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    [PROTOTYPE] CTF-Nuclear Plant-v2

    This is my first map in Unreal Tournament and in the Unreal Engine. I chose a CTF map because this is one of the modes I like the most, simply.

    I would classify this as a pre-alpha level. Apart from the obvious lack of decent art (I am a junior level designer, first and foremost!), there are surely many ways to improve the map. I would like to get some input on it. Please do not hesitate to criticize this map, I need the feedback!

    *Note: this is the second version of the map, improved from the first. Again, all feedback is welcomed!

    You can download the map here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1...29WY2JXWFNYUmc

    The level is an abandoned nuclear plant set on an asteroid. A nuclear breakdown caused most surviving scientists to leave the place. The plant is technically working through automation but the breakdown creates radiation leaks regularly over time.

    Design intentions:
    - A central landmark to always know where you are on the level
    - Two equal outposts in terms of defense (color-coded for easier identifying): two access each, fairly open (not much cover) so attackers can have a fair chance of grabbing the flag
    - A third access is opened when a particular object is shot down (container inside the plant). This also gives access to the Redeemer
    - Various possible routes for the flag carrier: central plant, tunnel, roof (after container is blown away)
    - Powerups scattered at key points: away from the bases or inside the plant, the main area for fights
    - Various scripts control: periodic nuclear damage inside the plant, force fields activation/deactivation, lift, container explosion, etc.)

    Thanks everyone!

    Attached Files
    Last edited by whitewarrior11; 11-28-2015, 03:33 PM.

    #2
    Nice job on taking a step to learn the editor and build a map. I like the idea of a ctf map based around a nuclear power plant.

    Im hesitant to review this map because I dont want to come off as mean, so please dont take it this way.

    Conceptually the map isnt there. I dont really see anything thats resembles an abandoned nuclear reactor, why is there steam coming out of the stack? If steam is coming out of the stack that means its a water based Nuclear reactor, where is the water that is used to create the steam? You have essentially built a steam powered nuclear reactor in the desert. Why does it still have power turning on various scripts throughout if its abandoned? Why is the nuclear reactor producing giant puddles of what I can only assume is toxic waste? The plant itself doesnt really look like a nuclear power plant at all, I just dont get that feeling of it being some sort of high tech super complicated power plant. I would suggest you google pictures of nuclear power planets and try to draw some inspiration from the design of those plants.

    The size of the map and areas dont seem to fit well. In UT ctf all the action exists between the two flags, this map has a lot of areas that if anyone ever went into those areas, they would be wasting time and be a negative draw for their team. Basically you can wander outside of the main field of play which isnt always a bad idea if you can create a viable reason to go there. Running to a far corner of a map to get a sniper rifle or amp tends to really slow down the game play and hurt the team. It also provides for a significant area of hiding which will further slow down the game play.

    The terrain could use a lot of work. Random spikes and hills through an otherwise flat piece of land doesnt make a whole of sense geologically. You have areas of perfect flat spots dotted with extreme uprising in the ground that then have random locations of erosion. The landscape doesnt look natural at all is what I am getting at. It looks like in a lot of places you tried to create decreases in the terrain to put a building into it, however it looks odd because the ground around the base of the buildings doesnt touch the buildings. The ground on earth is very rarely flat and when it is super flat, you dont find mountains or valleys near it or humans built it flat for a purpose. Work on eliminating 95% of the flat areas only providing flat areas where human activity would have created them. You have the basics of terrain painting down but you need some more tools in your arsenal before you can really utilize it, learn how to make a "hole material". This will allow you to put the ground right up to the base of your buildings and not have it protruding through the walls.

    A lot of the buildings I dont understand the purpose or why someone would have built them. Me personally when I am working on a map every building or object I put into the map needs a purpose and a purpose that the player can understand or easily use their imagination to place it. For example you have a tunnel outside of the red base, why would someone take the time and money to build a tunnel that starts nowhere and goes nowhere? What is the point of the cylinders on the outside of the map?

    Im not trying to discourage you, just give you my view and provide feedback that I think would make the map better. Here are some pictures that you could use to draw for inspiration. Keep at it and Im sure you will improve!


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      #3
      That's alright I was asking for feedback, anything I will certainly continue working on this map and will probably rework it so it looks more realistic.

      I understand you not seeing this as an abandoned power plant. Most working systems are actually signs of people leaving in a hurry. Details aren't there to show this yet (but this was mu intention).

      - Nice comment on the map size: that is something I wasn't certain of, but I will take this into account and modify the map to have less dead spots.


      Keep it coming! I want to improve!

      Comment


        #4
        Just tried your map out. I think -jay- made an excelent review, noting most of the points I've experiences as well. The most important point is the excess of playable areas on the sides. Even though it is very much recommended to have multiple paths from one base to another, you don't have that effect with a open wasteland. You'll just want to take the shortest route.

        I think -jay- also made a good point regarding the real life applications of buildings, though I do think gameplay should be favoured over realism. The layout of Outpost 23 probably makes no sense as a power plant, but it does combine gameplay mechanics with architecture that seems to be functional. My point is: Don't delve into blueprints of real-life buildings and replicate them with extreme accuracy, but try to get the gameplay right first, and fill in the blanks regarding the real-life applications of these buildings later.

        One more thing, it's good custom to use versioning: Save your *umap with the name CTF-Nuclear Plant-V1, CTF-Nuclear Plant-V2, etc. This will prevent mixups of versions on computers, and as side effect it is a nice way to track your progress.

        Good luck!

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks a lot for the feedback I am working right now to find a better way to showcase this level and remodel the landscape to fit its role better. I will probably have to do some research to actually modify the landscape quickly/massively rather than sculpting every excess area, for example.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by whitewarrior11 View Post
            Thanks a lot for the feedback I am working right now to find a better way to showcase this level and remodel the landscape to fit its role better. I will probably have to do some research to actually modify the landscape quickly/massively rather than sculpting every excess area, for example.
            You can try and look around online for "height maps" and import one of those into the map. Otherwise it just takes a while. The bar is really high with this version of UT because of how beautiful the editor can be, unfortunately it just takes a lot of time now to make a quality map. I have maps that ive spent over 100 hours working on and not be more than 25% done.
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              #7
              I just uploaded the second version of the map. Feel free to take a look and send some feedback! I am pretty happy with this version, but I am sure it could be improved!

              Comment


                #8
                I really wanted to test this out for you, but I can't open the map. Did you rename the PAK file? It's really lame, but the file gets broken when you change the name. So that's why I suggested to change the name of the UMAP first, and PAK it then (with the new name coming straight from the export). Iif you actualy did that... I don't know what is going on

                Judging by the images, you've really absorbed the feedback. I see clear paths, inside/outside areas, cover. It seems a bit drk, but that is relative easy to fix.

                I hope you can fix us a working PAK, looking forward to a proper test

                Comment


                  #9
                  New version is looking much better! Keep it up!
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                    #10
                    Aahhhhh yeah I did rename the file, will upload the new version asap sorry for that!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      When you closed down the amount of space (turning the map from a square to a rectangle) did you actually cut parts of the map, or did you just include mountains? in the first screenshot there seems to be a lot of unnecessary mountains on the left.
                      I'm not going to test maps until Epic makes UT workable for linux, so the only feedback I can give is through screenshots. But it seems to be a vast improvement from what you originally had so good work

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Good observation, I *did* use the same landscape portion, adding mountains to reduce the play area. I will definitely have to clean up the useless clutter, although at some point, I think I kept the mountains in case I wanted to offer a higher point of view to the player. It is possible for a player to see this when they take the jump pad near the redeemer (in the section between the two cooling towers, accessible when the inside container is blown up).

                        As for lighting, I am fairly noob The inside of the plant does seem dark to me too, but I have trouble grasping the basics of lighting. Performance-wise, lightmaps, etc. is a vocabulary I have yet to understand.

                        By the way, you may see weird shadows on the cooling towers, which happen to be one of the only pieces I did myself, in 3DSMax. I think it has to do with UV mapping, but can't really solve the problem. Anyone can give me a hand with this? From what I understand, there should be two UV channels, the second one being used for lightmaps. At the moment, the UV unwrapping of both channels looks the same (in 3DS Max), but that might be a problem. I checked a couple of videos online, but can't seen to make up my mind on this.

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