DM-Dethen is a level for Unreal Tournament 3, designed for fast-paced, two player matches. The design of Dethen is a response in varying degrees to community levels from previous Unreal Tournaments.
The design emerged from analyzing weaknesses in DM-RancidMetal and its similarities to Hourences’s DM-Sion. In those levels, the core design is a square room with overlapping walkways. Surrounding corridors channel the players into this central space. The weakness I felt in DM-RancidMetal was overcomplexity of secondary spaces; the central room behaved more like a channel, and corridors became common engagement points.
In this style of map, elaborate secondary spaces can redirect flow such that more interesting encounters become rare. Checker’s DM-Ironic avoids this with constrained paths, and ease of access to the center. In Dethen, my solution was to make the center unavoidable for a complete path; the center cannot be orbited, and there are no shortcuts through the center. This focuses the encounters in the most interesting space.
Another weakness I felt in community maps for Unreal Tournament 2004 was how overuse of the z-axis isolated spaces rather than connecting them. With Dethen I tried to increase z-axis connectivity through a local downward motion. There is a splash-damage advantage from above due to increased floor visibility, which improves the effective target area. To balance this, the elevated positions are narrow and exposed to hitscan weapons; the least predictable path of avoidance is down. Together, these advantages and disadvantages generate impromptu king-of-the-hill encounters.
Credits: All work and textures are my own.