CTF-Haze is a Capture-the-flag 5v5 map for Unreal Tournament. It is a small and compact map that empasizes fast paced gameplay.
Game: Unreal Tournament
Engine: Unreal engine 4
Game Mode: Capture The Flag
Development Time: 8 weeks
Research & Getting Started
I began looking at what kind of assets and resources were available from Unreal Tournament.
This would influence what kind environment I wanted the map to take place in and what game-mode.
I decided make a Capture the flag map because I find objective oriented gameplay more interesting.
Establishing the type of environment early on would allow me to create a map layout and design for what is logical to that environment.
I took inspiration from the canyon theme in FR_fort and the sci-fi theme from Outpost 23.
I felt that a sci-fi and a canyon environment would have a nice contrast to one another and would work great together.
layout & design
After testing couple of different quick layouts on paper I eventually decided to go with a 3 lane structure and a symmetrical design.
I felt that a symmetrical design was more suitable for the competitive gameplay of Unreal Tournament.
Also due to time constraints a symmetrical layout would be quicker to design and to iterate on in order to create a well balanced map.
The maps layout does have some slight asymmetrical aspects to it in order to make the environment feel more natural and realistic, but overall no team has any clear advantage.
Process and iterations
I started by blocking out the three main lanes and establishing all major line-of-sight blocking elements.
With the maps basic flow in place I started playtesting.
Most early feedback had to do with the maps overall size.
The distance between the two flags was too small which meant that bringing the enemy flag back to base was often too quick and easy.
Another complaint by playtesters was the lack of cover in middle map area.
The early blockout was designed with the translocator weapon in mind.
Players would have to use the translocator to access certain places, for example the sniper plattforms.
This made the flow a bit choppy as players had to stop and switch to the translocator to keep on moving.
Ultimately I wanted more straightforward flow, so I added ramps for easier movement.
After a week of playtesting and Iteration, I settled with a final blockout.
At that point I could begin propping the map, work on a proper lighting and post processing.
The process of development, from blockout to dressing and final lighting and post process:
Composition and framing.
I experimented alot and put alot of emphasis on framing in order to lead players towards points of interest.
for example flags would always be framed as players would aproach the enemy base, regardless of direction.