I'd like to get some feedback on my Chivalry map plans!



  • Hi everyone,

    Wanted to share with you my plans for a map I will be creating for Chivalry.

    Click the links below the images for full sized pictures!

    So over the past week or so I’ve been dreaming up my next project. Lately I’ve been playing a fair amount of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare with my friends and we’ve been having a blast. Not long after I started playing Torn Banner announced they were going to release the SDK in the future, which coupled with my love for the game, spurred me on to design a map for it.

    Chivalry runs on the Unreal engine, which was why I mentioned I was getting to grips again with the UDK in my last blog post, and I’ve learnt quite a lot of useful things about the UDK since picking it back up. Before I make my map I shall be carrying out a few tests to ensure I fully understand everything I need to know to complete the map.

    The tests will include making materials, such as stained glass, and new gameplay objects unique to my map such as rocks being dropped from the walls instead of pots of burning oil found in the official maps. More to come on the progress of these in the future!

    Now, below you will find a basic top down plan for the map I wish to create:


    http://i.imgur.com/0fILtig.jpg

    The map is set in the countryside on some rolling plains in the middle of summer. Nearby there will be a large lake and off into the distance there will be mountains visible. Players will start near a large hill with a castle keep built on the plateau. At the bottom of the hill there is a small town within the castle walls.

    Below I have broken down each area with a couple of paragraphs explaining the game play found there along with some images to give a sense of the mood/feel I am going for with each area.

    Area 1


    http://i.imgur.com/DXCE9vV.jpg

    The initial area of the map begins on some plains next to a large lake. The objective in this area for the Red team is to push a battering ram to Blue teams gate. Once there players will need to bash the gate down. Blue team must prevent the Red team from accomplishing this.

    This area will features grassy plains, pathways, streams and bridges for the players to battle on. The battering ram will follow the road, turning to take another road due to a destroyed bridge. Once it has crossed the secondary bridge it will reach the castles walls and gate. Along the route there are choke points and alternate paths for players to take to flank the enemy teams. The small lines coming from the main lines are areas where players cannot climb.

    These raised areas will give archers a slight height advantage, whilst the rolling plains will mean players will constantly change heights, making them slightly harder targets for the archers to hit. Players using melee should seek higher ground in fights since the height advantage will make hits against the enemies head easier to land.

    From the plains players will be able to see the castle on top of a large plateau, showing them where their battles will lead to should they reach the finale.

    Area 2


    http://i.imgur.com/b6QZlKv.jpg

    The second area will see the Red team tasked with pillaging the small town at the base of the hill up to the castle. The Red team must kill 40 peasants whilst the Blue team must stop them.

    The town is based on a slope with multiple levels for players to battle on. It will also give players some nice flanking opportunities whilst giving the defending team a slight height advantage. There are burnable buildings on the hill which the Red team can burn to gain two peasant kills.

    The area will take place within the castle walls and the buildings will be made of wood and straw, save for a few stone structures, such as a church. There will also be market stalls and other burnable structures populating the area.

    Once the Red team has cleared this area a short sequence shall play where a trebuchet from the Red teams initial spawn will fire a rock at the gate, allowing the Red team through to the next area whilst blocking the Blue team from coming back to this area.

    Area 3


    http://i.imgur.com/OfzPTj3.jpg

    Area 3 see’s the Red team tasked with destroying Blue teams siege equipment. To destroy the trebuchets the Red team must place two members of their team on the pads next to the equipment. Standing on the pads for a set time will destroy the trebuchet. Blue team is tasked with stopping the Red team.

    The battle here takes place upon the plateau in front of the main castle keep. The area is quite hilly, with two trebuchets placed on raised areas and another placed within a depression in the land. This should allow for some interesting game play as well as the use of the terrain for flanking manoeuvres. Players will also be able to be knocked off the edges to fall to their deaths.

    Area 4


    http://i.imgur.com/dWTlEqV.jpg

    The final area is where the Blue team must defend their king. The player with the highest points on the Blue team when the Red team reach this area will respawn as the king. The king has increased health and a number of weapons to choose from. Red team must kill the king to win the level.

    Players will fight within the kings throne room. The Red team has multiple entrances into the throne room. They may either take a lower route through some small catacombs and into the lower area of the throne room. Or they may enter the keep from the front entrance, through a banquet area and out onto some balconies within the throne room.

    The throne room itself is lines by huge pillars with a large arched ceilings between them. At the end of the room above the throne there will be a large stained glass window with coloured light shining through into the room. The pillars, raised and lowered sections should give players plenty of opportunities to take different routes through the level to reach the king. It will also allow the king and the Blue team to block line of sight from the Red teams archers.

    Further thoughts and information…

    The map itself will support all of Chivalry’s game modes which include Free-For-All, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and these will take part on a closed section of the map, whilst the Team Objective mode explained above will make use of the entire map.

    Furthermore to creating the map itself I shall be creating a fair amount of custom content for the map. This will include standard props such as weapons, furniture and any detailed meshes to buildings and destructible objects. I shall be making these using 3DS Max and Photoshop and will include some high poly meshes for normal map generation created in either ZBrush or MudBox.

    I would like to hear any feedback or comments you may have on the design of the level. Are there any problems you think I might face? Is there anything you’d like to see in the level which I have not included? I’m always open to feedback, and since it will (hopefully) be you guys playing it I want you to enjoy it!

    Copy and pasted this from my blog:
    http://beckshaw.com/?cat=14



  • I am really digging the idea of a cathedral fight, which your awesome fourth blueprintish photo you have here kind of reminds me of a holy like battle ground.

    Very cool I say, very cool.



  • Very nice effort put into this.

    Everything sounds good except for the King’s final stand in the throne room. There should only be one final stand map for each faction’s King to avoid inconsistencies. Everything else is great though, keep it up! :D



  • @King:

    I am really digging the idea of a cathedral fight, which your awesome fourth blueprintish photo you have here kind of reminds me of a holy like battle ground.

    Very cool I say, very cool.

    Yeah, I find the grandness of those side view drawings awesome. I shall definitely try to capture that when I come to making this!

    Thanks for the comments! :)

    @Matti:

    Very nice effort put into this.

    Everything sounds good except for the King’s final stand in the throne room. There should only be one final stand map for each faction’s King to avoid inconsistencies. Everything else is great though, keep it up! :D

    Surely if one king dies an heir would take his place? Also, with the SDK coming out we’re likely to see quite a few new maps. It’d be a shame to leave out this awesome part of the TO game mode.

    Thanks though! :)

    I shall be doing a few small tests soon as I mentioned above. First up will probably be a stained glass material and a test to make sure it can shine coloured light onto the environment.

    After that I plan on making a new object for players to interact with which will replace the burning pots of oil. I’m thinking of giving players the ability to push a small crate filled with rocks over the wall. Any rocks which land on players below would severely damage them.

    Is there anything you guys would really like to see in this map?

    Any news on the SDK’s release date?


  • Global Moderator

    King argon died in Tenosia. Before the events of the multiplayer game.

    The royal family gets murdered in the dark forest camp.

    Then there is one last heir to the throne. Feydrid Kearn. He’s the guy in Stoneshill castle. The last agathian king. King Argons right hand man. Unrelated family wise.

    Maybe some lord or general instead.



  • True.

    It doesn’t have to be a “king” but since I’m not a character modeller I can’t really go creating a new character to replace the king model. I just explained it that way since people will be able to relate to it since it’s from the game. :)

    I could make him a new crown/helmet though!


  • Global Moderator

    @Beck:

    True.

    It doesn’t have to be a “king” but since I’m not a character modeller I can’t really go creating a new character to replace the king model. I just explained it that way since people will be able to relate to it since it’s from the game. :)

    I could make him a new crown/helmet though!

    You can probably use the agathian kickstarter helmet. Lord Malric uses the mason kickstarter helmet. It was reserved for the devs and kickstarter supporters.



  • I can make a helmet easily enough. Maybe I’ll run a little competition to name the “king” and design his helmet! :P



  • So this looks very appealing so far and fairly light on the scripting since it is reusing many of the existing asset objectives.

    First Section

    • Your first section looks like if it matched the stonehill push cart distance it would be good.

    Second Section

    • Your second section is actually larger than the first, so depending on how the peasants are laid out it might rather easy for attackers.

    Third Section

    • I think the third section probably needs some corpse of trees benefiting the attackers
    • Might be interesting to give the defenders a ballista to protect the trebuchets
    • Important defenders cannot just use archers to protect the trebuchets from their spawn

    Fourth Section

    • I think we should have a Queen instead of a King (well I had to say that)

    As long as you can create plenty of diversity to encourage different strategic attacks I think this looks pretty fun.



  • @gregcau:

    Fourth Section

    • I think we should have a Queen instead of a King (well I had to say that)

    lolgregcau :D



  • @gregcau:

    So this looks very appealing so far and fairly light on the scripting since it is reusing many of the existing asset objectives.

    First Section

    • Your first section looks like if it matched the stonehill push cart distance it would be good.

    Second Section

    • Your second section is actually larger than the first, so depending on how the peasants are laid out it might rather easy for attackers.

    Third Section

    • I think the third section probably needs some corpse of trees benefiting the attackers
    • Might be interesting to give the defenders a ballista to protect the trebuchets
    • Important defenders cannot just use archers to protect the trebuchets from their spawn

    Fourth Section

    • I think we should have a Queen instead of a King (well I had to say that)

    As long as you can create plenty of diversity to encourage different strategic attacks I think this looks pretty fun.

    Thanks for the feedback!

    I’m not too worried about the scripting side of things. I’ve done a fair amount of scripting on my last game so I’ve got a good bit of experience with it. I plan on making my own environmental weapons anyway. :)

    First Section

    • Yeah I have thought about this and did think about splitting the first zone up into two zones and making the first half longer. Similar to the map where you push the the cart full of dead bodies to the water supply. I should really learn the names of the maps :D

    Second Section

    • This is true, but since Red have only two ways to go at the bottom of the hill it should give Blue a couple of nice choke points to hopefully hold Red back. Also the flanking opportunities should allow Blue to defend the village a little better. With the height advantage too it will allow Blue to drop down to lower levels quickly whilst Red will have to walk up the hill.

    Third Section

    • Yeah the map here does look pretty bland (In fact all the areas do) but this is just the basic layout. The map will be populated with fences, buildings, rocks, trees and whatever else you’d expect to see in a medieval setting. So that would break up the scenery more.

    • I do plan on putting siege equipment in the first three areas to help Blue to defend. Obviously a castle/keep would be well defended. This will be represented :)

    • And archers who sit in spawn annoy me, so I’ll be sure to make it so they cannot do this. Easiest way to do this is to make players drop out of the spawn area before they can see the enemy. Much like the barn spawn points.

    Fourth Section

    • As I said before, I’m not the best character modeller. Though, I do know one. I’ll give him a shout ;)

    Like I mentioned above, I might let the community design the king/queen/important person to help get some interest in this map. :)

    Diversity is definitely the plan. I like to use height in my levels (I wrote a dissertation about the use of height in games) and multiple routes, flanking opportunities along with good line of sight blockers will be placed all throughout the map.

    Thank you!



  • This looks mighty awesome! I’m looking forward to seeing it.

    As people have pointed out, the king is dead and his replacement defends Stonehill. So I think the Agathian commander of this castle should just be a vassal loyal to Argon. If you get in touch with a modeller who can create a new character, that’d be great!

    In the first area, you mention you might put some watch towers? Those would be great for Agathian archers, and especially if they are made out of wood and can be destroyed by some catapult in the area.

    In the second area, you mention there will be a church in the village. I want to be able to enter it! I also think that you should get a modeller to make alternative models for peasants in the form of monks and/or priests, and have them spawn inside the church. They could give more points because they are important people, but the church would be located furthest back, close to Agatha spawn points. Just an idea.



  • Beck, these designs look excellent! I can’t wait to see it in production, best of luck!



  • @SavageBeatings:

    This looks mighty awesome! I’m looking forward to seeing it.

    As people have pointed out, the king is dead and his replacement defends Stonehill. So I think the Agathian commander of this castle should just be a vassal loyal to Argon. If you get in touch with a modeller who can create a new character, that’d be great!

    In the first area, you mention you might put some watch towers? Those would be great for Agathian archers, and especially if they are made out of wood and can be destroyed by some catapult in the area.

    In the second area, you mention there will be a church in the village. I want to be able to enter it! I also think that you should get a modeller to make alternative models for peasants in the form of monks and/or priests, and have them spawn inside the church. They could give more points because they are important people, but the church would be located furthest back, close to Agatha spawn points. Just an idea.

    Thanks for the reply!

    Yeah before I made these plans I didn’t realise the community was so hot on the lore of the game. To be honest I didn’t even know there was lore, I thought it was just a game mode! So yes, I will be changing who the Masons get to kill in the final battle here. I know a character artist or two so I shall be asking them nicely to make me someone to murder :D

    The watchtowers shall indeed be made of wood. I’ll have some catapults placed near the Mason spawn area to give them a chance to knock them down. I’ll probably block the line of sight on the towers from the Mason area too so the towers have a chance of surviving instead of being blasted right from the start.

    I don’t mind opening up the church or other buildings to allow players to enter so they can fight/flank players. The priests and stuff, I’ll have to see how much time I have or if my character artist is up for the task! :D I doubt I’ll give players more points for slaying them, if I were to have priests and such they would be worth as much as a normal filthy peasant :)

    Thank you for the reply though! I’m glad you like the sound of it!

    @kieran88:

    Beck, these designs look excellent! I can’t wait to see it in production, best of luck!

    Thank you, check below! ;)

    Ok, So I’ve been working on this slowly (Mostly during my lunch hours at work) and I have a little bit to show you guys. Now, these are VERY basic block outs of the areas so I can get a sense of scale and ensure everything looks right. So please bare that in mind when looking at the screenshots.

    Firstly here is a screenshot of the outside area of the keep. It’s nothing special, just a staircase, a main doorway into the keep (This will be much grander in the final version, in face the whole building will be pretty much bigger in all aspects) and there are two alternative entrances below which will take players under the keep into some catacombs.
    [image:201uu1f8]http://i.imgur.com/HHd1YJ9.jpg[/image:201uu1f8]

    The next screenshot is just the catacombs area facing towards the Throne Room (This was basically a test to see how the terrain tools worked in UDK):
    [image:201uu1f8]http://i.imgur.com/r5TabIv.jpg[/image:201uu1f8]

    Next is the Throne room itself. As you can see it has the balconies and some pillars. A few holes have been added to represent the windows and to allow some light in, but these will again be much nicer when I come to detailing.

    The “kings” throne will be raised up slightly at the back of the room and I will probably add some small alcoves into the walls to allow players area to hide/recover from archers.
    [image:201uu1f8]http://i.imgur.com/Gda809k.jpg[/image:201uu1f8]

    Finally, I’ve started creating the terrain for the plateau outside of keep. At the moment I have been creating VERY broad strokes. My goal here is just to ensure the heights and overall scale feels right. It already takes too long to get from the back trebuchet to the doors of the keep so I will probably need to shorten this area.

    But yeah, once I’m happy with how deep/high the areas are and that they are the right distances apart I shall be smoothing out the areas and making ramps up/down to these areas.
    [image:201uu1f8]http://i.imgur.com/VK08ntn.jpg[/image:201uu1f8]

    But that’s where I’m at at the moment. Obviously a lot of work still needs to be done but I would like to hear any feedback or thoughts on this.



  • That’s coming along nicely!

    I like the height variation, something sorely lacking in a lot of games. Also the idea of opening up the church for a bit of slaying is class. Keep up the good work! looking forward to seeing more.



  • @SavageBeatings:

    In the first area, you mention you might put some watch towers? Those would be great for Agathian archers, and especially if they are made out of wood and can be destroyed by some catapult in the area.

    This is exactly what the new TO maps need, mini-battles (in this case archer/catapulter) which provide some additional strategy between attack and defense.

    The more there is then the timer can be extended and these can play out making the objective more interesting.



  • @kieran88:

    That’s coming along nicely!

    I like the height variation, something sorely lacking in a lot of games. Also the idea of opening up the church for a bit of slaying is class. Keep up the good work! looking forward to seeing more.

    Thank you.

    Yeah, I’m definitely a big fan of height in games, it does seem to get pushed to the side, especially with most shooters where you’re effectively walking through a long corridor shooting whatever moves in front of you.

    For my university course I studied the past 2000+ years of warfare and wrote a dissertation on how height could be used more in a multiplayer environment. If you’re interested you can have a read here:
    http://beckshaw.com/?page_id=47
    Be warned it’s 20,000+ words! Maybe you’ll find it helpful for Bushido? There are some small sections about the far East. (Page 18)

    @gregcau:

    @SavageBeatings:

    In the first area, you mention you might put some watch towers? Those would be great for Agathian archers, and especially if they are made out of wood and can be destroyed by some catapult in the area.

    This is exactly what the new TO maps need, mini-battles (in this case archer/catapulter) which provide some additional strategy between attack and defense.

    The more there is then the timer can be extended and these can play out making the objective more interesting.

    Yeah, you kind of get these battles in the map with the bodies in the cart (Again, I need to learn the map names!) where the final area has a couple of catapults which can shoot down the pallisade walls.

    It’s definitely an interesting concept which I’ll definitely try to play with when I come to creating the area :)



  • @Beck:

    @kieran88:

    That’s coming along nicely!

    I like the height variation, something sorely lacking in a lot of games. Also the idea of opening up the church for a bit of slaying is class. Keep up the good work! looking forward to seeing more.

    Thank you.

    Yeah, I’m definitely a big fan of height in games, it does seem to get pushed to the side, especially with most shooters where you’re effectively walking through a long corridor shooting whatever moves in front of you.

    For my university course I studied the past 2000+ years of warfare and wrote a dissertation on how height could be used more in a multiplayer environment. If you’re interested you can have a read here:
    http://beckshaw.com/?page_id=47
    Be warned it’s 20,000+ words! Maybe you’ll find it helpful for Bushido? There are some small sections about the far East. (Page 18)

    Cheers for the link! I’ll definitely check it out.



  • Let me know what you think, I’d be interested to know if you found it helpful!



  • @Beck:

    Let me know what you think, I’d be interested to know if you found it helpful!

    Just finished reading it through. I have had little experience with maps outside of creating visual assets for them, your study was extremely informative - especially on the implementation of the studied defenses!

    I especially liked the hill fort style defenses. Great work!


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