Half-Life: Deathmatch HLDM
Utopium by Soup Miner
Posted 14 years ago2007-09-26 23:48:38 UTC • Completed • Half-Life: Deathmatch
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Half-Life: Deathmatch
14 years ago2007-09-26 23:48:38 UTC
12 years ago2010-07-01 12:20:55 UTC
4.29 (7)
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Map of the Month winner for September 2007!

--- Map of the Month : September 2007 WINNER ---

Utopium = Utopia + Elysium
A utopia is an imaginary place of absolute perfection.
Elysium was the common utopia of the Greeks. This map has nothing to do with Greece, I just like the name :D

R_speeds get way up there. I mean WAYYYYY up there, and I apologize for it. Epoly soars through the roof as well, if you use custom content. Consider yourself warned. This definitely isn't a map for lower end PCs.
Ingame credits can be found as an illusionary near the very back of the map, facing toward the front.


Commented 14 years ago2007-09-27 03:19:36 UTC Comment #15669
Looks good, dling now.
Commented 14 years ago2007-09-27 06:22:50 UTC Comment #15670
That right there, is pretty darn cool! Very Rimrookish!

Great ambience.
Great theme.
No lag on my machine.

If i still had my HL1 server, i would definitely put it on!

Good job.
Commented 14 years ago2007-09-27 08:56:12 UTC Comment #15671
I'm not really a fan of these types of maps, as in, that 'rimrookish' style. However, I can't deny the fact their beautifully made, but unlike maps from Rimrook, this one seems like it'll actually have decent gameplay! (And all you Rimrook fanboys, stfu plz..)

It's basicaly a killbox, but in a good way..
Weapon placement is decent I guess, I don't know about that RPG up top, seems like a nice camping spot, everyone coming up gets a big fat rocket in their face..

I like the simpelistic architecture combined with the 'quiet' lightning, it gives the map a natural charm. I like the ambience aswell.

Overall, I like this map, it isn't the best around, it isn't top notch, but it's most certainly above averange. 4 well deserved stars! :)
Commented 14 years ago2007-09-27 09:17:43 UTC Comment #15672
definitely checking it out and restocking my batman-belt with more anti-fanboy spray.

I'm well aware of the gameplay issue in my maps. I've read some books about it to help with 6D. But you'll have to wait.
Commented 14 years ago2007-09-27 12:56:21 UTC Comment #15673
Well, this map has been in the works for a while, and it sure has that feel to it. It's a great piece of mapping.

The textures are beautiful, sharp, and perfectly aligned, maybe the wall of the main building could be a bit more detailled, but all in all it's allright. The curves are nice, and simply loved that holographic, moving ring thing. That fall-and-don't-die-instead-get-RL stuff was strange at first, but it makes the gameplay more fluid, so it's ok. (I can imagine everyone diveing for the RL :)) The ambience is also great, it makes the map more surreal. The elevators are also cool, but can give some unfair advantage, since they're not so fast, a few grenade throws can be lethal there. However, the map is very open, and if someone stands still, and starts to throw grenades in one spot, someone is gonna gun his ass, so that won't happen often :)

Overall: Great work. This is gonna be a nice map to nail each others asses with my friends.
Commented 14 years ago2007-09-27 12:58:41 UTC Comment #15674
Elevators? What elevators?
Commented 14 years ago2007-09-27 13:00:53 UTC Comment #15675
Those narrow tubes with blue sprites in them.
Commented 14 years ago2007-09-27 13:04:25 UTC Comment #15676
Oh, those aren't elevators, they're func_pushes :P You confused me a bit there.
Commented 14 years ago2007-09-27 15:34:01 UTC Comment #15677
What can i say? this map is great, too bad im not a huge fan of half-life multiplayer. As was said before, the architecture, lighting and ambience combined to make an awesome map.

btw, this killed my map test computer, i had to move it over to my mapping computer (which is about 3 times faster) just to play it ;)
Commented 14 years ago2007-09-28 09:12:31 UTC Comment #15681
Very nice. Lighting was really nice, lots of effort was shown to complete this. I was almost expecting to see another tower on the other side of the map, kinda like a glorified 2fort.

one thing i may say is that the tower is a little hard to get to the top. I had fallen off once and it put me up there.

The gravity lift things were a cery cool idea to move players straight up and down without much trouble.

But like the rest of us, i wish i could play it on a server and see how it fares.

also, very nice textures ;)
Commented 14 years ago2007-10-04 22:37:37 UTC Comment #15731
This map is very much like rimrooks mapping and not just his textures. Other than that, its a great map. I myself dont like everything in a map to be so "symmetrical" but it looks good. I was planning a dm map with a huge structure myself but I dont know if ill ever get around to it. The ambience you chose really complimented the mood and color tones well. By the way, is that room at all like yours because if it is, "you really like to read" lol. And nice teleporting effect..done with that square room above the map maybe?
Commented 14 years ago2007-10-05 00:07:30 UTC Comment #15732
The square room above the map just holds the ambient_generic that constantly plays in the background. For global sounds, I've found that it's best to put them as far away and central to the player as possible to minimize being heard from right to left, depending on what direction the player faces.
Commented 14 years ago2007-10-18 13:27:07 UTC Comment #15822
Amazing. This map rivals some of the Halo maps for architecture, realism, and surrealism. I like the way you used func_pushes for elevators, but I would suggest that you make it more obvious that they are elevators, for example: put in a non-solid func_conveyor with a good scrolling texture. One thing I REALLY want to know is: what did you make the push speed for the func_pushes? I've tried making this kind of 'elevator', but I always have to make two: one that pushes you fast enough to go up (push speed 1000), and one that is just slow enough to allow you to get down safely from any height (push speed 500). Also, the top of the elevator tubes should be rounded, so the player gets pushed out of the tube, instead of hitting the top and falling back down. Another thing that's been irritating me is that room at the top of the tower, that has a circular door on either side. How do you get to that room? I've tried jumping from the platform with the rocket launcher, I've tried air control, rocket jumping, and cheats (which, unfortunately, don't work in multiplayer mode), and I can't get to it.
Commented 14 years ago2007-11-01 00:00:00 UTC Comment #32771
Architecture — 8
Texturing — 9
Ambience — 9
Lighting — 9
Gameplay — 7

Video Review

Bottom Line

Overall, it's a nice looking map with great architecture, texturing and design, but some elements may ruin the potentially awesome gameplay. Well worth playing.
Commented 14 years ago2007-11-01 00:00:00 UTC Comment #32772
Architecture — 8
Texturing — 8
Ambience — 9
Lighting — 9
Gameplay — 6


Utopia + Elysium = Utopium. Sounds perfect, doesn't it? Well, not entirely. Personally, I'm a big fan of surreal maps/mods. They fully reflect the author's imagination, letting him go loose and create the kind of stuff he wouldn't put in a normal map. The author's made some surreal levels before, though none of them could be compared with Utopium. The map is basically a big arena with a large tower in the middle. It looks like a killbox and, actually, in most aspects, it is. Of course, it's not your average hollow cube with piles of weapons in every corner and that's, what makes it stand out. Weapons are placed very well in most areas, with heavier weapons and stronger powerups made hard-to-reach, ammo, healthkits and batteries placed where you need them without any piling. I also like how the unusual architecture is utilized in weapon placement, where most harder-to-reach edges or areas had items on them, forcing the players to make riskier moves for the valuable stuff. Plus - it makes most of the weapons look like they belong there, which isn't something you see often in a non-Half-Life themed map. Another interesting (and very nice-looking) idea was including lifting chambers. With the glows and very fitting sounds - they give you the coolest, although very slow lift to the upper level. It'd have been pretty interesting, if those lifts would heal the player as he emerges, enhancing the effect. Sadly, apart from the good stuff, Utopium also has some obvious King of the Hill on baby mode gameplay elements, which are quite a stab in the guts for the normal player. Almost every map I've played had the simplest gameplay rule, which goes something like: Do something stupid = Be punished or simply die; it's plain logic. Still - this map seems to be denying that, so doing something you'd normally consider suicide results in the opposite. Yes, a leap into the void, instead of killing you in some violent way, stripping you of your weapons and dropping you off in the middle of the map for other players to hunt down, chooses a baffling alternative and teleports you right on top of the huge tower, where there's also an RPG ready for you to pick up. Just go on and kill tons of unsuspecting players from a huge, safe distance. And to top that off - there's only one teleport destination, so if two players jump into the void anywhere at the same time - they'll always get stuck. That really messes things up.In contrast to flaws in gameplay - the visuals are all-round well made. Architecture fits the theme pretty well, with its indefinable style and borderless environment. The only thing I find less fitting is the symmetry in most paths and tower architecture, although keeping in mind, that "surreal" has no strict definition and everyone sees it their way, you can't consider it as a real flaw.Texturing was very clean and interesting throughout. A combination between concrete and organic material worked very well, creating nice contrast. Some small things, like no blue trim texture on the round windows in the tower, or blurry looking hi-res textures on edges of the paths could've been corrected/adjusted, though those are just minorities.Lighting has a huge influence on the whole calm and cool feel Utopium has, with light blue as a main color, broken up with the occasional yellow emitted by the orange plant lights. Those are a very nice addition both for lighting and detail, plus they have a neat glow effect that makes them look perfectly round at a distance. Though, even with the plants, some more contrast, like some yellow in the healing pool, would be a great addition.
Ambience is also very well done in this map. Even with mostly default sounds from Half-Life and only a few additions from Counter-Strike - it creates a truly awesome and surreal atmosphere. In my opinion, it only lacks some randomly triggered sounds; they'd work quite well with the theme.

Bottom Line

WorldCrafter, being known for creating lots of high quality Counter-Strike maps, models and other custom content, wasn't the one you'd expect a bigger HLDM project from. However, Utopium is just that. With a surreal theme, differing from the author's usually preferred urban/city setting, and some interesting gameplay choices - it's not a perfect, yet a very interesting and, in most cases, original map, which, even with some flaws, is fully worth your time.
Commented 14 years ago2007-11-01 00:00:00 UTC Comment #32773
Architecture — 8
Texturing — 9
Ambience — 8
Lighting — 9
Gameplay — 8


Utopium is indeed an intriguing place, with a well crafted theme and good atention to detail.The first thing you noticed in this surreal place is use of important landmarks, such as the main tower, which establish an easy way or orientating players across an otherwise open and uniform area. What I mean by uniform is that the theme is carried through the map without significant changes, which is both good and bad. While it shows the author really accomplished the task of creating this world with a set of texturing and lighting rules, the fact that it always looks the same (good) way and that we have a symmetrical layout would eventually become a problem.In terms of architecture, everything is nicely crafted, curved where it has to, and beautifully textured (Once again, the only problem with the textures would be that there aren't more of them to distinguish more areas).Some people might think the theme of ruins, stone and bricks are a strange combination to be found floating in space with curved shapes. To those of us who have played UnrealTournament maps, we know exactly that the map wants to create that type of contrast.Things like the lamps and volumetric light effects in the middle of the map are certainly worth mentioning. The type of sky and lighting really bring the rest of the map together in that sense. Together with the sounds, those elements constitute the biggest chunk of the ambience. The only problem with ambience (just as it the problem was with textures) is that the single-room type of gameplay makes us be stuck with the exact same sounds most of the time.Part of the gameplay idea of this map is creating a single arena area in which the fragging would take place. There are different height levels players can move around in, but the whole layout really lacks some cover in places. It wouldn't be fair to associate this map with a killbox, but unfortunately it slightly shares that negative point. The symmetrical nature of the map we mentioned before also takes a bit away from the layout, and means that most of the spatial situations in the map are mirrored.

Bottom Line

Dm_utopium is a perfect example of how to combine a beautiful and well crafted theme with a fun layout for a fragfest. The biggest problem is that even if it works on the big scale (theme) and the small scale (fine detail), it lacks some attributes in layout and variation to ensure lengthy gameplay sessions before players start feeling "déjà vu". In other words: All the elements are there, but they could be arranged in different ways to really get the best of it.
Commented 14 years ago2007-11-22 09:48:54 UTC Comment #16033
Great stuff. Well-deserved MotM. :)
Commented 8 years ago2014-05-01 02:35:50 UTC Comment #20543
Holy crap this was fun playing on Archie's server! =P


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