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Brainstorming: What have you done with your level(s) to utilize the EU4 engine?

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    Brainstorming: What have you done with your level(s) to utilize the EU4 engine?

    I thought it would be a neat idea to share ideas and improve all our abilities to create new and exciting maps. The more I am reading about UE4 and watching tutorials, the more amazing and neat features I am finding this engine is capable of. Combined with the ease of blueprints, we should really be able to make some fresh new maps that stand out from all the past UT models. Static meshes are an easy way to make a level look pretty and full, however I think the UE4 engine elements itself has a much higher potential to add significantly more to a level.

    I am currently working on my 2nd map, the first one was just a junk map to get used to the new editor (been 8 years since i made a map) and get a feel for ut. This second map is kind of a progression of the first map, however taking what I learned in the first map and polishing it up for this one. It still wont be anything special, but my third map will be the one to shine.

    Anyways with this second map I am working to try and make a neat showcase of features and effects that people seem to never use in UT. I want a map that can showcase what we as mappers can do that really adds new elements and shows off the UE4 engine. Im not going to lie, the map is definitely a bit Thornsesq. But thats just because I wanted to spend more time with blueprints and effects than physical layout. The level theme is definitely on par with a Portal theme in that clean almost testing like arena environment. Anyways what Im doing and working on.

    -Dynamic Lighting: Currently the map has blueprints in place that dynamically change the lighting of the room. When the level starts the room is full brightness and your typical lighting. After a minute all the lights turn off expect for a row of spot lights and some accent lighting. I want to see how players react to these changes as now players can use the cover of darkness as a weapon. Its not dark enough that you cant see anything, but dark enough that a well aware player can hid in shadows and be seen by a well aware player. After a minute of darkness the lights come back on and continues this cycle till the end of the map.
    -Particle effects: For the fun of it I added some particle effects to a few of the lights to simulate a short.
    -Sounds: I am waiting on more sound effects, however the lights turn off in series, one set then another set. I want to make a loud sound like an electronic bang you hear when a large power supply is suddenly shut off to add an element of intimidation to the lights going down.

    Ideas I am tossing around in my head.
    -Lights off Fog effect: I am thinking of having fog pumped in, in massive amounts a few seconds after the lights go off in strategic locations.
    -Strobe lights: Just an idea to play around with to see how the map looks and feels.
    -Re-configurable routes: Make it so that every 2 minutes or so a route that once worked, will no longer work.
    -Death Traps: Create one time traps in the levels that kill unsuspecting players. The idea I was thinking is that a player runs over a specific spot at a specific time and a giant pillar will drop from the ceiling crushing them. It only works one time and stays in place afterwards, adding a new object.
    -Gravity Actors: I have not looked too far into this part yet, one idea of a map I have sounds really fun. You know those pictures you see of impossible rooms where stairs are on the ceiling and such? I want to make a map like that. I know its possible, I remember back in UT99 someone made a map that was one giant sphere, however you could walk all the way around on the inside. In the middle of the ball was a barrier and once you cross it, up was down and down was up. You could still see everyone and shoot at everyone on the other side. I want a room where you jump on a jump pad that shoots you up to the ceiling and you are now standing on the ceiling, looking up at the person standing on the floor and able to fight.
    -Moving floors: Toying around the idea of a giant spinning disc in the middle of the room. Players standing on the disk would seem stationary to each other, but everyone else would be moving.

    Anyways what other ideas/features have you guys been toying around with that could be included in this list? I understand that a lot of these ideas are gimmicky and not serious arena elements all combined like this. Thats fine, like I said I wanted to make this map more of a showcase of what we can do in the hopes that if we come with 100 ideas, someone can take 1 or 2 ideas that they really like and add that little extra flair to a map to put it over the top and set UT apart.

    Large list of UE4 features.
    https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest...ces/index.html
    Last edited by PayBack; 08-13-2014, 10:31 AM.
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    #2
    you brought up some things i was thinking about as well. i think that we shouldn't only rely on fun geometry, but emphasize on the dynamics a setup creates with blueprints.
    i made this floorplan to get things going and quickly realized it wasn't enough anymore. we cannot just bring deck16 back and think this would be enough. we should move forward to a new ut. i think leveldesign is the most underestimated value in this. if you remember, there was dm-pressure with interaction and ctf-bollwerk. both pretty much sucked and their scripts didnt really add to the gameflow/dynamics. right now i have not come up with something smart, but i believe that dynamics are the starting point to have an idea. examples would be routes for flagcarriers with portals mirroring their position to the other side of the pathway, z-axis fights questioning the advantage of the higher level, breaking things to have another way into the enemys base, blind your enemy, damage chambers on powerups to push the fight from the powerup to its surroundings (would also change the entire leveldesign, cool!). what else do we got? changing maze so you cannot predict things. but whatever it is, it has to go hand in hand with the dynamics. just adding stuff to add stuff is not working out.

    in the past the advantage of a new engine didnt really come to life. of course it was somewhat "prettier" still a game does not need to be pretty. i think that quake live still looks amazing and is fun to play, because it makes sense.

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      #3
      Exactly. After playing some of the newer maps online, they are good maps. You can move around them easily, items are placed strategically, they are for all intensive purposes UT maps. My issues is pretty much every map made so far, could be made identically in any other past UT games. Thats not to say they are bad maps by any means, they just arent UT4 maps. The UE4 engine is capable of a ton more than we are currently using it for, maybe its because people arent aware of all its features, so lets share them and get them known.

      Yes I remember those maps, another one like that was ctf-twochickenpancakes, basically was one giant room with team spawn rooms connected and a small control room. In the control room was a monitor that showed live game feed from the main room and a button. When you pushed the button the ceiling game down and crushed everyone in the room.

      Now sure maps like that arent Esport maps. But UT4 isnt just an Esports game. It needs to appeal to all levels of players. The most popular maps from every generation of UT wasnt the professional maps, it was the gimmicky fun maps. TwoBedrooms wasnt an esport map, but it got more rotations than any other map. Me personally I enjoy the fun gimmicky maps as a more casual player. Those are the maps I am going to build and design. Hopefully the gimmicks I build and learn can be used to improve esport maps.
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        #4
        Just found this and up until now never really thought about it, water.

        https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest...les/index.html

        I might try this idea tonight. Make a pipe, make it destructible, when its destroyed, the pipe beings spewing water out onto the ground. Anywhere the water lands, reduce the traction for players in that specific spot, add wet foot prints to track players a short distance.

        How to make swimable water

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtyXjSb1P-4
        Last edited by PayBack; 08-13-2014, 10:34 AM.
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          #5
          I see your point. It's true the UE4 brings new stuff yet is it really necessary to use it all in the maps ? Look at UT99: plain simple yet you still enjoy the action. I'd say ok for new effects, pretty lighting and all but not at the expense of the gameplay. There is a thin line there and it can become bad when levels are designed to showcase effects rather than focus on map flow and gameplay.

          Curious to see what ideas this post will bring.
          RASTE IN PEACE !
          Maps: DM-Hydraulics | DM-Affliction
          Weapon: Redeemer

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            #6
            Oh definitely not necessary at all. I agree that too much makes the game play about the map and not the game or player. Like I said I just want to see whats available, what other people are doing and use those ideas in my own maps. We dont need static meshes to make maps pretty. The way I see the games, UT99 featured empty maps in terms of static meshes and other features, they focused on game play. UT2K4 and UT3 were static mesh city. The maps were very pretty and involved but were weaker in the game play area. Everyone was concerned with making a design theme and how pretty the maps could be. IMO and even I am guilty of this, mapping for UT2K4 was this: Build a room, add a ramp, add a lift, fill with static meshes.

            I feel with UE4 we have a really good opportunity and tool to combine the best of all these games. We can add the movement of UT99, we can use static meshes to enhance the details of maps, not define them, we can utilize the new and easy to use features of UE4 to bring them all together. Lets make maps that play like UT99, inspires like UT2K4 and have cutting edge elements with UE4.
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              #7
              Originally posted by -jay- View Post
              Just found this and up until now never really thought about it, water.

              https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest...les/index.html

              I might try this idea tonight. Make a pipe, make it destructible, when its destroyed, the pipe beings spewing water out onto the ground. Anywhere the water lands, reduce the traction for players in that specific spot, add wet foot prints to track players a short distance.

              How to make swimable water

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtyXjSb1P-4
              oh wow I started adding effects like these to my map, wonder what else I could find by searching :x

              Comment


                #8
                Dynamic maps is the way to go. Hopefully more people like you will make use of this new techniques! It would really make UT4 feel like a new game, right now the maps feel like they could be made in every other UT.
                work: www.POLEGAR.pt

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by -jay-
                  How to make swimable water
                  another thing would be not to go too far, but simply use a puddle of water holding a gun to slow a player down for a second. quake has that here and there. there are many variations possible. in the end swimming is adding another dimension, while a puddle would change existing dynamics a little bit.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by duffte View Post
                    another thing would be not to go too far, but simply use a puddle of water holding a gun to slow a player down for a second. quake has that here and there. there are many variations possible. in the end swimming is adding another dimension, while a puddle would change existing dynamics a little bit.
                    Agreed, for the most part I only think water as a dynamic map element should be pretty limited.

                    One over the top idea I have to showcase water though, I want to know if its possible to dynamically add water to a level. Imagine a room with 4 giant tubes in the ceiling, all of a suddenly they start pouring water out, as they are pouring water out the room begins to fill with water. Design the room so that once the water stops filling, new areas of the map are now the ground level just above the water.

                    So now the map instead of being an open ground based level, all the dry ground is the former raised ground, navigation would require more skill and be harder as the amount of use able ground would be diminished. I could create matinee platforms that would raise all the weapons up with the water or just have duplicates. I could leave high value items like berserk at the bottom of the water, requiring a trek down to get it. It could also make previously inaccessible parts of the level another level above the new water level accessible.
                    Last edited by PayBack; 08-15-2014, 08:27 AM.
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                      #11
                      Found some interesting stuff on the gravity actor.




                      https://forums.unrealengine.com/show...endent-gravity

                      How awesome would a space ship based map be with these features? Remember in that crappy remake of StarTrek with Scott Bakula, the enterprise had a spot in the very center of the ship where artificial gravity wasnt possible, so the crew could just go float around? Or how about a space ship that becomes damaged and all of a suddenly the gravity is spinning all around due to the ship being out of control?

                      Think of something like the fight scene in inception at the hotel when the van is falling and all the gravity is messed up?

                      Start at 1:30

                      Last edited by PayBack; 08-15-2014, 08:57 AM.
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                        #12
                        I know I am posting on this thread to myself a lot, but hopefully some find this helpful. Anyways I thought of another idea today that could be really interesting.

                        Spinning the rooms! So the idea works like this, lets say you take a giant cylinder and put the map inside of there. Now once the map is made, put an invisible object in the center of the map and attach everything else to that object. Now create a matinee of the that object spinning a bam, you now have a spinning room.

                        No my art, but this is the level design I am envisioning using this technique.

                        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...lony3edit.jpeg
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by PayBack; 08-15-2014, 01:18 PM.
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                          #13
                          as long as you inspire just 1 person (even if it is yourself) to do something special for ut, it doesn't matter if you are the only person talking in here

                          about spaceships crashing and such. if think this would help drawing attention to the game for people that enjoy CoD and such, while i'd rather see it happening in a single player mod. again i believe that it does not have to be the most impressing thing you've ever seen in a game to make a map the crowds favorite. there is a general rule for accessability and fun: keep it simple and stupid (kiss). for example: it is really hard to get quakes leveldynamics right. the positioning of ammo, weapons and the freaking teleporters that take your to places that are simply not connected... of course it forces great dynamics for people.. who know the game. some people will never learn it though and i am one of those. i just find it too hard. ut however has always been way easier.

                          but if you do stuff just for an amazing visual approach.. DO IT. i like the changing faces idea

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                            #14
                            There was a similar thread; let me link it: https://forums.unrealtournament.com/...Mutable-levels

                            And that was my idea:
                            Originally posted by Tycerax View Post
                            Dynamic arenas?

                            With dynamic arena I don't mean "destructible arenas"; I mean that, while playing something happens and changes the terrain. For example, let's say the arena is located near a volcano and a river. Sometime later volcano erupts and lava flows into the arenas certain points and follows a certain path. When lava comes, players will be unable to traverse certain paths but at the same time, there will be new paths because when lava gets to the river, there will be another layout in the same game/map. With this, it'll be like playing a new map without leaving one. Maps with multiple "instances" may be selected individually (like Arena1, Arena2...)
                            Tiny Details That Should NOT Be Forgotten & Dynamic Arenas & UT4 Storyline - Story Design & Gametype Designs: Volleyball - 3-Way CTF & Smartphone/Tablet Integration

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                              #15
                              I've taken one of my old ut3 maps that was ok. and changed the walls so you can slide doge that ut4 was created for. and I've tried to use natural lighting effects and shadows. to create realistic feel to the game.
                              It's a CTF map that ive called CTF-helmsdeep-V5 looks old school with a new look with killer materials. still looking to get/buy/create some more custom content for this map. but that's a slow prosess.
                              so here are a few picts
                              Attached Files
                              AKA TwocensT

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