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NaliCity Mothership




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Map Info

GametypeUT2k4 Deathmatch
Date Added07-01-2005
File Version1.00
File Size6.89 mb
Player Count2
Map DescriptionThis map was updated and renamed.
Review Rating7
User Rating7.5
Overall Rating7


ReviewerArcadiaVincennesAwe Score: 2.0/3
Date07-23-2005Build Score: 2.5/3
Review SchemaCast Score: 2.5/3
User Point: 0
Overall Score: 7/10

DM-1on1-Orphanage (UT2004)

This ain't no Little Orphan Annie. A (presumably) burnt-out rotting hulk of a building that (presumably) saw better days as an orphanage. A grey playfield overhung by a grey sky with somewhat ambient lighting decaying in the rain. So the battlefield is set, how's the battle?

AWE: 2.0

After this map all one should have to say is 'Grey' and the response will be 'Orphanage'. Due to the Unreal Engine's interesting treatment of white (accidental overbright lighting) and black (seeming nothingness and unable to light), choosing grey is a challenging prospect. Not to mention the fact that grey is almost the polar opposite of the theory of 'contrast' in maps. So what has the author done with the grey to make it work? Or doesn't it?
The textureing is grey with subtle shades of brown, red, and green. The majority of textures and meshes here are custom-made and therefore custom skinned with predominantly grey textures. However, some have a hint of red, as in the wall bricks and floor tiles. The same pieces have hints of brown as do the wood textures. And the wood also shares the hints of brown with hints of green. However, one must look very closely to notice these. Most of the time you'll be streaking past grey grey grey. The BSP textureing is fairly good although I saw some scaling issues. The mesh texturing is very nice and I don't believe I found any stretched textures.
The lighting, aside from a few colored hotspots, does nothing color-wise to add any color saturation to the grey in the textures. Most of the map feels somewhat ambient lit. Seeing as how a good amount of the light comes from the skybox - which is a grey, overcast, rainy day, ambient light is somewhat assumed and expected. But, in general, when working with a dim, ambient setting, one balances the lighting by providing contrasts within the more specific lighting scheme inside the play areas. The author has done this in some places - for example the inexplicable red lights down in the 'kitchen' area. And he attempted it elsewhere by using candles and lanterns, but the color these lights give off is not saturated enough, IMO, to really bring off the idea that these light sources are contributing either light, or color. But the really big missed opportunity is for dramatic shadows. Using a dim skybox, one removes the opportunity for shadow work coming from the sky. So one relys on interior lighting to create shadows. A dark, damp, decaying building just screams out for dramatic shadows (to me at any rate) and although we get areas that are more dim than others, we don't really get ominous shadows streaking across the play areas coming from lights partially obscured by decorations. In general, the lighting is not bad - per se - especially considering the author was working with a grey texture pallette. But I don't think the lighting reached anywhere near its full potential.
The architecture, on the other hand, is really very nice. One gets the sense of a decrepit orphanage slowly decaying and sinking into the surrounding forest. Broken metal, decaying lumbar walls and planks, piles of rubble, water saturating the place, everything looks worn, half-rotted, and slowly decaying. The overall form and layout certainly suggests an orphanage built out of local timber situated in the woods. There are obvious bedroom areas, and a kitchen, although I’m not sure what the rest of the place’s functionality was, I’m willing to suspend my disbelief. A very nice job, IMO, for the architecture.
One visual problem in general was the water throughout the map. The fluidsurfaceinfos looked good but the problem with those I’ll cover in the Build section. However, the rain was a problem. Collision was turned on which made the rain bounce off surfaces they hit. Although a nice effect in general, there were many instances where the angle of the surface, produced rain shooting around at very odd angles. Second, this collision uses processing energy that could better have been used to render the map, thereby reducing FPS. The rain could have been better realized using Xweathereffects, weather-effect canceling volumes, and separate emitters for the splashing on surfaces from the raindrops. The final problem with water was all the surfaces covered in shaders, or puddles meshes composed of shaders. As far as my understanding goes, shaders cannot take shadows. This means anything with the shader cannot accept a shadow – which leads us back to the problem of the lack of dramatic shadow work.
Overall it’s a very convincing theme that’s executed well, but missed many opportunities to be better. The textures were very well implemented except for some scaling problems, the lighting was executed well, considering the texture palette, but the lack of shadow work, and contrasting color and light opportunities produced a largely ambient lit feel. The architecture was very well-realised and perhaps the best aspect of the AWE. In general, not a bad job by far – but it could have been better. And I liked the drawings left behind.
As for the grey - Contrast, Creativity, and Consistency are all integral in design. Here we have the creativity and consistency, but not the contrast. Using the grey palette everywhere reduces contrast choices to 2 possibilities: color the textures using lighting, or use architectural forms to outline the space and separate the grey. Although a little of each was done here, it wasn’t enough overall.

BUILD: 2.5

The meshes are integrated very well with the BSP, and everything is fit together very well. The BSP was pretty well aligned to grid and there were no obvious HOMs. The collision was smoothed by blocking volumes throughout the map which helps both gameplay and FPS. I was able to get out on the roof of the kitchen, but this was difficult and would not happen during normal gameplay. In general the blocking volumes really helped smooth out the play but I still got a little stuck, briefly, now and then. If I didn’t jump so much, I probably would have had a little more trouble with bumping into things. A little more smoothing with blocking volumes I think is needed, but not much at all. The lift worked well with a somewhat appropriate sound. The emitters were nicely done, but the coronas for the candles didn’t look quite right. I’d recommend an emitter instead. The map was appropriately zoned and antiportaled so optimization was adequately addressed. However, framerate was a problem with the fluidsurfaceinfos. Since the author canmake his own textures and meshes, I would suggest he look into xProcMeshes to replace fluidsurfaceinfo usage. Less expensive in terms of FPS, they do require the addition of the water special effects that fluidsufaceinfos have by default. But the gain in FPS, especially when using large-area ones, is worth the extra work. The sound, always important in a 1on1 map, is effected fairly well here. There are nice rain sounds in general, I think I would have liked to have heard a wind sound in addition, though. The triggered sounds were excellently implemented. Walking over the broken beds, the planks, the chains – all are excellent aural clues as to where your opponent is. I guess I just missed a few locational ambient sounds. Still, a step above what I normally hear in maps.
Overall the build’s very nice. Replacing the fluidsurfaceinfos with xProcMeshes, and some Locational ambient sounds are about the only thing I can ask for here.

CAST: 2.5

Some 1on1 maps are actually fairly large – some are small. This one certainly fits into the latter category. An extra room, or even two, would have made this a very nice sized 1on1 arena. Still, it’s just big enough to promote some good gameplay. The layout is fairly simple and will be memorized quickly. I found there to be a decent mix of close-quarters gameplay and, less so, areas for hitscan gameplay. The weapon layout was satisfactory, but I think it could really have benefited from one change. The supershield is, IMO, in a very easy to get to location. Moving it up to where the shock rifle is, I think, a much better, more challenging location for such a prize. The shock rifle would be moved to the flak cannon location – to take advantage of the open space up there – and the flak cannon moved to the supershield location – to take advantage of the tighter area down there. The minigun, link, and lightning rifle are not here, however, which I think was a mistake. The lightning gun I can understand removing. But the other two have a purpose in balancing out maps. They’re hitscan or long-distance weapons and populating the map with the splash-damage weapons deprives a certain contingent of players with weapons they prefer more than others which gives them a bit of a disadvantage. Still, with all the close-quarters areas down below, any player should be able to put up a decent fight relying mostly on spam. Which is a little too bad, but spam can be fun in moderation. The aural triggered sounds and health/adrenaline do help you keep tabs on your opponent’s location, but the map is small enough that if you don’t know where they are, you need wait no longer than a few seconds. In terms of framerate, the map perfoms satisfactorily, with the FPS dipping above and below retail just a bit. Only one spot dropped the FPS relatively drastically and that was largely due to being able to see a lot of the map, plus a large fluidsurfaceinfo, at the same time.
If you enjoy fast, tight gameplay, then you’ll certainly appreciate this map – especially for the flak monkies out there. For more ‘dedicated’ players, it will probably be too small and lacking some preffered weapons.

Orphanage is a grey map lacking in the contrasts that help define locations, add drama and beauty, and add to the inquisitive ‘what’s around the next corner’ that keeps players traveling through a map. Despite this, it remains visually appealing in a depressed sort of way. There were some nice creative touches and it’s built fairly well. Gameplay is a bit small and cramped, with limited weapon choices, but some will like it that way. Is it a recommended download? Yes. A required download? No. Go ahead and download it – every frag is a dollar is donated.

Map Comments

07-01-2005 09:54 AM MDT
Rating: 7 
HUGE lack of colors (gray + gray + gray is not the way to make a good looking map). Too much fancy detail, stuff to hang up upon, 100A is too powerfull for this small map, health is placed imbalanced, AND bots are too good. :p

07-01-2005 10:53 AM MDT
Rating: 8 
Looks as if this building has seen better days. The way you,ve managed to created the feel of a building passed its times is great..

"Download this one"

Daramus Research
07-01-2005 11:34 AM MDT
Rating: 7.5 
Awe : 2.5 because too evil atmosphere of this map :)
Build : 3 , definitely.
Cast : 2 (map too small... and quite disbalanced)

Rewiev : 7.5 => must have.
Nice work.

07-01-2005 12:53 PM MDT
Rating: 7 
lovely atmosphere, comparable to Painkiller's Asylum. The raindrop emitters weren't executed very well, given a bit of a keen eye anyone can see they're emitted from 1 central point in the air at places. lots of shiny stuff. Too bad the map is so small, would've loved to see an entire orphanage. Gameplay tends to be a bit cramped at times. Keep on doing what you do, Voodarius!

07-04-2005 11:40 PM MDT
Rating: 7 
The atmosphere was very, very good. The map looks well done. custom meshes in the map. It was one of the creepiest maps I have played, and one of the most convincing in terms of setting and place. The use of grey all over was really cool, I think that color can be overrated. Oh, and frames were good too.

The bad news is that the gameplay reminded me of Gael, only it isn't symmetrical and there is a lot more stuff to get caught on. One upper floor, one lower floor, and two spiral staircases on one end of the building leadin up, as well as a dodge ramp in the middle. The weapon choice was limited, and the arena was smaller than it should have been since it was so... cluttered.
It is also worth note that the bots were really good. It was like they had been bumped up a skilllevel or two.

I can't wait to see what VoodariuS comes out with next.

07-01-2005 03:37 PM MDT
Rating: 7.5 
This one deserves the many excellent comments it is getting! There is a lot of work put into this spooky arena, and it pays off. I won't go into detail, since that is taken care of by all these other comments, but the atmosphere hits the mark dead center. The clutter and haphazard crap laying around captures the orphanage concept well, and I had no problems hanging up on it: Blocking volumes are used well to keep flow smooth. I also enjoyed the myriad triggered sounds that kept surprising me! It looked to me like the emitted rain had collision turned on so the particles would bounce off of geometry, but this techy effect seemed a little uneccesary and I would rather have seen the processing power required for this put towards an increase in the number of particles.

Now for a few more gripes: Front and center for me is the item placement. Health seemed way to plentiful, especially on the upper floor. That floor is the perfect place to own the arena from, since it contains the flak cannon, ammo, and health. I would personally have rearranged the weapon placement such that the flak cannon is swapped with the hard to reach shock rifle. I'm not sure about the rocket launcher and goo gun, but that upper floor was really just too much of a fortress for my liking.
Besides that, this map is very creepy, smooth, and fun! The only reason I have so many little suggestions is that this map nears perfection, and I would like to see it get there.

07-02-2005 04:35 AM MDT
Judging by the map's storyline, I'd say this place NEVER had better days. ;p

07-02-2005 10:00 PM MDT
Looks nice, but needs more color. I don't really like the layout at all. It's way too friggin' small.

07-03-2005 08:15 AM MDT
Rating: 6.5 
A promising map, but which still has some major problems.

The first thing that come in to mind, is without doubt the colour scheme. As many have said before, the use of only grey is not a good idea. Sure the weapons add some colour, but this is not sufficient at all.

However, the colours are not the main downfall. The layout needs lots of improvement. Though 1on1 maps are giants, a couple of corridors and rooms just isn't enough to provide a satisfying game. 1on1 maps should be close to the size of Rankin, to be real good.

Another issue concerning layout is that it comprises mainly from rooms and corridors. The layout is no way unique, though the idea of the main room is quite good (especially as the shock rifle can be found from the top). If we look at the best duel map of today, Rankin, the idea of simple rooms and corridors is almost diminished. Sure there are more open areas, but they're not just cubes with some routes leading to them. This is what makes the map stand out.

What surprised me was that although the map is mainly geared towards close combat, there is no minigun or link gun. The lack of LG I understand, though a self respecting map should always have one. Actually all weapons should be present in every map.

But there are some good things too. although the map is overly grey, it is still detailed quite well. I did not find any errors either, though I played only once. Also well used were the, as when you walked over the piles of stuf fin the main room, they all made a sound. This i've not seen before, and it truly added to the atmosphere.

Bottom line is that while it is an ok duelling level, to be succesfull it needs quite a lot of work. But I am hopefull, as the author seems to have talent.

07-07-2005 03:57 PM MDT
Rating: 9 
Чтож, выскажу ИМХО русского мапера:

Заключение таково - карта весьма игробельная и атмосферическая. Боты прекрасно арентируються на местности, хорошая болансировка карты, бои идут практически на всех её участках. Детализация - высший класс - порадовал набор множества интересных мешей...
Молодец, принаться честно, давненько не встречал хорошо детализированных карт... мне все твои работы очень нравиться... буду рад увидеть ещё что-нибудь подобное)

Пришлось много чего упустить от дурацкого ограничения коментария!(

[Edit]Kantham - Author Do - and I comented only for him, not for you...

07-03-2005 08:18 PM MDT
Rating: 8 
Nice graphics. Stupid gameplay. :)

07-04-2005 06:54 PM MDT
Rating: 7 
Great atmosphere and construction. The gameplay was just o.k. for me; a bit too cyclical.... the rating is for the atmosphere really.

07-23-2005 02:22 PM MDT
Rating: 8 
yeah it's got problems but as far as creating a grungy, dank atmosphere it works superbly. great theme. these bots are freaking vicious. kicked my ass at masterful. would have been great to see it little bigger. good work. no, very good work.


Sorry, I just have to.

I keep coming back to this map. everything has pretty much been said but here's what I'd like to see. Give me three more rooms. Give me a basement with a morgue or at least an infirmary. Give me a 1st floor cafeteria and put a library on the top floor. that should be enough space to make this a perfect DM map. Clear up a couple of nagging little issues that everybody else has talked about and this is a 10. don't listen to any greif about the color. Like it is this deserves to be on the hotlist, make these changes and it's MOTM.


glad to see this got a review. this mapper deserves some credit.

07-05-2005 10:07 AM MDT
Гадюка mx

никто не говорит по-русски здесь

07-05-2005 01:09 PM MDT
Rating: 8.5 
Incredible theme and setting, very good concept. Game play is good and all is very fun!

07-05-2005 02:40 PM MDT
Rating: 7.5 
Awesome atmosphere! Gameplay is OK, but the placement could have been a bit better and I got stuck in different places. That's all, it's well worth the download!

07-05-2005 08:23 PM MDT
Rating: 7 

07-06-2005 05:46 PM MDT
Really great well done atmosphere.

07-08-2005 08:53 AM MDT
Rating: 7 
well the atmosphere is really cool here and even though the atmosphere you obviously wanted to achieve demands rahter dark and gloomy lighting your lighting could have used some 'highlights' because some of the lights are too grey.
some of the staticmeshes are a bit overscaled and in some places lack collisions or there's too much of it.
the general layout is pretty cool but it's a bit too small imho.
don't get me wrong for pointing out the negative things - i like the map and i recommend the donwload but i guess it's just human to concentrate on negative things too much... sry for that :)

looking forward to your next work ;)

07-09-2005 02:36 AM MDT
Rating: 8 
I disagree about the colour comments, the map has a cool atmosphere as it is. Gameplay is simple but good for a quicky.

Nice job.

Fuzzy Logic
07-14-2005 07:37 AM MDT
Rating: 7 
Great looking map and very atmospheric. Gameplay is a bit on the bland side though... feels like there's something missing :/

07-14-2005 07:22 PM MDT
Rating: 4 
This map is beautiful. All the art is stunning and the sound fx are great. But it's way too small. It's really hard to spawn in a 1v1 match without the other player already in your face.
As cool looking as the weapon bases are, they defeat the purpose of weapon bases since they are so small and blend into the enviornment a little too well.
There is also this pointless little hole filled with water hugging a corner by the 100a. It goes down a yard or two and then it's nothing but a deadend filled with trash. Jump through a tiny little window like that and you expect something to be there. Instead all you see is a bad way to get cornered. The water also goes super crazy when you hit it, which is incidentally the only visual problem I could find in this map.
I get stuck on geometry everywhere. Need to add more blocking volumes to prevent things like that from happening.
Some times item placement is a little awkward and disrupts the flow a bit, like where there are 3 adrenaline pickups that are placed across a hall rather than following the path.
All the halls are thin and I found myself screaming for more breathing room. Maneuverability is half of what makes this game unique to other twitch games and this map kills it.

But after all is said and done, it may not play well, but it is most certainly a gorgeous map.

07-24-2005 08:55 PM MDT
Rating: 7 
I liked it.

08-07-2005 08:28 AM MDT
Rating: 8 
This map looks really spooky, it looks so realistic, great job.
The lightning could have been done a bit better though.
But overall a map worth downloading for sure.

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