Map Discovery #4 – Arena of Death, by Suicizer

On March the 28th, Sauerworld will be hosting its first mapping contest. The challenge for this contest is to re-create an FPS map from a different game and build it in sauer. For this edition of map discovery, we will be reviewing a remake that was built based on the Quake Live map: hearth, which in itself, is a modified version of the original map q3dm3 from Quake III: Arena. We encourage you to participate and/or help guide you to see how a remake can be constructed in the Cube 2 engine.

 

Which type of map would you prefer to be built for the mapping contest?

  • Collect/CTF (56%)
  • Duel (33%)
  • Capture/Hold (11%)
  • DM/TDM (0%)
  • Other (please comment) (0%)
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 Arena of Death by Suicizer

 

To get an initial sense of how playing the map would turn out, we recorded an ffa duel to demonstrate the gameplay. Either grab the demo here or watch the video below!

 


 

 Gameplay

        This map is suitable for all three of the duel modes. In instagib, you will have to rely on quick reflexes, being alert, and making the shots when your enemy is not looking, since in this map you will often need to predict where your enemy is at all times. There will rarely be spawncamping, because most of the spawnpoints are well spread out through the map and can provide cover. Surprisingly, with efficiency there is a good balance between all of the weapons, since the section in middle is tight, and the outer pathways are wide and long, making all of the five weapons handy for whatever situation you encounter. The ideal mode for this map however, is ffa. For the most part, the item placement is suitable. The rockets are often a powerhouse in ffa matches. So it was ideal that the two rocket packs were put on opposite sides to prevent domination by rockets. The rest of the items were placed in their proper places so they could be useful once collected; and placed in moderation so that no weapon would be used excessively compared to the rest. The number of health packs fit the map perfectly, because there are enough that you don’t have to trade kills back and forth because you are starving for health, and yet there are not enough to heal after every kill and win a game without dying. The healthboost is placed in the center, which is fine. The big concern is that there is no greenarmour to balance out the yellowarmour. If you watched the video, you would see that swatllama obtained the majority of the yellowarmours in the first half, and took control of the game and had a commanding lead, almost doubling my score. Once I was able to stack up on enough healthboost and get the yellowarmour, I clawed my way back and closed the gap to 6. Sadly the game ended before I could catch him.

Layout

        The layout is fairly unique and simple. Roughly the closest layout to compare it to would be hog2. The center is where all of the best items are, making it the main point of interest. It is entirely surrounded by the outer portion of the map which has two levels. Since the center is surrounded by a tall square wall, there are only four main entrances to the center. The two on the lower level provide quick access to the middle of the map where the healthboost is, and the two entrance points on the top have bridges leading to the yellowarmour. The other way to reach the yellowarmour would be to use the jumppad which is directly beneath where the armour spawns. There are also some tight windows you can use to escape or reach the center, but those will require a weapon jump. The weapon required will depend on the situation. The layout is almost entirely symmetrical, except that on both corners on the outer section with the rockets and double health, there will either be a jumppad or a set of stairs; both have the same effect.

Appearance/Detailing

        This map is one of the better looking creations that uses the evil texture pack. The contrast between the floors, the walls and ceiling looks good. The skybox is the finishing touch to make you feel like your playing quake. On the flipside, the lava texture is very ugly. Even though it’s the default lava texture, it should be replaced. There are a few areas on the floor that look like they could use trim so you don’t burn your toes near the lava! The detailing on this map is a bit odd. The chandeliers hanging from the two bridges block you from jumping underneath, which doesnt make a lot of sense. Also a random block is below the chandelier which was most likely an accident. There are no problems with the other details in the map. The bricks falling off of the wall are nice, but there could be more details. The one jumppad that is supposed to launch you onto the the bridge near the diagonal staircase could use a bit more power. You require a lot of momentum to successfully reach the top. The dark atmosphere fits the theme very well, as said before it makes you like your playing quake, but perhaps there could be different sounds for the jumppad, or an ambient sound from the lava or small sounds emitting from the torches. Even adding the sound of a storm would be a nice touch. The lights illuminating the jumppads are a bit strong and occasionally the lighting on the brick walls look patchy, but for the most part the lighting gives off the proper atmosphere, making the overall look of the map appealing.

Build/Clipping

        This map was made during a previous version of sauer. When it was created, the lowest possbile WTR was 25k. The new engine actually lowers it to 18k which is sufficient for a duel map. There are a few optimizations that could be made inside of the geometry, such as filling in the empty spaces. For the sake of authenticity, the original map file has not been altered and the zip version still has 25k WTR. Another minor optimization that is missing is pvs culling, which can improve performance by accelerating the rendering of geometry. There’s not much to say about the clipping. The only noticeable errors would be the unnecessary noclip on the windows, then skyclip could be used on the fire grill, and clip could be added to the two large circles on the walls filled with lava.

Why You Should Download

        If you are unsure if you want to participate in the mapping competition, or are struggling to figure out how to port your map to the cube engine, you should definitely check out this map as a guide. This map is a decent starter map for anyone looking to learn how to play ffa without being overwhelmed by all of the strategy, and not looking to get massacred by a superior opponent; because you will have an opportunity to catch your breath and protect yourself. If you’re looking for a way to play a different style from high-scoring, fast-paced, spawnkilling action, then this map is for you!

 

Our Rating:

Gameplay: 7/10 (needs greenarmour, slow pace)

Layout/Flow: 6/10 (not very sophisticated, lack of flow at times, modifications from original quake map are great)

Appearance/Detailing: 8/10 (great atmosphere, just needs polishing)

Build/Clipping: 9/10 (a couple of small tweaks necessary, otherwise perfect)

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

 

We recommend our repack, which contains only the necessary files in order to avoid errors, since the new release added most of the dependencies for this map anyways. Nevertheless you may also visit the original post on quadropolis.us by clicking on the link below.

 

Have any thoughts about the map? Let us know in the comments!

 

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3 Comments

  1. Suicizer

    Nice review.
    The map has been made while I was discovering textures outside the default textureset and trying out shaders. Perhaps that’s why it’s not all that polished after all.
    Those candles supposed to be noclipped, but that seemed not to work in multiplayer.
    I always wanted to add a GA, but where? Perhaps replacing the YA for it, else I would like to hear suggestions.

    I’ll try to take another look at it after the challenge.

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  2. Skwillex

    One thing that I like about the map (from an editors point of view) is how you used lava as a quick and efficient light source. Since the lava covers such a vast area, this keeps that area well-lit.

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