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pinnacle
26th Jun 2008, 03:18 PM
CTF-React
By pinnacle - pinnacleohe <at> gmail <dot> com
Playercount: 6-10

Thanks to:
- All who gave feedback on the map during its development process
- My buddies in Q3/CPMA who taught me the subtleties of CTF that make this map fun
- My older brother for helping me keep the oldschool fun factor over 9000
- The guys at Epic for including such a vast array of toys to play with

Description:

The structural arch, first used in the Middle East as early as the 2nd millennium B.C., has the remarkable ability of being able to withstand vast amounts of weight. This trait is useful for bridges, doorways, or processing facilities carved into the sides of cliffs under tons of rock. Yeah, especially that last one.

My thoughts on the map:

The idea for this map actually came from watching the discovery channel. There was this show about massive tunnel-boring machines being used to make underground highways, and one of the things they were talking about was the architecture involved with keeping the tunnels safe from collapse. I then began to think about how cool it would be to put flag bases carved into the sides of opposite cliffs. The arches emerged from this idea. The map has a subtle irony about it, since some old, run-down, industrial crap-hole has stood the pressure of tons of rock over the years only because of a simple architectural concept, and yet at the same time it is a high-tech war zone filled with fancy gadgets and weapons. Technology may advance, but sometimes the simplest concepts can be the most important. In this case, the bases would have long since collapsed if it weren't for the simple semicircular arch.

The basic premise of the map is that it's entirely designed around the risk/reward mentality. The fastest flag running route only takes 12-15 seconds but requires two hammer jumps and only has the sniper rifle along the way. The longer routes have armor, health, good weapons, as well as a lot more cover but obviously they take more time.

Another key aspect of the map is that it's designed to be really fast-paced. I've been playing a lot of UT3 CTF recently and one thing I noticed is that there's not as much emphasis on covering the flag carrier as there is in other games. This map essentially requires you to have a full-time flag carrier cover person since there are so many entrances into every room and an ambush could be around every corner, so once again it makes for a huge risk/reward balance - do I cover my flag carrier or do I go after the enemy flag carrier? I deliberately designed the map to be a little shorter from base to base to make this decision a little more interesting.

Not only this, but the map is a little more standoff-oriented compared to most others. This isn't the kind of map where your flag will stay on its base when your team has the enemy flag. In fact, the map is designed to encourage just the opposite.

As for the name, very early into the layout design I knew that it was going to be the kind of map I described above, and I knew that reaction time and quick thinking were going to be paramount. The name React emerged from this idea and I think it suits the map well.

In the end I hope the result is the type of environment that will reward teamwork during slower, more calculated flag runs but can make the last-second, overtime-forcing flag runs possible as well. Most of all, I hope you have fun playing it!

Screenshots:

http://img211.imageshack.us/img211/4338/reactshot1it6.jpg http://img401.imageshack.us/img401/152/reactshot2bb1.jpg
http://img211.imageshack.us/img211/6263/reactshot3on6.jpg http://img254.imageshack.us/img254/1268/reactshot4qp6.jpg
http://img501.imageshack.us/img501/9500/reactshot5xk6.jpg http://img254.imageshack.us/img254/9813/reactshot6uk5.jpg
http://img80.imageshack.us/img80/6056/reactshot7do0.jpg http://img50.imageshack.us/img50/228/reactshot8md7.jpg

Download CTF-React (http://files.filefront.com/CTF+React/;10811526;/fileinfo.html)

Download CTF-React for PS3 (http://files.filefront.com/CTF+ReactPS3zip/;10812948;/fileinfo.html) (thanks euchreplayer23)

Kantham
27th Jun 2008, 02:23 AM
Really nice feeling and theme right there. :tup:

hal
27th Jun 2008, 02:33 AM
Suggestions if you ever consider a version 2:

- Center area is under-utilized. Perhaps a Keg atop the central rock structure.
- it'd be nice to see the upper center area accessible to the flag carrier. Perhaps rock ledges along the side (or a reasonable jump distance) or a rock ramp up one side. Once you're down on the ground, you've got nowhere to go.
- The Amp pit isn't really a viable option for the fc. Some connectivity into the base would help
- The center area acts as an extreme choke point. There are really only two exits from the base (the generally accepted ideal number is three). See the bullet point above for an idea to fix.

Otherwise, nice smallish map!

pinnacle
27th Jun 2008, 03:12 AM
Suggestions if you ever consider a version 2:

- Center area is under-utilized. Perhaps a Keg atop the central rock structure.
- it'd be nice to see the upper center area accessible to the flag carrier. Perhaps rock ledges along the side (or a reasonable jump distance) or a rock ramp up one side. Once you're down on the ground, you've got nowhere to go.
- The Amp pit isn't really a viable option for the fc. Some connectivity into the base would help
- The center area acts as an extreme choke point. There are really only two exits from the base (the generally accepted ideal number is three). See the bullet point above for an idea to fix.

Otherwise, nice smallish map!
- I didn't want to put a keg on top of the rocks... I'll explain why later. As for falling down and having nowhere to go, that's on purpose - it's a risk that you have to take when hammer jumping up there. If you make it, it only takes a few more seconds to cap the flag. If you miss, you're pretty much a sitting duck.
- The upper rocks area is accessible, it just requires a hammer jump. I didn't want it to be easy to get up there because it would make the rest of the center area useless in terms of flag running
- Yeah I wanted to expand it a bit but every time I tried I ended up with long tunnels or teleporters or other things that didn't really fit in with the rest of the map. I just stuck with the original design for that reason. Also the amp pit isn't designed to be an escape route... it's designed to be a meeting place for the flag carrier to meet up with teammates or an offensive force to group together before attacking.
- The central area is designed to be a place that can be controlled for a very limited amount of time. I made it completely devoid of pickups on purpose - I didn't want people to be able to control the area as long as they wanted. And as for exits, this is to make sure that the flag carrier is surrounded by teammates. In other words, it helps to enforce one of the goals I had when making the map - a flag carrier shouldn't be able to capture by himself. If I were to put a keg on the central area it makes that route too attractive - a fully charged hammer jump (required to get up there when running the flag) only takes about 50 health but if the keg happens to be there you make all of that health up and more. I purposely made it so the fastest flag running route has no health or armor or good weapons to avoid one guy being able run the offense by himself.

I guess my point is that the map is designed to be "wrong" in all the ways you pointed out. However your feedback is really good and one day I might make an expanded version of it with the things you mentioned... they're solid ideas, but they would require completely reworking the layout to incorporate without throwing off the balance I was hoping to achieve.

hal
27th Jun 2008, 09:47 AM
It's true that a Keg is probably overkill for that small of a map and it would certainly make IH jumping less risky. Something like a BioRifle or Link (neither a first-choice base assault weapon) would at least make it feel a little less "naked" and give it some additional purpose.

No matter, I'm picking nits. It's a very nice map and I hope you do more. :tup:

-=WolverinE=-
27th Jun 2008, 06:12 PM
I really like the sky on the 3rd screen shot. :3 Going to try this tomorrow. ^^

Hourences
27th Jun 2008, 06:36 PM
Its a nice map, the middle looks quite nice. The sky is too close by though, feels weird.
I found it a shame that the bases are so symmetrical. It would have been nice if one side of the base was different, and offered some kind of different strategy. It would also really help navigation.
I would have personally added a upper route in the middle.
Its a nice and solid level besides those points.

Renegade Retard
28th Jun 2008, 09:09 AM
Nice work, pinnacle. :tup:

UnrealGrrl
30th Jun 2008, 12:36 AM
great work very cool map!

i played around with it in IA and thought... hmm kinda small. then i played it online a few times and WOW

this map plays VERY WELL! its small and fast but there are enough hiding places and the bases are "winding" enough to keep a constant flow of cat-n-mouse going.

you get alot of standoffs and then suddenly a bunch of caps in a row so it can play realy chaotic or really tense waiting for one of the flag carriers to get fragged.

very nice job! any comments on design/looks are nit picky because overall the map rocks. it also, for some reason i cant quite explain, has a very UTish feel to it. (maybe sorta kinda reminds of terra-mines)

i also would have liked to see something on the top center, maybe the Helmet or Thighpads and or an Enforcer just to spice up making the jump there for the FC. and a few more areas higher up being accessible would be nice. I predict this map will get a lot of online play - it should!

ps. a larger part 2 to this would be awesome, same/similar bases with a larger center area or set of central areas... keep up the cool work.

hal
30th Jun 2008, 12:41 AM
Yeah, we played this several times at FragBU this weekend and it was really a lot of fun. :tup:

I'd say there's too much health in the bases, but as I was carrying the flag a fair bit I made good use of it. ;)

Slainchild
30th Jun 2008, 06:00 AM
I got MASSIVE framerate drops when looking at a certain area. Like, down from 100+ to 10-20.

Was probably just my PC being **** though. Would probably be fine if I tried it again.

pinnacle
30th Jun 2008, 03:01 PM
After I got a few questions about the high flag running route, I decided to make a short video clip of it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sxl9iYfGnao

WaitForTheRain
5th Aug 2008, 09:26 AM
This map plays really well, like a UT classic, but I feel that the underground section in the centre should have more purpose.

Kantham
5th Aug 2008, 10:54 AM
Isn't the high flag route a little overpowered?