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DM-Abysmal 
Map Info


 
File Namedm-abysmal.zip
AuthorXiphon
GametypeUT2k4 Deathmatch
Date Added06-11-2005
File Version1.00
File Size4.19 mb
Player CountUnknown
Map DescriptionI should say first off that this map is a bit amalgamated. I sort of fell to pieces and went into a depression during the coars of making it. It had been planned as my final map, (FOr any of you out there familiar to me). But in the end, I had to many people telling me to go on to give up. I will say that I will slow down from my previous self untill the next UT comes out, I just can't seem to make myself love this as much as i used to.

Update: well I'll be, the number of people telling me to keep up surprised me. I geuss you I got us all here, I can't just throw the towel in yet. Expect more from me shortly!
Review Rating6.5
User Rating6.5
Overall Rating6.5



 
Review


ReviewerArcadiaVincennesAwe Score: 2.5/3
Date07-14-2005Build Score: 2.0/3
Review SchemaCast Score: 2.0/3
User Point: 0
Overall Score: 6.5/10

DM-Abysmal (UT2004)

Is the map as awful, depressing, and generally horrible as the title indicates? No, not at all. Is it the opposite? No, not really. But it is far removed from the quality the title suggests.

AWE: 2.5

The texturing is divided between buildings and terrain. For the building interiors and exteriors, the author did a pretty good job aligning everything. For the terrain, everything's pretty straightforward for a rock 'island'-type setting set in, perhaps, the Pacific Northwest where precipitation is not only constantly expected but is almost a way of life. Matching the overall dreary theme, the textures blend into the rain, the fog, the ground, and each other. This creates an overall drab, slightly depressing ambience where you can almost feel the chill of the cool weather saturated by cooler water falling from the sky. The choices and application of all the textures involved was very well done each blending into the other to enhance the ambience yet distinct enough that landmarking and locale distinction is easy. On the other hand, the terrain textures were applied a little haphazardly IMP and I found the intense sickly-green colors involved in the toxic pond a bit overbearing and almost neon-ish compared to the rest of the map. It expecially stands out considering the rest of the map is so muted in its overall color scheme. It fulfills its purpose, yes, but I think it would have been better a bit more muted. Another terrain texture issue is that some of the steepest areas are stretched a bit too far. Nothing a few extra layers with alternate XYZ alignment settings couldn’t fix.
The lighting is also pretty good with no place too bright, nor too dim. Nicely balanced dimness inside complements the dimness coming from the sky outside. Again, not very colorfull overall, in keeping with the theme, yet there is color and it enhances the ambience as the textures do. I do think, to go with the texture problem I had, that the green from the toxic pool was a bit too strong - too oversaturated. There is some nice shadow work dotted around the map although it's few and far between which is understandable based on the fact that there's no direct sunlight to work with.
The architecture is a bit of a mish-mash of industrial forms. There's some nice work here but it almost seems like the different building pieces are all lacking in continuity between each of them. Their shapes, although all ‘semi industrial’/bunkeresque make them seem like independant objects that were placed next to each other by the hand of God. But because they're textured to fit into the map, there is a continuity in color that joins them together a bit better than the lack of continuity of form.
One last problem is a combination of texturing and fog. The skybox contains ‘island’s’ of brown rock thrust up through clouds/fog that looks like it’s embedded in the skybox texture. First problem is that all the ‘islands’ are the same color brown, but the one we’re on is a mixture of brown, green, and grey. And there’s fog indicated in the map, but no fog in the skybox other than the textured fog. A little better realization of the skybox setting is needed in general.
In general the textureing and lighting blend well with the theme even if the lighting ends up a bit muted and oversaturated in one area and the texturing a little stretched here and there. The architecture is well-conceived overall but a little disjointed. If you like a cold rainy day, you’ll enjoy the theme here.

BUILD: 2.0

The build here is pretty good. The brushes are sometimes aligned, sometimes not but they do fit together well and no HOMs were found. The lifts work fine with appropriate sound too. The terrain has been optimized in terms of visibility and seems pretty well integrated into the environment. The botpathing is basic and the author did an adequate job. A few tweaks, for example adding a dodge-jump jumpspot at the dodgeramp, would have helped the bots’ flow a bit more. The fluidsurfaces were well conceived but have a more than necessary impact on framerate. It’s possible to make smaller fluidsurfaceinfos and then scale them up to the size required. This reduces the hit the FPS takes – especially when dealing with more than one. On the other hand the author did try to increase the framerate a bit by doing some collision simplification around the map on some of the more complicated Static Meshes. The author also used a sniping volume but surrounded the sniping weapon with the volume. This means that the bot will snipe its immediate vicinity – which included directly below it. The problem with this is that there’s a platform separating the bot and half of its sniping volume. So half of the volume is largely ineffective. The ambient sounds were a little bit disappointing. They’re dotted through the map like polka-dots with mostly small radii. A more aurally pleasant method is to mix small radius locational sounds with larger-radius general area sounds and then pepper the map with a few triggered sounds. Granted the rain sounds pervade the map, the soundscaping here needs a little more development. The map is zoned as much as it can be but with most of the action taking place outside, zoning options are very limited.
In general not a bad build overall. Better detail to BSP alignment to the grid and soundscaping is in order in general. And fluidsurfaceinfos could have been scaled.

CAST: 2.0

Despite its resemblance to UT2003 terrain-based deathmatch maps, this one avoids the faults of the former. The terrain is varied in more than just hills and valleys throughout the map and dotting the landscape with buildings, ramps, and hazards only increases gameplay value. The terrain is mostly used as gameplay forms rather than just space between buildings – which is how it should be. The weapon layout is satisfactory with nothing seeming too out-of-place. The map flow is a little suspect in places but holds up overall. I found myself fairly consistently visiting almost all areas of the map. There was a ‘black hole’ in flow in area towards the map border closest to the Keg of health. There’s a fair sized chunk of map there that just has nothing. I just don’t really see a purpose to it. The bots function fairly well in general. They do have a tendency to concentrate around the minigun as I always found them there and they also never seem to get the supershield. However, these, and the aforementioned dodgeramp are the only downsides to the botplay I can see. I do think the player count was a tad too high. Perhaps lowering the PC by about 2 or 3 would be better. The framerate in general was near retail but whenever I looked to the center of the map I found a significant FPS drop. And I’m not sure more antiportals would solve this. I think an overall redesign of the map would be the only true solution. Still, as it stands, it would probably only hinder those on low-grade PCs.
In general the gameplay’s quite nice here. The only development areas I would see would be to plan the map around optimization better, tweak the botpathing a bit more, and test the player count a little more.

This is far from an Abysmal map, yet it is not perfect either. A drab rainy day on a nice piece of terrain work is the setting and the gameplay doesn’t disappoint. Dissappointing soundscaping, bot performance, and FPS drops all drag the map down a bit. But if you don’t mind the rain, then I’d recommend DM fans give it a spin. It may not rest on your hard drive forever, but you’ll have some fun with it while it’s there. As for the name of the map matching the author’s mood – I’d say he certainly has some skill with the editor and an interesting imagination. Perhaps with fine tuning some of his technical skills, and designing a map with optimization in mind from the beginning, he could rise above how he feels about mapping now. I’d encourage him to stick with it.




 
Map Comments


Fuzzy Logic
06-12-2005 05:07 AM EDT
Rating: 4.5 
Appropriate title... The overall map is dark, dingy and very uninspiring. There's a major snag on the long straight walkway which prevents you going up some stairs - you have to jump to get by. That should have been fixed before release.

Kantham
06-13-2005 04:01 AM EDT
Rating: 7.5 
This map is alot different from other he made. And alot different from alot of ut2004 maps

Alot of fixing came to this map. Alot of effort was put in it awswell. and i got to agree that this map is a little dark.

G.Lecter
06-13-2005 01:01 PM EDT
Rating: 5.5 
The ambience is OK:
- Some places, like those green pools look awesome. Other things look too simplistic...
- I think the skybox looks to spiky.
- Some more sounds would have brought more life to the map (thunders, birds...).
Poor gameplay IMO:
- Lots of weapons and pickups are placed in deadends and cramped areas.
- Too many big pickups.
- No normal healthpacks.
- I think there should be some more playerstarts, I respawn lots of times in the same place...
- I got stuck more than once...
- It's not possible dodging up the wals beside the 100health. :/
- Framerates are a bit low sometimes for me, although it's still playable...
Not a bad map, but I think it could have been much better...

Manticore
06-16-2005 04:20 AM EDT
Rating: 6 
Interesting environment. Decent construction and lighting. Gameplay is a bit of an issue.....

kais
08-09-2005 06:17 AM EDT
Rating: 7.5 
This map looks nice, lighting is ok and so is the gameplay, just a good-avarage map tbh.
Don't know much more to add.

Draco
08-24-2005 04:30 PM EDT
Rating: 7 
Nice map.



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