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July 8, 2012: Abydos' Development

today I'll be talking a little about the development of our map Abydos.

Apart from Stargate Command it is probably the most well known locale in the whole franchise and most often used setting in Stargate games. Back when I was still a tester for the mod there were no plans yet to incorporate Abydos as a map so I simply decided to start creating it.

As this place is pretty prominent throughout the series and also the main setting of the first film I was able to quickly gather reference material and start mapping. For background story I chose the SG-1 episode "Full Circle" of season 6. The scenario you'll be finding yourself in has you somewhat "reenact" the events from that episode, as you SG-1 tries to prevent Anubis from getting his hands on a powerful artifact: the Eye of Ra. Since this was my first real map I found the beginning to be rather weary but then it went quite well.

Abydos pyramid as seen from outside
Abydos pyramid gate room

After a short time the first layout-test-map was completed and we could start testing. In this first version the goal of the attacking team (Anubis' Jaffa soldiers) to "push" forward to the Eye of Ra chamber through three capture-areas serving as checkpoints (marked in red on the image below).

The playtest revealed two things: On the one hand the was too small, so we had to extend the layout. On the other hand the main entrance proved to be quite the bottleneck which called for a second path into the pyramid making it easier to conquer. With this in mind I began redesigning the layout.

After some thought and testing the new version was complete with the following changes:
  • The number of capture zones had been reduced to two (marked red on the image below).
  • A new side entrance (marked blue) had been added to take pressure off the main entryway.
  • More paths in general had been added to broaden the possibilities of reaching the immediate goal.
  • An additional mission objective had been introduced: After finally reaching the secret chamber where the Eye of Ra can be found (green), the Jaffa need to take it and bring it aboard Anubis Ha'tak vessel either by using the Ringtransporter in the gate room (yellow) or the one at their initial spawn behind a hill outside the pyramid. The former is more risky of course but the latter has the disadvantage of being farther away.

Now that the previously discovered issues had been addressed only one tiny thing remained: the map was not the most beautiful or optimized!

Abydos pyramid as seen from outside

The map remained like this for a while until another team member rose to the occasion. cashed, so his name, added some of his polish in form of new models and textures and improved the map's performance significantly. At this point again big thanks and great work! Wink

Abydos pyramid as seen from outside

I hope you've enjoyed this blog entry of mine and found it informative!
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