Welcome to King of the flag!
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to build maps for King of the Flag. This tutorial assumes you have moderate to intermediate Mapping knowledge with basic knowledge of triggers and entities.
1)Download the King of the flag test map. FPSB Page
2)Select the control point (all parts of this mod are grouped).
3)Right Click > Copy.
4)Now go into your map, right click > Paste. Move where desired.
5)Ungroup The mod
It is recommended you also download the Iceblock Timer prefab ->FPSB Page for use this this mod. The biggest mapping headache for this is that scouts grab the flag before anyone else and the team who picks it up 1st is usually the winner. This prefab effectively fixes this problem by granting every class time to reach the flag before it can be picked up!
Note: The look of this prefab has changed since the initial release. All tips and tricks still work accordingly, but screenshot #4 has a larger trigger area then in the most current release. However, it still functions the same.
There are a few basic things to remember with this mod.
This is a linear game play style. Meaning it functions best with a single path or play field, (regardless of how many twists, bends, hills or valleys) placing Red on one side, and Blue on the other. This is because the control point is not static, it moves where the player holding it does. being as such, regardless of how complex you want to build you map, you need to keep it simple enough so the flag can be found. Think of it as a snake, you can twist it and tie it in knots, but the second you connect any one part of the snake to another, it becomes impossible and frustrating for players. (we discovered this through testing)
However, this doesn't mean you map must be simplified beyond recognition. Only the active playfield for the flag runner must be. Your map can be as insane as you like, but you keep the flag in the main area by using triggers to block doorways and openings you don't want the flag to go through. First Create a new trigger brush and set it to "funcrespawnroom". You will need to create one for each team (overlap the two brushes) if you wish to prevent either team from using this door. Be cautious though, if you make these triggers too large, players will realize they can change classes while standing there without dying, and if you make it too small, the flag can be picked up from the other side of the brush. As a rule of thumb, it is best to make a trigger brush fit a doorway opening, but extrude outwards on either side the length of 1 player unit. (see screenshot #1)
NOTE: ANY MAP ERRORS WILL CAUSE THIS MOD TO WIG OUT. NO LEAKS. NO BAD PORTALS. NO BROKEN PROPS.
Consider this a lesson in "good mapping" :) . If you're revising an older map (decompiling) to update it into a KTF map, you better take extra time to FIX all those errors decompiling did. Any errors (i repeat, ANY) will cause this mod to act unusual in game and will cause that women to yell "Alert!" every 3 seconds. Before you assume the mod is broken, triple check your map for errors of any kind. Check the console in-game when you test. Check alt+p. However..
DO NOT "FIX" ANY ENTITY FROM THIS MOD.
I don't know why, but not all hammer functionality is listed as drop down options when creating triggers/entities. Odd eh? Well, being such the entities to change the skin colors, announcements and control gameplay, appear as broken entities when you hit alt+p. Rest assured, these are not broken so do not "fix" them. you'll lose plenty of mod functionality.
Part of what makes this mod so much fun is the ability to have colors change on your map, based on who is holding the flag and or capturing the flag. Here are the "need to know" features.
1)To have any Prop changes from skin1 to skin2 based on who is holding the flag, name it "colormark". Note, if the prop has more then one skin this feature will not work. (see screenshot #2) The skin you set it in the editor will only be the skin that starts out, until someone picks up the intelligence.
2)To have Lights change color in your map based on who is holding the flag, you will need to create 3 identical lights and overlap them (see screenshot #3). Name the 1st light "Whitelightentbecon". This light will only be "on" until the flag is picked up, so set it's color to match your map. Name the second light "Redlightentbecon", this light will be only "on" when the red team has the flag. Set the color to something red-ish which suits your map. Follow this same process for the 3rd light, naming it "Bluelightentbecon". Remember, the mod will not set the colors for you, only set these lights to switch around. So if you wanted to pick other colors like green, yellow or brown feel free.
3)To have SPRITES change color based on who is CAPTURING (this does not include reverting capture) follow the same procedure you did with #2 and make 3 sprites. Name them "Whitelightbecon", "Redlightbecon" and "Bluelightbecon". See #2 for details.
4)To have SPRITES change color based on who is HOLDING (this includes reverting capture), create 2 sprites and name them "Redlightbecon2" and "Bluelightbecon2". See #2 for details. There is no altered setting for pre-capturing. Use the "Whitelightbecon" from #3 and it works wonders.
note:i know beacon is misspelled in the entities. Just run with it. :)
5)To alter the Capture time for the flag (currently set to 100 seconds, which translates to 5-6 minutes for a scout in-game), select the main trigger around the capture point named "triggercapturearea" and alter the capture time (see screenshot #4). The rule of thumb for resetting the time is: anything below 100 is best suited for very small maps, and anything above for large maps. Between 75-150 is a safe zone to work within. My suggestion is to start with 100 and see how well it plays, then adjust accordingly.
6)To alter the LENGTH of the smoke trail, look on top of the briefcase and select the "envspritetrail" entity and alter the Lifetime line (see screenshot #5). The default of 15 works in most cases, from big to small. If you wish to make it shorter, i do NOT recommend going below 10. Anything less and it will be impossible to track, creating frustrating scenarios for players. Generally speaking, anything above 20 just creates a cluttered mess on your map, and unless it is a Surf map, I don't recommend changing it.
Design notes and preventing frustrating maps for players
This is probably the MOST important section, because this is a culmination of what we've learned through testing. I can say from experience, boring maps suck...it is an obvious truth. However, we've found that overly complex maps do more to harm game play in King of the Flag then help it. Try to encourage the flag runner to running around and dodge, opposed to hiding in some weird corner of the map. This isn't a hide-n-go seek mod, don't make it crappy like that. You can create a plethora of tunnels and secret passages, but for the sake of game play, block off each and every one with the funcrespawnroom triggers to prevent the flag from going in there (this doesn't stop players, just makes the flag drop to the ground). After all, only 1 person can hold the flag, and where you take that flag should require skill...not a secret room. Luckily, it is built into the game that you can't take teleporters with the intelligence, so this (luckily) isn't an issue.
Ideally what you want to create is something which can resemble a Roman Coliseum (figuratively) which will keep the flag runner in the middle arena battling it out, while everyone else is free to run around in the rafters as they like. This basically means 90% of death match maps are already made for KTF (as well as Arena maps), which is good, because players will transition towards it easily. Bare in mind, you can also use the snake analogy that i mentioned near the beginning of the tutorial to create a very complex map, but because there is a distinct "forward and backward" players know the chances of them running by the flag is low, so you just have to forward to it. This causes confrontation, which keeps the flag moving, making it easier to find. Just remember, "hiding" places are generally a bad idea to build in because no matter what you do, players will try to find them.. so don't bother designing them into your map, players will work with what you give them. Often you'll be surprised how intuitive a player can be at hiding in a map with no hiding places.
And lastly, making tall maps works well too, because even a demo jump can be blatantly tracked because of the smoke trail, so don't be afraid of using towers or high elevations. As long as there are no hidden paths from plain view, they create a sense of "edge" for both the team defending and the team attacking ("I can hide up here" versus "I can totally see he is up there"). On that note, however, don't create places where only demo's / soldiers can get to. If you do, use the triggers to force them to drop the flag up there. Generally speaking, if you allow players to jump too high with the flag into a bird's nest, the only classes which will be useful (or even played) are soldier/demo.. and that's generally not fun (unless you're doing this with a jump style map).
So that's it. Everything you need to know about King of the flag. If i receive any good/frequent questions all add them to the end of this tut as a FAQ. All the best friends. :)