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 Enemy Territory - Goldrush Back to Articles Page Next Map
Bank Square The Bank Front Bank Square Bank Square
The theme of this map is based on the film Kelly's Heroes where the Allies sneak into a city, raid a bank and steal some gold. This story was perfect for Enemy Territory's (ET) because it had a mixture of attack/defend events, objective capture and finally an escort/escape at the end. All of these story components could be created with ET features and would contribute towards making a fun map.

One of the key elements to ET was the storyline, as this drove the map objectives forward and gave the player a sense of accomplishment. This also moved the player's focus around the map and created different locations to fight for. Most importantly the storyline added to the gameplay experience and immersed the player into the map location.

The next stage of map development usually involved drawing the layout on a whiteboard / paper and planning the key locations for gameplay elements, but Goldrush took a different turn. Instead the map layout was build as a 3D model in Max and imported into the editor. Once the model was setup in a boxmap (a huge empty square) and tested in game, the scale of the model was adjusted until the size of the streets and buildings were correct compared to the player.

By creating the layout as a model the map could quickly be visualized in 3D, which is often what is lacking with 2D devices likes whiteboard / paper. The second benefit was the ability to scale the 'block-out' map which is something that cannot be done easily with brushwork constructions.

Once the initial scale and layout of the map was complete, the model was turned into brushwork so that portals and game entities could be setup correctly. The model was not perfect as some streets had to be moved for portal reasons but overall this approach allowed for the map to be quickly built and tested.

Inside bank Inside Bank Church Church
With plenty of time to spare and a folder full of reference images I quickly set about creating the bank in the lower corner of the map. The bank had to be different visually because it was a key story/gameplay location and we had special reference images to accommodate. The internal style of the bank was taken from the RTCW map Chateau and re-worked to fit the new facade.

Using the reference images for scale and artistic impression I created a high facade with strong features and tall archways. I loved the really small peep windows high up for the second floor and the massive archway at the front with a small platform and stairs to elevate it's status. The bank felt grand and impressive overlooking the courtyard and it certainly felt like a focal point for that area.

The buildings around the bank courtyard were based on an Egyptian urban style with over hanging upper floors and ornate wooden window frames. The alleyways and connecting corridors between the courtyards were suppose to feel tight and confined with each building floor fighting for the over hanging space.

The final icing on the cake was to break up the skyline with various shaped domes that hopefully would give the map a mystical eastern feeling. With no more time to spare and the map in a state ready for more detail, I was moved on.

Various Street Allies Start Point Various Street Various Street
After several layers of details had been added to the map I was given Goldrush back to finish off the floor space. I manually created a terrain triangle mesh for the floor so that it fitted the map better. At various points the terrain merged into staircases to break the smoothness of the floor and give some kind of variety to movement.

With the map budget completely out of control I had to go through the whole map caulking all hidden faces and optimising surfaces to reduce the drawn triangle count. With no visual feedback to show progress of something happening, optimizations is often avoided, but something that has to be done.

With my final visit to Goldrush over, the map went on to have various sections changed and replaced in order to create better gameplay flow. Whenever I played Goldrush it felt like I was in a movie and the city seemed alive with so many players running around doing things. The level of detail and routes in Goldrush are amazing and this map is by far my favourite for gameplay on public servers.

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