Layout Process

Nameless was a UT2004 mod project based on the movie The Running Man. In the mod the player is a nameless contestant in a game show in which he is placed in various situations where he must fight for his life in order to move on to the next area/arena. The game show is rigged of course as the enemies he faces are much better equipped than the player. In the game however the player manages to get past all of the arenas as well as find a way back into the city. Once in the city he makes his way back to the TV show to supposedly face the host and creator of the game. What the player doesn’t know is that he is a plant from the resistance movement whose plan (albeit a desperate one) was to use the show to broadcast their anti-government message and hopefully inspire the citizens to rise up.

The layout for District 5 was created by myself and two of my teammates Dominic Lucidon and Stephen Kottle. My task was to build the District 5 map. In the map our programmer had created new behavior for the bots and a weapon that pushed the enemies back like an air gun so that in the first arena the player’s objective was to throw the NPC fighters into exploding crates and other environment objects to damage them and eventually kill them. After this area the player entered a maze which was filled with stealth robots. In this arena the player was given a short range sonar device which would give the approximate location of the robots which he had to find and destroy using only a cattle prod type weapon. How stealthy the player was an important factor in this area. After completing this arena the player would go through a door which would load the next map consisting of a driving area which was built by Dominic Lucidon member and me.

Building Process

The actual building process for this map was fairly straight forward. The difference from other maps is that the game play and enemy bot behavior was constantly evolving and changing thus the layout and scale of the map had to be changed a number of times. Paths that worked in one layout and build may not work with the new bot behavior thus pathnodes and mesh placement were always being adjusted.

In the end the majority of the changes dealt with the first arena as this was the most open and the space where the enemy bots needed the most room to move around and dodge the players actions. Also collision in this map was tricky as there are lots of static meshes with odd shapes. Thus new collisions were used instead of the mesh default ones to help with frame rate and to keep the player from getting stuck. The mesh placement also called for many models to be used despite the map as a whole being somewhat small. This was necessary since the run down location of the first fighting area needed to look old, rusty and cluttered since it was located in the lower slum like portion of the city. Therefore lots of them needed to be stacked up and placed on top and within others.

Lighting Process

The lighting process for this map was somewhat difficult as the map relied more on static meshes to give it shape rather than BSP. Because some meshes can take light differently than others (even in the same area or next too) a lot of shuffling around and special lights were required as well as using some of the ambient properties of the meshes themselves.

Also to light the area from the lamp posts required some tweaking to better blend in with the new positions of the meshes and some of their ambient settings. In the end about five light actors were used for each post at various radiuses and brightness settings to capture the cone shape this type of light source would produce especially on the floor where the concentration of the light would be.

Final Steps

The final steps of this map consisted of lots of testing both by members of the team and others. The last step was adding the final enemies and checking (and tweaking) how they would be presented and if they continued to react to the player as we wanted them too.

After this map we concentrated on the driving area which was already under way by myself and Dominic Lucidon.