Doctor, it's....it's....it's ALIVE! So about a year and a half ago I released the first beta of Desolation as an arena map to very little fanfare. It had problems. I then took a break from it to work on other things, and then a break from mapping altogether, then I went clinically insane for awhile. During this time my hard drives died (never use raid 0) and I thought that it, along with a dozen other maps I was working on, were gone forever. Then, a few days ago, I remembered my old friend vmex Now, all this time later, I have brought Desolation BACK FROM THE DEAD (insert TF2 ghost here). Desolation is a small desert map focusing on multi-tiered terrain and vertical gameplay with complex routing. The map bounds may be small, but there's a lot of playing area/walkable surfaces packed in there. PLUS, for the next beta release (which should be in a few days) it will be released not just as arena, but in four, count em, FOUR, flavors: arena, koth, 3 point CP, and for all you TFC vet's out there: PUSH (take the single intel to enemy base)! July 13th 2010 - Massive Frankenstein Style Update *Revamped environment style (changed ground/rock textures and repainted all alpha maps) *Changed lighting *Color Correction *Added two new buildings on each side: a "walkway" building and a smaller tower --these buildings connect with existing geometry to form a bunch of new routes, block snipers/vis, and increase "connectedness and flow" *Added a deck and a cart-track to the "backyard" area *Added doors to spawn rooms *Moved spawn buildings 256 units away from center and added a new exit onto the ridge overlooking the backyard *Removed some barriers that are no longer needed (they were only there to block snipers) *Tweaked ALL displacements for looks, collisions, and optimization *Tightened up the graphics (more detail, more props) *Widened and moved the central towers slightly and made them world geometry *Added caves linking the new lower towers to the underside of the "walkway" building *Added func_nobuild to fix "teleporter trap" in boarded up mine shaft *Removed all hint brushes That last one might sound strange, but with the new buildings I need to completely overhaul the optimization (which was roughly done to begin with anyway). Desolation is quite open and somewhat vis-un-friendly in it's construction with lot's of buildings at 45 degree angles to the grid and whatnot. As a result it's a good level in which to show advanced areaportal and hinting techniques SO, as a special bonus to all you less experienced mappers out there I'm going to record (almost) EVERYTHING I do from this point to the next release that has to do with optimization and make a video tutorial from it. There's still alot to do for the next release, but I'm quite happy with it right now. I think this is some of my best work and the MASSIVE revisions I've made in only a few days would have taken me weeks in the past. So, without further ado, here's ELEVEN new screenshots! Oct 25th 2008 - First public beta released! :O I've put a lot more work into this map, building surrounding areas and 3Dskybox to flesh out it's world-location-situation-place-cheese-whatever thing. Also adding more detail, optimizaing the collission hull, tweaking lighting, and putting in...wait for it...clouds! There's still more to be done in detail and optimization, tweaking the 3Dskybox, lighting, adding ambient sound, and making the spawns more than just empty boxes, but you should (hopefully) find it fun to play, pleasing to the eyes, and FPS friendly. Enough talk, download links and fresh screenshots follow. Download at TF2Maps.net Download at Filefront http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q192/MrHappy_photos/arena_desolation_pb10008.jpg http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q192/MrHappy_photos/arena_desolation_pb10010.jpg http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q192/MrHappy_photos/arena_desolation_pb10013.jpg http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q192/MrHappy_photos/arena_desolation_pb10015.jpg Oh and for the love of cheese please leave comments, criticisms, suggestions, etc! Oct 10th 2008 - First art pass, some lighting and prop optimization. Changed sky and tweaked lighting. I want to have another playtest before building the surrounding areas and skybox, then comes more detail, then final lighting and that's it. http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q192/MrHappy_photos/arena_desolation_pb10000.jpg Overview of blue side of middle. http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q192/MrHappy_photos/arena_desolation_pb10001.jpg Blue's "backyard" http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q192/MrHappy_photos/arena_desolation_pb10004.jpg Underneath the cap point. The mine elevator shaft = deathly fall of doom. Oct 2nd 2008 - Layout, basic detail, and basic lighting done. After several playtests I've finalized the layout. There are 3 small health vials clustered around the control point (one on each side and one underneath) to help drag the fighting there once mot people are dead and the point is unlocked. http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q192/MrHappy_photos/arena_desolation_b50004.jpg Part of blu side. http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q192/MrHappy_photos/arena_desolation_b50000.jpg Cap point goes between the two towers. http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q192/MrHappy_photos/arena_desolation_b50001.jpg Layout overview.