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What makes a good station/ship?
#1
Question 
With map rotation being a thing, I was wondering what other people thought makes for a good design, station wise. Here's some elements I like:

Simple, but branching pathways
First and foremost are the hallways. The way they are laid out dictates the opportunities players have for interactions. Destiny, with it's long, straight hallways makes it hard not to bump into people, while Cog2 offers so many alternatives that it's easy to disappear.

A good map should offer a bit of both; A key pathway with some branches or loop that rejoin, creating critical junction areas.

Liminal Space
One thing I dislike about Cog 2 is the lack of space between spaces. You leave a hallway and step directly into Medbay, or the hallways cut into the bar. Sometimes I think it's appropriate to have some kind of area such as a lobby in between. It creates a notch for people to be not quite in a department while out of the way of people transiting through the halls.

Risk vs Reward maintenance and catwalks
Traversing through these areas should be a calculation. It should offer quicker shortcuts, AI deadspace, or access to areas that are harder to get into. At the same time it should be a lot more dangerous. A great example would be taking the catwalk on Cog 1 that ran from disposals to the smelter. You risked exposure and PTL death, but saved a lot of time.

A centralized Medbay and securit
Medbay and security are two areas that need rapid response times to be most effective. If you can work them into the middle of the station, you've effectively made all the farthest points of the station the same distance from them, saving the needs for checkpoints
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#2
Traffic control. You want people to come into contact often, but not be a burden on one-another.

Cog1 is a good example. One main path leading from arrivals/thebar to escape/medical with alternative routes that are smaller and inconvenient, but still usable. The civilian, medsci, and engineering sectors are linked together in an intelligent fashion that allows for easy cooperation. It's also doesn't restrict vision much, so you can see other people even if you can't reach them.

Old post; I was in a mood:
The objective (IMO) is facilitating (or in some cases, forcing) interactions.

My perspective:
- Maint should be largely useless to anyone but murderers, blobs and the occasional engineer/janitor/mechanic.

- Major traffic should be pushed down a single hallway. Given how atmos is you might want airlocks that close when they sense bad or missing atmos.

- The map should be neither spacious nor cramped; just cozy. I'll admit that's hard to hit.


- A healthy medium on EQ. Everyone should have access to quality internals given how atmos is. Everyone should have access to items that make cold (cold, not space) less annoying. Everything else could be dialed back from cog2 levels.

- I agree with Sec and Medical being central. It'd be nice if the Bar was central too.


- Engineering should be in a place where it can't burn down the whole station or impede traffic. -spoiler-I do find it ironic that while the PTL and PTL airlocks creates a perfect tollbooth zone, nobody runs a tollbooth. I guess if you don't build your own thing it goes from 'crafty and enterprising' to 'dickish and lazy'.-spoiler-


Granted I say all this but you could just as easily have a zeta-hive station where there are no hallways, only shuttles, and it'd still be fun.
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#3
Space.

Not the outer kind, the kind to move about in.

I hate Destiny because it feels claustrophobic. You are so limited in your movements, and are forced into single-wide corridors, or on to a simple non-branching path. Frank_Stein really did a good job of touching on this topic, but for me, I'd rather sit bored and stare at a wall for 90 minutes than play a 90 minute round where I feel claustrophobic.

Cog 2 is amazing for space, and Cog 1 was great too. My play experience on other maps is too limited to properly assess.
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#4
What helps a station be great? Doors that are easy to close. Cogmap2's doors are shit and therefore loses a feel points on the quality score.

Still a great station and close to being perfect.

Teddy pretty much said what I was going to say so I don't want to repeat his points.
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#5
In addition to what others have said, I appreciate very much when a station has rooms that are just there for roleplay purposes. Things like the arcade on Cog2, or the gimmick job offices (lawyer, journalist, etc.) from Cog1.

Also, lots of spare metal and glass. If there's not like six maintenance closets full of metal, I cry baby tears.
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#6
You know, and interesting concept for a map would be one where security is literally the center of the map. It'd motivate security officers to actually check on security every now, making it a dangerous place for antagonists, instead of the free-goodies zone it usually is.
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#7
I Like a floor plan That I'm unlikely to get lost in, also I Enjoy when their are secret things/rooms (The room next to the confession booth for instance.)
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#8
(01-23-2017, 05:38 PM)CameronWoof Wrote: In addition to what others have said, I appreciate very much when a station has rooms that are just there for roleplay purposes. Things like the arcade on Cog2, or the gimmick job offices (lawyer, journalist, etc.) from Cog1.

Also, lots of spare metal and glass. If there's not like six maintenance closets full of metal, I cry baby tears.
I also enjoy some empty space, as if it's a room that seems half finished and still being constructed. Gives the map room for expansion later on while creating an area for people to build gimmick rooms
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#9
(01-23-2017, 07:18 PM)Frank_Stein Wrote:
(01-23-2017, 05:38 PM)CameronWoof Wrote: In addition to what others have said, I appreciate very much when a station has rooms that are just there for roleplay purposes. Things like the arcade on Cog2, or the gimmick job offices (lawyer, journalist, etc.) from Cog1.

Also, lots of spare metal and glass. If there's not like six maintenance closets full of metal, I cry baby tears.
I also enjoy some empty space, as if it's a room that seems half finished and still being constructed. Gives the map room for expansion later on while creating an area for people to build gimmick rooms

Definitely this. Clearing out the pod bay in Cargo and building a chemistry lab in there is always fun.
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#10
(01-22-2017, 05:36 PM)Frank_Stein Wrote: Good stuff
Liminal Space
One thing I dislike about Cog 2 is the lack of space between spaces. You leave a hallway and step directly into Medbay, or the hallways cut into the bar. Sometimes I think it's appropriate to have some kind of area such as a lobby in between. It creates a notch for people to be not quite in a department while out of the way of people transiting through the halls.
Other Good stuff
As a Sec fan, I actually like this aspect of Cog2: you can instantly see the state of a department just by walking past it. If somebody bombs the cloner or robotics, you can't miss that. Contrast Cog1, where the medbay is recessed from the hallway. I've been in rounds for 30 min on Cog1, finding some poor corpse and dragging it to the cloner, only to then notice that the Medbay is actually gone.

(01-23-2017, 02:09 AM)Vitatroll Wrote: Also Good stuff
I do find it ironic that while the PTL and PTL airlocks creates a perfect tollbooth zone, nobody runs a tollbooth. I guess if you don't build your own thing it goes from 'crafty and enterprising' to 'dickish and lazy'.
I blame a severe lack of player initiative. I seen (low-pop) rounds, where the antagonists weren't complete fucking shit stains and just took things easy. When this rare opportunity for true greatness presents itself, 3/5 players will start to bitch that they are bored. BORED!!! On Goonstation. Bored On Goonstation! Those words can not even be used in the same sentence without causing paradox!

Ahem, back on topic: A key feature of travel routes (maintenance or hallway) should be that they are strait along the X-Y lines. A key problem with Destiny is that the maintenance shafts and rooms are a series of up-left-up-left; extremely tedious to navigate when combined with BYOND's input-delay and lag issues.
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#11
So dions talked to me forever ago about this, but having a 'flow' to medbay is important.

You can kinda see this principle in action on the Clarion.

[Image: Tw2RdIw.png]

You come in through the lobby.

Right away, you can choose to operate or to shove in the cyrochambers.

Then, you have the option of running in the medical supply room (which is locked to doctors!!!!!) and grabbing stuff you need.

Next, you choose either cloning or robotics if you wish to resurrect them.

If that fails, then you can shove them in the morgue.

ramble below
Another important aspect of design is vertical and horizontal oriented design. If you have mainly vertical hallways, the corridors will feel 'longer' and you are more likely to be privy to dangers running down or up at you. However if the hallways are horizontal, the hallways are going to be more action packed since people will see eachother faster. I know that whole claim of design might not make that much sense, but think about it. Where are the most action packed places on cogmap2? I bet if we gathered data it would look a lot like:
[Image: n9wtQze.png]
A lot of horizontal areas (not saying thats purely because of my theory, it's also how the map is designed. Cogmap1 now (again, just my opinion):
[Image: 632CoBb.png]

At the very least, it's an interesting thing to look at once, remember, and maybe think about it if you ever design a map.

edit: ramble more, but it's interesting looking at the differences of 'action spots' on cogmap1 and 2
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#12
Totally agreed that space is a key issue. I feel that Cog2 has too much of it, but disagree with the opinion that Destiny does not: It's a low pop server.
For me Cog2 has too much of ALOT of things:
A) Too much belt hell. This would be rectified by placing QM where belt hell is, essentially making QM centralized.
B) Too much items. This axes the surivival angle of the game, it's not the same when everyone and their grandmother has a utility belt, insulated gloves and taser.
C) Too much room, too much "quirky rooms". There's a problem when alot of the quirky unused rooms are just filler. They become dead zones, great for hiding corpses, but not good for having chats. By too much room, I also mean the general size.

There's also a lack of literal space. I can count on one hand the amount of pod fights I got into cog2, while on cog1 it was quite frequent, because the windows were  largely exposed and there was a space corridor running through the core. This is important.  The space station NEEDS to feel like a space station.

Flow is important, like Zewaka said, but also there needs to be knots, like Frank Stien touched on. A sudden break in flow where, social gatherings happen.

Other things I like
- A bar at arrivals. This forces people to interact, rather than scurry along to their respective department.
- An engine that's in a choke-point, but also not in an area that would create mass death of the crew. Cog2 does this a little too well, there's no fast way around the PTL.
- Speaking of the PTL, the PTL needs to be positioned more evilly than it's current form, without being a massive pain in the ass. Should be easy to get around, but also a likihood that your pod or ejected corpse may fly into it accidently.
- I don't agree that security or medical needs to be centralized. They definetely need to be easy to get to, the latter easy to get around (like zewaka said) the former hard to get around (it's security godamnit)
- Like frank said, maintanence and catwalks needs to be an option of risk:reward. Maintanence shouldn't be something that takes up much room, but it definetely should house items for repressurasation. The repressuration rooms are, mostly, underused because they are effectively useless. Large anchored air cannisters for refilling is what is needed instead.
- I'd like to see the bridge and AI chamber amalgamated in some aspect, or at least near each other. Destiny would be a poor example of this, in my humble opinion, but that's only because of lack of room.

Heck this makes me want to finish designing my map.
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#13
(01-24-2017, 10:14 AM)Sundance Wrote: C) Too much room, too much "quirky rooms". There's a problem when a lot of the quirky unused rooms are just filler. They become dead zones, great for hiding corpses, but not good for having chats. By too much room, I also mean the general size.

Destiny in the opposite has too little of these rooms, so you can't do much without it being quickly discovered or going to the debris field
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#14
(01-24-2017, 10:35 AM)Maegor Wrote:
(01-24-2017, 10:14 AM)Sundance Wrote: C) Too much room, too much "quirky rooms". There's a problem when a lot of the quirky unused rooms are just filler. They become dead zones, great for hiding corpses, but not good for having chats. By too much room, I also mean the general size.

Destiny in the opposite has too little of these rooms, so you can't do much without it being quickly discovered or going to the debris field

As far as quirky rooms go, I think their placement along the main path flow is important when it comes to their use. Compare the boxing ring to the arcade and game room on Cog2. One you happen across in your routine route and the other you have to intentionally visit. It would probably get even less foot traffic if going back there wasn't a way to break into botany
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#15
I've been working on a map for almost a year now, and after studying the designs of all the maps of the past and actually using the tools myself, I 100% agree with the importance of space in design. (Who would have thought in -space- station 13).

After making a skeleton I feel like I am missing a lot in the muscles and fat, though. What makes a good "quirk room"? All the classics such as the owlery, barber, arcade etc. are staples, but what makes them function well? Is there any room for more than the normal ones?
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