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Thread: System Shockey?

  1. #1
    Registered: Aug 2001

    System Shockey?


    Decided to create a map in UT2k4, to see if I could create something that had a kind of sinister System Shock sort of dark gloom to it (motivated by some extent by excited anticipation of BioShock). In order to actually make it useful, I created it as a deathmatch map. All textures and audio created from scratch. In the grand scheme of things, I hope to be using this as ground work for a single player campaign mod type thing. Eventually.

    Check it out and comment if so you desire. It happily supports about 8-12 bots. I welcome comments.

  2. #2
    Previously Important
    Registered: Nov 1999
    Location: Caer Weasel, Uelekevu
    That's wicked pretty.

    Consider it downloaded.

  3. #3
    Nice. This is the first user-made level I've downloaded for UT2004 (Alien Swarm aside), and it's pretty good fun.

    Was that the entire text of "1984" scrolling by on one of those terminals, btw, or just an extract? I had to laugh when I saw that!!

  4. #4
    Previously Important
    Registered: Nov 1999
    Location: Caer Weasel, Uelekevu

    Okay, first off I should say that I don't like the vast majority of user-made maps. Including the phenomenal CBPs. And I'm really not a big fan of DM.

    So that's the baseline... I go into user-made DM with a pretty high expectation of "Nothing special"

    That said, this map has a crazy charm to it, and I think it'll be staying on my rotation for a while. It would stay on my rotation semi-permanently if a few minor issues were addressed...

    There are a lot of "fall to your death" spots, which bugged me at first until I put them in context with the theme of the map. And after getting sunk a couple of times by fiendishly clever bots weilding shock rifles, I grew to like the death-plunges. I do like that kind of thing, I think I was just miffed because I began my first run-through by wandering down one in my stupidity.

    There are a couple of areas where the hallways are a bit snaggy... I didn't see any bots hung up in them (I'm thinking particularly of the twin Adrenaline halls) but I got snagged once or twice. Narrow hallways are wonderfully murderous things if you have a rocket launcher or flak, and the curve to the twin Adrenaline halls made it less of an abbatoir (which is smart)... and the window between them make for nice little frustrating GAH THEre HE GOES THE OTHER WAY moments (which I am a huge fan of... CTF-Coret still rules for that kind of thing)

    I played with various numbers of bots, and found that even with as few as 5 it was difficult to avoid spawn-raping them. They just seemed to beam in all around me, and for a while I was standing in one place racking up 5 or 6 kills. I think probably a map with this sort of flow and size is best suited for a 4-man DM, or maybe up to a 3-on-3 TDM. If it were a bit more open in the central area (like Deck-17 perhaps) you could get away with a bigger roster... But then I don't think it NEEDS a more open central area, and I don't think it needs a larger roster. 4-man was pretty damned good.

    I love the weapon bases etc... The smooth purple running lights and overall sleek, shiny textures really give the map its character. Somewhere between retro and hi-tech (if that makes sense). Lord knows I get bored beyond belief with the same old same old of industrial rust and pipes everywhere, so this is a pretty stylish change. I especially dig the lo-fi look of the central beam-machinery (whatever it is) with the spirals and the whatnot. It would have been easy to make those out of particle streams and gadgetry, and I'm glad you didn't. The meshwork is all pretty damned boss, and fits together wonderfully.

    One thing I did think was that if you maybe were to alpha-up the catwalks -- at least in the central area -- that would go a long way towards reducing the visual crampiness in the middle room. Plus you'd be able to see anyone in the lower bit, which can make for fun leaping down to murder them. Even just a bit of visual z-axis stuff goes a long way towards making flow seem ... um ... flowier?

    A jump-pad from the lower center to the catwalk might be a good idea, but I don't know. Also there might be a bit TOO much weaponry, but again I'm not sure about that. Maybe it's just that the weaponry is all so close together seeing as how it's a relatively tight map. Or maybe I've just been playing ONS so long that I forget how DM flows.

    On the whole I think it's well-made, has a ton of character, and plays exceptionally smoothly. There are a couple of snaggy areas, and spawn points are kinda hard to avoid sometimes, but as long as you keep the number of players down it's all fine.

    I'm going to have to run it through a few more time just to make sure I'm not talking out of my ass, though.

    Bottom line: I like it.

  5. #5
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Many thanks. This has actually been my first foray into UT2kX level stuff. Though I be not blessed with copious amounts of time, it will most certainly not be my last!

    Shadowcat- it was indeed just an excerpt. Man, that would have to be one seriously long texture to accommodate 1984 in its entirety. Yet... why do I feel such an inclination to try it...

    GM - thanks for the praise and analytical detail. I share your perception of the rusty-industrial look, that has been done to death now. Though I expect it is UT2k4's general kind of theme, all I know is that if I were building a super future fragilistic whatever ultra high tech facility, I would hope there are gazillions of highly durable, non rusting materials to make it out of. It's the future, dammit! ...that is, er, future with a bit of old-skool. Retro-tech.

    I couldn't see much hallway snaggery (though I will see if I can smooth it out more with a few collision brush adjustments), although after looking a little more at that area, I noticed my ammo plinth models can actually be a bit snaggy themselves. I had applied a more simple collision shape to them, but it seems to have been ignored. More collision brushes to be made, I reckon.

    I had planned to make the walkways with a mesh, but decided the whole thing started to look a little... meshy...? Kind of cluttery. Perhaps a sort of glass material would look good. Though in addition, it probably wouldn't do wonderous things for the framerate to suddenly add that much overdraw to that rather large area. I can almost see all those red layers in the editor's depth complexity view now... Still, it is a beta, so I might try it.

    Anyroad, much obliged to you. I shall muse upon it some more whilst getting my arse kicked by the bloody bots some more. Bots also make handy surrogate friends!

  6. #6
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Those screenshots seem way too bright, colorful, and tidy to evoke any sort of sinister dark gloom.

  7. #7
    Registered: Oct 2001
    Location: Lying at bottom of Deck 1 elev
    Adding on to what ZB says, it's a good start.

    Play with the lights a bit though. More shadow, more gloom... I think you got the idea.

  8. #8
    Registered: Aug 2001
    I must say, it doesn't strike me as dazzlingly bright. In general Unreal map stakes, it's pretty dark, though I would like it to be darker. However, the fact that it has to function as a deathmatch map means an unfortunate compromise on such fronts.

  9. #9
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by Loonie
    However, the fact that it has to function as a deathmatch map for hyperactive adrenaline-saturated monkeys means an unfortunate compromise on such fronts.
    Fixed that for ya.

  10. #10
    Registered: Aug 2001
    ... for hyperactive adrenaline-saturated monkeys ...
    There ya go, y'see? Furnish them with weird skull-caps, psionic powers and the odd packet of crisps and that's one SS2 component taken care of already.

  11. #11
    I like it. Shock rifle+drop = good idea. If anything I'd grimy it up a little - it's so clean. . .

  12. #12
    Registered: Aug 2000
    Location: Atlanta, GA

    It's all about the flow son

    I played a couple of rounds on this map... The default bot number is a bit to high. Spawn raping everywhere, you get the idea.

    Btw, I won't give you any feedback on architecture or texture or any of that artistic stuff, this is purely gameplay. If this map was done as an artistic creation, ignore me!

    There is no where -near- enough health. I counted two 25+ sets, and one 50+ armor. While having the health/armor at opposite ends of the large open area is a good idea, there isn't really enough to entice someone out. The purpose of health and armor in these games is to make people take a chance-- they -could- run out to the center and grab the 100+ armor, or they could slink to the outside of the room, out of sight, at 37 health. It's a risk/benefit analysis that keeps people going into certain areas. That being said, certain areas of the map were virtually untouched during my games. I only found my way to the rocket launcher room twice, the flak cannon once, and the mine layer... once. And that was just because I wanted to get every weapon on the map.

    Save the rocket launcher, I didn't notice any ammo powerups for any of the weapons save the rocket launcher. This may have been due to the large number of bots on the map, but it was frustrating. I use the shock rifle like a whore, but I couldn't find any shock cores. So once I used my 25 shots (a measly 5 combos) I was done. No good for more refined players, who shock whore like bitches.

    There was nothing to draw people out of the central area, really. You could make a short execursion to get the redeemer, but this map felt a lot like DM-RocketArena (I think that's the name) but a bit more dressed up. You have to make people want to leave the central killing zone, either for health, armor, more powerful weapons, etc. Having the rocket launcher right on the edge like that so someone can pick it up and start firing into the mass is great for carnage, but poor for gameplay. Again, risk/benefit analysis. They have to leave the main combat area, sacrificing kills to other players, but they have the chance to come back with a hella big gun that could rip the other players apart.

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