Level Design

DM-Zeitkind (Downtown) (UT2k4)
ONS-Diamond Sword (UT2k4)
CTF-Molcaxitl (Grinding Stone) UT2k4

Zeitkind Downtown

Classic remake: Loved ligthing it!

I really got into this map; I loved lighting it.  Light and sound.  I wanted players to feel absolutely emersed in a night time, city environment.  I didn’t ever want them to be in a place in the map where they were not reminded that they are in a living, breathing city, albeit sleeping city.

Features: Cube Maps
I made a lot of custom textures, using cube maps. Reflective glass windows in U3 is very common, but I was thrilled in 2k4 to make textures with alphas that used cube maps. It just added a really nice touch. The sooner you get to forgetting your playing a game, the closer you’ll be living in the world.

Diamond Sword

Original Content: Team Effort
Arkile (original Author) and I started working on a CTF 2k4 version back in September of 2003. I grabbed Shawn Ogle from CTF-Glitter Gulch, adding to the collective skill set. We didn’t know at the time that a vehicular CTF was NOT going to be shipping with 2k4.  We shifted gears to translate all the successful ingredients of the original Diamond Sword into a ONS version.
100% original content. 100% True Radiosity baked textures. Ground fog emmitters. Fast, Fast Frame rates.  Strongarm 27 has created all terrain in LW, using radiostiy therey baking all shadows into the textures, creating a map with very high frame rates. No Unreal Lights are used to illuminated the terrain.
This map is the first concept map I saw on the forums that had vehicle vector boosting ramps to traverse the map. Unfortunately, I didn’t find a coder in time to be the first to implement it. Hourences’s map was the first a year later.


Original Design: Improved strategic elements in classic ctf face maps

I spent hours playing and watching Face and Dsword players.   The low grav IG community was thriving in UT2k4. They liked their maps fast!  “Molcaxitl” is for the grinding, hard core, low-grav, Instagib community. The UT, CTF low gravity Instagib community love very fast, white-knuckling, instant gratification in their maps. How do you put that into a map? Give them lots of options: short distance maps, obstacles to dodge behind (no snaggies), make full use of the geometry for trick jumps and maneuvers, and room to fly. I opened up the sides of the bases in a Diamond Sword style map, added invisible steps for climbing the walls, shortened the height and length of the map, and added a back terrace for more action.

CTF-Parking Levels

Original Design: The map I’d want to play

For years I’ve studied Epic maps to see why some were favorites. I’ve observed players and asked questions. With every map I try to lay hold of the golden ring and produce something that not just scratches an itch for everyone, but leaves them feeling satisfied and wanting more. This level is to show flow and strategic skills I possess as a level designer. Lot’s of Z-action, with multiple routes to flank the flag or your opponent, with speed to escape as well.

Over the years, I’ve become acutely aware of balancing offensive and defensive geometry around an objective point.  If it’s hard to get to it, and the game type calls for it, make the escape easy and fast. Reward systems should be built in all around the maps.  Nothing is more frustrating than to spend minutes of a game to get to a point and end up dying in some non contributory way.  A player must be thrilled and feel like they contributed to the score of their team, not just someone to blame for the loss.


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