Sauerworld Forum

KI113R’s Deathmatch Mapping Competition - Discussion and Review Board

RaZgRiZ

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Apologies everyone for the delay in my ratings. I had been preoccupied with life matters and it was constantly being pushed back. Thankfully, KI113R did the hard part of taking pictures of all the maps in his review so this saved me quite a bit of effort.

I shall be concise in what I perceive as a fault in a submission, and know that my focus falls on the looks/feeling of a map, and its issues. I'm not one for a lot of words unless I'm there in person with the mapper in question to provide feedback so hopefully no one's offended :P

So without further ado:


Semiramus by Windecker

A novel idea with a theme that hasn't been attempted before, with a scale that is awe-inspiring, even if most of the scenery is out of bounds.
Jumping in you'll definitely be overwhelmed by the absolutely humongous temple that lies beyond you, on a scale never before attempted unless we count the rpg maps.
Whether it's the compact maps or the larger scale ones, I've always been blown away, honestly. I'd say I'm a fan, do you have an OnlyFans?
Say, when will you finish that factory map with the green lava sludge? The detail in it was crazy for its time. Oh I'm sidetracked, back to business.

There exist several rough spots to consider despite all the eye candy. For example:

A. Inadequate structural support to seemingly heavier parts of the temple architecture.
B. Mistextured parts that slipped the creator's view, but are entirely within the map bounds to be visible.
C. Misaligned textures at various spots, though some of them are excused (blue vcolor brick walls, >pain<).
D. Early cutoff of blendmaps on floor surfaces, or blendmap on surfaces where it shouldn't exist.
E. Clipping of models through geometry (vegetation) or floating off the ground (palm trees).
G. Seemingly improper use of artificial vcolor shading at places -- this i'm uncertain of.
H. Fog distance too short to hide map boundaries, but also too much as it hides the main attaction, the temple.
I. Background architecture appears to be waaay too white compared to the playable area, unnaturally so.
J. Misaligned sunlight as shadows not line up with the skybox, and the lightprecision is not well adjusted for scale.
K. While minor, there exist a few holes inside of walls, and some cornerwork appears to have mistakes/holes visible.

These issues aside, many of which were due to time constraints, it is hands-down the best looking submission of the bunch in terms of looks.
Jake does not disappoint, year after year, dude's got talent. Despite the points I made above, big points for the blending attempts and the grand scale.
Oh and also for using sounds in general. A map can look good, but if it doesn't sound good, something's definitely missing.

For the general ratings:

Looks: 1st place
Atmosphere: 1st place
Issues: 3rd place


Cliffside by LURking

An original, although tiny, ctf map themed after greek island architecture. Fair bit of careful work and good looks that'd definitely make release.
I'm actually surprised by his growth. I remember some of his earlier map attemps. Boxy, weird, overly detailed spots, rough spot that were meant to be round, clipping that'd make a 10-year-old cry..
Man how time flies, I feel like I'm watching my own child grow and learn and become better every day. Brings a tear to my eye. No wait, that's the water mat against the skybox.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH

There are only minor rough spots to talk about (except that big one), being the cleanest map of the bunch:

A. Lighting is blue and harsh, making the white buildings pop in a weird way that tires the eyes. Making the sunlight yellow and increasing intensity is much better.
B. Some models clip in each other and thus do not get lit properly, like the weeds in the planted palm trees.
C. Minor misaligned textures on the rockfaces due to being pushed the wrong way around and one on a building trim as KI113R pointed out.
D. Map could have utilized the extra room on the sides to hide the water boundary to a degree, potentially through means a river-like beach? I'd accept a larger scale map if it's to hide the boundary well.
E. The sounds are a bit repetitive and not entirely fitting of the setting. The sea is too far to be heard unless you die over there typically, and the bird kind of.. 90's sounding.
F. The rock models do not really fit here. I do appreciate you using them, but they stick out like sore thumbs -- literally.

Despite these issues, I can tell that he paid quite a bit of attention to eliminate most of them prior to submitting his latest work.
All my time nagging him about stuff in his other maps and showing him how to hunt for "bugs" seems to have helped quite a bit. Keeping a clean map as you go means less of a mess to clean later.
He has the drive to try some off-brand ideas with his maps which I like. I recommend experimenting with lighting more to create neat lightscapes and contrast, you can still up your game considerably.

For the general ratings:

Looks: 2nd place
Atmosphere: 2nd place
Issues: 1st place


in10sity by Fixxxer

Missed your chance to name it in10city to make a pun off your theme, docking points! I have mixxxed feelings about this one. Knowing some of his previous work,
it is quite clear that he is experimenting and trying to expand his work into more complex themes. A cityscape is one tough nut to pull off.

From the look of things, the layout itself feels inspired by Quake, thought it might just be me. Ledges are very tall and wide, the architecture dwarfing the player.
Unfortunately, this theme overwhelmed Fixxxer from the looks of it, because it's kind of a mess. It doesn't appear he had a solid plan for what kind of city theme
to go for, be it futuristic, simply modern, rustic, steampunk, middle-ages or whatever. The texturework is a mishmash of a little bit of everything and it shows.

A. No coherent city theme to immerse yourself in, it's a loose pile of.. bricks, I suppose.
B. Lighting is a weakpoint as well, with strong, harsh lights at points and plain ambience otherwise. The mix of two is not harmonious.
C. Clipping is a bit all over the place and was not thoroughly tested, possibly due to time constraints.
D. A part of the map is basically blocked off with iron bars, despite being entirely playable and not optimized as background scenery.
E. No sounds whatsoever, leaving the map eeriely quiet.
G. Mixed model assets, some of which are practically ancient from the first days of sauer. Some clip in geometry, others are spammed and lit improperly.
H. Texturing cohesion is similarly non-existent, where one part of a wall is metal and the other brick, or a pillar made of crushed cement. More textures isn't more better.
I. No backscene optimization for non-accessible areas. Clip is likewise missing at spots, meaning one could potentially glitch in an out of bounds area.

Phew. Definitely a good effort from Fixxxer, and I urge him to keep trying to become better. Your layouts are liked by people, but you definitely need some assistance to get your themes going the right direction.
Work hard and be critical with yourself when you want to up the quality of your work further. If you find something doesn't feel right, think of why that is, and then consider alternatives.
You could even get other people, like in this case, to run around and point out what they feel is weird to them. If you think it makes sense, remember in your heart these points you didn't consider before.
This way you will grow cynical like me and never finish anything in time ever! :D You're welcome!

As for the ratings now:

Looks: 3rd place.
Atmosphere: 4th place.
Issues: 3rd place.


WaterCave by LR7

Oh man. Where to even start. I'll get to the main point first.

Looks: 4th place
Atmosphere: 3rd place
Issues: 4th place

This submission is the definition of a work in progress, an alpha. The premise of the map is something akin to a deep crater with temple entrances on the rock faces.
As pointed by others, most of the work on the terrain, and there is MOSTLY terrain, was done through heightmapping. It's a shitty tool. You will only want to use it for basic groundwork.
Preferably for mostly flat surfaces, using the noise tool and then smoothening out. If you want steeper angles, do it all manually. The terrain is rough, broken at places, unfinished at others.
The choice of rock texture likely also hid quite a lot of mistakes. Should have either picked a lighter rock texture, or changed outline colors, though that's the least of my concerns.

The idea is ambitious and grand, but unfortunately nowhere near completion. Everything looks like a rough mockup, and plays like it too. Lighting is pretty much missing. No sounds either. Clipping is similarly pointless at this point of development, before most of the geometry has had a chance to be polished. Points for the blending attempt, though that's more of an end-game concern.

Well.. I can't give much constructive criticism on this when it's this early in its development cycle. It's pretty much the definition of a participation award.
Better luck next time ^_^



For whoever stuck around reading my old man opinions, congratulations, you've thus lost a part of your soul to me and are a little less of a human as a result.
The final ratings from myself are as follows:

1st place: Semiramus : 8.5 overall
2nd place: Cliffside : 7.5 overall
3rd place: in10sity : 5 overall
"I was here too!" award: WaterCave : there was an effort of 2 overall

Do note that my scoring has no basis on gameplay and fluidity, but rather is hard-based on how good-looking a map is, as well as polish (or lack thereof) put into it prior to submission.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2021, 05:58:04 PM by RaZgRiZ »

swatllama

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Semiramus

I think Razgriz already went over some of the mapping issues with this, so I'll table more mention of any I would notice. Let's instead marvel at how pretty the map is.





So, how does it play? I'll admit, I didn't bother testing it - the layout, being nearly symmetric, doesn't lend itself to competitive ffa or teamplay for 2v2/3v3. The flow to get around to items isn't exactly fluid from every spot, as some paths you have to travel are forcing. By that, I mean that you can get very close geometrically to a place, but you suddenly cannot actually get there. Take this for example:

From this POV, you can't get up to that ledge - I forget what's up there, but it's some item or weapons. From that ledge, you cant' dget down to here. This itself is not a problem, but there's no quick way to traverse between the two. If this were a rare case, it would be fine, but there are more such instances.


Many of the weapons seem placed fairly arbitrarily. The HB and YA are put in gimmicky spots that are hard to access and you have to jump across open water to get to - fine for a map that'll be played for public deathmatch (which doesn't really have a scene in Sauer), but not something I'd want to see much of in a competitive map.



The map is remarkably beautiful. I would like to see bases put in intelligent positions so it can be played for regen capture, although I'm not a huge fan of mostly-symmetric regen maps either. As for a deathmatch map specifically, I'm not sure it holds up to what I would envision as an ideal gameplay map for DM.

Compositing the looks, item placement, and what I suspect the playability to be, I would give semiramus a solid 6/10 of a map.



KI113R

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From Misan -

Quote
Alright.. I postponed it long enough.
Here is my rating:
Criteria's:
gameplay: how well designed is the playable area and balance of pickups + their implied strategy.
immersion: how well do I feel the atmosphere, age, theme and surroundings
aesthetics: how well shaped are the parts in general? bug-free and appealing details.
----
map, total rating, (gameplay, immersion, aesthetics)
Cliffside: 8/10 (9, 7, 7)
Semiramus: 7/10 (5, 10, 7)
In10sity:  7/10 (7, 7, 8)
WaterCave: 3/10 (1, 4, 5)
Although Semiramus looks really good, the gameplay leaves a lot to ask for in my opinion, positioning it closely behind Cliffside.
In10sity is a robust DM map, but the theming feels a bit mixed to me. I am not really sure if I am in a factory, an urban city, a park or all of the above. Also there are barely landmarks, making orientation inside the labyrinth a little tricky and it takes a lot of getting used to.
WaterCave is obviously made with love, but lacks the thorough experience to really contend with the rest of the masterpieces that were delivered. Terrain is hard, especially for a beginner. Buildings look fine though. In terms of gameplay, I can only recommend to test this with ~8 bots and see if it is fun to play. The lack of reachable ammo, the very open map makes it hard to play

swatllama

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Cliffside

This map is beautiful, in a different way from Semiramus. While semiramus had a majestic vibe about it, Cliffside has a feeling of visiting some small European town with a bunch of quaint shops, old people, and lacking in brothels despite having a rich religious history. The lighting isn't intense in any part, but it just works. It's like Nieb's outdoor lighting, but more subdued from his typically bright sun.



This beach is a very cute addition, although it kills you.


But this is not a deathmatch map at all. It's a symmetric CTF map, which may also be fun for regen capture.

The texturing looks nice. It's very well themed, and none of them look out of place.


The attention to detail in places that people probably won't go in very often, such as the church, is really good too, with the altar, cross, and even the circular arrangement of candles up top.




My main criticism of this map is that everything feels scaled way too small. It needs to go up 1.5x or even 2x, or around there.

I'd give this map an 8/10 since I think the only work that really needs to be done to make it a very fun public iCTF map is that it needs scaling.

KI113R

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I want to say that the majority may have pegged Windecker as the sure winner of this competition with his impressive visuals but as it turns out a consistent hand and clear gameplay purpose really impressed the judges the most, leading Lurking to the top.

I want to thank everyone for participating and keeping up with this competition and ask that you check back for a future competition with another cash prize.