The three virtues of a programmer: Laziness, Impatience, and Hubris. – Larry Wall
CTF-MetalGlove – The spec for the map
The Flag Room
The flag sits in a rectangular room, similar in construction to the Gauntlet base, between two large pillars. Behind one pillar is a small shield. The sides of the flag room are sloped in a similar manner to Gauntlet but rather than having a single spawn room, there are two, one on each side. The flag room also has a wooden ramp around the edge, reached by a lift that sits behind the shield. The back wall is moved farther away from the rear pillar to accommodate the lift. Consider using stairs instead. It should not be possible to dodge-jump between the ramps either side of the base. It needs to be wider than that.
Weapons available within the flag room are the bio rifle, the link gun, and the lightning gun.
The flag room roof is nice and pointed. It has some rafters. There's a lightning gun up there.
From the flag it is possible to escape out of a large arched front door (a la Gauntlet) or out of the top left or right smaller arches, reached via the wooden platforms that run around the edges of the flag room. If leaving by the either of the two arches, players have no choice but to drop down to the ground outside of the base. This acts as a natural choke point.
Outside of the Flag Room
The area immediately outside the base is reasonably open, although populated with 4 (or 6) pillars. Players at this point can run forwards and down a slope into the "lower area", right or left around the "sides" of the level, or up ramps to the left or right ramp that takes them via the "Upper route". The layout should be fairly similar to Gauntlet only slightly more open (and maybe less dark).
It’s probably worth putting some health and ammo out here, as this is the main choke point within the level. If a flag carrier gets past this part of the map then they have a large choice of routes, and the ability to switch between them almost at will.
The Lower Route
The lower route is reached by running in a straight line out of the flag room and down some steps. At the bottom of the steps the player must run around the edges of a large bottomless (nearly) pit. At the bottom of the pit is either a Redeemer or an Ion painter – depends on the final level structure. Small alcoves within the sides of the pit allow someone with the teleporter to escape back out. The alcoves need small ridges above them to stop people landing in them (or maybe not – might lead to some interesting tactics). The ledges around the edge of the pit need to be reasonably thin, but not too small. Some weaving should be allowed.
The lower route provides access to the rocket launcher on one side, and some ammo on the other. This should “lure” players into always taking the same side – another potential choke point. There is an opening either side of the room for "chutes", the entrances to which are in the "Side Rooms".
The Upper Route
The upper route is reached by running out of the flag room and either left or right up some ramps (or maybe steps). The ramps curve around a large central pillar (like Gauntlet) and then go in a straight line towards the other base. The two sides are not symmetrical. The left ramp’s are level and players must dodge jump to the right to continue on into the other base, or, double jump over a stone pillar/some sort of construction to continue running in a straight line. Players should have enough time to dodge-jump across to the other ramp after the double jump. This should make the central area reasonably large.
The Side Rooms
The side rooms are accessed via some steps, or via two windows, one at each end of the room facing over the platforms. It would be nice if players could double/jump or dodge-jump from the upper route into the side rooms but it’s not essential. They can always hammer jump if they have to.
From the side rooms it is possible to run out down the steps, jump out of the windows (maybe onto the top route with a bit of cunning), or down some chutes that take the player to the lower route. The side rooms should be simple in interior, and open rather than cluttered with pillars and the like. There should possibly be a single pillar in the room.
The side rooms should contain the Flak cannon on one side, and the Mini-gun on the other.
The Middle Route
The middle route is simply composed of the rest of the level. From the flag room the player can run either left or right around the edge of the map. Since the central area of the map is empty bar a couple of bits of infrastructure the player can cross either left or right at will. The very centre of the map holds the shock rifle and some ammo for it.
Setting, Boundaries, and Style Notes
In an ideal world this level should be completely enclosed. Since I’m intending to use the ruination prefab set this may not be possible.
However, if this proves impractical then the level should be set in a grassy (forget all this lava and snow rubbish I want something summery) valley with cliffs (or steep sides) at the central point of the level. It may be possible to allow players to run all the way around the edge of the level standing on the prefabs, but is probably not worth the effort.
An another alternative is to place the level in a wide very foggy valley and then set up laser grids all round the outside of the level to discourage players from going there.
The real problem I have is that a blocking volume would look odd and feel wrong. Far too much effort has been put into restricting the player’s movement for the sake of game-play in the maps shipped with the game. IMHO it hurts game-play more that way.