OK, to try and get this thread back on track I thought I’d summarise some of the points raised so far. I’ve edited this original post to reflect this, and will continue to do so as these guidelines are amended and refined. I’ve tried to incorporate most points raised by most people in this thread, whilst at the same time trimming it down a bit so as to make it more easily digestible.
Anyone who wants to add / amend something, please suggest any changes you’d like to make, but please, let’s keep this on-topic. I know I’m one of the worst offenders for going off-topic, so apologies for doing so already and I promise to try not to in future.
The map must be winnable by the Attacking team more easily than by the Defending team. Competition is played in Stopwatch mode, where NEITHER team scores ANY points if the defending team hold for the full duration of the map. Points are scored by whichever team completes the objective the fastest over 2 rounds. If neither team set a time, no-one scores any points, and the 2 rounds have been a waste of time playing.
Spark gave a pretty perfect description of basic map struture, and it goes like this:-
A ---- B – (X) ---- C
Attacking team initially spawn at A, defending team at B. The first phase of the map takes place between A and B. Something triggers B switching to a permanent Attacking team spawn and Defenders thereafter spawn at C. (Allies blow Old City Wall on Oasis, for example). The second phase of the map then takes place between B and C. You might also add an additional spawn point for the Attacking team at X, but make it possible for the Defending team to disable it (Command Post on Radar, for example). If you’re going to add this additional spawn make it strategic, otherwise neither team will bother with it, and make sure it’s closer to B than to C.
A good competition map should also be consistent with other competition maps, because you don’t want to have one map that plays 20 mins on average and another that plays 2 mins. That would make sheduling somewhat difficult. As most ET maps are larger, multi-objective, 15 - 20 maps (compared to other games), yours should be as well. Just don’t make them mammoth 64 player epics.
“Objective run” maps are often considered better than “blow something up” maps, as “blow something up” requires some fine tuning to get it just right (spawn cycles and locations need very careful planning). Also “doc run” gives the defending team an opportunity to recover the situation and adds a more dynamic element to the game. But either will do as long as they’re offensive biased.
Routes to Objective
Multiple entry points, no good having a tight balanced map if the defending team can simply camp a single passage-way to lock out the attacking team. Use tunnels, alternate routes, whatever, to allow attacking team to get to the objective a number of different ways. Also, if it’s an “objective run” map, make sure there are several ways in and out of wherever the objective is situated, otherwise the defending team will simply camp the objective. However, don’t go overboard. Too many corridors encourage full defences close to the objectives, too few create choke points. So keep it open as this allows teams to give their crossfires a good workout.
If the time taken for Defenders to get to the objective from spawn PLUS the difference in spawn cycle is LESS than the time taken for Attackers to get to the objective from their spawn, then it’s a DEFENSIVE map. If it’s MORE then it’s OFFENSIVE.
i.e. If a player from each team both die near the objective, which one is more likely to get back there first?
Here’s a couple of examples to clarify:-
Radar - Axis spawn is 10 seconds slower than Allied. However, it takes almost 10 seconds to get to East Radar from Axis spawn and only about 15 from the command post. Difference in travel time (5s) is less than difference in spawn cycle (10s) - Offensive map.
FuelDump - Axis spawn again 10 seconds slower than Allied but it takes Axis about 10 seconds to get to the FuelDepot whereas it takes Allies about 30. Difference in travel time (20s) is greater than difference in spawn cycle (10s) - Defensive map.
Remember, Competition requires Offensive maps, which is why Radar is played in Clan Wars and FuelDump isn’t.
Quality and Visuals
Don’t be too intricate with detail. Competition players reduce all their graphics settings to a minimum anyway, so your beautiful textures won’t get the credit they deserve. We prefer great FPS to great scenery. Also, quality is important for a competitive map, which will be played day in, day out. Every little bug will soon be identified.
20 minutes or less
6 v 6