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The Unreal style of a new age

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    The Unreal style of a new age

    Well, the tricky question remains, what we can do for the level art part to trigger the renaissance of the original UT style, or more precisely Unreal style, for this new age?
    I thought about that from time to time. Maybe these could be the key characteristics for the new UT environment (just my opinions):

    - Sky themed, space themed map environment that use fantastic skybox or cosmos as the background. If you check the map theme of UT99 and UT2kx or UT3, you will be surprised how often this theme were used in 99.
    - Ancient alien culture, or human alien hybrid culture. Nothing modern or near future. It is something that you can only expect to see on an alien planet or in your dream. Sometimes Painkiller also gave me this feelings because the environment looks very twisted.
    - Cold and lonely atmosphere, many maps from UT99 gave me this feeling that even though the combat is hot, the environment was there way before the tournament, abandoned, no where close to population or active civilization
    - Interesting physics mechanism, especially the seamless warpzone, gave you goosebump when you find yourself going back to the starting point again and again by just going forward. Different gravity, special falling death effects, etc.
    - Unique sounds that is not based on reality, thus very alien and this is something UT2KX and UT3 really missed.
    - Visible colors, instead of saying UT99 is colorful, I say actually many maps of UT99 are not that colorful, just because overall the geometry is simple, you can feel the lighting more directly, as a flat surface just reflects the lighting without many bumps or specular, and also because BSP uses lightmaps, not like most meshes in UT2KX use vertex light and most UT3 meshes use low resolution lightmaps or just vertex light.
    - Gameplay friendly shape. UT3 obviously reused some Gears assets and tried too hard with visual details based on asset module, and there are lot of places where the visual can't represent or justify the collision thus makes player confusing or misjudging, and it is also difficult to identify super quickly critical targets when there are so many details on your screen.


    That is what I can think of right now.
    [WIP]: DM-Deck(Remake) | DM-DeepBlue | DM-Peak(Remake)

    My stuff: @ Youtube | @ Small site | @ My blog

    #2
    I agree with your post. That is the art style we should go for sure. UT really needs to get that feeling back, and it can't be done with just the mechanics, but also the spirit.

    Maps floating and with some crazy jumps, hell yeah.
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      #3
      Originally posted by chonglee View Post
      - Ancient alien culture, or human alien hybrid culture. Nothing modern or near future. It is something that you can only expect to see on an alien planet or in your dream.
      Modern or near-future environments are safe. The source material is abundant and no one bats an eye. They can also be incredibly derivative and uninspired but that's not to say they should become totally off-limits. Should there be more risk-taking? Yes, definitely, but I like to see more grounded and plausible environments as well. You can swing too far in the other direction too, like with the Necris in UT3. It was alien but sort of ancient at the same time and it ended up being very muddled.

      Originally posted by chonglee View Post
      - Interesting physics mechanism, especially the seamless warpzone, gave you goosebump when you find yourself going back to the starting point again and again by just going forward. Different gravity, special falling death effects, etc.
      Unexplained, open pits of toxic goo and lava have been absent in many games for far too long. Along with zero gravity, they're absence is related I think to playing it safe when it comes to designing environments.

      Originally posted by chonglee View Post
      - Visible colors, instead of saying UT99 is colorful, I say actually many maps of UT99 are not that colorful, just because overall the geometry is simple, you can feel the lighting more directly, as a flat surface just reflects the lighting without many bumps or specular, and also because BSP uses lightmaps, not like most meshes in UT2KX use vertex light and most UT3 meshes use low resolution lightmaps or just vertex light.
      This is not going to be a problem in the slightest with UE4.

      Originally posted by chonglee View Post
      ...there are lot of places where the visual can't represent or justify the collision thus makes player confusing or misjudging
      [emphasis added]

      Placing invisible collision planes behind stacked boxes is probably a carry-over from having to design levels for single player games where the goal is to create the illusion of space beyond the playable area without making the player feel cut-off from that space. Given the conceit that the bounds of a map for Unreal Tournament define the boundaries of an arena, I think that making use of obvious collision boundaries/markers shouldn't present the conceptual problem that it does in single player levels.
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        #4
        Modern or near-future environments are safe. The source material is abundant and no one bats an eye. They can also be incredibly derivative and uninspired but that's not to say they should become totally off-limits. Should there be more risk-taking? Yes, definitely, but I like to see more grounded and plausible environments as well. You can swing too far in the other direction too, like with the Necris in UT3. It was alien but sort of ancient at the same time and it ended up being very muddled.
        I was not saying we avoid anything grounded or plausible, or elements of modern or near-future, just overall, more towards something exotic(by also using realistic materials). Just like in UT99, you still have industrial or modern buildings but overall you don't feel they are something like Battle field or COD, or Gears. Because in the Unreal universe, you go to a planet where used to be a human colony but there were also local alien civilizations, so there are culture mixture but all of that has been long gone when the tournament happens.

        Placing invisible collision planes behind stacked boxes is probably a carry-over from having to design levels for single player games where the goal is to create the illusion of space beyond the playable area without making the player feel cut-off from that space. Given the conceit that the bounds of a map for Unreal Tournament define the boundaries of an arena, I think that making use of obvious collision boundaries/markers shouldn't present the conceptual problem that it does in single player levels.
        Agree with you, but that is not what I was talking about, what I said is because UT is heavily based on fast-paced movement, advanced movement and shooting, the collision map has to be closely consistent with the visual map, not only for the map boundary, but mostly for the playable area.
        BSP is really good for this, because it can precisely combine the visual with the collision, that is one reason why up to today, there are still many players prefer UT99. And in UT3, we have HOLP. But BSP is not a way to create awesome environment for a new generation, so the question is how to make the art asset with the new techniques but somehow manage to respect the classic conherence between the visual and the gameplay.
        [WIP]: DM-Deck(Remake) | DM-DeepBlue | DM-Peak(Remake)

        My stuff: @ Youtube | @ Small site | @ My blog

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