DM-Ian, DM-PModern - Unreal Tournament maps (March - May 2020, UE4)

Designer

Original deathmatch map sketches for Unreal Tournament 4. Download DM-Ian, DM-PModern

I used Unreal Engine in grad school, but I lacked a project to call my own. Unreal Tournament 4 is one of the scant UE4 games with mod tools, so as a longtime UT fan I had to try my hand at a map. While Epic has long abandoned the game and the community has dried up, I've never had a large audience for my games, anyway.

 

While I planned on just one level, my warped creative process led to no less than three deathmatch maps, two of which I took to the whitebox stage with group playtests, and one that I took to visual polish. Each one was built faster and came out better than the last. As someone less familiar with multiplayer design I take it as a sign of my improving design skills.

 

The first map, DM-Ian, has a simple quadrant structure inspired by Q3DM4, with a bridge overlooking the central atrium that allows for quick rotations and fish-in-a-barrel shots. I expected the duel ramps to the bridge to be an important combat arena like in DM4, but the slower movement in UT, map scale and the lack of importance of the UDamage bridge in Duel mode, meant that it was usually better to access the bridge from the northern jump pad—safer, and it nets you the powerful sniper rifle. One of the unexpected features of the map came from how short I built my walls: the player can grab the sniper, jump from the bridge to one of the rooftops and walk across the tops of the walls to get all throughout the map and take shots, at the risk of any explosive knocking them into the void. This became surprisingly fun in 1v1.

The second map, DM-PModern, is larger with a more complex layout yet simpler rooms. The two levels of elevation remain but I added health and armor at the bottom to encourage rotations. The rocket launcher and flak cannon are both on the lower level and each path back to the top has you fighting your opponent who has at minimum a shock rifle. The highlight of the map is the lift which allows for liftjumping high above the center atrium for satisfying aerial combat, and a chance to fly straight down to the armor, at the cost of falling damage. I did a lot more with less in this map and the layout feels unique, less gridlike, but I wanted a map with more complexity and interconnected paths.

 

The third map, DM-Jazz is in development and I believe satisfies these goals. Look forward to its release soon.

© 2020 by Ian Colquhoun.

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