Fortification map contest objectives critique

  • Hi i’ve seen all the maps for this contest and i find that the objectives are nearly the same for all maps. It dosn’t offer an original objective and a new gameplay.
    All the official maps have differents objectives so please make new one like kidnapping the queen, saving ostages or burn a witch who weight like a duck. I don’t want to see maps that i want to avoid. Thank you for reading.(my native language isn’t english)

  • I’ve seen you post on a few threads asking for new types of objectives. I thought I’d take a moment to explain why people are going with things we’ve seen before and not inventing new objectives.

    The editor has an inbuilt set of objectives. These are generic things and are used in various official maps;

    • Kill the thing
    • Break the thing
    • Carry the thing
    • Escort the thing
    • Raise the thing
    • Something to do with NPCs (not really looked into this one)
    • And “Generic”

    These all need varying degrees of Kismet (scripting) set up to get them work. In the case of generic more or less any kismet event can trigger a Generic objective.In order to get some really really outside the box, off the wall, crazy objectives you would have to hammer kismet into the dust; OR write your own scripted elements which would make it more like a mod rather than a level.

    The issue is time. 4 months is in not, in reality, very long to design, construct, test, redesign, reconstruct (ad infinitum) then art pass and polish (ad infinitum once again). Most of the entries are likely trying to get something together to test with as quickly as possible and thus will go with something which they can do relatively quickly.

    Another issue is, while more or less anything can be made into an objective, not everything works out well. These new objectives would need to be built, tested, rebuilt and tested again; this adds to development time. Going with something that has been, mostly, done before makes it easier to work. This doesn’t mean you can’t play with the concept and change up the objective’s appearance.

    What you really have to focus on is what the players are doing. How they are moving around the space? Where is combat taking place? What kind of tactics do you want to encourage/discourage? These kinds of questions inform the choice of objectives you use.

    I’d also point out that some of the suggestions you are making would actually use the same mechanical objective but simply look different, or be slightly differently parsed. Which is fine, but it does make me ask how you define “offer an original objective and a new gameplay.”

    To take an example. On my map you suggested 4 things to replace the cart push;

    digging a tunnel in the underground
    This is actually quite similar to a cart push. You have a mobile objective (the cart, or the end of the tunnel), as this moves forward so does the combat. The downside to this is that the inherently closed environment of a tunnel means both sides only have one (or at least very limited) access point the the combat area. This gives the attackers a massive advantage as it turns a dynamic objective into a point control. All they have to do is defend the tunnel access points until it’s finished. It’s also worth pointing out the technical implication of this option. It would require a lot of dynamic objects, which would need to be lit dynamical. This is EXTREMELY expensive system wise and would grind more or less any computer; AoC isn’t the most optimised game out there.

    burning the gate
    Burnables are interesting objectives. In reality it must be quite a short distance between the torch ammo and the target. Look at Hillside or Stoneshill. The torch ammo is more or less next to the burnables. This is because you have to give up your weapon to carry a torch, and thus become very very easy to kill. The longer the distance the torch bearer must run the lower chance they have of completing the objective. Burnables however work very well with multiple paths and lots of cover. It allows the torch bearers to move about with less chance of being snipped. To implement this I would have to make the second objective very short, or make a large proportion of the combat area meaningless.

    launching holy grenades
    It would depend on where these grenades come from, but more or less see above. It’s another carry the thing to the target style thing.

    **opening another entrance
    **And now we come to the crux of the issue. How do you bring down a wall/door/gate? Traditionally? Some sort of siege weapon, hence why we are seeing lots of them.

    I mean overall I do see your point and sympathise with it, but the truth is that it isn’t simple. But I’m sure that you’ve made people think about their objectives a little harder and hopefully stirred some ideas.

    P.s. sorry about the lecture, apparently I can’t write short posts.

  • I really like that you brought this up. I just did the same and agree that everything is too similar. I have decided to change a few of my objectives around. possibly make it 4 Mason objectives + 1 Agatha Objective (defencive advantage) Im even thinking of removing all siege weapons from the map, and requiring the players to carry some of the things there, for instance they could carry planks to the town to form a pathway up there that Agatha can break. Having the flood that inhibits movement speed is also another one.

    Just small things that can change the way the map plays could really make things interesting.

  • Nice post NATO - I think the people who can come up with something original - and fun of course - have a great chance of winning.

    One key thing to enjoyment is spawn placement and how far each team has to run to each objective - it can make or break a map (think Citadel before refined). So getting people to test is critical.

  • Yeah. Don’t follow your original plans if they aren’t fun. ask people for harsh critique because it really helps (Even if they say it sucks, ask them why!)

  • As a practical example; this is the kismet I use for my cannon objective. Overall this is quite simple.

    And this is maybe 1/10th of the kismet used in stoneshill. This is actually the top level of _game which controls the major gameplay elements. It registers the objectives and controls the cart push. All the burnables, and NPC movement is in another sequence.

    Seriously, go take a look. That thing literately insane. I have no idea how the designer managed to work with such a spaghettified mess. (As a side note to the dev who did put it together. I understand, this is how most kismet ends up. It’s cool bro, I’m not ragging on you too hard. You likely didn’t expect people to go looking at it too much in any case) My point is that under the hood these things get complex QUICKLY.

    Also a note for carry objectives. This can be tricky and require messing with the 3rd person camera. It can be done per specific level but you may have a tricky time doing it. You’ll need to make a skeletal mesh and attach it to the correct attachment node in the carry objective.

  • Thats a good point, NATO. I think for the most part people should stick to the simple objectives, possibly adding uniqueness into them via different ways.
    Also i am noticing that a large amount of first timers are entering this competetion, which is a great thing. but sadly a few of them are coming up with ideas that are way over most peoples heads.

    There really should be a sticky or a thread put together containing the pricibles of multiplayer game level design. With things like workflows, helpfull links and the ways that chivalry MW is laid out, in terms of how spawns are done (The designs of spawns, not how to make the spawnpoints) Like how most spawnpoints in TO maps have multible exits to prevent camping, and that they are usually set back from the rest of the map so archers cannot hit spawned players. Even the single building spawns are made this way to prevent archer spawn-camping.

  • You definition of the word simple differs from mine greatly.

  • Thanks nato i didn’t know what represents a new objective (i think i could never know) but i still thinking that the objectives are the same in many maps. I was wondering :p but even a “little” change like the ram skin could be interesting

  • Four months?? Isn’t it two months?

    Valid points all round. My only reservation about entering is: testing is best done as early as possible, is anybody going to want to play a hastily put togetherwhitebox?

  • @PaulH:

    Four months?? Isn’t it two months?

    Valid points all round. My only reservation about entering is: testing is best done as early as possible, is anybody going to want to play a hastily put togetherwhitebox?

    It’s two months for the first phase and 2 more months for the second phase.
    As to testing, one of the first steps you should be doing as a level designer is getting a blockout of your map done with basic geometry and getting all your gameplay set up before you spend time polishing anything. Then test. You WILL have to go back and fix things. Then repeat the process. A “hastily put togetherwhitebox” should be fun to play first before you can make it a more polished map.

    I would imagine that absolute polish isn’t going to count for much in the first phase. The second phase will probably weigh polish more heavily. After all two months isn’t long to design and build a map, let alone polish it hardly at all. It’s too bad I’m getting into this nearly a month late!

  • 1st deadline is 1st May
    2nd deadline is 31st June

    March -> June; 4 months :D

  • Ha! Yes, I know that! Thank you NATO! I was under the impression that the submissions for the first competition couldn’t be worked on after the first deadline, otherwise what’s the point in starting a second competition??

    It’s true that it doesnt say anything about this in the rules, but I don’t know if we’ll start a level if we’re already a month behind D:

  • Yeah I wasn’t sure myself so I asked in my thread;


    “**Are designers allowed to make modifications to first round entries during the second round and enter them again?”

    Yes, it’s allowed and highly encouraged.


  • Ah, thanks for clearing that up NATO.

  • I agree with both sides here; it would be really good to have new, interesting objectives but programming them is very difficult. To deviate hugely may involve coding directly (not via Kismet) and that might become a mod which may not be valid for the competition.

    I have a tunnel in one objective in my map but it’s more of a second path that can be unlocked rather than a dedicated objective.

  • So I think I have changed up the objective a little in Grail Castle

    Take the Grail to the camp, yes its a bit like carry the flag, but its done in a TO map which wasn’t done previously, and there is nothing standard about it - just look at the kismet - lower right hand corner of my kismet if you want to investigate!!)

    Also in the second stage, part of the objective is gaining a tower which actually swaps spawn points about, something I am thinking about using again.

  • Yeah, you can turn anything into an objective as long as it’s quantifiable in Kismet, and most things are. It’s just a time constraint thing. Take my cannons for instance. Getting them to work as intended has been tricky enough and it’s just a slightly modified point capture based on a generic objective.

    And as massive said, often it’s just a case of presenting things to the player slightly differently. Most objectives easily fit into 3 or 4 categories that can be handled quite simply.

    At the end of the day this is a level design competition, objective design and implementation is a big part of it, but not everything.

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