View Full Version : JB-CellBlockA

Silas Mercury
30th May 2005, 11:03 PM
I am starting to think that I may have way too much freetime, but hey, that means more time to become a better mapper.

Speaking of which, my current work in progress (not even to beta status yet) is called JB-CellBlockA. Credit goes to expisCoR for the idea, it was in a thread he posted way back when on our clan website.

The entire thing takes place in a cell block of a prison. This map is small, but made to accomodate 16 players at a time. The action is freakishly frantic and fast paced. The cellblock is three levels tall, with the top level holding the release switches.

JB-CellBlockA has:
8 seperate jails per team, all released by the same switch.
A few custom meshes and brushes, nothing complicated.
No fewer than 100 cells, each with a working door.
Bot sniping points.

JB-CellBlockA will have:
An Arena (I was thinking of doing a prison shower room for this one :lol: )
I still need to get bots to use most of the doors. Lots of door actors to set.
Still need to add shields and health, health vials and adrenaline.
Execution Sequence (might be custom, might not)

JB-CellblockA will not have:
A redeemer. One shot would take out half the map easily.
No vehicles. Again, it's just too small.

There is no version to download just yet, and I'm predicting that the map may have some performance problems once it's finished. I will have to study this further as I continue to work on it. However, I have included some screenshots for your enjoyment.

Let me know what you think!

31st May 2005, 06:22 AM
I really like the look of this one. So far from the pics it looks very atmospheric in there. Will be insane to play.

Bit of advice here on the mapping front. One map at a Time!
Otherwise you end up neglecting stuff....I have done this before and regret it....

Silas Mercury
31st May 2005, 12:59 PM
I really like the look of this one. So far from the pics it looks very atmospheric in there. Will be insane to play.

Bit of advice here on the mapping front. One map at a Time!
Otherwise you end up neglecting stuff....I have done this before and regret it....

From a playtesting perspective, it IS insane to play. The fps are totally shot though, too much info thrown at my radeon 9600 pro at once I guess. (with myself and 15 bots the fps dropped below 10 a couple of times. Could just be me. :lol: )

I have split this map, trying to decide on what path to take to complete it. The second version has half of the jails removed, this took out about 100 brushes and almost 150 static meshes (in an effort to improve the frame rates). In the end it didn't really help much though, so I'm not sure if I'll keep it with all the cells or not.

31st May 2005, 01:27 PM
I have a 9500pro :s
Doesn't look like it should kill the fps that much though.

Try making each set of jail doors as one mesh. that might help.

1st Jun 2005, 05:22 AM
Looks atmospheric.
With a cell block theme, you're going to have to have a pretty nasty execution!
Remember the electric chair in the Alcatraz map?

The floor in the main area looks a bit flat though. Any way you can break it up a bit?

1st Jun 2005, 06:02 AM
The floor in the main area looks a bit flat though. Any way you can break it up a bit?
^^ areed. I would perhaps put some jails or something underneath the floor and have mesh there so you can see through it. Probably will hit the performance a bit. I can't see why it is so bad at the moment though.

Silas Mercury
1st Jun 2005, 03:18 PM
I think the performance problem is due to the 15 bots that I test the map with. (That and the lights.)

Let's see, a way of breaking up the floor hmm? There is already stuff under it, so maybe I'll just work that into some see through grating or something.

1st Jun 2005, 03:48 PM
You have done a level rebuild before you test. Sometimes that can kill your fps. also are you testing with UED or lots of other programs that may slow down the game.

2nd Jun 2005, 03:10 AM
Just looking at the screen shots, it looks like it is going to be great. I made a couple attempts at this, but couldn't seem to get what I wanted, and this is it. Very nice. I think I may have tried to make it too big. Oh well, whatever, nice pics and I would love to try it out some time [soon].

Silas Mercury
2nd Jun 2005, 08:00 AM
I had this huge page long response written here, and I lost it all... Death to the funky keyboards!!!!!

Summary time!
If you would like an advanced version of the map just pm me and we'll set it up for me to email it to you once the arena is done and the door actors are all working. (shudders...)

The rest was all just random silliness.

(Actually no it wasn't, this begins the edit...)

The playtesting was done from the UED with Musicmatch jukebox running, all on a subpar proc. (1.37 GB) It is no wonder that 15 bots give my pc the fits.

Using a theme from the jails basement I added some detail to the floor. Nothing spectacular but it get's the point across I think.

Silas Mercury
3rd Jun 2005, 08:10 AM
Just remember folks, save like your life depends on it. I lost three hours of work on this map today because the UED decided to go to florida asap.


3rd Jun 2005, 10:11 AM
Yeh UED has a habit about that. We had the stabability discussion over on the main BUF forums last week. Its perfectly stable once you know what causes the crashes. The one i usually fall victim to pressing back more than 3-4 times.
I'd like a version of the map to have a go on please mate. If you want me to host the file to save you emailing it to people let me know.

3rd Jun 2005, 10:46 AM
I lost three hours of work

I save every ten minutes. Maybe less. :)

3rd Jun 2005, 10:59 AM
I'm pretty sure auto-saves are enabled by default in UnrealEd 3. Check the Auto?.ut2 files in your Maps folder...

3rd Jun 2005, 05:35 PM
It saves every couple of minutes in mine, but will only keep 8 copies or something. Fine for most I should think :p
I always forget about this and panic still if I get a crash

3rd Jun 2005, 08:05 PM
I thought it autosaved during every build.

4th Jun 2005, 06:10 AM
IT might do, can't say I've checked tbh. Generally I save everytime I'm not doing anything

Silas Mercury
4th Jun 2005, 07:47 AM
I use version 3 but it doesn't auto save at all...


Anyways, I will take you up on your offer for hosting it. I "did" have all of the doors done and the arena almost done when the editor crashed, but now I have to do it all again. :(

When it's done I'll let you know and post a few more screenshots or something.

4th Jun 2005, 08:22 AM
It's every 5 minutes by default I think. 5 or 10, one of the two.

4th Jun 2005, 06:02 PM
Nice theme, I'm looking forward to playing it.

Silas Mercury
5th Jun 2005, 05:34 AM
Thanks, really trying to go for a moody and dark look. The lighting is being tweaked constantly to maintain the "atmosphere" that the map has.

Ok, the arena is working now and almost half of the doors are. The arena still looks kind of like crap but when you will see it you will get the general idea quite well. This brings me to my next point...

I need to make showerheads for the arena and I want them to actually be spraying some water. I know that this is some kind of emitter but I haven't even the faintest idea of how to get this part done. (Modified "Rain" perhaps?) Any suggestions?

More screenies coming soon, maybe later today.

5th Jun 2005, 01:13 PM
Emiiters I always found completely impossible, then I found the particle editor :D

Go into real time (so u see all the anims) Select a rain like texture, Place and emmiter, then fire up the particle emmiter (look under tools)
Set the texture to the rain one and play around with the settings

5th Jun 2005, 04:44 PM
Suggestion for execution: teleport condemned to execution area and put them against the wall (use a blocking volume to keep them there). Once there, let a headshot volume move from one side to the other. Put up some army men at the other side of the room.

Pretty pic to show you ;)

Traditional execution!! :D

pic: green = blocking volume, red = headshot volume

Silas Mercury
6th Jun 2005, 12:31 AM
That execution is an interesting idea, and so far the only other thing I came up with was one involving getting killed by monsters that were your "cellmates". I had problems getting the monsters to do anything other than stand there and look stupid though.

Anyways, as I promised I have taken a bunch more screenshots for your viewing enjoyment! The doors are almost done, so I'm getting closer and closer to getting this ready for Beta testing.

Some of the screenies will be familiar, some will not. The last one is the arena and the others (with the bright green glow) are the basement.

6th Jun 2005, 02:19 PM
what do they keep in the basement? Uranium? That is some green glow there m8 ^^

Looking good :tup:

Silas Mercury
7th Jun 2005, 07:27 AM
My thanks, although perhaps it is "Too" good. The editor now crashes every single time I try to rebuild the level, always in the begining of the "occlusion" phase when it rebuilds the lights. (right after "partitioning")

I checked the log, bunch of warning about the "Node Count" being exceeded, although that's not when the editor crashes.


Edit: I removed a few of my zone portals and now it builds just fine. Even with the zone portals there I still only had about 40 zones in the map, so it shouldn't have been a problem anyways. Oh well, it works now.


9th Jun 2005, 08:57 PM
Looks good so far.


-The halls feel too tight, and I often got stuck on them (second and 3rd floor, along the cells).
-Would get stuck on the jail doors as they tryed to open (like at the start). Make them open faster/sooner?
-Nice to loose almost 75 health as I tryed to pass down the green-glowing hallway.

Silas Mercury
10th Jun 2005, 09:38 AM
Looks good so far.


-The halls feel too tight, and I often got stuck on them (second and 3rd floor, along the cells).
-Would get stuck on the jail doors as they tryed to open (like at the start). Make them open faster/sooner?
-Nice to loose almost 75 health as I tryed to pass down the green-glowing hallway.

Ok, the general populace (expisCoR and The_Head) have both informed me that the hallways are slightly too small for effective manuevering. As for the jail cell doors the mesh is the main problem, not the speed. The mesh will be changed for the final release of the map, and if enough people hassle me during the main beta testing I'll probably rebuild the mesh before then. The green glowing hallway will probably not do any damage during the beta testing and the final version.

10th Jun 2005, 12:28 PM
Remember you can just swap over the meshs on the movers ;)

5th Jul 2005, 12:49 PM
So, WTF is the word on this thing? It's been sitting here a good month. The cobwebs are getting ugly!

Silas Mercury
4th Sep 2008, 09:31 PM

Sometimes I think I'm a bit too absent minded.

5th Sep 2008, 02:29 AM
That is without a doubt one of the biggest bumps I have seen on a forum.

Silas Mercury
7th Sep 2008, 05:35 PM
Yeah, I wasn't really thinking about how long it had been since I updated this. I'm really looking to get back into mapping (especially with the arrival of UT3 Jailbreak on the horizon) and JB-CellBlockA will be the first one I do some more work on.

The_Head (and anyone else really), if you have any suggestions above and beyond what was already posted please let me know. I think I may have found a way for the walkways to be a bit bigger without sacrificing the "feel" of the map. I won't get a decent amount of time to work on it until Tuesday unfortunately, if anyone is interested in helping me with an execution scene (I'm thinking a Gas Chamber at the moment, I was originally going to use Monster "Cellmates" that killed the players, open to suggestions really) please let me know. Keep in mind that I don't know the first thing about scripting at all so if it becomes required for the execution I'm going to need help of some sort.

The headshot volume thing looks cool too and would probably be easier for me.

Silas Mercury
1st Oct 2008, 04:10 AM
Ok, the updates so far:

Static Meshes:
Moved the railing that surround the walkways down a bit. This should help with making it easier to evade attacks by leaping off the walkways.
Deleted a lot of unused lights inside the vacant cells.

Deleted well over 50 various light actors that were doing a whole lot of nothing.
Improved the lighting in the Arena.

Figured out a way to remove 4 seperate zone's completely by combining them together, this has drastically increased the map's stability in UED.
Added a fog volume in the Arena.

Improved Lighting.
Added fog volume to simulate steam.
Added two particle emitters, now if only I could get them to stay working for longer than 40 seconds. I'm currently testing them to see how they do being triggered by the arena.
Added several static meshes for detail.
Fixed an issue with the Arena shower floor being too steep to walk across when transitioning out of the shower room itself.

Edit #2:
Green Goo Zone: Turns out that the issue with the floor in the arena shower room was the same thing that was happening here. Unfortunately I had to use a blocking volume on this one to fix it. Players and bots were getting stuck once they entered the green goo room because the slope on the floor to exit was a tad too steep. Works fine now.

Things still to be done:
Execution Sequence
Loading Screen
Scoreboard Minimap
Escape Route

2nd Oct 2008, 12:48 AM
Glad to see you are still making progress on this :)

Silas Mercury
4th Oct 2008, 06:09 PM
More Updates:

Execution Scene:
A perhaps temporary execution scene has been added for the red team. It's still being tweaked but looks promising. More details to follow if it's what I decide to use.

Escape Route:
The escape route has been added. Due to the nature of how one accesses it testing has been... difficult. It's definately possible to complete and both the red team and the blue team escape into the same area for even more competition. Out of the 8 cells per team only 1 has access to the escape route. The game assigns jailed players to their respective jails in a seeminly random fashion. Those two facts combined make it difficult for me to test the escape route without breaking the zone and moving the door out of the way. I can do that though for testing so it's not a problem.

It appears that triggering the showers to turn on at the start of each arena match will work. Testing seems to back that theory up anyways.

7th Oct 2008, 02:38 AM
Interesting concept for a map. I can't believe it hasn't been done yet when you consider the overall theme of this mod.