1. Lesson 29: Degree of Focus

      written by Ray Benefield
      Another day, another lesson. Today's is extremely important. Expect more posts than usual this week. I plan on releasing Inception tomorrow and Cerberus Beast has another theory to present to the RP community on Tuesday. Conquest is slowly growing, keep spreading the word. Bartoge has released the second official conquest map, The Facility. Support him and Conquest on XForgery and Forgehub to help spread the word. Oh and here is the official Conquest thread on Forgehub. Remember to tag things with ReachingPerfection that you feel are appropriate. It helps spread the word. Also I finally officially started the base redesign for Helix so expect to see it in the second set of Alpha playtesting within the next couple of days. And if you haven't heard, The Cellars and the Flatline series have gone through a couple of updates, so re-download them from my fileshare. Flatline now requires 3 beatdowns and allows for assassinations, also Flatline Extermination was remade with SWAT to remove health packs from the maps. The Cellars had an object spawning error that I fixed as well. Also Sotha Sil and I are playtesting a new standard gametype that is currently codenamed Headhoarder. Send us a msg to get into the playtesting sessions. And Wolf (from Halo 3/Reach Forges) and I have a new innovative surprise in the works. Next lesson is Wednesday/Thursday. Stay tuned.




      Ever wonder what makes a spot easy to control compared to other areas of a map? It isn’t always just the amount of pathways that lead to it. There are many factors that can determine whether an area is easy to control or hard to control, but one of the main factors is the degree of focus that the area requires for control. What is degree of focus? Well let’s find out.


      Sphere of attention


      The degree of focus refers to the amount of area that a player must focus on visually in order to fully lock down an area. A completely open flat field requires 360 degrees of focus laterally and vertically… a full sphere of attention. In order for a player to fully control that type of area they have to divide their attention everywhere and stay vigilant at all times. Now on the opposite side of a coin, imagine a room with one entry way into it that can be watched without moving one’s perspective. The doorway serves as the only area of focus. The given area hence has a very minimal degree of focus required to lockdown that area. An area with a high degree of focus is typically not desirable, while an area with minimal degree of focus is typically very advantageous as it allows a player to divide his attention less.


      Path Manipulator


      Degree of focus is a very important thing to pay attention to for popular areas and main pathways. A low degree of focus can actually serve as a very strong incentive for many players acting as powerful as a sniper rifle or rocket launcher, as it gives them the ability to focus all of their attention with very little perspective variance. Increasing the degree of focus of an area can lessen an area’s incentive weighting and too much can actually become a strong deterrent. A large open area in the center of a map is a very popular technique to stop players from taking the quickest route as it has an extremely high degree of focus and is very hard to be in for any given amount of time. These areas are also popular places to situate powerful incentives like the rocket launcher as the high degree of focus lowers the incentive weighting of the rockets serving as a counterbalance to its power. And areas like a room with minimal entrances are great incentives to encourage players to move as they offer a sense of security. Degree of focus can serve as a powerful path manipulation tool if used correctly.


      More than just multiple paths


      Just having multiple paths to an area does not guarantee that the area will have a higher degree of focus. Degree of focus is based on how many perspective directions are required to lockdown the area. If all three paths in a room can be watched from one perspective then the room is just as easy to lockdown as a room with only one entrance. Requiring more perspective variance can also to control an area will also help decrease an area’s incentive weighting. Keep in mind that degree of focus includes the third dimension. Aerial combat is becoming very popular as a game mechanic. Placing a roof above an area can help reduce the degree of vertical focus while still keeping the high degree of lateral focus to help create the experience that you are looking for. Degree of focus can make or break a map and it can also be the focus of a map’s essence. Players love having tons of control over situations. As a designer, you control how much power they get. 


      23 comments:

      Anonymous said...

      ЎGracias por el artнculo. Cada vez que quieres leer.
      Have a nice day

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      Noklu said...

      Another great lesson, godly.
      If one wanted to write an article here, what does it take?

      I now can only be on the xbox (and forge) on my weekends now... D:

      It's funny that nobody in the Conquest thread on Forgehub realises that you and AZN FTW are one and the same.

      anANGRYkangaroo said...

      Good lesson... Although I sorta know this technique, im just not good at it :P

      How wide/long does the map have to be for Conquest? And is it allowed to fork somewhat like ---<>--- ?

      Ive also been workin on a few more maps, Ive got a single Flag Stockpile that is something like rocket race in a skatepark, and I radically edited "The Cage"... Im just trying to think of a synonym for Cage for a cool name

      GodlyPerfection said...

      Conquest maps are never allowed to fork. All focus should be from one direction.

      SmartAlec13 said...

      Like godly said, no forking.

      And width? Like 1-3 of those gridsquares

      anANGRYkangaroo said...

      Fair enough... Is the map allowed to be hilly? Like elevated or anything?

      SmartAlec13 said...

      I mean it can be. Like the hallways can slant up/down, or you can have small bumps just to spice it up.

      anANGRYkangaroo said...

      Okay :) Good to know, i'll start work on a conquest map soon... Oh, also, is the map allowed to have any turns in it? _____/----- kind of thing? or be U shaped?

      GodlyPerfection said...

      Yeah that is perfection fine. The main thing though is that territories should be easily distinguishable from each other.

      The Ardly374 said...

      G-Perf, send me an E-Mail or hop on Live for a quick minute. Check B-net for the message if you want to know why.

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