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DM-Aeris 
Map Info


 
File Namedm-aeris.zip
AuthorVoodariuS
GametypeUT2k4 Deathmatch
Date Added04-10-2006
File Version1.00
File Size11.15 mb
Player Count3 - 5
Map DescriptionNo one is to be glad feeling this temporary thaw. Once the dawn surrenders to the dusk immersing you to the hands of darkness, only the one neverending night will be your fortune. A cold one...


This is a medium sized map representing a part of a derelicted castle. There are some open-air areas and an underground level.
Review Rating7.5
User Rating8.5
Overall Rating8.5



 
Review


ReviewerTwrecksAwe Score: 3.0/3
Date04-24-2006Build Score: 2.5/3
Review SchemaCast Score: 2.0/3
User Point: +1
Overall Score: 8.5/10

Named after the goddess of discord or the goddess of atmosphere? Either way, thanks to Vladimir - VoodariuS - Mikhalev, DM-Aeris blends both into an chillin medieval fragzone.

Awe
DM-Aeris is a winter-beaten castle with a central keep and an underground network connecting the surrounding bulwark. From the readme, the time of day is dusk, so with taking the sun sets in the west (nice lense flare) I will use that reference to describe the rest.

Starting with the North wall and its imposing gate, leads us East towards a large corner round tower, or West to run the gambit in a long open hall. Both directions offer a dive to the underground passages, while heading East will allow a player to round the main keep to the South courtyard, or climg some planking up to the keep.

From the Northeast corner tower south is the ruins of a great hall, the northern most floor has given way to the cellar and some mysterious flames burn in the alcoves. The roof too has given way to fallen trees and the South corner spews a jump pad to the ledge above runing the length of the hall.

The South courtyard sinks in the middle to access the lower depths, while the end terminates in a spiral stair connecting us back up to the open hall leading north.

The Central keep can also be accessed from underground, behind a frozen fountain spirals a short flight of steps to another arrow spewing jump pad that'll take players skyward. AThe the top, one can look over the west hallway into the setting sun, or venture out to survey the South courtyard. A thin long board impossibly spans the the gap between the keep and a square roof top patio adjacent to the East hall.

The lower interlocking digs foster some glowing crystals, a subterranean creek, icey floors, unusual shrubs and the afore mentioned fountain. Masked reflective stone blocks and saturated blue light push the wet cold further into the bones.

The theme undoubtily cries CASTLE, and the ruins that are left to behold are both visually satisfying and delivers scope in the variety of aspects in exploring the confines.

Build
A great deal of brushwork, meshes and textures have been used to excellent effect, a fair number being custom. Antiportals, blocking volumes and good zoning, all contribute to player movement and frame rates. Several terrain actors carpet the various zones, blending BSP and mesh surfaces superbly.

Light cone meshes are used to accent the setting sun, and cast radiance through the dilapidated wood work. The lowest light cones are out of angle with the sun, as is the sunlight actor. There are conflicts in illumination, insuffient sourcing and heavy saturation help eye weary combatants, but degrade the atmosphere. Especially the flaming alcoves lack means of combustion and would have benefited from projectors along with the emmiters that are present.

SoundFX are located throughout the map, some scripted triggers for creaking wood and other footsteps. Ambient sounds accompany the weather effect of falling snow and the irritating cry of crows echos off the stone walls.

Cast
On the whole continuity and connectivity create an outstanding framework for a Deathmatch. A variety of options for navigating through the map exist. Players will typically be found in the North and South courtyards either attempting to gain the upper ledge of the East hall or exiting the stranglehold of the tight lower passages. Only one bush in the icey cave snags passerbys, small pittance for otherwise strong playability.

Item placement is on the over abundant side of the scale. Normal two ammo for a weapon is in evidance throughout, in addition to the usual litter. Item selection is also suspect, besides close proximity of collective firepower, which attributes bots favoring the East hall. The local of the map's two power-ups also lack risk incentive, swapping the big armor for the health in the North East round tower and moving the rocket launcher to in front of the gate may improve the load out. And pity the poor soul stuck with the snot gun in the bottom of the South courtyard. Perhaps an analytical approach to effective environments for the various weps is in order, as none seem suited to where deposited.

Another contention is the maps two jump pads... the vapor of arrows alerting players is distrubing. Simple lifts would have better befitted the theme, and maybe permitted some lift-jumps. As it stands the pads are over powered and leave players in a very predictable air. Even with these pit falls, Aeris stands the test and has an admirable replay factor, mainly due to the visuals and a couple spots tailored for trick jumps. Bots do the job, garnering most of the iyems, except the health vials cached in the South wall (niether will you).

Player count should remain light, upwards of 5 players (3-5 by Author) and the map becomes crowded, even though items are too plentiful for the size. The reviewer suggests servers that like spamfests increase the load to the full 9, matching the actual number of playerstarts.

Summary
Obviously it is the visuals and quality build that win out here. Despite the comments made on lighting, the map is above par as to acceptable sourcing. Replacing the jump pads with lifts and more conservitive minded item placement will assist gameplay. If anything, the author has proven a mastery at delivering theme. Since castles are a particular favorite of the reviewer, highly recommends this map to those similarily inclined.




 
Map Comments


neoduck
04-10-2006 06:15 PM EDT
Rating: 8.5 
holy crap man. this map rocks my socks.

incredible visuals. amazingly polished. and she plays like a greased scottsman.

best map i've seen in a while!

edit: but i think you could have done better then my crappy snow meshes on the floor :P they were a real hack.

Muckbean
04-10-2006 07:38 AM EDT
Rating: 8 
I think NeoDuck pretty much said it all, hats off.

Helgso
04-10-2006 08:26 AM EDT
Rating: 9 
NICE MAP! This is the best map i have ever played on UT2k4! Like I said: The Best!

CursedSoul1
04-26-2006 04:33 PM EDT
Rating: 8 
Ill check it out..

but uhmm... dude..
YOU STOLE MY NAME!!!!!!
I wanted to have a map with the name Aeris, and just turned the word around..
DM-Sirea.

Nahh its kinda funny to see Sirea and Aeris in one list.

Neoduck suggested to check this map out,
so ill just do that and get back to ya :)

Edit:
K, i played trough it.. and i had my expectations a tad too high...
Not that its bad, but different.
Aaaaaaand.. now going to check it out in my trusty ued.

K.

Layoutwise:
Nice, I personally hate jumppads more than badly designed egyptian maps though.
But besides that, this is a nice layout. (imho)
All the weapons felt like they where at the right place (but im very forgiving when it comes to where the weapons are)

visually its nice, but like i said before i expected more.
I was hoping to have a nice view over other parts of this bastion like building, or maybe some nice high mountains that you cant reach.
And well.. maybe im spoiling myself in my own maps..
but even though it looks nice visually,
It felt kinda empy, sure it doesnt but i like to see it balancing on the edge of insanity, detail wise.
Also the texturing on some of the smaller meshes (snow puddles with a shader sheeth), the tree texture and the brick texture all couldve needed some extra polishing, texturewise for the brick texture, and uvw wise for the other 2.
Also one floor (i found one... for now :p) halfway suddenly lost its reflectioncubemap-thingy surface.
And here and there a small stickout/trough of a mesh that couldve looked better without. (like part of a brick wall going trough snow, and the snow cuts the wall wrong, youll end up with something weirdish looking)

Yes, most is itty nitty nitpicking, but im sure the author doesnt mind, so he'll know what to look out for next time.

Build:
No real problems there, though i'd lose the collision of the small fern-like plants.
And try to make sure you cant get stuck behind most stuff, unless really intended.. most players dont like bumping against stuff.

so all in all a very nice map,
But it didnt blow me away.

(not much maps done that though)

edit2:

YES, this map is nice,
But ive been working on a map thats so full with "stuff" most maps atm look kinda empty lol.

hey vood, nice score :)
hope to see more of your work man :)
greets from curse here :)

Schrodinger
04-10-2006 02:21 PM EDT
Rating: 9.5 
This map is AWESOME !!
The environement is very good. I really like the ambience emaning of this map..

I've a simple thing to tell to you :
Continue in this way !

Slainchild
04-10-2006 02:34 PM EDT
Rating: 7 
Looks good! :)

Layout is nothing to write home about... a few too many cramped areas and "sticky" meshes for my liking.

Good map.

Virgo47
05-14-2006 05:08 PM EDT
Rating: 7 
It looks really nice and visuals are consistent. I don't see rooms as cramped too much, but it is indeed more close quarter (what I like much more than hitscan maps).

What I don't like... I miss sounds on jumppads (some setting problem? other maps are good thou ;-)) - and they are too high. I hear too many triggered sounds - and still the same (maybe three) - you could try to change pitch here and there. Some of them are triggered even when I'm close to some wood, but not actually going on it (the same with that icy slope).
Also walking on that slant tree with branches... it looks wierd.

The last thing... I can grab flak/sniper/rocks/shock/a100 in 10 seconds. I know that such a test is a way too analytic, but good player can own this part fatally with another 17 seconds to do anything bad to the opponent with 3 healths near (a lot of time to go for mini a50 and back also). Simply put, weapon distribution favours only that two top levels near around a100. No reason to go anywhere else.

Still map is really nice, I like usage of meshes with altering textures to icy-frozen feel. ;-)

EDIT:
"7.5 - It is not enough for such map! I give 10/10"
So do you actually think this is flawless map or did you just use that 10 to put it higher? Just to know if I should counterbalance. ;-)))

cubeli:
Do you have 3369 server? It stopped to crash down because of the maps. I had the same problem with original Solitude and Backspace and even Waisten was fixed because of this, but all the maps ran fine later on 3369. This may be the same problem.

Turns2Ashes
04-11-2006 01:47 AM EDT
Rating: 8 
Really nice and unique visuals, and I have to give high points to mappers who understand that wide-open hitscan maps suck a lot. However, the flow is suspect. As Virgo pointed out, there isn't much reason to go to the lower underground areas, leaving you free to stay up top and grab the 100a and enough weapons to dominate. Two things that annoyed me:

1) Crap sniper instead of lightning. WTF! This is not UT! >:[
2) Jump pads send you way, way too high in the air.

jordi
04-11-2006 08:57 AM EDT
Rating: 9 
nice snow

nELs0n
04-11-2006 09:05 AM EDT
Rating: 8 
nice work! the lighting is a little bland but it fits the atmosphere nicely.
layout and meshes are good.
some places were a little narrow imo.
recommended download!

EDIT: deleted nonsense from this comment that resulted from low word detail settings >_<

gk
04-11-2006 03:19 PM EDT
Rating: 8 
Very good map, man..

Nice details, outstanding visuals, "cool" theme.
But i missed something while playing.. .the gameplay is good, but imho it could have been made more fluent. Some blocking things and One-Way-Paths lowed the rating to a 8 instead of a 9..

But overall very nice map!

Manticore
04-13-2006 09:55 PM EDT
Rating: 8.5 
Great layout for gameplay and unique visuals make this map definitely worth a download. Another quality job from this mapper.

Fuzzy Logic
04-14-2006 06:31 AM EDT
Rating: 7.5 
Great looking map. I've having difficulty deciding on a rating though. For looks it's a 10+, but that underground area is seriously devoid of activity.

It wouldn't take much to turn this into one of the best maps out there. As it is gameplay is restricted to one level which makes the whole thing average.

VoodariuS
04-25-2006 07:16 AM EDT
 
Thanks for your comments.
CursedSoul1
sorry, it's just a fortuity.

EDIT: Tnx again.
(7.5) DM-Aeris, (7.5) DM-Sirea (:

goldfenix
04-25-2006 10:32 PM EDT
Rating: 7.5 
The map was surprisingly fast regardless of the numerous overload of decos and meshes. (that's a good thing.) It was pretty large in x and y, but would love to see more z. maybe a keep that towers over map and houses a sniper rifle or something. The theme wasn't a surprise to me, for all the maps I've seen you make have a bizzare yet dark castle theme. The map is great, however even though the theme is getting worn. You put alot of lights to good use with their friggin sweet coronas, like the sun flare and the crytals.

Satellence
04-26-2006 12:20 AM EDT
Rating: 10 
7.5 - It is not enough for such map! I give 10/10

Aryss Ska'Hara
05-03-2006 05:42 PM EDT
Rating: 9 
Excellent map!

cubeli
05-14-2006 03:13 PM EDT
Rating: 7.5 
The map has very good flow & i love the design theme, however it crashes my linux server once it ends. :[

Evilmrfrank
05-15-2006 01:04 AM EDT
Rating: 7.5 
I liked the map for the most part. The flow was good and looked good. Some of the textures looked horrid but that may have just been my pc. I also noticed that it was snowing inside one of the towers but nowhere else. Its probably because I have the weather effects off I dont know but its kinda strange:P I wont take points off for this as it is just my problem. The map is good for a few people but some parts are not very open so it wouldn't be real good for more then a few ppl

Nikoderiko
05-15-2006 02:11 AM EDT
Rating: 9.5 
Nice map.
Color scheme is boring, but good game structure, and high-quality detalisation.
I see big progress by the side of previous maps of VoodariuS (DM-1on1-Lacrima, for example).
Author is rising.
My rating is 9.5 - in the hope of forthcoming maps.

SmokeScreen
04-26-2008 02:07 PM EDT
Rating: 8.5 
Good map. Nice visuals,very detailed,but the flow is
better in certain other maps. For example his own Fairyland.



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