Tuesday, January 25, 2011

HammerTime: The CP_Parchis Project


In this new section, Hammer Time, I'm going to talk about my first steps at mapping with Hammer. Hammer, in case you are wondering, is a map editor for the Source Engine (HL2, TF2, CSS, etc), also known as VHE (Valve Hammer Editor). I already had some experience with this tool, although none of my first works is good enough to show it here. I suppose my current project won't be succesful either, but I just want to write about it. So, here we go!

My current project consists on a Team Fortress 2 map. To be precise, a CP with 5 control points map type. The idea came to me in Summer 2009, while looking at a Parcheesi board. Therefore, I called the project "cp_parchis". Of course, that won't be the name of the final map, it's just a code name. My original idea was a map in which both teams would start the battle in a cave or dungeon under a mountain that would be in the center of the map, and then climb up the mountain until they met at the top, where the central control point would be. The mountain slopes would contain both teams' second point, and the final CPs would be at the mountain base, next to the respawn rooms. I drew a pair of detailed sketches, but I decided that I was too busy to start another project, so I just buried it with the other ones... until last Christmas.

The new medieval mode for TF2 gave me lots of ideas to improve my former design, and I decided to pick it up again. The main change was placing a castle on the top of the mountain. Then I went crazy and it occured to me that the castle would be FLOATING in the sky, like the city of Dalaran in World of Warcraft.

I'm still testing that last idea, but for the moment I like the result. The following images are from a very early version of the map, so they contain just basic geometry. I will be uploading more pics as I make important improvements in it.

> The outer wall. Here you can see the remainings of the external wall that protect BLU's last control point, and a bottomless chasm alongside.
> Tunnels. The are a series of narrow tunnels connecting first and second CP. The one which has a frame is the entrance to a spawn room.
> Town. I'll call it a town, but they're just two or three buildings sorrounding the second CP. The building with the flat top will be a spawn room. Another view of the town with the castle at the background.
> Front Wall. The castle as seen from the front. I think this can be a good spectating point, but players won't be allowed to walk in this zone. The spikes you see above the wall are palisades which hold respawn rooms.
> Central CP. Just in the middle of the entrance to the castle. There are two floors. The upper floor can be entered from the castle wall. Sorry for the lack of light.
> Castle. This room/corridor/hall connects the central CP with the town.
> Overview. Here you can see the entire map. As you see, BLU and RED zones are mirrored.

This is it for now. I'll update with more pictures soon. Bye now!

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to play with this map!

    Why I'm so bad with these kind of things? I wanna make maps too... (I'll keep playing with paint)