All the buzz

Yeah, bitch and complain all you want. I have been busy and it only seems to be getting worse as SID gets closer to releasing Beta 2 to the Quake III Community. Of course I cannot give any exclusive dates or information here…yet, but things are moving at a great pace. We have made big strides in the last week. With the completion of build_11, we look to finalized development on Beta 2.

With that said, you can look forward to awesome new environments on which to frag. We have brought you screen shots of some of the newly designed levels, like, ut_sands by NRGizeR, which is the first terrain level completed for Urban Terror. We will also feature levels which debuted in Beta 1, that have been completed retextured and tweaked, such as BattleCow‘s ut_docks. There is even an ultra-secret level being designed by WetWired which is bound to turn heads! OMFG! This map is like nothing you have ever experienced! Okay, so I am drooling over screen shots [which I cannot share].

Then we have Tub, level designer behind ut_village and ut_abbey. Here are some exclusive shots his latest and untitled creation which will debut in Beta 2:

[SHOT #1] | [SHOT #2] | [SHOT #3] | [SHOT #4]
[SHOT #5] | [SHOT #6] | [SHOT #7] | [SHOT #8]
Tub is also asking for some help, to name this level for Beta 2. It was originally titled ut_vdocks [village docks], but since it was so similar to ut_docks he decided to change it. We are now asking for your suggestions. Send you suggest to oswald@planetquake.com and title your e-mail: Tub’s Map. Who knows, you might just get mentioned in the credits.

A bit about the level from Tub, “It’s got about 7500 brushes, and has an area of about 7000×3850 units. In other words it’s big, and detailed.. Thanks Tub, this level should provide many hours of fun for Beta 2.

Are you a texture artist? Do you think you can make textures? Good, because I know you are all shaking your head no. Well, meet Spear[Nsn], who is working on an Urban Terror level. Check out his request for someone to help create textures for an upcoming bank level. I do recall some of his work from my days over at the AQMD. So help him out.

Time to give Warhammer at ISPGN some love, seeing he has been a loyal supporter of Urban Terror from nearly day one. GO check out the ISPGN Forums and be heard.

The Death Ray by Chris “Sven” Druckenmiller

04-23-01: The Death Ray

Welcome to this week’s episdoe of the Quake 2 Level of the Week, sponsered by PlanetQuake featuring a blast from the past, so to speak. This week’s review takes a page out of the 1930’s for those who ever wanted to build a backyard spaceship and zoom off to the planet, Mungo to battle the evil, Ming the Merciless. Thanks to Sven you can feel like Flash Gordon without every living the comfort of your computer as his latest level, The Death Ray is the prime setting for any Flash Gordon episode. So buckle up there young Flash and get ready to experience this week’s review.

Sven, on the concept of The Death Ray, “The general idea for a ’30s SciFi-themed map came to me in Nov. of 2000 while visiting the parents for Thanksgiving break…My ambition was to create a level that would make you feel like you were Flash Gordon and your opponents were Ming the Merciless’ evil minions…I finally just built the big laser cannon itself and that was a perfect start.” The rest as they say, “was history.” Coupled with the highest quality textures from PlanetQuake’s own, [H F X], this level represents a unique mapping experience, especially when it comes to 1 v 1 deathmatch.

The layout is what you would expect to see in a futuristic base, with narrow, sterile corridors traversing the complex, all of which seem to lead back to where you began. In the case of this level, you usually end up back at the ominous death ray. The level uses many jump pads, which allows for quick and easy elevation change, along with simple, yet effect ramps to access a few areas in The Death Ray.

The main feature of The Death Ray is infact a large weapon pointed towards the heavens which is discharging its deadly ray on some unsuspecting planet. While you can do absolutely nothing to stop it, it does make for a unique on which to build. The same can be said about the area beneath the death ray, which is home to the quad damage. The sign reads, “Power Discharge Switch: NEVER USE!” of couse our first inclination is to push it. Once the switch is throw [our button pushed], two yellow beams of pure energy are discharge, which criss cross over the quad, to help put the “DENIED” tag on those would be gamers who insist on hoarding this power up.

As mentioned earlier, the ambience is quite striking, thanks in part to the high quality textures of HFX. Finding good, quality textures is only half the battle, if you do not use the correctly and appropriately, then all is lost. Foruntanately that is not one of Sven‘s weaknesses. These textures in conjunction with the multi colored lighting provide a foundation for yet another example of how to create a level with true ambience. The only minor complaint is the texture used on death ray itself does not compare .

This week gameplay was not only limited to bots, but a real live opponant. Yet it always seemed I was the one on the receiving end of a rocket or riding the blue rail of death. Nevertheless, 1 v 1 deathmatch provided a fast playing level. As with the 4-6 bots in the game, most of the fragging took place on the upper levels, near the rail gun and rocket launcher which are virtually next to each other. “The weapon and item loadout is roughly the same as it has been for the [previous] levels so far,” says Sven. Yet gamers were able to navigate quickly between rail and rocket and control a majority of the map. Add to that the flak jacket and row of armor shards and you will see why controlling this area will work to your advantage.

The Death Ray is bound to remind you of your favortie science fiction story, but this time it is brought to life, thanks to Sven. This is a very balanced level which will suit the smallest of servers, and provide hours of action for a moderate sized group. As always I enjoy play testing and reviewing, such quality maps as the Quake 2 Community continues to provide. Now off you go to download, The Death Ray.

– Download: sventourney3.zip
– Author: Chris “Sven” Druckenmiller

Level of the Week Comments? Mail Oswald.