Surprise betches! Another randomly timed post!
I've been MIA for quite some time (again) across all my threads and I heard talks that the communications for the community are being downgraded to just being limited to the Discord (which I almost never check anyway). So before things here get shuttered and things either become so difficult to post in-depth or worse, I thought I'd finally get around to posting yet another mockup I made for Town tackling C-line again but, in the parts that actually matter (or cause the most pain).
This is a mock-up I made for C-1 to C-3 about 5 months ago but, never got around to posting.
I made this mock-up back in January 2021 in hopes to maybe layout some coherent and simple (almost Forward Airfield update levels of simple) fixes that could be done presumably with the limited manpower available at Reto's disposal until they could get a new level designer in-house. It's nothing as extreme as my initial Town posts but, also not simple enough that it would be something to shrug off either.
I'm going to try to outline these notes as clearly as I can so I hope you guys enjoy this ♥
First things first, there's so much wheat field on C-line that I'm convinced its part of the reason why getting anything done beyond leaving C-1 is impossible. Aside from the wheat being filler for open areas, it causes framerate drops whenever using scopes (not sure if that's still the same but, if it isn't the wheat needs to go anyway). In its place, I drew up an idea to add a stockyard with haystacks and crates similar to A-2 as well as a long stretch of road that connects the main C line road to that weird isolated back one that connects to the front of C-3. All along the new road, I added more tree lines that nod back to when C line used to have a tree line along the road that extended from C-1 to C-4 (with the only remnants of that being the ones in C-2 in the current build and the 3 within C-1).
Nextdoor to C-2, I added a cabbage/lettuce patch (because even this many years later I want more than wheat dangit!), a one story house with the roof opening (the forest house from Village), and an outhouse like the one that use to be in Mountain Town's Depot O2. The property would extend the cobblestone fence on both sides of the C-2 but, NOT remove its corner; just add more cobblestone fence. The one beside the outhouse would divide the stockyard property from the previous mentioned one while also being lined with a dirt road that connects to the back entrance of C-2 (that barrel shed before the bush line starts). In the stockyard there should be an ammo crate since the next one accessible to attackers won't be until within C-2. The stockyard garage should also have that cute little office building attached to it as a foreman/inventory office thing.
Beyond the road would be a crashed plane (the one crash plane model the game rarely uses) that would allude to new AA gun foxhole between C-2 and C-3 because there's actually only 2 AA turret placements on C line (C-1 and C-4) and none in the area that gets air assaulted the most (C-2 and around it).
Going back to the cabbage patch house (before I get excited and work my way too much to the east), I added the old ruined building (the one with the vines) as a vantage point to counter C-2's defending/camping snipers (since the open field is gone). It could be used to directly return fire at C-2 or to pop the guy that might peep out of the 1-story house's destroyed roof. The tree line would also serve as a slight buffer to ensure the vantage point isn't too OP while also providing some cover so snipers in the ruins don't get popped the moment they peak at C-2 and to slightly nerf C-2's sniping vantage; greatly increasing the chance for functional and meaningful gunplay that isn't just dying in the CPs or while running to them.
Below the ruined building, there should be a barn with a ramp (similar to the one at Forward Airfield's B-3) with facing towards the forest so the 2nd floor hay bale is facing towards the ruins. Below the barn would be house without the interior with the arched window. Along the southeast corner there should be a section of cobblestone fence with a health crate behind it cause I think the only accessible health between C-1 and C-2 is in the shed before the midway spawn (making it more-or-less useless unless you're pushing back the attackers to C-1) or in the open field near the haystacks before C-2 (in no man's land where no one can use it).
Moving down the road following the tree line, I added a corner house (like the one in old C-4 at the end of the bridge or like in Mountain Town D-3) with a health crate outside and a shed with a hole in the roof aiming towards the attacker spawn. I think I forgot to add this addendum but, maybe include a rocket box on the second floor of the shed. Another cobblestone corner should line the corner house to better distinguish the area before the intersection as part of the property. The tree in the corner was intentional; don't forget it. There's also two trees connecting the roadside tree line to the bush line behind the house which brings us to the next addition.
I added more bush lines/bocages along that isolated road to make it easier for C-1 attackers to leave their spawn without being camped (nearly as badly as they always are). The bocages would add purpose to the pointless further out southeast ones by making them look less out of place while also transitioning into backyards and the new residential properties. Don't add that Ammo, Medkit, Rocket thing. That's just the legend lol
Up the road, I furnished the area around the C-2/3 attacker spawn shed by adding cozy little tavern/inn area with a dirt courtyard and a well in the center (since the well asset is underutilized and makes the lot look more fleshed out). The tavern/inn area should have these buildings in clockwise order: the restaurant with the hole in the second floor facing towards C-3, the large inn that I love so much with the overhanging little rooms from Forward Airfield, and a large garage (the one with the stairs in the back). Theses buildings would not only flesh out the area between C-2 and C-3 but also give the attacker spawn before C-3 a buffer from campers and provide a vantage point to fire back at C-3 defenders (since there's no real way to counter defending forces until you're in C-3 especially since the forest area behind it is useless to attackers unless its being flanked by B line). Also, there's a cobblestone fence around the perimeter of the inn/tavern so attackers would still need to drive around them if they don't use the road (as a slight buffer for arrival time for armor and other vehicles advancing on C-3 from that spawns direction. There also should be a truck spawn in the garage so players would have more accessible forms of transportation before C-3 since the last truck spawn was is in the C-2 shed (next to barrel shed). Behind the tavern area and the cobblestone wall, you probably noticed that I kept that area grassy and didn't add anything within the perimeter of the bush lines, that's because I wanted to imply that it might have at one point been farmland but, was abandoned after the property stopped being used as a farm. Maybe add one tree in that grassy area just to make it look less open but, beyond that, I intentionally left it devoid of anything to imply that while it isn't used for wheat anything, it could in the in-game future by the games imaginary in-game civilians
As for why I added that little building area beyond the gameplay reasons, I wanted the area to narratively look like there was more life outside of the town itself. There's so much empty space with pointless roads to nowhere, the inclusion of a little tavern lodging location would give more of an immersion reason for why the heck anyone would have homes so far outside of the town limits. I mean... aside from the restaurant at D-3, there isn't really any actual infrastructure beyond the inner Town area and the 4s (the A-4, C-4, D-4, etc).
Behind the shed, there would be a barn like the one in Sawmill's O2 (not the conveyor belt one, the one with the ladder and the weird dividing wall). The loft window of the barn should be facing towards C-2 so defenders from C-3 can snipe attackers in C-2 but, also so attackers sly enough could sneak into the barn through the backroad and actually surprise C-2. In the image, I have the barn window facing towards the shed spawn but, I like this idea I literally came up with right now more than what I initially had through of (having the window facing towards spawn so the big doors were facing towards the inn). As for why the emphasis on barns? Because again despite all the farmland on the map, there isn't a single barn anywhere on the map; just sheds.
Beyond the barn, we return to the previously mentioned AA foxhole. The foxhole is surrounded by bocages to offer protection for players using it but also to connect the forested area after C-2 to C-2 itself while also making the bocage arrangement look more organized and compartmentalized with little yards/farm plots within them which brings me to another thing I forgot to mention early that would technically also apply to something else that would apply now lol I kept TWO tiny patches of wheat as private farms surrounded by bocage rather than having the entire field covered in wheat for not just organization but, also optimization. These smaller wheat plots look like someone actually can manage them living in those areas and offer places for players to coordinate and maybe even park APCs when aircraft aren't a big issue.
The AA foxhole nextdoor to C-3 is associated with it but, also serves as a means of countering aircraft on C line since it has literally no protection beyond the start and end points of the assault line(s). If it was part of some internal level design philosophy that AAs should only be at objective points, that philosophy needs to go because this new layout would actually not only be more fun to play but also offer something different for pilots to interact with. Forward Airfield is a perfect example of how more (but thought out) AA placements can make the game more interesting. Which reminds me, the forest CP on Village still doesn't have an AA gun. If one is added there then paratroopers can be added back onto that skirmish map and make them worth spending on (instead of cutting them from skirmish entirely and decreasing their sale worth).
But I digress...anywho, remove the wheat from the haystack area by C-3 because its still too much wheat and looks awkward.
On top of that I added more bush lines/bocages along that isolated road to make it easier of C-1 attackers to leave their spawn without being camped (nearly as badly as they always are). The bocages would add purpose to the pointless further out southeast ones by making them look less out of place while also transitioning into backyards and a few new residential properties.
This is the section I worked on last cause I think at the time of when I was drawing and planning this out, I was a few hours into this (like 4 or 6 hours in) but, yeah, that wheat field that's circled can go. It just takes up space. Instead, add a tree line that goes from the intersection connecting to C-1 and C-2 all the way down to C-1 attacker spawn forest and even have the tree line continue onto the opposite side of the road to not the bocage I add but all the way to where the existing bocage/bush line starts (the useless one in the southeast).
At the time of the post, I put that I would probably come back to add more later because I had sent this to someone still working for Reto (they still do) on Discord but, when I received yet again the same old canned response that "Right now we are not working on the maps, other than some small bug fixes." But they hoped to do more map stuff in the future but that was back in January 2021 and I haven't seen anything hinting that anything is cooking up behind the scenes to blow my level design obsessing socks off. Which is why I took so long to post this. Plus the thought of it collecting dust while everyone else assuming the worst in my absence in the community was beginning to take a toll on me mentally while I tried to direct my own attention to other projects.
And with the news of the forum supposedly being shut down at some point to "improve communications" via Discord, I thought I'd get what might be my last big map concept fix post out so you guys could enjoy another read through some of my fun wishful thinking for a version of H&G that would have been more fun for everyone to play. I'd like to think there's an alternate timeline or parallel universe where I got to see all these changes implemented and maybe even a version of the game where everyone was still there and working on it and actively looking for ways to improve it with the hopefulness and optimism I saw when I met the devs back in 2017. Who knows...maybe they'll eventually get to work on implementing more stuff I suggested like before RedBjarne stepped down, heck, maybe they'll even look at this post (at the VERY least...not considering any of it but at least looking at it). All I know is they've reached a point where the only thing people want are map updates (just like I predicted) in the most recent Steam post so...only time will tell.
I would be more than welcome to discuss these concepts I outlined above with anyone still checking out my posts but, if there isn't another time because of Reto's decision to downscale communications, I want to let you all know, all of you that checked out my posts back in 2015 to now (a whole half decade...wow) that I love all of you and I'm glad I got a chance to share my thoughts with this community as a creative outlet and I couldn't be more grateful.
I have a Twitch and Discord if you guys wanna check it out or keep in touch with me in my post signatures since I'm rarely on the H&G discord since its far less organized than the forum.