Migrating North (TF2 Map Dev Blog)

27 02 2010

As I mentioned in my twitter a short while back I sorta went a bit crazy in the process of trying to finish my map. I was trying to find a way to “wall-off” the edges of my map in a visible sense. I’d already put in player clip brushes that would keep people from falling into the void, but still they would need a visual clue to understand why they can’t proceed past a certain point. The problem that arose was that it would be far too time-consuming to make displacement cliffs, at least if I was going to have this map playable by my self-imposed deadline. The solution was to use static props of cliff faces and huge rock formations. Only problem was that the only ones suitably big enough were not thematically fitting with the tropical/desert theme of the island, since they were from the Forest/Alpine theme. I couldn’t figure out a good way to justify the grey forest rocks, even as volcanic, so I decided to do something drastic. I completely altered the visual theme of the map. In short, goodbye to Moai Island, and hello to “Aleutia”.

No, you cannot see Russia from your spawnroom

As the name suggests, I imagine this island as being one of the 300 Aleutian Islands, with a small spytech facility located on it (during the summer of course, I might also make a winter version later). This also helps justify walling off the island with rocks since the Aleutian Island chain was formed by volcanic activity, as such this could be an island long gone dormant or extinct. Ironic that this would be the way I finally get my caldera.

Aside from that nothing else has really changed, other than I finally finished the lighting, and all that remains is to add a few pickups around the level, and do some more detailing (mostly props and soundscapes), and then i think it’ll be ready for testing. And just in case I ever want to go back to the other theme, I saved the island before I made all the climate changes to it, so that works out. Anyway, enjoy some screenshots.

You'll probably get used to this view if you use the water a lot

I'm still not entirely sold on these point light effects, but we'll have to see

The switch also allowed me to have better coverage from trees...

...as well as larger rocks for cover

Also I just noticed that one of those lights seems a little off-center in the BLU Server Farm corridor…something I definitely must look into before all is said and done for the time being

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