Unreal tournament - Multiplayer map

Capture the flag - Flag This Way

Genre
First-person shooter

Platform
PC

Tools Used
Unreal Engine 4

Production Time
2 weeks

Role
Level Designer

Tasks
Level design; Blockout; Decoration

 
 
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In CTF - Flag This Way, you can experience close-quarter fighting and traversal in a deserted fortress, where speed is mightier than the gun. What will you choose? Fight or flight?

The goal with this project was to create a blockout map for the popular mode on Unreal Tournament. The map had to be:

  • Symmetric Capture The Flag map
  • Suitable for two competing teams of 3-5 players

KEY LEARNINGS

  • Design a multiplayer map with different choices
  • Balancing player paths and choke points
  • The importance of starting with strong visual references

Level Design

  • Location with distinct geometry and memorable paths
  • The player’s speed of traversal is key to their survival
  • The player is at all times one dash or slide away from seeking cover or entering an alternative path

The idea with this map was to offer players the ability to score points for their team, without having to engage in combat if they didn't want to. It is targeted to inexperienced players, who want to find clear spots for defending, attacking and traversing between the two flag rooms. This was translated into offering a simple layout, different routes that are close to each other, a plethora of covering spots and generous pickups. Strong emphasis was given to the map’s geometry, with impressive staircases, pillars and verticality, building an identity for the area.


SETTING INSPIRATION

An early paper prototype to test the feel of an octagonal-based medieval castle

This level was inspired by the castle seen on the stage of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way Ball” show in 2012. The use of octagons for towers, the sense of verticality and the difference in the heights of each floor, were great sources of inspiration for the shape of the Tower. Additional architectural references came from the Alhambra fortress in Spain, which mixes western medieval with oriental architecture

 

LEVEL MAP

 

Level moments

 

The player spawns in the Flag Room, consisting of a big hall containing the flag and two side-pathways running in parallel.

The flag room has multiple boxes offering cover spots and encouraging the players to keep moving in order to hit their target.

The two pathways on both sides of the flag room give players an extra choice and allow for quicker movement into and out of the room.

 

There are two pathways leading into and out of the Flag Room (one to the right and one to the left of the room). The player can choose which path to take depending on their skill and the danger they are facing.

The pathway leading to the right side of the Flag Room is safer to traverse, since it is just a slope to the lower tier, where the Defence Hall is.

 

The pathway leading to the left side of the Flag Room, is trickier to traverse downwards and upwards. To go downwards, the player needs to run and slide under the gate and land on the lower platform, while avoiding the deadly blade. To go upwards, the player needs to shoot a Teleporter beacon under the gate and into the Flag Room.

The trickier path is rewarded with closer access to a secondary route towards the level’s arena.

 
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The Defence Hall features the staircase towards the Flag Room, impressing players with unique geometry.

The destroyed pillars on the opposing sides of the Hall provide extra cover and contribute to interesting architecture

Boxes help players seek cover during the shooting action. A Sniper Rifle in the middle of the room attracts players into a dangerous small cove.

 
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Apart from the main entrance, the Defence Hall features a secondary route towards the Arena. If a player chooses the secondary route towards the arena, they will enter a small area inside one of the fortress towers. The route is conveniently placed to reward players who took the trickier path out of the Flag Room. Other players need to fight their way through the Defence Hall, if they choose to enter that route.

The area can be particularly dangerous if an enemy is standing inside, urging the player to slide quickly under the dark gate to reach a lower tier towards the arena.

The darkness of this underground route provides an interesting contrast against the sunny arena at the end of the tunnel

 
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The Arena has an octagonal shape, consisting of two main tiers. The different tiers and the located boxes can be used for cover to be able to traverse through the Arena, without having to kill your opponents.

 

The lower tier of the Arena connects the alternate underground pathways between the fortresses. The player can use the surrounding stairs to get to the higher tier of the arena at any time.

The lower tier allows the player to quickly switch routes on their way to the opposite fortress, and outrun their enemies.

Pebblestones on the ground and a unique structure in the middle of the Arena help with navigation.

 

The higher tier of the Arena features a lot of cover boxes where players can slide behind and has two opposing towers, featuring rocket launchers and jump pads. The jump pad takes the player into a sniping position with a view of the Arena. However, the Arena has a lot of objects breaking the line of sight in order to balance the power of the sniping position.

 

 

While the player traverses through the lower tier of the Arena, they can choose to go through a sidepath giving them either a grenade launcher, or an armor, giving players more choice on their needed equipment.

 

Example run

From the blue team's defence hall to the red team's flag room and back.