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    [PROTOTYPE] CTF-Amnesty

    Hey everyone!


    I wanted to contribute to a series I grew up with and spent countless hours on.


    PAK DOWNLOAD LINK: https://ut.rushbase.net/blaythe_steuer (178. MB)


    This map is titled Amnesty. It is a medium sized and fast paced CTF map. It is set in an abandoned warehouse/storage/industrial district used by a past military force. I was thinking this would have been somewhat near a civilian area, probably lower class, so the buildings needed to be nondescript as to avoid attention at the time. Anyway, I didn't want a sci-fi feel. I wanted urban combat, running on top of rooftops, leaping in and out of buildings, and pillaging. There are several optional structures that are open to exploring. These buildings do not get the player any closer to the flag, but they have loads of ammo and such in them, rewarding exploration. Speaking of which, ammo is plentiful on this map because I thought it would make sense seeing as there are still all sorts of storage containers about. Given that this map presents the dichotomy of enclosed areas and large outside areas, weapons such as the flak cannon and rocket launcher are purposely out of the way. They aren't hard to get to of course, but they aren't really on the direct path to the opposing base and back. This was implemented as a balancing measure. Bots still use them, but they aren't as common as other weapons, which is cool.


    I noticed there are a lot of maps focusing on specific movement techniques. I wanted to focus on sliding because I think it is overlooked, and super interesting to use as a play dynamic. Extra armor, whole rooms, and certain powerups are only accessible by sliding through or under obstacles. I think it would incentive new players to use the mechanic more often and more effectively.


    Second, I think the Redeemer Vault is an interesting gameplay mechanic. The vault is out off the side of the middle of the map, and it is guarded by 3 doors. The doors have to be damaged to open (damage is currently 100,200,300). In the Redeemer room, there is a button. When it is shot, doors open on the sides that lead to jump pads to get back in the fray. I am very open to changing the damage values on the doors (probably should be higher) and having them held open longer, which would give people more of an opportunity to stop the other team from getting the redeemer. Its pretty ruthless on this map.


    I textured everything with materials and assets that were already in the editor. However, I think this could be exactly ten thousand times cooler (no more, no less haha). It looks super WIP at the moment. I have no graphic design experience. I really need the help of someone that does with all the textures and static meshes. My logic was that if I could get the map itself to play well and be fun, maybe someone would want to help with the art side! Right now it is all BSP. I did spend some time on making it presentable though (but I did not decorate the "no mans land" between the bases). I did make sure all the pipes lead somewhere logical, and some of the buildings that aren't even accessible have something in them or on them.


    I would like to use assets such as:
    -Piles of nails etc
    -Puddles and drips of water/oil/other mechanical fluid
    -Different crate textures
    -Different mostly everything textures
    -Old rusted stuff. The barrels don't fit super well.
    -More foliage bits
    -Warning sounds for the Redeemer Vault doors being blown open (increases with intensity the deeper the door), when the redeemer spawns (some sort of weapon armed thing?), and then a big alert audible through almost all if not all of the map when the redeemer is picked up.
    -Anything cool you guys can think of or add.


    Here is a video I made showcasing some features of the map. It focuses on movement and pickups.





    (the audio was supposed to be several decibels softer...sorry. It's a bit loud!)


    This is my first attempt at a map, but my process took a couple weeks as I started over and re did things many many times. Since I am on Christmas break from my University, I thought I could give it a proper go.


    Thanks to Laamboand Megasporwic for helping me with my navmesh issues earlier this week!


    I hope to get loads of feedback and some people interested in helping me with further development (art, lore, level design itself, etc). My goal is to have this map included on servers and hopefully in a future build of UT. Sorry this was so wordy... I am just excited!

    #2
    It looks like a good start. Making quality maps is definitely a skill that is not easy and most people take one look at the editor and nope out of it.

    I havent downloaded and played the map yet, but just some basic feedback from the video:

    -The 600 damage required just to get into the redeemer room is a bit much. It takes a player out of the game for a considerable amount of time and if the redeemer isnt there its a huge waste of time for a weapon that has minimal impact on the game. Lots of new players love getting the redeemer and this sorta of long delay/hoops to get it means new players will be even less helpful in matches causing more seasoned players to quit or not play the map. A damage door is fine, but 3 of them requiring 600 damage is a bit excessive for a minimal reward.

    -I would not call this map a medium sized map, its more of an XL sized map. You have so many lines of sight breaks, corners, rooms to hide in that the action on this map will be limited. A lot of flag standoffs will occur as flag carriers have too many options to hide. Realistically you want around 3-5 paths that a flag carrier can take between bases, when you get too many options and too many different levels, its becomes impossible to convey accurate information to your teammates about what path the enemy flag carrier is taking back or even where they are. The map itself looks like it would be much more suited for a tactical shooter style map. It reminds me of a Counter Strike/COD map. Lots of corners to crouch behind and flank routes. This sort of map design doesnt play well with Arena shooters because what ends up happening is you get a lot of people running around frustrated because they cant find people or they are constantly getting killed from enemies they never saw.

    -The Berserk is another item thats a bit too hard to get and suffers the same draw backs as the Redeemer. You want people fighting over power ups, but you need to keep it fast and sweet. Power ups in an open central location where both teams can fight for it easily is best.

    -It seems a lot of the weapon placement requires a player removing themselves from the action. The sniper rifle for example, you go into a side room and then jump onto a crate. During this whole period of time someone could have translocated into your base without you even knowing. Weapons should be easily accessible and in a manner that allows the defenders to grab a weapon and quickly return to the fight without having a "fog of war" so to speak come over the match for them while collecting a weapon.

    -The map filesize itself pretty large considering the amount of detail in the map. You need to work on trimming down the fat of the map to 75-125MB tops for that map. You can do this by setting the light map density on static meshes to something lower and setting the light map resolution on bsp surfaces that are unseen to 65535. Use the view port with the light map density view to find hot meshes. These will show up as red/orange. You want all your meshes to appear blue. At 178MB is really close to the 200MB limit Ive seen that is too big for most players on a server to download. When maps get over 200MB players tend to disconnect from servers instead of waiting for it to download.

    -Everything in your map is a BSP box it seems. You need to break this up some as players enjoy seeing a variety of shapes and designs. Rounded building faces, edges, odd shapes. Learn to utilize the geometry editing tool to create more aesthetically pleasing BSP objects.

    -Finally no one is going to art up your map. You may get suggestions or help with a mesh/material here and there, but anyone who is capable of putting good art into a map isnt going to spend that time on someone elses map. Its far too much work and effort. Making a BSP map is easy, making a fully meshed and pretty map is the hard part. A fully meshed in map is easily a 3-12+ month project. Doing the mesh/lighting/bug fixing on a map is just something you need to learn if you want to make maps.

    I apologize if this comes off a bit harsh/critical but I know me personally would rather have this sort of feedback as opposed to nothing or blind praising. Try not to take it too harshly as everyone is always excited and proud of their first map like its a first child, unfortunately everyones first map usually ends up being a dud. I commend you for making an original map and not taking the easy road of remaking an already classic or established map, that just adds so much complexity and challenge to produce a real high quality map that the community will get behind. I am on my third UT4 map now, my first 2 I have all but abandoned as failures after spending hundreds of hours working on them. Keep practicing and working on your map design skills and they will always get better. Dont be discouraged because a map isnt as well received as you had hoped, every mapper has a list of maps that they created and tanked that is far greater than the list of maps that they created and were successes. Keep at it, take some time to study some of the Epic maps to better understand their design models and how they are played.
    Last edited by PayBack; 12-31-2015, 01:55 PM.
    PayBack
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      #3
      Hey, sorry I just got back to this. I am a student and it's been crazy at the university. Anyway, I really appreciate you taking the time to explain all these things to me. It all makes a lot of sense and I better understand the conventions of how a map should be and how things actually work. Though I was initially disappointed, I do really appreciate it. I am going to continue working on developing in the future. Could you point me to where I can learn about how to make good statics and such? I haven't been able to find too many resources honestly. I might just not be looking right.

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