Swamplords on Crack
Lucifer runs this server (based in Texas U.S.A.) to provide a deathmatch with a twist: map rotation. Every match you are faced with a different map. The maps available in the rotation are subject to change but are generally accepted from the community. High speeds and higher rubber make this a fight you won't want to miss, if you think you can handle the relatively small arena sizes.
Breakfast in Hell
Swamplords on Crack's legacy name. For a while it was based on the popular server Breakfast of Champions which was run by and created by eggcozy. Slowly it had rubber turned down and settings further tweaked. Before BiH was shut down, and later renamed, it was a server with a small arena size, long walls(not infinity), and decent wall acceleration.
This server is still available in a clone called Swamplords in Hell, hosted by Swampy.
This is to serve as a guide to players on what to expect and for mapmakers on what types of maps are likely to be accepted on the server.
The maps on Swamplords on Crack are intended each to provide a new type of game. So every match will be a different game, challenging different skills and emphasizing different abilities. As a team server, you will play in partners. 4 teams each of 2 players will compete against one another in a variety of games, in a style reminiscent of the Olympics.
When you make a map, you're going to have to set some settings to make the map play properly. Some of these settings should be made in the map file itself, the same way the settings for the standard Fortress map are made. Other settings, however, shouldn't be made in the map file. CYCLE_WALLS_LENGTH is a good example of such a setting. A server admin can change the size of the map, but the size of the cycle walls don't change with it. So you should create a separate file that contains the settings needed to make your map work. There's no strong guide to this, and if you're in doubt, put the settings in a separate text file. Talk to Lucifer if you need help on this.
TODO: expand this subject, it's pretty important
Generally, the point of the server is to have small arenas that encourage a high level of competition and skill. However, you may wish to make a larger arena that still encourages the same high levels of competition and skill. That's fine, but you should give it a test. The guide is that standard square map, which has dimensions of 500x500 and is set at ARENA_SIZE -3. That gives a 2500 square meter playing area, scaled according to the setting given. If you have a lot of obstacles, you should check to be sure there's 2500 square meters of available playing space, but that's not set in stone. You may find that it's not enough room for the obstacles you have, or that it's too much room. The only guide is to play the map. When you submit your map, Lucifer will test it and try to find the right ARENA_SIZE setting for the server.
Games to Play
Consider what game will be played on your map. Already in play are regular deathmatch team games, racing, fortress, and others. Good games to consider are obstacle courses, essentially racing maps. Another good game would be a race map with longer cycle trails and excessively high rubber, where you can slow down your opponents.
Specifically, these types of games are desired and have been well-liked among players:
- Deathmatch in a plain arena with few or no obstacles
- Deathmatch in a neat arena with obstacles
- Maze maps. You could run a king of the hill game, a deathmatch, a fortress game, or just a "solve the maze" game.
- Race maps. wrtlprnft's race server is a fun server. Maps similar to what are found there would work well here, too.
There are certainly other games that can be made using the existing set of map elements. In the future, as new map elements become available, more games will become available. All are welcome, and the ones that are found to be the most fun will be used.
Mazes and obstacle courses deserve some special attention. The maps need to have a twist that players will have a hard time adapting. The reason for this is because a regular maze can be solved quickly with practice. So if the point of your map is to solve the maze, players who have played that map a lot will have an inherent advantage over players that have never played it. The same is true for obstacle courses. I'm not saying you should steer clear of these maps, quite the contrary, I'd like to see more of them. As it stands right now, without writing a program, there's no way to introduce random chance onto a map, so there's no random variation available. Scripts will certainly be considered as map submissions, however, if you'd like to write a script to generate maps of a given variety. In any case, you might consider setting up your obstacle courses and mazes as deathmatch, fortress, or sumo style games instead of racing maps. Those types of games force players to introduce the variety that is needed to make the map stand on its own.
Similarly, when constructing a racing map of any kind, consider how you can use the game settings to address the variation problem. If you make it possible to slow down other players with a the cycle wall, you introduce tactical options that wouldn't otherwise be available. You might give a penalty for core-dumping other players. In that manner, you'd get fewer points for winning the race because you killed other players on your way to it, but the tactical options are still available.
Round or Match?
Your map should be constructed to handle a succession of rounds in a timed match. So there should be no maximum point award that ends the match. Similarly, there should be no maximum number of rounds. Only the match timer matters, which is normally set at 7 minutes.
It is conceivable that you will dream up a map that can only rightly be played once, and the match should end when the map is finished. In that case, you should go ahead and recommend the settings that will accomplish that. The main problem with such a map is that players, especially players new to your map, might need a round or two to figure out what they're supposed to do. With the game changing every match, players might need some time to adapt to the new game. (It is possible that this limitation will change, depending on how hard it is to adapt to different games)
Now here's the rub. :) You should not change the cycle physics settings in any way, unless the change is absolutely required to make your map work. Players have a reasonable expectation that the controls for their cycles will always work the same way. So if there's an accelerator, then every map will have it. Your map should not depend on the brake operating as a break, nor should it depend on specific cycle_accel or cycle_rubber settings. Rubber is a special case, however, because it's conceivable that you'll need it to behave differently.
Cycle trails aren't considered part of cycle physics. You are free to set that to whatever setting you need for your map to work. Some maps make the most sense with infinite trails, some make the most sense without trails at all. Still others will call for a range of trails. Consider carefully, and then make the setting you need for your map.
You should not modify the team settings. Quite simply, your map should be playable for 2 players up to 8 players separated into 4 teams. This is, unfortunately, non-negotiable. Playing on a team means that every round, you play with the same teammates. If, after playing a few matches, your team is suddenly split up, then when teams are brought in for a new map, players will be assigned arbitrarily to new teams. This is, sadly, unacceptable behavior.
It might be interesting to have a server that shuffles teams around, but this is not the idea for Swamplords on Crack.
Maps should be submitted to the forums. Your submission needs to include up to 3 files.
- A picture showing the map. This can be a screenshot from way up high, the picture generated by nemostultae's map previewer, or a screenshot of the hud map available in cvs head.
- The map file itself, obviously.
- Optionally, if needed, a text file that contains the settings needed to make your map work. This file should be a plaintext file formatted like any other armagetron config file. It should also include some lines of the form "SAY something", where "something" describes how to play the game the map contains.
Submit your maps to this thread (an account on the forums is required, sorry): http://forums.armagetronad.net/viewtopic.php?p=33903#33903