As a mod for Unreal Tournament, I made a map centered around a giant world tree. The layout consists of two courtyards, a sniper tower, and the hollow inside of the tree, which contains a tall temple.

Big Courtyard

The first area is the bigger courtyard of the two. It has the Shock Rifle and Minigun, which are both hitscan weapons. To accommodate them, I made this area fairly open with long sightlines. There are two different elevations and plenty of dodge opportunities between platforms.

Small Courtyard

The smaller courtyard is home to the Flak Cannon, a shotgun with bullets that bounce off walls. This area has shorter sightlines and tighter turns with little elevation change. I also made sure to put up some angled walls for players to bounce bullets around.

Sniper Tower

Making the sniper tower was tricky because I didn’t want the position to be too powerful. There are a couple sightline blockers to prevent players from aiming vertically down a path, and also to block vision of weapon pickups and spawn points. From here, it is possible to briefly see other players across the map through little gaps. This allows you to see where the action is but can’t easily snipe from so far away.

Paths Into Tree

There are four paths leading inside the tree with different amounts of risk. The first is through the sniper tower, which takes a bit long but offers two branching paths. It can go from easy to very difficult depending on whether a sniper is defending this spot. The second path crosses the view of the sniper, but it’s on level ground with some health pickups. The third path is the widest and most open, with no pickups or cover, but has the shortest distance. The fourth path is on the side with the lowest risk, and players going in from here will usually have the Minigun.

Inside the World Tree

The inside of the world tree has a darker and warmer atmosphere. There is a giant tower in the center with top and bottom entrances. This area focuses on vertical gameplay, utilizing jump pads to reach the three different elevations. Combat is slower compared to the outside, which is flatter and faster-paced. The four weapons inside (Rocket Launcher, Link Gun, Bio Rifle, Grenade Launcher) are all projectile-based. There are also more powerups and fewer spawn points, which helps to draw players in from the outside.

That just about wraps up most of my design choices and thoughts while making this map. Here are some more screenshots, with the last one being what you see after you grab the Shield Belt on the bridge and turn around.

Lastly I want to thank all the amazing artists who provided the assets that made this map possible, especially Conrad Justin. Here is his website.

  • ConradJustin – Modular architecture assets (buildings)
  • PurePolygons – Procedural Nature Pack Vol.1 (tree roots & landscape)
  • SilverTM – Nature Package (small trees & plants)
  • Eudes – Wasteland Rocks Pack (rocks & cliffs)
  • Everett Gunther – Ultra Dynamic Sky (skybox)