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Zoning Guidelines

These are some simple guidelines for setting up zones and to help zoning become a more consistent across all maps. These are NOT rules and there are always exceptions to do things differently! The purpose of this guide is to help zone managers in decision making.

//Placing Start Zones//
A start platform is considered all of the walkable space at the start of a stage. In most cases simply placing start zones extending up to the edge of the platform is sufficient. If there is some kind of booster at the start, treat the booster as the edge of the start platform.

Anything that a player may climb to achieve a better time should be zoned off with a blockade zone. Having to waste 10 seconds climbing on top of something every time you want to attempt a stage record isn't fun.

If the start platform has edges inside of it, simply extend to the outer most edges and let it float above the gaps.

//Placing End Zones//
A stage is considered beaten when the player is above the end platform*. A platform is considered an end platform if the player can land on it and travel risk free to the teleport (or next stage if connected). An end platform is also considered something you can fall off of. So stages that end at the bottom of a hole are not end platforms.

*Sometimes being above is not enough to guarantee completion. For example: If the end of a stage is contained in a hole in the floor but the surrounding floor of that hole is considered failing for that stage.
  • If end platform exists:
    • Is it a simple shape? Can you easily fit cubic zones onto it?
      • Yes:
        The end zone should be extended up to the ceiling and should be extended to the edges of it without sticking out into the air. Use multiple zones if necesary in the event the end platform is not a perfect square/rectangle. Make sure the player cannot touch the teleport leading to the next stage without touching an end zone first.

      • No:
        If the shape of the end platform is too complex to fit zones onto it, consider using an end-start zone on the following stage. But ideally you should try to fit end zones onto it anyway. Circular shapes can be zoned, although tediously. It's easiest to line up the corners of your zone with the points of the circle.

    • Is the platform itself a teleport to the next stage?
      • Yes:
        Place end zones on it anyway, and then place an end-start on the following stage in the event the player touches the front edge of the teleport without touching an end zone first.

  • If end platform does NOT exist:
    • Is the end of the stage inside of a window/hole on the floor?
      • Yes:
        Place end zones extending to the edges as you would normally, raise the top of the zone to just below the edge of the floor above that is surrounding the hole. The moment the player is "inside" of the hole, the stage is considered completed.

    • Is the end of the stage a teleporter?(Meaning no platform visible)
      • Yes:
        Do not place end zones, instead place an end-start zone on the following stage.
        NOTE: If the teleporter is on the floor, place end zones using the HOLE rules above. With the exception of complex shapes where you cannot easily fit end zones above it.

    • Help! The mapper did something extremely awkward that doesn't fit into any of these guidelines! What do I do?
      In the event none of the above guidelines work, you should simply use your best judgement on how to zone it. View the images below for some examples.

//Additional Notes//
Always start bonus stages off with the stage number 101. 102 for second bonus, 103 for third, etc. This makes it more clear to other zone managers when they are cycling through the zones.
Make sure to give bonus stages a custom name of "Bonus #" with # being 1, 2, 3, etc.

If a map has only a single stage, we call these Linear maps. Give the stage a custom name of "Linear".

//Examples and Judgement Calls//
Following the logic above will not always work out, and sometimes following it too closely can result in poor setups. Here are some example screenshots and info on these types of scenarios.

Booster within the outer bounds of a start zone:
  • Extending the start zone to the edges of the start platform itself would of resulted in it sticking too far out, so I lined it up with the start of the booster since playing the stage starts as soon as it is touched.
Zoning a circular shape:
  • Multiple zones are used and each ones corner lines up with a point on the circle. Tedious but it's the best we can do. More zones could be added in between for more accuracy if needed. This setup works fine in most cases where the player is approaching head on. If they are coming from a diagonal direction, meaning they could go in between the zones and hit them later than someone else who aims at a point, then it may be more fair to use an end-start after the teleport.
Zoning to edges easily using "Expand to wall":
  • Instead of left / right clicking until its just right, you can aim at the edge from a distance and do it in 1 button press.
Awkward start platform zoning:
  • Sometimes you will run into scenarios like this, extending the start zone to the outer most edges will work fine in most cases.
End of stage is a hole but I can land on the top edge:
  • In this example, the player can actually land on the top surrounding edge. Following the end platform guide too strictly would tell you to extend the zone way up to the ceiling here. This wouldn't really make sense if you were to compare the method of doing a stage run vs a map run. The map runner's goal is to fly into the tube perfectly without hitting that upper edge. The stage runner's goal would be to just get above the platform, even if they were extremely high above it, all they care about is hitting the end zone.

    A set up like below is pretty pointless for the most part as you can just use an End-Start on the following stage, nothing would change from a competitive standpoint and this is merely a demonstration.
Cannot extend zone to ceiling:
  • In this example, the stage zig zags back and forth above using teleports to prevent the player from just skipping all the way down to the bottom. The end zone was raised high but care was taken to make sure it didn't go through the teleport above to an earlier part of the stage.
End zone inside of a hole:
  • Here the end platform is inside of a hole/window, you can see the zone line was extended up so that the moment the player's feet is below the floor above, they hit the end zone.
Stage starts with a vertical drop:
  • Sometimes stages like this will be encountered, where the player has to drop down way below. Often times it's better to just extend the zone in every direction outwards so that the timer starts at the same time no matter which way they jump off.
End zone NOT extended to the ceiling(intentionally!):
  • In this example, the player comes from the surf at the top right of the picture. In a map run the player would try to go into the hole without even landing on the platform in order to save time. If the trigger were extended to the ceiling, stage runners would not aim for the platform, but would be more likely to travel in as straight a line as possible in order to get above the end platform. To make a stage run consistent with a map run the zone has been shrunk down to only the floor.
Let me know if I missed anything and I'll add it.
Nice guide.
I wish I had this guide when I was zoning all the maps! Makes me want to fix some maps.
I added some example screenshots and info for various scenarios. Please ignore the horrible 800x600 HUD.
that's kinda fucking clean guide, good shit.
ooohh very nice +1 xd
Epic bread
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