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de_loreley [wingman]


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  • 7 months later...

Long time no see everyone. I finally started up Hammer again and worked on this a bit. 

I created a new path inside the house, reproportioned the map and gave it a new dark aesthetic, just because.

 

What do you all think? 

967952365_de_resized_loreley_pa3_CTtunnel_0032.jpg.79e75775443b8aa915a9d1920d8614e1.jpg8269366_de_resized_loreley_pa3_CTStreet_0004.jpg.5b78adce3d06492dd729a0df0492de1c.jpg

More pictures on Imgur: https://imgur.com/gallery/kLiYONZ

Layout picture to follow. I am working with MANY instances and that's a pain for Terri's Autoradar.

Please feel free to message me, if you've figured out a smart workaround / fix for that.

Workshop link after Overview is done. 

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15 hours ago, Kokopelli said:

The crawl space under the bus is really cool. Love the whole vibe of the map. It has a lot of character. Nice job!

Thanks, great to hear you like it! This it the first time I am really moving past simple greyboxing.

I am also really interested in finding out how that crawlspace plays. Bots are just way too stupid for that sort of thing ^^. They barely even use the beach / house routes... So there is a lot to be learned from a playtest!

Edited by Freaky_Banana
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Alright everyone, workshop is up: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2392048922 !

I couldn't be bothered to deal with TAR and instances, so I offer you this crappy 2015-looking piece of overview instead: Please excuse me for it ... I swear I will make a pretty one once the geo is locked in.  

de_resized_loreley_pa3_radar.png.4821d0413935d9aee68c302a9cb431b9.png

 

Oh and I chose to make my own truck models, because the prop_static ones I used before had shitty hitboxes.

252777963_de_resized_loreley_pa3_TStreets_0050.jpg.b46bacee2ebc9cf56d5ac4ab2400ea08.jpg

Edited by Freaky_Banana
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20 hours ago, zombi said:

It looks great and I really like the atmosphere! This luggage gap in bus at bombsite is really nice idea. I have some feedback, hopefully will be helpful. Keep up a good job! :D

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Thanks for your great feedback, Zombi! I agree with a lot of these points. Spent some time today to address them: 

Spoiler

de_resized_loreley_pa3_Kiosk_Lights2_0058.jpg.04f4bea77e592cd9a1a6f07ace7abe4d.jpgde_resized_loreley_pa3_Kiosk_Light_0057.jpg.470103b98e42c68c9c799be8bb64abeb.jpg

I added warm yellow lighting to the cornerstore. This will hopefully guide the player to it after spawn.

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I made the gap in the bar counter wider. You were absolutely right there. I hope the new width is better (even though it is not quite as large as what you indicated in your picture). 

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I made the ramp you suggested, simply built it into the walkway instead of onto the tracks.

 

Last but certainly not least, I have a few different ideas for how to address your concern with getting up onto the tracks at T Spawn: I could make a few tiered flowerbeds, which are actually quite prevalent in the Rhine basin. If I am to implement stairs, I will likely place them differently than you indicated, but I have an idea for it. 

For now I haven't implemented any of these ideas, because I want to playtest this version first. 
 

 

Changes are now live on the workshop version. Cheers!

Edited by Freaky_Banana
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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

Hello everyone,

just in time for you to play over the easter break, I have pushed an update to Loreley addressing the feedback from the last playtesting session. 

Yiu can find all updated screenshots at the imgur link: https://imgur.com/gallery/yfOQJZQ

de_loreley_r2_radar.jpg.638665c5db9c1da57458eaa41b6d22a9.jpg

 

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just in time for you to play over the easter break, I have finished an update for Loreley. I would love if you check it out.  

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2392048922

After the next round of playtesting I hope to move on to visuals given everything works fine.  

Cheers

 

Edited by Freaky_Banana
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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

Hi everyone,

de_loreley_r50024.jpg.762c93995a5ad99d8bba6a8a9c206f88.jpg
time for an update! I recently did playtesting with some people from the SE discord and have gathered valuable feedback on my latest version (I had shifted CT spawn onto the beach, see the radar of what we playtested in this Spoiler).

EDIT: Workshop version of changes now live! https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2392048922

Spoiler

de_loreley_r4_radar.jpg.15437839de93f96933a655d8e25ba90a.jpg

 

The Positives: 

Spoiler

+ Everyone liked the map's theme and found the location believable.

 + There seem to be no "broken" spots or tactics

 + Individual angles played well

 

The Downsides:

Spoiler

- too many pathes split by large cover pieces.
This makes defending those locations difficult and face-offs focused more on movement than on aim.

 - everpresent danger of flanks.
This makes especially CTs feel unsafe as it felt extremely hard to predict where to expect enemies.

 - restrictive clipping.
Players REALLY BADLY want to jump onto the wall of the restaurant's terrace. 

 - shoddy visibility in places.

 - Terrorists didn't use the beach.
Out of the 11 rounds played in the match, a Terrorist walked up the beach exactly twice. This is consistent with previous testing and something my changes apparently didn't address well. The way I intended the beach to be played for Ts was as a mid- to late-round flank that rewards patient play by allowing the Ts to get behind common CT defense positions. I had hoped that placing the CT spawn on the beach and T spawn at the train tunnel would allow Ts who wanted to be aggressive to simply play through tunnel for an early plant. I thought CTs would have to respect this fact, thereby necessarily drawing them away from the beach (by far the most out of the way area of the map), in turn opening it up for the flank. This did not work at all. Ts (seeing the obvious timing disadvantage) were afraid to EVER walk down to the beach, because they assumed it be a permanently CT controlled area. And the two times a T did roam the beach, they complained about a lack of cover and one even decided to rotate back into the apartments instead. 

 

New Changes (with pics):

Spoiler
  • I shifted T spawn down onto the street from its previous position on the train tracks.
    Combined with the next change this should allow Ts to contest the beach positions early in the round. 
    de_loreley_r50018.jpg.d56735b74dd64c938086b9cf176a8d69.jpg
     
  • I created a new CT spawn area (themed as a pier)
    This pushes CTs two seconds back from beach without impacting their timings to the other positions.
    de_loreley_r50002.jpg.f5f54f59a0b5665cbe6b946b3f9fe183.jpg
     
  • I added cover to the beach in the shape of a small platform that sticks out into the river and has some loungers on it. 
    Storywise this area belongs to the annoying hotel/restaurant combo that is attracting all the tourists (a fact shown on the map by the platforms connection to the doorway under the restaurant terrace). Credit for the loungers to SKybex from his map cs_cruise!
    de_loreley_r50017.jpg.beb05a8e793402a794495c0c3b29af70.jpg
     
  • I moved the three trucks closer to the mountain, effectively closing the inner path around.
    This forces the T approach on the street to get through the chokepoint at the yellow van, which should make the area easier for CTs to lock down. This in turn incentivises Ts to make more use of the beach (+apartment) and tunnel for rushes and use street almost exclusively for GODREADS or proper executes with utility. Closing that path also creates a pocket for CTs to play from later in the round that faces in the direction of potential flanks. Additionally this change reduces the complexity of streetside afterplant scenarios significantly (which is probably a good thing because I suspect my playtesters didn't realise how good early bombplant rushes from emergency exit actually are). 
    de_loreley_r50010.jpg.3a6638ec308e99622fb27d7e75405a4c.jpg
     
  • I made the CT side traincart a flatbed with a container on it.
    The container's only half the length of the old traincart which opens up and thereby streamlines (/simplifies) the area. I'm interested to see how this will impact the tunnel meta, because for the first time in a long time it opens up a straight sightline through the entire tunnel end-to-end. 
    de_loreley_r50006.jpg.3a9f3cf3c5e92fae535abb960049d0ef.jpg
     
  • Quality of life changes
    cut back clipping on the terrace (can't remove the beachside wall's clips, though, it's just too broken), made the luggage gap accesible again, included stair's first steps in their clip brushes and fixed one spot where players could bump early in the round. 

 

I really hope that these changes make the map more intuitive for all players. I think the previous version fell short because it didn't work in the way that CS:GO players are used to play. I am optimistic that my simplification both of pathes and of map control address this issue. Please let me know what you think! 

Thank you for reading! 

Edited by Freaky_Banana
credit to Skybex
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi everyone,

there's been more playtests and I want to share with you something that I've noticed and am struggling to address so far. It concerns the discrepancy of what playtesters report as problems and how they actually play the level. I have found that at least on this map specifically, my playtesters express concerns about possibilities that rarely have any relevance in their games and that work exactly as intended when they do ever so rarely happen.   

I'm hoping that some of you might have relevant experience or advice for me on how to deal with this dichotomy of what playtesters say and what they do, especially in regards to which changes to implement and which complaints to ignore.

Straight to the point, let me introduce to you what has been vexing me recently:  

de_loreley_r60004.jpg.05678c59c7223520fb1e3b3e72916c43.jpg

This is a one-way drop located at the CT end of beach which I added in a recent version of the map (replacing a stair). This drop was introduced in an effort to reduce flank opportunities for Ts and allow the CTs to focus more on the main confrontations on the street and tunnel level.

I felt this change was necessary because multiple people had given feedback that it felt very difficult for CTs to cover all four T pathes of approach (Tunnel, Street, Apps and Beach). I figured this solution would significantly reduce the necessity to check beach as a CT, because in wingman mode, a boost requires the entire team thus making it very obvious when it's happening: If no T has shown anywhere on the map, maybe you need to check the boost. This is further helped by the fact that this boost spot is the farthest to reach from T spawn by  a large margin (14 secs knife-running vs ~7 secs to other positions). At the same time this change clearly conveyed to Ts the opportunity for a flank along the beach, something that apparently hadn't gotten through before: In all previous playtests combined a single T had ever used the beach path.

Playtesting with this one-way drop in place delivered on my expectations exactly: The very first round Ts committed to the boost after roughly 20 seconds. CTs by this time had become suspicious of the lack of contact and one player had rotated into the boost, where a fight then ensued. After this, the boost wasn't used again in the 11 following rounds played. Yet, after the game playtesters reported that they felt like the map still had too many pathes. They described this as a "chaotic nature" and singled out especially the beach as the best candidate for getting removed, because it leads attackers into your back, making it hard to check both ways constantly as a CT. Looking at the numbers of how often Ts use the beach, this may appear a logical suggestion. Unfortunately, this solution fails to recognize something that every single CT player (including the ones advocating the beach's removal) repeatedly took advantage of in their games: pushing the beach as a CT.

The beach plays an important role for CTs: it is the one opportunity they have for getting a flank going. At every other position they could push, Ts hold significant advantages in cover, timing and number of playable angles. Thus the beach is the single source of variety in gameplay for CTs, with its equal footing for aggressive fights. This variety seems very welcome to players: In the latest playtest alone, the beach was pushed by a CT five times in 12 rounds. 

This leaves me with a dilemma. Should I trust the (very limited) data and keep the boost or should I remove it simply to soothe CTs' minds? I believe this boils down to a few aspects which all revolve around a similar concern:  

- How much should I prioritize feedback from playtesters with limited experience on the map? 

- Could CTs get used to the boost once they learn the level (and is it smart to have such a barrier to entry in place, trading off player numbers for gameplay depth?)

- Do I find it advisable to reduce the path variety for Ts in both gameplay and visuals (the beach is a major part of Loreley's theme) and render the entire beach effectively unnecessary for them?

= How do I balance playtesters' (/players') perception versus my knowledge and the data of how the map is played?

 As mentioned in the introduction, I'd be grateful for any advice. 

Thanks for reading.

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I would recommend you playtest this with several more different people before you make a decision. Personally, I like the idea with the dropdown/boost as it adds some opportunity for varied plays. At the same time, if players feel like there's too much to cover, then maybe you need to simplify some areas, shape them a bit differently so they become more manageable. I think the reason for it is that both CT players have to cover 2 angles at the same time AND also keep in mind there's an additional one they can't cover. If you would reduce it to just one angle for the CT covering tunnel and make a direct line of sight to boost, that could possibly improve the perception.

Spoiler

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Thanks for your reply! I agree that simplifying the other areas should help reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed as a CT. In fact, a change sort of like what you sketched out for the train tunnel is something I had planned to implement regardless of the potential boost changes. Maybe that difference alone will help reduce the uncomfortable feeling to an acceptable degree. Here are some WIP progress pictures of what I did:

Spoiler

The inside path for the train tunnel has been closed ("Zutritt für Unbefugte verboten!"). The first picture shows the remaining tunnel exit. 
Also the long sightline through the tunnel end-to-end has been closed again. 

de_loreley_r70014.jpg.2845ebf20172194472c8890dcb150e84.jpgde_loreley_r70001.jpg.e00470c25698d28c0e397cb6870a77e9.jpg

this becomes the only chokepoint CTs have to deal with from now on:

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... they can do so comfortably from multiple different positions:

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In addition I rotated the train station and repositioned the cars in an attempt to create a more natural defensive position for CTs from which they can access the boost, the street and the tunnel with only minor movements. 

Spoiler

The cars now:

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... looking in the direction of the boost

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And to touch on your second point as well: you rightly pointed out that playtesting with more different people might already sharpen the image of what the real issues are. And I would love to playtest with more new people! Standing against that is that a) wingman is always only four players at a time, instead of a potential 20 for a casual test, and b) there seem to be no fixed-time playtests for wingman maps in general (which I entirely understand from an organizer's point of view). This means it has to be impromptu playtests every time, which then creates a different limitation: Most of the time it's the same stock of people who agree to do playtesting for the map. I guess I could ask for specifically only new people every time, but I am afraid of spamming the always same discord channels with too many playtest requests and building a reputation that way.

Do you agree on my assessment of this issue or is it just a normal part of level design and I'm overthinking it?

Thanks for reading.

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I guess @Freaky_Banana that’s just the nature of things for testing community content… unless you’re in a studio environment or a very well known creator, you’re gonna bump into that wall.

Maybe you can get someone prominent to feature your map (which looks dope for theme IMO) or try getting in touch with those that manage servers with custom maps anyway, like 3kliksphilip.

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I've pushed a new update to the workshop (hopefully gets approved tonight). https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2392048922 

Mainly I've removed a slice of the plantzone that was on the Terrorist end of the bus as well as the possibility for self-boosting into the window from the street (by insetting the number plate). Also there were tiny fixes and adding more believable cover/detail, for instance these doors for the houses or an electrical box on the side of the train station.

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And @blackdog , I agree on that approach. For now I am a little bit hesitant to ask creators for their thoughts, since the aesthetics are really underdeveloped. For that reason I believe I will start by contacting 3kliksphilip, because he's known for being very gameplay-centric with custom maps. But I already have plans for a 3D skybox that I would like to implement very soon (after a final round with the SE discord community test). That is my go-ahead moment for reaching out to anyone else. Thanks for your advice!

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