|File Size||5.12 mb|
|Player Count||2 - 4|
The Skarrj/Skaarj/Skarjj have been using illegal substances. And building things. And not doing it well.
The theme is a spaceship sailing towards? a sun? and is somewhat Skarrj/mothership-ish but off on a tangent as it were. I'm not sure if the author was intending to create a Skarrj-themed ship or something completely alien but only had mothership themed material to work with. Either way, the ship is somewhat impressive although very basic and the skybox is very impressive if overwhelming.
The texture use is decent overall. Nothing is really obviously unaligned but the texture choices leave a little to be desired. In Unreal white textures have a tendency to become overbright and black is completely lost to the void. This dubious choice was the inside textureing of a fairly black texture which leaves one fairly indeterminate of where exactly the floor is in the main area. Most of the rest of the playable areas were done in a shader-ific bronzed texture that looks decent enough. The main problem with the texutring in general, from the spaceship fins, to the projectors, to the animated textures, is that it's all a bit too hard on the eyes. Epileptics need not apply to be a crewmember on this ship. Another complaint here is the lack of trim on some somehwat obvious pieces of geometry - particularly outside.
The lighting in general is okay. Nothing really dramatic but nothing really terrible either. The outer area is pretty much lit by the incredible 'sun' panorama in the sky, and the outside has almost desultory lighting. The big lighting complaint I have is with the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test application of the what-at-first-glance-seems-to-be-thousands of tiny coronas. In most cases authors make the mistake of coronas being overlarge and overbright. This is the opposite case. They're used to highlight light fixtures, as per usual, but also to create light fixtures out of nothing. The author chose a texture of thin white stripes on a dark grey backround trying to achieve the effect of sections of louvred strip lighting. But it doesn't really pull of the intended effect IMO. Also some of the coronas were not aligned/situated well in relation to the source they're intended to shine from. One final corona complaint is that the author has round lights as well as longer lights. There are long corona textures available that come with the game for precisely this application yet the author uses the tiny ball coronas instead.
As for the architecture, it's fairly simplistic yet convincing overall. Removal of some of the more dramatic meshes would give the overall shape a farily 'UT99' feel but it is masked somewhat well. Mostly consisting of slanted corridors, slanted ship face, and horizontal play areas it works out fine in general. One big sticking point would be the staircase the bots travel up for access to the mid-level outside from the flak platform. Why is there a staircase on the outside of a spacecraft?
Overall it's a map that's hard to love simply because of the retina-bending visuals. Too-intense textures, regulation lgihting combined with one of the worst cases of corona abuse I've seen, and somewhat basic architecture combine to make this a not-so-awe inspiring map. The only jaw-dropping visual aspect of the map is the skybox. I wish more of it had ben animated but the focal point of it truely is a sight to behold. The custom music from UT99 is a nice touch.
Despite it's visual design flaws the map is built fairly well. There's some bizarre BSP intersection work but it's aligned to the grid and functions so I really can't complain about it. It's over-zoned but the zones didn't make a difference in terms of framerate which I'll address in the CAST section. I think researching bForcedZoneVisibility would have aided the map in terms of optimization very well. I will say that there's good collision replcement with blocking volumes to help ease the flow and framerate. The movers and jumppads work well and appropriately.
The sounds are a bit of a disapointment, however. Almost no hotspot sounds and just a general ambiant sound. I really would have liked to hear the effect of the 'sun' in the skybox when outside the ship.
In general it's built a little bizarrely but certainly competantly. Optimization is a bit lacking as is sound.
Gameplay is not so good. Inside the spacecraft there's no z-axis. Outside, there are two z-axis opportunities and otherwise z-axis afforded by low-gravity. The rocket launcher is situated inside the main room and is somewhat fitting there. But it makes escaping from the inner area quite challenging. The flak is situated on a platform immediately outside the main flat-access entrance to the ship. There is a ion cannon weapon at the highest outside level but it's very easy to grab. The shock rifle is off all alone on top of a small protruberance reachable by a series of small jumps or via a jumppad. The bots never reached the shockrifle that I saw and the ion cannon weapon was much too easy to get. These two items should have been switched. The outside z-axis relies predominantly upon the low-grav situation which, IMO, is largely something that should be avoided in general.
Finally, the map runs at very disappointing framerates. With all the shaders, animated textures, projectors, and coronas, the map is already at a disadvantage. Add to the the fact that the zoning doesn't work particularly well means that most of the map is being rendered at any given time. Mid to low-end pcs will suffer.
Overall, the map doesn't have very intriquing gameplay nor acceptable framerates. Wonky weapon layout and no z-axis inside doesn't help either.
The big picture is fairly dim for this sun. The skybox is really the only interesting thing this map has to offer. Unless you're a low-grav lover, or need ideas for a space-oriented skybox then I suggest passing this one by. Perhaps the Skarrj that built this spaceship were indulging a little too much in their own upside-down hydroponics lab as the center of the spaceship suggests.
02-08-2005 03:46 AM EST
|DeathMatch under a dying sun.|
02-08-2005 12:48 PM EST
|Rating: 6.5|| |
|I played a few rounds with bots, and this really brought back memories of phobos2- space station-like setting, low-grav on the outside.|
Bot-pathing wasn't too bad, but I really wanted to see the bots use the jump pads more often.
The lighting fit the dying-sun theme, but inside, on the lift, it was WAY too dark-I could barely see if anyone was there until I saw rockets flying at me.
The biggest area of improvement that this map needs, imo, is the flow- the weapon placement is good, but some of the areas outside were kind of restrictive, ie it's easy to get stuck on the spaceship. The one jumppad that I saw on the outside was hidden in a corner next to a spaceship (I dont know if I missed any others). Try to move this one more out in the open, so that there is more action near the pads.
Other than those things, Sunshine is a fun map, one of those that gives you a choice to fight either in a tight place or out in the open. The gameplay is close to phobos2, so if you're a phobos fanatic, give this one a try.
02-12-2005 10:59 AM EST
|Rating: 7|| |
|Nice theme and stuff but the action could be better, BOTs do very well but the map doesn't flow well, one spot I fell off of the "ship?" and the death message was like I had fallen in a toxic chemical volume not fallen into space, so there may be something wrong with the volume that does damage when you fall. Also you should fall a little more before you die, it's like you fall off the ledge and die instantly most space maps you fall for a distance before hitting the "pit" volume.|
The map shows great work just need to work on the flow and layout for your next release, focus more on playability and then theme should come second.
02-20-2005 12:03 AM EST
|Rating: 5|| |
|Average gameplay and a design which borrows from DM-Hyperblast to some extent. Suffers from bad lighting and some collision errors. Decent attempt but needs work.....|
|Fuzzy Logic |
02-20-2005 07:38 AM EST
|Rating: 4.5|| |
|Really didn't like this one. The lighting is awful, ruining any gameplay there might have been. The layout isn't all that good either. Sticking an Ion Painter in such a small map is suicide at best.|
04-13-2005 12:54 AM EDT
|Rating: 6.5|| |
|I like this SUN!|
07-26-2005 01:55 PM EDT
|Rating: 10|| |
|Nice map!!! Have played it 14 times. But! Bots are not visble in this map. But the rating is 10.|
07-27-2005 09:40 AM EDT
|Aalexanderrr : So the bots dont show for you and you still rate it a 10? Thats like a 10 as in a perfect map? Good friends with the author are you or just easily impressed? Both I suspect.|
07-27-2005 11:10 PM EDT
|He is not my "good friend". :/ "Bots are not visble in this map" - don't know, what this means. Bots are visible.||