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CTF-Holy Sanctuary 
Map Info

GametypeUT Capture the Flag
Date Added04-24-2005
File Version1.00
File Size2.03 mb
Player Count8-16
Map DescriptionThis Sanctuary is used for the UT games
This holy place is build for Sacrafice to the gods.
These days it is used for the Laundri corp.
Its quite a large map with a lot of z-axis fights
Good lighting ect...
Waterfalls, garden and the chapels are the beautifull things of this building
Review Rating3
User Rating7.5
Overall Rating4.0


ReviewerIronblaydeAwe Score: 1.0/3
Date04-10-2006Build Score: 1.0/3
Review SchemaCast Score: 1.0/3
User Point: +1
Overall Score: 4.0/10

AWE: 1.0

Architecturally speaking, CTF-Holy Sanctuary is a map of inconsistent appearances. Some parts of it show a fair amount of detail work, while others are almost criminally plain. For example, the flag rooms look pretty decent. The room doesn't look too boxy, and has plenty of nice beams, arches, and windows to make it interesting. But in other places in the map, there are hallways that have no decoration at all. None! Some places have a strange combination of both good and bad, like the outdoor area that's in each base, featuring catwalks over a canal that's fed by a number of waterfalls. The waterfalls look nice, but the pillars in the same area are pitifully bad. They look like textbook 2D Shape Editor abuse, even though it turns out that's not how they were made. The ShaneChurch texture pack dominates the level, and for the most part the author has chosen his textures well. But the texture alignment is terrible; it looks like the author didn't even make an attempt.

The map's lighting typically ranges from average to bad. There's certainly nothing exceptional here, and there are so many ways it could have been improved. For one, there isn't much variety. There are team colors and pure white, and that's about it. And again, there's inconsistency. The spawn rooms on each side have blue-looking lanterns and purple flames burning, yet the predominant lighting color is white. There are candles that have orange flames, yet nonetheless bear team-colored coronas. There are a number of corridors that have nothing but white light that's completely unsourced, which strikes me as incredibly lazy given the amount of effort the author put into the map. The central room has hideous orange coronas which are far too large and use a terrible skin (see the third screenshot at right). All in all, just not a good effort.

One last strange thing I'll mention is the skybox, and the way it's used in the map. There are mountains on four sides and water on the bottom, which looks very strange. And there are nebulas in the sky, which you wouldn't expect to see during full daylight. But what really struck me as odd is that you can often see the skybox where you'd expect to see other parts of the map instead. For example, there are some curving hallways with windows in their walls. Imagine walking down one of these hallways and having a window on your left, and seeing that the hall curves to the left in front of you. When you look out the window, you expect to see the exterior of the building where that hall should be curving into view. But you don't - you just see the skybox.

I wanted to score this part of the map a little higher because some parts of it really do look decent. And if that same level of quality was present throughout the map, I'd have given it a 1.5 for sure. But the halls completely bereft of ornament, and especially the considerable amount of sourceless lighting, really take away from the map's appearance. It's as though the author did the skeleton of the map first, then started doing detail work, but got sick of working on it and didn't bother to finish.

BUILD: 1.0

Well, the map works, but that's about as far as its list of merits extends. The brushwork is fairly sloppy, and often includes brushes formed with the 2D Shape Editor or messy intersections whose coplanar faces were left unmerged. This adds to the texture alignment and lighting problems, because you often see ugly edges in the middle of what should be an unbroken surface. Most of the brushes are reasonably well aligned, but there are some that are off the grid a bit, and you can tell without looking in the editor, as there are occasionally some telltale visual artifacts to be seen in-game. Also the zoning is terrible - most of the map is one giant zone, and none of the zones are named, so you can't keep track of your teammates. That's an important oversight in a map as large as this one.

The most serious error, though, is that it's actually possible to destroy the enemy team's flag, thus rendering both teams unable to score. This is something that players are unlikely to stumble into, but it happened to me during my very first test game, before I'd even opened the map in the editor. The waterfalls I mentioned in the last section each have a series of triggers placed along their height that cause you to take constant damage as you fall, and at the bottom is a TriggeredDeath waiting to finish you off if you live that long. The problem is that the author has set the TriggeredDeath actor to also destroy items that come within its collision volume - and that includes flags. So if a flag carrier goes over the side, the game is over. I can't imagine why the author did this, since that is not the default setting for a TriggeredDeath.

Bots seem to know their way around the map well enough. The only thing that jumped out at me here was that there are way too many nodes; the network could have been kept a lot simpler. But they do play the map without much difficulty, so that's a point in the map's favor.

CAST: 1.0

Testing this map was not fun, as it's exceptionally linear and thus grows boring very quickly. At the extreme end of each map is a spawn room which holds all of a team's PlayerStarts, and that's followed by a walk through curved hallways that opens into the flag room, from which there is only a single exit into the body of the map. That one exit leads into another hallway that's again very linear, aside from a dead-end room with weapons and health on each side. It goes quite a ways before reaching the waterfalls, at which point the flag carrier finally has a choice between two paths. One of those routes forks again, so you have three possible routes. One of these routes is completely isolated from the other two: more linearity. The other two routes meet in a common room, with one above the other. But there's no way to get from the low route to the high one without a translocator, so a flag carrier has only one route which allows him to change in mid-run.

If you're playing against a team with a competent defense, though, all discussion of flag routes is moot anyway, as you'll never escape the flag room. Each flag room has a Minigun, Shock Rifle, Sniper Rifle, and Ripper, with plenty of ammo for each. And if you step into the opening hallway a bit, you'll find another copy of each of those weapons (except the Ripper), along with more ammo. Given that there's only a single entrance and it doesn't allow much room to maneuver, this arsenal should be enough to defend the flag room indefinitely. It was in my test games.

The clustering of all of a team's spawn points together, removed from all possible action by a five-second walk; the existence of only a single path from the center of the map into a flag room; the extreme linearity of the paths, even after they diverge from one another; and the ridiculous item placement around the flags combine to create a very frustrating and uninteresting gameplay experience. I'd intended to give this only half a point for the cast score, but then I looked back at some other half-point cast maps I've reviewed in the past, and this one isn't as bad as those were. Still, it's not a pleasurable experience.


This is the first time I've played one of GenMoKai's maps, so I can't say how it compares to his other work. It's clear to me that he's got potential, but unfortunately this map falls far short of what a good CTF should be. There are lots of visual and technical details that need to be cleaned up, and most importantly, the layout needs to have some variety if it's going to provide a challenging and enjoyable game. Hopefully his next map works out better.

Map Comments

04-24-2005 01:36 PM MDT
Rating: 9 
Wow, talk about huge.
nice work, the idea of the map is pretty original, good lighing, bots do well to.
only that skybox suck a bit
that garden looks very cool, like the amp dmg in the water :P, u always get wounded. and i saw in the editor there is a secret area under the waterfall, and those TEX are cool with that ''this should be a secret''

Evil Snack
04-24-2005 01:44 PM MDT
Your english is getting better GenMoKai! Keep up the english studying! :p

04-24-2005 03:46 PM MDT
Rating: 7 
not that bad dude
I like the architecture ... simple at some place but in sumary thats good...
the lightning are bad in some place too ...
the gameplay is good

check out the skybox ... original but strange :s...
check out the lightning like i said before ... in a corridor... it is luminous but i dont see any light(brush)
I like the theme a water citadel or maybe a church lol i dont know...keep it the good work

John DiFool
04-25-2005 01:52 PM MDT
Rating: 3.5 
Huge, but very linear w/ tight hallways. Not much in
the way of strategy here-just wade in and kill and get
the cap...

Edit: So you DON'T care about gameplay at all? Okay...
[P.s. I do.]

04-27-2005 06:21 AM MDT
Rating: 7 
Hey GenMoKai

nice map,
what i had done different:
in some of the corridors,there are windows,and you can see the skybox through the window.
and the corridor makes a turn left or right,and you should see the outside of the corridor that has turned,but you dont
that looks kind of weird
for the rest it is a nice map
good job man

EDIT: ok zal ik doen :P

04-25-2005 02:56 PM MDT
Rating: 7 
I like the structure of it, sure it's very simetric, and it consists of halls to run through, still I find it pretty well built. The lightnin, it's hard to judge about the lightnin, coz im playing with opengl brightness 8/10 =p it just looked all well liten to me.. nice map in my opinion.

Vatcilli zeitchef
07-21-2005 12:26 PM MDT
Rating: 9.5 
Whoa, Great map!
I never liked the whole ctf thing but this brings me back to it wonderful achitecture. The only point is the skybox. well be glad, with me it is the only thing I CAN make look good.
Bots played good they mostly got to the flags before me
(which is good I hate dumb bots)
nice work

09-13-2005 06:39 AM MDT
Rating: 8 
Thats a big nice map. I liked the theme and the emittereffects in the church. Well done m8

09-14-2005 09:11 PM MDT
Rating: 7.5 
Nice map! Big and spacious, imaginative brushwork and excellent use of the ShaneChurch textures. It really has a unique style -- in a positive sense. Only two things really bothered me. The lighting is a little drab, which ruins the atmosphere of an otherwise very cool setting. Secondly, the skybox is visible in places where IMO it shouldn't be. For example through the windows in the slightly S-shaped corridors. It feels really weird looking out the windows and seeing nothing where you really should be able to see the outside curvature of the corridor.

Other than that (and the fact that those origami trees in the garden look like *beep* :)) this is a really good map. If you'd fix the lighting and the skybox issue, this'd be a new favorite of mine. I'm definitely keeping it.

Edit: I noticed now that some of my remarks were already mentioned. But I don't normally read the other comments until I've posted myself; it's easier being objective if you don't already know what other people think. :)

04-10-2006 01:33 AM MDT
GenMoKai, since you seem particularly interested in lighting tips, here are a few:

- Generally you should avoid pure white lighting, as it's very sterile and boring. This is not to say that everything should be oversaturated of course, but just a tinge of color is better than none at all. You might use a yellow hue for sunlight instead of white.

- Try not to have a large area that has only one color of lighting, as that too is very boring. Contrast is your friend!

- Watch the size of your coronas, and try to pick textures for them that aren't too busy and conspicuous. In my opinion, coronas should typically be a relatively subtle effect. Realism is only one consideration -- you also have to realize that coronas that get extremely large will interfere with gameplay as well.

- On a related note, only use coronas that match the color of the light being emitted. The candle flames with team-colored coronas look very strange.

- If you're going to have light coming inside through a window or skylight, place a bright light outside a ways so it will cast shadows through the opening, and then place a light of lesser brightness inside to simulate the light's reflecting onto surfaces that it can't reach directly.

- If you have a surface, particularly one that's in a bit of a recess, that isn't taking any lighting even though you have lights in the area, set the Bright Corners surface flag and it should fix the problem.

- If you have a surface that's going to be receiving conspicuous shadows, such as those cast by the pillars on the upper level of your central room, set the High Shadow Detail surface flag to make them stand out more.

- Try to stay away from fully black shadows, as they simply aren't realistic. The Unreal Engine doesn't reflect light off surfaces it strikes, but that's what happens in the real world. In most cases you should use some small, subtle highlights or a hint of zone light to avoid full black.

These are all good things to remember, but in my opinion you need to worry a lot more about gameplay than you do about lighting. You simply can't put choke points into a CTF, especially when the defenders have an arsenal large enough to arm a small country, and expect it to play well. Without room to maneuver, options to choose from, and ways to switch between routes to throw off one's pursuers, CTF is no fun.

04-10-2006 09:09 AM MDT
Thnx for yoor comment and rating Haarrry
yes i know it about the skybox, and i see you found the secret area :P
thnx Evil Snack
hahahaha thnx evil :P
Thnx Lok for your comment and rating
thnx about the comment about the skybox, self i found it a bit worthless
you can call it whatever you want (its a church/chapel type)
i know about the lighting, but i like dark places :P, so i didnt put every where light or zonelight
thnx John DiFool for your rating and comment
i dont need that kind of comments i need more about the lighing and stuff
thnx Dage00 for your rating and comment
yeah i know it about those corridors, lot of people say that :( its not 1 of my strongest points (BTW je mag ook wel NL tegen me praten hoor :P) hehehe
thnx substylez^- for your comment and rating
ahhh nice you like this map, but i see much people have ''trouble'' with that lighting
thnx Vatcilli zeitchef for your comment and rating
im glad you like it ;)
yes i know, i have sometimes problems with a ''skybox''
thnx ApHeXx for comment and rating
never know that some one will ever rate this map again ;)
thnx West for comment and rating
it took a while when i was done with reading of your comment ;), but lighing wasnt my best thing in Ued, i hope it will be good in my other maps (im busy now with DM-Lost Catacomb][
also i like it when you said that my map is original :)

THNX Ironblayde for your comment and Review
i really appreciate you give me some tips with the lights
i hope in my new map it will be a lot better, perhaps you want take a look?

I hope you got something i can mail you ;)

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