SS/AW/AXX D&D/ARPG maps Circa <2022

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IskatuMesk
Xel'naga World Shaper
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SS/AW/AXX D&D/ARPG maps Circa <2022

Post by IskatuMesk »

I will be showing Perspective renders exclusively for this content as I do not want specific third parties having access to my assets.

These are maps made in UE4 for D&D played on the dysfunctional roll20 platform. Previously stated limitations of the UE4 camera still apply - no G or D buffer (depth bias alpha, distance-based calculations, post-processing like bloom, stationary lights, etc.) and system RAM limitations (shadow resolution baking) also apply for many of these. These maps were designed with Ortho in mind. Average work time is 2 hours to 10 hours per map.

Right click -> View for full size.

AW - Shukensha Arena
A map very hastily slapped together for when Stig killed himself.
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SS - Extinguished Osaka -
One of many maps created for a revisit of the A1 final area. This variant has been tickled by the Extinguished Star. The party never visited it to be ambushed.
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SS - Throne of Magic -
Tim Sweeny's Paragon assets get turned into the player-driven town center that sees SS' first player death in a duel with a sassy cat man. Note how I have to gut all of the metallic settings because Ortho can't handle it. I also had to gut a fresnel-driven rainbow effect and construct a new one out of world-aligned UVW and then break it up with noise. It turned out pretty well.
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AW - Norjar
Much like the rest of AW, extremely hastily constructed and messy as fuck. AW was originally intended to be ISO and use all hand-built maps but that got ditched after the disaster of August 5th. Who knew after the even greater disaster of July 23rd a year later I would be trying to make maps for this game again. Ugh.
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AW - Korekuta's Arena
HKS can get himself killed here. The map was even more hastily slapped together than Shukensha's because I thought we might need it just a few hours from when I started planning it out. This map makes use of SilverTM's various skull assets I largely acquired for traumatizing HKS. Note I take heavy advantage of layered additive and transparent planes + ortho to hide the fact the map is really, really simple. The most time consuming part was aligning a long string of bones to hide some intersections mostly obscured by fog. An underbelly of crypts is not visible because the lighting turned out darker in that spot than expected, but I didn't have time to revise it.
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Last edited by IskatuMesk on Mon Dec 27, 2021 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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IskatuMesk
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Re: SS/AW/AXX D&D/ARPG maps Circa <2022

Post by IskatuMesk »

SS - Yerefex Lab
The players from A3 undoubtedly expected Yerefex to show up in the fractal maze. The whole set of original maps were heavily revised and the area was substantially expanded for its debut in SS. It features my first 8k maps as a result of HKS' fiddling with cameras as well. The lab is a particularly extensive project that features sc2 ports along with a variety of Epic and Marketplace assets, most of which had to be retooled to work in Ortho. The map makes extensive use of layered additive fog to fake depth effects since transparency sorting and depth bias alpha couldn't be used. The party visited the lab twice which is significantly more time return than expected for the equivalent workload of ~1 weeks off and on for such a project. HKS didn't die to a hail of gunfire, though, which made me sad.
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SS - Yerefex Power Plant
Transitionary (MtM) map for the Lab and Corridor Lower. The party can easily end up in a huge fight here and possibly wipe. Instead they sent two members disguised, one responsible for much of the insanity currently swamping them and the other an insane Archardmiral, as cats solid snake style into the massive robotic stronghold past it. This map took around a day to create overall, and the fanblades in Ortho show up a lot better than Perspective due to the flattening of lighting. In Yerefex 2.0 I use a lot of billboard layering to fake depth and tell the Players what is safe and what isn't. It helped with players like Thalraxal who struggled a bit with the 3d map lighting and determining heights.
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SS - Yerefex CERN-2 Mainframe (Disengaged Phase 3)
This is the third (3) map of the CERN-2 Mainframe encounter. The party activates four consoles in tandem, conveniently split across the map, then fights gundams and Ted Turner. As they convinced Ares not to set them on fire, Ares sends reinforcements throughout the battle and helped finish off Ted Turner before Schwa could stand in lasers for more than necessary. This is another map I was concerned about depth reads on since the lower level is extremely hot, even with disengaged, and players shouldn't think it's an accessible region for them. I still needed to hold their hands a bit, but it's expected with Ortho maps.
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SS - Ghehennei Abyssal Arena
A fabricated mental domain tied to the Extinguished Star. If the party fights Ghehennei at Yerefex, she absorbs Nightmares to sustain herself and becomes extremely troublesome to deal with. Upon being pushed, her transformation drags everything around her into this domain. It would have been a very challenging fight for the party. However, they didn't stick around, so they only briefly saw this map when they met mind worms. This map took a little while to make and was built off of a similar, unused map I made a day prior for an earlier encounter concept. Yes, I have several maps that are entirely complete and never saw use in anything.
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SS - Babylon Depths-2 (Maze)
Depths of Babylon. The party had a last-moment change of heart and decided they didn't want to fight the Echo of Jjantarukk, Armored Oni and resting assassin that were lingering in this location, and blew up Babylon instead. They never saw this map as a result. Thalraxal struggled with depth reads on these maps in ortho which was a triggerpoint for me researching new level design strategies.
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Last edited by IskatuMesk on Mon Dec 27, 2021 9:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: SS/AW/AXX D&D/ARPG maps Circa <2022

Post by IskatuMesk »

SS - Maze Highlands 1
Snow realm intended to be reminiscent of Iosefka's homeland. The Party first encounters Ghehennei here and it can easily result in a deadly encounter. Instead, Iosefka surprises me by accepting Ghehennei and receiving a buff from a Radiant Soul in turn. Snow maps are very difficult to make look good, especially when targeting Ortho. Depth and POM trickery for ice is right out, subsurface doesn't work, and decals on rough meshes produce terrible shadowing with static-only lighting.
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SS - Osaka Palace (Maze)
The entrance to Yuni Meng's palace. A Nightfallen Amastreya Alter exists here, which effectively imprisons her. It is destroyed by the Forgotten when the party activates the Monument and gives away its position. This map, and Meng's Tower, are both suitable locations for the party to fight Anubis if they're on good terms with her. They never passed the Provincial Ring so they never saw either location. Maps like this extensively use Tera, Bless, UT3 and Paragon assets all mixed together with extensive fuckery to create the final product, as well as some custom textures or filters.
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AXX - Melgird (Test)
Melgird Courtyard pulled from A3 was the site of my experiments from the dawn of ApexX to present day. With hodgepodge hackery, slapping of knees and extensive wringing of hair, this humble D&D map grows little by little with each experiment and helps further my understanding of UE4. One day I will turn around and make it a real map you can really explore, but I need the character sorted out before I can dream such lofty dreams for this project. My goal with AXX is to capture the Dragon's Dogma lighting style. I haven't done an extensive dossier on that game yet, though - but it's coming if my current experiments bear fruit.

Melgird features fully-functional AI pathing including Z smart links, CPU culling experiments, lighting experiments, planar reflection experiments, particle experiments, and lots of small bits and pieces. It's a control map that features ideal conditions for testing just about anything I can bring into the project.
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