Game: Unreal Tournament 4
Genre: Sci-fi, Action, FPS
Mode: 5v5, Multiplayer CTF
Team Size: 1 Developer
Engine: Unreal Tournament 4 Editor
Development Time: 2 Months
Map Design and Level Flow
Mod Kit Creation
Weapon and Pickup Placement
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Map Design Overview
Before creating any paper design of the map, I gathered enough reference images of the Hyperion Battle cruiser from starcraft. This gave me enough to go on with my initial design. I also looked into the atmosphere, lighting conditions, and scifi assets I would need to create to build my map. Since creating art was not my actual focus here, I decided to go in for a rather simple aesthetic approach that would show off my design more while still providing an aesthetic sense.
Once my research gave me a good sense of what i want my map to be, I began with a initial paper design plan and then developed the project from there.
Hyperion Battleship Paper Map Design
Difficult in -> Easy Out
I took the approach of challenging the players to get to their objective, but once they took the flag from the oppositions base, the path back was much easier and rewarding.
I had to set up elevation at both flag bases which meant players would have to get up to while the defenders had an elevation advantage. The advantage made it harder for attackers to reach the opposition flag without being detected easily.
The other core aspect of the design was to have as many loops as possible while creating the paths. I wanted the player to keep moving in fluid motion without needing to backtrack or reach dead ends.
I also placed health pickups and weapons in the looped paths encouraging players to keep moving and maintaining a good fluid flow while focusing on the combat gameplay and the main objective.
Adding loops and keeping the player moving meant I had to take advantage of using versatility to my map. With verticality I was able to introduce dynamic pathing for a more interesting and challenging gameplay specially for the flag runner.
The side paths of the ship had wide lines of sight but the path was straight forward. Reaching the middle on the side paths gave players the choice to continue taking the side path straight to the enemies base or dynamically switch and go from below, the ships lower floor and then into the enemies base from below.
Having multiple paths on a map could be overwhelming to the player. And in a CTF, knowing from which side the enemy is coming helps prepare defenders for the incoming attack.
I set up Elevation at both bases so that player would get a good, wide sightline of the space ahead and accordingly plan out their path to the enemy base while also using the same sightline to defend their flags.
Going further in the mid, I also added elevation to assist my vertical path design as well as provide elevation advantage to players
As Unreal Tournament does not follow a cover based shooter gameplay, I took the mechanics into consideration and maintain that style of gameplay UT follows. I wanted to maintain this theme and so I did not use to much cover up to the waist line, but rather used full cover with tall structures.
The center would have less cover with a more exposed sigthline which benefits defenders from the incoming attackers. But since the attackers have a varied pathing choice, it adds challenge to the opposing defenders to shoot the attackers
Central Elevator with Power-up
To add a more challenging and interesting experience, I scripted an elevator system at the center of the map that would spawn a "UDamage Power up".
The Power-up can be seen through the see through glass as well as from the underground path to the elevator. There is only one way to acquire this power-up, and for that players have to take the sub level path of the ship to the elevator. Upon acquiring the power-up the elevator doors close quickly, taking the player up to the surface of the ship and providing cover as well as an advantage to combat players in the area.
This new system, created a sub challenge for players who wanted to feel temporarily over powered and gain an edge in capturing the flag.
Environmental Scripted Sequence
To juice up the space environment, I added scripted events where the player would occasionally see shooting stars once they passed through a trigger.
I added a delay until the trigger could be activated next to avoid players from knowing where the trigger is or avoiding the same event from playing multiple times in the same space.
Drag the slider on the image to see the development
Hyperion Battleship - 5v5 CTF Map
The objective for players on both teams is to capture the enemies flag from their base and return with it to their flag base. The team with the most captures wins the game.
In order to score, the opposing team should not have the friendly teams flag. Until one team drops the flag the other team cant score.