Soldat Maps & Mapmaking > Mapping Help / Resources

Tropes Found in Climbing


   I climb a lot. Not nearly as much as anyone else though, and I'm nowhere near as good as the real climbers. But there have been hundreds to thousands of climb maps that have been made and climbed in the span of Soldat's lifetime, and I don't see a whole lot of write ups about climbing, so I felt it would be good to go over a few things that I've seen in many, many climb maps.
   Things to keep in mind when reading this though: This is not a tutorial or a guide on how to make climb maps. The jumps in each climb map and their visuals are unique to each map creator, and I like to see the flexibility of the climb maps shining through. The ones listed below are just tropes in climb maps that many of us would have encountered. Tropes are not inherently bad, but here I guess they would be more like discouraged tropes, in an effort to improve mapmaking practices.
   Okay...climb maps. The naming conventions for them are something like "kz_" or "ctf_kz_", or if some mapmakers are prolofic enough, it'd be "ctf_" plus their initials, plus their climb map names. While there are no set guidelines for what makes a climb map, a climb map. Many follow the general conventions of no jets, map must take upwards of 2 minutes to complete, and jumps will be easy to medium difficulty. But climb maps can be as long as taking upwards of 15+ minutes to complete, or as short as 5 jumps. They can also be very easy or ridiculously insanely difficult. The theming for each map can also be wildly varied, ranging from simple enough looking maps to having the players jump their way through a city or in caves.
   On to the tropes then!

Teeth jumps:
   You see these a lot, especially in older climb maps. They're the jumps that feature a row of spikes to jump over, often as a set of 'teeth' with spikes on the floor and ceiling. Please don't make any more maps with those. They are repetitive, add artificial difficulty, and is extra frustrating when sandwiched between jumps that are actually harder.
Bright background colors:
   Maps with good to high contrast between polygons and background colors are nice, but please don't make them eye-explodingly bright. Sure, nowadays there's a setting where you can override background colors, but here it's just common courtesy not to use bright lime or anime blood red backgrounds.
Tiny platforms:
   Triangle/square platforms in sizes tinier than the soldier's torso are bad in almost all forms. It's difficult to land on one properly, and often enough when you do land on one, you'll bounce off it into a random direction, possibly into a deadly polygon.
Memory climb maps:
   You know the kind. Multiple choice paths with all but one ending in death you have to memorize. Maybe a map will have a few fake platforms that you'll fall through, or platforms that are safe to jump on, interspersed with deadly platforms that look exactly like the safe ones. Once players have memorized the jumps for those, they are really just gimmicky and less than useless.
Super shortcut maps:
   In a similar vein to memory climb maps, maps with shortcuts that cuts a lot of time out of otherwise long climb maps become just another really short map once people learn of the shortcut. I don't mean unintentional shortcuts. I mean shortcuts left in by the map creators on purpose.
Nonindicative polygons:
   To explain this a little better, good and solid maps have clear distinctions on what is deadly and what is not, and often enough what is icey and what is not. They will have color codes that players will easily pick up on after just a few seconds. At the other end of the spectrum are maps that do likewise, but will inexplicably have a few spots that looks safe, but are just straight up deadly.
Stuff in front of players:
   Generally speaking, those are okay, as long as the sceneries/polygons don't cover up too much. I actually have a rule in place for those, which I like to call the Inverse Scenery Difficulty Principle. It goes as follows: The harder the jumps on a map is, the more likely it will feature simpler and simpler visuals, to the point of not having any scenery in the way of anything at all. The opposite will hold true for much easier climb maps, which will have much more sceneries, examples being bushes the covers up the platforms players must jump onto.
Numerous polybugs:
   Most mapmakers generally try to avoid these, but several climb maps still show up with unintentionally bouncy polygons. A map with lots of these, especially ones with tiny polygons in the lay of the land, will destroy confidence in the players' jumps. It also makes players afraid of jumping or landing on some things, for fear of being uncontrollably pinged off into the abyss or death polygons. Many a ragequits were had on these maps. Smooth out your damn polygons, people!
Pointy polygons:
   Not counting death polygons here, these polygons are usually very thin, and as a result, very pointy. Issues that arises from these are commonly players impaling themselves onto the point ends and getting stuck, or the edges being very bouncy as a result of how thin they are. Sometimes they can be intentional, used as part of a jump, but more often than not they're just unintentional, part of the problem of maps with bad design.
Minimal jets:
   I'm not really into the whole climb maps having jets on them, but the ones with less than one second of jetting really bugs me.
Weed themed maps:
   I don't actually have anything to say about them, just that they pop up quite a bit. Just throwing that out there.

also please put the flags together. if you wanna put the red flag to the alpha spawn point, just design it as a coop map or try a different & more playable way back route. i'm def. not talkin about NS maps. ::)


--- Quote from: `JacksLostYouth on November 20, 2018, 06:06:47 am ---also please put the flags together. if you wanna put the red flag to the alpha spawn point, just design it as a coop map or try a different & more playable way back route. i'm def. not talkin about NS maps. ::)

--- End quote ---

There are examples where this makes the ride more enjoyable as it adds an extra layer of difficulty. Personally, I enjoy these and there are scripts that can reset the flag in time for lost captures to respawn.


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