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101 obvious Alien Swarm mapping tips

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  • 101 obvious Alien Swarm mapping tips

    Inspired by the gameplay-related thread of a similar name: 'tips' for those making Alien Swarm maps.

    1) Build you map on two levels. Players will enjoy the camera and aiming challenges that this poses.

    2) When carving your Big Black Box in the Sky, leave a fat border around the outer perimiter of the rooms. This will allow the player to swing the camera past the outer walls: the resulting black screen is useful for those players who can't afford a screensaver.

    3) Prevent light leaks between rooms with fancy lighting and strange celing cutaways by alternating rooms between Special Lit and not Special Lit. Duplicate any lights that shine on doors, so that one of them lights the room, and one the door.

    4) Players never get tired of spawning right next to a parasite. It's funny! Really!

    5) You know Alien Swarm is just begging to be a platform game. Go on, make the players jump a sequence of crates over a lava pit.

    (My MyFirstAOMap experment actually uses #3, because I did #1 (althought it's less horrible than you might think), and I need to fix #2...)
    Last edited by LionsPhil; 13 Jun 2004, 08:54 AM.
    Hey, what's that white dot on the circle-thingy meaGARRRGH!!!

  • #2
    6) Since AS is a top-down game, just draw your map in paint (or even by hand) and save it as AO-'whatever'.

    7) Counter Strike textures will never get old, whatever theme your map uses.

    8) Whenever someone gives you suggestions about enhancing your map, tell them to p*** off since your first project most likely rocks without any testing.

    9) You will probably want to hide tons of medipacks and ammo really well since it'd feel awkward dying first on your own map.

    10) Modelling is lame, even if you’re great at it. No one will ever notice anything being old if you just flip everything somehow.

    (Actually, I don't know jack about mapping. I just thought I’d get on the train)

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    • #3
      11) Always leave parts of the level for the players to fall down and get trapped.

      12) Fill rooms with invisible lasers so the player doesn't know where they are, but has to jump them to get through. Puzzles like this are always fun.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by [nt]Leo
        8) Whenever someone gives you suggestions about enhancing your map, tell them to p*** off since your first project most likely rocks without any testing.
        I've seen so many people do it too...

        13) Ask people to beta test, just for the ego boost.

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        • #5
          Actually, point number 2 is a good one. If you don't carve out wider than the rooms, the camera will pan in a really odd way and jerk horribly at any corner.

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          • #6
            14) Instead of two levels (1) why don't you build the level in 7 levels like an apartment building. Just make sure you leave some "being John Malcovich -space" between the levels for the camera to move on.

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            • #7
              15) Always make hackable terminals trigger 20 behemoths to spawn just right next to the terminal.
              "I am tormented by dreams of our death, And grief at what is to come.
              For in dreams I have seen / The heavens falter, And the stars drop from the sky.
              In my dreams / Creation ceases without a sound. I have seen the destruction of the Way."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Dalai
                Actually, point number 2 is a good one. If you don't carve out wider than the rooms, the camera will pan in a really odd way and jerk horribly at any corner.
                Well, I found that for the outer edge of the map, the camera works better if there's no overlap (the camera is prevented from going past the wall, where it becomes useless). For internal walls, I leave space.
                After some testing, however, I have noticed that the same 'black screen' effect is possible in Reactor Core, yet it doesn't cause problems during play, so I was probably being paranoid about map issues, and ended up causing one instead.
                Hey, what's that white dot on the circle-thingy meaGARRRGH!!!

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                • #9
                  16) There's nothing quite like a "defend this point in the level" against hordes of the huge spiders, uber-sized aliens, and that boss thing from Uplink ... for 25 minutes. Even if there's no ammo in the map, players will think its fun bashing the aliens for 20 minutes straight.
                  "Crack the panel!"
                  "Once upon a happenstance, I did myself connect to a game-hosting combobulation."

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                  • #10
                    17) Make your map detailed! people love to watch your map even though they're being killed
                    18) Make Sure that there are enough parasites and make sure that you know where they come from so you can go all heroic and save the team of a parasite raid
                    19) Add a LOT of stuff above the doors to add the suspense of not knowing if the door is open, sealed or not open when they are being chased by hordes of aliens
                    PS the behemoth thing can be fun to scare the shit out of people when the behemoths spawn right next to them
                    The Greatest Scienentists Unravel Secrets Of The World Every Day.
                    They Think They Know Them All Until They Discover Another One...
                    The Secret Of The World???? They Don't Know....
                    I Do....
                    No I Won't Share

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LionsPhil
                      4) Players never get tired of spawning right next to a parasite. It's funny! Really!

                      5) You know Alien Swarm is just begging to be a platform game. Go on, make the players jump a sequence of crates over a lava pit.

                      great !


                      20) put 1000 little switches in the map, so that the players have to return many times through the under 5 listet lava field, until every switch had been hit twice :-)

                      21) put a crate at the beginning, which the players have to push until then end, to jump over the final gate :-)

                      22) make endless long ways without changes from a to b and back to c

                      23) players will love your map because of the randomly coming power failures - nothing is more exciting than walking in the dark with lots of electric fields and bugs

                      greeds bn

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                      • #12
                        err - might become interesting if u have to use 2 different switches @ the same time to unlock a special door 2 continue. seen in a 2nd-class DOS-shooter...

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                        • #13
                          24)Lowgrav is Fun

                          25) Random colums of 10x Gravity in your Lowgrav map is Even funner!

                          26) Random columns of -10x gravity is the funnest!

                          27)nothings better than having your marines launch to the cieling one moment , then fly down and make a fatal impact the next . . .
                          Smack the Planet!!!! -

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                          • #14
                            hehe, lowgrav is great!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              28) Alien Swarm=Fun=Aliens+Darkness+Topdown View+Hard+Guns+Co-op. IE: for the best gameplay experience litter your map with Pr0n
                              Smack the Planet!!!! -

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