a large undertaking. The biggest failure however, with my previous map had to be bombsite A which was notably bland in both gameplay and theme, while cave theming will prominent in bombsite B of this map, bombsite A's theming has yet to finalized and a lot of placeholder blockwork is present.

Im not yet ready to reveal the overall theme of de_grotto as it is still very early and I may find something I like better, but I think I currently have a concept that will set it apart from the other exotic maps in this competition. My current focus is on the greybox and making a competent layout that doesnt heavily rely on the dust2 formula (another failure of my previous map)

 

Early Overview

20190616015101_1.jpg.45dad4d7a10647aa56f2bd6d54d160f8.jpg

 

Bombsite A is in red while B is in Blue, the cts start at the bottom and Ts at the top right. Currently I feel as though the b portion of the map is pretty decent, but im not so sure about the a side, and I suspect it will be the area that sees the most change before the end of the greybox stage

 

Bombsite A

aexotic0001.jpg.fe66cf366dbbe15ad659f929b65e3114.jpg

 

Bombsite B

 

aexotic0002.jpg.2e5badb86da4cafd8a5eff2aa47a46ab.jpg

 

Early theme blockout

 

aexotic0003.jpg.68600f7e1d6a7d142219b172cc3b269b.jpg

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An update on how things are currently going, after a few months of on/off work ive come to a more final version of the greybox layout. Certain theme elements have also become apparent. Im hoping to have a playtest ready version of this map by the end of the month.

 

Current overview

aexotic0009overview.jpg.bcbcf89ed7b61221489ca424f37694dd.jpg

 

B site

aexotic0004.jpg.d723cc7944e61263b738c1414bfd333c.jpg

A site

aexotic0005.jpg.382054afa6283cad936a1bb40a3d415d.jpg

Middle

aexotic0006.jpg.a040ed66632fd9cf09cd7e418f218cb2.jpg

CT Spawn

aexotic0007.jpg.d8ac319b5c3901b1558c8e1dde47e79c.jpg

T spawn

aexotic0008.jpg.fd6956af1f3fd126d7f11e09142bf5aa.jpg

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Small update

Obviously I never got a playtest version out at the end of September and that is still on going as I try to wrap the ever changing middle area. Ive was also caught up with another map and still am and as im sure many of you know trying to handle 2 maps at once is difficult.

One of the issues that has been plaguing me has been the outdoor areas of the map. The map is set on a mountain/canyon area and originally I was going to have displacements for the outdoor canyons. This quickly became a nightmare to try and work out do to the amount of twisting in the paths and my original solution was to have corners be pre made rock props to try and hide the join. As time went I gradually figured out that I did not have the skill to make displacements with rock textures look like actual bumpy rocks. I was also having issues with the texture seem between the ground and the canyon walls. I eventually decided to just use pre-made rock props to form the canyon walls. They looked better and I no longer had to deal with so much vertex editing but it came with an expected side affect. The bumps in the rock props made angles strange and the texture seem was still obvious This discouraged me for a while because the map began to feel hauntingly like one of those unity asset flip games where premade assets are sort of stuck together to form a less then cohesive environment.

This slowed development down for me tremendously as I began to become uninspired with the theme. However today I believe I have both found a solution to the rock prop problems but also reignited the spark to carry forward with this map. I was looking into rock-catch fencing for decorative use in the map when I realized I could use it to form actual angles and block players from seeing the obvious seem between the rocks and the ground. The concrete wall base also creates cleaner and simpler backgrounds that so far seem to allow for better visibility of players.

aexotic0005.jpg.7e57a67ce3caf7737652380dd0c14f1b.jpg

This is all I have to share for now but im hoping to actually have a playtest version of this map out by mid November

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Another quick update, I believe I have found a good solution to middle and I think I will have a playtest-beta version out in the next few days

Until then here are some assets I have been working on for the map

zoo_grotto0000.jpg.495d0b0a703dbc4d61b17a3b1f13517d.jpg

Rock Catch fencing as previously shown

zoo_grotto0001.jpg.11b6c1d3639dad94d9f5d04ed12ba69e.jpg

Wooden Bridge paneling, shadows are messed up do a shader error

zoo_grotto0002.jpg.fccf8970cd008d3e7bb2df03b664edb0.jpg

2 kinds of large wooden doors with and without studding to replace the previous stock dust2 doors

 

zoo_grotto0003.jpg.d152a323ba5d51a4086cf776b3d7395f.jpg

WIP Broken Version of above doors, I dont currently have a broken splintered wood texture for the core and the separate hinges are still pretty basic

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Heres a quick radar for the upcoming playtest version, I believe I have finally come up with an interesting mid that has real value to hold/take. My previous problem with mid was how to make it worth it for Ts to want but also make CTs able to counter a mid take form either T path.

With the original layout (seen in the first port of this topic), mid was essentially worthless and sucked to play since it was a flat lane essentially, Ts had no reason to take it because all of their alternate paths were already avaible.

With the first major overhaul (seen in the second post) Ts had a reason to want to take mid but the gameplay was still dull because of the mostly flat lane and no cover. The a path was over complicated with 2 different spiral stairs and an open room that cts had to sit in and bore them selves to death waiting for a possible attack. The b mid path was harder to take but not really worth it since the ct mid path offered essentially the same thing and the mid player could just rotate back and guard the one way drop while Ts had no choices for attack.

grottoe_test_radar.jpg.ac5368a48fdf9ff39331b8a772d986bc.jpg

Now mid is something to fight for.

The a path is easier to take but is more risky. The ts are faced with a one way drop into a large room with some cover. No more spiral stairs taking up time, simple pathways that allow the ct players to stop contemplating suicide if the Ts dont go mid. Once in the large room Ts can go down the stairs to a or circle to b through ct spawn, but can not go back mid. They still have choice but are limited.

the B path is now worth taking, the T players now have a bridge going over the secondary ct path allowing them to flush out ct players and throw more grenades. Players can still turn back when they are on the bridge but once they drop down they must either go to their secondary b entrance but without having to worry about guarding cts or can back around and go down the primary ct path which offers them a third entry into the bombsite, they can also go through ct to A or even go back down the ct mid path and go back to mid. There is now value to the B-mid path.

Gameplay in mid is now more exciting, the ct mid path now leads to a snipers nest that can not be reached without a boost form the Ts, there is cover for the Ts to use and cts can try risky counters by boosting players one either 1 way drop from the a and b mid paths.

 

Overall I am excited to see how the new middle plays out in a real 5 v 5 match in an upcoming playtest

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Beta version of the map is now up on the workshop and there is a playtest scheduled for thursday

 

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1915402320

 

Here are a few screenshots

 

de_grotto_beta120002.jpg.55779585ee9ea9853df56a80444a0b57.jpg

Bombsite B

de_grotto_beta120004.jpg.031ee2b13b53580a6aba9bbadd315055.jpg

Bombsite A

de_grotto_beta120006.jpg.90926c2fe4159fa0b3b97a74b552b880.jpg

Middle

de_grotto_beta120003.jpg.81a2b2ba1d495ec557f474da940c6333.jpg

CT spawn

de_grotto_beta120005.jpg.cd0706128aa123c01f48f692781d0c1a.jpg

T Spawn

 

Please let me known what you think of the layout if you test it

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38 minutes ago, fewseb said:

Small update, I spent most of today working on this set of modular crates for use around the map. I hope to have a larger update soon.

 

zoo_grotto0000.jpg.e5a58a18cd157970038b9aa14441272a.jpgzoo_grotto0001.jpg.f10f772841ea58134bb7422799660278.jpg

i think need fix smooth groups. 
For example remove smooth on wooden planks, and make smooth only on rope. 
Try to make it :

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Edit: removed the quote because it added an enormous blank space for some odd reason.

At first glance, I thought that meat was strawberry ice cream and was really disappointed when I scrolled down.

Anyway, Waldo does have a point here. A map with so many corridors doesn't stand out very well and doesn't typically play very well. If I were you, I'd limit myself to one, if not zero corridors. Try opening some of them up, and I don't just mean make them wider. Change the shape of these areas... unless you really want to take a jab at claustrophobic individuals.

Now, remember, I'm not telling you to make these changes, I'm just showing you from a first glance how to open areas up. I'll give you an example of some things you can do here:

grottoe_markup.jpg

Edited by Wintrius

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1 hour ago, Wintrius said:

Anyway, Waldo does have a point here. A map with so many corridors doesn't stand out very well and doesn't typically play very well. If I were you, I'd limit myself to one, if not zero corridors. Try opening some of them up, and I don't just mean make them wider. Change the shape of these areas... unless you really want to take a jab at claustrophobic individuals.

Now remember, I'm not telling you to make these changes, I'm just showing you from first glance how to open areas up. I'll give you an example of some things you can do here: 

Hey thanks for the feedback, I do agree that in the beta version of the map it does get claustrophobic. Being that much of the B area is set in caves I am somewhat limited in what I can do to reduce the corridor feel. However I have mostly been extensively working on the B side and it doesnt much resemble the beta version anymore. I agree that that areas you highlighted on A should be more open but I have not worked on that area much.

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Ive updated the beta version today, there will hopefully be a playtest soon. B side is lagging behind visually but other then that I think its come a long way in a short time span.

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1915402320

 

de_grotto_beta340004.jpg.ac2104d5616ac8a1963a58e28b27f429.jpg

B site

de_grotto_beta340003.jpg.1e84459864aff815c1db63212e7c3dfd.jpg

A site

de_grotto_beta340002.jpg.78f851c167d279d18b1a05d35095143e.jpg

Middle

de_grotto_beta340000.jpg.8f0dc41afbe59e3f75ce2f008c02ce27.jpg

CT spawn

de_grotto_beta340001.jpg.04df3fd49eeffaffb06b5b639c67714f.jpg

T Spawn

 

Current Overview

grottobeta34overview2.jpg.82e969b463ecbbb706f6fa10cd6fdefd.jpg

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