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Old 1st Jul 2008, 03:52 AM   #1
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WAR-Beachfront[Release]

WAR-Beachfront
Version 1.3 (Updated Release)

[EDIT: Upgraded to Release version 1.3. Scroll down to the end of this post for the new download link ]

After playing UT3 Warfare online and noticing players (myself included) yearning for new Warfare maps, but receiving none, I decided to become part of the solution. It took longer than I thought, but if it weren’t for MSU, I probably would have procrastinated even longer . I now see why there are so few Warfare maps, as it is at least double the complexity of making an Onslaught map, and significantly more involved than any of the other gametypes (largely due to the scale, but also the wide knowledge of the engine needed). Also, they’re typically an incredible pain to optimize.

Anyways, while I unfortunately ran out of time to fully complete it for MSU (an extra two days was all I needed ), I’ve taken the past few days here to finish it up. So, without further ado:

WAR-Beachfont:

One of the things I kept in mind whilst designing the map was the many common UT3 complaints that I hear. Such as “UT3 maps are all dark, gloomy and blurry”. I decided to tackle this misconception head-on as my vision for the map was an ideal day at the beach: bright, sunny, and clear !.



Although this map is an original, it’s design was partly inspired by both ONS-Battlefront (one of my favourites) and ONS-IslandHop, with a few ideas borrowed from my final ONS map: ONS-StarReach. Creating the map turned out the be a huge challenge for a variety of reasons; partly because there’s so many more new things to do in Warfare maps over ONS, but also because, as you may have noticed, UT3 stock maps are totally devoid of tropical foliage and materials! I actually had to go back to 2k4, grab a bunch of tropical resources, and then “touch them up” for use in UT3 (normal maps, etc).



In terms of gameplay, I drew upon the aspects of Onslaught that people found fun: sizeable/epic battlefields (but not _too_ big ), minimal spamminess, decent node count, avoiding of choke nodes, etc.



The map is designed for epic battles, and requires a good balance of defence and offense. Players more keen on fast-paced action will get plenty of it on offense, meanwhile, players who prefer a more “measured” pace, can play an important role on defence.



I also added some “goodies” in the map. The cores for example, as they become more damaged, the entire core facility itself starts to show it, not just the core itself. Conduits burst into flames, sparks spew from overhead electrical circuitry, control panels and alarms emphasize the direness of the situation. Also, to mix things up, I went with a retro 2k4 core explosion control (i.e. with the moveable camera instead of the fixed animation) so you can look around and see who’s nearby as the core overloads and explodes.



However, don’t think this is simply Onslaught in Warfare’s clothing. The map has a large variety of deployables and powerups hidden throughout the whole map. There are EMPs to help deal with the tanks, a spider mine trap to help with defence, a helmet to help make it past snipers, Invisibility for sneaky stealth attacks, Beserk, double-damage, and of course jump boots to help you get some of these harder-to-get-to powerups. Also, there’s a nightshade hidden on the map (1 per side) that will help with defence, offense, and sneaky stealth attacks. Each core also has an Orb dispenser to help a failing teams make a comeback. I strived to apply the best aspects of both ONS and Warfare to create a map that’s still UT3, but doesn’t forget its fundamentals .

Finally, I tried to provide a diverse battlefield so that, regardless of your favourite style of gameplay, there’s something for you .



Dense jungles: Too dense for vehicles, proceed on foot!
Central hills and grassland: Use the hills for cover, if you get caught out in the open, feign death to hide amongst the grass- it’s tall enough to hide you, but short enough for you to see over! Great for unsuspecting ambushes on passing players from behind. Works in the jungle too!
Beaches: Ever fought for a node underwater? It’s pretty crazy . Shock rifle and minigun are particularly useful here.
Indoor areas: Put your DM skills to use here!



Anyways, hope people enjoy it. Any feedback (good or bad but hopefully constructive) would be awesome ! Hopefully, Warfare players will have a new map to look forward to on the servers soon .

Download Link:
http://files.filefront.com/WAR+Beach...fileinfo.html/

Last edited by _N_; 17th Aug 2008 at 03:33 PM. Reason: Changing the version number
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Old 1st Jul 2008, 04:19 AM   #2
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You make a persuasive argument for downloading your map.
epic wall of text, and it did the job! dloading now!

from your post, this map sounds absoloutly freaking super! I can't wait to play it and see if it really is that godlike.

i don't think they would have looked kindly on you if this went MSUC though. You are using "old" assets. I've got no problem with that, but the judges might. meh, DOWNLOAD FASTER!?!?!
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< and this guy is a console n00b, enjoying his "Designed for PS360" copy of UT3. He lives in pure bliss
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Old 1st Jul 2008, 04:44 AM   #3
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Heh, well, you might be surprised how many 2k4 resources I've found lying around in UT3 resource packages. A 1024x1024 picture of concrete doesn't really show it's age from one game to the next either .

That being said, I took the time to add normal maps, specular maps, and so on so that by the time they come out of that material editor, you can't even tell it's not a stock UT3 resource .
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Old 1st Jul 2008, 11:04 AM   #4
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TBH I skimmed until the download link, but...

I<3U

Many thanks, this looks like it is what Warfare should have been since the beginning: large scale.
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Old 1st Jul 2008, 12:20 PM   #5
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This looks absolutely awesome!
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Old 1st Jul 2008, 01:14 PM   #6
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Screw the game play, I just want to walk around on the beach.
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Old 1st Jul 2008, 02:57 PM   #7
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The download link isn't working.
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Old 1st Jul 2008, 05:45 PM   #8
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Hmm, odd, I just tested it, and it seems to be working fine. I'm several gigabytes away from the bandwidth limit too... Maybe it was just a random hiccup on the server, should work fine now.

Regarding the map, any bugs to report? Any glaring issues? Suggestions for improvement?
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Old 1st Jul 2008, 07:46 PM   #9
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I keep getting a connection interrupted error, can you upload it to filefront or something?
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Old 1st Jul 2008, 09:40 PM   #10
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There we go... I changed the link to FileFront. I wonder what the issue was... the images, for example, are hosted from the same place as the file yet you were able to view them without an interruption error, right? Strange...
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Old 1st Jul 2008, 11:36 PM   #11
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After a game, this needs some music.
Also there is this problem: the Leviathan tends to blow up randomly. Fix it.
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Old 2nd Jul 2008, 05:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkdrium View Post
After a game, this needs some music.
Also there is this problem: the Leviathan tends to blow up randomly. Fix it.
Well, I considered adding music, but the general atmosphere of the map I was aiming for was for a more serene feel, and high-octane techno-beat doesn't really fit in. Also, UT3 music is usually so quiet and ambient, most people hardly notice there is any. Instead, I decided to forgo music and just add ambient sounds instead the same way the Halo series does for its multiplayer matches. However, the fact that you noticed the quietness (you're actually the first) means it maybe needs a little more ambient sound. I'll see what else I can find in the Audio packages .

Regarding the Leviathan, you illustrated a good point here: most players don't realize that in UT3, Leviathans explode if you destroy the node that spawned them (unless the node is a countdown node). I was looking for an announcement in the Audio packages along the lines of "Leviathan Node destroyed" to help players realize this fact, but unfortunately, there is none. In fact, I can't even find a Warfare map that has a leviathan spawning at a non-countdown node.

That blasted Leviathan has been somewhat of a pain the whole time. I'm considering getting rid of it altogether... but what else is there to reward the team that captures the center node?
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Old 2nd Jul 2008, 10:27 AM   #13
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Oh I see. Well in that case there's not much you can do with it. That sucks :|

Another thing, I think the map is too bright. At least the terrain is, it looks white all over instead of say yellow like sand should be.
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Old 2nd Jul 2008, 05:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkdrium View Post
Oh I see. Well in that case there's not much you can do with it. That sucks :|

Another thing, I think the map is too bright. At least the terrain is, it looks white all over instead of say yellow like sand should be.
Hmm? What are you Texture and World detail set to? I've noticed that, weirdly enough, the sand becomes more white as you turn down your texture detail (it's actually really orange at the higher settings).

Even so, bright white sand isn't as strange as you might think



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Old 2nd Jul 2008, 07:47 PM   #15
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I run the game maxed out at 1680x1050.
And I know that white sand exists, just like snow a beach can be very bright under a mid-day sun, but I guess it's not really the colour but more the contrast that bothers me. I feel there are no shadows when outside of the buildings... There should be some shadows.
I will go back and play and see if I can make my impressions more clear.

EDIT: Ok so I'll talk about the sand and the sounds as well as something I just noticed...

First: sand and terrain overall as well.
Like I said, it lacks contrast, everything is super bright and washed out, you cannot see the detail of textures anymore. Granted, sand can appear white, but the problem is that the grass looks fake with the intensity of light coming down on it. It is very green, almost lime green instead of say dark green like it should be (a bit). One thing that doesn't help is the fact that the texture scale is too big, and the textures look blurry and like those in UT2004. Reduce the lighting intensity a bit, and the texture scale too.

Second: sounds
While you did place some sounds around, the fade in radius is too small, we go from super quiet to very loud noise in no time. Also, the sound of waves crashing on the beach should reach a little less far, right now it's almost half the map. Adjust the fade in distance so it starts at half the map and will end very near the beach, so it will sound more realistic. Also, birds can be heard from far away, and that is not the case in your map. Again a fade in distance will make it sound better.

Third: next gen filters
They are absent. While putting a lot of DOF, Bloom and Desat. is a bad idea (Stock maps) you can at least use some to make the map more lively (No desat, but a little bloom and DOF can't hurt). Right now it looks a bit cartoony. I don't know if you're going for a UT2004 "clean" look but I think it could be more appropriate with a slight next gen boost.

Last edited by Darkdrium; 2nd Jul 2008 at 07:59 PM. Reason: Short review
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Old 2nd Jul 2008, 09:58 PM   #16
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Great stuff. This would so be an awesome Assault level, just attacking a HUGE line of barriers and a series of bunkers (with artillery raining down when the are captured)
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Old 3rd Jul 2008, 12:14 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkdrium View Post
I run the game maxed out at 1680x1050.
And I know that white sand exists, just like snow a beach can be very bright under a mid-day sun, but I guess it's not really the colour but more the contrast that bothers me. I feel there are no shadows when outside of the buildings... There should be some shadows.
I will go back and play and see if I can make my impressions more clear.

EDIT: Ok so I'll talk about the sand and the sounds as well as something I just noticed...

First: sand and terrain overall as well.
Like I said, it lacks contrast, everything is super bright and washed out, you cannot see the detail of textures anymore. Granted, sand can appear white, but the problem is that the grass looks fake with the intensity of light coming down on it. It is very green, almost lime green instead of say dark green like it should be (a bit). One thing that doesn't help is the fact that the texture scale is too big, and the textures look blurry and like those in UT2004. Reduce the lighting intensity a bit, and the texture scale too.

Second: sounds
While you did place some sounds around, the fade in radius is too small, we go from super quiet to very loud noise in no time. Also, the sound of waves crashing on the beach should reach a little less far, right now it's almost half the map. Adjust the fade in distance so it starts at half the map and will end very near the beach, so it will sound more realistic. Also, birds can be heard from far away, and that is not the case in your map. Again a fade in distance will make it sound better.

Third: next gen filters
They are absent. While putting a lot of DOF, Bloom and Desat. is a bad idea (Stock maps) you can at least use some to make the map more lively (No desat, but a little bloom and DOF can't hurt). Right now it looks a bit cartoony. I don't know if you're going for a UT2004 "clean" look but I think it could be more appropriate with a slight next gen boost.
Hi, thanks for the extra feedback!

Yeah, the sand areas are definitely really bright. As most mappers have probably noticed, it's really hard to judge what's a good level of brightness. Given the vast differences of brightness and gamma settings on monitors, you can never really know just what level of lighting is best. This is even further complicated by players who turn up the in-game brightness settings (I keep mine at the default level of 6) because most maps are often dark.

The sand is a bright yellow-orange on my monitor with some minor white-patches here and there. As for shadows, my map is set at noon so the light source is almost directly overheard (it points a little more towards the red core tho). Still there's definitely shadows:





As for the grass, it's lime-green because I wanted to give the impression of hot, dried-out grass which is a mix of green and yellow. Hmm... but you may be right about the texture scaling. It used to be smaller because before the grass meshes were in, the tiling was very obvious. However, with the grass meshes now present, maybe it wouldn't hurt to scale it a little smaller... .

Yeah, I've noticed several problems with the sound including this bizarre reverberating effect when you're in range of two sound emitters that fall out of sync . I don't think the range is the issue, as (from my experience) you can still clearly hear ocean waves from a good 40 meters away from the shore (especially if it's a wide open area with little intervening foliage), but you're right about it getting too loud too fast. I'll tweak the sound emitters to try to mitigate this.

Nope, all the next-gen post-processing techniques are in fact present, I just erred on the side of subtlety rather than in-yo-face post processing that the stock maps are infamous for . The bloom is actually higher than most stock maps (just look at the ultra-glowy light sources in the cores, or trying hover-boarding across the bright sands). Also, I used the "scene effects" filter to increase contrast and colour saturation with a slight shift towards red-orange to give everything that hot-sun feel (settings almost identical to Torlan except I decided to forgo the desaturation). DOF I reserved for just the water and not the open air because in reality, hills less than 500 metres away are not blurry along the edges unless you've forgotten your glasses . DOF would also decrease the sharpness of the sky dome.

Again, thanks for the feedback. These little tweaks help give it that extra layer of polish .
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Old 3rd Jul 2008, 12:17 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. UglyPants View Post
Great stuff. This would so be an awesome Assault level, just attacking a HUGE line of barriers and a series of bunkers (with artillery raining down when the are captured)
Yeah, *sigh* unfortunately, the Warfare's as close as you can get to Assualt anymore . However, if you're up for some artillery-fire, I stuck a SPMA at the beach node for some good ol' fashioned artillery strikes over the trenches . But be careful, infantry can always hit SPMAs by locking onto the hovering targeting device with avrils .
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Old 3rd Jul 2008, 11:36 AM   #19
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great stuff, I could say that this map and this map alone has literally got me excited about ut3 again. This kind of map is exactly what ut3 is missing.

Beyond that I think that some lights inside the bunkers would go a long way, making them nicely lit on the inside would be fantastic. Right now when I jump into a bunker it feels way too dark.

As well I've noticed something somewhat bothersome, the contrast between light areas and shadows on characters and vehicles and what not is waaaaaaay too strong. I'll show you what I mean.

This image was resized using the screenshot tag.  Click to view the full version
This image was resized using the screenshot tag.  Click to view the full version
This image was resized using the screenshot tag.  Click to view the full version
This image was resized using the screenshot tag.  Click to view the full version
This image was resized using the screenshot tag.  Click to view the full version
This image was resized using the screenshot tag.  Click to view the full version
This image was resized using the screenshot tag.  Click to view the full version
This image was resized using the screenshot tag.  Click to view the full version

edit: rofl I got quoted while in the middle of fixing this post

anyway yeah, maybe your skylight isn't strong enough?
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Last edited by matariel; 3rd Jul 2008 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 3rd Jul 2008, 12:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matariel View Post
great stuff, I could say that this map and this map alone has literally got me excited about ut3 again. This kind of map is exactly what ut3 is missing.

Beyond that I think that some lights inside the bunkers would go a long way, making them nicely lit on the inside would be fantastic. Right now when I jump into a bunker it feels way too dark.

As well I've noticed something somewhat bothersome, the contrast between light areas and shadows on characters and vehicles and what not is waaaaaaay too strong. I'll show you what I mean.

This image was resized using the screenshot tag.  Click to view the full version
This image was resized using the screenshot tag.  Click to view the full version
This image was resized using the screenshot tag.  Click to view the full version
This image was resized using the screenshot tag.  Click to view the full version



I agree totally, this has brought something new and fun to Warfare/Onslaught that epic doesn't really have.
Nice, Map. I have found only 2 bugs with it.

1. Bots get stuck on the teleporter by waterfall node.
2. The grassy jungle parts are maybe too dense. I think it comes down to personal preference, but when ever I try to take that route, I just get blown away by something, I can rarely see what. Perhaps if the grass was lower I could see a little further. Just my opinion though.

I like how most nodes are in a bunker, it makes it take real strategy to capture them. Great map, keep up the good work.
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