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Communication

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One of the most important tasks when making a map is communicating goals to the player. Since there are such a variety of maps, a creator can't assume that all players will immediately know what to do or where to go. Map creators have been getting creative, using all kinds of methods to tell stories, share goals and set the tone in their maps.

Text

Text can be used to quickly and easily give the player background, story or objective information. The easiest and most obvious use of text is the use of World Text to create persistent story information or instructions. All players in a map can see a World Text.

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In Isolation: Evil Unleashed (5DWXR596), RwYeAsNt uses World Text to set the tone and tell the player not to die. In EOM2 HELL ON MARS (VE9HN869), user Mike Copa uses World Text to create a movie-style credit sequence.

World Text can also be used in more subtle ways. Creating a monitor or room signs can serve two purposes: communicating to the player and building a more-believable world.

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In The Maintenance Guy (2TSVHZLL), Official Zom-B uses a Monitor prop, World Text, colored Player Blocking Volumes and a Trigger volume to create an interactable computer. In EOM2 HELL ON MARS (VE9HN869), user Mike Copa uses a Monitor prop and three World Texts to label each room in his map.

A Message can also display text to the player, but will disappear after a given number of seconds. This can be helpful for use as dialogue, step-by-step instructions, notifications or other time-sensitive text. Messages can also be used wherever non-persistent text is needed. A Message, unlike World Text, can be shown to just one player or all players.

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In Red Bounty 1: Obsidian Station (L6AQDAQC), Buccura uses multiple Messages strung together to play longer dialogue sequences.

Audio

In many cases, a Voice Speaker can communicate information to a player in a more immersive way than text. The VEGA and Facility voices are used in many places during the singleplayer campaign to communicate that doors are locked, that demons are present, security clearance requirements, and other gameplay information. The VEGA voice is also present in standard multiplayer matches to communicate incoming Demon Runes, time remaining, winning teams, and other information about the match.

The voice and callout objects are translated into many languages, use them where possible in place of text to make your map accessible to more players. Some players might be using subtitles, so be careful when using World Text and Voice Speakers or Callouts at the same time.

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In Red Bounty 1: Obsidian Station (L6AQDAQC), Buccura uses VEGA Speakers to randomly compliment the player with phrases such as "You are winning" and "You are amazing." In Dream Job (9GPVAN63), Official Zom-B lowers the pitch on a VEGA Speaker to emulate a demonic voice.


The Callout object combines some of the VEGA and Facility phrases with some on-screen text. Callouts are also translated into other languages.


The Reveal Secret input on the Map object combines Text, voiceover and scoring information into one convenient input. The Reveal Secret input will only fire once per match, so each secret must have its own input node.

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In Demonic Refusal BETA 1 (63SS3TUF), there are four hidden secrets. Map author elfinko uses four Reveal Secret inputs to activate the VEGA voice phrase, test message and point score for each secret.


The 2D and 3D Speakers can be used to play sound effects in your map. Audio cues can be obvious or subtle, but they provide valuable feedback to a player and should be added wherever they make sense.

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In Dream Job (9GPVAN63), Official Zom-B uses a 3D Speaker to play a buzzing sound near an important but easily-missed area of interest. In EOM2 HELL ON MARS (VE9HN869), user Mike Copa repeats an alarm noise to duplicate an alarm used in the singleplayer campaign.
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Creator RwYeAsNt got creative in Isolation: Evil Unleashed (5DWXR596), using a Lost Soul as a sound effect by killing it outside the player's view.

POIs

The HUD Settings are vital in multiplayer and score-based modes to provide the player with real-time scores.

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In Dream Job (9GPVAN63), Official Zom-B uses the HUD Settings in a singleplayer map to display the chapter number and name to the player.

The Objective object in SnapMap can be used to communicate the discrete goals in a map. Objectives should be hidden when the player completes them. Multiple objectives can be active at once.

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In Fight for Survival (RUXW5QYL), HeroSindrome uses Objectives to break the mission into substeps.

Sometimes it can be helpful to point out a specific location using the POI Settings. Several different POIs can be created from icons and text for each map. Use the Set Point of Interest and Remove Point of Interest inputs on Large Props, Triggers, Demons, Pickups, and other objects to control the POI marker.

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In Fall of the Demon Slayer: E1 (SS7N5PS4), noisegrinder uses small Debris Piles to set a POI while blending in with the other props in the level. Invisible trigger volumes would also serve the same purpose. In Isolation: Evil Unleashed (5DWXR596), RwYeAsNt uses Flags to call attention to Keycards in dark areas. In this example, the Flags act similarly to POIs without using the game's UI.

Point of View

Enabling a Camera will change the view of the activator or all players in a map. When the camera is disabled, the player's view will be returned to normal.

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In The Maintenance Guy (2TSVHZLL), Official Zom-B uses a Camera, two Lost Souls, a Demon Rune, a Player Input, World Texts and some colored Player Blocking Volumes to create a menu at the start of the map. In Isolation: Evil Unleashed (5DWXR596), RwYeAsNt uses Cameras in several locations to show the player important angles of the map to provide a better understanding of the surrounding areas.
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In Red Bounty 1: Obsidian Station (L6AQDAQC), Buccura uses a Camera, colored Player Blocking Volumes and Large Fire FX to create a game-over screen.

Environmental

A lot of information can be communicated without using words. Use FX to diversify environments, create a feeling of danger, call attention to important areas, or as other visual cues.

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In Isolation: Evil Unleashed (5DWXR596), RwYeAsNt uses player-triggered FX to add some action to the environment. In Cosmic Order of Apocrypha Trials (H5843PZT), Spacegar uses a Radiation FX object and black Trigger to create a custom teleportation gate.

Large Props and Small Props can be used to craft environments. Environment design can quickly communicate facts about a place and the people that inhabit it.

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In EOM2 HELL ON MARS (VE9HN869), user Mike Copa makes modules feel lived-in by creating areas like break rooms.

In the singleplayer campaign, the player is subtly guided by a series of green lights. Lights can be used to draw the player's attention to locations such as module edits, pickup locations, interactables, or other areas that are significant.

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In EOM2 HELL ON MARS (VE9HN869), user Mike Copa uses a green Point Light to draw the player's attention to a hidden location, then turns off the light after the player picks up the Armor. In Demonic Refusal BETA 1 (63SS3TUF), elfinko uses a combination of props, lights and FX to call attention to weapon pickups. The light and effect are both turned off when the weapon is picked up.