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Dm-Indasky 
Map Info


 
File Namedm-indasky.zip
AuthorAlexandre
GametypeUT Deathmatch
Date Added02-27-2004
File Version1.00
File Size9.19 mb
Player Count2-6
Map DescriptionA Floating castle in the deep space. Funny visuals and average gameplay. give it a look and try it with 2 or 4 bots. have fun
Review Rating5.5
User Rating8
Overall Rating6.5



 
Review


ReviewerIronblaydeAwe Score: 2.0/3
Date05-04-2004Build Score: 1.5/3
Review SchemaCast Score: 2.0/3
User Point: +1
Overall Score: 6.5/10

AWE: 2.0

Ah, it’s so refreshing to see something original once in a while. Had Dr. Seuss been a mapper, he might have dreamed up something like this. Indasky is a castle floating in space, full of graceful curves both in its base architecture and its decorations, plus a separate floating platform which you access by getting shot out of a cannon. The author states in his readme.txt that he built this map with visuals as his primary concern, and it shows. The architecture is wonderfully detailed and extremely interesting. Even details we’re all used to seeing are done with more care than usual. Anyone who’s been playing UT for more than a week has probably seen the old missing floor tile trick used to break up a flat surface before, but when Alkazex uses it in this map, a significant section of the floor is broken away, with dozens of tiles lying strewn about, and some of the tiles themselves cracked into pieces. The skybox is a little cluttered, and could have been executed just as well with fewer polygons, but aside from that, everything looks good.

Texturing is simple, but effective. Most of the primary textures have been custom-made, which serves to further differentiate this map from the thousands of others out there. The ubiquitous curved trim segments snaking through the map, along with the relative simplicity of the main textures, reminded me a little of DM-Bygone, only executed far more skillfully. The trim texture, which is a royal purple that appears either reddish or neon blue depending on the lighting in that part of the map, might be a little bright for many, but I didn’t let it bother me too much given the map’s originality.

I’ve reviewed one other map by Alkazex, CTF-Unikey, and I can definitely see some similarities between the two. The first is in his use of lighting. I thought that Unikey’s lighting hurt its visual appeal noticeably, and although it works better in this map, it could still use a little work. First, I still think the author needs to use cylinder lights more judiciously. Sometimes they work -– in a handful of cases in this map, it looks like Alkazex was working right out of the DavidM playbook –- but usually they end up producing unattractive splotches of color on the walls. This is true of virtually all of the small lights embedded in the walls that sit about 32 UUs above the floor. Turn the radius up a bit and set the light type back to normal, and they'd look better. Also, as in Unikey, the LightBox meshes don't look very good. They're too large, and I think the ScaleGlow might be turned down a little too much. Finally, the flicker effect used on the thrusters that keep the castle aloft is a little too erratic to be appropriate. Note to the author: the LE_FireWaver or LE_TorchWaver effect probably would have been better.

BUILD: 1.5

First, the good. With almost 10,000 world polys stuffed into a map small enough for a good four-player match, some care is needed to keep frame rates under control, and the author has done a good job of it. The poly count does get pretty high –- up to 600 in a few places -– but those polygons are rarely spent frivolously, meaning that the poly count never seems unreasonably high considering the level of detail you're seeing. The node:poly ratio is a respectable 2.16, which certainly helps. Thus while the high poly counts will probably drop your frame rates a bit, it should still be highly playable on most machines.

On the other hand, Indasky has a number of BSP holes, and I'm not talking about little benign ones that most people will never see. Earlier I mentioned that there's a floating platform of significant size that sits apart from the castle proper. Look out at it from the right place, and fully half the platform disappears. That's one hell of a big hole. In another part of the map, on one of the aforementioned broken-floor segments, you can fall into the floor, either becoming stuck halfway through it, or falling through completely to be killed by the vacuum of space. Neither is a particularly welcome experience when you're coming down to the wire in a tense deathmatch… or at any other time, for that matter. There are a couple more holes as well, both disappearing surfaces and HOMs, which are not as significant as these first two, but can still be very distracting. On a related note, five of the map's six teleporters are partially visible through a wall if viewed from the right angle. This isn't really a BSP hole –- it has do to with the way the teleporters are drawn –- but it's still an irritating visual artifact that could have been avoided.

There's another shortcoming in Unikey which rears its head again in Indasky, and that's poor bot pathing. First, it's inefficient; I tried my hand at optimizing it a bit and was able to remove 40% of the pathnodes in ten minutes. Second, the bots won't use the cannon, which would take them out to that platform that holds a Redeemer and a decent sniper spot. Third, there are a number of jump pads, and the bots get stuck on some of them at times; they'll take the jump pad to a higher level, then jump back down and take the jump pad again, ad infinitum (or at least until they catch a flak grenade to the face). Once in awhile they'll even hit a jump pad incorrectly and launch themselves into space, particularly after getting the Damage Amplifier. The author's attempts to get the bots to use their translocators have also gone awry. The Redeemer platform is reachable via translocator, but instead of translocating to the platform successfully, bots translocate up to the edge of the castle, then jump over the side, oblivious to the fact that a regular jump is nowhere even close to being adequate to get them safely onto the platform. This is hilarious to watch as a spectator, but disappointing when you're actually playing the game.

The cannon could have been done a little better. It has two problems. First, you take damage when you land, which is annoying; there should be another kicker on the island to catch the player so he doesn't get hurt. The other thing is that if you jump into the mouth of the cannon instead of taking the teleporter that drops you into the rear, it'll launch you clear over the platform if you aren't prepared. Oops!

Ambient sounds can be found everywhere, and they add a lot to the level. They're well chosen except perhaps for the sounds emitted by the teleporters; they sound more like they're going to kill you than move you somewhere. I can't say I like the music, though, which is a UMX conversion of Joe Satriani's "Crystal Planet". I like Satriani as much as anyone, but converting a song from a CD-quality format to a tracker format like UMX invariably makes it sound fuzzy and weak, and this is no exception.

CAST: 2.0

I've played this map several times over the past couple of days, and I'm still having a good time with it. Despite the fact that Alkazex created this map with visuals, and not gameplay, as his primary concern, all the elements necessary for a fun game of deathmatch are here. The map is well-connected and easy to learn, with plenty of places to go from any given point, and enough z-axis opportunities to keep things interesting. It has areas to accommodate most any playing style, from tight passages perfect for ruining someone's day with the Flak Cannon to long-range sniper posts. This is especially true if you play with translocators on, because then you can go climbing the minarets and towering light fixtures outside. The Redeemer is great fun in this map, too. In addition to flying it around outside, there's just enough space to navigate the inside of the map with it if you're careful. Steering the Redeemer through doors and hallways so I can drive it right into someone's head is something I'll never get sick of.

Item placement isn't inspired, but it's decent. There are some things (like the invisibility and the sniper rifle) that are placed well, but many of the other weapon locations could have been tweaked a little. The weapons seemed a little too numerous to me sometimes. Also, I would have liked to see some of the stronger pickups placed in areas that required a little more creativity to reach, because this is a great map for that sort of thing. Even without the translocator available, there are a number of places outside that may not appear immediately accessible, but can be reached with a little trickery.

The one thing that detracts from the gameplay the most, though, is that the bots aren't good enough to provide a really strong single-player game. I'm sure it would be a lot more fun online, but UT is old enough now to apply for its AARP card by gamers' reckoning, and as the number of servers running it decreases, it becomes more important to provide a strong botmatch for offline play.

FINAL SCORE: 5.5

This is really a good map, but one whose technical issues prevent it from receiving a higher score. The author has stated that a new version of the map will be coming out in the future that addresses some of the BSP holes, and I'll revise my review accordingly if the new version ever surfaces, but I sincerely hope that the author is willing to take a look at the bot pathing prior to re-release as well. A better single-player game would do a lot for Indasky. Nice work, Alkazex.








 
Map Comments


KosaPL
02-28-2004 11:46 AM EST
Rating: 9 
Good job men

UArchitect
02-28-2004 04:52 PM EST
Rating: 9 
a very nice and strnge map, a nice theme which ive never seen before and a vry strange feel to it

its just.....you have to play it and see..

Fuzzy Logic
02-28-2004 07:38 PM EST
Rating: 8 
Great map. Love the visuals - really unusual and unique. Plays well too.

Shao
02-29-2004 09:13 PM EST
Rating: 9 
looks like aladdin's theme...Good Job man!~

Saint
03-03-2004 03:58 AM EST
Rating: 9 
Brilliant map! Never seen anything quite like this one so i'll give it a 9.

KaMi
03-01-2004 12:23 PM EST
Rating: 8 
I´m agree with all, great job and nice theme.
Keep up the good work :)

XepptizZ
03-03-2004 06:23 PM EST
Rating: 8 
Some Archi things are nice like the metal bars anf the theme's just fresh. I didn't find any flaws except the place with the nicely rumbled tiles, fore some reason there's an invisible hole where you can fall on the lower level. If you're gonna make a version 2 please mind that.

[Dark-JaXx]
03-21-2004 10:54 AM EST
Rating: 7 
This is definitely one of the most original maps I've played for a long time ago.
It plays like my first maps(and even better that)
with supreme weird(no offence) architecture!
This remembers me that I must finish my own maps..

Manticore
05-05-2004 02:32 AM EDT
Rating: 8 
It appears that someone under the influence of psychedelic drugs has blasted DM-Peak into orbit. Personally I think the rocket launcher is too beaucoup for a map this size. The scale really lends itself to melee type play.

Definitely a strange map... strange and cute. The custom stylings of just about everything make it an interesting visual experience; the jump-pads are particularly nice.

It's clever little items like this that keep the meter ticking over on UT99. Download it and see for yourself!

rsplitter
05-05-2004 06:23 AM EDT
 
The screenies look great. Unfortunatley for me I don't have UT, just UT2k4 :( Maybe a port possibly...

buffyslayer
05-05-2004 07:28 AM EDT
 
WOW really nice
can you please make this map for UT2004 too ?
I really want ; )
thank you

Arakon
05-05-2004 01:15 PM EDT
Rating: 8 
5.5 sounds pretty low to me.. I really like this map, it has awesome looks and played well, with enough twists and turns to keep things interesting.. while bot pathing may not be the best, it certainly works.. as for the holes, I did notice some of them, but during a fast paced game, they don't show up so much, except for the platform one mentioned.

Ironblayde
05-05-2004 04:17 PM EDT
Rating: 6 
Arakon: I understand why you think it's a bit low, but remember that we reviewers assign scores based on a very specific schema rather than an overall impression, so my score and yours can't really be compared directly. It does have a lot of potential, but until that v1.1 that Alkazex mentioned surfaces, I stand by my score. I hope he does decide to do that update; I'm looking forward to it. :)

Mister_Prophet
05-05-2004 04:33 PM EDT
Rating: 6 
Really sucks about some of the flaws this one has, as Iron Man said. I would give it an 8 but there some from pretty hefty issues in here to keep me from soiling my pants. Make a fixed version dude!

grimm039
05-06-2004 03:13 AM EDT
 
Man... I really wanna try this map out, but I only have 2003/2004... Hopefully it'll be remade for 2K4 at some point. From the screens it looks great though.

Alkazex
05-06-2004 02:51 PM EDT
 
SO first thx for the review and all those comments. it has motivate me to make an 1.1 version. i am still working on it, i've remove some cylinder lights and replace them with normal lights. i have corrected the bsp hole in the ground. ( i 've added a block all actor in the ground )

So now i have to ameliorte the pathnoding :/ i really hate doing this but i will try.

to the reviewer ( please can you teach me how to get the bots in the canon and to make them using the jumpads correctly ).

sry for my english :/ i am from Belgium

quillion
05-09-2004 06:55 PM EDT
Rating: 4 
map is only pretty and has no real flow..i would like to see gameplay added in next v.1

sinnical
05-09-2004 07:04 PM EDT
Rating: 6 
ooh diss.

cool map though

man you really found DM-Bygone displeasing . . . ima go take a look at ironblayde's CTF-Stax to study up on leet texture diversity, brushwork and lighting. =P



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