I’ve been doing some research to see what standards Valve stick to regarding playerclipped stairs and the usage of colored patches below pickups.
In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ll give you an explanation.
In almost all TF2 maps, the pickups are located above colored paint patches. Here are a couple of ways you can place the patches:
However, the color of the patches vary heavily between the official TF2 maps. I will show you a table of the results of my research, right after I’ve explained what playerclipped stairs are!
Playerclipping stairs is something that most mappers do. It means that you create a flat brush, covering every step in stairways, all the way from the top to the bottom.
Here is a comparison between a stairway without clipping and a playerclipped stairway:
Now that you know what I’m talking about, I’ll give you the table:
This is what I gathered from this research:
- On Attack/Defend maps, a single color is always used, usually brown or red
- While the ctf maps, ravine and viaduct all use patch colors based on which side of the map they are on, none of the 5cp push maps use this system
- Unified patches are used heavily by Valve
- Playerclipped stairs seems to be the standard, although some mappers at Valve doesn’t seem to use them at all
- The only set of stairs which are not playerclipped in dustbowl, is the ones at Stage3, Control point 1, that was added after the initial release of dustbowl.
Some notes about playerclipping stairs:
There are a couple of reasons why you should playerclip your stairways. The first reason is that stairways without clipping, makes your view vibrate as you walk on them and the player doesn’t move smoothly.
The second reason is that clipped stairways are fully jumpable. When you jump going upwards in a stairway without playerclips, there’s a pretty big chance that you’ll hit the edge of a step, causing your jump to send you straight up, instead of forward up the stairs.
Some notes regarding paint patches:
Paint patches are very useful for identifying the location at which an item is waiting to be spawned. When you are new to a map, this helps you learn the locations of them easier, as well as giving you a visual aid for it when your health is running low.
A few personal notes:
I never use unified paint patches, no matter how close the pickups are to eachother. I believe it’s important to be aware of how many pickups are about to spawn at the patch you are looking at.
Like I said in the paint patch notes, it’s about making the items identifiable and easily found. This is the reason why I also use a different patch color system than any of Valve’s maps.
I place blue patches under my heathpacks and red patches under the ammo packs. Hopefully players will realize this after having played any of my maps, so that when they are on fire waiting on a medpack to spawn, they know that they should stand on the blue patch, and not the red.
I hope you found this little article useful in one way or another!