[WIP] Fortification Map Contest - On The Edge (Tentative Title)

  • **


    **A Mason army is pushing outwards towards the shores to capture key strategic points.One of which, is a little peaceful village with no known name that resides on the edge of a large valley, on the edge of a mountain, and on the edge of a river.
    The Masons have no interest in capturing, but wish to send a message to King Argon, by destroying this once beautiful village and it’s inhabitants.
    Fortunately for Agatha, the Masons did not know that they were expected, and thus, are met by an Agathan army and it’s 2 captains.
    One of these captains resides in the main hall of the village. While the other protects the nearby shoreline castle.
    The masons have a downhill battle ahead of them, but with a very strong draft of Agathan fury holding them back.
    How long can Agatha hold off the Mason Order? Will Mason’s destroy the village? Only you can determine that fate.

    **(Difficulty levels in brackets)
    1. Push the battering ram along the cliff edge and ram down the gates to the town. (Moderate)
    2. Kill Peasants and burn the village (Moderate)
    3. Destroy the entryway to the town center/barracks (maybe battering ram or just swords and a ballista). (Easy)
    4. Kill the town guard’s captain or capture the town hall. (Moderate)
    5. Proceed to the other half of the village, burning and destroying everything and everyone (Easy)
    6. Push a log cart through the dock area and block off the dock entrance.
    9. Capture 2 warehouses in the docks by standing inside of them.
    10. Kill the Agathian commander.

    The idea of the gameplay is to make it feel like full on, brutal, medieval combat, without it being too frustrating (running long distance, being peppered with archer fire etc).
    The Agathians can very well win the match in the gate ramming section if the Agathians put up a strong defence, but once the gate is knocked down, the Agathians will be put on their back foot, and it is almost a bit of an easy ride for the Masons to simulate the overwhelming feeling of having a village raided and destroyed.
    However Masons have to be careful not to throw away their lives, because after so many Mason deaths, the Mason captain will be forced into battle to help out. If he dies however, the Mason soldiers will be disheartened and forced to retreat from battle, meaning that Agatha will be victorious.

    Originally I wanted to put unique objectives into the map, but unfortunately, due to the lack of testing time I had, I had to remove them just before the contest ended, replacing them with more generic (but still fun) objectives to kill and burn.

    More balancing needs to be done, as I want each objective to be opposite to the previous objective, so for attackers and defenders, it should be moderately difficult for both sides, then when ramming the gates, it should be difficult for attackers to get through, but once they get through, attackers are rewarded by an easier objective. Once that objective is over, there should be a more difficult objective of taking the town center by either capturing the main hall, or killing the town captain.

    Then once again, it should be easy for attackers to destroy the rest of the village, then difficult for attackers to take over the docks, followed by what should be an easy objective to kill the enemy Commander.

    Your feedback, and more online testing and gameplay will help me strike this balance, but right now, I am not satisfied, as players who are playing as Agathians might get frustrated with how difficult it is to defend right now after the ram breaks through the main gates.

    A big thanks to Torn Banner for making this competition happen.
    Also, I’m excited to see what the other contestants will be making, there is already some awesome stuff being made by the looks of things, it’s good to know competition is tight.


    • Gameplay testing and balancing.

    • Final touches to some objectives.

    • Beautification pass on the map for lighting, terrain objects such as waterfalls, streams, rocks, cliff edge, clutter, etc.

  • Very very nice looking. I hope that the objectives allow a nice view, cause I think beautiful expansive views like this are really missing in Chiv right now. Looking forward to seeing updates.

  • Thankyou :)
    The gameplay will definitely have that view as a back drop of sorts, eventually I may even incorperate it into gameplay, it all depends on the player input. I don’t want to make the make too long and drawn out. I want to make it fun for both sides, even if you are losing.
    I may actually make a normal and long version of the map, so players who prefer a longer match will be able to play the longer TO version :)
    I think my next step is to create some 3d Models of the cliff edge, as the assets used have wierd collision meshes and just look a bit off for what I am trying to achieve. It won’t take long to create a cliff edge though, but I just need to learn how to import it, and learn what limitations are on meshes, such as the maximum amount of poly’s allowed for a collision mesh for example.

    I also just realised I have far more time to work on this than I thought. I thought I only had until the 2nd April, lol. But turns out I have way more time (more than enough) to get this finished :)
    Of course I want to have it done earlier rather than later, so you all can play test it and provide me with feedback so that I can improve and refine the map. :)

    Also, I want to add that I am looking into ways to create some semblance of random objectives to break up monotony, as for how I do that? It might be purely visual such as the sun might be in a different location, it’s night time, it’s raining, it’s foggy etc, or it may be a gameplay change, such as a change of objective or method of achieving an objective.

  • I have been working on the map in the last few days off work, but mostly learning UDK and doing some Chivalry/UDK tutorials.

    I discovered how to spawn bots into my map, but they were stupid, running off cliffs, and running into walls….until I realised that they like invisible brown apples, so plonked down a whole bunch so that they could go to war with some semblance of a brain.

    Without further ado, here are some screenshots I took last night:

    <snip>I moved the screenshots to the first post</snip>

    I added some objectives to the main post so you can get an idea of what I might potentially be aiming for. Feel free to add suggestions of objective types that you would like to see, as I don’t want it to be a drag.

    ****(Difficulty levels in brackets)
    **1. Push the battering ram along the cliff edge and ram down the gates to the town. (Moderate)
    **2. Kill Peasants and burn the village (Easy)
    **3. Destroy the entryway to the town center/barracks (maybe battering ram or just swords and a ballista). (Moderate)
    **4. Rush through to other entrance to town center/barracks and seal it shut so that half the town is captured. (Hard)
    **5. Jump the walls and destroy the other half of the town and it’s peasants. (Moderate)
    **6. Find and lock the other 2 town entrances to secure the town. (Hard)
    (This is what I HOPE to submit for round 1 of competition, below is what I might end up expanding it to for finals)
    **7. Board river boats and ride them upstream towards the King’s keep while being attacked from the river side. (Easy - Supposed to be a bit of a scenery trip and a break from the action)
    **8. Secure landing area. (Easy)
    **9. Assault the king’s keep through either a series of sewers/crypts or by setting the door ablaze using firepots. (Moderate)
    **10. Kill the King, take his head and place it on a pike at the top of his keep. (Hard)

  • It would be nice to see some top down screenshots with of the overall playspace if possible. Keep up the progress.

  • This post is deleted!

  • Here is a really quick and dirty top down plan :)
    Bare in mind, things may change. I will most likely release my first WIP version up to securing the gate at point 6.
    (Open the image in a new tab to view full size)

  • I like the layout. It looks like masons could really build up a lot of momentum on that ram and then crash into the town.

  • I’m glad you picked up on that. After point 2, the battering ram goes up a little slope while coming around the corner, and then runs downhill into the door. I was thinking about scripting it so that if players get behind the ram long enough to keep momentum going from the top of the small slope, then the ram will do 1/4 damage to the door in one hit before players even use the ram.
    I will probably script it so that after about 10-15 seconds of the Masons being behind the ram, the ram will automatically roll into the door on it’s own due to momentum. And I will create a kill trigger in front of the ram so that if any players get in front of it during this, they will get squished :D.

    I am not entirely happy with the objectives after breaking into the town, because I would like to make it more fun than simply running around burning buildings and killing peasants…I am thinking that maybe Agatha can spawn in just about every building…until it is burnt down. So once a building is on fire, the spawn point is nullified. The once all spawn points in the first part of town are destroyed, the Agathian spawn will move back to the town central, at which point the town central door at point 5 becomes destructable by the Masons.

    Same goes for the last part, Agathians can spawn in every building…until it is burnt down.
    But I shall see how it goes during early play-tests before I go ahead with the idea.

    Also…my computer is now deciding to be a pain in the butt, it get’s BSOD due to “A clock interrupt was not received on a secondary processor within the allocated time interval” when trying to compile lighting.
    And USB devices will fail after a while in the back USB ports of the computer…seems I am going to have to spend a bit of time fixing my computer, rather than mapping, since I cannot compile my maps, it makes it hard to rapidly test my work.

  • I like.
    Keep on doing this.

  • I have spent most of my day trying to fix my computer, but seems I will need to work some kind of miracles, or just put up with it for the duration of the contest. (Either my power supply is being dicky, the mobo is being dicky, or windows 7 plug and play drivers are being dicky).

    Anyway, I DID manage to get some actual work done. These screenshots are a combination of yesterdays and todays work. Today I only did some walkways behind pallisades.

  • I once again spent more time experimenting to learn UDK, but I did work more on the actual gameplay side of things so that you guys can get a playable version in your hands hopefully within a few days.

    • Tried to research how to compile lightmass faster, turns out UDK just takes forever to compile lightmass, especially on a map with this much detail. It also turns out the foliage will result in extremely long compile times.

    • Worked on battering ram kismet and matinee, adding some cool features to make the battering ram push into more of a team effort. The more players surrounding the battering ram, the faster it goes.
      Not only that, but when at it’s maximum speed, the front of the battering ram will do damage to players. However I need to work out a way to bounce the player back as if he was kicked out of it’s way.
      Think Masonry bobsled team :P

    • Setting up dynamic spawns for testing.
      *** Fix/Research AI navigation, I have suicidal lemming bots and Micheal Jackson wannabe bot’s :(

    • Work on Kismet and Matinee sequence for Town’s outter gate being destroyed by the battering ram.

    • Make town buildings as destructable objectives.

    • Make town citizens as kill objectives

    • Make the first town objective into a tug-o-war by giving Agathians a total number of points/tickets.
      The tickets will replenish by a certain amount, every time that a few Masonry soldiers are killed by an Agathian.
      The tickets will replenish every so often.
      The tickets total will be reduced every time a town building is destroyed, and the time between ticket replenishment is extended every time a building is destroyed.
      The ticket total will be reduced every time a town citizen is killed
      When tickets expire, Agathian spawns are moved back, Masons will move forward.

    • Make town center doors into destructible objects with large amounts of health. Only axes, hammers, firebombs and ballista bolts can destroy the door.

    • Make a capture objective on door at other side of town center/courtyard to secure the door. Need to work out way to make this interesting and fun, not just “stand here for 20seconds”

  • Looks awesome man, keep up the good work!

  • I did a lightmass bake last night and it seems that my map size has for some ridiculous reason jumped from 40mb file size to 706mb file size O_O……whaaaat? I actually removed a whole bunch of stuff from the map :O
    The only thing different is there is more stuff in the kismet, and that my landscape shadow res is set to 6 rather than 1.

    Landscape details are:
    Section size (quads): 63
    Sections per component: 4
    Component size (quads): 126
    Landscape Components: 64
    Collision Components: 64
    Total Size: 1009x1009

    Oh, the other change was the addition of pylons to the map, I have about 5 so far. But I added those before the lightmass compile, and the file size change was tiny.

  • what lightmap resolution are you using for your landscape?

  • Static lighting resolution = 6.
    And object shadow resolution still looks god awful. I am thinking I should set objects to use dynamic lights or something instead.
    I just did what was on Stoneshill.
    The map compile time on preview took:
    5:-17667:10 hours :\

    Also…just checked…before the lightmass bake, the map is 16mb file size, not 40.

    I just deleted the landscape completely, it’s still 505mb, but going to recompile lighting without landscape to see where the culprit is.

  • OK, just wanted to make sure you hadn’t set it to like, 512 or something. Try setting it to 4.

  • It appears as though the lightmap build time was taking forever because I had Overriden Light Map Res set to 512 on the little deco balls that you use on the top of the stone fence posts that you see in stone hill.
    Needless to say, that was removed :P
    This sped up compile times.
    However the level is STILL 300mb.
    Does cooking the map compress the file size?


    I reduced the map shadow resolution and made most objects into Mover entities so they cast dynamic shadows.
    I am not sure if this is the best way to produce good quality shadows on objects, but I will find out tonight when I get home from work.
    Before I leave for work, I will start a high quality lightmass compile…since I am at work for 12 hours…that should be plenty of time…right? :P

    So…turns out it only needed 2mins with static lighting resolution set to 1, rather than 12 hours…I’m going to roll with this technique for the time being :P

    I might up the shadow resolution of the terrain to 6 and let it compile a production quality.


    I have been using a very basic draft…or test map for my objectives, creating a basic, but functional and modifiable version of each objective I will be using for my level.

    So far, pushing the ram objective works fine, however I need to work out how to make it so that when players use the battering ram, it does damage to the door until the door is knocked down or opened, and then the ram will be pulled back away from the door afterwards if players are surrounding the ram.

    I have been working on a ticket system, and it is now fully functional, it is easily modified to allow objectives to alter the total ticket count, or the current ticket count.
    I didn’t even realise until AFTER I made the ticket counter that there was already one made by Torn Banner -_-
    I had a look at the TB one, but it’s purpose is different to what I have done, however my kismet can easily be modified to do the same thing, I am happy to say it is extremely simple and straight forward :)

    I also implemented a kill objective while I was at it, with NPC’s randomly running around. I would LOVE it if I could make it so NPC’s will actually run away from the player and use the same pathnodes that bot’s do…I think there is a way, but I just need to look into it more. (I am pretty sure I did this by accident (messing around with example levels) on my 2nd day using the UDK).

    When the NPC’s die, they will reduce the total tickets of team agatha.

    Next up, I need to learn how to create some burnable houses/destructable objectives and also use that to reduce the total ticket count.

    That’s all I will need to do in order to get my first public release out the door I think.

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