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DM-Serenissima 
Map Info


 
File Namedm-serenissima.zip
AuthorsHokaZuLu
GametypeUT2k4 Deathmatch
Date Added06-14-2005
File Version1.00
File Size47.63 mb
Player Count8-16
Map DescriptionVenice themed deathmatch map.
Review Rating7
User Rating8
Overall Rating8.0



 
Review


ReviewerMister_ProphetAwe Score: 3.0/3
Date08-25-2005Build Score: 2.5/3
Review SchemaCast Score: 1.5/3
User Point: +1
Overall Score: 8.0/10

Serenissima is the perfect example of a map whose structural and creative beauty can also be a self inflicted gunshot wound to its gameplay.

I admired this map for its fresh sense of detail and modern elegance but that same atmosphere, while ripe with eye candy, carried a suffacating layout. The biggest problem with this map is the gameplay, which doesn't come close to the talent used to pull off the awe inspiring meshwork (I say meshwork because alot of chambers in this map are cleverly hidden cubes or basic subtractions littered with detail).

I'm not saying the gameplay is crap, not remotely, but it ranks in at about par. And that factor will determine this map's staying power, not the visuals. Serenissima has several exterior regions in this waterside village but alot the combat is taken to enclosed sections that are very...VERY tight and you can't run 10 feet in any direction without passing a potential static mesh snag (which could also be said about many of the stock maps released with the game). It isn't bad enough to make you stop moving every foot or so, but it makes it a chore to avoid all the clutter and the indoor parts can even briefly pause your movement for a fraction of a second as you collide with the doorframes. The fact that the layout it heavily interconnected helps, though there are some unneccessary decoration segments like closets and such which exist soley for environmental purposes rather than layout and are basically dead ends. Some power-ups are hidden on occassion and the large scale of the map encompasses a bunch of different locations rather than the normal central building. Weapon placement is planned out well and bots move to and fro without any noticeable difficulty (though I never saw them go for the hidden health keg).

The layout and gameplay problems with Serenissima don't make the map unplayable, you can still have a perfectly fun romp through the place one the layout is figured out and you teach yourself to avoid the clutter. But still, Serenissima is another example of a map that gets so over-focused on the detail that glaring flow errors are allowed to slip through the cracks. A deathmatch playing environment needs to be smooth and flow-friendly at ALL times. This is a fast paced game and the maps need to reflect this. It's perfectly fine to have detail as long as you can organize it in a way that doesn't hinder the gameplay. Things like this need to be taken into account when creating static meshes and applying them to maps. Getting too concerned with the location can lead to useless areas when push comes to shove in gameplay.

Serenissima doesn't take it to the extreme and this is good. The map is still very playable. But because of such small problems showing up continously the map's CAST score suffers when it could have easily been one of the best rated maps on Nali City. The AWE score is perfect, I totally dug this place. The screenshots speak for themselves. If this had been another standard Aristocracy rip-off village then my score would be much lower, but the author puts alot of effort in here to make the place his own. It's certainly unique and far more modern than is often seen in the techy landscape of futurisic UT maps. I would tell anyone to download it simply to get a look at the place, but play it at your own preference. There are far better gameplay maps out there.

The Prophet's Verdict: Beautiful map with some really tight parts in the layout. Flow-Unfriendly. Would be ideal for Realism mods and the like but for fast paced UT gameplay alot of players can get frustrated. Average Gameplay. A healthy 7, but it shoulda been higher.



 
Map Comments


redfist
06-16-2005 04:56 PM EDT
Rating: 9 
Wow ,I got to see this.

whoa,man this map makes it allmost insane to critize it at all.The place reminds me of a level in NOLF2.

My only complaints are.
in maps that you want to extend the view but stop players from going in,I wish people would use some sort of visual obstuction,to imediatly know you can't go back there.And did i see bitterfish?

But there is so much work and texturing and things that it would be near impossible to cover ALL possible mistakes,I didn't see any but if you have to find them,then who cares.

Also I had NO trouble with FPS ,everything is cranked accept charactor shadows off,and decal set to low at 1024*768.

And normaly I would say this is not good for DM,but this map elliminates all the cartoon type levels,therefore putting it in a different ora of gameplay,for the way it is, the gameplay should be, as it should be for this type of map.

Wish I could map like this,you might try to make a singleplayer out of this,and have a few doors open or move,and mabye a few trees or shrubs moving to give it a slightly more 4th dimention for wind.

I may have hesitated adding a new music file for the sake of file size,but hey,all is well.
I have to take 1 point off,just because a 10 is what you are striving for as the rest of us,keep the maps comming,nice mapping.

One note,some gun sounds are changed as well as having rapid fire,so if you do catch your oponent,either be ready to die or shoot.

geez 1,022 downloads in 2 days,man how many bytes is that being tranferred around the web at 47 meg per pop.

Amisa
06-17-2005 03:42 PM EDT
Rating: 10 
That's a delightfull map ! The visuals are superb and give a good taste of a venitian mood. After visiting the place remembering of the real city where I had more romantic behaviours, the game is also pleasant to run. Well, short comment for a very good job !

EDIT :
About the gameplay, I think that the DM is often the better show for visual mapping quality. This map would be rather an excellent material for a SP, needing then a full story and many other maps.. and how many lifes ?

About the visuals, I only complain the surface water. It's only a sheet two-sided on a watervolume. A FluidSurfaceInfo would have been a better choice with not too much cost.

There are no movers in the map. Economic purpose ?

I maintain a 10..

Kantham
06-14-2005 04:40 PM EDT
 
I saw that on UP

Kinda amazing.....

But i don't fell like downloading it cause of the file size. My HD cry to get freespace ATM. I try to keep it the cleaner as i can.

neoduck
06-18-2005 06:12 PM EDT
Rating: 8 
.... :O

wow!!

absolutely incredible.

i'm going to pass out now.

buffyslayer
06-14-2005 10:12 PM EDT
Rating: 10 
yes this map is real !!! ;) thank you !
http://img245.echo.cx/img245/5431/dmserenissimaup5ja.jpg
http://img183.echo.cx/img183/373/dmserenissimaup00zb.jpg

cUnNiNg_StUnTs
06-14-2005 10:38 PM EDT
Rating: 8 
Makes for a great resume for a single player mapper.

Beautiful work!

However doorways are too tight, and the water looks solid, I thought it was dirt or solid ground.

Nagashi
06-15-2005 03:39 AM EDT
 
I personally think this map is absolutely beautiful and wish other mappers would take heed of this map the scaling is perfect none of that too big stuff it's realistic and the textures and meshes are gorgeous I have seen plenty of shock's work before as we all have, but this... well it's just beautiful and I wish we could have more like this in the community! The door ways are to scale and that's just fine with me the more realistic the better IMO.. . I may not be a good mapper but I play the crap out of this game and this map is defintely outstanding!

bot_deform
06-15-2005 01:02 PM EDT
Rating: 8.5 
Who needs to go to the eternal city when its before my very eyes...

mozart
06-15-2005 04:48 PM EDT
Rating: 8 
If I were rating this on looks alone it'd be a 10. It's beautiful and you can easily see that the mapper put in some time on it. The details are amazing. (I really liked the old WW2 era radio) great touch.

As far as gameplay goes, well, I'm told I know nothing about gameplay so take this with a grain of salt. I played at experienced, adept and masterful. I died twice at masterful and not at all at experienced and adept. the bots do a good job of hunting you down if you stand still but they don't really engage all that well. they take a little damage and run and they aren't that accurate. Online would most likely be better.

here's what I didn't like (not much really but this is what kept it from being a 10)
- the map feels kinda boxed in almost like you are in a maze. I would have liked a bit more breathing room but this does make for some really good close quarters action.
-someone else pointed this out before. there are a lot of balconies, rooms and rooftops that you can't go into or on.. I find that really annoying. I know it's a lot of work but since you've already drawn it out go ahead and open it up
-again somebody pointed this out before but the water was really too solid looking and I thought that the canals should have been a bigger part of the whole map.
-the redeemer is my all time favorite weapon because I'm psycho but there really isn't room for it here (or the ion painter for that matter)
-everything is too static. I like stuff that blows up. give me breaking glass and splintering wood. it goes well with flying meat from corpses.

this is a great effort. it plays well, it looks fantastic. you've got real skill. keep it up.

Fordy
06-16-2005 03:17 AM EDT
Rating: 7.5 
Nice map, lots of effort, but the gameplay just isn't there, well not for me anyway. Would be more suited to a realism mod's gameplay.

Manticore
06-16-2005 03:59 AM EDT
Rating: 7.5 
This map makes me want to re-install Frag Ops. Stunning construction. May have worked well as a CTF map....

nELs0n
06-16-2005 08:06 AM EDT
Rating: 8 
excellent visuals and beautiful details!
but with ut2k4's movement i got stuck very often because it's really tight in some places.
like fordy said: this would fit some realism mods or maybe a game like hl2.

definitely worth the download ;)

CursedSoul1
06-18-2005 01:32 PM EDT
Rating: 7 
details, atmosphere, location, decoration, awe everything nice.
Im really amazed by some stuff.
You sure know your stuff, but in thismap.. you dont show that you got any gameplay talent.

looks good, would be a damn nice CS or something similair map, but for ut dm gameplay its kinda bad.
Id rate high for the looks, but i gotta rate really low for gameplay, some people may bish about that but for starters its in my humble opinion.
It misses Z axis gameplay (yes there is some), though not everybody needs this, also you can get stuck behind things which affects gameplay.

IF you can manage this kind of detail together with good gameplay, you would be pwnage material.

Edit, i dont know, im gonna add .5 points to my score.

edit @ theepiphany
Bro... take it down a notch k.

theepiphany
06-20-2005 06:47 PM EDT
Rating: 10 
GREAT MAP
Intelligent architecture, great level design, excellent optimization, good lighting, etc...

Good job shokazulu

[Admin: Rest of comment removed due to irrelevance]

Freedomshaoray
06-18-2005 06:50 PM EDT
Rating: 8 
Italy theme :D I love this map

sHokaZuLu
06-18-2005 07:09 PM EDT
 
Thank you all for the kind words and helpful critisisms :)

G.Lecter
08-26-2005 12:06 PM EDT
Rating: 7 
Good map, I love the theme, everything looks awesome, and you can go inside most of the buildings... :) Lots of things to discover...
However, realism and gameplay never have been good friends: The doorways and hallways are really too cramped (so the flaker always win...), the decoration/furniture often makes me get stuck, there isn't any lift/jumpad (they wouldn't fit in such a realistic map...), and there is not too much z-axis. Placement could have been better (e.g. less ammo around each weapon...).
I never liked city-DM maps too much. My score for the map 7, but not for all the work put in it...
I think UT is too fast for this kind of maps, I agree with CursedSoul it would have been better in a different FPS game/mod...


M@estro
06-20-2005 06:42 AM EDT
Rating: 8.5 
Beautiful,
Tough the gameplay isn't the best part, it deserves a 8.5 or a 9. keep it up

Deceased
06-20-2005 09:00 AM EDT
Rating: 8.5 
"You haters and lamers are killing this site. i wish the admin would just get rid of the comments section all out." - theepiphany

...ok, now i i think i speak for everyone when i say the admins are more likely to get rid of you than the comment section. the comment feature is only thought of as a bad ting by people like you because theres a lot of jealous mappers slating other maps and trying to promote their own, and its only human nature to focus more on negative and comment more and have a stronger opinion, so thats why the more negative feedbacks are seen and give the user comments a bad reputation. All that needs to be done is for people to grow up. i mean, whats the point in arguing ? its not like theres money prizes for the best maps here. its only a thing people do for fun or in spare time and even though they may be bad at it, atleast be decent enough to encourage them to carry on and improve.
lol sorry, im just rambling now

As for the map itself it left me speechless.
I Find that the scale of most maps in UT2k4 are too big, and its sorta like a mini-me map, and i dont like that too much. While playing this map i found that this isnt the case as things are more to scale as it would be seen by the person if they were actualy there. The map just feels right.
Attention to detail is key. And this mapper has an eye for detail nailing it and achieving top marks in my opinion in alot of the area's on the map.
Detail ranges from buildings in the distance and chimneys, great window detail and ledges on building etc, to smaller details such as candles, books, and ribbons on hats.

The map reminded me of Half-Life 2 quality and i rather enjoyed just admiring the pure skill it must have took to imagine and then go on to produce this map. All i could do really was do a fly-by of the map as i have my UT2k4 to run at very high settings on all fronts, so this caused major lag and FPS problems on my PC rendering the map unplayable. That isnt a build error, just a lame PC error :) Id definatly say this map is aimed more at the high end of gamers with the latest technology if they want to run the game at max.

Overall I'd say this map is great. I only wish i wasnt lazy. if i wasnt id set 2k4 to defaults to be able to play this map. Maybe i will at some point, i most likely will to play this map as it by far is one of the best i have seen.
Im Looking forward to seeing anymore maps in the future by sHoKaZuLu.
great work.

Chavez
06-20-2005 09:13 AM EDT
Rating: 7.5 
This is from the artistic point of view one of the best maps I have ever seen!
Really great work, unique and creative theme!
Lots of custom textures and meshes.

For that I would give you a 10, but what distracts me from that:
There are some points of gameplay, mentioned already (narrow doors, missing z-axis,...).
But the real problem IMO is the botpathing:
The laddervolumes are not pathed correctly, in most cases the upper ladderactor is not connected to the pathnet(the laddervolumes are too high), the waterway is not pathed, some of the windowentrances are not pathed (jumpspots/dest would be great here), I even found a gap in the path at a corner.
Due to this the bot are behaving relatively predictable, there are areas where you do not meet them, but you know, where to find them...

I hope you would correct this in a update, this would make the map really great.

But in every case it is visually outstanding!

Defeat
06-20-2005 06:04 PM EDT
 
>The outdoor screeshots look like they came from CS:Source or Painkiller. The indoor shot looks like its from NOLF2. This will be a big d/l for me because of my 2400bps i get, but with all the comments about how awsome it looks I can only imagine what it sill look like on my machine. (I run UT2004 at 1280*1024 with everything at max.) I also agree that you should try to make a single player map.

Draco
06-26-2005 04:47 PM EDT
Rating: 10 
Great map. Fantastic work.

kingmango
07-10-2005 09:36 AM EDT
Rating: 9 
Nothing's a ten. We can never make a perfect map. This is damn close. Best with a realism mod IMHO but I spent a whole TAM match just walking through looking at all the marvelous attention to detail. Too much to list.
I hear from KHZ this got you in at UbiSoft? Congrats. Good luck.

III
08-14-2005 05:08 AM EDT
 
Thanks for converting this for UT2k4 shoka!!! Don;t need to mention the eye candy, but the gameplay is AWSOME for Frag Ops where it was meant to be played. Awsome you converted it to let us enjoy it!

Next time ya need some tunage for a map again just let me know bro! Had a blast!

btw mango, not sure where ya heard the ubi soft thing. He did get a job as a level designer from this map but not at ubisoft. I could easily see this as a splinter cell map tho :)

|KHz|-III-

PHa-Q
08-25-2005 11:42 PM EDT
Rating: 6 
Great looking map. Amazing detail and cunning modeling... but alas, this is just not what one looks for in UT 2004 DeathMatch gaming.
As said previously this map would probably get a 10 if in a realism mod, but for UT 2004... well it does'nt cut the mustard playability wise.
When I look at a map score, I expect it to tell me how well it will play, as that is of paramount importance...
Yes it looks gorgeous but, 'no' it does'nt play well.

If you want to google at some amazing mapping, texturing and modeling, then download this. (even though, imho that is best kept to websites and portfolios though)

If you want a very playable map for UT 2004, this isn't it.

a1ex
10-10-2005 10:26 AM EDT
Rating: 5.5 
It looks great, has a lot of Detail and you can look at something nice everywhere. (I really liked the picture next to the water)
Still, for a real looking map the colors and lights are a bit too saturated. But maybe thats only because of my monitor settings for ut.

Well, as already said it could be great for other games, but in ut it sucks. Even with the great visuals i have to give this rating because gameplay is not existent.

Gameplay: 0
Visuals: 8.75

Fuzzy Logic
10-10-2005 08:10 PM EDT
Rating: 7 
One of the most realistic maps you are ever likely to see. Simply stunning. Construction isn't 100% though: as you move away from the canal with the boats, down an alley and over a bridge, if you look up there's a horrific HOM - sent me dizzy ;)

Gameplay is awkward, there's just too many snags.

So 9.0 for almost perfect construction and looks, 5.0 for gameplay.

ChromeBallz
10-11-2005 10:54 AM EDT
 
FYI - i noticed this map was originally intended for the Frag Ops mod..... That might account for the somewhat lacking DM layout.

balerion
10-23-2005 02:23 PM EDT
Rating: 8 
Stunning visuals (very realistic), but the gameplay is not as good.

Cyrss's Female Dog
11-28-2005 07:45 AM EST
Rating: 7.5 
Nice map.

demonicknight
01-01-2006 06:09 AM EST
Rating: 7.5 
I've played this map and its got a really nice theme.Its very well set out also.The bots are kinda stupid though,they only hang around at the building thing.Great map anyways.



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