Title : Orbital.
Date : 31st December 1999.
Filename : Gustavo8_Orbital.bsp
Filesize : 3.8mb, or thereabouts.
Author : Keved, my Half-Life alias is Gustavo.
Email Address : [email protected], or [email protected] as a last resort.
ICQ : 10393836 (auth required).
Home Page : http://www.keved.force9.co.uk
Totality FPS reviews : http://www.totality.org.uk
ABOUT THE MAP/ME:
Orbital is my eighth FPS map (and second for Team Fortress Classic).
Penitentiary (Half-Life deathmatch, released 5-March-1999).
Maximillian (Half-Life teamplay primarily/also deathmatch, released 15-May-1999).
Maximal (Team Fortress Classic territorial domination, released 8-July-1999).
Mad Bucking Fastards (Half-Life deathmatch, released 27-July-1999).
Talos (Half-Life deathmatch, released 3-August-1999).
C4 (Action Half-Life, released 16-September-1999).
TNT (Half-Life deathmatch, released 23-October-1999).
Who am I? I'm 24 yrs old, English, & currently work for an Architectural Practice in NW England. Started playing/mapping FPS this year (1999), so am not a Quake/TF/Quake2/etc multiplayer veteran.
2) A *BIG* thanks to Guardian for putting many hours into providing ideas & suggestions, for the story behind Orbital (see later on in this text file), and the custom wav file. Email:[email protected]
3) LAN based playtesters: Hotrod, Bomb 'ead, Spam 'ead, Giz-A-Job, MuddyBog, SilkyAlfie, FlossyTheSheep, GUSisPANTS...(ok ok, enough already!) and a dozen other LAN playtesters. No, I'm not making these names up, most don't have 'online' aliases so they came up with some staggeringly crap names for the purposes of this text file, just to spite me no doubt. Yer bunch 'o big wimmin, I notice your deathmatch games rapidly empty when I join, hmm, Hmmm, HMMMM? 8OP
4) Online based: Kami, Suicidal Tart/Sfagel, SilentBob, MisterDead. Those at the Department of Engineering...http://doe.lowlife.com/halflife. Also, thanks to Noggin for his help on the laser security.
5) The Zoner compiling tools version 1.41. Orbital was compiled with these superb modified compiling tools, via a batch file. [email protected] Keep up the good work, Sean.
6) Hello's to former clan mates in the [SLH] (Satan's Little Helpers) TFC UK clan.
7) Records, for salvation from radio/tv hell.
** PLAY INFORMATION **
Just to familiarise yourself.
For 6v6 minimum, 12+v12+ being ideal.
(Written by Guardian)
THE STORY SO FAR...
After numerous confrontations between the Marines and Xen in and around the Black Mesa Research Facility, the front line of war has been pushed back into Xeno territory. The Xen are losing and in desperation have concocted a vile neural toxin. As soon as the fumes are inhaled it begins to disrupt brain waves and alter chemical levels in the human body. Symptoms include severe levels of aggression and a heightened urge to kill, so much so that test subjects were reported to have "ripped each other apart." Smuggled out video footage of the testing demonstrations confirms these reports.
As a result of these tapes, US Military Intelligence has witnessed the destructive potential of this new weapon and has given orders to their best squadron of Marines for a top secret military operation. The squad's orders are to sneak deep behind enemy lines and land on a Xeno research facility which is in low orbit around an asteroid. Apparently it was placed here to avoid detection by the Earth. Here the Marines are to eliminate all Xeno workers, retrieve the toxin, and destroy the space station. This will eradicate all research done about the toxin by the Xen and any evidence of a US Military operation. Failure is not an option, and if the Marines wish retrieval all objectives must be met and the toxin safely ready for transport to Black Mesa.
18 hours after the order was originally given, the Marines were dumped off via a shuttle and found that somebody had beaten them there. The landing platform was covered with bodies, both Xen and human. The dead human bodies were found to be members of Special Forces Division of the Orion Syndicate, a world-wide organization of crime. It appears the Syndicate was the victor. Chances are the syndicate was here to steal the toxin for themselves and sell it to the highest bidding foreign power for a hefty profit. In the distance the Marines heard the loud whirring of drilling machinery, so the commander decided to send a scout out ahead to investigate. Sure enough, it was the Orion Syndicate and they were in the delicate process of extracting the toxin from the Biohazard Chamber. Foolishly the scout decided to clear the room by tossing a grenade into the research lab...
- The Marines (blue team) must obtain the Orion Syndicate's squad banner as hard evidence of their unlawful presence in Xeno territory.
- As members of the ruthless Special Forces Division of the Orion Syndicate (Red), it is your policy to collect the squad banners of US military forces you have eliminated as trophies. Its time to add another into your collection.
- Once the opposing team has been eliminated the toxin will be yours! Neither team will receive retrieval from the Xeno territory until your team possesses the toxin.
NOTE: This is a CTF map, there is no physical toxin to retrieve.
There are two important concepts to understand;
Firstly, each flag is protected by a door opened elsewhere in the map. The button to open the enemy team flag door is located some distance away on the 2nd storey of their tall "pillar". Sirens at both the pillar and flag room indicate that a flag room door has been opened.
Secondly, the "switchable routes". Two extra routes into the opponents territory are available if your team holds the command centre (located in the centre of the map). When the game is started, the blue laser beam security signifies that only the blue team have access to these switchable routes. If the red team try to pass blue lasers, they get killed. BUT, +use the console in the control room, and the blue lasers are deactivated with red lasers coming online. Obviously the red team can now use the switchable routes, with the blue team being killed if they try. This just continues and continues...the red/blue lasers are toggled by using the console in the command centre. The blue team DO enjoy the advantage at the very start of each game, in that it is their laser security which defaults as being activated, with the red laser security being "off". NOTE that this was NOT my preferred option - Orbital took 5 months from start to finish but much of that time was spent in "limbo". I spent literally TWO MONTHS on various laser security concoctions & setups, and found each to have a limitation. Ideally, I would have liked both security to start "off", toggling from thereon, and only toggling upon a certain team +use-ing the button (ie, only toggling if, say, the blue lasers where currently activated and a red player pressed the button, not if a blue player pressed it again). I actually had this whole thing set-up, with the teamplay element (and vox & text messages) working perfectly...the ONLY sticking point was the trigger_hurt's (the part of the lasers that kill players) which refused to work as intended when called by TFC entities. I'm not the only person who has found a problem with this...Noggin apparently had exactly the same problem with his map "Turn-On", and had to opt for func_wall's instead of trigger_hurt's. Obviously, func_wall's where not an option for myself, as the whole point of the laser security is that one team can pass thru whilst the other gets killed (using func_wall's would obviously stop both teams). Anyway, enough drivel, unfortunately I had to revert back to the basic laser security setup.
NOTE: it was intentional to allow players to conc/rj over the upper most sets of laser security (ie into each pillar room). Similarly, the placement of the upper laser security was intentional, to allow players to attack the enemy pillar room even when the enemy laser security is activated (ie chuck mirvs/etc into the enemy pillar room through the laser security).
The map has been planned in such a way that to have a good defence, and have control of a particular game, you can't simply set-up a choke-point defence in one location and that's the defensive gameplan for the entire game. Whether I met that objective is for you to decide. The flag always needs some sort of defence, and is located right at the back of your base. The button to open your flag room door is in your "pillar" room, roughly in the centre of the map (a fair distance away from the flag room itself), and unless you're ok with having your flag vulnerable, you'll need to defend here too. Your capture point is also in your pillar room, so no defence here also means the enemy could kill your flag carriers seconds before they are due to cap the enemy flag. And the control room (to activate your laser security) is located 2 tiers under the pillar room, bringing the obvious advantage of having 2 extra routes into the enemy base (and them into yours if they hold the control room). Taking the above into consideration your defence will need to be spread out over some distance. Like I said, no single area choke-point defence, but a defence of some description in multiple areas. With the ideal player-load of 12v12, I recommend 2 players defending each of the 3 key areas mentioned above, with more if your team is already winning the game, and preferably with a few more defenders at designated points en-route between the key areas. Note that this is NOT a map for anything less than 6v6.
Attackers need co-ordination too. Play as a one-man-band and before you've reached the flag room after opening the door yourself at the top of the pillar, the enemy will have closed it again. One thing I did set out to accomplish was separating a flag door from its activating button...it takes ~15 seconds to run from the flag door button to flag itself (even as a scout), which is plenty of time for defenders to thwart one-man-band attackers. And for attackers one thing is for certain, you'll find it much easier to ensure the enemy flag room door is open and yours isn't, by holding the control room in the middle of the map. Holding the control room ISN'T essential to cap the enemy flag, but it just makes things easier.
Lastly, there are a few doors aroundabouts that toggle open/closed via buttons. This was intentional (as opposed to them opening whenever someone stands in front of a door, and closing shortly thereafter) to allow players the choice of having them permanently open to improve the flow, or closed to help defences "lock down" an area. Your choice.
What did I learn most whilst creating Orbital? How beneficial it is to use a large grid snap size, and not a 1 unit grid like my previous maps have been created under. I can't emphasise how much time it saved me sticking to a 64/32/16 gridsize in Orbital, despite Orbital being started 5 months ago! (The 6mb Orbital rmf file basically took 2 weeks to build and texture up, with the remainder of the time being spent tweaking little things, struggling to add TFC entities to the laser security, and working on other maps). With a large grid, aligning textures becomes a doddle (most of the time textures auto-align, or are multiples of x/y +/- 16 to align), finding leaks is much easier (any leaks are 64x64 units in size!), easy to gauge scale (128 units being a reasonable corridor width), less messing around changing new brushes to odd sizes to fit in with existing brushes, etc etc. The list goes on. The Orbital rmf file is pretty organised & easy to edit (providing the PC has enough horsepower) despite its 6mb filesize.
Hope you like Orbital. I'd appreciate feedback too...to my email address at the top of this text file. It's a major commitment putting in the time to design these damn maps, so I fully welcome any & all constructive encouragement / ideas / criticisms / praises.
** WHAT'S NEXT **
New maps created from scratch, in no particular order;
"Corps68". TFC CTF. An atmosphere similar to that in C4/TNT. Currently not far from the platesting stage.
"Nostromo". TFC CTF. The sequel to Orbital. Virtually complete...so much so that the sequel was nearly released BEFORE the original!!
** INSTRUCTIONS **
Extract the files manually into the following.
Gustavo8_Orbital.bsp & Gustavo8_Orbital.txt into ...\\tfc\maps
Orbital1.wav into ...\\valve\sounds\ambience
And of course keep this text file. 8¬)
** CONSTRUCTION **
Base : Created from scratch.
Editor(s) used : Worldcraft v2.1
Custom textures : Yes, several, mostly self-made modifications of standard Halflife.wad textures to suit. 1 metal texture is from [RI]Wolf's web site. All are included in the bsp (no wad file).
Custom sounds : Yes, Orbital1.wav created by Guardian.
Known Bugs : Just that I've stretched some textures, so decals may be out-of-shape/size.
Build Time : 5 months, on & off. I've also been working other maps simultaneously.
You MAY NOT sell this map for money without my permission. You MAY NOT alter this map or use it as a base for a new map without my permission.
If a magazine wants it on its CD - that's fine - *BUT* you *MUST* send me a copy of the mag and credit myself with it's construction, AND INCLUDE THIS TEXT FILE. If you review this map for a website/magazine, I'd appreciate an email/whatever so I can read the review...not essential, but just to be appreciative of the time I've put into this map. An email only takes a minute.
Email me if you'd like to have a look at the (6mb) rmf file for Orbital. Zips down to ~250kb.
You have yerself a nice day, y'hear?
Oh btw, if you see me on a server, I *CANNOT* speak Spanish/Portuguese/Smack talk/whatever...just so I ain't assumed to be a Colombian drug baron like I have been a few times before (or corderoy wearing Uruguayian goat shepherd, that happened once). 8¬)