Terrible Twos: Moai Caldera TF2 Map Dev Blog #2

31 05 2009

Day two of my forays into the creation of the “Moai Caldera” didn’t go very far, since I kept stalling out on a couple things. (click to read more)

The First of Many: TF2 Mapmaking Dev Blog Entry #1

30 05 2009

So I’ve decided, in between hunting for jobs that is, to begin work on developing maps for Team Fortress 2. After messing around with Hammer for the first time in a couple years, I feel I’m grasping the basics relatively quickly again and have thus embarked on my first map, which probably will not be for general consumption unless it comes out really well. It’s an arena map that has been inspired by two things

1. You Only Live Twice
2. The UT map “Facing Worlds”

The idea is relatively simple. On a caldera island made by a long-dormant/extinct volcano, a Spytech base exists built into the rock. However it has been abandoned for some time. The two teams fight over it to find out its secrets.

The part that’s based on “Facing Worlds” is that the spawn points for each team I am planning to model after the Moai statues on Easter Island, essentially having the teams run out the “mouth” of the statue when the round begins.

So far I have the center capture point room and adjacent hallways built, I’m busy working on how I plan to have the rest of the interior flow, and get that modeled, before i build the terrain above it.

EDIT: Here’s an in-Hammer picture. I really need to find a fast way to mirror my hallway geometry. As to the huge grey thing on top of the central room, that’s just a placeholder to cover the hole I put in the ceiling, to give the idea that the place is abandoned and a bit run-down.

Moai Caldera: Early Construction

Moai Caldera: Early Construction

Those Daring Young Men In Their Flying Machines…

29 05 2009

The Red Baron series was really the only series of games to do WWI flight combat really well. Granted Red Baron II was a buggy mess and Red Baron 3D was largely unnoticed, but there’s still a small and strong online community dedicated to this series. However I feel that the time is right for a more modern (ha ha) WWI flight sim. Just think about it. With all the advancements in physics, you could go a long way towards making a really immersive game that makes you feel like you’re in the cockpit of one of those fighters, made up of nothing more than wood and canvas.

I’m not saying we have to go too over the edge, realism-wise, but it would be nice to see a few things, like damaged canvas realistically tearing off of the wings as bullets perforate it, the airframe creaking and splintering under the stress of g-forces as you try to put yourself into a turn that just might be too much for your craft, things like that. What I liked about the Red Baron games is that the sounds and the flight modeling gave a very tense atmosphere, the idea that maybe your plane is too damaged to fight effectively, and that maybe if you try to loop around to take another pass at your foe your wing might just shear right off and send you plummeting to the shell-cratered ground below.

Of course, there could be another element to consider. Assuming you crash-land your plane or bail out and survive, there’s always the problem of making it back to your side of the front, moving past battlegrounds and enemy patrols. In a way, one could combine a flight sim with a survival sim to add depth to the career mode, further immersing the player in the kind of dangers World War I pilots faced.

Ok so I’m starting to drift off-topic here, and admittedly don’t have much of an idea. I think the Red Baron games at least had the concept down pat, I’m just suggesting that, rather than give us yet another World War II game (as fun as Call of Duty: World at War is, mind you), someone should try to combine fighter combat with survivalist/sneaking/FPS action, and give us a deep and, more importantly, original experience.

Though we’ll definetely have to keep time compression. Flying to waypoints takes foreeeeever

Valve sapping mah enthusiasm! A look at the Spy/Sniper update

25 05 2009

Ok so like I said earlier Valve put out the new “Spy vs. Sniper” update for Team Fortress 2. Feelings are mixed amongst many longtime players; partially because of the content in the update, but mostly because of how Valve chose to change the way we unlock new class items. Personally I’m not sure what to think, yet I can’t help but feel the new system will be not only a polarizing change, but possibly a bad one. Also it’s really hard to not say “you got someone’s MMO in my TF2” under this new system, but perhaps I should explain. Also there will be an actual review of the new maps and items contained within the update at the end of this, so settle in. (Click to read more)


18 05 2009

First the quick news out of the way: Yesterday I completed my four-year journey to become one of the first people to go through WPI’s Interactive Media and Game Design major, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in the discipline. But more importantly (and more relevant to this blog I think), Valve has spent the past few days releasing info on their upcoming update to Team Fortress 2, which will add additional weapons and gear for the Sniper and Spy. Personally I think they’re kinda cool. For the Sniper we get a longbow that pins enemies to walls when it kills them, as well as a shield that protects against one backstab (as well as disabling the spy’s knife temporarily). The spy right now seems to be getting upgrades to his cloaking watch. One which will create a fake corpse when he takes a non-lethal hit and throwing up an instant cloak that lasts for 8 seconds (I am of course guessing that only works once) and one that will recharge energy as long as he remains still.
click to read more

Invisible Truth

13 05 2009

With my blog redesign and retitling, added to my impending graduation, I decided now was as good a time as any to sit down and write some more thoughts.

Someone once said that good games to him are ones that had him learn something from the experience. I would tend to agree. Not necessarily learning in an educational sense either, but learning in a way that alters my perception of the world around me.

For instance, Deus Ex: Invisible War was not up to par with it’s prequel. However it did have a few truly mindblowing moments for me from a real-life stance. Specifically the series of “Coffee Wars” sidequests. There are spoilers after the jump but then again this game is 6 years old by now Click to Read More