Henry Tofts - Level Designer

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Objective Location

Personal Work - Overthrow - DM-UrbanPlasma - UE3

Overthrow Prototype:

 

Two teams, Red and Blue fight within the level to gain control of the cannon objective. By reaching their teams control panel they can activate and fire the cannon at the opposing teams base ship.

 

If a teams base ship is destroyed they can no longer spawn into the map. Once they lose their last surviving members then the game will end.

 

Default Game Mode: Team Deathmatch

Prototyping Overthrow in Kismet

  • If Blue touches their trigger, disable Blue trigger and continue with kismet sequence (see below for next stage). Ignore Red team input if they try to use blues trigger either intentionally or by accident. Vice versa for Red.

 

  • If Blue are first to reach the cannon then continue kismet sequence as normal but if Red team activate the cannon before them check using a compare bool. If true then reverse red matinee sequence first, then play blue matinee second. Vice versa for Red.

 

This last step was important to check otherwise the cannon would only rotate 90 degrees and start firing. The projectile would still fire at its target but the gun would not be aligned due to the fact that the cannon is keyframed to turn at 90 degrees and not 180 degrees. I found by using a compare bool this worked best for me and having the cannon return to its idle starting position again simulated a realistic interpretation of a gun re-calibrating its targeting solution before moving to shoot at a new target.

 

Also by disabling the trigger rather than relying typically on the trigger delay property allows me to have greater control on when the other team can take control back. It would be silly for example to allow both teams to touch the trigger as all you would see is a cannon rotating left and right constantly like some sort of Charlie Chaplin scene. By setting an enable trigger, linked to when the gun fires, allows the controlling team to at least get one shot off before losing control of the cannon to the opposing team. This method also prevents a potential double shot of the cannon, which would break the game-mode as the gun firing is on a loop.

Level Flow and Gameplay

  • Rotate cannon 90 degrees clockwise, on completion, play gun animation.

  • When gun fires turn off the lights to signify the drain in power and toggle a smoke particle effect at the end of the guns barrel.

  • Create a matinee event so that the particle effect and the projectile spawns during the best position during the gun firing animation (OptimalRecoil).

  • Check to see if the target its shooting at has already been destroyed. If so disable the Red teams trigger so that they cant take control of the cannon again and have it shoot at nothing at all...nothing at all...

 

The image above focuses just on the Red teams line of logic, as the Blues sequence is identical except for obvious variable differences and remote event triggers.

 

This part of cannon is probably the simplest due to it just containing animations, sounds and a couple of boolean checks that link elsewhere in the sequence.

Weapon Locations

RL - Rocket Launcher

 

The rocket launcher is placed centrally on a raised platform so that jumping for it either through the window of the control room or double jumping from below, leaves the player vulnerable to attack from all sides for such a prized and powerful weapon.

 

Ammo for this weapon is split in location on the west and east of the map.

 

This weapon is a game changer, that is effective in defence of the objective or to shift the defending team out of the control room.

 

 

OverThrow14 OverThrow10 OverThrow1 OverThrow13 Click to see a larger image

Kismet - Blue and Red Team Controls

OverThrow2

Cannon Control Room - Red and Blue panels

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Kismet - Cannon Activation

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Kismet - Cannon Projectiles

  • When activated the cannon turns towards its target and fires every 10 seconds on a loop. The loop is broken if the target its shooting dies or if the opposing team gains control of the cannon, in which case the gun will cease firing and reverse through the matinee's.

 

 

The projectile being fired is a custom Unreal Script extension of Unreal Tournaments UTProj_ShockBall. For this version of the shock rifles secondary fire the shock ball needed to be bigger, fancier and have a longer lifespan in order to reach the ships in the level as they're currently around 26,500 + units in distance. A class file was written for this and I duplicated the particle effect in the content browser in order to change some of the effects in cascade.

 

I moved the position of the delay node in this setup from where it typically resides in other examples posted online due to some looping issues when the opposing team retook control of the cannon, as it would sometimes fire the animation or a bonus shockball during movement in the other direction.

Map Pickups rllocation

SR - Shock Rifle

 

There are two spawn locations for this medium to long ranged weapon. One is located in a second floor ruin, the other is directly in front of the statue in the centre of the map.

 

Ammo for this weapon can be found in most ammo zones.

 

The reasoning behind their locations is to bring a ranged battle to an otherwise intense close quarters fight in the centre of the map. This weapon can also be used to pick off reinforcements heading to the objective.

 

srlocation

Flow and Design - Team Deathmatch

Example play style: The tank and the Bang

 

 

Player 1. The Tank

 

Turning to their immediate left, player 1 heads down the ramp and through the fence to collect the mega health, before heading back and up the rear staircase of the Command HQ building to grab the thigh pad armour upgrade.

 

Health + Armour at high levels, the player can soak up a fair bit of damage from the fresh spawning Red team in the vicinity.

 

Player 2. The Bang

 

Ignoring all combat, player 2 runs the shortest route straight to the Rocket Launcher pickup. This is the most powerful weapon on the map, and its central position and wide line of sight provides this player plenty of kills and control of the middle.

 

blueflow

Example play style: The wingman and the opportunist

 

Player 5. The Opportunist

 

Heading down the ramp to their immediate right, then back into the middle, this route keeps their profile low while still providing a speedy route into the factory to claim the valuable Chest Armour pickup.

 

 

Player 6. The Wingman

 

Heading past the ramps on either side then taking a left around the side of the map, this route leads directly to the thigh pad armour pickup.

 

A noble role, this player protects player 2's back. This route will likely lead to a firefight everytime at the start of a match with player's 7 and 8.

 

 

Blue Team - Tactical Route

Red Team - Tactical Route

redflow

Example play style: The scout and the counter

 

 

Player 3. The Scout

 

Headed straight then up, player 3 can gain quick access to the Shock Rifle, a medium to long ranged weapon. On collection, this player can go right onto the raised platform of the Command HQ.

 

Using the cover of the pillars, this player can inform their team of enemy positions and get some long range kills. This location is also a perfect spot to take out players attempting to collect the Rocket Launcher.

 

 

Player 4. The Counter

 

Making a beeline straight for the Chemical Plant to the left of the spawn area, player 4''s job involves protecting their teams flank in this zone and countering any attempts the opposing team might make in taking the prized Chest Armour pickup within.

 

 

Example play style: The stockpiler and the sniper

 

Player 7. The Stockpiler

 

This player loads up on ammo first before going for the power weapons. Taking a right after exiting the chemical storage building, this route takes player 7 to a thigh pad pickup, then up a ramp to a small trench full of ammo for all the best weapons.

 

If they're attacked on the way, there are also health pickups closeby.

 

Player 8. The Sniper

 

Player 8's route is a risky one at the start of a fresh round, due to the very high chance of a close quarters confrontation with player's 1 and 2 or both. Whoever wins this battle however is rewarded with precious time to reach the snipers nest equipped with a Shock Rifle and associated ammo.

 

This corner of the map is well stocked with both ammo and health, and has the near perfect view of all the main firefights.

 

 

 

 

ottopdown

Overthrow - The objective and how it changes everything. 

 

The above examples showcase how the flow can occur for a level without an objective to fight over.

 

Add in Overthrow as a game-mode with working control panels and you can see how having teams in a wingman setup, split across the map can make for some interesting tactics.

 

Player's 7 and 8 of the Red Team have the closest start to the control room, this may seem advantageous to begin the round, but their supporting members at the top of the map, players 3 and 4 are the farthest away.

 

The blue team located at players 1, 2, 5 and 6 are situated in a way that allows them to control the map quickly but retaining control is difficult as the red team at the north, 3 and 4 can attack from behind if left to collect power ups and weapons.

 

 

Wingman Spawns

 

The spawn points for both teams are in a wingman setup so that teamwork is emphasized. Two members from each team start closer to the objective than the other two but have less of an opportunity to find the stronger weapon pickups, whereas the team spawn points you can see above at the topside of the map can bring heavier weapons to the objective zone.

 

Flow is fast but tactical with plenty of open spaces for sniping and indoor areas for close ranged combat. The map does not favour one particular type of play style but certain areas will be easier to defend like inside the objective building if all four members of the same team make it there.

 

 

Final Notes!

 

- This level was made with assets supplied with the Unreal Engine and my own. I contributed around twenty assets to this project, and many of them provide things of interest like the tv monitors. flags and ships etc. The chemical plant was made in parts and re-used to build it in full.

 

I made my assets in Maya, with high poly detail created in Zbrush. Xnormal was used to create the normal map. Textures were created in Photoshop for most of my assets, but the majority I hand painted in Zbrush.

 

 

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