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The many faces of ramps

One of the big features of 2Fort Revamp is to change how people treat the central water pool, so I thought I’d detail some of my design decisions (and past attempts) to alter it.

Normally, it’s a route to be avoided because it’s inconvenient. If you fall in, you often must go through a long extremely-predictable path into the enemy base. A path that’s much further than just crossing the bridge. Not only that, but if the enemy puts up stiff resistance, your only choice is to backtrack through an equally-long path through your own base to end up where you started. It’s handy to avoid the snipers,  but in many ways it is too inconvenient.

By making it easier to backtrack from the sewers, I believe it would make people more likely to use them. Why? Because you don’t commit as much by going and taking a look. Here are some of the variations I’ve tried over time…

A simple ramp, but some people complained that they kept falling off.

With the first version, the ramps are pretty narrow, and I got a complaint that it was easy to accidentally fall off.

A simple ramp, but some people complained that they kept falling off.

With the second, I added a guardrail and widened the whole thing. However, I became concerned that the importance of the bridge was being a bit too eroded. If it takes the same amount of time to jump in the water, swim across, and climb out… why wouldn’t people do that?

It's-a Me, Mario!

And so enter the jumping puzzle. It looks like some innocent pillars, but in reality you can use it to get out of the water but you may have a tough time avoiding being shot. You can’t quite tell, but if forces attackers to swim to the opposite side of the water before they start zig-zagging their way up. You can’t use it to avoid getting wet unless you’re a scout. Some complained this was a bit against the TF2 style involving ramps and how people get from A to B, and I realized they were right.

No bridge survives 2fort for long.

The next incarnation used ramps, but still forced the player to swim to the other end and zig-zag to ascend. It’s actually got a lot invisible clipping brushes on it to make it easy to run along. Also, the fencing that constrains the playing field has been moved out a bit to make more room. While I tried to make it look like the ruins of some other bridge, I got a lot of comments that it looked ugly compared to the others so I think concrete is what people want.

Sure it blocks the water, but it seems dry times have come to 2fort anyway.

Here’s the latest version. The big compromise is that it seems to block the canal, something which–even after playing a lot of TF2 with healing sandwiches and unlimited dispensers–bugs the “it must all make physical sense” part of my brain. I still need to put something in that hole to make it clear players can’t travel up/down-stream.

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