This One Drops A Payload

4 cups of coffee.
3 reference community maps downloaded, and decompiled.
2 late nights.

1 prototype game-mode: Now functional!

From left to right: Control point, payload cart, control point # 2.

From left to right: Control point, payload cart, control point # 2…

After some arduous tests, and a baker’s dozen or more of errors and crashes, I’ve got my prototype game mode hybrid working…almost perfectly. I’ll explain the style of play, then what’s hindering the initial idea right now. The mode I plan to call Control Payload, or cpl_ for the prefix at least, because that is what you essentially do. While neutral competition is available, as well as attack/defend style, the main point is that this mode is meant to evolve from one to the other seamlessly, in-game. Basically, a neutral contested CP starts the match…either team can cap it. Whichever team Captures this point first gets access to a payload; one team becomes Attackers, the other Defenders.

This has a little bit of everything from each version of Payload maps: there’s the classic Valve version which is attack/defend, plus all the community innovations: tug-of-war style in Waste, Sawmill had CPs control the progression and accessibility of the Payload, and recently Depot introduced carts for both teams in a strategic expanding race (escort your cart, and help stop the other). What I’m hoping to introduce is a mode that puts the role of each team in the teams’ hands, and skill. I’m also curious if it’s feasible from paper-to-play; can a game-mode evolve on-the-go, and still be balanced + fun, while not confusing players?

Hopefully, I will find that out during our final Level Design class, but for now here’s a series of images that explain where this has come from Friday morning:

First I ran some tests in the traditional Attack/Defend: Capturing the Point

First I ran some tests in the traditional Attack/Defend: Capturing the Point

Point A captured! Notice how it becomes Locked for the rest of the round.

Point captured! Notice how it becomes Locked for the rest of the round, as intended…

The payload works as a CP, though measured by physical distance, and not timed duration.

The payload works as a CP, though measured by physical distance, and not timed duration.

Works like a charm, but I want this to be an option for both teams.

Works like a charm, but I want this to be an option for both teams…

...and so, it is! Notice the change in the HUD at the bottom.

…and so, it is! Notice the change in the HUD at the bottom.

Below you will see two final screen shots proving you can capture a CP to activate a team-relative payload, virtually making a new game-mode, granted it obviously needs tweaks and a richer level-design. What they don’t show is my newest and largest issue: the first CP does not lock now due to some inherent features that changed when going from attack/defend, to neutral. I’m currently looking into some outputs changing the state of the CP after it’s been captured by either team, but my head’s reached a bit of a drought, so I’ll let this “bug” slide for now.

EDIT, 4/19: I’ve been seriously considering having the payloads be obtainable throughout the match by either team, as the prototype stands right now. Something about it tells me it should be an element throughout the entire round, and not just the beginning. What the CP would control then is the ability to move your team’s Payload, thus it locks/unlocks your payload like a segregated power supply or something.  So if RED doesn’t hold the CP, they can’t move their cart and cannot progress. The level I’ve designed for this is very small, and should work given the spawn rooms provide access to both a front and back door at all times (the two main areas to be defended).

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s