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Poll

What is your meaning about?

I can't like the levels from Designer xyz, so I don't want to play it
Level design
Weapon layout
Game type
I have no meaning, I hang my nose in directions other tell me to do everytimes
I can't like the levels from Designer xyz, so I don't want to play it

Author Topic: What makes a Descent III Anarchy level fun to play for YOU  (Read 6009 times)

Offline (LL)Atan

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What makes a Descent III Anarchy level fun to play for YOU
« on: April 28, 2010, 08:35:45 AM »
As we all can see there are less players remaining who are playing D3 Anarchy.
From time to time we can see requests to own other levels than that ones, which players still are inside these days.
But if there are different ones hosted, where are the ppl who would like to play different levels, then?
Even absolutely new levels are not forcing -that- players to play now.
Ok, they don't play 'good' old levels if that are hosted, the don't play new ones, where is the reason?
How should a level be, so all players would join and play it? That's my question here.
Knowing this, the few level designers left, could try to build THAT level.
So here is your chance to tell the few remaining level designers what you would like to see.


Offline DwnUndr

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Re: What makes a Descent III Anarchy level fun to play for YOU
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2010, 09:23:42 AM »
1)  The look of a level.  If it is ugly, plain (large swaths of texture all the same), square (skybox), dark, low framerate or garish (super bright textures mixed with forcefield textures) I won't play it.

2)  The flow of the level.  This not only means the connections around the level (where you can double back on someone) but also the layout for fps (half the levels ever made were by designers who didn't know how to influence, or care about the final fps)

3)  Who the level attracts.  Yes, levels like Skybox etc attract tanks ho's (Magnums) who spray their noob fusion around every corner.  This rapidly makes normal players leave.  What turns a level into this?  Hard to say, but most likely it is because of a predominance of small tunnels where the fusion essentially fills the tunnel.  Easy kills for noobs.  I rarely play these types of levels because I prefer to live or die by skill.

I have a few designs in mind (anarchy and CTF) and am slowing gaining time to start work on them (but other things have been more important for a few years).  I have already finished most of my research and still need to experiment some more with a few concepts.  Two of the things 'should' work in Descent3, we will see.
Not sure if I want to turn this large effort into another multi-designer project yet though, heh.  Too hard assigning a dozen people to a part and having half of them produce nothing.  I would rather use one or two helpers with no time frame.  The first level will likely take 4-6 months once I start on it.


Offline Kaiaatzl

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Re: What makes a Descent III Anarchy level fun to play for YOU
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2010, 10:08:12 AM »
In terms of weapons... don't forget that different ships are good with different weapons.  I was playing Skybox a week ago with a Phoenix and I finished second because I got a huge number of kills whenever I had an EMD.

Game modes - I'd like to see some good levels made specifically for robo-anarchy.  Matcens to keep the robots from being completely eliminated would be nice too.  Hoard seems to be the best game mode for players of different skill levels.  Even 1 on 1 with my brother, we play mostly hoard.

Scripting... This can really make a level unique.  I remember once turning part of a single player level in progress into a 2 player map, and I put the Builder's icon, Collector's icon, and Priest's icon in various places.  I don't remember what they all did, but when a player got the priest's icon, their shields and energy were set to 300.  When that player was destroyed, everyone else got a cloaking device.  Scripts are great to set the environment and make the level more interesting imo... but maybe that's just because I play M:TG.  I know that if I was going to make a multiplayer level, I would try to script it so that the environment would change for the players.  (Also, scripting is the fun part of D3 design for me).

Level Design... all I want is enough cover.  I don't really care if the level is boxy, as long as the rooms are different sizes.  I don't like the structure in Burning Indika though.

Compatibility with single player, and objectives, completion, etc... no matter how small the level is.

Offline NUMBERZero

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Re: What makes a Descent III Anarchy level fun to play for YOU
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2010, 12:38:31 PM »
Priorities:

1. Weapon lay out: Don't like the MD because it tends to multiply eventhough there is one in a level. I'll bring it out to silence those who use it against me. Then it comes down to the design of the level and what weapons would work great in it. 99.99 percent of the rat levels do not have frags enough frags in them. (One of the servers that Skybox is on has the few frags that it has turned off. Well hell, turn off the fusion while you're at it.) And some levels like Abend 2 which is large and open has plenty of powerful secondaries, but not enough of Homing missiles. Homers IMO are a staple of Descent and not too many levels have enough.

And yes, the Fusion for the tanks is the most retarted thing in the world. I wonder what would happen if you got rid of their fusion in their rat levels. They'll begin to die or use the vauss every life, no doubt.


2. Level design: There are two catagories here. And my rank for them are Gameplay over eyecandy. Get the flow of the level good, then they eyecandy can be moderate or really good. If the eyecandy is exelent with a bad level, then it does not work out. If the eyecandy is bad with a great level, then it is worth playing a few times over.


I'll tell you this out of my opinion, not because you are just the creator, but... No-Mod Subway Dancer is probably the best designed and weapon balanced level out there.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 12:40:22 PM by NUMBERZero »
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Offline D2Disciple

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Re: What makes a Descent III Anarchy level fun to play for YOU
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2010, 01:03:50 PM »
I'll go in order from biggest factor to smallest factor in what I like. I'll give my opinions on CTF and Anarchy levels, since those are my two favorite gametypes.

1. Level design:
  • Anarchy... The biggest issue to me here is somehow balancing the level so as to not give any one player an advantage. There should be no dead ends or cheap ambush spots in the level, and I believe that tunnels should be kept open and free of bottlenecks and that large rooms should contain a number of angled faces with which to use frags and smarts effectively and strategically. Smaller tunnels should be kept relatively short to avoid frag and fusion spamming for kills, and both ends should always open to much larger rooms to keep from having nonstop ambushing (e.g. Abend 2). All rooms and tunnels should have a feature or two to fly or hide behind so that a few ambushes can take place. The map should be varied and challenge each player's style, while giving them some opportunity to use it as well. I feel like an excellent example of how an anarchy level should be done is "Ascent." I also like a little bit of verticality: one of my favorite levels has always been Outrage's "The Core" for this reason.
  • CTF... Symmetry, sniping, and speed. Throw in some places to ambush other players. Make it open, but don't overcomplicate the map design: Halcyon is the definitive CTF map, perfect for all playing styles and ships.

2.Weapon Balance
  • Anarchy... Homing weapons is an absolute must. Spare us megas. Give us a few homers (a few respawning singles as well as maybe one 4-pack) to use and throw in a couple of smarts. The napalm rocket is definitely my favorite secondary, so one or two of those can be really useful (but overuse of them becomes just a silly napalm-spamming game). I like frags for smaller levels, and impact mortars are incredibly useful as well. Just go light with the secondaries so as to make players really place their shots. Never give any one player a distinct advantage. For the primaries, I prefer vauss and fusion, though with the whole tank thing a developer may only want to allow one or two in play. I'm a pheonix pilot, and I use both quite often. Super lasers are good too, but EMD can become a little cheap at times (sorry, Alter-Fox. Nothin' against you). Of course, it's always up to the developer and beta testers to check weapon balance and adjust accordingly.
  • CTF... Sniping is great, but of course its easy to go overboard and load the map with MDs and MD rounds. Be conservative with it - again, you want players to place their shots well. Vauss is a wonderful gun to use, as well, and plenty of ammo needs to be around (often there are way too many vauss cannons to pick up in a level and no ammo to get for it). If the level is mostly composed of large rooms (like Halcyon or Varicose Veins), fusion is a good choice, as well. If the rooms are slightly smaller, you might be more interested in balancing super lasers and vauss out for fusion and mass drivers, respectively. As for secondaries, I say go with pretty much what I put above for anarchy, except it may be useful to be a little more liberal with the homing missles and frags, especially in larger levels.

Really, most everything else falls well below these two major issues in level design. You get those two right, and you're pretty much gauranteed to have a winning level. Eye-candy, as well as a nice texturing scheme, as DwnUndr pointed out, is important, but still... Even a hot-pink level filled with unicorns and rainbows would be a blast if there's ample opportunity to use many different strategies and fight others with well-balanced weapons.

Hope that helps.  ;)
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Offline -<WillyP>-

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Re: What makes a Descent III Anarchy level fun to play for YOU
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2010, 01:39:36 PM »
I also think the size of the level is important, in addition to what else has been said. A small number of people in a large level gets boring quick. Likewise, when a small level gets crowded it stops being fun.

I wonder if a level could vary in size... Say, if there is less than 6 players some doors would lock shutting off parts of the level. There could be some one-way fly-through faces to prevent players from being trapped in the shut off areas.
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Offline Matthew

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Re: What makes a Descent III Anarchy level fun to play for YOU
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2010, 03:21:07 PM »
That's an interesting idea WillyP. I think it could be done but I'm not entirely sure.

Offline -<WillyP>-

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Re: What makes a Descent III Anarchy level fun to play for YOU
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2010, 05:12:15 PM »
I'm pretty sure you would have to write a custom script for it... I don't think there is a function in DALLAS to count the number of players.
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Offline Matthew

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Re: What makes a Descent III Anarchy level fun to play for YOU
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2010, 05:14:35 PM »
Does DALLAS have triggers for when a player joins or leaves?

Offline NUMBERZero

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Re: What makes a Descent III Anarchy level fun to play for YOU
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2010, 05:37:36 PM »
How do they get the BOZ to join and leave? Maybe the setup that they have with them could help.
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Offline -<WillyP>-

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Re: What makes a Descent III Anarchy level fun to play for YOU
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2010, 06:35:01 PM »
I took a look in DALLAS and there does seem to be a function for counting players in the game. So a possible script might look something like in this screen-shot, but I haven't experimented with it yet. And of course you would have another script to re-lock the doors if the number of players fell below 4. Or instead of a door it could be a force-feild, or change a texture, etc...
« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 06:37:54 PM by WillyP »
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Offline Ronin RedFox

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Re: What makes a Descent III Anarchy level fun to play for YOU
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2010, 07:28:33 PM »
another script to re-lock the doors if the number of players fell below 4. Or instead of a door it could be a force-feild, or change a texture, etc...

Interesting, I wonder if that could be used to our advantage somehow.  ;)
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Offline Planet Orange [phx13]

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Re: What makes a Descent III Anarchy level fun to play for YOU
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2010, 08:52:32 PM »
I really enjoy playing on ararchy but what makes it fun is simply the amount of players playing. It isn't a whole lotta fun with just 2-4 players, but when it gets up to 6-10 players; thats when it gets epic.
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Offline Scyphi

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Re: What makes a Descent III Anarchy level fun to play for YOU
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2010, 05:19:48 AM »
I don't do much multiplayer, but yeah, I know enough to think it's pretty safe to say that level design in the biggest factor in deciding what works for a MP level or does not.

I'm also with WillyP on the fact that size matters for these things. For example, my favorite all-time monsterball level is Snake Eyes, because it's so small and compact, you have no where to run, and the fact that spraying a weapon in any direction is fairly prone to hitting a target of some sort. Haven't found very many other monsterball levels that quite achieve this same effect.

So, if size matters for that, in theory, it should be a factor in all the other MP levels.
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