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Contest FFA map ("Fallujah 2010")

Posted: Tue May 10, 2005 12:59 pm
by The Purple Panzer
I did this map a while back, it uses no Version 2 elements, and never got around to releasing it. It took first place at the last map contest in the FFA category. Here's my description from back then (and a screenshot will be attached):

This map was inspired by footage of the fighting in Fallujah - the houses, narrow streets, and primitive architecture seemed like they'd be excellent themes in a map. The "Fallujah" here is fairly small and in one corner, but it is particularly difficult to fight in - while it seems easy to just fire shots into buildings, in this town the probability of a ricochet killing you is quite high. There are vertical ways out of buildings too, so kills aren't quite so easy anyway.

This ancient town has a partly damaged aqueduct leading into it, and an ancient triumphal arch near where the city wall once was. Modern buildings have intruded though, generally taking heights up one or two levels; from these buildings an elevated road network runs to different points on the map. This road network is one main theme of the map.

The more general theme in the map is having distinct "neighborhoods", areas which visually feel different and which call for different tactics in fighting. There is quite a lot of open space, requiring old-fashioned tank vs. tank maneuvering. The number of neighborhoods means that this map will be good for more players, 8 being fine; more could certainly play. There are only 337 blocks and pyramids, so lag shouldn't be a problem.

I recommend running the map as a Free For All game, with more rather than fewer flags (so that you have a chance to grab one in the open field before you're killed), and definitely with flags on buildings. I wouldn't change gravity - the map is pretty much tuned to the standard jump height of 18.

A note about some of the taller pyramids: a number of them are specifically designed to allow players to ricochet shots into upper levels from the ground; this isn't trivial to do, but with a little practice some of the more useful angles should become clear. A few pyramids are drivethrough but not shootthrough, so that you can get into them and hide - these usually have nonstandard shape so that you can pick them out.

The large amound of "green" open space will require traditional skills for much of the time. Camping is certainly possible, but that will require some thought on behalf of the camper and any would-be camper killers; I think this is definitely part of the fun. No positions are invulnerable, all should have designed-in routes for camper hunters.

Ten teleporters mean that you can move around pretty quickly, rapidly changing your environment; indeed, you can get to most surfaces and levels without jumping (if you're willing to drive distances, and occasionally drop down to other levels). In one place I've connected two tall towers with a *very* thin block, intended to be something fun to discover - I saw something like this on a server once (it had "BZFLAG" in the center, but I don't recall the name), and thought it had possibilities. Levels (horizontal surfaces) have been chosen to either be identical at different points (to allow easy attack), or different, to offer more challenging defensive positions - the choice depending on the ease of access to the likely adversarial positions.

One of my long-time favorite maps is "modified Madcity", and I paid homage to that map by including a tower similar to the central tower in that map - I intend this as a recognizable element, akin to a literary reference in a novel, rather than as a central tactical or strategic object - in this map it is on the northern edge, and therefore won't play as much of a role as it does in Madcity. I don't think this tower is exactly identical to the Madcity one, but it's certainly close enough to be recognizable.

In the southeast is a structure that looks like the Madcity "garage", but it isn't - it evolved from a quite different direction, and has no internal structure on its second level; and it is much smaller. One part of the elevated roadway was inspired by something similar in the Bessler's World map; other than that, everything is entirely original (and even the derivative elements are used in new ways).

Finally, fundamentally this is sort of a classic style of map, basic in spirit, with no use of novelty features (with the exception of the few drivethrough pyramids and the thin threadlike block linking towers - elements which aren't at all new); I stayed away from hidden drivethrough passages, teleporters as combat shields, exaggerated vertical structures, world weapons, and other mechanisms for increasing complexity. Though it was written for this contest, it should feel like a map that could have been around for some time. As the BZFlag map elements will shortly be changing quite a bit, I expect future maps to be dramatically different - this is likely the last map of this style that I write. As such, I thought it ought to show what can be done with these simple components, simply arranged.