Cogito, ergo sum
Legacy:DM-Siesmic Canyon Planning
Ironically, I had the tune picked before I had even really decided on a theme for my map, it was industrial erotic which I had found while brainstorming what I was going to make, it has been playing on my computer for about 4 days non-stop now, and is only slightly annoying me, a good sign, as imo it won't get over the top in a UT3 game. If you want to find good music on The Mod Archive, I suggest looking for music which has industrial themes, they tend to fit the game fairly well, and imo supplement the fast paced action, this is just an idea, depending on what you are making, and the themes you choose for the map, you might find a totally different style appeals.
One of the great things I find in life, is that if something really shine through as appealing to yourself, then you will atleast have an audience that will also stirke a chime with your taste (reaching out to inform the audience of your creations presence on the other hand can be troublesome, and hopefully will be covered later).
I had chosen a volcanic theme to my map, but I was tempted to steer away from lava, and dark grey melted rock, choosing more of a sulphur and brimstone look, which I thought was far more original than classic lava.
It was predetermined that the map would occupy a canyon, which was roughly Y shaped, and that it would have an underground measurement and sensor facility below the intersection which could be accessed through 3 small caves that were around the inward pointing side of the canyon (towards the center of the Y).
These caves I had decided would be fairly shallow, and have steel doors to mark the transition from the sulphurous surface, into the underground area, words I thought that would describe the scene where new, shiney, and high tech, I had also given some reflection as to the interior lighting of the level, and was thinking of cold sharp light blue lights, complimented with warmer orange lights, and the occasional small and dull flashing/rotating red alarm lights, which would need to be toned down till they didn't steel the limelight of the rest of the scene.
Above ground, I continued to think about things such as weather and environment, I was opting for a variety, but being carefull about the merging of them, for example, I wanted to include a section in one of the canyons leading out of the Y an area that had lots of steam vents and poor visibility, as well as some shallow briney yellow sulphor pools, as well as perhaps one or two deeper ones, that could be submerged into.
The other two canyon forks I wanted to have a similar feel but with better visibility, I wanted to make narrow walkways up the sides of the canyon walls, with some non-installation caves, though to make them small and simple, just to act as thourough-fares through otherwise imapssible terrain.
As for the time to compleate the project, I had given myself about 3 months to do it, which I thought a reasonable amount of time to achieve at least a Beta product, provided I had little interruptions during the period. I had thought through the possibility of needing more time, and decided that I was to inexperienced in the map creation process to really give an accurate time to compleate.
I wanted a fair amount of custom art in the level too, coming from a prefab hell in the last game I modded, I just couldn't bare the thought of being reduced to making other peoples art works fit my map, if they did, then this was ok, but I highly doubted that much of the existing artwork would match the outdoor region, and the indoor region was also fairly specific too, requiring siesmic sensing equipement.
And this is how I set out.
There were aditionally a few features I wanted in the map, things like earthquakes I thought would be really good, tremors mostly, just the quivering of the ground, the idea braught with the fun idea of placing physics objects in the game, another thing I wanted was to include a random event that would fire roughly once every 15-30 x20 minute deathmatch games ie. about every 5 to 10 hours, this would be a major earth quake, at this present time I am unsure of the exact implementation of this, but intend to learn it as I go.
I now had music, and theme, and a rough idea of how the map looked, it was time to move to specifics...
... I choose to start by making elements of the map rather than the map itself.