Ninja Castle (Map project Sig and I are planning)

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Ninja Castle (Map project Sig and I are planning)

Post by dartman » Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:35 am

I'm not sure I want to go into detail on the map yet (for now I want it to be at least a little bit of a surprise), but yeah, sigonasr2 and I have been planning out a new and VERY interesting map. It's going to be a rather complex one too, especially for BZFlag standards.

Anyway, the reason I posted this topic is because I had a couple of quick questions. I'm sure they'll give away a little bit of what the map is about, but not the entire concept, so I'll ask anyway. First question: Does anyone know who created the Japanese castles map? If so, what's the best way to contact them?

Second question...which of the following look the coolest to you? Click the pictures to see more of each.

Himeji Castle
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Matsumoto Castle
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Kumamoto Castle
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Osaka Castle
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Nijo-jo Castle (you should really click the link on this one so you can get a better judgement of it)
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Re: Map project Sig and I are planning

Post by diing for the team » Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:31 am

In my opinion the first for making a map because it would include the passage at the bottom too, but for best picture the third
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Re: Map project Sig and I are planning

Post by joevano » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:42 am

They all look the same to me... ;-)

Japanese Castles was made by 2 friends from Japan (cannot remember their names right now). I have not seen them on in quite a while.
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Re: Map project Sig and I are planning

Post by Yrogirg » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:04 am

Does anyone know who created the Japanese castles map?
I thought it was Mari Iijima. Use PM or just go to MW2.3 (Mari can play with another name, so ask). You can also try asking Heartnet (he also plays on MW2.3). Maybe players with Japanese names on MW2.3 can help.

UPD: Heartnet runs bzflag.jp, the server hosting JC.

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Re: Map project Sig and I are planning

Post by dartman » Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:23 pm

Ok, thanks for the contact info. I left a /report on the server asking the mapmaker to contact me via email, but just in case that doesn't work, I'll still stop by MW2.3 and ask around. I'll try PM too.

Anyone else going to pick a castle? I think I'll close the votes pretty soon. Probably either this coming Sunday or the next one. So please vote while you can, it would really help us decide on what the castle's exterior will be based on. Please vote based on the castle itself, not necessarily its surroundings, or how good the photo is. If I wanted you to judged based on the skills of the photographer, I wouldn't have put links to photos from Wikimedia Commons. ;)

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Re: Map project Sig and I are planning

Post by mrapple » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:36 am

I like the structure of Himeji Castle but Matsumoto Castle would probably be easier to make.

Your choice.
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Re: Map project Sig and I are planning

Post by Yrogirg » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:30 am

I like Osaka Castle because of it's colors.

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Re: Map project Sig and I are planning

Post by Spectre » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:31 am

I'd say either Himeji (because it looks extremely playable) or Kumamoto (because the walkways around it and the stone base look like they could create some intriguing gameplay). The others are pretty, but not BZFlag material in my opinion.
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Re: Map project Sig and I are planning

Post by hutty » Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:32 am

I like the first one.
For all of you who have asked what a hutty is, there is one as my avatar.

instant map... just add water

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Re: Map project Sig and I are planning

Post by dartman » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:44 am

huttymuncher wrote:I like the first one.
Sorry dude, you voted a little too late. I had already decided to stop counting the votes the week you ended up voting. Sorry I didn't say anything earlier.

But onto the results! I think since there was a tie between Osaka and Himeji, and sig liked Osaka the best, I'll go with that one for the map's design. We might incorporate some parts of Himeji, though, since it's still a really awesome castle and so many people liked it.

Anyway, Sig has been busy and I still don't have near the amount of expertise needed to make a map like this, and Mari didn't respond to my message (at least not yet), so I'll open up the details of the map to everyone so I can see who would be interested in building the map. It's rather complex, especially for a BZFlag map, so we would need all the help we can get for this! So here's a breakdown of the kinds of things this map will feature.

The basic gist of the map involves, as you can probably imagine, a very large Japanese castle. But there many things that set this one apart from Mari's castle map. First of all, there's only one very large castle, and it has actual different rooms that you can explore, whereas the current Japanese castle has two different castles to worry about, and therefore can't really have intricately designed interiors. The second huge difference is the angle we're putting on the gameplay. We're going to basically ninja this whole thing out. Ever played sig's Combat Strategies map, where you aways spawn with an ST flag? This map will have that same mechanic, so everyone will get to sneak around and assassinate their opponents before they knew what hit them. And since ninjas normally strike when it's dark, the castle will be mostly dark inside, and a skydome outside will keep the map set to perpetual night-time.

Also, there will be lots of places to hide and ambush enemies from. Ceiling rafters, bushes, closets, trapdoors underneath tables, maybe some places where you can attack from underwater, areas hidden in shadow, not to mention an entire underground tunnel system (sort of like the one on Louman's Metropolis but a little bit more complex and with more entrances/exits). Basically, if you've ever played Tenchu, you should get the idea of what we're going for here. There will plenty of opportunities to use the environment to your advantage here. We even have some awesome ideas in mind in terms of context-sensitive world weapons. For example, let's say you're driving around the castle when you come across an open room with a few stacked crates of explosives. If you were to drive up and touch the detonator nearby the explosives, you could set off a series of SWs in the room that would destroy any tanks in the vicinity (there would be a delayed reaction of course, that way you can have time to escape the room). Of course, all those SWs would reveal to other players that someone was just in that room, so they'd find it a little easier to go after you. These kinds of things are part of the playing strategy on the map: sometimes you'll want to go ahead and take advantage of the environment to take down an opponent, other times you'll find it smarter to stay hidden.

The map isn't without it's obstacles, though. Occasionally you'll come across areas in the hallways that will be temporarily blocked off by an impenetrable laser-fence, forcing you to either find another way to progress, or wait for the lasers to go away (which would, of course, make you a sitting duck). Also, there would be some samurai guards around the castle who would fire bullets at regular intervals, meaning you have to really be careful around them (unless you can find a way to use them as part of your strategy). Sig even had the idea of having the shots track players! Other obstacles would include tetsubishi (those small spikes ninja scatter on the ground) in a few small areas, which would cause instant death if you touch them. We're also planning on having nightingale floors that will make a sound whenever you move over them, alerting nearby players to your prescence. Sig had the idea of making it so that whenever you touch a nightingale floor, it sets off a bullet below (that no one can get hit by) that will ricochet a lot for a moment, making a sort of "alert" sound (actual nightingale floors tend to make squeaky bird sounds--look them up on Youtube). These kinds of obstacles will make moving through the castle that much more intense and strategic, and will encourage people to play often in order to learn the map.

We also want to go all-out with the attention to detail to make it really feel like a Japanese castle. It should look like an actual Japanese castle on the inside, with paintings, emblems, candles, and other decorations on the walls in the royal/formal rooms, while hidden storage rooms might be lined with Japanese weapons like katanas, staffs, bows, and kusari-gamas. This kind of attention to detail is important to making the map feel as cool as possible. The idea is that each room should look like it serves some special purpose to the castle, instead of being dull, empty, and lifeless. There could be a shrine-room in the castle with a large statue (we were thinking it could be a Buddha statue, a dragon, or even Tim Riker! :lol-old: ), a dining room, a kitchen, sleeping quarters for the daimyo (lord of the castle) and his family, an armory, and more. ere doesn't have to be a huge variety of rooms, and there's no need to be overly meticulous, but the castle should be believable, like people could actually live there. Of course, this doesn't mean the furnishings would all just be for decoration; they'll each serve some sort of gameplay purpose. That large statue I mentioned earlier? You can hide behind it, or even inside it if you can find the secret entrance. We're also thinking it would be awesome to have at least one courtyard area with lots of bushes, trees, and a small pond that you can actually enter. Also, we're thinking of including a few goofy objects we could include in the castle with a random or tongue-in-chek sense of humor. So things like a skeleton of a dead tank (as if it was ever a living thing), gravestones for the people who worked on the map (we could find a place for a grayard somewhere, and maybe give it the ghost from Louman's churchyard map if we possibly can), a fake bullet or two sitting in a corner somewhere (or even better if we gave them bizarre human-like traits, like having one siting and reading a newspaper), some random out-of-place objects like bright flowers or smiley faces, or have one room out of the entire castle (probably the damyo) filled with modern technology, just to mess around with the time period. Things like that. It's not completely necessary, but it would make the map more interesting to explore, and would mean it would always have little surprises for adventurous players.

There would also be ways to fight from outside the castle, though most of the fighting ould take place inside. The castle resides in a large forested area, and you can many interesting things out there if you explore it enough, though there are also many dangers, such as enemy ninja hiding in the trees outside, and a large samurai army charging towards the castle (the army might even extend into the distance, outside the boundaries of the map, just to give you the sense of how large the invading force is). One really interesting idea I thought up involves the use of sig's random generator. I'm thinking we could have maybe 2 or 3 varieties of trees in the forest (to make it look a little more interesting and realistic), and since it doesn't really matter exactly where each tree is, they could be randomly positioned in the forest, and a certain percentage of them would have hidden ninja. However, one kind of tree will never have enemy ninja in them. These trees could look slightly different from the rest (maybe they would have cherry blossoms, different colored leaves, or a butterfly on the trunk or something like that), and that way, if you know that little secret, you would always be able to find a way through the dangers of the forest even though the trees and ninja are changing their positions. I don't know if sig's generator is sophisticated enough to do this, but maybe the ninjaless trees could always be set along some sort of path no matter where they are. And of course, if you make it to the back of the forest, you'll get something in return. There'll be a teleporter you can go through that will take you to a high tower overlooking the castle, and in that tower's room (there wouldn't be a lot of rooms there, just one set high up) you could find several powerful superflags, including SE, enabling you to help your teammates know their enemies' positions.

Also, the castle would have a moat, and like most BZFlag maps, touching the moat will cause instan death. However, there will be a different reason for the death this time around: Instead of simply getting a message saying "Tank sank" or something along those lines, you'll actually die because of the enemy ninja hidden in the water. They wouldn't have to actually be shown, of course, but maybe there could be a few bamboo "snorkels" poking up out of the water. And in an evil twist, perhaps there could be a feature that, if a tank sits at the edge of the moat for long enough time, they'll actually get pulled into the moat and get killed. I think that, while it would be kinda cruel, it would also be pretty awesome just because it gives the underwater ninja more of a real prescence.

We're still trying to figure out exactly what the playing style would be on this map, but it would probably either be an FFA or some kind of KOTH/Capture the base kind of style. This is what sig told me on the subject:
s for FFA vs. CTF, I think we can think of a creative idea with CTF instead of capturing the flag, because that would be silly for ninja tanks to be capping a flag. I think we can try a team KOTH idea where at least x% of players must be in the enemy base? (The base area could be fairly large in maybe the main hall of the castle or something.) But everyone being in one place could be a silly idea for this map. Maybe instead of that, there is one very hard to reach area deep inside the castle with the most precious item on the map. (Perhaps treasure or something completely unimaginable) Once a player reaches this room, they will be given a flag automatically which caps everyone if we place a base as the floor. Even if it's not visible, it could be more realistic than capture the flag. Instead players would defend a very treasured area. Capture the base, a little better than capture the flag I suppose.
If anyone has a better idea for this, let us know!

There is one more major aspect of the map that we had in mind but might take out just to make the map more like a real Japanese castle. Basically, we had a plan to include a large outer wall around the castle, just like the ones for European castles. We were going to have it so players could drive around both on top of and inside the walls (there would be a few floors with lots of hallways in there). But apparently Japanese castles didn't really have those big outer walls. I'll attach the bird's-eye view I drew of the map, to give you an idea of the wall's shape, and I'll happily explain more about it's gameplay purposes later if anyone wants, but this is already a really long post, and I'm getting hungry, so I'll save the rest for later. I just want to see what ya'll think of the ideas and who would be interesting in collaborating.
Attachments
ninja map plan (color).jpg
birds-eye view plan of the map (with color and labels added using my crappy Photoshop skillz)
(690.29 KiB) Not downloaded yet

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Re: Map project Sig and I are planning

Post by diing for the team » Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:38 am

wow, I feel no where near as prepared when putting a map together as you are...That is some intense sketching
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Re: Map project Sig and I are planning

Post by Green Manalishi » Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:08 pm

this is incredibly promising, full of great ideas. i hope you can implement them with the help of other mapmakers and make this one of the most fun bz maps ever.. i can see a medal coming your way from the japanese ministry of tourism and culture too. :P

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Re: Map project Sig and I are planning

Post by Agent West » Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:02 pm

what should the dimentions of the map be? and what about the underground tunnels. got plans for them?
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Re: Map project Sig and I are planning

Post by dartman » Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:47 pm

diing for the team wrote:wow, I feel no where near as prepared when putting a map together as you are...That is some intense sketching
Haha, thanks! :) Part of the reason I had to sketch it out like that was to help communicate my ideas to sig, because some things are hard to express with words.
this is incredibly promising, full of great ideas. i hope you can implement them with the help of other mapmakers and make this one of the most fun bz maps ever.. i can see a medal coming your way from the japanese ministry of tourism and culture too.
Wow, thanks for all the praise! Yeah, it will definitely be hard to make these ideas come to fruition without the help of some other people. I mean, I can do a good job at coming up with ideas and planning things out on paper, but I'm not even close to aving the mapmaking skills needed to actually build something like this. Sig has some mapmaking experience (though I doubt he's ever made something as intricate as this) and he also knows how to make 3D models, but from what I know of the guy, probably his best strength is with programming, which is really important for a map that bends the rules as much as this one does. We still need someone who can really beast out this map though. I already asked Louman if he wanted to help, since he's known for being able to crank out amazing maps, but he said he wouldn't be able to help. :( So if anyone thinks they have the ability to put something like this together, PLEASE let sig and I know!
what should the dimentions of the map be? and what about the underground tunnels. got plans for them?
I'm not sure about the exact dimensions yet, but it would definitely be a larger map, since there has to be plenty of room to move around both inside and outside the castle. I haven't drawn out the underground tunnels yet either, but I have a basic vision for them in mind. As I said, it would be kind of similar to the sewers in Louman's Metropolis, but with a few more twists and turns, as well as some hidden rooms with superflags and other surprises, and also several different dead-end rooms with openings in the ceiling you can jump through in order to access different parts of the map. So one might take you outside, another to the innercourtyard (maybe the pond?), another to the shrine, etc.

I'm glad everyone likes the ideas so far! :D

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Re: Ninja Castle (Map project Sig and I are planning)

Post by Agent West » Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:14 pm

"I'm glad everyone likes the ideas so far!"
it sounds like this will be a great map after it's done. :)

let me know if y'all want any help.
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Re: Ninja Castle (Map project Sig and I are planning)

Post by Yrogirg » Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:51 pm

I've understood some things recently. The map should have some action. To have real play players should be able to fight in seconds (~4?) after the spawn (and after getting prepared).

You want to make large map with lots of stealth. But larger map takes more time for players to come in contact and fight. Stealth makes things even worse --- players don't even know where to go to have some action and actually play.

Making some sort of capture the flag/base or all hands on deck may help, since it creates some center of attraction where the real fight will be, but there should be some tools to players to get fast there and play. On CTF maps similar way to bring enemies together is to make the map quite linear so players inevitably go the same path and have to fight (like A*A bridge crossing).

On large map one should consider increasing tank speed (maybe by physics) or giving the opportunity to kill on large distances. The last can be gained by sniping or by making the map quite open. Just think how boring would be ahs3's paintball with standard speeds or overloard with dozens of pyramids in the center field.

Lots of details and eye candies will help to attract players but to keep them some action is needed.

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Re: Ninja Castle (Map project Sig and I are planning)

Post by diing for the team » Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:58 pm

Yrogirg wrote:I've understood some things recently. The map should have some action. To have real play players should be able to fight in seconds (~4?) after the spawn (and after getting prepared).

You want to make large map with lots of stealth. But larger map takes more time for players to come in contact and fight. Stealth makes things even worse --- players don't even know where to go to have some action and actually play.

Making some sort of capture the flag/base or all hands on deck may help, since it creates some center of attraction where the real fight will be, but there should be some tools to players to get fast there and play. On CTF maps similar way to bring enemies together is to make the map quite linear so players inevitably go the same path and have to fight (like A*A bridge crossing).

On large map one should consider increasing tank speed (maybe by physics) or giving the opportunity to kill on large distances. The last can be gained by sniping or by making the map quite open. Just think how boring would be ahs3's paintball with standard speeds or overloard with dozens of pyramids in the center field.

Lots of details and eye candies will help to attract players but to keep them some action is needed.
I just wanted to call bs on that theory of the 4 seconds and then fighting. Many ctf maps are about avoiding the enemy rather than confronting them. Everyone will be headed to the castle looking for eachother inside and pretty much make it koth
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Re: Ninja Castle (Map project Sig and I are planning)

Post by joevano » Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:37 pm

diing for the team wrote:I just wanted to call bs on that theory of the 4 seconds and then fighting. Many ctf maps are about avoiding the enemy rather than confronting them. Everyone will be headed to the castle looking for eachother inside and pretty much make it koth
The time is a pretty accurate, IMHO. No one wants to drive across the map to get to the action, size and # of players on the map at one time make a HUGE difference in success or failure of a map.
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Re: Ninja Castle (Map project Sig and I are planning)

Post by dartman » Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:09 pm

Hmmmm, good point. I had thought about this before. It really would suck if there weren't many other players on. I was thinking either having all 4 teams + Rogue with about 5 per team, or 2 teams with about 10 each. And I guess the tank speed could be slightly increased so you could move around quicker (plus it might help you feel a bit more like a ninja). You should still be able to move slowly if you need to, though. But I still think the map should be pretty large. It has to have room for all (or at least most) of these ideas. Plus, it would be kind of a lame castle if it didn't have much of anything in it. So I think a large map with a large player count, slightly increased speed, lots of surprises, and lots of challenges would be best. Even with stealth, you know there's going to be someone else nearby.

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Re: Ninja Castle (Map project Sig and I are planning)

Post by Yrogirg » Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:41 am

Many ctf maps are about avoiding the enemy rather than confronting them.
Still there should be a real need to avoid enemies, and if they are miles apart it is just like there is no enemies at all. Personally, the only thing I enjoy on duc style maps is dodging as long as possible, without shooting. But such mortal dances to be possible requires someone threatening you.
I was thinking either having all 4 teams + Rogue with about 5 per team, or 2 teams with about 10 each.
Maximum number of players has little to do with the number of people who actually plays the map. You can make 100 players for team, but it doesn't mean there will be 500 players (Really sad, but true :( ). And what about rabbit hunt? I doubt increasing tank speed is the solution since it would be harder to move indoors and in the forest (and the forest is the most attractive idea for me. I'd be glad to generate tree positions in this forest).

I believe totally new idea is needed to bring action on such maps. And if someone comes with this idea it would be more significant than even the most complex and sophisticated map.

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Re: Ninja Castle (Map project Sig and I are planning)

Post by diing for the team » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:01 pm

well the distance could possibly be fixed by cutting off some of the spare woodland and making it so you can only spawn in the woods or the bottom floor of the castle
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Re: Ninja Castle (Map project Sig and I are planning)

Post by blast » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:48 am

Teleporters could also help tanks get to the action faster.
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Re: Ninja Castle (Map project Sig and I are planning)

Post by dartman » Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:15 pm

Yeah, teles would be great. i was thinking it would be great to have them, I'm just not sure where to put them. :P Also, the underground tunnel should help people get around to different places faster, so it's easier for the player to go wherever he thinks the action is.
Yrogirg wrote:(and the forest is the most attractive idea for me. I'd be glad to generate tree positions in this forest).
Nice, thanks! :) Sig told me he really wouldn't be able to be of much use for this project since he's so busy. Any help would be appreciated. So feel free to work on tree positions if you'd like!
I believe totally new idea is needed to bring action on such maps. And if someone comes with this idea it would be more significant than even the most complex and sophisticated map.
Here's one idea. Maybe there could be some kind of system warning you when there's danger nearby, kind of like the one in the Metroid Prime series. It wouldn't have to be obnoxious or even make a sound, it could just have a little glow whenever there's danger nearby, but without specifying the exact location like the radar does. That way, ST tanks can still be sneaky, just maybe slightly less so. Maybe the server could set just how far away another tank or danger source can be in order to set off the warning.

Actually, come to think of it, it would work a lot like the Hunt feature, except it would automatically hunt everyone and wouldn't specify exactly where the danger is coming from (though I guess it wouldn't matter so much if it did or not). Maybe someone could find a way to make something like this work? That would really help on these kinds of large maps.

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Re: Ninja Castle (Map project Sig and I are planning)

Post by dartman » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:06 am

teh lulz, this map has made sooooooo much progress...

I was just playing on Mari's Japanese Castle map a few minutes ago, and it reminded me of this. I haven't really even touched this idea in about a year, and now that i've been going to college my mind has mostly been on other things. I don't know, I guess I just wanted to stop by and see if anyone still thought the concept of this map in general would be cool?

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Re: Ninja Castle (Map project Sig and I are planning)

Post by SkillDude » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:08 am

Glad to see you're still around. I haven't touched map code and 3D modelers in awhile, but if you still want to give it a shot, I'm still around. Probably going to spend some time re reading the thread with the ideas and get a better grip on where things stand if you're still interested.

I remember we got pretty far into discussion with the sneaky style type of maps and planned to add some pretty complicated methods that affect gameplay. Which is fine, a lot is possible with the current map structures and plugins can do quite a bit as well.

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