A community effort on a map layout

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map_concept.png
Legend:

  • Red: player spawn
  • Dark green: mex
  • Yellow: hydro
  • Bold black: unpassable cliff
  • Thin grey: passable cliff
  • Striped grey: unpassable terrain (edit: looks like i forgot to stripe a few of the smaller unpassable locations, but they should be pretty clear from the map i think)
  • Blue: water
  • Brown: rock reclaim (small 10 mass rocks, that are found on eg. Open Palms)
  • Light green: treegroups mixed with single trees

The bottom left and top right corners are meant to be more or less exactly like Open Palms, along with snow topped mountains and a sizable chunk of tree group reclaim (again, should be similar to the amount in Open Palms, if not exactly the same). If you don't want to do snow topped mountains, these can also be regular mountains with regular evergreen treegroups (as opposed to the snowy ones in Open Palms).

The unpassable area right in the middle of the map is meant to be the "cinematic area".

Here i've numbered the passable elevation levels of the map for clarity. -1 being the lowest (waterbody) and 5 highest (mountains):
map_concept_top2.png

-1: water
0: rocky terrain (no grass or trees)
1+: evergreen terrain, each level should be only slightly elevated from the previous. All elevation changes need to be indicated by visible texture changes

Note about reclaim:

  • rocks should only be found on the areas indicated with brown. If this submission is chosen, I may elaborate more on rock placement especially in the middle. A small amount of rocks next to spawn may also be considered.
  • for rock reclaim the small Open Palms style rocks should be used (worth 10 mass and less). The intention here is that rock fields need to take a considerable amount of time to reclaim. Rock fields are also meant to be spread out over a fairly large area.
  • the tree group spots notated with light green should include a mix of single and grouped trees to reduce reclaim speed.
  • tree group spots are strategically placed to avoid breaking of groups with common engi paths (ie. the placement is important and should be conserved)
  • single trees may be used elsewhere for scenic purposes

Description

Imagined meta gameplay is as follows (bottom player's perspective):

  • ACU is sent early to mid for reclaim (note hydro placement on the path toward mid). The player may then choose to stay in mid (for aggressive/defensive purposes) or move to side reclaim.
  • Engineers make a play for the left side reclaim field
  • Left side is primarily an offensive front, while top side is defensive (due to how vulnerable top side mexes are in comparison, and you are getting left side reclaim anyway)
  • Bottom left section is taken early with either edgebuild or a transport (This is a very important expansion to defend, due to the proximity to your mexes, as well as the great rewards from holding it. Note how this section is vulnerable to raids from the opponent through a ramp on the left side. It's difficult to attack for the opponent due to long distance, but difficult to defend for you, because of the lack of a ramp on your side). A factory is built here for reclaim engineers and transports may be later used to defend this expansion.
  • Earlygame will be very aggressive due to spawn proximity and vulnerability of the top mexes (notice how 4 mexes on the top expansion are far apart and can't be defended by 1 t1 pd similarly to eg. Emerald Crater). T2 air aggression will also be very strong due to the amount of spread out mexes.

Also note some other interesting design decisions (that I didn't get to mention in previous sections):

  • small ponds are placed in the middle of the map for ACU safety
  • Exit from two sides of each pond are blocked, making it risky to use these ponds for aggressive purposes
  • A small elevation increase is placed strategically between 2 mexes and a pond in the middle. This elevation difference makes it more difficult for an ACU camping in opponent's pond to be able to get free damage.
  • Elevation is used strategically to create some locations more defensible for one player. There's always advantages and disadvantages in each location for each player. Eg. the elevated 4 mex expansion up north has very spread out mexes (making it vulnerable), but elevated terrain (making it easier to defend)
  • There are no contested mexes that tend to snowball games, players are instead given a clearly divided (between the players), but vulnerable mex layout so that harassment is encouraged over straightforward pushes.
  • Reclaim is placed aggressively to kickstart the war over reclaim (ie. if both players attempt to fight over a reclaim field, some units will die, then the reclaim field gets bigger, and the fight keeps going on). This is also why the reclaim fields should be large, but sparse.

I'm sure I forgot to mention lots of stuff, but have to finish at some point rather than keep rambling on forever ๐Ÿ™‚ Thx for reading & considering my map concept

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Added to the overview, great description and visualization!

@Blodir

rocks should only be found on the areas indicated with brown. If this submission is chosen, I may elaborate more on rock placement especially in the middle. A small amount of rocks next to spawn may also be considered.

If the designer of the chosen layout is up for it then there'll be one or more sessions to discuss the map throughout the entire process. Specifically for smaller details that I may or may not entirely oversee ๐Ÿ™‚ . Throughout the making of the Valley map Archsimkat and I had a lot of discussions too - it really helped push the map.

To everyone else reading this - feel free to dive in the discussion! What do you think of the proposed layouts, what would you keep or do different? And feel free to add in your own!

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

1

FAF - 2v2 Map - Rev 1.png

>>>Life in the Fast Lane>>>
Revision 1

Concept
A dynamic map with multiple major attack vectors into the enemy bases as well as a prominent central feature.

Legend
โ€”Red Figures are the Starting Locations
โ€”Light Green Circles are Mass Extractor Locations
โ€”Dark Green Blobs are Tree Clumps
โ€”Yellow Squares are Locations for Hydro-Carbon Plants
โ€”Black Blobs are Reclaim
โ€”Black Squares are Civilian Structures
โ€”Brown Ridges go below ground and are impassable
โ€”Grey Ridges go above the ground and are impassable
โ€”Blues Blobs are Water

Description
The "Central Gorge" of the Map is home to two abandoned Colonies; one of the UEF and one of the Cybran Nation. These Outposts have waged countless battles and the wrecks still litter the bottom of the gorge. The surrounding Hills and Lakes are peaceful and serene (and feature two Aeon Listening Outposts to silently monitor the situation below).

How Matches are intended to play out
The Map features two "Fast Lanes" and the "Central Gorge". The fast lanes go straight into the enemy bases and are difficult to defend. The path through the Central Gorge is initially hindered by the Civ Bases, but yields additional reclaim once they are opened up.

All Players start with 3 Mex Locations close to their ACU, as well as a Short-Walk Hydro. The shortage of Mexes (3 instead of the traditional 4) pushes the ACU out of the Base. The Hydros are situated so that they pull the Back ACU into the "Fast Lane" and the Front ACU into the "Central Gorge". Additional Reclaim and a String of Mexes also pushes the ACUs further into the intended directions. However, by doing so they leave their bases open to attack from behind.

Both sides have several Mexes behind their starting locations that are slow to get, hard to defend and easy to raid.

There are two side-islands with cliffs and two Mexes that need to be air-dropped. By forcing the Players to build a transport they will (hopefully) also use them for drops.

The Civilian Bases should have a t1 pd and one (or two) t1 aa. Maybe even a t2 shield.

edit1: spelling
edit2: Revision 1

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@Leto_II it seems like you have very limited options for how to play this map. ACUs in the center MUST quickly go to the central gorge or else they will fall behind on reclaim. ACUs in the back would have to walk clockwise to protect the reclaim fields there. Trying to go counter-clockwise to stop the opponent from getting reclaim would fail because it would take too long to walk and you probably wouldn't actually deny the reclaim. And you need to protect the 3-mex expansion at the corner of the map, which would be easy to raid if your ACU doesn't walk clockwise. There are enough choke points that it should be relatively easy to hold against T1 spam which would become a mass donation. Players would have to get the gun upgrade. Players would have to eco up and get T2. Which also means that getting the reclaim is absolutely essential to keep up in eco. With only one way to play the map, I think it would get stale. It's too easy to lock down the entire map by holding just 3 choke points.

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@arma473 what would be your suggestion?

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@Leto_II Primarily, it would be: for a 2v2 map, you want to have more openness than just 3 narrow choke points. The more players you have, the more avenues you need to have open.

And if you intended it to be played as a 1v1 map, removing most of the reclaim in the middle would allow players to have more options for where to send their ACU. For example, on Williamson's bridge, the middle path has basically only a single mex (and maybe a couple rocks). So if you rush through the middle, you're not securing economy, it's just pure aggression.

Also, it's basically impossible to use early air to stop the ACU from reclaiming, so if there's big reclaim in the center, there's no point in rushing a bomber. But if there is no reclaim in the middle, an early bomber could be used to pick off engineers trying to scoop the north/south.

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Hi everyone - as a note: I'll be doing more than one designs from those provided. I hope this creates an incentive to provide more designs and to have more discussion. As an example, here is the map Center of Tatsu based on the design of Tatsu:

3730afe1-d602-4ff5-8b81-2780d5f82838-image.png

b69d57f9-57fc-4ea5-a18c-d050153bdaea-image.png

27ed7325-bf96-43b5-96d5-85fecfc2afa8-image.png

It will be in the vault this weekend after I finished up the easter egg in the center ๐Ÿ™‚ .

Next to that, I found a great visual example as to how you can think about an extractor layout:

@Fremy_Speeddraw thank you for writing that out.

Similarly I wrote this a while back in the LOUD discord:

That depends on your layout. Personally I like to think in safe extractors, which should be at least 4 / player. Having less is unusual and requires a special build order. Next in line are expandable extractors, which are part of an expansion which should be at least 3 / player (have at least one clear expansion with 3 or more extractors somewhere for each player). This should reward expanding. Then I think about raidable extractors, which can be between 2 - 6 / player depending on your layout. These should be relative far from a base and easy to raid if left unprotected. This rewards having presence and radar / intel. And last contestable extractors which can be between 1 - 2 / player depending on your layout again. This last category is all about map control and rewarding it by having a slight advantage in mass.

This is made with the LOUD balance in mind, so it's not entirely applicable to FAF. But the names (safe, expanding, contesting, etc) are still very applicable and can convey a lot of information in your design as to how it would play out.

edit:

And thank you for your submission @Leto_II ! Perhaps @archsimkat can join in the discussion and provide some feedback too. I think the design has merit (10x10 is rather big, they're quickly not chokepoints because of this - Archsimkat and I were mistaken in how big it was too for the Valley map) but that the reclaim may be poorly positioned enforcing a certain type of gameplay.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

1

Thanks @arma473 and @Jip for the feedback. I've checked the actual t1 and t2 pd ranges and opened up the Map a little. The Mexes are now mainly located more towards the back but remain raidable. I've also added a few other minor Details (such as the small path at the Beach / Cliff next to the Fast Lane) and removed most of the song lyrics.

Let me know if you have further suggestions.

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This is a FAF interpretation of the Starcraft 2 2v2 ladder map "Heavy Artillery LE" by Themusic246
For the picture I extracted the height level and terrain from the Starcraft 2 map editor.

For FAF, all Starcraft 2 maps have too many chokes, but of all the Starcraft 2 maps I really like I think this one could work for FAF.

Heavy Artillery FAF sketch symbols.jpg

The main and natural expansion are well shielded from attack with a narrow choke, but offer somewhat limited resources. There is a natural expansion forward that is still well protected for FAF, and a back expansion with lots of water mexes for quick income.

Further forward there is another "second" expansion that enjoys some protection but can be attacked from 3 sides. On sea level there are many rich expansions that are very vulnerable to T1 naval attack. Top left and bottom right there are expansion sites with decent protection from cliffs also safe from T1 navy.

The black rocks in the middle should offer protect against fire bases shooting the natural expansions while protecting the second expand a bit too efficiently.

Legend:

  • Grey lines: low cliffs (impassable)
  • White lines: high cliffs
  • Black lines: extreme cliffs (blocks most fire)
  • Lightning: hydrocarbon
  • Blue hex: mass points
  • Red X: Spawn points
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@Valki I'm a bit skeptic because the topic states that I won't remake a map. Given, this is not a Supreme Commander map (yet) but it does open the gate to other remakes of maps of other games and I'm not too fan of doing remakes.

Therefore I'm giving a heads up: if I do the map then it won't be a 100% perfect match with the original. The layout will of course be representative to the original.

With that said, I'll leave it to the others to give their feedback as to whether they agree if it is competitively interesting or not ๐Ÿ™‚ . I appreciate that @arma473 is using up some of his time to join the discussion!

edit: and please provide a name or it will quite likely be something with your name in it because I lack inspiration on that part. With any map name - don't make them too serious. You can look up other maps of mine and compare their seriousness with your own map name.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

1

@Jip said in A community effort on a map layout:

@Valki I'm a bit skeptic because the topic states that I won't remake a map. Given, this is not a Supreme Commander map (yet) but it does open the gate to other remakes of maps of other games and I'm not too fan of doing remakes.

Therefore I'm giving a heads up: if I do the map then it won't be a 100% perfect match with the original. The layout will of course be representative to the original.

I'm sorry for missing that, otherwise I would have acknowledged it and made the point that importing a different meta can be very interesting.

I have been thinking on Starcraft 2 and FAF meta a lot recently, and I have been examining maps and that's when I concluded this is closest. IF you do this map then by all means deviate significantly to make sure it does actually work for FAF ๐Ÿ™‚

@Jip said in A community effort on a map layout:

With that said, I'll leave it to the others to give their feedback as to whether they agree if it is competitively interesting or not ๐Ÿ™‚ . I appreciate that @arma473 is using up some of his time to join the discussion!

I would be very interesting to hear that as well.

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@tatsu your map suggestion is extremely reminiscent of the gpg map Ian's Cross, however your different spawns and overall structure should play somewhat differently. Untitled.png

I would say that the map is a good first effort, but the land rush distance seems to be extremely long, especially for 1v1, and there are a very high quantity of very safe mexes, so I think it would lead to very turtle-y gameplay. My suggestion to improve the map layout would be to create more passages from the lower to the upper ground area and group mexes into more distinct expansions.

@signal_2 As a 5x5, your map has the issue of making hover far too OP. The main base can be directly attacked by hover with very little recourse for the non-hover factions, and as a 5x5 there won't likely be the time or resources to get navy up. You would need to make the water areas have cliffs to prevent hover from entering, but at that point why have the water even? As a 10x10, your map layout becomes more viable, with likely fast action in the middle with some raiding down the flanks, but still the issue of an advantage for hover factions exists, who just have a lot more options to raid. The first suggestion that comes to mind perhaps would be to add a land path around the edges of the map, but that doesn't seem to good either.

@Blodir Generally your map concept seems very well thought out. The reclaim in the middle is distributed in a straight line towards each player, so some of it is "safe" for each player, which is certainly desirable in a 1v1. After going mid, there are multiple seemingly equally viable paths for the player to expand and contest - the safer option in the closer medium reclaim field, the opponent's reclaim field (using the water as safety), and the opponent's forward mexes (again using the water as a safe retreat point), which is good for diversity on a 1v1 map. The 4 mex expansion is also interesting - they are spaced far out like on Emerald Crater, which makes them more difficult to defend with a single PD, but is on raised terrain which imparts a defenders advantage. The back mexes also have a nice mix of safety (if the tight chokes can be secured) and raidability (if units can slip past/air). The cliff area has an interesting dynamic too - one player gets to cliff build up from a location close to his main, but the other player can contest via the ramps that go up to the cliff area, which risks

@Valki it seems to me your map layout has just way too many mexes, and since that's mainly what you've done I won't comment too much further on your specific layout beyond saying that you should reduce the amount of mexes in play. I've thought about using sc2 maps as layouts for maps in faf as well, because it seems like a reasonable idea, but I've found that in general, sc2 maps have far too many chokepoints and tight passageways to be ported over to supcom well. Compare any classic sc2 ladder map with a classic supcom ladder map, and draw the impassable areas onto both. If you look at a map like Open Palms, the actual playable area is very open, with the only impassable areas being the raised central area, the plateaus at the sides, and the mountains behind the base. If you look at Heavy Artillery for example, the map has many impassable walls which form tight narrow passageways. The nature of the games and the unit interactions are just fundamentally different, so the maps in general are fundamentally different, which make them unfit for supcom.

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As a quick note to anyone submitting designs: no design made in this topic will be part of any (map) tournament.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

1

@archsimkat said in A community effort on a map layout:

@Valki it seems to me your map layout has just way too many mexes, and since that's mainly what you've done I won't comment too much further on your specific layout beyond saying that you should reduce the amount of mexes in play. I've thought about using sc2 maps as layouts for maps in faf as well, because it seems like a reasonable idea, but I've found that in general, sc2 maps have far too many chokepoints and tight passageways to be ported over to supcom well. Compare any classic sc2 ladder map with a classic supcom ladder map, and draw the impassable areas onto both. If you look at a map like Open Palms, the actual playable area is very open, with the only impassable areas being the raised central area, the plateaus at the sides, and the mountains behind the base. If you look at Heavy Artillery for example, the map has many impassable walls which form tight narrow passageways. The nature of the games and the unit interactions are just fundamentally different, so the maps in general are fundamentally different, which make them unfit for supcom.

Yes, too many mexes. - I was too busy dealing with Paint 3D (first time) to think properly.

However, the map layout not working for supcom is kind of the point. There are very few good maps without chokes like Starcraft 2, maybe they are impossible, but then again maybe not. Having fewer discrete defendable expansions to fight over might be interesting gameplay.

I am also introducing a friend to FAF right now, from Starcraft 2, and he is uncomfortable playing on maps without ramps and chokes. 2v2 Sandbox is his favorite. Maybe more new and even existing players like this "ramp and choke" meta. Maybe a "7 chokes of Rohan" will be popular just because some people need gaps and chokes. That's why I think it is interesting to try, but normally I just pick out some existing ramp and choke maps and host 2v2 with that.

But... this topic asks, I answer

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And that is what this topic is about ๐Ÿ™‚ . I do like how navy is - as that is typically either extremely dominant, or irrelevant on a map of this size. But in this case it feels it matters, but doesn't necessarily mean you win. Could you re-look at the layout of your map and come up with another version? Perhaps look at:

  • Mass / hydro layout
  • Reclaim (trees, rocks, wrecks)
  • Amph ramps (where can amph units get in the water?)

After looking at the map again, I do think some of the ramps are too small. They'd become a tad bigger, but that doesn't hurt the complexity of the map.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

1

@Jip
Heavy Artillery FAF sketch progress 3.jpg

Legend:

  • Pink lines: high cliffs blocking most attacks
  • White lines: level 2 cliffs (safe from direct fire like T3 battleships)
  • Grey lines: level 1 cliffs
  • Yellow lines: beach suitable for amphibian units
  • Blue diamonds: mass point
  • Yellow lightning: hydrocarbon
  • Red cross: commander spawn
  • Black explosion: wrecks reclaim worth fighting over
  • Green capsules: trees

Mass significantly reduced. The big challenge for the desired meta is that expansion sites need to somehow stay relevant as discrete expansions to fight over, despite having little mass. Expansions are now:

  1. Main base: 3 mex
  2. Natural expansion: 1 mex but rich reclaim to get battle going
  3. Forward expansion: 1 mex 1 hydro
  4. Back expansion: 2 water mex 1 hydro, good for early eco but requires defense vs navy
  5. Side expansions: 2 mex but vulnerable to T1 frigates
  6. Corner expansions: 2 mex and protected with ramps and from T1 navy
  7. Bottom/top beach expansions: 1 mex, long land route from closest players

Ramps should be enough to choke the gameplay, but yes, very small now, impossible for supcom pathfinding now ๐Ÿ˜›

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@archsimkat thanks for the feedback!

yeah it probably shows that I know utterly nothing about mapmaking ๐Ÿ˜›

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You can no longer submit a design. Archsimkat and I will look over them and we'll make a choice or two this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ .

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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I'm happy to announce that I'm going to try to make three of the four remaining designs, of which one is under condition.

Throughout this week I'll be making at least two preliminary designs. This will have all the fancy bits you'd desire, including prop placement, markers setup, etc. Over the weekend (6th and 7th of March) we'll discuss the progress.

I hope to talk to @Blodir and @Leto_II during that weekend. Feel free to send me a message on the forums or on Discord to make an appointment for a meeting. You can also find me in the creative channel if you prefer talking over Discord. I live in Amsterdam which I believe is GMT + 1. Please keep that in mind.

The last design is from @Valki and the reason it is under condition is because it is not your design. To avoid conflict I'd like you to contact the original maker (from Starctaft II) and ask for permission to use his design in a different game. I hope to receive a written confirmation on it, can be in any format that you desire as long as I can read it ๐Ÿ™‚ .

There are two reasons for this:

  • It is not your design
  • The finest form of flattery is imitation

As a fellow content creator I'd love to hear if my content is used for another game in a non-profit manner. Just to be aware of it and the impact that the content apparently had. When this happens it is a compliment and that is always nice to receive. Whether or not you agree to it being used is another matter - one that I'd like confirmation on in this case ๐Ÿ™‚ .

And last but not least: please keep in mind that all of this is best-effort. That entails that if anything happens that has to take priority the process will either slow down, or in the worst case, will be halted indefinitely. I will always inform you if that happens.

I'd like to thank everyone for their inspiration and the short discussions in this topic ๐Ÿ™‚ .

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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Update 1: 'Initial commit', here we go ๐Ÿ™‚

2de35d68-036d-4858-856a-f990032d08a2-image.png

c0a4167e-bc40-404e-a8d8-9c1d2e824341-image.png

For those that have not opened the editor before: I've turned the design into a decal to ensure I stick to it as truthfully as possible. Of course - edits are welcome and the design is not written in stone. But as an initial setup this works pretty nicely.

From this point onwards its about generating the rough version of the map where I 'abuse' the ozone editor to create a symmetrical heightmap and 'paint on' properties that I can use in the procedural pipeline. I can paint properties via the stratum layers - these are masks that you can export. A few common properties are:

  • Where you want more or less natural noise (think of mountains that need to look natural)
  • Where you want more or less blur (think of expansions that need to be flat)
  • Where you want more or less erosion (think of mountains that need to look epic)
  • Where you want an erosion sink for sediment (to prevent the piling of sediment)
  • ....

A technical note on the decal:
The designs are generally white where nothing is expected. In turn, I can use that as an inverted mask. White becomes black and black means its completely transparent. Via the decal templates templates for the GPG editor I can position the design exactly over the entire map without me having to manually fiddle with it.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned