Requirements for Map Approval

Information related to PlazmaBurst.

Requirements for Map Approval

Postby DoomWrath » 10 June 2018, 16:17

Recently there has been some discussion about the requirements for map approval - mainly whether or not everything in the Level Editor Manual › Requirements for Map Approval is an absolute requirement. Using a legal concept called 'Case Law' people have discussed that since many approved maps exist outside of these requirements, that not all of the requirements are set in stone - and this is correct. 'Level Editor Manual › Requirements for Map Approval' is a guide to creating a map suitable for approval, and if you follow all the requirements, you will come out with an approvable map. But while most items are indeed requirements, some things can be modified or done differently.

Below are the current requirements for map approval. I have colour coded in green the absolute requirements, and in blue the optional (but recommended) requirements. Additional notes are added in white.

Requirements for Map Approval:

1. Map must be well-designed in appearance:
Spoiler: Show More
- Do not use lights to make "overbright areas" (areas that are too bright). Recommended to use default "Power" parameter value of light objects.
- Never use floating water and/or ladders made from water.
- Do not put lamps in walls.
- Make sure in team-based maps you do not use deathmatch skins.
- Make sure your background walls are covered by regular walls so that the glowing edge effect is avoided.

- Avoid any kind of dialog and/or hint messages on map. Dialogs and hint messages are permitted in rare circumstances, such as warning of Alternative or Modified Gameplay. These messages should only be shown once, when a player joins the map and should not be repeated.
- Start weapons must be placed inside players (do not place these weapons above players).
- Walls should not float in mid-air (must be connected with rest of the world with help of background objects). In some instances, floating walls and backgrounds are allowed - but generally try to avoid this. You must use backgrounds to make it look intentional and natural - for example: spaceships (and even floating platforms in some cases) are a natural use of floating walls/backgrounds in a space-themed map.

2. Keep the gameplay for approved maps natural and realistic for Plazma Burst 2:
Spoiler: Show More
- All maps must be designed for competitive modes such as DM, TDM, COOP (only fair team vs team games) in order to get approval. If map wasn't meant for some modes - it should be designed in the way where it can't be used in abusive way when match host picks unsupported mode (example: if map does not support COOP mode - all players should have same team).
- Don't create invisible pushers. Every pusher must be marked by decoration with an "antigravity" model. Also sometimes pushers will need to kill or push back players into playable area when they leave it. Sometimes it is necessary to use unmarked pushers with no damage or pushing values to prevent players spawning in locations they should not spawn in. Actual "Gravitator" or "jump boost" type pushers within the map play area should be marked with obvious decorations or backgrounds - players should not be surprised by a pusher.
- Don't create invisible doors where players will not expect it to be. It is allowed to cover decoration models, custom backgrounds and map limits with invisible doors. But it is not allowed to build invisible structures which will only confuse new players on your map.
- Do not make your map a "slow motion" map.
- Make sure everyone can move around key parts of your map (such as places where better weapons are located, enemy team location, camp spots), including players who play on a high physics setting and have no idea on how to sword jump, self boost and hold the X key (unless map is small enough for new players to see how older players are doing this). To test it, pick up defibrillator and try to reach every part of your map without pressing X and without trapping yourself in dead end zones (unless these are made as obvious death traps). This is almost necessary with very few exceptions - small maps in which the main pathway and access to the enemy is possible even with high physics and an equipped weapon, but a secondary or additional pathway may be opened up by sword jumping, stacking, or self-boosting. Examples are maps such as eric gurt-railwars1 or stryde-sniper where the map is perfectly playable even though some small areas require more effort than simply pressing the jump key.
- Make sure every camping player can be killed on your map. Give "HE" grenades to players, shield grenades, portnades to solve this problem if it occurs.
- Weapons m4a1, glock, virus gun are not parts of approvable gameplay. Same about guns customized by triggers.
- Disabling of swords is not allowed.
- Usage of engine marks and triggers which change view zoom is not allowed.

- Usage of triggers which change gravity is not recommended.
- Make sure that players which spawn without guns can survive, hide, kill somebody with only swords and grenades.
- Limit nades count to 0-3 of each type. Only in rare cases portnades count can be close to 6.
- Deadly parts of map must look like they will kill player. You can use "red killing ray" decoration to mark them.
- Never use floating water and/or ladders made from water.
- Don't use hidden triggers which give you an advantage. Such violation can be understood as infrigement and your further maps will be never reviewed.

- If map is team-based, then it must be balanced, this can be accomplished by using the symmetrical key. Advance Level Editor can mirror objects by pressing H and V keys. Use same amount of hitpoints for every player. Players must feel fair gameplay while playing your map. Symmetry is not essential, but balance is. So long as the map is fair to both teams, it can be any shape desired.
- Make sure players can't camp at any teleporters. Make teleports useable only once per second, as an example. You can create damage regions for the destination of targets teleport.
- If you make a team-based map - use only Red/Blue Noir Lime skins, or any other skins that are visible and have a default speed and mass.
- Defibrillators are optional but it's better to add them and for every player.
- Allowed hitpoints for players are: 130 hp and 150 hp. Any other values are not allowed (ex. 145 hp is not allowed). 130 or 150 maximum hitpoints are the expected standard and best to keep these so. If your map uses a large portion of very powerful weaponry, it might be okay to increase hitpoints. Kills generally shouldn't take more than a few hits. In the same way, sometimes it is fine to have lower hitpoints than 130, but the map creator must take extra care to lower chances of dying to fall damage.
- Each player's "Hitpoints" parameter value must be equal to "Max. Hitpoints" parameter value.
- When map is designed for 2 teams in COOP, make sure that players can't kill at the start of each round. Players must feel/be safe during the first 2 seconds of each COOP round start.

- Do not make rooms that are too large (to avoid spraying).This is subjective, so long as the map plays as intended, and plays well, in some instances it can be okay. It is usually best to fill open spaces with cover.
- Don't use AI enemies in maps you wish to get approved.
- If map is developed for COOP mode then map must have only 2 teams.

3. All maps also must meet some type of technical notes requirement before it can be approved:
Spoiler: Show More
- Use engine mark to give grenades to players. Don't use grenades as a separate weapons.
- Make sure game doesn't lag when players are playing it. Don't put many players into a map, usually 8 is enough and recommended. Don't put too many objects.
- Make sure your map does not load for too long. Recommended time is 1-2 seconds.
- Don't build large arenas. Limit amount of doors, walls, lamps, decorations, water, guns. In other words make it as simple and as fun as it can be.
- Validate wall placement. Bodies, grenades and weapons must not become stuck between walls due to small overlap (recommended to test on "low physics" with "low FPS" settings).

4. Make sure your map is original and does not look like anything approved before (the way it is being played and design/atmosphere-wise).

5. Keep map atmosphere close to PB2 universe. Knights, World War 1/2, magic, mythology is a short list of stuff that probably won't match it.

6. Pixelated (blocky) art can be something that looks good, but it also can be exact element in your map that looks foreign to style in which PB2 was made.

7. Players will play it. Honestly we believe they will if your map meets each or most of previous requirements.

'Alternative Gameplay' or 'Modified Gameplay':

We are allowing maps that differ from standard gameplay to be approved. However there are some restrictions, as follows:

A - Weapon Modifiers:
- Modifications must be balanced, simple, expected, and fair. You should not pick up a shotgun only for it to now fire grenades. An example of a good modification might be to make a rifle slightly more accurate and increase its damage, but reduce its fire rate to compensate.
- Modifications are only permitted with non-defining weapons of PB2/PB-FttP. It is recommended to only modify non-canon weapons (ones which do not appear in the campaign).

B - Health, Death, and Spawning:
- Shorter or longer spawn delays for DM/TDM mode are allowed. Implementing a limited respawn per round (lives) system for Co-Op matches is allowed on the condition it never presents glitches such as instant death to all players. - Changing or limiting HP regeneration is allowed.

C - Background and Theme:
- You are allowed to use the colour options to change background colours. Please make sure it is not too garish and different.
- Theming a map on things outside of PB2 lore is allowed - and recommended if you have created a map with alternative gameplay or modified weapons. However as with Requirement 5 of 'Level Editor Manual › Requirements for Map Approval', sci-fi atmospheres closer to PB2's universe are preferred.
- Maps themed on 'Star Defenders' (using star defender guns, skins, and decor) are not suitable for approval. The only exception is a very high quality 'Star Defenders' map may be approved for a short, time-limited event.

D - Misc:
- If creating a map with alternative gameplay, modified weapons, or a modified health system, please warn players by displaying a 'Hint' message for 5-10 seconds with a simple message such as "Warning: Map Contains Alternative Gameplay"
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