Role: Sole Developer
Duration: 1 Month
Engine: Unreal Engine 3
Electrolysis is a Cold Fusion Reactor Deathmatch Map with a fully functional electrolysis reaction sequence. The goal of this project was to develop an competitive multi-player deathmatch map with interactive gameplay, dynamic level flow, and a memorable theme.
Electrolysis was built from the ground up for competitive multi-player gameplay. An interactive gameplay element was added by putting in a fully functional electrolysis reaction sequence that players can kill each other with. The main goals accomplished on Electrolysis were building a level based on a theme while making it play well, scripting multi-player gameplay, and creating level flow using architecture, weapon mechanics, and player-transport mechanics.
Designed the Level around a Memorable Theme
The fusion core was designed to be cylindrical in order to draw attention to the center platform. For gameplay purposes, it was designed like this that so players to notice the center platform that holds the Damage Boost and the Minigun– which are the two most gameplay releveant pickups in the level. From an artistic standpoint, I wanted the reactor core to draw attention to itself because it’s the central theme of the level. The circular configuration also presented the slight challenge of having to come up with a system to keep all the level entities on the grid, which was overcome by creating level building workflow that utilized the local move tool and reference nodes inside the editor.
Scripted Interactive Multi-Player Gameplay
The cold fusion reaction sequence is a player-activated death trap that spins up the reactor core and kills anyone who doesn’t escape the center platform in time. Since the Damage Boost and the Minigun are also on the center platform, it’s a high-risk, high-reward area that player’s are going to be running through a lot. To design it properly, the time it takes to run from the farthest point on the platform to safety was measured out. Then, the trap was scripted so that the bridges retract after that time has elapsed after the trap’s activation. To reward the player who practices the level, the sequence was scripted so that after the bridges begin retracting, the player can still make it onto the lip of the retracting bridge if he jumps just the right way. This rewarded players who took the time to practice the map, which added replayability.
Created Level Flow
The central cold fusion reactor is a big, open arena where hitscan weapons dominate, so to give instant gratification, the Minigun and Shock Rifle were placed in this room. To encourage flow, extra ammo was placed for those weapons in the side rooms. Those side rooms are smaller areas where projectile based, splash damage weapons have the upper hand. So, the Rocket Launcher and Flak Cannon were placed in those side rooms, and the extra ammo for them was placed in the central reactor. This instantly rewarded players who picked up the weapons, but forced them to move to the next area creating a ping-pong style pickup collecting game that made the players move around and experience the entire map. Finally, the far opposite ends of the map were connected with teleporters, two elevators were added in the reactor core, and the far ends of the reactor were connected with jump-pads as the finishing touches. Flow was acheived using a combination of weapon mechanics, architecture choice, and player transportation mechanics.
When Electrolysis was built to push the envelope with interactive multi-player gameplay. It’s something we rarely see in multi-player maps. While I think Electrolysis went in the right direction with scripting the electrolysis trap, I don’t think it was a big enough step. To address this, a version is in playtesting with a new addition- a ‘prisoner’s dilemma’ style room with specially scripted doors on both sides, but requires an active player at both doors to open them. A Redeemer weapon is planned to go inside the room to draw people in. Since the room requires a player at each door, it guarantees an intense fight for the Redeemer. Implementation was simple- place a switch at each door, require both switches to be shot within a certain time limit, if both switches are hit before the timer ends, open both doors. If timer elapses, reset switches. A one-way teleporter inside the room should exist to let players leave the room without breaking the door mechanics.
Playable Level (Requires Unreal Tournament 3 v1.3 or higher) (ZIP):