Mash Enter Key! The Words and Thoughts of William McMahon

21Feb/114

RooftopVille – A Disection

Posted by William

Rooftop Ville

The long anticipated RooftopVille was posted over at PlanetPhillip the other day and I quickly loaded it up so I could finally take a look at the entries. RooftopVille is Phillips newest contest where the rules are simple; create a map that includes Rooftops, think Mirrors Edge meets the beginning of Half-Life 2 when you are evading the Metro Cops. Eight contests entered, but only one will be crowned the king of RooftopVille.

Phillip choose Imprudent trek above the streets as the winner and I would have to agree with him on this selection.  Samuli did an excellent job of combining visuals, great gameplay, roofs and and some form of puzzle elements.  This was a great selection and a great addition to the collection.  The only complaint I would have about this map is the ending, I hate it when maps fade to black after a big battle - there is no... denouement.

My second choice is Senescence by Jacob Heywood.  I sympathized for the author as Phillip wasn't able to play this map to the full extent due to hardware limitations, but I had no issues running it on max settings.  I had areally good time and would almost choose this as my top selection except the lighting was a bit off.  There were lots of running from rooftop to rooftop and crawling across scaffolding.  There were plenty of difficult moments to overcome, but not too frustrating at the same time.  I especially liked the ending with the attack chopper - added a spin on things.  I felt this entry stayed true to the spirit of the competition.  If the author put a little more time into optimization I feel it woulda been a good contender for this contest.

Thirdly, Roof1 would be my bronze choice.  As Phillip outlines, the beginning of this map really stuck out and even though it lacked some "rooftop" elements it still is my third choice.  There was enough crawling around rooftops and shooting bad-guys to make this just as enjoyable as the other entries.  Unfortunately, where it fell short, was the ending - too abrupt and not enough compensation for my time.

Hostile Rooftops and Overcast were two great maps that seemed to be from newcomers.  It's good to see new people getting involved in contests and hopefully they can take some pointers from the positive criticism over at PlanetPhillip.  Both these maps had excellent designs, even though some of the objectives were difficult to find, and proved to be an enjoyable experience.

Rooftop Retreat was a sad story... you can really tell Leon put a lot of work into this map and it truly shows, but it fails to follow any of the rules outlined by the contest.  Not enough rooftops, too many enclosed spaces, but it sure has a lot of awesome.  The non-linearity of this map added extra points, but unfortunately not where it counted.  Sorry Leon - keep up the great work anyway!

Finally, Above the Clouds. I'm not sure if Phillip choose this for second place (as the order might suggest), but it is my last choice!  This map lacked any direction - some of the objectives were just downright awful and the combat was overpowering and unfair.  It's really hard to find anything nice to say about this map except, as Phillip puts it, it really did contain imagination.   Other than that... well I won't beat a dead horse.

Overall though I think Phillip had himself another successful contest... still my favourite is HunterVille; however... RooftopVille is a very close second.  Good job Phillip and great job all you mappers!