A Bridge Too Late
Type: Enemy Territory, 10-32 players
Custom textures: Yep
I really need to think of a better name for this one!
This map for Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory sees the Axis fighting their way back into a town already lost to the Allies, in order to destroy a vital bridge and prevent it being used to supply strike forces further into Axis territory. Some may think the bridge scenario bears more than a passing resemblance to the climax Saving Private Ryan, but I should point out I was actually one of the three people in the world that hadn't seen the film at the time I started the map! Also, there's more to winning this map than blowing up or defending a bridge.
The shots above concentrate on the grassy hills at the north of the map. These hills do have foliage in some areas, although placed quite sparsely compared to Radar. And yes, it's raining - if you give a mapper a new toy, expect them to play with it :-) The Axis spawn is centred around a wooden shack, with paths leading to a set of old medievel fortifications that form the walls of the town, defended by the Allies. To be honest they are actually a bit grand for the walls of a simple town, but it just looks cooler if it's in more of a castle style. The style of the walls is loosely based upon some photos I found of the Chateau Haut Koenigsbourg in the Alsace. In particular I was struck by the distinctive pink colouring of the fortess, which stands at odds with the greyness many of Gray Matter's original RtCW textures. Enemy Territory livened up the pallette considerably, so it seems quite appropriate that the novelty of a pink castle is reproduced here with some tweaked RtCW/ET stone textures.
The map is bisected at the centre from east to west by the town walls and the complex of courtyards that they contain. The gate in the outer courtyard must be destroyed to enable the Axis to secure the Town Keep, where the Allies initially spawn, so that they can progress into the town and on to the bridge. The spawn here can be captured to make destroying the gates easier. Lighting here needs a fair bit of work, it needs plenty of artificial sources adding and the skylight needs to be completely redone to match the intended feeling of a bright but overcast day. I think the structure of the town walls is pretty sound overall, but probably needs to have some more interesting lumps and kinks added here and there to break up their uniform rectilinear layout. The bridge in the third picture can be constructed, and destroyed by dynamite, and is a key part of the shorter of the two routes that the Axis can take from the Town Keep spawn to the main objective.
The town area to the south of the map still has a lot of placeholder Monopoly houses in it, as you can see! The style of most of the buildings is going to be timber-framed and quite colourful, interspersed with structures using stock textures to break things up. The new textures are a mixture of scratch-made segments, and elements originally sourced from digital photos. I've done the timber frames as part of the textures rather than as raised brushes, hopefully this will let me spend plenty of polies on street-level detailing. The building in the left hand shot that is blatantly from Saving Private Ryan was added as a tip of the hat after seeing the film, I felt somehow obliged to even though the map isn't really that similar! The weir/dam structure has some interesting shader effects, although they aren't quite right yet, it needs some particle effects adding and some geometry to suggest that there is something going on up behind it, and the ugly placeholder box to its right needs sorting out too!
09 Feb 2004
I've decided to post occasional updates to this page to help keep me going on this map. In the first two shots above you can see that the east tower at the main gateway has been completely rebuilt. The second shows a redesigned interior gateway in the courtyard between the front gateway and the doors that the Axis must destroy.
These two shots are a newly detailed area, running between the secondary gate (seen in the middle shot way up on the first row) and the first courtyard. The timber frame textures have been rejigged since they were first created. I'm starting to think I may need to model the wooden sections after all, it looks a bit flat without it.