DM_Bath

DM_Bath is a 4-6 player deathmatch map made for Unreal Tournament. 

Description

DM_Bath is a multiplayer map designed for Unreal Tournament 4. It is based on an ancient Persian bath house that has been slowly destroyed by the environment around it. 

The map features several "outside" areas which contrast the darker interior sections. 

Level Designer

Information

Role(s): Level Designer

Team Size: 1

Genre: FPS

Duration: September 2017 - November 2017

Engine: UE4

Responsibilities
  • Creating gameplay ready whitebox 

  • Research Unreal Tournament level design

  • Multiplayer level design documentation

  • Iterating upon existing level using playtest data

Challenges

Existing game research

This was the first time I had to research a specific existing game in order to create a level for it. The project was 8 weeks long in total and I spent the first 3 weeks looking at game documentation, other levels in the game and the metrics needed to create a level. From this research I made several documents and guidelines to help me during the level creation.

Design flow for multiplayer purposes

Up until this point I had never made a multiplayer map and most of my knowledge and skill applied to single-player levels. So it was quite a challenge to adapt to the new requirements. I remember having some difficulty with getting the flow just right, in a single-player level I would be able to dictate how the players is going to go through a level, and could adjust the flow accordingly. In this map however,  I needed to keep in mind that the player could come from anywhere, and could go anywhere.

My main solution to this was to create several different flow circles throughout the map on which the player would be traversing the level (from the shotgun, to a health pickup, to a sniper rifle, to the U damage and back to the shotgun).

Basics of Unreal Engine level design pipeline

This was also my first ever use of the Unreal Engine and it took some time getting used to but when I did, I immediately loved it.

I had to watch some tutorials about some of the basic functionality of the Unreal Engine and also started to dabble a little bit with Blueprints but since this was a level for Unreal Tournament I decided against using any kind of blueprints in my level.

The lighting was also a first for me, I had some trouble getting  the lighting to be the right kind of intensity and to ensure that my level would actually be visible.

Level Design

For more in depth documentation about the level design please feel free to contact me

For more in depth documentation about the level design please feel free to contact me

For this map I started by drawing out several sketches of a large circle in the middle, which would be the centre of the map. From here on I started adding rooms to the side of the circle which would add certain gameplay themes. 

Map overview

Iteration 1

This iteration was mainly meant to get a feel of the layout of the different rooms. The connections between them were of lesser importance.

The prerequisite for a room was that it should always serve a purpose, either provide health/armour for the player or provide a weapon. I never wanted any "dead space" in the level. 

The rooms themselves could be changed when it came to interiors but their general shapes rarely changed. 

Each interior for the room would also be based on the weapon that was placed there, favouring the placed weapon's gameplay type over others. (For example, the flak cannon, a shotgun like gun, was placed inside a room which provided for a lot of close quarters combat type gameplay.)

Systematic overview of the map. 

This overview was my main tool when it came to map balance. It does not take distance or height into account but is mainly focussed on connections. I set up several guidelines for myself when it came to how many connections there should be between points of interest. 

For example:

  • Every point should be connected to either Health or Armour

  • Every spawn cannot be more than 1 connection away from a weapon 

  • The pieces of armour need a minimum distance of 2 connections between each other.

  • Spawns need a minimum distance of 1 connection between each other.

Using these guidelines and players feedback I was able to create a balanced map in the end.