Carnage Keep is a multiplayer map for Unreal Tournament which is currently in pre-aplha.
The map is played in a game mode called 'Capture The Flag'.
During this assignment I posted my map on multiple forums and then used the feedback I got to further improve both the gameplay and the aesthetics.
On Carnage Keep the two teams are pitted against each other in an arena with two castles facing each other and a massive bridge in between, where a lot of the action takes place.
Carnage Keep is still a work in progress due to techincal issues with mirroring the map.
Research and prototyping
Since I had no prior experience in the Unreal Tournament editor but had been working in Unreal Engine before, it did not take long for me to get into the editor.
The biggest obstacle was that I knew nothing of how to design maps for a fast paced arena shooter like Unreal Tournament.
In order to get more familiar with the game I played a lot of maps from older Unreal Tournament games aswell as the newest one that I was making the map for.
After getting a feel for the game I set out to identify which part of each map that I though was the most fun and analyze why that was. I then made quick sketches of the areas to really see the basic shapes of the rooms.
When I was done with my research I began prototyping and only used two different materials, pickups and flags to get the gameplay up and running as fast as possible.
I also added a lot of color coding for each side to help the player make his way across the map.
The prototype was then uploaded to forums such as Mapcore and the Unreal Tournament Level Design forum so I could get some feedback.
I also had some classmates and former students from The Game Assembly test it, so alltogether I got some solid feedback to go on when iterating on the design.
After some tweaking and rebalancing it was time to start propping the map and eventually work on the terrain.
At this stage I got a lot of very good feedback.
A lot of it coming from game companies who came to give lectures at the school and then took their time to play my map and give me their thoughts on it.
Iterating and beauty passes
I now began iterating, working on the flow, weapon placement, spawn points aswell as propping, creating a terrain and playtesting even more.
At first I easily got stuck in one room when propping, simply because I had so much fun making it pretty.
However, I quickly discovered that this made it very hard to keep track of how much progress I had made and how much time it would take before I was done.
Instead I started using a checklist, making sure each room had the basics such as floor and walls, before actually propping them, placing decals, etc.
Not only did this help in making sure I was on track but also reduced stress as I could see the map coming together much faster this way.
Examples of feedback I recived and then acted upon would be that once a player had taken the enemies flag, he cold run back to his base without ever really having to be out in the open. This made the players feel like once their flag was taken the enemy team had already scored a point.
I corrected this by making paths that you can only take when not carrying the flag, since using your teleporter makes you drop the flag if you're carrying it.
This resulted in that the flag carrier had to partly run out in the open to get back to his own base.