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Old 06-22-2008, 06:51 PM   #1
greenboy5494
 
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Letter to Valve, from TF2 mapping community

Quote:
Originally Posted by tf2 mapping community AKA tf2maps.net
After numerous threads and discussion, DrHaphazard has modified my original letter, and organized our numerous requests. Here is the semi-final draft:

Dear TF2 Design Team,

I am writing this letter on behalf of the mapping community at TF2maps.net. As the site name implies, the community is geared towards mapping for Team Fortress 2 and making other custom content for the game. Most of the discussions on the forum center on the usual optimization, layout and entity questions. However, there is also a recurring theme of posts trying to get around some of the limitations that seem to be built in to the TF2 mapping system. This letter and the list attached mentions some of the more common roadblocks that the TF2 mapping community runs into. We are all hoping that some of these restrictions could be looked into by Valve's TF2 team.

Our overarching request is to introduce more flexibility into the Team Fortress 2 custom mapping process. Several of our members have been mapping since the days of Team Fortress Classic, and they have praised the TFC system in which an infinite number of game play variations could be created. We would love some of that same flexibility to be present in the current mapping system so that we can more easily create custom objectives and game play styles beyond those that are included in the game.

Some overall examples of our requests include the addition of more working filter entities, both by class and by weapon damage type, which would allow for custom, class based objectives. Another example would be the ability to customize the item_teamflag so that variables such as carrier run speed and return timer could be tweaked to better fit into different game play styles. The most important request of all, however, deals with ability to create custom scoring structures so that the TF2 mapping community is not tied down to the current standard CTF and CP styles of play.

We are aware that making changes like these can be very time consuming. We also know, however, that Valve has an excellent record when it comes to supporting its products and helping the modding community that works with its games. Your continued work in creating new maps, class tweaks and game play styles for Team Fortress 2 confirms that reputation.

Finally, while this letter might appear to be one big gripe, none of us over at TF2maps.net would be mapping at all if we did not enjoy the challenges and the rewards of the mapping process. Keep making great games and keep giving us new stuff to work with!

Thanks for your time,
Your fans at TF2maps.net

List of requests follows. Because these suggestions were contributed by multiple mappers they are not unified in wording. We have, however, tried to group them by general categories to make things clearer. Thanks again!

List of requests follows. Because these suggestions were contributed by multiple mappers they are not unified in wording. We have, however, tried to group them by general categories to make things clearer. Thanks again!

CTF – While the “game type” variable for the item_teamflag is an interesting concept, it is also often buggy. We feel that the inclusion of more variables for the flag entity would eliminate the need for the game type variable and would allow greater flexibility.

1. Allow CTF return timer to be changed in Hammer
2. Create a speed penalty variable so carriers can be slowed/sped up, preferably a percentage of normal speed.
3. Currently a flag carrier can pick up an infinite number of his team’s/neutral flags, but in the process the pickup disables any previously grabbed flags. This makes multiple flag games (more than one per side) a very buggy situation and hinders the recreation of some classic TFC scenarios, such as CZ2.
4. Allow for CTF maps to have a Setup Time and allow each team to place the intel at a certain point in the map before the match begins
5. Ability to have CTF scoring based upon flag possession / time

FILTERS – Adding these filters would allow for more custom objective based upon class or flag possession, making for unique game scenarios.

6. Allow a way to filter player classes
7. Allow a way to filter weapon damage
8. filter_activator_name appears to be broken for TF
9. Allow a way to filter out flag carriers

SCORING – This is a major category. Scoring gets to the heart of how a level plays. More variety in the scoring system might allow for flag captures to count for different amounts depending on where the flag is returned. A point system based on time of possession for Capture Point games would help branch out from the current all-or-nothing winning system. These are just examples of how more variables when it comes to scoring in TF2 allows for new and interesting game play options.

10. Ability to set cap limit in hammer (could be overwritten server side)
11. Allow for other scoring systems than CP/CTF, such as a gradual scoring system, that can be displayed in the HUD
12. A way to modify/control the text displayed during a round win. (e.g. "BLU captured the intelligence 3 times" and "RED successfully defended until time ran out")
13. A more direct way to manipulate team score. Having to tie a game_score entity to a trigger_multiple with a filter_activator_tfteam is awkward and leads to some unavoidable bugs.
14. The game_score entity currently does not alter individual player scores, only team scores, making it difficult to correctly reward players completing custom objectives.

HUD – In combination with the Scoring system, more variables in how the HUD is set up would allow mappers to better direct players to objectives and more easily display custom scoring systems.

15. The option for turning OFF any auto-HUD stuff that the mapper doesn’t need for his map
16. Allow both CP HUD icons and CTF HUD icons on at the same time
17. Custom HUD element entity. The entity lets you define where on the screen they go, and what is linked to them (state of an entity, compass position of an entity, etc) how many elements

MODELS

18. Scalable models. (We know this is a major request, but this ability would truly be a godsend for any game that uses the Hammer editor.)
19. Add the ability to automatically embed custom models and textures into your map from Hammer (during the compile process, if possible)
20. Ability to filter models for TF2, doesn’t seem to work currently
21. Incorporate the custom model compiler into either the XSI Mod Tool or Hammer. Having it as a separate step between the two is inconvenient and confusing for many people

ENVIRONMENT

22. Ability to use fire as part of the environment in TF2 maps
23. Ability to create brushes/entities that the pyro can light on fire
24. Ability to create clip brushes that can block only certain projectiles.

ENTITIES

25. Give many of the entities (cap zones, flags, doors, any moving/togglable brush entity) something like the Goal# system TFC had, in which you could set certain things to only interact with certain other things.
26. Make func_rotating work
27. Make func_nogrenades work (to avoid stickies in the wrong places)

MISC – Despite being stuck in the miscellaneous category, these would also be useful additions. The class limit request is especially important since it would again allow for the mapper to better tweak his map to favor the completion of custom objectives.

28. Ability to limit classes (or disable) and ability to change the limits as objectives are met
29. Ability to control max spawn time, not just min spawn time. Even if min spawn time is set to 5 seconds, in game it still gets as large as 15 - 20 seconds randomly.
30. Ability to implement a territory control overview map/window for non-TC game types.

i hope valve reads this. i did not write this, i found it on a website, and i thought it should be posted here.

Last edited by greenboy5494: 06-22-2008 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 06-22-2008, 06:55 PM   #2
lerlerson
 
 
 
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'17. Custom HUD element entity. The entity lets you define where on the screen they go, and what is linked to them (state of an entity, compass position of an entity, etc) how many elements'

Ha-ha, I was the one who suggested that. But I want to point out that while posting it here was essentially pointless, it is worth noting that a lot of people complain about linear, boring custom maps- take a look at this list, and then you'll understand why we can't actually do anything cool or new.

And yes, Valve DID read this, and we got a reply, that they would 'work on it', or something to that effect.
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Old 06-22-2008, 07:10 PM   #3
MangyCarface
 
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Hrm.

Credit the website, first; it's from tf2maps.net. And as has been said, we sent it, it was seen, and it was replied to in a positive manner, as are most respectful emails sent to Valve.

And for the record, these are just things that will expand the functionality of the TF2 SDK in the future. At the moment creating content within the given gametypes works fine and so these ideas might be best used after Valve has stopped making first party content for the game; that is to say, at least all of the class updates are done. Then the longevity of the game relies on the mapping community and these requests will be higher priority.
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Old 06-22-2008, 07:16 PM   #4
Overheal
 
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which really means theyve filed it in the magazine rack in the bathroom, to be read when any of them gets bored on the jacks.
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Old 06-22-2008, 07:24 PM   #5
Caveman9000
 
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Bumped. 10char
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Old 06-22-2008, 07:55 PM   #6
lostsomething
 
 
 
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Izzat the reason nobody's made a good Canalzon/CZ2 port yet?

Bummer.
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Old 06-22-2008, 08:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostsomething View Post
Izzat the reason nobody's made a good Canalzon/CZ2 port yet?

Bummer.
Pretty much.
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Old 06-22-2008, 08:43 PM   #8
lerlerson
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostsomething View Post
Izzat the reason nobody's made a good Canalzon/CZ2 port yet?

Bummer.
Yeah, if I recall, there was no real way to remake CZ2 without completely butchering it, kinda like what Valve did to Badlands. Not that Badlands is bad, I like Badlands, just saying.
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Old 06-22-2008, 11:19 PM   #9
psihomir2
 
 
 
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Uh, this was already sent to Valve, and they replied to it. Long ago.
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