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View Full Version : DM-Suddendeath - Review


FreakinMeany
3rd Dec 2001, 10:49 PM
Note: This was a review I wrote for application to become a Nali City reviewer - although I've included the total score here (hope I did my math right).

Any comments on the review, my style, or my mother are encouraged and welcome.

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Name: DM-Suddendeath
http://nalicity.beyondunreal.com/dl.php/nalicity/utdm/dm-suddendeath.zip
Author: Christian Hoegemann (general_motors@web.de)
Nali City Score (1-10): 7.395
Reviewer: John "Freakin'_Bastard" Dailey (freakinbastard@mac.com)

-[ Summary ]-----------------------------

http://www.kiddailey.org/unreal/dm-suddendeath.gif

Sudden death. Named appropriately. On the bottom floor of the map you can expect, at any moment, someone rocketing down on you from the high tops of the central pillar, 8-ball locked, loaded and launched.

Damn, I love z-axis.

This symmetrical gem consists of a wide, pillar-like structure in the middle of a large room, connected to the outer walls and floor by a series of ramps in the style of an abbreviated DM-Liandri. Large box structures scattered almost at random in the outlying areas of the room add even more opportunities for dodging and jumping.

What's so cool? Besides solid construction and z-axis opportunities, this map is extremely well pathed for offline play with bots. An unfortunate design decision on the other hand, is the overall slime-colored lighting.

-[ Game Play ]-----------------------------

No question, this map is fun. It's the type of map that you load up and play offline with one or two godlike bots for hours on end. It's one you've added to your list of favorites for practicing fancy-pants moves with the slime gun and flak cannon. It's one that you and your buddies at work have in regular rotation on your UT server.

The unusual part about all this is that it's the author's first map.

The recommended player count of 4-12 will suite most tastes, with 12 being a non-stop frag-fest. I had the most fun with 6 players total (myself, plus 5 godlike bots) giving me just barely enough time to recoup and reload between each bout.

Node and polycounts stay fairly low (N<500,P<200) throughout game play making this map playable on a wide range of computing setups. Only when I increased the number of bots to twelve and beyond did I really begin to feel any sort of lag.

Speaking of bots; we've all talked about the lack of bot support in many recently released maps, but Christian has done a good job of placing pathing points throughout the map. The robots find every single item without any difficulty, and I was surprised to find that they even make it to the top of the large pillar structure (probably from spawning though) and snipe from the defined defense points at times.

One side of the map is more heavily noded than the other though, so you may find that a lot of bot action goes down in one particular spot.

There's no question that flow is superb throughout the level. There are multiple paths to take from every point of the map without fear of getting lost. From nearly every high point you have an opportunity to jump down to multiple levels. And from every low point there is easy access to the higher areas of the map - by ramp, lift or boots.

There are a number of places where flow can get completely interrupted, specifically around the areas where the boxes are placed near the walls and other boxes. Step into one of these traps and you're bound to become rocket or flak fodder.

Another flow problem lies with the lifts employed in the inner workings of the center pillar. They're thin, having just enough depth for your body, but worse is that they will crush you if you get caught hanging off the edge or underneath one. In a case of such small lifts, getting killed by one while in the middle of a battle is simply not cool.

These problem areas however, aren't enough to detract from the overall enjoyment of the map. There's a perfect balance of weapons and ammo. Armor is readily available, and the three special items (heath, damage amp and invisibility) all have some risk associated with getting them. Thankfully, the redeemer has been left out, as its presence would have surely unbalanced the game.

-[ Environment ]-----------------------------

Although the game play of this map is top-notch, I must admit that its theme, architecture, texture, lighting and sound do leave a little to be desired and signify an area of opportunity for the author to explore.

The theming and architecture appear to mostly facilitate the flow of the game rather than the look and feel of it - it is an arena made specifically for battling players and nothing more.

If there is one thing that I would change about this map, it is the lighting. With all green lighting effects used throughout, you spend your game quite literally in a can of pea soup. It does however, almost hide the fact that the map uses a standard texture package.

A custom sound track is included with the archive, and it feels right at home with sudden death, almost heightening your skills while you shock-rifle players off the pillar top to their death.

With an above average score for an author's first map, this is a definite on the list of maps to check out.

-[ To The Author ]-----------------------------

An excellent piece of work, but as you've probably read in my review above, you do have some areas in which you can improve - specifically with theming, texturing and lighting. The basics of architecture you've demonstrated are fairly solid and your understanding of laying out a map for smooth, fun game play appears to be sound. I was impressed by the bot support you added to your map, but enhancing it further so that bots jump up through the map could push it even further. Again, an excellent first map, and I cannot wait to see what comes next. Thank you for sharing your work.

-[ Rating ]-----------------------------

7 (7.395)

Fun 9
Playability 9
Bot Support 8
General Flow 8
Item Placement 8

Thematic Execution 4
Architecture 5
Texturing 5
Lighting 4
Sound 6

BangOut
3rd Dec 2001, 11:10 PM
I can tell by the screenshots it's not a 7.

Delete the "To the author" part. It's very pretentious whether or not you've already seen it in NC reviews.

Don't do .gif review images. I like being able to see all the map pics at once at a glance.

I glanced at the review: it's very complimentary of the map.
I glanced at the screenshots: the rooms are a bunch of few-sided cylinders with platforms and crates.

^ Not a 7.

FreakinMeany
3rd Dec 2001, 11:21 PM
Originally posted by BangOut
I glanced at the review: it's very complimentary of the map.
I glanced at the screenshots: the rooms are a bunch of few-sided cylinders with platforms and crates.

^ Not a 7.
Very valid and greatly appreciated. Thanks.

BangOut
3rd Dec 2001, 11:27 PM
I know I'm going to sound like a horrible bastard when I give you feedback but the fact is that everyone has overscored maps here at one time or another and I'd rather not see someone hop on the "this one-cube-map-is-awesome bandwagon". Pretend you've never talked to the author and never will and think of the best map you've ever seen... now does it compare?

FreakinMeany
3rd Dec 2001, 11:37 PM
Originally posted by BangOut
I know I'm going to sound like a horrible bastard when I give you feedback but the fact is that everyone has overscored maps here at one time or another and I'd rather not see someone hop on the "this one-cube-map-is-awesome bandwagon". Pretend you've never talked to the author and never will and think of the best map you've ever seen... now does it compare?
Nah, I take criticism well :) but thanks.

Truth is, I reread my reviews tonight for the first time since I sent them and you're right - and I knew what would be said.

Lesson learned? Write... wait three weeks... revise... re-read... post ;)

Chrysaor
4th Dec 2001, 01:19 AM
I did that with my review 4 weeks ago :)

MrFawn
4th Dec 2001, 04:01 AM
review some fragswill maps
basic, but with ****load of fun

jreister
4th Dec 2001, 06:40 AM
looks like a tutorial map on greenish lighting
looks too low-poly:confused:

FreakinMeany
4th Dec 2001, 09:34 AM
Originally posted by MrFawn
review some fragswill maps
basic, but with ****load of fun
I thought this map was basic, but loads of fun too. Although in retrospect, I rated it much too high in the atmosphere arena.

FreakinMeany
4th Dec 2001, 09:37 AM
Originally posted by Chrysaor
I did that with my review 4 weeks ago :)
Live and learn, I guess... Now I have to decide whether to revise my other two reviews before I post them! (sadomasochist?)

FreakinMeany
4th Dec 2001, 09:49 AM
Yes, my numbers were definitely off. As I said - in retrospect, I would have rated it significantly different, but I wanted to post the review as I had done it.

But what about the length of the review? Content? Writing style? Corn?

Were you bored off your ass? Tired of reading before you got through the first sentence?

Did you want to kill someone when you got to the end?

UnrealGrrl
4th Dec 2001, 01:55 PM
really liked your review... but i prolly would since its more in my 'style' of reviewing than NCs imho...

the way you wrote the review was fun to read and kept me with ya to the end... not having cked this map out its hard to say, but id agree with Bang from the look of the screen shots, maybe the design was scored a little high? and the 9s you scored make this one of your fave maps of all time??? think about it and yea, let the review rest then re-read... ;)

again i liked the writing :tup:

MrFawn
4th Dec 2001, 04:33 PM
now that map is more basic than basic

FreakinMeany
4th Dec 2001, 09:53 PM
Originally posted by NYGrrrl
really liked your review... but i prolly would since its more in my 'style' of reviewing than NCs imho...

After reviewing a ton of reviews on NC, I wasn't quite sure what "the style" was... there's a good mix of 'em amongst the old and new reviews.

Thanks for such explicit comments. Much appreciated, and you're right - scoring was off, but I've got my bearings now (I hope).

BangOut
4th Dec 2001, 11:54 PM
The best "style" is to invent your own... just as long as it keeps people coming back.

FreakinMeany
5th Dec 2001, 12:55 AM
Originally posted by BangOut
The best "style" is to invent your own... just as long as it keeps people coming back.

True. True...

Odd.... I feel like having a beer.

BangOut
5th Dec 2001, 01:57 AM
"When Barry Sanders scored a touchdown... he just gave the ball to the referee."

"Now that's an original!" **smile**

oosyxxx
5th Dec 2001, 02:21 AM
Unholy Spirit of Satan, bless Barry Sanders.

Raden
6th Dec 2001, 11:41 AM
DM-Suddendeath....

green lighting box?

I don't think we're talking about the same map cause when I saw this thread title I thought it was about the hockey arena DM map. Now that's a fun map for me :)

FreakinMeany
6th Dec 2001, 07:52 PM
Originally posted by Nemephosis
when I saw this thread title I thought it was about the hockey arena DM map. Now that's a fun map for me :)

<smartass>I dunno how you could possibly get these two mixed up! I mean, the other (hockey map) name is spelled DM-Sudden-Death, which is nothing like this one</smartass> :D

Twrecks
7th Dec 2001, 06:24 PM
Originally posted by BangOut
I can tell by the screenshots it's not a 7.

Delete the "To the author" part. It's very pretentious whether or not you've already seen it in NC reviews.

Don't do .gif review images. I like being able to see all the map pics at once at a glance.

I glanced at the review: it's very complimentary of the map.
I glanced at the screenshots: the rooms are a bunch of few-sided cylinders with platforms and crates.

^ Not a 7.

Me agrees with BO.
State your opinions, do not make corrections, only suggestions. Iif it's a AI problem then sure go ahead, that's totally objective. Like "your lift exit tags were mis-labelled" or something similar. Don't get stuck in a trap of always fixing mistakes. General comments like "your lifts weren't set up properly" and rescue the rest of the readers from the technical dietribe to ensue.

I'm sorry for ever starting using gifs in NC reviews, the pics viewed together should transpose a feeling of place and a clear indication of the maps general form. Though the only one I rember doing was for CTF-ProjectX2 because 4 pics weren't sufficent IMO. Most reviews are limited to 2 pics to ease storage, reviews by NCreviewers are 3 while admains can add a fourth, that may change with NC3.

From the pics I would say this is a "ho-hum" map. I wouldn't d/l this map as a score of 7 and your words of praise would lead me to believe I should.

UnrealGrrl
8th Dec 2001, 01:39 PM
thatd be cool if there are more pics... yay nc3
always thought 1-2 pics wasnt enuff to translate a good view of a map unless it was awful, very small or both :)

FreakinMeany
8th Dec 2001, 01:44 PM
Originally posted by Twrecks
State your opinions, do not make corrections, only suggestions....
I'm sorry for ever starting using gifs in NC reviews, the pics viewed...
From the pics I would say this is a "ho-hum" map. I wouldn't d/l this map as a score of 7 and your words of praise would lead me to believe I should.
Thanks for the comments, and you're right. This was actually the first review that I wrote of the three, so it was the most... uh... f'ed up :)

FreakinMeany
8th Dec 2001, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by NYGrrrl
thatd be cool if there are more pics... yay nc3
always thought 1-2 pics wasnt enuff to translate a good view of a map unless it was awful, very small or both :)
I couldn't agree with you more, NYGrrrl... more pics ;)

Twrecks
10th Dec 2001, 10:14 PM
Mo pics, mo better.
I'd like to see a limit of 4 still just because of the impact on our database if the cap were lifted. It's more of a file size issue than the number of pics really. Most of the previous pics wieghed in at around 15k (173x231 jpeg), multiply that by the number of reviews (over 1000 for UT maps) times the number of pics per review and it adds up.
Well...
Maybe it is a number of files issue, each referenced specifically by a specific review...
Heck, maybe we could push the envelope a little more with a cap of 6 ???

FreakinMeany
10th Dec 2001, 10:49 PM
Originally posted by Twrecks
Mo pics, mo better.
I'd like to see a limit of 4 still just because of the impact on our database if the cap were lifted. It's more of a file size issue than the number of pics really. Most of the previous pics wieghed in at around 15k (173x231 jpeg), multiply that by the number of reviews (over 1000 for UT maps) times the number of pics per review and it adds up.
Well...
Maybe it is a number of files issue, each referenced specifically by a specific review...
Heck, maybe we could push the envelope a little more with a cap of 6 ???
IMO, four pics would be perfect. Six would be welcome, but might be overkill for some maps. I'm assuming, of course, that the reviewer could choose 1-4 (or 6) images per review. You're right about the filesize issue. If I did my math right:

15,000 (image filesize) x 4 (images) x ~5200 (maps) = 312,000,000 (312MB)

(That'd be 60MB for the existing 1000 UT reviews you mentioned)

Yikes.

Chrysaor
10th Dec 2001, 11:29 PM
See now, i did 4 pics for Infested, two for CTF-Mythos and just one for DM-Kick cuz frankly that's all they needed :/

Twrecks
11th Dec 2001, 12:15 AM
There was a time when ONE pic was all u got, and there's been times that ONE pic was more than enough!

FreakinMeany
11th Dec 2001, 01:47 AM
Originally posted by Twrecks
There was a time when ONE pic was all u got, and there's been times that ONE pic was more than enough!
Oh yeah? Well, when I was your age we had to walk uphill, buck-naked through six feet of snow just to get to bus stop!

<ducking>

Chrysaor
11th Dec 2001, 11:04 AM
What's a bus?

FreakinMeany
11th Dec 2001, 08:10 PM
Originally posted by Chrysaor
What's a bus?
ROFL

Twrecks
11th Dec 2001, 08:44 PM
bOObies!
oh... that's busT :)