UT3 Mapping Contest Update

Gilgamesh: map for Unreal Tournament 3 by the Handy Vandal: Blue Darkwalker, Red Eradicator

I have posted one more map — Gilgamesh — and updated Terranium as well.

All of the compiled (playable) maps are now available for download.

All of the source (editable) maps will be available Friday November 1, 2013 — the official contest start date.

I will probably post minor revisions to various maps over the next several days; it’s also possible that I will post another map or two.

Above: Blue Darkwalker walking into Red Eradicator flak.

Douhet: new map in progress for UT3

Douhet:  map for Unreal Tournament 3 by the Handy Vandal - Incoming Missle

I began a new map this morning: an air power map named Douhet, after Giulio Douhet:

General Giulio Douhet (30 May 1869 – 15 February 1930) was an Italian general and air power theorist. He was a key proponent of strategic bombing in aerial warfare. He was a contemporary of the 1920s air warfare advocates Walther Wever, Billy Mitchell and Sir Hugh Trenchard.

[Giulio Douhet @ Wikipedia]

Douhet (the map) is a Warfare-mode map for Unreal Tournament 3. The power cores and the power node are located on sky islands, requiring air travel and air combat.

This is a work in progress, not ready for general distribution; updates to follow as things develop.

Douhet: map for Unreal Tournament 3 by the Handy Vandal - Incoming Missile 2

Extractor: another new map for UT3

Extractor:  map for Unreal Tournament 3 by the Handy Vandal

Now available for your Capture the Flag pleasure:

Extractor for Unreal Tournament 3.

See Unreal Tournament 3 Maps for complete list of downloadable maps.

Also see Handy Vandal’s Unreal Tournament 3 mapping contest for more about the contest, and yes, Extractor is a contest map.

Right: I have the Red flag, but Blue Leviathan just went boom and the Reds want their flag back in a bad way.

Below: A few moments earlier, Red Darkwalker firing on Blue Leviathan. This ends badly for Blue in about twelve seconds.

Excavator:  Unreal Tournament 3 map by the Handy Vandal -- Leviathan meets Darkwalker

Metrico: Game Design Meets Infographics


“There is so much happening in fields such as product design or motion graphics for instance … that it would be a waste not to draw inspiration from them.”

— Geert Nellen

My first — and ongoing — reaction?


Now we are getting somewhere!

“We noticed that infographics were starting to become an art form, and were slowly increasing to appear in mainsteam media,” notes lead designer Nellen. “We thought that it would be fun to use them as an aesthetic in a game.”

This line of thought led to the creation of PS Vita platform puzzler Metrico, and its ‘Input Morphing’ game mechanic. Essentially, as players move their character around Metrico’s world, the bar charts and visual aids shift to match elements of your movement. It’s then all down to experimenting with which movements make what happen.

… “The rules are consistent throughout the game,” Nellen notes, “but it’s not like every bar diagram will go down on jumping, and every pie chart will fill up by walking left. That would become stale within five puzzles. If it is that predictable, you’ll end up making just another action puzzler, but with different visuals.”

For the Digital Dreams, Metrico needed to feel much more unique than that, and offer an experience unlike any other. “Metrico’s mindset is like that,” Nellen adds. “We just like players to explore and experiment. We want them to think outside of the box and feel smart after they’ve figured everything out themselves.”

… Metrico is due for release on the PS Vita in early 2014.

[source: Mike Rose @ Gamasutra]

Yes. Count me in — I want this.

Spartacus (conceptual sketch)

This is a conceptual sketch I made for Spartacus — a new map I have in mind:

Spartacus (conceptual sketch new map)

Spartacus — so called because I like naming my maps after military figures — will be a Warfare map for Unreal Tournament 3 (unless Unreal Tournament 4 becomes available first).

The map will have substantial asymmetry between Blue and Red:

  • Blue is Rome — a central fortress with a dense concentration of resources
  • Red is Spartacus — distributed resources, widely spaced and relatively vulnerable, but more numerous overall

This is a back-burner project … I will let it simmer a while, play with that image, think about power node paths and the like.

I have prepared a PDF file containing several copies of the sketch — please feel free to print the page, scribble some lines and arrows and notes, scan and send me the results.

Meanwhile, and speaking of collaboration, I have another project — a big one — in the works, about which more in due course.

Top Free-to-Play Monetization Tricks

The Coercive Monetization Model: how to extract money from Free-to-play gamers:

A coercive monetization model depends on the ability to “trick” a person into making a purchase with incomplete information, or by hiding that information Candy Crush: Sweet!such that while it is technically available, the brain of the consumer does not access that information.
… putting even one intermediate currency between the consumer and real money, such as a “game gem” (premium currency), makes the consumer much less adept at assessing the value of the transaction.

… To maximize the efficacy of a coercive monetization model, you must use a premium currency, ideally with the ability to purchase said currency in-app. Making the consumer exit the game to make a purchase gives the target’s brain more time to figure out what you are up to, lowering your chances of a sale.

… A game of skill is one where your ability to make sound decisions primarily determines your success. A money game is one where your ability to spend money is the primary determinant of your success. Consumers far prefer skill games to money games, for obvious reasons. A key skill in deploying a coercive monetization model is to disguise your money game as a skill game.

[Ramin Shokrizade @ Gamasutra]

Go read the full article, it’s brimming with mark-fleecing insight.

Via Boing Boing.

See also:

Dennis Eichhorn: How Sweet It Is