Alien Arena: Reloaded Edition is set to include eight new or revamped levels, one of the largest amounts we've had in any given release. Some of these are revamped/rebuilt versions of older maps and concepts, others are completely new. Dm-Extermination is one of the completely new levels, and in this article I will talk about it's design, origins, and goals.
Extermination is a level that is a post-apocalyptic themed, in the vein of Invasion, Annihilation, and Impact. It is rather large, and quite complex in layout, but built in such a way that allows for very dynamic, flowing gameplay. Though it's geared more towards FFA, it serves well as a duel map as well, due to that flowing design.
Extermination was conceived and inspired after playing Rage, and it's look, atmosphere, and color scheme reflect that. There are three "rooms", so to speak. The first is a central battleground area, located inside a burned out building, similar to what we did in Annihilation, with a two story structure that has had it's second floor badly damaged and hollowed out. We put in a four-way jump pad, which makes this area play signifigantly faster and different that that of it's counterpart in Annhilation. The second room is a curved open sewer that runs outside of that first room, connected with two entrances back into the first room. The first being a staircase directly into it, the second a rusted, opened door that connects to an alleyway. The third major room, is another two story affair, this one a bit smaller than the first. Getting to the top is accomplished by climbing up a ramp made of rubble, old boards, and other garbage. Here lies a double damage power up.
The rest of the level is a series of interconnected short corridors and smaller rooms, that can be a little confusing at first(adding to the fun). Even these areas have assorted points of vertical gameplay, and areas where you can unsuspectingly drop in on heavy action. All weapons except the vaporizer are present, and there is the aforementioned double damage powerup, as well as an adrenaline, two major armor powerups, and the assorted health, ammo, and armor shards strewn about the map.
Much like all of our levels, we make liberal use of static meshes to create an extra level of detail that you don't find in most free games of this type. Despite the level of detail, the framerates are very good, and very steady. We make use of light volumes to really convey the dusty, dank atmosphere, as well as rain effects, and burning barrels in some areas.
In the next article I will talk about Dm-Bloodfactory, and Dm-Leviathan, two 2007 era maps that have been revamped for this release...