============================================================================= Title :Duke Deth Author :John Weeder E-mail :email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org Web Page :Nope... Description :A 3-6 player Death Match only level. The level has been played quite often with two players but the play is a little dull. 7 or 8 players causes quite a bloodfest. See below for a description. This level has several interesting features I've never seen in other Duke DeathMatch levels... including "The Chutes", "The Goodie Room", and "The Post Office". The Chutes, in particular, are a feature I'm very proud of and which I think should be included in every Death Match level. Additional Credits to :All the people who helped play test this level. ============================================================================= * Play Information * Episode and Level # :User Map Single Player :There are a bunch of monsters to test your practice the level with... but this is NOT a single player level. DukeMatch Level :What else? * Construction * Base :New Level From Scratch Editors Used :Build Time to Complete :~1 month (too much time on my hands) Known Bugs :None known * Where to Get this Map * Ftp sites: BBS Numbers: Other: Internet... * Legal Stuff * Go ahead and distribute it. Just don't copy it and claim it as your own. ============================================================================= YOU SHOULD READ THIS! DUKEDETH CONTAINS SOME SPECIAL, NON-INTUITIVE FEATURES. A Walk Thru of DukeDeth (DukDth33.map) . And some unsolicited comments on Duke Death Match Level Design * The Chutes * When you enter DukeDeth, you find yourself in a rather strange place. You might think this is a really cheesy, one-room level, but read on... One of my main theories in level design is to always handicap the better player. For example, how often have you played Hollywood Holocaust and observed a kill? The killed player resurrects with 100 health, no armor and a pistol. The player who is still alive runs to collect the armor, the jetpack, the heat visor, several health atoms and all the RPG ammo. and usually gets another easy kill in the process. and the process repeats. This scenario happens quite often and creates two problems. First, the game play is slowed while the killed player slinks around trying to collect war materiel. Second, the better player is tends to always be in the dominant position (200 health, 100 armor, and a full load of ammo). The poorer player always finds himself in the position of "bringing a knife to a gun fight" (newly resurrected with 100 health, no armor and a pistol). This isn't fun for the poorer player and it isn't really a challenge for the better player. The solution, as demonstrated in DukeDeth, is known as the "Chutes". All players start in a common room. There are no weapons in this room and the floor is lava (so you have to move on). There are eight long hallways leading from this room. Once you enter a hallway, you can not re-enter the main chamber (a one-way wall blocks your return). Each hallway is loaded with goodies. Basically, you get one of everything. The walls of the hallway are specially designed so that you can't trip- mine them. At the end of each hallway is a transporter that takes you to the actual arena. Each hallway also "features" a particular weapon. For instance, if you choose the "RPG hallway", you will be given a full load of RPG ammo and you will enter the arena with the RPG selected as your current weapon. The advantage of this layout is two fold. Game play is sped up because players don't have to spend time hunting war materiel just to get started. And, the better player is given a built-in handicap because the fragged player always re-enters the game with 200 health, 100 armor and a load of goodies. There are a couple of other features I would like to point out. The initial room contains a very large exit button AND, on the wall, is posted the level name, level version, author's name and author's email address. * The Arena * The center of activity for the level is a large, roughly circular Arena. At the center of the Arena is the "Castle". The Castle consists of a set of circular steps protected by a few walls (which are ideal for shooting and ducking). Just outside of the Castle is a spinning, circular track, a la "Spin Cycle". I guess you could consider this to be the Castle's moat. Just outside this spinning track, the floor in the north half the arena slopes steeply up to a ledge running along the outside wall. This ledge is home to the Goodie Room and a First Aid Station. Two dark rooms, known as the Dungeons, exit the south half of the Arena. To the east is a steep sloping passage to the Jousting room. To the south and west are two entrances to Jeff's Tunnel. * The Siren Song of the Goodie Room * DukeDeth has a special feature known as the "Goodie Room". The Goodie Room, as you might suspect, is loaded with goodies. Enough goodies, in fact, that you can't possibly carry them all. You gain access to the Goodie Room as follows: 1) Press the switch on the southwest wall of the Arena (Switch A). 2) At the other end of the Arena, a wall lowers to reveal another switch (Switch B). 3) Gulp your steroids. 4) Run and press Switch B. 5) Switch B opens a door to a teleporter back at the other side of the arena. 6) Run to the teleporter. The teleporter will take you to the "Goodie Room". The Goodie Room itself is a very long hallway with walls specially designed to prevent attaching trip mines. The floor is deadly poison so that you can't linger. Run down the hallway and collect the goodies. The hallway exits through a large door back into the Arena. Oh, sorry, I forgot to mention a couple things. When you press Switch A, somebody may be waiting at Switch B. They could press it and beat you to the goodies. OR, someone could wait for you to press switch B and then simply out-run you to the teleporter. BUT, even if you get to the Goodie Room, you're not home free! The far end of the Goodie room is a one-way wall. You can get out of the Goodie Room, but they can't get in. On the other hand, they can SHOOT into the Goodie Room but you can't shoot out. If you are in the Goodie Room, there is no where to hide and no where to retreat. You must run the gauntlet. Do or die! To some the Goodie Room is a siren song they can't resist. They push switch A and then get shredded as everyone comes running. If opponents are waiting, it is very difficult to go from A to B to the transporter and then escape the gauntlet of the Goodie Room hallway without being terminated. If everyone is hiding, however, you can get a free lunch. After a while, everyone learns to come running when they hear the doors of the Goodie Room grind open. And then the fun begins. Players push Switch A and run directly to the Teleporter; hoping some sneaky player will help them out by pressing Switch B. OR everyone runs directly to the teleporter door and nobody pushes Switch B. OR players push switch A and then run for a sniper spot hoping to pick off everyone who comes to join the fray. Well... you get the idea. It's more fun than a barrel of monkeys and about as predictable * First Aid Station * I don't like to put a lot of health in a Death Match level. It tends to skew the game in favor of the good player. After each kill, the good player simply goes and recovers his health and prepares to face the poorer player again. If you remove the health, the good player is eventually widdled down so that the poorer player can get a kill. The only health (some MedKits) in DukeDeth is found the First Aid Station that is located along the brightly lit ledge at the outside of the Arena. The MedKits are placed behind closed doors so that you must "present your back" in order to grab the health. The doors themselves are specially designed to be easily trip mine'd. When someone has been hurt, this is the place to come looking for them. * The Dungeons * Two dark Dungeons connect the Arena and Jeff's tunnels. The Dungeons are ideal sniper locations. Dark and with a wide view of both the Jeff's Tunnel and the Arena. Both Dungeons feature an Air Duct and an Under Water connection. providing plenty of escape routes. Unfortunately, it is difficult to protect your back and the Dungeons seem to draw a lot of fire from a lot of places. * Air Ducts * A small web of Air Ducts connects DukeDeth. Each of the Air Duct exits is carefully positioned to overlook a key area of the level. Beware! Lingering in the Air Ducts could trigger a delivery from the "mail man". There are small ledges at the end of each Air Duct. The ledges assist with entry to the Air Ducts and provide a good sniper location. However, the ends of the Air Ducts and the ledges are coated with slime so that you can't linger about too long. * Jeff's Tunnel * Named after, well. Jeff (who can always be found lurking in them), these dark, dank corridors form a rough cross. At the crossroads are two Air Ducts providing superior sniper points, a water puddle and a bridge from which to roast your unworthy opponents as they pass beneath. Two entrances abut the Arena, one entrance connects to the Joust, and the other exit is one-way wall overlooking the luxurious Library. There is nothing particularly note worthy about these back passages except that a good player can make his fame by ambushing the weak and unsuspecting from their concealing darkness. Bad players just tend to die a lot. * The Library * To the very south of the level is a dark, plushly appointed room known as the Library. It is not unusual to find players chasing one another about the Library... jumping book cases, hiding behind stub walls or taking protection along the irregularly shaped walls. The Library is a dangerous place to be... but some people like that. Two hollow columns grace one end of the library. Standing in these columns, you can see out, but they can't see in (however they can SHOOT in). If you get tired of being ambushed from the hollow columns, you can always place trip mines in the bottom of them (to teach a lesson to the next player). The rest of the room is occupied by a series of book cases, stub walls, ramps, two Air Duct outlets, and two water puddles. The Library is entered at the top, through a one-way wall from Jeff's Tunnel. The bottom of the Library exits into the Joust. * The Joust * Located on the east end of the level, the Joust consists of two conveyors moving rapidly in opposite directions. A small wall loaded with goodies separates the conveyors. Water puddles have accumulated at either end of the Joust. Good players often jump in the water puddle at one end of the conveyor, swim a short distance under water and then pop up out of the water at the far end just in time to waylay an unsuspecting enemy. More often, two opponents "duke" it out like two medieval knights rushing headlong down the conveyors toward one another in a modern joust. The Joust has three entrances - from the Library, Jeff's Tunnel and the Arena. There is also a nice Air Duct overlooking both the Joust and the Post Office. * The Post Office * Off to one side of the Joust is a small room known as the Post Office. On the wall is a long row of "mail boxes". When a mail box turns from red to green, it means someone has entered a particular sector elsewhere in the level. At this point, the correct action is to deliver a "mail bomb" to the other player. This is done by throwing a pipe bomb or firing a rocket at the mail box. The surprised player at the other end will then see a rocket or pipe bomb materialize out of a wall! Boy, isn't this country great! The security camera screens are located on the side walls of the Post Office. An electronic version of the Most Wanted posters in a real PO. * Under Water * Another feature of a good level is that you should be able to get from any one place to any other very quickly. Although DukeDeth is a relatively large level, it is possible to get from one area to another in just a few seconds. The easiest way to do this is to jump into one of the numerous water puddles, swim a short distance and then surface clear across the level. The Under Water chamber is honey combed with a series of columns of running water. creating a very interesting effect. It also makes for some very interesting deep sea battles. Various goodies (mostly ammunition) line the floor of the pool. * The Shafts * Two vertical Shafts provide another unique means of rapid transportation about the level. Starting within the hollow columns of the Library, you can jetpack straight up... passing through the Post Office and eventually popping out into the Arena. The Shafts make great sniper locations; many a player has made his mark by giving their unworthy adversary the "shaft". However the Shafts are also a favorite place to plant trip mines. and the next player through them gets "shafted". *.CON Files * For playing DukeDeth, I suggest using my special, altered .CON file. I have only changed USER.CON and my special revisions are contained in the file named USER.DD. First of all, trip mines were made translucent... just to make things a bit more interesting. Then the number of freeze bounces was increased (we all play on Pentium Pro 200's so speed isn't a real issue). The duration of the scuba gear has been cut by a factor of 8. The default value worked well for single player levels but was simply far too large to be a factor in Death Match play. HoloDuke duration was doubled. Jetpack duration was cut in half. Boot duration was increased by 4X. Boiled down, this means that the scuba, jetpack and boots all have the same duration. Where as the weapons in Doom II had a fairly ideal balance, the weapons in Duke (in my humble opinion) do not have such a successful balance... especially in Death Match. In fact, many weapons are seldom used at all. My goal in changing the .CON files was two fold. First, weapon strength has been increased over-all simply to improve the blood flow (also because players tend to have 200 health and 100 armor coming out of the chutes). Second, the less desirable weapons have been made more potent in an effort to entice people to use them. You may or may not like my changes. try them and see. * John's Death Match Duke Level Tips * Let me start off by saying that I am hardly the world's expert on Death Match Duke Levels. I simply feel that Death Match Duke levels should be designed using logic. not gut feeling and not necessarily to be "pretty". And so, I have compiled a list of considerations I feel should go into a level. Sure, there is an exception to every rule. I won't debate you on that. And sure, I'm probably just plain wrong on some of my assertions... so... You might not like some of what I say; in fact, you might not like any of what I say; but at least I got you THINK. * A Reason For Everything * This is my golden rule: Try to have a reason for everything that goes into your level. Have a master plan or a theme for your level. Ask yourself, "Why did I insert this sector?", "How is the game improved by adding this goody?". Which brings us to. * Simplicity * The K.I.S.S. principle applies to Duke levels as well. Go through your level, look at each line, each sector, each sprite. as yourself, "Can I remove this item and not impact the level.?". If the answer is "Yes", remove the item. I like to ask a series of questions for each "area" in the level: Does this area need to exist? (It should) Does something draw players to this area? (Something should) Are there at least two entrances/exits from this area? (Should be) Can I attack from this area? (Should be able to) Can someone attack me in this area? (Should be able to) Does this area favor a particular weapon? (Often good, to provide variety) Does this area favor a particular style of play? (Often good) * Measure / Counter Measure * In general, I don't like "King of the Hill" type levels. I have tried to design DukeDeth so that there is a counter measure for measure. For example, I have tried to go through every possible position on the level and make sure that each position has good selection of targets and that a number of other positions can target you. There are no safe corners you can back into. If you find a good sniper spot, rest assured that there is someplace where someone can draw a clean bead on you. * Runners vs Snipers * Death Match games seem to feature two kinds of players: runners and snipers. The runners dash about at full speed shooting anything they see. The snipers lurk in the shadows waiting for their prey to come buy. A game consisting of all snipers can be pretty boring. A game of all runners turn into an orgy of blood with little skill involved. DukeDeth has features designed to get the snipers to occasionally move and the runners to occasionally slow down. The mailboxes protect some sniper some points. Often, just firing a few random shots into the mailboxes can flush your quarry. Most of the sniper locations also have lava or some other poison on the floor. The sniper can linger until his/her boots and jetpack run out... but then must move out. The Goodie Room also serves to draw snipers from their lair. Runners are "controlled" by access to the goodies (ie a resource constraint). Eventually a runner must recharge his night vision or his jet pack or reload on ammo. If you know someone uses the jetpack, you can simply wait for him in the Air Vents. If someone uses steroids or night vision, eventually he must return to the Joust. Clever use of trip mines in conjunction with the various one-way walls is another to get the runners to "hang themselves with their own rope". Actually, the runner vs. sniper problem is simply another example of the "Measure/Counter Measure" philosophy. i.e. no particular strategy should be allowed to get the upper hand and each strategy should have an effective way to deal with the other. * Goodie Placement * In general, if goodie is present, it should be present at least twice in order to prevent one player from "hogging". Sometimes I do this simply by stacking several of the same goodie in the same location (for example, the First Aid Station). There should be enough goodies to prevent starvation... but not enough goodies so that people get "fat and happy". I try to place goodies a long way from where they are used. Scuba gear is in the Tunnels, boots are Under Water, jet packs are in the Air Vents. The idea is to keep players circulating throughout the entire level. Another use for goodies is to draw people into less traveled areas. Goodies are positioned to draw you into the open or take you "off the beaten path". I like to observe my level being played. If an area isn't being used, I place goodies there to draw players to it. If that doesn't work, I remove the area! Mastering the level should require effective use of all weapons and inventory. DukeDeth has places that require steroids (Goodie Room), the jet pack (the Shafts), the scuba gear (Under Water), etc. * Designing for Weapons * Try to design your level to allow the use of each weapon. DukeDeth has a number of places designed specially to accept trip mines. The large Arena favors the chain gun and grower. The Tunnel's favor the shot gun and shrinker. The pipe bomb and RPG work very well in the Post Office. Traversing DukeDeth requires careful attention to your currently selected weapon. * Shadows * Single player Duke levels use shadowing to create the feeling of reality. In a Death Match level, shadows are primarily used to enhance game play. The shadowing in Duke Deth is hardly "realistic". Highly desireable positions are often brightly lit to make them more vulnerable. Crevices are darkened to make them into sniper positions. Large rooms are darkened simply to improve the frame rate. * Textures * I don't use textures to create a realistic experience. I use textures to define an area. Each room has a unique texture and then texture is very different from the other areas in the level. The idea is to help the new user understand the layout of the level. For example, each segment of air duct in DukeDeth utilizes its own texture. * Symmetry * Symmetry is useful in acclimating a new user to your level. DukeDeth use symmetry when possible to make the level easier to understand. The trick is to not add symmetry solely for symmetry's sake (and make the level too large or complex). * Floors & 3D * DukeDeth tries to take advantage of the 3-dimensional character of Duke. Floors slope, rooms are set at various heights, there is even a place where you can walk over a bridge over someone else's head. There are places you can jump to and places where you need to fly to and places where you need to swim and places where you need to crawl. * Ceiling * Pay as close of attention to the ceiling as to the floor. Jet Packer's use the ceiling the way others use the floor. Leave ledges in the ceiling to hide behind and slope the ceiling to make maneuvering easier.