Luffaren is working on a new ZE Map!

Posted: October 7, 2011 by Kaemon in Kaemon's Rants, ZE Project L

Ok… First of all, the map still needs lots of work to be done; it’s far away from being complete. It will still need months until it’s on a testable state; so just be patient and keep playing your current maps for a while.

Luffaren has made the big layout, some models… and that’s about it. He still needs to do all the details, triggers, events, and almost all the mapping. I saw a couple of days ago what had he done so far, and yeah, he worked a lot, but he is trying to make a really big project so he is far away from being done.
Also, as with Predator, Luffaren prefers to keep the theme of the map as a secret until the map is released; so I will respect that; but I can still share with you a lot of the things that will be included in the map.

The map, as all our new maps, will have, once more, stages. Surprise! XD
So far Luffaren is uncertain of how many stages the map will have, but it’s aiming at something between 5 and 12.
On top of that, he may include an Extreme Difficulty, is not decided yet.
So… That is a lot of stages; but to avoid over-extending the map in order to complete it (Minas Tirith for 3 hours someone?), Luffaren is thinking to include two new features: saving the progress between map changes, and nerfing the difficulty after losing many rounds.

So… The “Save progress between map changes” was discovered some time ago, by mistake, on a Mako Reactor version. Hannibal decided to change the “Stage System” from a bunch of physics and brushes to a nice entity called “Env_Global”, big surprise, it will save the status of the map even between map changes, until the server is restarted. But that was the version that included the ZM-Rounds for the first time, and there was not “Going-Back-To-Normal-Afterwards” so that version was completely stuck on ZM until the server restarted… (Or on Extreme for a server who wasn’t able to win it, since people weren’t that used to the map yet).
Anyway, this means that if you get up to Extreme on Luffaren‘s upcoming ZE map, and then the server changes to another map; when it goes back to Luffaren‘s one it will be on Extreme already (but having to start from Stage 1).

Now, about the “Nerfing difficulty after losing rounds“. This is not only so you don’t get stuck forever in X stage; but it’s mostly because Luffaren, after playing his own Predator Ultimate on many different servers, realized that not only the player base, but also the server settings, made the difficulty change a lot from server to server.
This is specially noticeable on Predator Ultimate; it’s a map with big chances of killing you on its own (Predators) and that supports (with Teleports) Zombie Respawn. This means that on servers that allow not only people joining late, but also people dying during the round, to come back as zombie, will give a 10 humans vs 40 zombies every time at the end of a round; opposed to the 10 vs 5 zombies of servers with Low-HP Not-Respawning zombies.

I also mentioned that Luffaren had done some models for the map. I didn’t mean decorative models (like the houses and columns in Minas Tirith) but “Characters”, “NPCs” and “Monsters” models.
The map will have some Boss Fights, and even some parts of the map with some monsters doing and minding their business while the players try to get through determined areas; so instead of using already-made models, or editing existing ones to get what he wanted/needed, Luffaren decided to make his own models from scratch, using Propper (a tool that allows you make models using Hammer). So the models are a little… Hm… Special?
Anyway, don’t hope for mind-blowing models; and prepare to laugh at their funny faces! 😛

On the playability of the map I guess we will get something better than Predator Ultimate. Not that I don’t like Predator, but because it’s from the same author and he learned a lot while mapping/playing it; in fact, for long time fans of this map, its noticeable how the map has changed a lot since the first version; increasing difficulty/fun on many holds, adding new holds, reducing time on Boss Fights, and even including zombies as a factor on half of them.
Now Luffaren has a greater knowledge of what works and what doesn’t while mapping, and hopefully he will take that in mind to avoid unwanted or unnecessary things.

BTW, like the weapons in Predator, this map will have some power ups aswell, but from a different kind; and even a very special one that will be a big part of all the rounds, but that I’m not sure I can reveal or explain, or that will make it throught the final cut… XD

So… My own thoughts? The map is looking big… Like… Too big. I’m afraid of it having lots of “fill up” content, too many sections just to run through them, or even Luffaren running out of resources before completing it.
I would like to say that the map is looking good, but it’s so early that it’s barely visible.
But I have faith on Luffaren, and I hope the map will be playable AND enjoyable; and that is something is not working, he will get rid of it.

And for those trying to guess what the map will be about based on the tags, the “L” stands for “Luffaren“.

EDIT: Aparently the “Save Progress” is planed right now only between difficulties (Normal/Extreme), not between stages, so the map always starts on Stage 1 (but Stage 1 Extreme if you made it to Extreme).

  1. Kaemon says:

    I’m pretty sure I forgot to mention many things I agreed with Luffaren that could be mentioned…

  2. Anonymous says:

    when you go out winners of minas contest.

  3. Kaemon says:

    Not a clue, up to Hannibal and I can’t talk with him as much as I used to do since he is busy and in a different country.
    Probably arround the same time he will get release the version with the winners on it; not sure when it will be. Don’t think it’s anytime soon, so just wait 😦

  4. Luffaren says:

    Small correction on the env_global thing: I’m not planning to save the stage state but rather the normal/extreme mode state, so if you’re on stage 6 on extreme mode you’ll go back to stage 0 while still being on extreme when the map changes.
    Also i think i’ll call it ultimate mode instead of extreme 😛

    Only time will tell how it goes but lets hold our thumbs for the best eh? As mentioned there’s still alot of work to go, and i might need to skip/delete alot of planned stuff due to limits, but for the bigger part i think i might be able to create something very special.

    These are the factors that i’m aiming for:

    * scale (amount of space and stages)
    * variation (enviroment/gameplay wise, different events)
    * replayability (lots of random factors, lots of items to pick, a real challenge)
    * dynamic elements (alot more things being able to affect eachother, different states for upcoming rounds)

    Apart from that this post pretty much sums it all up, good work Kaemon! 😉

  5. Riperzz says:

    Hmm which map will come first luffs map or last stand?

  6. Metro says:

    what about the latest Paranoid turbo will hanni do that to?

  7. DormantLemon says:

    hmm propper models? that sounds excellent! Its a tools so often overlooked, even if not meant for creating characters.
    Anyways, i guess once youve unlocked ultimate mode, the server will always be on ultimate mode from then onwards (until reset ofc)?. Or would everything reset automatically on final round victory. I can see players raging for joining on ‘hard mode’ even if its made easier through failure

  8. Luffaren says:

    Ah yes i’ve already planned that out, there will be three ways to go back to normal. Server restart/crash, winning the map and by pressing a button.

  9. sebaka says:

    i want to see pics of the monsters 😀

  10. Kaemon says:

    Most of them can’t be shown, or they would reveal the map’s theme (which Luffaren wants to keep secret for the moment).
    However… Now that I think about it… You would probably not recognize anyone 😛

  11. Deathrowz says:

    I dont want a longer map than Minas… Minas was long enough..
    I just hope the rounds are short and not over 1 and a half hours of playing…
    And lets just hope its more fun =P

  12. thegregster101 says:

    i hope the mini gun from predator returns!

  13. Tartichevre says:

    little off topic.

    Luffaren, I replayed the level 4 ze_predator_ultimate_v1_3 and it seems simple but very nice, I recall fondly.
    Why not include this level instead of level 4 v_2 that happen then the one at level 5, a kind of extreme way over.
    is it really possible?

    another solution for a balanced servers and may allow the server with unlimited ammo not beat the boss on level 3, removed the electric balls that moves on the board and kill a lot of players.

  14. Deathrowz says:

    Luff does love rollermines..

  15. BotoX says:

    They suck. And the groundstomps also…
    But yeah it’s the fucking hardest difficulty so it has to be hard but maybe it’s too much…