|Gametype||UT2k4 Capture The Flag|
|File Size||7.15 mb|
|Player Count||8 - 12|
|Map Description||Reproduction is such a tricky issue... So why leave it to blind fate? In modern society, perpetuation of the species is completely controlled. In this autonomous factory, embryos are created, grown, and immunized with utter efficiency. Producing more or less intelligent offspring is simply a matter of adjusting variables. Is there anything technology can't do? Now open to the tournaments, this life-giving compound is the perfect place for humanity's favorite blood sport. Inspired by the novel 'Brave New World' by Aldous Huxley.|
Finally, back to CTF. I love this gametype, and I don't know why it's been so long since I made a map like this. Hopefully you will have a good time with this setup. Obviously, I went for theme points (as usual), and if I succeeded this level will get quite spooky once you notice egg-encased embryos floating everywhere. Even though my initial concept came from 'Brave New World', the actual architectural style is very abstract and a little Matrix-y in my opinion. Most importantly: Enjoy, guys.
It's a brave new theme in this mid-to-large sized CTF. A decent enough layout is the backseat driver to the bold design of the overall theme. Is the gamelpay as good as the theme? Let's put this map under the microscope.
A hybrid of themes playing between Aldus Huxley's Brave New World novel, The Matrix movies, and Gattaca, the map sets the area in a 'baby factory', as it were. Tubes of suspiciously colored fluid move encapsulated fetuses through the map occasionally foisting some kind of injection on them which they, to the delight of some players, and mental detriment of others, object to vocally. The factory setting is difficult to describe; curves and tubes flow throughout the map, ramps and catwalks provide the foundation for the gameplay areas, and various emitters and movers, skillfully arranged, set off the map's atmosephere. Most everything is custom made and implemented well.
The texturing pertains mostly to the custom meshes. The little visible BSP used is aligned well, although the non-visible BSP is not. The texturing on the custom meshes is, for the most part, pretty good. Some of the larger bulbous grey meshes I think could have had the texture repeated a bit more as it looked a bit oversized and therefore a little bit of it lost 'crisp' texutre definition. A few other meshes had very stretched textures on them. In the case of poles, it almost looked like this was on purpose, but on another, circular doorway kind, it looked unintentional. There were many nice shaders used in conjunction with the textures which helped give the materials a basis in metal, although for a fair amount of them, I'm not entirely clear on what the building material was. Other than these complaints, I thought the texture work was quite interesting, well done, and very creative.
The lighitng is, unfortunately, a bit of a mixed bag. Some of it is very well done and highlights certain integral areas while keeping some of the architecture a bit mysterious in its dimness. There were a few locations, notably in the connection rooms composed mostly of fetal transport liquid tubes where it seemed a bit ambient lit around the tubes. The final problem is the most prevalent. Because the author chose a primarily black, white, and grey texture pallette, and used white, or close to white, lights throughout the map, ensuring that nothing goes 'overbright' can be a challenge. For the most part, the author avoided this, and in some places, a small amount of overbrightness actually adds to the theme. But there are a few places where the overbrightness washes out the texture and just plain looks bad. Fortunately, this is more rare than frequent but still something to watch out for. As for the corona useage, it was very nicely implemented and really helped add to the ambience.
The architecture is comprised mostly of static meshes and, rare in UT, is mostly rounded and/or curved. Most of the static mesh work is constructed well, and most of it fits together well. There were a couple locations where they did not interconnect well, for example a fetus tube extruding out of a doorway frame, unlike the baby tube next to it coming out of the wall. But this, like the overbrightness in the lighting, was more rare than frequent. The walkways, tubes, and 'lab' areas were all realized well and the overall architecture is both a bit claustrophic in how the ceilings bulge together and how the fetus tubes flow through the map, and yet there's still a sense of grandeur in terms of almost every area lending a grand height or profundity to the ceiling or the space under the catwalks. The central area where all the paths cross is quite dramatic in scope with a single ball of molten energy and the electrical spikes connecting it to the hardware surrounding it. The holographic fetus looked a little out of place in that although it was nicely realized in conjunction with the holographic projector arms, I wasn't exactly sure why it was there. Another sticking point is that some of the grey rock/organic meshes and their junctions with the ‘ridged tube’ meshes/BSP was a bit clumsy. It seemed like some trim was needed. The remainder of the 'special effects', like the gigantic syringe, the bulging tubes, and all the fetus movers, effect emitters, projection arm movers, steam/fog emitters, etc... really added to the overall ambience and some helped set off the architecture even more. Very nicely done in general.
The texureing was good overall with maybe some better texture definition reccomended. The mesh work was creative and fairly well implemented. The architecture overall was dramatic and coupled with the various mover and emitter effects, very effective in drawing one into the overall ambience.
The build was very good. Not much to say in terms of BSP – there were minimal brushes and I couldn’t find an HOM. The map was adequately zoned which certainly helped framerates. The movers, emitters, and triggers were set up excellently and there’s nothing to say against them. Some of the meshes had collision replaced with blocking volumes, which was good, but quite a bit more could have been effected; not that the place is very sticky - perhaps around the doorframes for that – but more in terms of overall FPS enhancement. The framerate was good despite all the special effects but did border on retail and then dipped below intermittently throughout the map. Reducing world detail cuts down on the emitters which does increase framerate, but the framerate drops aren’t too bad overall. The sound was pretty nice throughout the map. All the movers, emitters, etc… had appropriate sounds either tagged to them, or placed with ambient sounds nearby. Also, this map contains the most creative use of XProcMeshes I have seen so far – the pulsing bubble tubes. Sound flows through the map leaving no location silent. General and location sounds are used but I think a few more triggered sounds, perhaps related to the metal(?) catwalks would have been nice – especially in terms of tracking a flag capper.
In general, a very good build with excellent implementation of special effects.
The overall gameplay is quite nice. The layout is deceptively simple although the height variations mix things up a bit. Despite its overall simplistic shape, it takes a little while to accustom oneself to the routes available. Landmarks are essential in any map, and one could argue moreso in CTF maps as the flag carrier wants to spend as little time orienting themselves as possible so they can travel as fast as they can. The map screams with landmarks, but the problem is that the large vertical tube room looks the same on each floor and there’s no visual indication of what lies beyond either door until you pass through the door. Also, the room could have had more vertical options. A lift or two and more clearly defined ways to jump down would have been welcome. However, there’s enough verticality throughout the rest of the map that the lack of vertical connectedness isn’t really something you’ll cry over. The map overall does have flow – both you and the bots will travel everywhere within it. However, you’ll probably find yourself favoring hitscan weapons. There are places that favor splash-damage firearms over the hitscan, but these are relatively few in comparison to the amount of space available to hitscan weapons. The weapon layout is satisfactory, but nothing really special, IMO. The sole weapon in the flagroom is the biorifle which, true is good for defense, is a little suspect in terms of placement. The other weapons are scattered around each base and I can’t really think of any better or any worse placement for them. All the locations seem pretty equal in terms of weapon advantage/disadvantage balances. The lighting gun was not used, however. In its place the author used the sniper rifle and placed it in the most obvious sniping spot. I’ve always been iffy on placing that weapon exactly where it will be used, and then backing with with ammo packs so the sniper never has to leave, except for health. Considering the only available routes to the sniper location pass directly in the sniper’s view, I would have recommended placing the weapon elsewhere as it’s already a somewhat unfair setup. Still, this is one of the few places it will be very effective so I understand the author’s placement. I also thought the author’s placement of health vial/adrenaline lines was a bit generous in quantity per line, but that could be personal preference.
One other note on layout, is that there are only 2 flagroom entrance/exits, and they’re both on the same vertical plane. This makes it relatively easy to defend the flag compared to having more than two entrances, in different directions, and at varying heights. I consider two entrance/exits the bare minimum acceptable and really wish these two had been at different heights. Thank goodness they’re in different directions.
The bots were refurnished by a separate author – Sjosz. Assaultpathing is a bit difficult to wrap one’s mind around and, according to all accounts, the botplay did improve after the revamp. The bots travel the paths and switch between them very well, providing a somewhat unpredictable experience in botplay – which is what one wants. I found one location where they took the long way around and normally I would not mention it, but it occurs in the flagroom and could have an impact on defensive botplay. If the skill level is high enough that the bots consistently use the Xloc, this location is of no concern. But if the skill level is lower, bots don’t jump up the way they should and go under and around. Still, they travel the map thoroughly, the defense scripts work well, and they’ll give you a run for your flag.
The gameplay in this map is pretty good overall. Competant botpathing will give you a challenge, the multitude of routes will keep your pursuers guessing, and there’s plenty of opportunity to take a slightly different path each time. The sniper location is a bit heavy in the sniper’s favor, and the weapon locations are satisfactory, but nothing’s really spectacular. It’s nothing new, or terribly special, but it is of a quality that pretty much everyone should enjoy it.
If the idea of floating fetuses being processed like chicks at a chicken processing facility doesn’t bother you, then you’ll enjoy this Brave New Map. The custom textures and meshes, architecture, emitter, mover, and trigger work is all above average. The basic layout and gameplay is of a good quality, although the weapon layout could probably be improved upon. Botplay will challenge and online play would as well, I believe. A definite download for CTF lovers, I’d also recommend it to players who tend to focus on other gametypes.
|Fuzzy Logic |
07-15-2005 05:36 AM EDT
|Rating: 10|| |
|I've been playing the beta version of this for a while and it's awesome; great to see the final version released, though I can't find fault with the beta... Visuals are stunning and the whole theme is a brilliant concept. Some parts of the map are similar, so you'd better learn your routes. Gameplay is exciting and lively.|
I'm not a CTF fan, and you may not be - but I will guarantee this map will make you change your mind.
07-14-2005 09:19 PM EDT
|Rating: 8.5|| |
|i sort of agree, 10's are for perfect maps, and i haven't seen one yet.|
but i too feel the excitement about this one.
a standard ctf layout, fantastic visuals and great bot support.
a real work of art you can play!
07-15-2005 04:42 AM EDT
|Rating: 9.5|| |
|This is, as the others already stated, a really great map.|
I am not rating it "only" 9.5 because of the perfect map thing (I think it should be possible to rate a map with a 10, not only wait for the unearthly impossible perfect map). I just do it because I am sometimes a bit confused of the path (more or less my problem) and there are only that two ways to enter the flagroom (my personal taste).
Thanks for that great map anyway!
07-20-2005 11:12 AM EDT
|Rating: 9|| |
|This map is the reason I woke up today.|
Ive played the map for about half an hour, after that the layout is easy to understand, and its cool how you can follow your opponent around before fragging him.
i didnt see the bots making any mistakes, but that could also be becouse i was more interested in the map than the match.
Map is very original, and looks very nice,
minor point would be the way some meshes flow over in eachother, but thats nitpicking.
lighting is a tad bland, but it fits the map,
and the theme nice.
I just love the way the little brats get stung by that needle.
anyways.. this map is a must download.
edit: sjoz, you can do my pathnoding anytime :p
07-15-2005 11:52 AM EDT
|Rating: 10|| |
|Outstanding. Everything is custom, alot of animations with another program.Alot of custom textures. ALOT of work. Everything looks good and the colors are really fiting the theme. The gameplay rock aswell. It kinda remind me of Unreal 2|
The flag room is awesome. I love every emmiters in this map. The frame rates are exelent aswell.
Same for the scriped trigger with sounds and stuff.
Obviously one of the best ctf map i ever played.
I would love to see this map on the Featured map of the month.
07-16-2005 07:13 PM EDT
|Rating: 8|| |
|- Great visual theme, a lot of interesting custom stuff that reminds me Warbeast's maps a bit... Very good work with all the moving things. However, my framerates often go too low, even in low World Detail settings. Also, I can see some different bugs in the visuals (a graphics card problem, of course...)|
- In my opinion the layout is the main flaw of the map. Everything are walkways, all them with a very similar width. After playing the map some time that may become boring. Something different would have made more interesting gameplay (Bigger floors, jumpads, lifts...) There are a lot of posibilities to switch paths though, and the placement is good IMO. A 3rd way to get into the flagroom wouldn't have been bad...
- The bots play very well using and switching all the paths and doing tricky jumps with the translocator, although they sometimes get distracted with the healths in the flagroom and become an easy target...
Visuals>Gameplay, but it's well worth the download.
Edit: I rise the score a bit, for all the work the map has in it. :)
07-16-2005 03:51 PM EDT
|Rating: 8|| |
|Cool map. Very interesting theme. This reminds me of the reproduction of human life in the Matrix.|
07-17-2005 08:28 AM EDT
|Rating: 8|| |
|What Draco said....|
08-10-2005 03:55 PM EDT
|Hi to all, and a big thanks for all the comments! I'm glad to see that this one is proving to be entertaining. |
Hehe, wow, thanks, good to get you out of bed, CursedSoul1!
BTW, it hasn't gotten mentioned here yet, but give Sjosz a big hand for the botpathing, that's all his doing. Well, gracias to everyone for the scores and suggestions so far, I'll keep it all in mind for next time! Hope you keep having fun with this one!
Thanks a ton for the great review, Arcadia! I really appreciate all the detail, I'll definitely have your comments in mind for my next map. With this excellent feedback, I can make some big improvements.
07-20-2005 04:18 PM EDT
|Rating: 8|| |
|you know where to find me Yoeri :P|
And Jebidiah's too kind, look at me I'm blushing! ;P
Kickass map. Visuals > Gameplay, but who cares with this map. Unique style, reminiscent of indeed the Matrix human cloning part, the screaming babies are neat, and overall the map looks very nice. Gameplay isn't BAD, the middle section is a bit of a bottleneck, and although the overall layout can be confusing initially, it can be learned fast. Bots do decent business in here :)
|Doc K |
07-25-2005 03:16 PM EDT
|Rating: 9|| |
|This is top-notch work, a real eye-popper. I refer to this beauty in my comments about CTF-Gralada.|
07-26-2005 07:26 PM EDT
|Rating: 7|| |
|I liked the theme here a lot, and it's well executed.|
But the cast and build categories will probably suffer in the review. Rightfully so. A more imaginative layout next time would have been nice. Why wasn't there a dumppit where I could walk all over flawed baby corpses or something. Not be to be completely disgusting, but you isolated the the most interesting part of the level from us, why not change the level of interaction to breakup the quality of the level.
07-27-2005 03:43 PM EDT
|I'll download tonight and review afterwards. |
Anyone that's read my comments or knows me from UT99/UT2k4 knows I'm die-hard about competitive gaming and intense gameplay.
Visuals are great, but when it comes down to a match, it's all about layout.
08-10-2005 12:21 AM EDT
|Man,those screnshots I can't tell wtf is going on.|
08-10-2005 08:56 AM EDT
|Rating: 8|| |
|First of I don't reall like the theme, but thats just a matter of tast so i wont judge about that.|
I think the textures are a bit chaotic and overall the map looks a bit over-done.
But omg what a freaky atmosphere, and the music really suites it.
The lightning is decent and it feels nice to play, overall its a map defenatly worth downloading.
08-14-2005 07:11 PM EDT
|Rating: 8|| |
|OMG what are you injecting in those little babies.:)|
08-15-2005 07:43 PM EDT
|Rating: 9.5|| |
11-06-2005 07:50 AM EST
|Rating: 6|| |
|I wasn't really all that impressed, I have to say.|
Visually on a superficial level it looks very nice, but gameplay is confusing and felt more like I was playing Super Mario Bros with a rocket launcher than UT2K4. Glare from the trim is distracting and annoying, as is the overdone lighting in some places. There are also lots of extremely frustrating little outcrops and holes for you to fall into, which a passing player can then conveniently fill with weapons fire.
With a celeron 2.6 and a 256 mb GeForce FX 5700LE video card, I also like to think I have a reasonably powerful computer, if a little on the lean side clockspeed wise. Given that, my heart goes out to those poor souls with a lesser rig who have tried to play this map, as I had this weird "clinging" or sliding effect where I sometimes couldn't control where I was going...not good in a map which has all those aforementioned potholes.
The 6 is for visual appearance and the execution of the theme in some respects. Gameplay is more important than visual quality to me (although some people differ from me in that respect, I know) and so I'd rate more highly than this a map which had less visual appeal if it played better.
Download it and walk through it if you like eye candy, but I don't recommend using it as a game venue.