Shipment Territory Progress
It's Colonel from the PVKII Team. You may know me as one of the lead Devs, but what you may not know is that I'm also a passionate mapper hobbyist, especially for PVKII.
I started finishing up incomplete or nearly complete maps in development back in the day like Town and Tortuga. Over the years I've made optimizations and adjustments to maps with the most significant being lts_town's extension. However I did not actually start these maps. That glory belongs to former devs like Skjalg and eviltaxi. You've probably seen my maps and contributions on the PVKII Workshop as well with bt_3court, official festive map versions, Lost Treasures, etc! I have coordinated with developers and authorized creators to help them overhaul many of the official maps you play today. That all being said, I have yet to release a start-to-finish, official and original map for the game.
I've created and thrown out over ambitious ideas, complete layouts, etc. I want to make something different, something that fills a void, and something that is exciting to play. After many vmf saves later I have decided upon a pirate themed, tropical, moving and stationary territory map. So I looked to PVK1 maps for inspiration and remembered there was this one special map that caught my eye.
Grogboat was a very popular map for PVKI, but there's an issue with bringing it to Source. Players on moving platforms isn't smooth enough and just doesn't work well. So I thought of an alternative. In te_cara, the horses are the territories that move around the map, but what you actually fight over is the area around the horse. So here's the basis for what I call te_shipment. 2 boats are located on opposite ends of what is essentially an "island" (though I will do what I can to create an illusion of it not being an island, to differentiate), they move clockwise around the map stopping at total of 4 ports. The boats will always be on opposite sides of the map. Players will fight over the territory zone when the boat stops at each port.
The logic involved to make this happen is very complex. A huge thanks to former PVKII Developer Lhorkan, and PVKII Lead Crazytalk, for their work with the ship logic.
Here is Lhorkan's initial test map of the shipment logic. Crazytalk later adapted a map further in development to work with two boats.
Because the map has a lot of buildings, I'll need to make sure the entire map is limited in height, and higher elements of buildings such as roofs are added to the 3d Skybox. This will make the skybox always render, but if just about everything is made into a model in the skybox, this will help with optimization. One of the goals in optimizing maps is to maximize the engine potential and visuals without sacrificing a lot of performance. In Source this means compartmentalization of areas, basically indoor and outdoor rooms without being so obvious about it.
Currently the map has placeholder lighting and colour correction borrowed from Tortuga, which will eventually change to give the map its own identity. There are four port areas. The money shot of the map being the busy, sunny port, with there also being the market, the beach, and the cavern. The stationary territory will be in the middle of the map, in front of what is currently a mission church draft. The map will also feature some accessible building interiors and upper balconies! The layout is very simple to ensure players know where they are going next. You'll be able to follow the ships easily and spawn close to the action. After significant testing the layout is solid and really fun.
Here are some more exclusive progress shots of the map. Much of these details will most likely change, so don't get too attached. Enjoy!
An early brush blockout. This is the second iteration of the layout.
Here is a recent shot of the current layout. The structures with the white textures are to go in the skybox.
Another angle of the sunny port.
I really want players to feel like they're fighting in a tropical town's streets. The second level of the buildings on the right is accessible.
Source is known for its right angles, so i drafted a building on the left that has unique angles. The wagon on the right will be a jump point to a higher balcony and interior side route.
Here's our little lady making use of the upper level.
I'm aiming to release this map sometime next year. Check back here for more progress images!