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!
), 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.