In our previous Rockstar Game Tips article, we covered game design pro tips and pointers for polishing and perfecting your own GTA Online Races using the Creator – and we’ve been enjoying test driving what the Social Club community has produced thus far. Next up, we’re going to delve into how to make killer custom Deathmatches, deciding every detail from where players spawn to which radio station plays in the pre-match lobby.
As before, we’re leading off with a general guide for anyone yet to get some quality time with the Creator. For Creator veterans, we’ve got some inside design tips in response to questions and comments we’ve received at the [email protected] email address, including specific suggested do’s and don’ts from some of the very Rockstar dev team that are actively seeking out exceptional Jobs to join the ranks of the Rockstar Verified.
The Deathmatch Details Menu is where you’re going to enter the name and description of your Deathmatch, as well as parameters such as how many players can be on each team, Target Score (kills), Time Limit and Time of Day. Note that all Deathmatches have to be playable in both Normal (free-for-all) and Team varieties – whichever of the two you select as your Deathmatch Type sets it as the default when players enter the Job.
Balanced weapon choice is one of the key ingredients in a Deathmatch. Using the Lock Weapons option, you can choose to restrict your Deathmatch to one particular weapon (Forced Only), restrict the starting weapon but allow pickups (Forced + Pickups) or allow players to bring their own loadout (Owned + Pickups). This allows you to create Deathmatches that are pistols-only, knives-only, fists-only… whatever you like.
Just like when creating Races, placing a Trigger sets where players will need to go to start your Deathmatch from Free Mode and also lays down the rough location of where the action will take place. You’ll also want to take a Lobby Camera picture to set the pre-Job background. Next up are the all-important Spawn Points. These are the points at which players will respawn when they die and their placement will go some way to determining how fun the Deathmatch is to play. The number of Spawn Points required is displayed at the bottom right of the screen and it is affected by the player counts you set up in the Deathmatch Details menu. If you feel like things are getting too congested, remember that you can go back and tweak all of those details at any time.
You’ll also need to lay down some Team Start Points (one per player) which is where players start when your Job is played as a Team Deathmatch. Generally you’d be looking to start them off with their respective teams at opposite ends of the playing area, but there are no hard and fast rules so feel free to experiment. Maybe we’ll see some Red Dead-style standoffs?
Once these are in place, it’s time to start populating the playing area with things like Weapons, Health & Armor pickups, or even Vehicles and Props, such as Cabins and Barriers to provide additional cover. The only way we know of to create a well-balanced Deathmatch is to test it repeatedly and change things around accordingly. If the sniper spot you set up is feeling slightly too exposed, put some cover up there. If you find that players are heading straight for the P-996 Lazer you dropped in and dominating from there, maybe you need some heavy firepower on the ground to help even the balance.
If you want to quickly lay down some basic structure like Spawn Points, Start Points and Weapon Pickups to go back and tweak later, hit the Randomize option after placing your Trigger to get an instant playable Deathmatch inside the area you selected. You can also switch to in-game camera by pressing the Select/Back button and place Spawn Points, Weapons and everything else from the ground. This will also allow you access to create in underground areas and inside some buildings.
Adding too much cover plus too many Armor and Health pick-ups could make a fortified position overly advantageous, so always test and refine your Deathmatches.
Testing 1, 2, 3
Hitting the Test option allows you to play your Deathmatch against AI-controlled opposition and you must complete one Test before you can publish the Job. However, don’t think that testing ends when your Deathmatch is out in the wild. Be sure to actively gather feedback from your Friends and Crewmates, as well as comments and ratings made by the wider Social Club community, and then go back in to update accordingly. You may even want to add notes to the description so that returning players can see what’s changed and know that you’re actively tweaking your Job post-launch.
- Balance should always be your ultimate goal – the feeling that every player has an equal opportunity to win and that no particular Spawn Point offers an unfair advantage or disadvantage.
- The kinds of things you’ll want to be considering carefully are cover placement, high ground and sight lines. With this knowledge, you can create interesting sections such as effective sniper spots (with a handy Sniper Rifle to boot) and chokepoints.
- Keep the radius of your Deathmatch in mind; players do not want to be running a marathon to get to the heat of the action.
- Unless your Deathmatch takes place over a very large area, consider lowering the minimum number of players. This will make it easier to gather enough players to launch the Job and cut down the risk of keeping your players waiting.
- Consider placing powerful weapons in harder-to-reach spots, such as on a low roof where a player will have to climb to get it. Try to place pickups in more dangerous areas so that players can’t just camp in a corner with a rocket launcher spawn.
- If you would like to set up a Deathmatch where only one weapon can be used, select it as the Forced Weapon in the Deathmatch Details menu and switch the Lock Weapon option to Forced + Pickups or Forced Only. With the latter option selected, any weapon pickups you placed out on the field will automatically become that selected weapon.
- Varied terrain and existing structures can make your Deathmatch more interesting so whenever you’re cruising in Free Mode, be on the lookout for potential spots.
- You can add dynamic props such as explosive barrels or vehicles to give players different tactical options.
- Spawn Points should be placed near to where the action is likely to be but clustered so that each spawn doesn’t result in instant death. Also make sure you adjust the orientation of Spawn Points using the L1/LB and R1/RB buttons, making sure the player is facing the action when they spawn. There’s nothing more frustrating than spawning into a frenetic battle with your back to the action.
- When placing spawn or cover points, consider a rock, paper, scissors approach so that all positions have an advantage over some but a disadvantage over others.
- Test, test and then test some more! Keep fine-tuning things until you can’t find anything more to improve.
- Market your creation – A clever title and well written description coupled with an offbeat photo can make your creation pop on the Social Club website, meaning more players will notice it. You should also be creative in looking to promote your masterpiece amongst your Crew, your Social Club Friends, and also on outside social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to make sure all your friends know about it and give it a go.
- Change the camera mode to third person view often when editing a Deathmatch so you can see how the props and objects will work in the game. An elaborate maze of props might look cool from above, but it could make for a frustrating map. This can also help you place weapons and objects more precisely on the map.
- While it may be tempting to fill the area with exotic weapons and vehicles, this can result in a bloated, unbalanced experience.
Time to Publish
When you’re completely happy, hit Publish and your Deathmatch will be available for the entire community via the Social Club website. From there they can download, play, rate and share your Job at any time. Keep an eye on their feedback in the comments section for potential updates later on.
Feel free to discuss your ideas or tips with the rest of the Social Club community (but as always, please resist the urge to spam repeated links to your Creations). Best of luck with becoming a maestro of the Deathmatch & Race Creator and we hope that these tips help you perfect any existing or new Jobs you may be cooking up.
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