Level Design Page
ET Scene from a Theme - Round #4

ET Scene from a Theme - Round #1

ET Church

ET Pornrun

RTCW Museum

ET Gothic Arches

ET Museum

ET Test Maps

RTCW Munitions Depot

Scene from Theme - Round #4
This is my entry in the Splash Damage forum "Scenes from Theme" contest, this rounds theme is Castles.

The skybox "Stormy Days" is by Jockum "Hipshot" Skoglund.

I came in fifth for this contest.

Scene From a Theme       Scene From a Theme

Scene From a Theme       Scene From a Theme

Scene From a Theme       Scene From a Theme

Scene From a Theme       Scene From a Theme

Scene From a Theme       Scene From a Theme

Scene From a Theme       Scene From a Theme

Scene From a Theme       Scene From a Theme

Scene From a Theme       Scene From a Theme

Scene From a Theme       Scene From a Theme

Scene From a Theme       Scene From a Theme

Scene from Theme - Round #1
This is my entry in the Splash Damage forum "Scenes from Theme" contest - City during WWII.

The contest rules are simple: Create a city scene from WWII and show a screenshot of it in the editor and ingame.

Because of contest time constraints, this scene only uses stock textures that shipped with Enemy Territory, no time for new assets.

I never did get time to actually bring the "War" to this little city.

I came in third for this contest.

Scene From a Theme       Scene From a Theme

Scene From a Theme       Scene From a Theme

Scene From a Theme       Scene From a Theme

Scene From a Theme       Scene From a Theme

Here are a few screenshots of medieval style church that I was working on while waiting for Quake Wars to be released.

I was trying to see what I could create using only the assets that shipped with Enemy Territory. I wound up using some images I found on the net as a base for the windows and trim as well as a few from Berneyboys texture pack. As a starting point I used the entrance of my museum map with plans to merge the two projects at some future time.

The map does not even look like this any more - the beams in the cathedral are in the process of being converted into arches and the balcony has been completely redone.

I have started creating a small library of ASE models for use in other maps. The bench, a small table, a ceiling lantarn and wall torch (with scorch marks) are all reusable.

Church Map       Church Map

Church Map       Church Map

Church Map       Church Map

Church Map       Church Map

Church Map       Church Map

Church Map

With everyone moving on to other games and the RTCW community slowly fading out, I started this Enemy Territory map a few weeks ago while on vacation. It's an objective based map that contains new models, graphics & sounds. It is intended to be a fully playable map but the content will be slanted more towards fun, not competition.

May 23, 2005

The terrain portion of the first outdoor area is almost done, I pulled a few all-nighters and got most of the terrain worked out. There's some work left to do on this area, mostly some detail work on the barn and more vis blocking, then it's off to the interior sections, the second outdoor area and the objectives.

We did a few online tests for playability and a few visibility issues came up. In one area the visible triangle count is near 40,000 (although it has a low portal count), it plays fine with four of us airstriking each other, but it could become laggy with 32 players. It's too bad, because the terrain looks great and with the alternate routes around the valleys it would be very balanced for competitive gameplay.

In the final version, 2 sections of the Axis valley were removed due to playability issues, including the barn

A few outdoor shots of the 4 valley version.

Pornrun Map       Pornrun Map

Pornrun Map       Pornrun Map

The small bunker.

Pornrun Map       Pornrun Map

Axis spawn huts and the barn.

Pornrun Map       Pornrun Map

June 8, 2005

I slightly decreased the size of the Axis valley in order to better control the visibility and FPS, the first image shows the new proportions. I also made a minor change to the terrain, I went with a rockier texture on the steep portions of the terrain.

Overview with the old rock texture.

Pornrun Map       Pornrun Map

These next four images are tests of different skyboxs and lighting.

Pornrun Map       Pornrun Map

Pornrun Map       Pornrun Map

March 15, 2006

I have once again broken off work on this map so I could create yet another test map. The test map only contains various types of player spawnpoints.

There are initial team spawns, a flag-capture spawn and a constructable command post spawn that is available to either team. Each spawn has an object camera and all of the required scripting so it shows correctly on the command map.

Some day I may package it up and make it available for download as a tutorial prefab.

April 10, 2006

I started on this about ten days ago after I created the spawnpoint test map.

Work is almost complete on the north valley where the Allies initially spawn and where the docs are delivered to end the game.

This is a separate self-contained map that will drop into the main map at the correct location, ready to be connected to the existing warehouses. It's much faster to perform a full light compile without having to deal with the existing map.

I have made some adjustments to the skybox and terrain in regards to lighting, these changes will be adopted into the main map as well.

Pornrun Map       Pornrun Map

Pornrun Map       Pornrun Map

April 21, 2006

The Allied valley prefab map is done and is fully integrated into the main map, everything works as it should and the warehouse even got a new roof in the process.

The internal warehouse bays are all tied into the two valleys now. I wound up deleting one third of the warehouse rooms because it was taking the Axis too long to get from their rear spawn to the objective room. The map is much better balanced as far as travel times go, but it not designed to be a competitive map.

The tunnel teleporters and new sounds are in place and scripted. There is a proper command map as well - no more orange compass.

The endgame & objective scripting is done too - I updated the new objective icon for the document carrier from one of my earlier test maps.

Pornrun Map       Pornrun Map

A easter egg for one of our guys and an overview of the whole map.

Pornrun Map       Pornrun Map

Loading screen snapshot and command map images.

Pornrun Map       Pornrun Map

June 28, 2006

Now its time to work on the interior objectives and contents - right now it's just a bunch of empty warehouse bays.

I have started making some ASE game models for static objects - crates, skids, furniture, etc. The original models were vertex-lit and looked out of place, I changed the shaders to lightmapped and things render much more smoothly now.

I wanted to have some different looking crates scattered around the warehouse, we have been looking at the same wooden crates since RTCW came out in 2002. I made a few new wood textures that are of a much lighter color than we are used to seeing - they came out fairly well.

I am using a warehouse single-bay testmap for all of my render and script tweaks - it now takes over six minutes to compile the main map with fast light rendering and using a small boxmap saves a lot of time. All of the special artifacts, sounds and associated scripting are in this map waiting to be imported into the main map.

When all done, the main map will have around 675 dynamic entities in it - well below the max of 1024. I need to leave room for players, dead players, gibs, etc. I removed 225 coronas from the light fixtures because I thought I was near the entity limit. When I realized I miscounted the misc_gamemodels I put them all back in - one at a time.

Screenshots of a test warehouse bay - in the editor and in game.

Pornrun Map       Pornrun Map

Screenshots of a test destructable column objective - in the editor and in game.

Pornrun Map       Pornrun Map

The original vertex-lit pallet model and the same model with some color adjustments to the texture.

Pornrun Map       Pornrun Map

A workbench model with a separate vise model and special easter egg.

Pornrun Map       Pornrun Map

Some of the new models in the testbox.

Pornrun Map       Pornrun Map

A new "German Friendly" logo without a swastica - it goes with the theme of this map.

Pornrun Map

July 4, 2006

A few shots of the ammunition storage area - empty and then lots of models with new light-mapped shaders.

Pornrun Map       Pornrun Map

Pornrun Map       Pornrun Map

July 8, 2006

I did a few test builds today of the map pk3 file so I could determine where some problems lie before putting the map through an online test. Half of my lightmapped ammunition models did not work when run on a pure server and I wound up converting them to a new model file with a different name.

The map assets compressed nicely and the pk3 file will probably end up being around 12 megabytes in size.

The system variable "com_hunkmegs" has to be increased slightly to accommodate the map assets - from 56 to 72.

After my efforts in modifying the ammunition models for better lighting came out so well , I decided to convert some of the standard truck models as well.

The original vertex-lit blitz truck model and the same blitz truck model when lightmapped.

Pornrun Map       Pornrun Map


Because I was working on this map project on and off for the last 2 years, I found that I no longer had a target audience to play it when it was finished. The online community that I was part of had moved on to other games. One server, the one that this was created for, lost more than half of it's regular players to World of Warcraft. What was left were a bunch of whiny kids and players that were more concerned with killing noobs than completing objectives.

We did host this online on our server for a while for testing purposes but it was never released to the public. As newer games came out, the support for Linux server binaries disappeared. A lot of game servers were running Linux and people running on that platform were finding fewer new games to host - us included.

The game companies were also moving to a different business model where extra content became a way to create new revenue and the support of freely modified games was coming to a end. The console wars were in full swing and most of the new games were being written for those platforms, leaving the PC players with nothing enticing or playable, like the 2009 version of Wolfenstein.

To this day, the project still sits on my computer, along with all of the assets, progress saved maps, test maps, models, graphic, sounds and anything else I was working with at the time.

Museum - RTCW Version
After much fustration with trying to use things in Enemy Territory that were broken or incomplete, I have decided to port this map back to RTCW where it originally was planned. ET has many desert and temperate themed textures but lacks the winter textures I was looking for.

RTCW has a complete snow-themed texture set unlike ET which only has a limited selection that was carried over. Another nice feature is that the newer versions of Q3MAP2 allow RTCW maps to be compiled with lightmaps, this makes things look a lot nicer than the original vertex-lit maps.

The map is composed with 4 separate valleys interconnected with truck-sized tunnels as well as some player-sized access tunnels full of detail. The main indoor area was never started other than a long entrance tunnel that takes the player away from the visibility of the outdoor areas.

There are currently ten spawn points for each side.

I am getting a steady 75 FPS in the entire map - even when throwing air strikes every three seconds.

I abandoned all work on this map when the online RTCW community moved on to other games leaving me without a target group of players.

Here are a few screenshots of the outdoor portions of the map and the Axis spawn area.

Museum Map       Museum Map

Museum Map       Museum Map

Museum Map

Gothic Arch Map
I was playing with some ideas for the interior of the museum map and thought that I would give a it different look other than the block and steel that we have been running around in for the past 3 years. To that end, I started on this little side project to give the rooms a more organic look with some arches and plastered walls.

It took about 2 weeks to create something that I was happy with - this went through many changes before it was done.

The block textures are from Simon "Sock" O'Callaghan's Egyption texture pack - you can download it at his website.

Day 1 - February 7, 2004

The walls are curved to match the arc of the arches, it looks ok but it's not realistic - good start though.

Gothic Arches       Gothic Arches

Day 3 - February 9, 2004

This is closer to what I am looking for. I made a custom texture for the domed portion of the ceiling.

Gothic Arches       Gothic Arches

Day 4 - February 10, 2004

The scale is right but the horizontal trim has to go. The proportions on my previous attempts were way off, they were too tall and narrow and would have been better suited in a cathedral.

The floor textures also need something more - it looks like the columns were just dropped onto the floor rather than a "built in" look.

Gothic Arches       Gothic Arches

Gothic Arches       Gothic Arches

Day 7 - February 13, 2004

I finally got the arches looking the way I want them to. I have caulked this map properly now, up until this point all of the lighting has been coming from the sky texture - hence the bluish tint. Without any caulk brushes above the ceiling meshes the sky lighting has been allowed to shine through one-sided meshes.

I create another custom texture for this map. It is a modified floor tile that provides a 4-way intersection for the floor trim texture under the columns.

Gothic Arches       Gothic Arches

I put a couple of light entities in the map to see how it will look, but without a visible source it looks incomplete.

Gothic Arches       Gothic Arches

Day 8 - February 14, 2004

The basic pieces are complete, the lighting looks good ingame but translates poorly in these screenshots.

The chandelier light fixtures really helped pull this all together - the model is included both in RTCW & ET.

Gothic Arches       Gothic Arches

Gothic Arches       Gothic Arches

Day 9 - February 15, 2004

I created a stairway in order to see how it fits with the rest of the architecture, it is just about done.

Gothic Arches       Gothic Arches

Gothic Arches

Day 15 - February 22, 2004

Everything is done and it looks pretty good. I threw up a few vintage porn movie posters on the walls for kicks. At some point I am going to tweak the lighting and clean up some brushwork.

Gothic Arches       Gothic Arches

Museum Map
I was going to create a objective based-map where the Allies had to retrieve something from a German museum full of stolen artwork and artifacts. I blocked out an initial layout and started creating the level at the starting spawn areas which were outdoors.

Allied Spawn

I decided to make the Axis team spawn in the hut and the Allies spawn inside of the house.

It seemed to make sense to put a radio in the attic of the house so the Allies have someplace to return the objective to and end the game.

There are a few ways into the house, the side door or the windows. There are even a few climbable trees that allow you access to the storage area roof and the second floor windows.

Better Framerate

After putting a few hint brushes in and finally getting around to clipping the mountain tops the framerate went up and the triangle count went down. I can still look the length of the valley and cut the FPS in half, but now it only drops down to 60 FPS. Everything inside of the map is now made of detail brushes as well - the only thing structural is the skybox.

I lowered the sky so that the number of portals decreased by 25%. I tried to cut it in half but the trees kept creating compiler errors and I also had to leave a void under the terrain for their origin - it's only 32 units tall and will not impact the framerate much.

Trees, Trees and More Trees

This map is loaded with trees. I am seeking for a certain look, that of a dense forest, and for the most part, I achieved what I was looking for. Because this map is not intended to be played competitivly I took some liberties and created a fairly dense forest in areas. The cost of this is in the framerate,

Normally I get over 200 frames per second in the valley, with the trees in there I am dropping down into the sixties. The triangle count is very high due to the branches. I also had to put them into the map as "misc_model" entities so that they get properly illuminated and cast the correct shadows. This means that they are part of the compile process rather than being dynamically loaded at game time.

Ultimately this map became the outdoor portion of my Church map.

Museum Map       Museum Map

Museum Map       Museum Map

Enemy Territory Test Maps
I have stopped working on any large mapping projects for the moment. I found the need to test some things out on a much smaller scale and to that end, I have created a few small "test" maps where I can debug objects and scripts before starting a new project and having to redo large portions of a level later on.

Because Enemy Territory was released "as-is" there are a lot of Quake 3 and RTCW entities left in the game code. Some of these simply needed a missing image or wav file to work properly. The mirror and teleporter are good examples of entities that needed little effort to implement in ET.

I'm glad that I tested things first. On a multi-level command map, objectives show up on all levels - the gamecode ignores the Z axis completely. This is very confusing in-game when you are standing right on top of the objective icon and you can not find anything because it's 50 feet below you in another room.

I spent some time getting the custom objective icon code debugged and working properly, it adds a nice custom touch to things. The final version of the objective icon is green which stands out much better in game than the red version. After sharing my efforts with other mappers, variations of it started showing up in some custom levels - at least I got a few forum shoutouts and map credits in their readme file for my time.

The new mapobject model is similar to the standard clipboard and document stack used for objective based levels - it goes along with the custom objective icon.

Some of these test maps were originially created last summer, they are small and compile quickly.

Test Map Features:
  • Mirror
  • Teleporter
  • Command Post
  • Team Spawn Flag
  • Health & Ammo Racks
  • Command Post
  • Multi-Level Command Map
  • New Objective Model, Graphics & Icon

  • Test Map       Test Map

    Test Map       Test Map

    Test Map       Test Map

    Munitions Depot
    This was my first "Return to Castle Wolfenstein" map, as well as my first attempt at making an outdoor terrain. There was a large learning curve assocated with this map - a new editor, a new game, map scripting and creating natural looking outdoor terrains.

    The outdoor portion is completed as well as the optimization of it, other than the complete lack of proper lighting.

    We had a few online tests and it has a pretty good frame rate even with eight players all throwing air strikes at the same time.

    Although there was a solid plan for this map, I never got around to finishing it - The underground portion never got past the planning stages.

    I'm calling this a "learning" experience.

    Munitions Depot