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Two Miners - Downloadable Map for Unreal2004 done!

Posted by Caroo on Thu, 17/08/06 - 11:03 PM

Before21 Level design Project –
Multiplayer Level Design for Unreal 2004
Date completed: 18th – 8th – 2006

Map Name: Two Miners

Game play Type: Onslaught [capture the points]

Time to design and produce – One Week
Quick Overview of production:
This map really came together by itself. I feel as if its vision was just being channeled out to me into the editor.

What we have here is a map made almost entirely out of existing assets from Unreal2004. These Assets come form many different packages but all come together to make a whole level. 99.9% of the assets are pre-made with only the height maps and some wall text being the user created items. Most of the work in this project being simple placement of items and pre-designing the level.

While I’m sure I could’ve spent a few more weeks refining the graphics of this level to make it look more appealing it wasn’t what I was aiming for. Maybe I will refine the grathics to showcase to the Unreal Mod community. But you guys in the game industry are focused in this levels gameplay. Not on it’s eye candy.

This map was designed to be fun to play. Intense yet not impossible and giving the player a few different ways he would be able to tackle the map and it’s points. Power and Defense being the theme.
Weapons have been placed strategically and the three power nodes to capture all serve a purpose in ether defense or offence. The map isn’t tiny but not as big as to divert time to explore.


I only stumbled onto one problem through out making this map. It was part of my original design to try and have a pathway in each base that would be able to fit vehicles and lead straight to the power core. But also to have three security doors that would need to be opened by players so that this pathway could be used. This is what the original design description said:

The Tank Way:
The Tank way is a long corridor that a tank vehicle can fit through to use its weapons on the power core. It’s located underneath the storage room. However there is an obstacle that must be met first. This tank way has three doors that must be destroyed in order for the tank to come from outside the base to the generator room. This tank way is another tactical option given to the players of the map to try and add more options into their game play. And as empathises on tanks is strong in this level it would be a damm shame to not be able to use them on the power cores.

The problem however was a technicality in the unreal engine that I didn’t know of at the time. It is impossible for vehicles and mover class objects [Like doors that can open and close for instance] to interact with each other. And to this date nothing has been made to fix this. As stated on UnrealWiki:

SuperApe: I appreciate the additions, but I have a couple comments about the organization. First, vehicles were implemented before UT2k4. They were mostly custom objects, but there's a large section of vehicle pages on that link that address pre-UT2k4 vehicles. Second, pathing issues belong and are covered under Bot Support. Gametype mapping for vehicles (as only certain gametypes allow vehicles) belong and are covered under Gametype, in the Layout Design section. Additionally, Vehicle Gameplay falls under the heading of Map Flow and is akin to Item Placement, PlayerStart placement, etc. Finally, the rants regarding Movers and vehicles probably shouldn't be linked to from here. But, to answer the basic question, Karma objects behave differently than standard actors. I hate to say it after all this work is done, but it appears all this information is already covered in the existing sections. I know that's going to be a bit disappointing. How does everyone else feel about this? Reference from -

To sum this all up. Vehicles just don’t work with movers. So in this in mind I had to review the tank way. It was my final decision to keep it in with some added static meshes to block vision to the power core until the vehicle was well into the base. I felt this Tank way was a feature of the game and is needed. And from testing with highly skilled bots it has become apparent that this tank way will need to be used cleverly to be utilized at all.

This was really the only big problem I was faced with.


What did I learn from this experience?
I already expected as much. But from doing this exercise I know for sure now. One can never plan out things too much. Thanks to drawing out initial designs and documenting these drawings I was able to carve out a clear picture of that it was that I wanted. And with a solid understanding of what I was looking for and taking the time to list the asset packs I was going to use I believe I saved days of work. My theory is simple: For every 1hour you spend planning and designing you will save 3-5 hours in implementing and producing.

But to be fair let yourself be flexible and adaptable. Your design on paper looks nice but if it doesn’t translate well into the level then use something that will. A good example of this in my level is the power room for the bases. My design was to have three elevators and two turrets inside this large room. But when translated into the editor the room was large and too much free space would be available if we used the pre-designed method. So I changed it a little. We now have 4 turrets to combat enemies and vehicles and two stairways and it translated really well into the editor. Add in some decoration meshes and you got yourself something really effective.


This level is free to play. You do need Unreal2004 to play it however. A demo version might work. I’m not sure on that. Simply download it from the link below and follow the install instructions. Thank you – I would love some feed back from this week of hard and heavy work.

Download from here:

Install Instructions:
1)     Click the link above and follow the steps to download the zip file.
2)     When the download window comes up. Click “Save as” and save it on your hard drive.
3)     When downloaded unzip and place the map file into the Unreal2004 directory “maps”
4)     Run the game [not the editor] and go to instant action. Select the Onslaught Game type and the level should be there to play.
5)     Enjoy and have fun!

Let it also be known that this was probably the hardist week i've ever worked on my folio. I hope you guys in the industry will give this map a playtest at work.


redwyre2006-09-21 15:13:48

Submitted by Scrow on Fri, 18/08/06 - 4:42 AM Permalink

downloaded it and had a play around. i'm suprised how much you've done in such a short space of time. you've clearly become proficient at UnrealEd.

maybe it's my noobish-ness in regards to UT2004, but I couldn't find out how to turn on the power of the gun turrets. i also didn't know how to get a "win". time ran out and the battle just continued, though I did bag plenty of kills :)

also, how many players (human or comp) would you recommend to play on this map?

Submitted by Caroo on Fri, 18/08/06 - 5:01 AM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by Scrow

downloaded it and had a play around. i'm suprised how much you've done in such a short space of time. you've clearly become proficient at UnrealEd.

maybe it's my noobish-ness in regards to UT2004, but I couldn't find out how to turn on the power of the gun turrets. i also didn't know how to get a "win". time ran out and the battle just continued, though I did bag plenty of kills :)

also, how many players (human or comp) would you recommend to play on this map?

In onslught you have to capture the points by powering up nodes. They are the round metal devices in the ground that have particles comming out of them. Once they are activated you'll be able to use that nodes vechiles and turrets. Link the nodes up to connect to the enemy power node and distroy the node to get a win!

And thanks for the kind words mate.

I would recommend for maximum play 16-32 players. Most systems should handle that without much laggage.

Submitted by nexx on Mon, 28/08/06 - 9:14 AM Permalink

I havent yet had the time to sit through a couple of games to get a sense of play (and besides, I havent played UT2004 in years [:(] )

Just some visual/optimization issues that I think would add some polish [8D]

- The first thing I noticed when opening the map was the stretched textures on steep surfaces. Probably the best way to solve this is to create a new layer (using the same rock texture), change its TextureMapAxis ([url=""]tutorial[/url]) and paint over the problem areas.
- The second thing I noticed was the tiling textures. It's a tough thing to deal with when you have such large areas I know. But definitely scale them up.
- There's also a lot excess terrain polys on the other side of the mountains etc. Should remove these with the visibility tool. Will get a good performance boost too.

- Every level should have some ambient light. Especially for outdoor areas where you said you had problems with dark shadows. I suggest a value of 32 for outdoor and 8-16 indoors.
- You appear to have 2 sunlights!
- Use colors other than pure white. Maybe a slight red/blue for the lights in each base.
- You're using omnilights for the lamps. UnrealEd does have support for [url=""]spotlights[/url] although they can be a bit tricky.
- Distance fog. I know you want players to see across the whole level, so distance fog for optimization purposes isn't an option. But adding a small amount is effective.

The lighting in particlar takes time, so I suppose it all depends on how long you wish to spend on visuals for a project designed aroud gameplay. But I think adding a little polish is important on making a good impression for employers who may only go so far as to have a glance at your work.