|Game:||Quake3 Urban Terror|
|Game Types:||Team Survivor, Capture the Flag|
|Description:||Remote Greek mountain village set around a central cathedral.|
2001-06-01 (Urban Terror Beta 2.0)
2003-08-09 (Urban Terror Beta 3.0)
2004-05-16 (Urban Terror Beta 3.6)
Interesting tactical game play. Every map needs to have a bit of it. This is one part of abbey that I've always been happy with. Even though the original was not all that large the options were always there for a player to come into a battle from an unknown direction. Whether they dropped from the central room's window to attack the marble courtyard from below, swung round the central statue area through the back hallways, or quickly came up the cathedral side for a bit of backstabbing the map always provides opportunities for thinking players.
This map is the only one I've started straight away from just one influence. I was watching a bond film and one scene just grabbed me as a great idea for a map location. Before the movie was over I'd already plotted out the first sections in my head, and put it straight down on paper straight after. The level was designed quite quickly after that with development jumping between laying down the brushes and doing the design for the next section on paper.
In this map I really established a lot of my current style: the raised gardens, trimmings and use of steps being the main factors. The statue and pedestal has also been a constant feature, defining most of my maps.
The raised gardens fit the map perfectly. They let the buildings and ground flow naturally into each other. I find that buildings should always be linked with their surroundings in some way otherwise the map just feels like a bunch of isolated blocks. The large amounts of trim used also smooth the transition from one texture to another and add another layer of detail.
The use of steps helped to define where areas changed as well as to break up the ground textures which started looking far to repetitive without them. Also the small changes in elevation added additional variety to the map.
After I was a fair way through I put some screen shots of the map up on the Urban Terror forums. Oswald and I got talking, one thing lead to another and I had become an official SID developer.
The only real thing that changed after that was the addition of the cathedral side spawn area. Then it took another 3 months for beta2.0 to roll around and for it to be released.
Urban Terror Beta 3.0
I started this update after finishing the village2 conversion for Beta3.0. Sweetnutz had already started working on the map while I was away and before he left to start work at raven. I went through with most of his ideas but discarded the version he started working on as I felt it was to much of a departure from the original theme. The additional textures he created were top quality though and I went on to use them with the map.
The main goal for the update was, like village2, to add bomb mode support to the map. So the additional side route and bomb site were added with only texture changes to the rest of the map apart from the raised area on the cathedral side which got shrunk.
The additional side route was very much in the style I had developed for austria with a set of curved steps and wide paths. Learning from austria's mistakes all the connections were wide and flowed into the existing structure of the map. The map possibly flowed too well, as it was very difficult to control any section properly except for the balcony and the spawns, resulting in average team survivor play.
CTF flag placement was changed constantly in testing, trying in vain to incorporate the new areas constructively. After about 4 different test versions with various placements and a multitude of rejected suggestions the old ones were taken up again. I'm very glad we didn't change it in the end. There was enough contention with the changes without needing an extra issue.
Urban Terror Beta 3.6
After going through a phase of maps that were too tight, to maps that were too open I was set up to get it right finally. Considering the gameplay and comments from the beta 3.0 release I decided to concentrate solely on improving team survivor for the ET update. Bomb mode wasn't really getting much playtime outside of clan matches.
The map in it's then current state was really to large for good team survivor play. While the first version provided a good balance of complexity and size, the changes simply made it harder for players to set up initial conflicts with any consistency. I also wasn't to happy with the additional bomb areas layout and design. It was a bit bland, and apart from the stairs through the supporting building didn't offer any interesting gameplay.
So I started working on the update with mainly gameplay changes in mind, but as always seems to happen, I ended up updating the aesthetics as well. I began by changing all the windows (sweetnutz's texture btw) to sunken arches. That allowed me to change out the ugly texture I was using on the walls with sweetz textures that he was using when he worked on it.
From there I went back to the original idea behind abbey, that of a remote Greek mountain church and used that to push the additional visual changes. The change from overhanging roofs to flush ones really helped to create more of a classical Greek style as did the additional arches.
Furthermore LT1 had graciously offered to make some urn models for the ET version of algiers I was about to start and one of those fit into the map perfectly. He also added some other models to replace some of the bad brush implementations I was using like the bed, and chest.
As for the gameplay changes, they were fairly obvious once I knew what the problems with ts were. The map still need to support bomb mode, but I didn't want it to adversely affect team survivor play in any way so I tucked it neatly into the side where it wouldn't overshadow any of the existing areas; just add a small adjunct.
The change of stairs up the side next to the water pool was an idea offered by a SID member (I think it was highsea but I can't remember sorry) during beta3 development. The beta3 version had the back staircase instead so it wasn't needed but I liked the idea and thought the extra access would help even up ctf in the new version.
All these changes were initially slated for the ET release but thanks to some good timing, and bladekillers support we managed to squeeze some testing + bug fixing in and put it out for 3.7.