DM-Psi was inspired by Jim Jennings’ Palm Spring retreat displayed in the September 2009 issue of architectural digest. The contemporary design around a swimming pool seemed like an environment that could be fast and fun for Unreal Tournament players.
With this basic gameplay element of water chosen, I decided on a small map and started drawing. I find that smaller maps are more fun in a small online community. Also the intended water emitters and light functions had a potential for damaging the frame rate, and managing water on a larger level could have meant removing the water entirely.
After a week of relatively constant work and many changes to both layout and aesthetics, the level reached its current state. The original aesthetics were left behind in favor of a neo-Egyptian look with heavy tech influences. The light functions, which simulated beautiful water reflections, were also cut due to performance constraints on lower end computers.
The gameplay went through significant iterations. The original concept of the water was to have a non lethal risk zone. Instead of damage upon entry, as was the case with the lava in CTF-Vogel, players would have a chance at escaping unharmed. However, testing proved this slow-down in game speed to be frustrating, so the water height was decreased.
Credit for the video goes to Fuzz.