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Old 08-04-2010, 04:54 AM   #1
Specur
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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[Release] Arctic Infiltration




Arctic Infiltration
Current Version: 1.2


Greetings, fellow marines!

I have been doing some mapping for past two weeks now. I have no previous mapping experience other than making some basic room with light and water in Quake and CSS many years ago. When Alien Swarm came to Steam I played the original campaign over and over again until I got just bored of it and decided to give a shot at the mapping. And damn... I really got sucked into it!

So I have been working on a map for over a week now after learning all the basic stuff about mapping for Alien Swarm. Please note that this is my very first proper map that isn't for testing purposes only.

Some of the features of this map are:
  • Beginning of the map is in outdoors in arctic conditions at night
  • Most of the map is in indoors
  • Working minimap is included
  • Objectives are realistic, not "Kill over 9000 drones"
  • Objective Details tells about the story and conditions
  • Objective Pictures are included
  • Custom PDAs are in the map

Mission Story

IAF received a distress call from a SynTek Research Facility saying that they are under swarm attack. The research being done in this facility is highly classified. IAF has only little data on this facility so on-site search for intel is required before proceeding further from the outer part of the facility. IAF Intelligence Division has sent us orbital imaging of the area and it shows that the swarm has breached the entrance already. Team of IAF marines are sent to investigate the call and attempt to rescue any survivors they find.

The team approached the landing zone and on the way they dropped some flares to guide the way to the entrance since it's very dark at night. They landed the Bloodhound on the landing zone and should continue from there.

Objectives are:
  • Gain access into the facility
  • Power up the generators
  • Download data from the computers
  • Proceed deeper into the facility

Now I'm asking from you guys that you give me feedback about my map. What you liked and what you didn't like. What was good and what needed improvement. I think the biggest problem right know is that the aliens aren't really that well balanced yet. This is because I haven't had chance of testing this with full team. So I would really like some feedback on balancing the aliens right now. Oh, and the map wasn't made for soloing, but you can attempt it of course.

I hope you guys like it! Meow.

-----

Download map and view screenshots from Swarm Armory

Mirrors (Version 1.2):
http://www.mediafire.com/?myc2s87g08xy699
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=84ZEHPPA


Review by Sabre at Swarm Armory - Score: 85/100

-----

UPDATE2: Version 1.2 is finally out! Big changes in this version, whole new section, old places have been changed and lots of more! You should definitely check this out!

I'm considering this version to be the final version of this map. I'm only going to probably update it with necessary modifications and gameplay balancing only from this point forward. I have already began working on my next map, but don't expect it any time soon.

I want to thank all of you for your feedback and for playing my map. It has really motivated me to continue mapping. Thank you all!

All feedback is still welcome.


UPDATE: Version 1.1 is out!

Thanks a lot for your feedback, guys! Some of you had problems with Swarm Armory so this time there are mirrors for downloading. From this point forward the full changelog is included in the package. Enjoy!

I would like to hear your feedback on balancing the aliens on different difficulty settings. As it is not perfectly balanced yet.

-----

Changelog

Version 1.2
  • Added a whole new section into the map.
  • Generator room has been modified.
  • Entrance room has been redone.
  • Updated minimap.
  • Added new spawners (e.g. from igniting the biomass in the generator room).
  • Modified existing spawners.
  • Music and sound effects have been added.
  • Added mission debriefing.
  • Added credits at the end of the mission.
  • The fiery bridge now can't be activated until you complete other objectives first.
  • The generator room and the data storage room doors are no longer indestructible, but instead just reinforced. (Can be shot down.)
  • The generator's panel model has been changed and made a little more noticeable.
  • Remade all of the vents on the floors to look a lot more realistic once broken. (No more black squares on floor.)
  • All lights inside the facility have been modified.
  • Added signs for rooms.
  • Changed the wall texture in the data storage room.
  • Map is now a lot more detailed and has various new additions.
  • Some non-listed problems have been fixed too.

Version 1.1
  • Fixed AI problems at the entrance where aliens didn't follow inside, but just facehugged the wall outside.
  • Fixed the fiery bridge to work better with the AI. Aliens can now cross it to follow you properly.
  • Added new spawners and modified old ones. All spawners have been adjusted and now scale differently according to the difficulty setting.
  • Added more biomass and eggs to the generator room, removed aliens out of the way. (The ones you kill before you start using the generator panel.)
  • Objectives are now only shown one at the time on the minimap.
  • Fixed lights and shadows little bit.
  • Removed the egg at the end behind the bars to not confuse anyone anymore.
  • Fixed chainsaw and blink pack showing outside the map at the end.
  • Removed collision from the first human corpse inside the facility.
  • Few minor problems fixed too.

Last edited by Specur: 08-19-2010 at 09:49 PM. Reason: New update
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:58 AM   #2
_dp
 
 
 
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Very nice work! Looks good to me

How did you get these blue and orange vending machines in the map? I always get errors if i try to use them as prop_static or prop_dynamic
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:04 AM   #3
Specur
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _dp View Post
Very nice work! Looks good to me

How did you get these blue and orange vending machines in the map? I always get errors if i try to use them as prop_static or prop_dynamic
Thanks!

I used prop_physics entity with "Motion Disabled" flag so the static lights won't look stupid if player moves the machines.
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:21 AM   #4
ZombieHunterNL
 
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its a good map,>_> hmm okey i was his beta tester xD
nah but good job buddy
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:28 AM   #5
Muz_333
 
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Looks good, I'm currently making my first map as well which starts off in the artic at night...damn lack of resources!
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:33 AM   #6
EliteTemptation
 
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good map, but how is killing 9,000 drones not a realistic objective?

done it before, can do it again

also, you didn't make your map scale difficulties, same enemies on easy to insane, you could of made insane slightly more challenging

anyway goodwork, hope to see more

Last edited by EliteTemptation: 08-04-2010 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:39 AM   #7
Specur
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EliteTemptation View Post
good map, but how is killing 9,000 drones not a realistic objective?

done it before, can do it again

also, you didn't make your map scale difficulties, same enemies on easy to insane, you could of made insane slightly more challenging

anyway goodwork, hope to see more
Ah... Don't take offense on it, please. It's just that in my personal opinion I would find that kind of objective quite boring without anykind of story to back it up. And the original campaign didn't feature any such objective in it's missions.

As for the scaling of difficulty. Yes, you are correct. I haven't yet discovered how to make this happen, that how you can scale the spawners/aliens according to the difficulty setting. If someone knows how to do this, I would appreciate in telling me about it. As I have said earlier that the aliens aren't very well balanced yet.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:41 AM   #8
johnnythewolf
 
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I loved the little details such as the broken sentry and the bullet impacts on the walls. Also gotta love the dimly-lit corridors before you power up the generator. Nice touches!

However, I suggest you the following enhancements:

- Do some polishing regarding the architecture, as it looks way too angular and artificial right now (e.g. the opening canyon for instance).
- Speaking of which, you need to make your mind: if you give the players free flashlights and flares at the start, then you should get rid of the green beacon flares, as they make their usage pointless.
- The Biomass in the generator room feels a bit out of place. Maybe you could add more Alien goo and eggs to make the room's infestation more believable.

That's it for now.
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:27 AM   #9
Specur
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnythewolf View Post
I loved the little details such as the broken sentry and the bullet impacts on the walls. Also gotta love the dimly-lit corridors before you power up the generator. Nice touches!

However, I suggest you the following enhancements:

- Do some polishing regarding the architecture, as it looks way too angular and artificial right now (e.g. the opening canyon for instance).
- Speaking of which, you need to make your mind: if you give the players free flashlights and flares at the start, then you should get rid of the green beacon flares, as they make their usage pointless.
- The Biomass in the generator room feels a bit out of place. Maybe you could add more Alien goo and eggs to make the room's infestation more believable.

That's it for now.
Excellent points! I will infact consider the architecture a lot more in future. And for the flares and biomass I will most likely include these modifications in the next update.

Thanks a lot for this feedback!
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:27 AM   #10
GjRud
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Specur View Post
Ah... Don't take offense on it, please. It's just that in my personal opinion I would find that kind of objective quite boring without anykind of story to back it up. And the original campaign didn't feature any such objective in it's missions.

As for the scaling of difficulty. Yes, you are correct. I haven't yet discovered how to make this happen, that how you can scale the spawners/aliens according to the difficulty setting. If someone knows how to do this, I would appreciate in telling me about it. As I have said earlier that the aliens aren't very well balanced yet.

Thanks for the feedback!
this is a nice map, cheer =).

about spawner:
You can change the setting "Min Skill Level" and "Max Skill Level" to change when the spawner will be active (for example if you set Min Skill Level to Hard (3) the spawner will work only at Hard or Insane, in the other hand, if you set Max Skill Level to Hard it will not spawn at Insane).

about your map:
I think you need a texture which block light because with a flashlight you can see behind the walls.
Your objective in this map ar like "do A, then do B, finally go to C" so you can start with all objectives and markers hidder except the first one ( see how it's used the "asw_objective_triggered" in the example_map_3 in your sdk_content folder).

I apologize for my bad english, i hope you can understand what i meant.

Last edited by GjRud: 08-04-2010 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:53 AM   #11
Specur
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GjRud View Post
this is a nice map, cheer =).

about spawner:
You can change the setting "Min Skill Level" and "Max Skill Level" to change when the spawner will be active (for example if you set Min Skill Level to Hard (3) the spawner will work only at Hard or Insane, in the other hand, if you set Max Skill Level to Hard it will not spawn at Insane).

about your map:
I think you need a texture which block light because with a flashlight you can see behind the walls.
Your objective in this map ar like "do A, then do B, finally go to C" so you can start with all objectives and markers hidder except the first one ( see how it's used the "asw_objective_triggered" in the example_map_3 in your sdk_content folder).

I apologize for my bad english, i hope you can understand what i meant.
No worries, I understand you completely. Thanks alot for the information about the spawners skill level settings!

The flashlight going trough walls is a common problem and currently (as far as I know) there is no fix for this. The blocklight texture doesn't just work for flashlight. I just tested this.

And about the objectives... This is great! This didn't even cross my mind. Thanks for this too! This will be included in the next update as well.

Thanks for this feedback! Keep it coming.
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:01 PM   #12
KenJekenny!?
 
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Could you please place a different download mirror, swarm armory says the entry doesnt exist.
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:53 PM   #13
johnnythewolf
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
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With a teammate, I finally managed to beat this map. T'was a lot of fun. With all the great teamwork opportunities, gloomy atmosphere and intense firefights, it reminds me a lot of the original mod. I'm amazed how well you managed to squeeze so many objectives on such a small map, all things considered.

Now for more nitpickings and suggestions:

- Once you get inside the compound, the aliens spawning outside seem unable to follow you inside; instead, they get stuck on the northern wall for some reason. It doesn't matter if you seal the airlock door, they just won't go after you.
- The first corpse you encounter (the one with his back to a wall) cannot be walked upon. Not a big deal, but I don't expect a Space Marine being blocked by a mere civilian corpse.
- Some doors (the one leading to the computer room, for instance) don't seem to have a health bar, even though you can seal it off. In fact, despite the huge horde banging on it, it never seems to break.
- What's up with the lone egg behind a windows, near the end? It can't be destroyed, yet it's able to spawn a parasite. Not a real problem, just a WTF moment.
- Also, why are there a chainsaws and a flamer in the wall, near the end?

That's about all I can think for now. Can't wait for the final version!

Last edited by johnnythewolf: 08-04-2010 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 08-05-2010, 02:32 AM   #14
Killerboyo
 
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I've just played this mission a few times and, I am honest here, this map is the best fan made map so far.

This had it all: complex path, realistic objectives, strategically placed enemies, great teamwork opportunity.

Now, onto the mission itself. I liked the start where the team is brought by the Bloodhound. For those who consider that the flashlight and flares are useless, I beg to differ. The road to the base is very dark and full of perils. You can easily be outnumbered by the Swarm or worse, fall to your doom while climbing the steep passageway. Even though you can choose those two items at load out, their very presence near the start suggests that a dark region is not far away. I'm saying this because I felled in one of those pits at my first attempt. Some of the rangers on those cliffs are hard to kill but they never hit you because of the high altitude. Are they more for show?

After passing that unfriendly welcome, you arrive at the entrance of the base where you have to activate a switch to open the door. The outer perimeter stinks of human corpses and is surrounded by fences, but that doesn't stop the Swarm to fiercely attack the marines in large numbers. A bullet sentry can easily repel the incoming waves with easy while the marines wait for the door to open.

Inside the compound, the marines have cross a small bridge that leads deeper into the facility. Unfortunately, the bridge is down and on fire so the marines are forced to proceed through the tight corridors into a small room to hack a panel that opens the door to a bigger room with yet another panel to hack that powers the generators of the bridge and is covered by a large biomass (long, ain't it?). After the second panel is hacked the marines just have to go into a control room filled with swarm eggs for the tech to download the critical data of some sort before crossing the bridge to safety. May I remind that you have to do all this while constantly being rushed by Drones coming from all possible holes and crevices, harassed by Harversters crapping out 'Spawn' lifeforms, annoyed by Boomers exploding all over the place, ranged by Rangers (meh) and the cherry on top confronting a jarateed off Shieldbug right at the end. All in one word: AWSOME!

Also, if you have the time you can enjoy a refreshing drink from the soda machines (or not).

I liked how the author thoughtfully placed different weapons and ammo stashes throughout the level in case you are bored by your current weapon or you're fire frenzy.

The general layout is good and can provide visual pleasure. Ofcourse, the arhitecture can be improved and more textures can be added on the walls of the facility.

All in all, I enjoyed playing this fantastic mission and I have only one question regarding your campaign: When the hell will the next level be released?
As a final note, when you are planning for the next missions count me in as a beta tester.

The best of luck in your future projects.
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Old 08-05-2010, 02:44 AM   #15
johnnythewolf
 
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The opening path is actually insanely easy, as long as you run to the door by following the green flares. I never used the flashlight or combat flares once.

One thing I noticed though: why is there no sight of the Bloodhound on the landing pad? The little space fighter there kinda feels out of place, all things considered. Why is it sitting there, on a remote and poorly-designed landing pad in a snowy environment?
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