Lunaran.com Matthew Breit Level Designer | Texture Artist
Lun3DM4 - Pull Your Socks Up
Apr 10, 2003
After losing quite a bit more time to an ill-fated Q3 single player mod, I decided to use the wealth of left-over textures to make just one more DM map. This one, I decided, would be different. I decided that I would make a daringly open map rather than connect neat rooms with hallways, that I would cast off Quake 3 entirely in favor of making the map specifically for Challenge Pro-Mode, and that I would endeavor to make the map total hard-edged fun (through a series of alphas) before even considering a visual theme. The result, I'm happy to say, was a phenomenal success.
To be fair, the original layout I drew (and implemented) was absolutely terrible.
I fell back on the same one trick pony of one big atrium and two little atria, with added twists. One was a longer hallway connecting the two pods to form a danger zone for a powerup, and the other an intentional lack of connectivity in the physical layout. I wanted to promote teleporters from a patched-in addition for connecting the opposite ends of the map to an integral part of the layout, and even had some frightening pseudo-4D drawings trying to show how the teleporter connections would make the map behave like a conventional layout. It half worked in the first blocked-in alpha I made, but not well enough, and the constant feeling of running into dead-ends made the whole thing feel more claustrophobic than I was after (something I'd like to one day revisit and capitalize on.)
At the urgings of my peers I took a sledgehammer to it and began to remove walls instead, until the distinction between "rooms" was all but destroyed. The large atrium became the area with the high jumppad and first rocket launcher, the long back hall turned into the area with the megahealth and second rocket launcher, and both absorbed the two side pods until the map became just so much interconnected space. The only hints of regularity left were thick and evenly spaced pillars I had preserved, wholly on impulse, plopped neatly off-center. I would later give these special treatment visually, as massive anchors of the structure.
It was at this point I involved the CPMA crowd. I had decided long before starting this that if I made another deathmatch map I wouldn't even bother with vanilla Quake3, and just make a standalone CPMA map instead. I played pong with Joel 'wviperw' McDonald, tossing alphas to him and getting item and layout suggestions in return, like the narrow ledges around the periphery, making the megahealth well a dead-end (formerly stairs), and that wacky red armor teleport-to-nowhere. At one point the map had two BFG's in it (which CPMA transformed into a souped-up big brother of the rocket launcher, which was also souped-up) as an experiment with capturing the mad slaughterhouse feeling of Quakeworld, but this didn't stick. When we ran out of ideas for things to fix I hit phase two.
I started this map shortly after I gave up on Coriolis Force, half motivated by the fairly unfortunate realization that I hadn't finished a map in, like, forever. Tons of textures in a similar vein to Coriolis Storm already filled multiple folders, so I had plenty to work with, and easily pulled off a theme that was kind of like a less invasive Lun3DM1 - still rusty and broken, just not dry and hot. Crow sound effects lent the map an almost autumnal feeling instead. I put a lot of thought into 'disguising' the original layout, replacing alpha brushwork with rock and pipes as often as metal and masonry. The result is a map that feels very serendipitous, that all the elements in this corner of a real world just happen to be so well suited for gameplay, rather than having been designed that way from the start.
And the CPMA crowd? They received it so well, the map was incorporated into the official Promode map pack as CPM23.
(The name is a reference to the film Snatch, in which it's used as a euphemism for 'duck and cover.')