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[UT2004] DM-Heartbreak


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Hi all, first post though I've been lurking around here for quite awhile, never really had anything I wanted to show off or ask for help on as I've been working a lot on programming rather than level design. Well, the level-design bug bit me and I am working new deathmatch level for UT2004. Old game, I know, but still plenty of players looking for some fresh maps.

This is a small 1v1 or 2v2 layout that I am working on to get some more practice in 3DSMax, and to practice level design in general.

My first step was to build my layout in BSP within UnrealEd. I am much more familiar with UnrealEd than 3DSMax so this part was easy for me. I also wanted to ensure the scale and jumps worked in the game first.

Basic WIP Layout Design shots:






After building the basics of the level I began following a tutorialby Hourences on how he made his cave. Now, I went about things a little differently in that I didn't start with one subdivided box and just extruding entirely from that -- I blocked out the larger spaces first using that method and then used 3DSMax's cut tool to add subdivisions where necessary to get the layout correct.*

After doing that I applied a MeshSmooth to add a more organic look to the blocked out elements, applied a simple UV Unwrap & material, and then exported my ASE to bring it into Unreal. At this point I just wanted to get it into the game and walk around to get a feel for how it would work with all the elements in place.

WIP version 2:



Overall I'm pretty pleased with the layout that I've got. I have an urge to add a few more connecting passageways or rooms, but I think that may detract from the focusing of action around the central area. I will re-evaluate this more after playtesting with actual players.

* Right now I'm on a 2nd pass over the level geometry in 3DSMax to smooth out jagged polygons and get the geometry into a more finalized state.I am a little concerned that my initial methodology here may not have been the best and could hinder progress. I am going back to the model now to add detail to points that need it, however I've noticed already several points at which cuts I've made with 3DSMax's cut tool have resulted in overlapping polygons that aren't attached at the vertices (however, those vertices are positioned at the same point. But they can't be welded for some reason unless I delete some of the polygons and recreate them). If anyone's got any tips on this front I'd appreciate it.

Hopefully should have the geometry nailed down by this weekend and can focus purely on aesthetics & gameplay in UnrealEd.

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Probably still a little too early in development for you to get any really helpful feedback, though I will say to your "making cuts in 3dsmax" problem that the cut tool is not the ideal way to add more faces, as you said you get weird orphaned vertices, etc. You should also probably finalize your layout completely before turning it into anything organic so you don't have to drag that beast of a mesh back and forth between the editor and Max.

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