Cathedral SNES

A symmetrical Capture The Flag-map for Unreal Tournament, mainly intended for experienced players with quick reflexes.

Unreal Tournament Level

MAIN PATHS

The middle path is the shortest path from flag to flag, but has the highest level of threat, tension and tempo, as the player is exposed from all sides, as well as from the top corridors.

The bottom and top corridors, which flank the middle path, offer a lower level of threat, but the tempo and tension are still very high, as enemy players can appear quickly from other paths.

Finally, the side paths are the longest way around and mostly allow players to catch their breath a bit, as well as offer them a more sneaky approach.

KEY MAP POSITIONS

The flags are also placed in such a way that both attacking and defending players are exposed to enemy fire, forcing defending players to constantly move and thereby decreases the defenders' ability to camp near the flag.

The spawn points are placed to give the player an immediate choice of path. The player spawns behind cover, but the start of each possible path is still visible from this point.

The sniper positions are designed to reward exploration. They have a low tempo and a medium sense of threat, but a high level of tension as you both need to first grab the sniper rifle in an exposed spot in the middle of the map and then lean out of the archway in order to get a good shot.

REFERENCES

The inspiration for the level design was drawn directly from medieval churches. This gave me and the 3D artist a clear starting point as well as several technical terms to base our discussions and communication around.


The idea was to give the majestic feeling of being inside a huge cathedral, while also being able to use the rows of pillars and archways as cover and as a way of framing multiple paths through the level.

Choosing a cathedral theme for this map also had some advantages as far as level design is concerned:


  • Firstly, because there is no large central area where most encounters would occur, players will meet at all places on the map, which requires them to quickly find cover where they can. A cathedral full of archways and pillars is really handy for this.


  • Secondly, this straight simple layout also guides the player towards the flag and back.

Traditionally, these cathedrals are built with a nave, which is a more straightforward row of pillars, usually with benches in the middle, leading through the transepts into the chancel. Copying this exact design would, however, make the level too asymmetrical and imbalanced, with one team being closer to the protection of the transepts.

Instead, I removed the chancel and made the map symmetrical on both sides of the transepts. I borrowed from the architecture of some chancels, with a large winding staircase posing as the flag position for both teams.

TRAILER

Level design

MAGNUS JAKOBSSON

3D artist

MIKAEL KARLSSON

Engine

UNREAL EDITOR

Development time

5 WEEKS

DESIGN PRINCIPLES:

  • Small map (100 meters)
  • Easy to switch between multiple paths on the fly


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  • Easy to navigate
  • Quick, close quarters combat

    Sniper rifle position