1. Lesson 20: Safe Spawning

      written by Ray Benefield
      Today we celebrate lesson 20 of my Forge Lessons. We have come very far in our journey and it has been a little over a month since I started. I hope you have enjoyed the series thus far and continue to read it. I will be slowing down my lessons a little bit with reach right around the corner. Only expect to see them every 3 or 4 days now. Don't fret though. An official lesson may not appear for 3 or 4 days, but that doesn't mean we won't be using them in between those days. I will be starting something where you will be applying your lessons learned. So stay tuned. And for those who have not given your testimonials for the series yet, please take some time to visit the BNet thread for the series and give your testimonial so more may make use of this series. And I welcome all of you who are new here. Feel free to press the "Disqus" button to login above the comment box below, make a profile, and introduce yourself here. We welcome all of you with open arms. Now swan dive into the best lessons of the forging world. I may give you a lesson on Sunday, if nothing else is going on Reach wise. ;) Laterz...




      Have you ever spawned into a map and were instantly being fired upon when you spawned in? Do you remember how frustrating that is? How about when you spawn and walk a couple of steps and instantly fall victim to a grenade due to all of the combat nearby? Have you ever spawned at the same time as someone else facing each other only to run at each other spraying and praying that you will be the one that lives? Remember not having any time to react or strategize? Not a fun feeling, is it?


      Flat-footedness


      Flat-footed is an adjective that refers to someone as being “unprepared” or “unable to react quickly”. Being flat-footed is not an enjoyable experience for most of those who enjoy fighting. Most fighters love being able to strategically prepare for each incoming attack while removing every possible disadvantage that they may have. Flat-footedness is one of those disadvantages and as a designer you too should do your best to remove this uncomfortable feeling from your maps. No player enjoys being caught off guard unable to use their skill to the best of their advantage. It is one thing for the player to put themselves in that position, at that point they blame themselves and you have nothing to worry about. However if they are caught flat-footed when they spawn that is the fault of the designer and you will be blamed for your poor design skills. Don’t let the player blame you. If you do you have given your player a bad first impression and that isn’t something that we want.


      Avoiding the “unfun”


      So how do you avoid making your players miserable? First thing you want to do is observe high traffic areas with high combat congestion. The more traffic an area is receiving, the higher chance that a player is going to get thrown into the middle of it. Another thing to take a look at is how your map’s path manipulation is moving player’s around the map. Observe where you have placed your incentives and if nearby player’s are going to follow the objective path of their path map towards a nearby spawning player to obtain that incentive. Even more so if the player has the knowledge of the map to know that there is a sniper that spawns around there at certain intervals. Spawn players in low eye catching areas of popular perspectives. If you know that a player on the sniper tower is always looking down at a certain spot in his threat zone, don’t spawn a player near the eye catching portions of his perspective. It will just result in a very sad spawning player. And a sad player is a player not playing or sharing your map.


      Spawning is important


      Spawning is one of the most important parts of level design that can make or break a map. You’ve already seen how important spawning is through spawn perspectives and smooth spawning. This is just another thing that you need to look out for. Remember that a player’s first impression is everything when they play your map and that spawning is the first few seconds of that experience. If you disappoint them in those first few seconds then you have failed your player and they may not come back. Think about all of the things that you have stopped after experiencing the first few seconds, minutes, or hours. Don’t make that kind of stuff. Trust me.


      10 comments:

      IxFlashPointxI said...

      Nice lesson Godly. I remember you talking about this the other day. I must be ahead :P. Looking forward to Reach on Tuesday, I'll be on about 1:30 pm central so about like 11 your time...
      If you want to play some customs, just send me an invite. Just remember to save a spot for me, :P.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      Lol you are only slightly ahead... and I will send you an invite when I start playtesting not sure how long it will take to finish a lot of my easier maps...

      IxFlashPointxI said...

      and I plan to keep it that way. And no prob, I'm free anytime after likr 4 pm central on weekdays. I have most of all my weekends, Wensday I usually have to hang out with my gf at church so... I'm not free after 6 central on Wensdays.

      Bartoge said...

      This is probably one of the best things I have improved upon with my recent maps. I have liked nailed each spawn to make it both smooth and safe. And really, Im like you Godly, where I don't use many respawn points at all. I think I had like 14 on Desistance and the spawns worked pretty good for even that 6v6 I played. Anyway, I would say this in combination with smooth spawning is one of the most important things you can perfect on your map. If you have good spawns, no matter how crappy your design is, you are better off than the person with an awesome design and crappy spawns.

      On a side note: I feel like all of your articles on spawns need to be linked togethor somehow. Maybe you could have a subsection under lessons, labeled spawning and then have it in your feature bar as well. I mean, you really can't stress how important spawning is, and it really fits in well with your first impresssions article. So yeah, maybe a drop down bar for lessons. Would that even be possible? Also, you dont just have to have spawns. As more things pop up that could really be clumped together, you could put those off in a sub-section too. Just a thought.

      anANGRYkangaroo said...

      Great advice on spawns, and i have a suggestion for a future topic; The Differences in Crafting Objective maps vs Slayer maps. Such as the fact that in CTF an enemy might be considered a Deterrent, whereas in a Slayer match, and enemy could be considered an Incentive. Also, the different uses of the Vehicles between Objective vs Slayer, different paths used and etc. Also, in regards to attacking/ defending a base. Is there sufficient ammo/ weapons/ cover/ AA to defend this base? Or ditto for the attackers?

      SPARTAN 328 said...

      Hey I just created an account and I thought I should say that haha. Great job thniking about this bit (sorry for my laziness) "If you know that a player on the sniper tower is always looking down at a certain spot in his threat zone, don’t spawn a player near the eye catching portions of his perspective. "
      I never thought of that and I am definitely going to use it.

      SPARTAN 328 said...

      Umm it's not working... I posted and it said enter a comment to post..

      SPARTAN 328 said...

      Oh woops sorry it did work haha.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      lol good to see that you created an account that's awesome bro. Welcome to the community. And I deleted your other two comments since they weren't really needed.

      Glad you enjoyed it and keep in mind that that is just one situation... keep looking out for more Spartan.

      Oh and remember that you can change your avatar by editing your profile so that way people can recognize your picture.

      Dj7291993 said...

      Hey, I just created an account (I did comment as a guest with the same name on an earlier lesson). I'm finding these really useful. Can't wait till I get my 360 fixed and grab a copy of reach. Also, thanks for working with G0DSR3GR3T, else I wouldn't have found you.