Lunaran.com Matthew Breit Level Designer | Texture Artist
Lun3DM2 - Let's Drink Beer and Shoot Things
Jun 13, 2000
Quick on the heels of Lun3DM1 and almost it's complete opposite, LDBST is a very vertical, dark, blue map designed with an eye on gameplay first. The new texture set was inspired by Sleepwalkr's last Quake2 map "Pain Elemental," but the unfortunately popular custom textures I created cursed every map they dressed with the odd manner they had of, as Bal put it, "making every map that uses them look like Lun3DM2."
After Lun3DM1's warm reception, I ate the universally positive praise with a spoon, but began to notice a trend. Nearly everyone cited the theme as the principle reason why they found the map fun (although not in such direct terms). Rather than take this at face value, I immediately began planning a map that would fly in the face of the discovery instead. I wanted a map that would hit all of its marks on gameplay, but present a visual theme that avoided any sense of place whatsoever, as if to try and prove unquestioningly what I felt the true source of fun should be: the mechanic of the game itself.
I had already wanted to try out a heavy, chiseled, multiples-of-64 style of architecture, with lots of flush walls and 45° bevels, which I'd seen work quite nicely in "Pain Elemental." Admittedly I pretty much knocked that theme off wholesale, replacing the warm rough brick with cool concrete and the rusty iron panels with blocks of onyx, but recycling their patterns of use and the conventions of both wallwashing spotlights and Strogg iconography. A fair bit of experimentation went into shader effects, which led to no shortage of exposed blue circuitry and alpha-masked glow effects. With all of that plus the visual capstone of omitting any clouds or sky in favor of a loud blue fog, I managed to build a map which felt - very nicely I thought at the time - like absolutely nothing.
In a way the plan worked. Judging by scattered feedback I still receive, some people still regard this map as my most fun creation for q3, even though I feel it doesn't quite stand up to my later, stronger releases, and the comments at LvL most often compared it visually to a restroom. In hindsight, it backfired quite predictably - with both a strong theme and a strong game, the map could have soared.
Lun3DM2 marked the beginnings of what would become conventions of mine. One was hating Quake3's positively puerile bot AI for failing to make use of what had become standard deathmatch map design elements years ago, such as the immensely complicated "jumping to things." Another was drawing names for my Q3 maps from sources of comedy, as a rejection of the unofficial requirement that deathmatch maps always be named after angry-sounding Judas Priest songs or the like. "Let's Drink Beer and Shoot Things" was an obscure reference to Sam and Max Hit the Road, the name of an album by country star Conroy Bumpus.