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sky_lark's Greatest Hits list

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sky_lark

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Posts: 1890

Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:00 pm

Location: North Carolina

Post Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:54 pm

sky_lark's Greatest Hits list

sky_lark's Greatest Hits list:

- Endless War, by Philip Turner. Easily one of the best retrieves of the Zap! era, and likely Bitfighter too. It's like FistFight, in that the flags are tucked away in each base, so players need to use their raw strength to get in. But the map also caters to newbies, who can repair numerous forcefields and turrets. My favorite aspect is the defendable shortcut: Players can destroy (or defend) a laserbeam in the middle of the map to open up a shortcut teleporter in their base. Ideal for 3v3+.

- Blitz, by Philip Turner. This map is similar to Endless War and utilizes the same shortcut teleporter component. It's a bit trickier to navigate than Endless War, but there are plenty of hiding spots and crevices -- perfect for cloakers. This is also a really great map for newbies. Ideal for 5v5+.

- Smile, by Drex. He may have been a douchebag, but he was a great mapmaker. This is a "short and sweet" map, ideal for fillers in between largescale battle rounds. There's nothing more awesome than finishing an epic battle, waiting for the next map, then launching into a frenzy as 10 players compete in crowded rooms. Don't let the simplicity of the map, or the extreme amount of turrets/forcefields intimidate you. This one's a classic. Ideal for 3v3+.

- Plumbing, by Hamster. Wow. This map was a marvel in the peak of Zap!'s design era. Hamster figured out how to work curved walls and an intelligent layout into a ridiculously fun map. It's tricky, because there's a bottlenecked area right outside the bases that is often a source for conflict. Players will venture into the pipes to obtain flags, then have to fight their way through the channel into the base. The best part is that, while the bases seem impenetrable, they're not. Players can either cloak and wait for an enemy to cross over the entrance laser, or try to actually destroy the laser by shooting through the narrow crack out of which it is emitted. Fun times were had on this gem. Ideal for 5v5+.

- Bridge, by Hamster and redesigned by sky_lark. This map utilizes tight natural defenses, leading to intense gameplay and necessary teamwork. Players can cross the first half of the bridge by moving through their own lasers, but to cross the second half they must weave up and down through the obstacles. Players can choose to cloak and sneak through it, or fight their way through it with raw strength. Ideal for 5v5+.

- Eden, by absolute. Classic CTF map with very intelligent design. Bases are bottlenecked, so it's tough to get in and out without being crushed, but with teamwork it is possible. There are multiple routes allowing for diversity. And bots seem to play reasonably well on this one. Ideal for 3v3+.

All maps are attached in a zip file. Some updates were made, the major ones listed below. In the case of these updated maps I also included the original versions, but I would strongly recommend going with the updated versions. I didn't make any gameplay changes, just polishing and remastering.

- Endless War
--- Centered the map. It was originally aligned to the left by ten small squares. Not sure how I never noticed that…
--- Added missing defense to the dark team.
--- Lightened dark team's colors slightly.

- Smile
--- Added one neutral laserbeam to each base in a casual location.
--- Added a slow asteroid spawner in the center of the map. Once the entire defenses for a team are down, it's difficult to make significant repairs, and the map loses a little of its value. The asteroid generator should keep things interesting even after five minutes of the game.

- Plumbing
--- Speedzones work as they are, but you'll have to hug the wall a little more. The only change I made here was reducing their speed from 2000 to 1500 so at least you're not bouncing off every wall.

GreatestHits.zip
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Quartz

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Posts: 879

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:14 am

Location: Commie California

Post Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:55 am

Re: sky_lark's Greatest Hits list

Eden = yes.

Everything else = hahahahahaha

Bridge will always be a neat concept but it just doesn't play that well.
Exploits of Quartz and bobdaduck - My maps on Pleiades
Current self-serving quote:
raptor wrote:sometimes I think getting Quartz to use plugins is like getting my mom to use a computer
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sky_lark

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Posts: 1890

Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:00 pm

Location: North Carolina

Post Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:00 pm

Re: sky_lark's Greatest Hits list

Worth noting that I designed this list not just on account of quality, but also because these maps were unique and enjoyable enough to stick with me over all these years. Even now whenever a Hampster map comes up I'll get all giddy and excited.

Bridge may not be the most soundly designed map, but it's definitely a fun one. It also encompasses one my favorite aspects of Bitfighter - the challenge of breaching an enemy's base, surviving long enough to grab the flag, then barreling away desperately, under pounding fire from nearby enemies. The score in Bridge may not reach above 1-0 but that's what I like about it.

This same concept is really noticeable in Endless War and Blitz. Try to get past the enemy defenses and survive long enough to capture the zones. It's not easy. These are hard maps.

I feel like many of the maps generated today have moved the focus of difficulty from the level design to the players. In other words, maps are designed to be easier with the understanding that player combat will make the round hard or intense. This isn't inherently wrong; in fact, it's a good thing that we're at a stage where we can expect a degree of combat intensity, and so we can count on player combat to make things interesting. However, it's sometimes fun to combine the hardness of a map + the hardness of player combat to = uber challenge.

For this reason I tend to prefer maps with lower score rates than maps with lots of point differentials.

/ramble
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