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Map Concepts
#1
Something I've been thinking about while working on a map design is how the environment informs player behavior and interactions. What how does the way you're forced to navigate space inform your mood and decision making. How your environment shapes you.

So this is a thread for sharing a concept for how you want people to feel in a map, and what design decisions you can use to invoke those feelings.

Want a room to feel dangerous and exciting? Give it only one entrance and exit, and make it cramped. Give it a good hiding spot to observe people entering it from, and place a very sought after item in there. Now you have a good ambush point. Players start interacting because of how you've created encounter spaces.

Want to create a laissez faire attitude through atmosphere? Do what Samedi did, and stick a public bar around every corner.
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#2
Is it worth mentioning pros and cons of current maps that we like? If not meant for this thread let me know.

I tried my hand at drafting a concept map, and by the time I put everything together in the google sheets I was using I realized that the main thoroughfare design is incredibly important. Its very possible for a map to be too large or to have too many primary corridors. Cog1 has one primary corridor and in a pinch you can run through space between disposals and the arc smelter. Goon2 is a loop, which makes it so that you will run into people eventually if you keep on walking. Oshan follows the same corridor idea as Cog2, but its a smaller loop so it seems to work better with less people (imo)

I played around with the idea of an X or t shaped setup, but if no one had reason to go to science it seemed less active in a way. Better for blobs perhaps though!
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#3
Every wing, subsection, slice, however you want to subdivide it - Every place has two types of rooms, similar to a mall.
You've got Anchors, the departments and areas that generate or circulate heavy traffic,
and you've got the other spaces, which are only useful situationally.

The most important aspect of a map feeling alive is the correct balance of anchor and other areas.
Cafeteria
Crew Quarters
Owlery
Gym
Net Café
Pool
Arcade
Market
Courtroom
Bathrooms
Genetics
Chapel
All of the above *require* proximity to anchor departments in order to see adequate traffic.

The biggest generators of traffic are Medbay, Arrivals, Security, QM, and Escape. From there, the rest of the primary-producer departments (those that dont rely on other people as clients the way the bar does) also generate traffic. Putting one of the less-traveled areas "in the way" is the only surefire way to generate action in those spaces. This, IMO, should be the biggest driver of layout, not navigability between critical departments.
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#4
(03-28-2019, 08:16 AM)John Warcrimes Wrote: Every wing, subsection, slice, however you want to subdivide it - Every place has two types of rooms, similar to a mall.
You've got Anchors, the departments and areas that generate or circulate heavy traffic,
and you've got the other spaces, which are only useful situationally.

The most important aspect of a map feeling alive is the correct balance of anchor and other areas.
Cafeteria
Crew Quarters
Owlery
Gym
Net Café
Pool
Arcade
Market
Courtroom
Bathrooms
Genetics
Chapel
All of the above *require* proximity to anchor departments in order to see adequate traffic.

The biggest generators of traffic are Medbay, Arrivals, Security, QM, and Escape. From there, the rest of the primary-producer departments (those that dont rely on other people as clients the way the bar does) also generate traffic. Putting one of the less-traveled areas "in the way" is the only surefire way to generate action in those spaces. This, IMO, should be the biggest driver of layout, not navigability between critical departments.
 
And those rooms in between are excellent buffers for bombs and atmosphere leaks so two anchor rooms don't get taken out at once
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#5
What is the appetite for stations that are not located in space, since Oshan was introduced?

Like, it's SS13 of course but it's clear from a lore aspect that SS13 is built as an array around Sol, with Oshan as one of the orbiting planets.

To to cut to the chase - I've barebones of a station that's situated on a lush alien planet (purple, to distinguish itself from the blue hues of Oshan). Basically my idea involves:

- Instead of space/water to deal with, there's monsters and pockets of radiation. The monsters regularly spawn and aren't scrubs. In fact regular weaponry will not work against them. The AI has access to turrets and a forcefield to keep them at bay.
- The temperature is temperate but the air is poisonous. You can walk the world with a gas mask on. For this reason bombs aren't too effective here.
- There's ruins surrounding the station for you to explore, but is "boxed" in like Oshan. It has it's own standalone lore (whether peeps want to tie that in with Sol is up2u)
- Z5 and the Debris field remains *almost* the same. The station design is that it's connected to a Space Elevator (functionally similar to the elevator in the Ice Moon, which is essentially a spaceship) which transports players to orbit. The Space Elevator effectively replaces the Mining spaceship.
- This map would be excellent for on RP where it encourages PvE
-  Aesthetically, it takes the "departmental feel" of Cog2 and ramps it up several notches. Command/Sec is ultra hi-tech while Civ section is grimy and dangerous.

This is just a rainy day project for me, it's basically a map to toy around with various sprites I've accumulated over the years. It doesn't have as many hurdles as Oshan does - Water code, a new engine, a sub area. It's main concerns are plethora of spriting it would require, followed by mob code which I would need assistance with for sure. 

I realized this started out as a question and went off on a ramble, but I digress - is there appetite for this? Is more weird diverging maps what people want? Cog1 / Cog2 seems to be the staple diet of players these days, which is why I ask.
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#6
hello also this is required reading for map people: https://forum.ss13.co/showthread.php?tid=8009

please note my effortpost https://forum.ss13.co/showthread.php?tid...6#pid90816
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#7
(04-05-2019, 06:32 AM)Sundance Wrote: What is the appetite for stations that are not located in space, since Oshan was introduced?

Like, it's SS13 of course but it's clear from a lore aspect that SS13 is built as an array around Sol, with Oshan as one of the orbiting planets.

First of all, I think the appetite for Stations not located in space are a good idea. I quite enjoy your jungle map idea, I for one had my own idea that I have slowly been working on - but i'm inexperienced in mapping.

Cause I have an idea for a map I wanted for a long time but i'm unsure if i'm skilled enough to make it a reality.

My own idea is an Ice Map. Snowy, freezing cold outside. Blizzardy and dark. If Oshan is the map that requires internals but doesnt freeze you like space, this could be the map that does freeze you but you dont need internals. The idea is an icy snow planet, blizzards would be a semi-common occurrence, and if you stray too far from the station you risk getting buried - or finding mysterious snow loot and abandoned buildings. Breaches in the hull would quickly result in some snow and rapid freezing. Heaters would be a common occurence.

As well I am debating if the map would require treks outside through worn paths lit up by those night sticks in the snow and tape. Might make a very atmospheric map. As I said though, it's just a concept right now, i'm still trying to learn how to map. If anyone actually skilled in mapping likes it go ahead.

Anyways back on topic to your idea. I love the concept of Stations that arent specifically space. A jungle colony is great, and just like you I think most of the problem is the plethora of sprites needed.

Probably way too ambitious though. I just want a snowy map.
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#8
(04-08-2019, 03:44 AM)TheMaskedMan2 Wrote: My own idea is an Ice Map. Snowy, freezing cold outside. Blizzardy and dark. If Oshan is the map that requires internals but doesnt freeze you like space, this could be the map that does freeze you but you dont need internals. The idea is an icy snow planet, blizzards would be a semi-common occurrence, and if you stray too far from the station you risk getting buried - or finding mysterious snow loot and abandoned buildings. Breaches in the hull would quickly result in some snow and rapid freezing. Heaters would be a common occurence.

You have a thing for The Thing, don't you?

This is essentially the Ice Moon Z-level that already exists made into a standalone map, albeit with breathable air (from a lore aspect, you could just say that your area is terraformed). You actually have a ton of resources if you fish around the existing code, particularly snowy spooky atmosphere, deep ravines, etc etc. You could even tie it in with the existing Ice-Moon lore, which I believe is also influenced by Changelings.
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#9
(04-08-2019, 06:31 AM)Sundance Wrote: You have a thing for The Thing, don't you?

This is essentially the Ice Moon Z-level that already exists made into a standalone map, albeit with breathable air (from a lore aspect, you could just say that your area is terraformed). You actually have a ton of resources if you fish around the existing code, particularly snowy spooky atmosphere, deep ravines, etc etc. You could even tie it in with the existing Ice-Moon lore, which I believe is also influenced by Changelings.

Yes, Yes I do, my favorite movie. I'm not usually this obsessed but i've been on a big kick lately. Besides that, but in all honesty I do think it's a good concept for a map, and it's been something i've been tossing around in my head for a while. I like the idea of snowy winter suits on some weird ice planet. I wasn't aware of Outpost Theta being a massive area, it's one of the few adventure zone areas I haven't seen or done, so if that code is in the 2016 release I could peak around there for it. Once I get the hang of mapping.

Another vague idea I had was similiar to oshan but more deep-sea trench with bioluminescent critters but eh, one step at a time.
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#10
I've kind of settled on a theme for the map i'm doing now. The idea is that it's an old but reliable station that's been critically understaffed for the last 50 years, and so the non-essential areas have fallen into disrepair. This mostly just means that non-essential rooms and maintenance tunnels are dirty and are missing floor tiles here and there. I'll have a few rooms that are gutted so players can set up shop there and build what they want since that's part of the fun.

Is there much SS13 lore, canonically? Are stations close to earth at all or are they in some distant solar system?
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#11
(04-08-2019, 03:44 AM)TheMaskedMan2 Wrote:
(04-05-2019, 06:32 AM)Sundance Wrote: What is the appetite for stations that are not located in space, since Oshan was introduced?

Like, it's SS13 of course but it's clear from a lore aspect that SS13 is built as an array around Sol, with Oshan as one of the orbiting planets.

First of all, I think the appetite for Stations not located in space are a good idea. I quite enjoy your jungle map idea, I for one had my own idea that I have slowly been working on - but i'm inexperienced in mapping.

Cause I have an idea for a map I wanted for a long time but i'm unsure if i'm skilled enough to make it a reality.

My own idea is  an Ice Map. Snowy, freezing cold outside. Blizzardy and dark. If Oshan is the map that requires internals but doesnt freeze you like space, this could be the map that does freeze you but you dont need internals. The idea is an icy snow planet, blizzards would be a semi-common occurrence, and if you stray too far from the station you risk getting buried - or finding mysterious snow loot and abandoned buildings. Breaches in the hull would quickly result in some snow and rapid freezing. Heaters would be a common occurence.

As well I am debating if the map would require treks outside through worn paths lit up by those night sticks in the snow and tape. Might make a very atmospheric map. As I said though, it's just a concept right now, i'm still trying to learn how to map. If anyone actually skilled in mapping likes it go ahead.

Anyways back on topic to your idea. I love the concept of Stations that arent specifically space. A jungle colony is great, and just like you I think most of the problem is the plethora of sprites needed.

Probably way too ambitious though. I just want a snowy map.

One thing that should be noted is that Goonstation intentionally removed most atmospheric mechanics, and adding in these heating mechanics might undo that to some degree.
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