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Tutorial: Static Placement: Reality vs. Gameplay
Posted in: Mapping
Posted 11-26-2009 at 12:49 AM by IronTaxi

So I find myself with far too much time and the urge to share some more of the things that go into map making.

This time around I want to go over a brief thought process for placing statics and how I personally go about creating a "zone" or "scene" in a map.

First lets set the scene

The location I've chosen to use is a raised corner section of a chinese city. My objective is create a dense core area with enough buildings to make it feel full without being excessively heavy on the game engine. (not sure if I'll succeed!)





In the next image I'll outline the layout and the objectives for the area.

As we can see below we have the following features in the space.

1. 2 main roads/ramps on 2 sides.
2. A stairwell on the bottom left
3. an entrance to the neighbourhood on the top right.

So I've decided to layout a street down the center with the buildings ringing the area. (in green)

The natural objective of course is the stairwell to access the lower areas.

With so much exposure along the walls I'm also going to make a point of partially isolating the areas along the walls so players arent getting picked off from long shots while in the area. (in red)




Reality vs. Gameplay

As much as PR is all about reality and I could create a bunch of closed of private lots. put a chain on the front gate and have the street be the only real access it not very fun for gameplay and doesn't give us much to make the player think. (not to mention it becomes a killing zone for the good ole MG.)

SO I'm going to layout with gameplay in mind and keep an eye on making things seems logical as I can.

here is the basic layout I came up with .




In the image below I've defined 3 paths through the area that I am going to create. each one will have pros and cons.The players will have to weigh the risks and benefits for each way.. (which I have yet to create)

Also notice the green circle builing. I have added this as a kind of gate keeper for the street and the stairs. This building has an open second story and will provide great views both out into the city and down the local street. (I'll show the views later) I'm trying to add danger and at the same time sweeten the deal for taking a path through this neighbourhood.




So now I need to refine these areas with walls and other objects. I want to create semi private spaces for each house and make them feel a bit more occupied than a bunch of buildings.

Below is the result


So I have defined three destinct routes with benefits and risks. (assuming you are entering from the top and making your way to the stairs) Although It might not seem like it in the shot all other paths are blocked.

1. The upper path. Benefits: Well covered from the green 2 storey building if it's occupied, well covered along the ramp and towards the rest of the city. Risks: Direct exposure to the green 2 story when exiting rear towards the stairs. BONUS: 1. Can use the small garden area bottom left for cover 2. Can use the alternate path marked in blue to give 2 possible outlets

2. The middle path: Benefits: fast and direct. Squad can spread out. Risks: obviously a sitting duck for anyone in the green building with an MG and Irontaxi tags floating over their head. BONUS: marked blue buildng bottom right is partially enterable. Good cover.

3. The lower path. Benefits: Almost zero exposure to the green building. Risks: Very open to the rest of the city with a constriction point midway against the edge of the wall (aka shooting gallery for anyone watching) BONUS: None.




So which one would you take? Hopefully via this process I'll make players stop and think (or run blindly down the middle and get pawned)

Just going to post some quick pictures to illustrate some of the features of each path and what they look like in detail..

First the upper path with cover and 2 exit routes and the garden for cover (needs a back wall yet or some bushes)








The main road and the safe house.



The lower path with the constricted exposed route



Views from the green 2 storey building. rear, left and right views






and finally the finsihed layout with some terrain painting and trees. Will add some more walls / bushes and decorations of course. But the meat and bones are there.











Anyway...thats about it..the zone is created. has an objective(stairs), a problem (green 2 storey where taxi is waiting with his MG) and several possible solutions. the anatomy of a map space.


So my overall objective is to create alot of these problem spaces and then interconnect them with filler buildings. the great advantge of this map is it is supposed to be chaotic and random. which really gives me alot of freedom.

Note: You could always, as a player, take one of the side ramps and avoid the area but they are VERY exposed and there is no way out of them once you are on them...

Cheers Gents... happy mapping.
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Comments
Total Comments: 14
  1. Old Comment
    DankE_SPB's Avatar

    looking at all that fences i can only imagine how many hooks will be used and how squad will benefit from it
    good layout and use of statics
    permalink
    Posted 11-26-2009 at 02:11 AM by DankE_SPB DankE_SPB is offline
  2. Old Comment
    HughJass's Avatar
    alright, now give me those statics >

    nice tut, this is the thing I always try and help new mappers understand.
    permalink
    Posted 11-26-2009 at 02:17 AM by HughJass HughJass is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Bringerof_D's Avatar
    the city is looking beautiful, and great lay out. i hate city maps where everything is pretty much laid out straight
    permalink
    Posted 11-26-2009 at 03:14 AM by Bringerof_D Bringerof_D is online now
  4. Old Comment
    Aquiller's Avatar
    Hey Taxi, I've always liked your unusal usage of available statics. It provides a whole new feeling to the game experience.

    It also made me even more interested into mapping.
    permalink
    Posted 11-26-2009 at 05:07 AM by Aquiller Aquiller is offline
  5. Old Comment
    [R-DEV]Spec's Avatar
    Excellent! Can't wait to see this place in real... game.
    permalink
    Posted 11-26-2009 at 08:35 AM by [R-DEV]Spec [R-DEV]Spec is offline
  6. Old Comment
    d1sp0sabl3H3r0's Avatar
    Taxi continues to show why he is my favorite PR mapper!
    permalink
    Posted 11-26-2009 at 08:48 AM by d1sp0sabl3H3r0 d1sp0sabl3H3r0 is offline
  7. Old Comment
    I was thinking about suggesting to make the maps more cod-like.. but now i dont need to, its awsum!
    permalink
    Posted 11-26-2009 at 09:03 AM by Arnoldio Arnoldio is offline
  8. Old Comment
    Gosu-Rizzle's Avatar
    Looks great, nice to see how much effort you put in to the maps.
    permalink
    Posted 11-26-2009 at 11:35 AM by Gosu-Rizzle Gosu-Rizzle is offline
  9. Old Comment
    We need Helicopters on this map!!
    permalink
    Posted 11-26-2009 at 11:38 AM by antiiraq antiiraq is offline
  10. Old Comment
    Rangu's Avatar
    Good stuff! Keep it up
    permalink
    Posted 11-26-2009 at 01:06 PM by Rangu Rangu is offline
 

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