Thursday, April 17, 2008

SSBB: Maps update

Might have to turn this into a regular update or something... but an extended collection of the Brawl maps already listed. I decided to try a different approach as well with this update and include a text file introducing each of the maps and how the maps are designed. So here goes.

Metal : Live and Learn

Metal was the first map I created. It's not as hazardous as one might think at first glance. While it is a large map with plenty of space on the side for major launches and little room for recovery, the ground isn't as harsh as one expects. For those who are experts at the double jumps and "up+b" maneuvers, travel between the 3 main levels is fairly easy. For those who aren't so good at vertical movement, a couple of vertical lifts provide access to the top and middle layers.

The major trap of Metal is the metal box in the upper left hand corner. Getting into the box is fairly easy from the right hand or left hand sides, but with no vertical release, high damage counts are to be expected for those who face off inside the box.

Cautious players might be better served to stick to the lowest level and away from the box as the wide open sides offer plenty of recovery room.

Blocky : Seven Rings in Hand

Blocky was the second map created in the editor, built with the idea of creating less synchronous maps. The left side and top are completely open, but recovery isn't hopeless. The two ladders above the pillars are great for vertern jumpers getting an aerial advantage over their opponents. The moving and stable platforms along the left side of the map make for some interesting hold points, and offer recovery options to those sent flying.

The trap of Blocky is the lower right hand corner. The two pillars atop the enclosed sections give those sent flying a chance at not leaving the map, but it's vicious at the bottom. The middle lower portion of the map is almost entirely enclosed with blocks with only one exit. The idea is to create a high damage zone where players can't get away, but at the same time can't be smashed out.

Aggressive players will want to push the outside of Blocky and the left hand side. The tall vertical wall on the right hand side of blocky makes some smashes less likely to succeed. Cautious players will want to try and hang around the area under the pillars, where they have options to move, as well as retaining recovery chances.

Aery : Main Theme (Star Fox 64)

If Aery looks dangerous, that's because it is. There are no solid blocks to count on for recovery on this small map. Aery's main trick feature is the line of falling blocks along the upper side of the map. Underneath the falling blocks are 3 horizontal moving platforms that intersect with a vertical platform which can return players above the falling blocks. The very top of the map is comprised of the horizontal jump-through flooring, as well as the entire lower portion of the map.

Aggressive players will be all over Aery, pressing horizontal smash attacks to push other players outside of recovery. Cautious players will be in for a bit of trouble. The safest place to be is underneath the falling blocks, where there can be limited recovery for vertical smashes. The best advice for the cautious player is to keep moving.

BCAR4L : Ashley's Song

Be Careful is built on the same model as Aery. However the massive amounts of horizontal "jump-through" flooring pieces are swapped for diagonal pieces. The Falling blocks give way to a vertical corner and tunnel created by ice blocks. Inside the tunnel is a single vertical moving platform, and to the right of the tunnel is a ladder.

Be Careful is tough to play for those with heavy damage attacks. The multiple diagonal segments on the lower side of the map prevent all but the strongest smash attacks from succeeding. At the same time though, the only solid flooring being comprised of ice blocks presents a problem for those trying to make a stand atop the map. The best approach will probably be to hit and run, and aggressive players will work to push opponents to the edge or rack up enough damage to smash out. Cautious players will probably find the middle of the map under the ice blocks to be the best place to hang out.

Prison_1 : Ashely's Song (jp)

Truth be told, this map was modeled after numerous MegaMan games. Specifically the final zone where MegaMan has to go after all of the normal bosses... again. However, just 9 of the tech cages didn't seem like enough. One large map, 3 more cages inter-spaced at the top, and vertical platforms, and it seemed like a good idea.

Prison_1 is a challenge in vertical attacks. There simply is no place to make a stand or to take damage. Aggressive players will hate the large amount of space to traverse and few obtainable item drops. It's hard to press a constant attack anywhere, so low damage counts seem to be normal. Cautious players will hate the open space, but probably love being able to play keep away.

Aery_2 : Encounter

I can describe what I was thinking in one movie. Big Trouble in Little China.

The whole idea of this map is to keep jumping and sniping away at opponents in mid-air. Slight problem... that really doesn't work for a Smash Map. The concept would probably work better if there were more spots for players to gain recovery opportunities.

Trap : Vs Ridley

I love this map. The Trap maps are designed to be explicitly that... traps. The Outside of the map is marked with plenty of diagonal solid blocks on the upper left and right hand sides, topped by jump-through platforms. Inside the center of the map, the trap begins. Conveyor belts... encourage... players to step deeper inside. Falling blocks at the end of the conveyors help block the openings to the top of the map, so fighting can get heavy as the blocks come and go. The lower left and right hand sides are marked by two recovery opportunities. Players knocked off the top might be able to get to the pillars on the bottom... if they try.

The real trap though, is contained in the lower middle. A solid blocked segment only has access from the top by falling blocks... and from below? Nothing but air. Players can risk entering the trap and the platform inside, forcing those who want a kill to come down... But there's only one way out. If the falling blocks show back up? Players become locked down below with no other option but death. It's not so bad in Last Man Standing Matches... but torture when a kill count is on the line.

Cautious players will love this map. There's plenty of space on the inside to take a punch without going flying, and standing inside the trap itself is a perfectly acceptable option. Aggressive players will curse the map as they fight to keep themselves... and others... out of the trap.

Trap_2 : Underground Theme (Super Mario Bros.)

Trap_2 is a fairly open small map. The top portion contains a few jump-through platforms, and a couple of vertical moving platforms from the middle level, as well as some jump-through segments in the middle.

The fun starts as players move down the map. Conveyor belts... encourage... players to fall off the sides, and if that weren't bad enough, below the conveyor belts are 6 falling blocks, with 2 ice blocks, and only two open spaces.

The worst part? Below the Ice and falling blocks are nothing but spikes.

Falling down on this map can easily be lethal. Yes, it is possible to get back up to the mid level, but opposing players are not going to make that an easy occurrence. Cautious players are probably best served by hanging around the middle and trying to trap more aggressive players on the spikes below.

Ice Tunnel : Space Armada

Ice Tunnel is a basic map. One large square with 4 levels. There's a straight path down through the square, and the right and left sides share identical 3 block tunnels. The bottom of the Square is open on both sides, and the only way back up the top is either some creative jumping up the middle, or catching a ride on the vertical moving platforms. To make the cramped map worse, the flooring is filled with ice blocks, so good luck getting a grip on things.

Ice Tunnel is a choice map. Players can either take the fight into the square itself, risking high damage counts at the expensive of relative smash protection... or players can duke it out atop the square where there is more room to maneuver.

Layered Cake : Mario Circuit

At first glance Layered Cake is a standard Brawl map. A top level of jump-through flooring, a mid layer of solid blocks, and a relatively open area down below with diagonals and tech cages. Recover options abound for players flung off to the side, and vertical smashes are almost unheard of on the lower levels.

There is a catch though. The lower mid of the map features an ice flooring topped by solid and jump-through blocks. Those feeling adventurous or aggressive can try to lure opponents inside for high damage counts.

Otherwise, this map is fairly normal. It's cake.

QCQ : Battle for Storm Hill

QCQ falls in with Prison_1 as a map I'm not too particularly happy with. The Concept was to focus on building better small maps. The only special action item in the map is a falling block over some spikes, which are easy to get out of.

No_Safe_Place : MGS4 ~ Theme of Love ~ Smash Bros. Bawl Version

This is one nasty map, no way around it. The middle of the map features along drop tube down to a solid rounded chamber. The only way out is by two ladders extending 2/3 the length of the map. Outside the tub a sparse collection of platforms and conveyor belts discourage the adventurous sort. The spike filled bottom of the map offers some hope of recover for those outside the tube... at a price.

This map does have some problems. For starters, characters with un-interruptible "up+b" attacks, such as Ike, will find themselves trapped in the lower part of the tube. Characters with relatively horizontal "up+b" attacks, such as Donkey Kong, will also find themselves stuck. AI characters also have problems dismounting the ladders from inside the tube, and entering the tube from the outside.

The concept of this map is to focus attention on the tube itself. Damage counts of 500%+ were not uncommon as attempts to vertically smash opponents out of the tube and off the map waged into areas best described as ludicrous. The long sides of the tube and rounded bottom made all but the most perfect vertical launches unlikely to succeed, even at damage counts over 900%. yeah... I made a button masher map.

No_Safe_Place_2 : MGS4 ~ Theme of Love ~ Smash Bros. Bawl Version

No Safe Place 2 takes the tube concept and splits it, with tubes on both the left and right hand sides. Recovery options abound, with smash attacks from inside the tubes unlikely to generate an off the map launch, even at max damage of 999%. The outside edges of the maps are lined with spikes, and the lower portion is dangerously open.

However, vertical platforms down the middle of the map, and cages along the mid top offer cover options, as well as blocks and horizontal moving platforms along the bottom of the map.

This map does have a problem because of the ladders used to exit the tubes. AI characters may not properly dismount the ladders. Most AI characters also display a tendency to gravitate to the inside ledges.

No Safe Place 2 lives up to it's name. It's a knock down drag out fight, which I like.

Trap_3 : Climb Up! And Get The Last Chance!

Trap_3 is a continuation on the theme of Trap. As in the first Trap the top of the map features some solid and jump-through platforms.

The very middle of the map, however, is a filled with a trapezoid with two falling blocks on top, solid lined sides, and one falling block set into a near solid bottom. This is actually the second version of Trap_3. The first version was completely locked in, which didn't play test well. The falling block in the bottom was added so that players couldn't actually be locked in to the trapezoid. It was possible in a two person fight for both players to be inside the trapezoid when the upper blocks respawned, preventing either player from being able to smash out.

The outer sides of the Trapezoid are fitted with conveyors with pass useful items or players down below... where they'll find ice blocks and spikes inter-spaced along the lower side of the map. Those making use of the falling block from the Trapezoid will find that it exits right atop an ice block... surrounded by spikes.

Trap_3 is a fast action map where players can take their chances outside of the trapezoid... inside though, damage counts will go up in short order.

Trap_4 : Climb Up! And Get The Last Chance!

Trap_4 is a modification of the Trap_3 design. The conveyor belts on the sides of the map have been replaced by Ice Blocks, and the inter-spaced ice blocks and spikes below have given way to more spikes and falling blocks. The trapezoid has been modified to have an inside floor entirely made of falling blocks, all dropping onto spikes. The upper platforms also received modifications, the solid brick blocks changing to ice.

Simply put, this was to put Trap_3 into Challenge mode. This map is for aggressive players only. Stopping even for a moment can be a bad idea. It's best to work the outside edges with ranged characters and snipe in on melee characters who can, and probably will, make use of recovery options provided by the ice blocks around the trapezoid.

Mepis_Linux : Mute City

The first map where I attempted to spell something out inside the map itself. For those with jumping problems two vertical moving platforms provide access between the two layers.

Hey, I like it...

Je.Saist : Seven Rings in Hand

I think I crossed some line here spelling out my own self in a Brawl map. Which line I crossed, I don't know. When I find out, I'll let you know.

Attempting to give this map some playable value, the period in Je.Saist was provided by a recently unlocked pinwheel. Jump-Through Platforms abound, giving players options on places to run to, although the letters provide plenty of recovery options on their own.

Gamenikki : Marionation Gear

Almost all of the usable blocks for the map went into spelling out Gamenikki alone. Ergo the single gameplay-aid is a Jump-through platform helping vertically challenged jumpers move between the two levels. The G in Game provided a surprisingly nasty damage trap, the i, k, k, and i below offered some surprisingly effective recovery options from smash attacks. Overall the map turned out to play better than I thought it would.

Zeria : Ocarina of Time Medley

Another adventure to see what would fit on a Brawl map. Zerias wouldn't fit... but Zeria would. To spice up gameplay options the lower part of the map features four pinwheels, and 3 jump-through platforms help action head back into the letters.

No_Safe_Place_3 :
MGS4 ~ Theme of Love ~ Smash Bros. Bawl Version

The third No_Safe_Place map is really a... bugfixed... version of the first No_Safe_Place map. The ladders into the tube have been extended down a block, and the bottom of the tube has been shortened by a block. The ledges of the tube at the top were sheared off, and two of the bottom spikes taken out.

The removed blocks where used to provide another set of ledges along each side of the map, and distances were re-adjusted so that even vertically challenged characters like Donkey Kong could reliably make the jumps around the map.

The changes have improved AI interaction, and play testing yielded more smashes out of the tube itself. It's still a challenge... don't get that wrong.

Wheely_Bin_1 : Main Theme (Star Fox)

Wheely_Bin_1 was a return to working on open-air maps with few recovery opportunities available. The map gets its name from the four large pinwheels at each corner of the map. The middle of the map features 5 jump-through flooring levels 4 blocks wide.

The best way to approach this map is to be aggressive. There are no places to take cover, and even moderate horizontal smashes can put players at the mercy of the pinwheel timing.

Wheely_Bin_2 : Snake Eater (instrumental)

Wheely Bin 2 is an inverse of the first Wheely Bin map. The pinwheels are moved to the inside middle, and the platforms are split along the outside. The split outside platforms meant less foot room, and making up the lost foot room with the available parts meant taking the former 5 level flooring scheme and turning into a 4 level scheme with less floor panels per level.

Again, testing shows this map to best be handled by constant pressure on opponents.

Boxy : The Dark World

The Boxy maps were sort of inspired by something named llearch. with a solid outside frame, and pinwheels for eyes, the map is supposed to look like a somewhat smiling box going bald.

I don't know if I actually accomplished that. Anyways, high damage counts, but be wary of the vertical smashes.

Boxy_2 : King R.Rool / Ship Deck 2

Boxy 2 wound up looking more like Mike the TV than anything else... The solid side walls of Boxy 2 give way to a lower flooring comprised of nothing but falling blocks hanging right over a long line of spikes. Players then have a choice, if they get knocked down to the spikes and trapped... do they wait for somebody else to open up a block and use the open spot to get back up... or is it better to just take the fall?

Either way it goes, Boxy 2 is for those who are light on their feet and quick with the jumps.

Boxy_3 : King R.Rool / Ship Deck 2

Boxy 3 is just a deep box filled with 6 pinwheels. Nothing fancy. Just some solid sides, a solid bottom, an open top, and no place to recover if smashed over the left or right wall.

There are several ways to play this map. The walls at the bottom are great for piling on the damage and controlling other players with horizontal smashes. The pinwheels give options for getting above, and away, from the fray, useful in neutralizing those with heavy vertical attacks.

Half_N_Half_1 : Skyworld

I, and the AI, hate this map. The intent was to put the fighting on most diagonal surfaces, backed by pinwheels in two corners and platforms on the other two corners for recovery. The reality is that the AI had difficulty navigating the diagonal surfaces, and human opponents got lost in a hurry.

Only included because somebody else might like this.

Half_N_Half_2 : Ending (Yoshi's Story)

An attempt to inverse the first Half_N_Half by reversing the direction of the diagonals, putting the pinwheels in the platform backed corners, and thus hopefully giving players a less chaotic experience.

That didn't work out so well. Horizontal smashes to the left of the map are a cheap way to get through the map quickly. Horizontal smashes to the right invite chaos against the numerous diagonals, and AI opponents have trouble navigating the map.

Only included because somebody else might like this.

Rave Kitty : Clu Clu Land

Another play with the letter writing, and because I've been playing John Joseco and Jamie MacKenzie's character in CoH for a long time, I went with trying to spell out Rave Kitty.

The gameplay turned out better than I expected, although vertical movement needed to be aided with 3 vertical moving platforms, and a handful of jump-through flooring pieces.

Boxy_4 : Tunnel Scene (X)

A return to the box format. The upper 2/3 of the map are dominated by a nearly enclosed space filled with 2 pinwheels and 4 conveyors. Two jump-through platforms on the top edges of the box allow for vertical smashes out, which lead to utter chaos.

The lower 1/3 of the map is opened up with a relatively safe bottom, only tricked up by some jump-through platforms right in the middle for those who get careless dropping out of the box.

Aggressive players are in for a bit of trouble as the best place to rack up damage counts is inside the box itself, which is also a tough place to smash out of. Cautious players hold a small advantage since there are multiple hit and run options available, and plenty of enviroment items in the box itself to shut down opponents with ranged attacks.

Boxy_5 : Tunnel Scene (X)

Boxy 5 is boxy 4 thrown into an ice blender. Gone is the relatively safe bottom set of long diagonal bricks, replaced by ice blocks with a couple of conveyor feeds on the outside edges.

The inside of the box has been inversed, with the pinwheels, conveyors, and slots at the top swapping spots. Instead of being able to aim along the edge, Boxy 5 features a vertical smash window almost as tight as No_Safe_Place. Combat on the lower part of the box has been spiced up with a couple of ice blocks, so players can't always count on having a firm grip on the ground.

In play testing our cautious guys didn't like this version as much since the ice blocks removed some of the mobility from the map. As an aggressive player hitting the vertical smash window feels more challenging than in No_Safe_Place. The window is larger to hit since there are more spots to launch from, but it feels harder since there is more room for targets to run.


Alright, that's the current map count so far, as well as explanations and tips behind each one.

Post a Comment