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Tiny Arena Maps from DMA Levels

Posted: 06 Oct 2010, 01:01
by BenMillard
Download it here: Tiny Hidden Surprise Arena (80kB Zip).

Before and After:
Image Image

Noon and Dusk:
Image Image

Same idea as Tiny Tiny Town Arena but applied to Hidden Surprise (MP2-comp.gmp, wil.sty).

Video by First Blood: (Some amazing moments between 1:30 to 2:10!)

(EDIT) Project renamed Tiny Hidden Surprise Arena. (It was Tiny Hidden Surprise.)

Re: Tiny Hidden Surprise

Posted: 06 Oct 2010, 12:44
by elypter
there already is a tiny version of hidden surprise: mini hs
although i think it could be improved a bit.

Are you going to make it like the original or are you planing to modify it like with tiny tiny town -> tiny tiny town arena in one step(or not)?
It would be good for the community to have a small version of hidden surprise as base for other maps like the normal version is base for hstdm, hs revised, ...
I also made another mod for my tiny tiny town: tiny tiny town army, and everyone is free to make mods for this map too.(but please ask first. the released version is not completely up to date, ...)

@mods: maybe move this thread to maps? to revive that section a bit ;) most of the posts are only in 1 forum.

Re: Tiny Hidden Surprise Arena

Posted: 06 Oct 2010, 18:24
by BenMillard
Thanks for the link. I'll definitely be making this like TTTA so have added "Arena" to the end of its name. It will feature:
  • re-textured areas;
  • replace lame weapons with cool weapons;
  • give all weapons max ammo and respawn instantly;
  • the smallness will be balanced for gameplay (no annoyingly narrow bridges or long roads with no pavement);
  • and players will always respawn near a weapons.
Quick Review of Mini HS
It's certainly as small as Hidden Surprise can be! Actually too small in some important places, I think:
  • The bridge from rockets South.
  • Alleyway around Vehicle Mines.
  • Many useful pavements are missing.
  • Buildings are full height which makes it hard to see your car because you are always driving close to them.
  • Flamer only has the West entrance as because it's so small you are totally exposed to Rocket Launcher.
  • Flamer has no shortcut to the North.
  • Weapon respawn delay is far too long for such a small level.
  • Same boring texture work as original HS. (Compare with North-East corner of wil.gmp which this area comes from.)
  • Shops don't have their awnings.
  • Bridges between islands are flat. (Looks boring and can't use as rocket shield.)
I guess these gameplay and aesthetic issues are why it's rarely/never played?

Re: Tiny Hidden Surprise Arena

Posted: 11 Oct 2010, 23:47
by BenMillard
Progress has been really fast! I've added a download link to the test version in the first message.

WARNING: It was crashing at random places, especially in the North-East.

File names are be tiny-hs-arena.* at the moment. Once stable, it will be part of the Tiny Tiny Town Arena download.

Re: Tiny Hidden Surprise Arena

Posted: 12 Oct 2010, 13:23
by Areen
I made Mini Hidden Surprise... ;/

Re: Tiny Hidden Surprise Arena

Posted: 12 Oct 2010, 14:51
by Razor
mini ≠ tiny

Re: Tiny Hidden Surprise Arena

Posted: 12 Oct 2010, 21:03
by BenMillard
I know, Elypter told me after I had started this project. I have reviewed it in this thread, just a couple of messages up.

A lot of collision information was missing from the previous version. I've corrected this and done lots more detail work. It should be playable...for a little while, at least.

Random crashes still plague the level. Any ideas what causes these? I've filled in holes. Zone information was scrambled when I first opened it in Zone Editor but it looks fine now I've re-done all the zones. It's a mystery!

(EDIT) Anton and I played it today and it shows great potential. Gameplay is a lot like TTTA but slightly less frantic! There were no crashes during our multiplayer tests. One game was about 10 minutes, the other was 15 minutes.

(EDIT2) Play-tested with several more people today, including some laggy games. Seems totally stable in multiplayer - and good to play! Definitely a similar style to TTTA but a bit more space to re-arm yourself each time.

My slight deviations and additions to the original Hidden Surprise are going down well, too. Such as the footbridge from Rocket Launcher back to mainland and the Health in South West.

Re: Tiny Hidden Surprise Arena

Posted: 14 Oct 2010, 00:24
by BenMillard
Download is updated. The main changes are:
  • Rockets instead of Shotgun for North-East respawn.
  • Flamer instead of Shotgun on West platform.
  • West platform is now a respawn point.
  • Tunnels are now easier to see into.
  • Adjusted some other texture details.

Re: Tiny Hidden Surprise Arena

Posted: 14 Oct 2010, 08:38
by Sektor
Nice changes. There was a crash when myself and my opponent were at the top right during the game and one when I spawned on a flamethrower.

Re: Tiny Hidden Surprise Arena

Posted: 14 Oct 2010, 11:13
by elypter
actually the flamethrower is the only difference between ttt arena and ths arena. on tts arena you don't spawn directly on the flamethrower. flamethrower is maybe slightly bogus. gta crashes when you enter a car while firing fs.

Re: Tiny Hidden Surprise Arena

Posted: 14 Oct 2010, 19:36
by elypter
i just tested it with a friend. (it has been updated since last play)
it crashed 3 seconds after i spawned on flamethrower. i did not use it or did something else. i just ran around.

Re: Tiny Hidden Surprise Arena

Posted: 14 Oct 2010, 19:39
by BenMillard
  • The whole top right area has always been the problem area while I was playing.
  • It crashed once just as I spawned on rockets but I think another player was entering a car using flamethrower at the same moment.
  • Re-spawning directly on flamer...that's 100% stable in DeCon Labs.
I made my changes over the top of original Hidden Surprise. I'll copy all the blocks and paste into a minimal, stable level which uses wil.sty. Any suggestions which one? Re-doing collision data, again, for hundreds of tiles willl be a sad way to spend my weekend, so a level where they are all done would be nice.

Maybe we should create 3 "level templates" so modders can make new levels more easily? I've always found it an epic waste of time to get a level started and reliable.

Re: Tiny Hidden Surprise Arena

Posted: 14 Oct 2010, 21:18
by elypter
have you checked if the error is not in the script? there are some useless objects outside the map and some lost tiles too.

Re: Tiny Hidden Surprise Arena

Posted: 15 Oct 2010, 22:18
by BenMillard version has removed some parked cars and updated locations of TOWER objects. Also closed lots of holes in the map. Did some texture re-working, overhead cables, made bus stops functional, that kinda thing.

These are present in original Hidden Surprise so my GMP is now much cleaner than the stable one we've been playing 10 years.

And yet it still crashes at apparently random times. Hmm.

Re: Tiny Hidden Surprise Arena

Posted: 20 Oct 2010, 19:44
by elypter
is it fixed now? i did not have crashes in the last 5 games since i updated it last time.

a suggestion:
could you add an instant vehicle bomb? with 3 or 4 players or at the beginning of any game this is a funny and tactical weapon. A good place would be where health is. This area is still not used very often.

Re: Tiny Hidden Surprise Arena

Posted: 21 Oct 2010, 11:27
by BenMillard
I did make a rushed update a day or two ago. Didn't announce it or update the web page.
  • I changed how the edge of the level was set up.
  • Removed some Pavement from an isolated area near the North-East corner.
  • Manually removed lots of hidden-but-solid tiles.
  • Closed a couple more gaps.
None of this seems like it would cause or prevent crashes, though. Maybe the Editor just needed me to "touch" those areas for it to change the compressed data into something that works? Some random bug in the editor which now isn't revealed?

Single-player was the only place I had seen definite map or AI crashes. It's a relief to hear multiplayer is now stable - and that people are playing lots of games on it!

South-West has Rocket Launcher near the steps towards the Health, having seen FirstBlood's modified HS with health on a roof there. You can take the West-facing jump to reach that area. Must control your speed, like the Tiny Town jump.

This makes the West very rich for weapons and powerups, so it hopefully gets used more:
  • Health
  • Rocket Launcher
  • Flame Thrower
  • Fast Reload
  • Machine Gun
  • Electrogun
  • Instant Gang
  • Vehicle Machine Guns
  • [Entrance leading to] Vehicle Mines

Re: Tiny Hidden Surprise Arena

Posted: 21 Oct 2010, 14:19
by elypter
if it already works good enough you could try bsheps map compressor

Re: Tiny Hidden Surprise Arena

Posted: 27 Oct 2010, 23:14
by BenMillard
I had a few crashes with other players with the previous version. No idea why.

I've just made a totally New map and pasted in the cube data for the area I worked on, not including the edges. Then recreated the zones, water animation and added some lights. It's crashing now more than ever in single player.

Urgh. Any ideas? The download includes previous somewhat-stable version (22) as well as newest version (25). Bugs like this really drain the fun out of this hobby.

Re: Tiny Hidden Surprise Arena

Posted: 30 Oct 2010, 22:50
by BenMillard
I'm really stuck on this and cannot figure out the cause. How come nobody else experiences this? Or maybe they do but eventually find some random thing makes it goes away...which is what I've done on all previous maps.

Maybe B-$hep or TradeMark can figure out what's wrong with the file? Elypter and Dafe have given me some debugging ideas but I'm not that hopeful. Rebuilding the level in a GMP that is known to work would take 2-3 weeks I think.
  • The randomness makes me suspect the AI is triggering the crash.
  • One weird thing I've done is make deliberate gridlock areas
  • I've used similar stuff in Jailbreak and it never crashed on them.
  • There is a CityInfo zone so I could turn off all cars and/or peds to reduce AI and see if crashes are reduced.
Getting a certain answer and a certain fix to these bugs will be worth the effort, as this level has proved popular - when it was stable!

Re: Tiny Hidden Surprise Arena

Posted: 30 Oct 2010, 23:09
by T.M.
You have respawn zones right above the weapon collectibles. Generally the rule on MIS scripts is that If your player starts on top of a collectible (or a car): the game crashes immediately. So i suggest you to check if it helps to move the respawn zones off the collectibles.

Also i found there was a hole in the map at position: 192, 25, 1