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DM-Thuliac [beta]

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    DM-Thuliac [beta]

    Name: DM-Thuliac
    Version: 1.0
    Compatibility: UT2004 Patch 3369 and ECE Bonus Pack

    This is a medium paced map for a low/medium player count (3-6). This is another concept map made with Invasion in mind, but the map could work well with arena game types.

    "This newly discovered planet is rich with thulium deposits, which also makes for a beautiful backdrop in which to fight."

    I've gone back and forth many times trying to decide whether to limit the trans over the terrain, or whether to use blocking volumes over the terrain to stop people from walking over it or trying to get under. The current setup simply has a kill volume underneath the terrain and an ion cannon to catch people walking across or hiding, (with a fast countdown of 2 seconds). It seems to be working quite well in my tests. The trans is not limited at the moment.

    Have fun!


    Many thanks to shkelton and jefe for testing.

    Download: Download New Beta Here

    I'm presuming everything is ok with this beta. Its had over 100 downloads and no problems? I'll release it as final in a little while.


      Originally posted by INIQUITOUS View Post
      I'm presuming everything is ok with this beta. Its had over 100 downloads and no problems? I'll release it as final in a little while.
      No problems found here, the file size is rather large for a DM map though, this is probably due to the lightmap resolution of the surfaces, all set to 1 o.O

      There are some surfaces under the map which arent visible, those could be set unlit just to reduce the file size a bit.

      Also noticed the fog makes the object pop up instead of fading them.


        The map is supposed to be very detailed but i'll look into changing it on the surfaces that can't be seen. It may reduce it a couple of mb, the rest is all custom content.

        About the fog, I can't seem to find anyway of making them fade properly? This was an issue from day 1. Anyone know what setting is needed? I've looked at ONS maps and can't see what difference is.

        edit: I think I've found the issue, the fog distance end setting in the skybox needs to be the correct value (half the width of the box?)

        I think i'll make the mentioned changes, is there anything else?


          Uploaded a new beta for final testing, the file size is now about 20mb, I also removed some of the skybox textures as I used a different approach to get the fog blending to work better.

          Download New Beta Here


            Not much to say about gameplay.
            * The terrain is a bit jagged in parts, but since the gameplay is mainly everywhere else, it's no big deal for me.
            * Seems to be straight-forward kill or be killed.
            * Was missing a teleport at times; it seems like a long walk.
            * I managed to delay the ion cannon by jumping at the right time to reset the countdown. It didn't work well enough to warrant another solution, though.

            * Coronas might complement crystal shinyness.
            * Some shaders/envmaps on the crystals to make them shine vividly?

            Again, creative stuff.


              Thanks rejecht,

              I've noticed that with the terrain too. I smooth it in the editor, everything looks good. Then when I reload the map or play the game and go back to the editor some parts have gone jagged again. I thought it must be a "feature" of the engine or something. Is there something specific that needs to be done to keep it smooth?

              When I first made the map, the layout was totally different, and it was 4 times as big! It was a very long walk indeed back in those early days!

              I did try shaders on the crystals to make them shine but I found out that it gave them an "ambient glow" which made them not blend with the terrain properly. I tried a mask to cover the blending at the base of the crystals but it didnt work. I think I will go back and give it another try though.


                New version Link updated (beta5)


                  A corona in the skybox might create a more convincing scene. Right now, all 'round the perimeter the skyline appears to be fairly evenly lit, suggesting diffuse (diffused) lighting. We're peering out and up, through fog, and seeing a dawn or dusk scenario... yet confusingly the shadows cast across the terrain by the crystals are harsh and well-defined. A related lighting consideration would be that with so many shiny crystals across the landscape, quite a bit of light would be reflected back, and down. So, the pitch black shadows don't seem reasonable (to my eyes at least).

                  After tweaking, I found a pleasant result through these simple changes:

                  SunLight0: lower the brightness to 188 or so

                  ZoneInfo0 } ZoneLight ambient
                  bright: 8
                  hue: 162 (hmm, call me colorblind. maybe 148 would match the fog better)
                  sat: 66

                  Skyzone ambient brightness of 6
                  BLACK wall texture, unlit, for all surfaces of the subtractive brush
                  (let the fog do the work!)
                  mark the nonsolid clouds brush unlit, and the mesh displaying the mountains
                  (the other meshes look fine when lit, including the fogring)


                  This is intended for oldskoolers, RnG, keep moving, learn to master all the weapons? I hope so, because the main thing it taught, or reminded, me is that I've never been able to use the shock rifle well... to the point that when I spawned in that edge of the map, I just resigned myself to a quick death and hopefully I'd respawn in a "better" location next time. I don't understand the inclusion of IonCanonKill volumes. I don't understand the use of sign decos -- player is gonna find out quick enough (2 seconds!) probably well before he ever sees a "posted sign".

                  You've created a beautiful scene. It's your dungeon. It's okay that you insist we stay on the roads and stay off the grass... but the gameplay for this map didn't seem "fun" to me. Not fun hearing/seeing the corny IonCanon fx over and over and over and not fun repeating the cycle of spawning at the edge, heading to the center "intersection" to find battle, then getting shot in the back while retreating to a corner to grab ammo? Maybe I'm just a sucky player, but I couldn't find a flow, or a strategy other than hiding behind the gravestone, using it for cover, and shooting along the length of the "road". Picking off players as they cross the "intersections" didn't hold my attention very long, though. Although I'm not much of an Invasion player, I do see how this map would be well suited to that gametype. Rock on!


                    Thanks melissa,

                    I'll take a look at the lighting suggestions. The thing is, (I don't know if you played the first beta), originally there was no thick fog but the terrain and crystals wouldn't blend properly when fading out, they would just pop in and out. It is a very annoying limitation to me, that I must have this thick fog everywhere to fix that. The main annoyance of it for me is that you don't get to see the entire skybox textures. And in previous versions there was no shinyness either.

                    Theres not really anywhere else I can add playerstarts, or pickups for that matter, unless I put them on the "corridors", which doesn't seem to make sense. But i'll try to squeeze in a few more. The point of the ion volumes is to stop people going on the terrain, the main problem being that players would camp, get stuck between crystals and terrain, or trans under the map. A previous fix I had was to have volumes which blocked xPawns and destroyed the trans. The teleporting under the map is the main problem. I could code a custom trans that would fix this but i'm not sure it would work with some custom gametypes.

                    As for flow, I watched a complete novice play the map and they never went for the intersection area, they always went around the edges and found many battles and they won the match. (ofcourse it was against bots!). The intersection holds the best pickup and so it should hold the most risk, exposing yourself. The novice player did also discover that they could hide behind the round statue and shoot through the small gaps with the lightning gun. Something that I could fix with a blocking volume.

                    Thanks for the suggestions! I'll be sure to take the advice on board.


                      Nice looking map Iniquitous giving it a try.


                        Ty Zerg,

                        Here is a new version, made lots of tweaks/changes in this version. This one should be about done now, i'm quite happy with it.

                        New version here, also updated link on first post


                          I tried beta 7 the other day. I haven't tried v8 yet. I agree with Melissa's post. I just don't find the map fun with the Ion Cannon volumes or the blocking volumes for that matter. For one thing the 2 or 3 second count down makes invasion unplayable on this map. The lighting, although it looks good, is a bit too bright causing the stones to look washed out. The fog settings look much better than v1, although I'd consider changing the color of the fog a bit so it blends with the skybox better.


                            Thanks Jefe for the suggestions but I don't agree. How hard is it to keep to the pathways, really. Thats the entire point of the map I played invasion just fine, didn't see one ion cannon go off once. That's probably because the monsters wont go on the terrain unless you do, and the ion doesn't target flying ones. However I've made a few changes. I've made less volumes (to fix a small exploit), increased countdown to 3 and recoded them to not target monsters at all, just incase. I think thats all the new things in beta9.

                            New version here, also updated link on first post


                              It'll be a problem on my server at least - I have several monsters that knock players back great distances, and players are going to be tossed into those zones frequently. Invasion players have enough trouble with the monsters, they don't need the map to work against them too. Then of course simple dodging is going to send players into those areas from time to time.

                              Don't get me wrong, I like this map, but I really don't think any players are (or will be) crazy about the ion volumes. It really comes down to why, from a game play perspective, do you want to keep them off the terrain? To keep them from camping? Getting stuck on meshes or rough terrain? Glitching under the map? Those are all valid concerns. And there are other solutions. For example, you could make it a 'pain' zone where players lose health gradually. I noticed that you said you were having trouble smoothing terrain. Is that the main issue then?