Coruscant Heights 2

My review of the previous version: Ahh... okay. Just so you know, this map is so big that I just simply didn't have time to explore...

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My review of the previous version:

Ahh... okay. Just so you know, this map is so big that I just simply didn't have time to explore it all, so I apologise in advance If I've missed anything. If you've ever played JK2 Nar Shaddaa Streets. (My favourite level of the game) You'll instantly recognise the style used in this map. It actually looks like the author has directly used some of Raven's original map for jk2 to create this one, which whilst not that challenging, still looks good ;) And of course now it's Coruscant-texture themed, and not Nar Shaddaa.

Of course, it does have a few small flaws, as well as a few not-so-small ones. Most obviously, especially from some of the screenshots, is the missing floor texture. Now, if this has been on a crate or something, I'd probably have overlooked it. However, when the entire floor of one half of the map is an ugly grey and white texture, you tend to notice it ;) Furthermore, the framerate can get a bit choppy sometimes, although it isn't in general bad. However, I can tell without looking at the included .map file that the author has failed to caulk many of his hidden surfaces, which immediately lets me know the framerate could have been so much better! :(

I'm actually more amazed at the scope of this level, rather than the design. You'll need a Force 3 jump to get around most places, although there are a few trams and lifts which move you around as well. However, unless you're a full-force jump user, you won't be able to get around very easily. Oh yes, the doors. Very annoying. The author has forgotten to put a 'wait' key on his door triggers, and consequently when you press 'use', the door opens and closes too rapidly for you to get through. Overall though, the gameplay of this map is great - plenty of height variation and enough room for well over 32 players. I especially liked the fog-esque effect around the building bases. That just looks so good compared to a black drop-off that I will tip my hat to the author. Very nice. :D

In conclusion, this map is very inspiring, although technically and visually there are some rather unpleasant flaws which absolutely MUST be fixed because as they are they're ruining the map. Oh yes, and there is no bot support, so I'm afraid the author gets a big black cross put by his name ;) Next time get them in there for Pete’s sake!

So, here's the second version of the map, which, looking at the readme, has fixed a fair few bugs and other problems. Most importantly, is the texture problem which proved to be a fatal flaw in the original. As you'd expect, that issue has been fixed for this new version, so we can all get on and be happy.

The map is essentially the same as the first version, there are no major design changes, although one of the cool cable cars has been removed, and there's a few new additions, including sounds for the doors and wait values. There were a couple of new errors I discovered this time around, and a few new things to comment on which I didn't notice originally. Firstly, there are now some caulked surfaces which that player can actually see, so what you get is basically an invisible wall in a few places (See screenshot 6). Secondly, is the texture usage. Now, I know that the author has prevented his textures from looking repetitive by breaking them up using other textures, but I think going a step further could give another visual boost to the map. Looking sideward, the textures are fine, but looking up and down, they repeat. Furthermore, when textures which are the same sit next to each other, and some of the windows have glows, it looks weird when the set of windows directly next to them has exactly the same set of glows.

The new support sections and walkways are well created, but you need to create the flares properly, because, at the moment, they're 2D. Okay, all flares are 2D, but they're supposed to look 3D. This is done by making a light and giving it the following keys and values:

key: _flareshader value: textures/flares/nameofflareshader

Furthermore, when looking into the crevices between some buildings, you can see half-cut window textures which really don’t fit. (Screenshot 2)There's also a small issue on that broken pane of glass in the building near the top of the level, where the author has not caulked the gaps where 2 pieces of glass meet, so it looks a little weird. Also, were those cars there before? I mean at the top of the level. They just don't look as good there as they do at the bottom. There are also a few uncaulked surfaces on the buildings, but I'm still loving that fog ;)

Conclusion? It's a very nice map, which seems to capture the physique and scope of a cityscape very well. Gameplay-wise, it's also on a very level, with plenty of height variation and room to breathe. In order make this a brilliant map though, you'll need to really push your design ambition - don't just have square buildings, give them more detail, create some focal points and really bring it to life. Its a great design, but it can get quite monotonous after staring at it for a while. Make a focal point, and bring some more lighting contrasts into play to spice areas up a bit - some shadowed allies e.t.c. Overall though, a definite improvement over the first.

Although, you're still getting slapped wrists for not including bot support. Honestly, it is such a good extra to have, and isn't particularly hard to implement! Oh yea, and is the inclusion of that custom skybox really a necessary addition - you can only see the top of it in game and there's plenty of JK3 skyboxes which would have worked just as well, if not better.

New Textures: Yes New Sounds: No Bot Support: No

~Szico VII~

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Download 'coruscant_heights2.zip' (20.09MB)

Screenshots
Readme
*********************************** 
Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy 
*********************************** 
TITLE: Coruscant Heights 2.0
AUTHOR: Jonathan Eloff
E-MAIL: Jon.Eloff@gmail.com  

FILENAME: corheights2.0.pk3 
FILESIZE: 20,171 KB
DATE RELEASED: 15th January 2006

BRUSH COUNT: 5084
ENTITY COUNT: 2645
BUILD TIME: 8 months of hard work
COMPILE TIME: 20 hours

GAMEMODES: FFA, Team FFA, Capture the Flag, Duel and Power Duel

BOT SUPPORT: There is none, mostly because bots cannot press use to open doors, 
and bots cause the G_Spawn error much more easily than humans. You are 
welcome to add bot support to my map if you like, and resubmit my map 
with the .nav file included, so long as you credit me for creating the map itself. 
If you're interested in doing this here's a good tutorial on bot routing:

http://www.map-review.com/index.php?page=tutorial_view&id=1

You're also welcome to use my uncompiled map file to create a 
new variant of the map, my only request is that if you publish 
my map or any variant of it you would credit me for my work.

====================================================================

New In Version 2.0

-A major bug with the tram cars getting out of sync has been fixed, 
unfortunately this meant removing one of the tram cars

-The "G_Spawn: No Free Entities" error (which seemed to cause servers to crash) has been... 
more or less fixed, unfortunately this meant taking out a few entities, including 
the emplaced gun turrets and the destructable floor pieces. 
(If you still get this error scroll to the bottom of my readme for more information)

-The missing soundset error: AS_ParseSets: Unable to find ambient soundset "ns2car"! 
has been fixed, no need to scour your mods directory in search of a conflicting mod now

-Also, the stepping stone puzzle has been changed to be a bit harder, 
there is the same number of safe stones and unsafe stones, 
but their positions have been changed.

-Caulked some hidden surfaces which were previously uncaulked

-Made the 4 metal blast sheilds into 1-way mirrors

-Made several of the previously switch-opened doors start the game open so you 
have to flick the switch to close them now

-Fixed a problem with the CN-like-tower door, but now you must press the use key to 
open and close it (when unlocked)

-Added a spawn point inside the CN-like-tower, liklihood of someone spawning there is low, 
but it prevents people from locking the CN and spectating so no one can ever get in again 

====================================================================

New In Version 1.1

-The missing textures have been fixed

-The map now supports CTF, Team FFA, Duel, Power Duel, and of course the original FFA

-Fixed the red flares which were visible through walls

-There is now an elevator in the top of the CN-tower building

-You can jump out the windows leading into the steam vent area without needing force jump 

-The lighting in the map has been GREATLY improved.

-Doors which open and shut too quickly have been fixed

-The auto-moving stairs which let you into the trams now only appear when the trams are there

-Other misc fixes

====================================================================

CREDITS: 

Map: Made by me 100% from scratch
Model(s): Ravensoft
Textures: Ravensoft and Myself
Shaders: Ravensoft and Myself
Sounds: Ravensoft and Myself
Effects: Ravensoft and Myself

And a Special Thanks to God who gave me the talents I needed to create this map.

====================================================================

INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS: 

Extract "corheights2.0.pk3" to your Lucasarts\Star Wars Jedi Knight Jedi Academy\GameData\base directory

You can then play the map as you would play any other map in Jedi Academy. 

====================================================================

DESCRIPTION: This map is modelled loosely after the city of Coruscant, 
and the old Nar Shadaa Streets multiplayer map from Jedi Knight 2. 
The map is very large, but very open as well, and it has a tram car 
running along its length and stopping at various places in the map 
to pick up passengers. Like Nar Shadaa these tram cars cross walkways 
and will knock you off if you get in their way. 

Also, please note this map has a lot of doors which will only open 
by pressing the use key when you are in front of them, 
so if a door doesn't open automatically, try the use key, 
if it still doesn't open, its probably a fake door. 

Some elevators and doors also operate via switches which you will 
need to use the use button for as well. Sometimes a door will not 
open for you when you press use, this is because any hallway which 
leads from one half of the map to the other has at least two doors, 
and if one is open, the second one won't open until the first one closes. 
I did this in order to prevent the game from ever rendering any more than 
half of the map at once, thus you get higher framerates while playing on my map.

There are also a LOT of traps and secrets in this map, which I will detail 
further below, but if you'd rather figure out what they are yourself then 
don't read anything inside the ***SPOILER*** tags. Note that i'm only going 
to explain what traps and secrets exist in my map, not how to find them, 
or how to get past them.

                            ***SPOILER***
====================================================================

Hot Steam

-There is a shortcut to the top of the map, a series of catwalks 
winding around through an industrial sector with hot steam pouring 
out of vents in the sides of the buildings. The steam vents fire randomly, 
but if you're walking past one when it fires you'll get slightly cooked.

====================================================================

The Laser Grid, and the Stepping Stones

-There is another shortcut to the top of the map, through two big doors 
there are lasers beams firing randomly in a hallway, you have to negotiate 
a way through to the end of the hallway without getting killed, if you make it, 
there are a series of stepping stones beyond in a similar hallway. 
Step on the wrong step and you will be squashed flatter than a pancake 
by the wall to your right.

The only way through this puzzle is to memorize which stones to step on. 
You cannot fly over the trap, or use force speed, and just because I hate "cheat codes" 
i'm not going to tell you the safe way through the trap.

If you make it past all of this, there is a one way elevator 
to the top of the map through the door to the left. 

If someone followed you through the traps and you hopped on the elevator, 
all he has to do is open the door at the bottom of the elevator shaft 
and the secret opening at the top of the elevator shaft will not open for you. 
You will be crushed against the ceiling. I thought this was kind of cool, 
so if it happens to you, its not because the elevator is buggy, 
its because it was meant to happen. 

====================================================================

Did you say Concussion rifle? Yes, but you'll have to work for it.

-Elsewhere in the level there is a switch which when held with 
the use button (a timer bar will appear) will spawn a concussion rifle 
at the end of the laser grid and stepping stones, it is the only such 
weapon in the map, and if you pick it up, the elevator door will lock shut 
and you will have to either wait there for several minutes before it 
opens up again or you will have to go back through the traps.

====================================================================

The Garbage Chute

-At the top of the yellow building which the tram cars go into 
is a nice duelling area, beware, however, the floor in the centre opens 
up randomly to throw people down a chute out of the building and into the abyss. 
If you're using the ForceMod III you can also get back into the building via the 
door you get thrown out of, using a jetpack or grapple hook.

====================================================================

Switches that open doors... or close them

-Inside this same area at the top of the yellow building are two switches, 
which can be activated via the use key. The switch nearest to the windows 
will lock or unlock the doors leading to a room down below. 
Inside this (hint: yellow-lighting) room on either side of 
a generator are two switches which when held with the use key 
will open and shut a backdoor to this same room. 
So if the back door is open, or you manage to get in via the windows, 
while the other doors are locked, you can hide away inside this room 
quite safely, and also shoot out at people through the windows.

The second switch towards the back of the duelling area at the 
top of the yellow building will open and shut the doors leading 
to a shortcut elevator in the map. Once the doors to this elevator 
are open you can get inside the elevator and hold the use key on 
the switch at the corner of the elevator to make it go up.

====================================================================

The Cage

-Another secret in this map, is that on the second level inside 
the CN-tower-like building are two switches. A red switch and a green switch. 
When you press the use key on the red switch, it locks the door leading 
into the CN building. When you press the use key on the green switch 
it unlocks the door leading into the CN building. 
You can only get into the top of this building via the door, 
so these switches can lock you inside the top of the building. 
Its kind of nice because the top of the building is encased in glass, 
so you can see when it is safe to leave your self-made home free.

====================================================================

Medical Supplies

-There is a big Bacta hidden inside a hollow crate somwhere inside the map. 
Don't be afraid to shoot the crates!

====================================================================

The 4 Blast Shields

-There are 4 blast shields (which look like billboards except they have metal frames) 
in the sides of buildings, which you can open and close via the use button, 
behind each is a hollow space you can hide in, and the billboard-blastshields 
function as a one way mirror letting people behind the shields see out, 
but people in the rest of the map can't see in.

====================================================================

The Glass Blast Shield

-On the walkway in front of the big yellow building is a Glass blast shield 
which can be raised and lowered via the control panel in front of it, 
again don't be afraid to press the use button.

====================================================================

The Metallic Blast Shield

-Getting tired of blast shields? Well this one is important so pay attention. 
Inside a red-lit room one of the walls has a control panel up against it, 
use the control panel and the wall will rise up revealing two large windows, 
which look out on the steam vent area. You can shoot out the windows if you like... 
and here is the important part. Once the blast shield has been opened, 
one of the two doors leading to the room will be deactivated. 
This door will only be reactivated again when you go through the second door in this room.

That's it, good luck finding it all, if you're really stuck, you can e-mail me.  

====================================================================
                          ***SPOILER***

Recommended Computer Specs:

I managed to make the map play pretty well on the average computer, 
I have a friend who managed to play on it with a 2.4 ghz cpu, 512 mb memory, 
and a ATI 9200SE with 128mb of memory, but I would reccommend that you have a 
better video card in order to play on this map. Anything as good as a 9600 PRO 
and above should work fairly well. 

If you want to improve framerates on my map, simply turn off dynamic glow. 
This should give you about 20fps more, though it depends on what part of your 
system is too slow.

====================================================================

BUGS: 

"G_Spawn: No Free Entities" If your game crashes and you get this error, 
it is probably because too many people were in the game. The error is caused
by the game running out of free slots for entities, basically too many 
things happening at once. Entities you can influence are:

-Players (1 each I think)
-Projectiles (Laser beams, flechette balls, rockets, etc, each projectile is one entity, 
so repeater rifles are clearly the worst offenders)
-Lightsabers (1 each I think)
-Even graphical effects can be entities

Now you know why I removed the rapid firing gun turrets, it used to be in version 1.1 that
you could crash the game with the G_Spawn error, just by firing the turrets.

Anyway, what all this means is, if you want to avoid the error, don't play with too many
people, non-gun wielding Jedi are the least intensive entity wise, so if you're playing ForceMod III
the more Jedi the better. Spraying repeater fire everywhere, is fine provided not everyone is doing it
at the same time ;).

The error shouldn't be too obtrusive, though, these are just ways you can avoid the error if you want to
skate the edge and have a lot of players in the game.


If you find any other errors, contact me at jon.eloff@gmail.com

====================================================================

Finally, I recommend you play this map with the ForceMod III, 
you can get it here: http://fm.mt-wudan.com/

====================================================================

THIS MODIFICATION IS NOT MADE, DISTRIBUTED, OR SUPPORTED BY ACTIVISION, RAVEN, OR 
LUCASARTS ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY LLC. ELEMENTS TM & © LUCASARTS 
ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY LLC AND/OR ITS LICENSORS.

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Jonathan Eloff


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Registered 16th December 2005

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