Level Design

Written by Ben Hart/Design Lead

The original Circus Maximus race track has been used as a template for future tracks that are more complicated and difficult to race on.
This track is still used as the first track for most novice drivers to get acquainted to the sport, because of this many features have been added which can be enable or disabled to add features to the more advanced tracks that will interconnect with the original Circus Maximus track.

All turrets, ramps and consoles placed within the Circus Maximus race track will be available throughout the more advanced courses. However some of the features will be disabled within this track, not all of the assets placed will be active. Assets that are disabled within this track will be enabled within other tracks.
The asset layout screenshot to the left contains all turrets, ramps and consoles that can be disabled or enabled throughout all the of the Nex Apparatus race tracks.

Each team will have one pit lane within each track; the position of each pit lane may differ from race course to race course.
The entrance and exit to the pit lanes will be clearly marked according to the teams colour, a blue team member cannot enter a red team members pit lane as the automatic door will not give the authorization to that driver and he would simply crash into the solid door.

Every track within Nex Apparatus will have two starting grids and two score lines, one for each team. When the scoring car passes the score line at the end of the starting grid, that team will be credited with one point.
Each team will start on opposite sides of the track; this enables each team to chase one another at a fair advantage and a fair distance.

The overall look of the Circus Maximus race track looks very similar to the original many years ago if not the same, this is to highlight that the Roman Empire did not fall and are now more advanced in how they live in a modern day society. Equipment and features have been upgraded as technology has advanced; large TV screens have been placed around the track for spectator to see highlights and visual commentary of the race.
The surface of the race track still remains as solid dirt which is treated before every race to maintain performance within the sport.
The stadium and track is kept clean and maintained at a high standard, the only obvious dirt to be found is when a race is on-going and dirt gets thrown around a little bit.

The labyrinth which is an underground tunnel system beneath the Circus Maximus race track has been modified and rebuilt to be incorporated to the original race course. Parts of the connected first track have been blocked by static barriers, this is to force drivers around the correct flow of the track and not wander off anywhere.

Turrets ramps and consoles placed within this track will all be enabled ready for each contestant to use. The amount of placements within the Labyrinth track is significantly less than the previous track, however the previous track had many of them disabled for the purpose of future track upgrades and additions.

Consoles placed within this race track are positioned in the most dangerous places as possible, this is too add a large amount of awareness to the person attempting to operate them, successfully operating them can have great benefits to the persons team and great disadvantages to the opposing team.
The danger of the console operation is used to balance the race, too many people operating them all at the same time will cause too much mayhem, too little number of people operating them will turn Nex Apparatus into a simple race competition. With every action comes consequence regardless if that is death or victory.

The pit lane for each team has remained in the same position as before, however the entrance and exit to each has changed, to gain access to the pits, ramps have been placed underground which then lead into the pits them self. The entrance and exit on the top level of the track have had the automatic doors shutdown to stop any kind of entrance from drivers. Diagram of these ramps can be seen in figure five.

The starting positions of the drivers will be neck and neck on this track, however they will start at positions where they cannot see each opposing team until its too late at the end of split tunnel where the track then merges into one. This enabled as much confrontation as possible giving the ability for each driver to cut up others or slam them into walls in order to cause as much carnage as possible.

Circus Maximus labyrinth maintains the same theme on the top level of the track, this theme dramatically changes as soon as you go underground into the labyrinth, the lighting is comprised of large artificial lights placed on the ceiling of the tunnels, this gives off a slightly orange tint to everything in the tunnel.
The lighting will also force the driver to drive more carefully and be more aware of his or her surroundings due to the track splitting into two and then merging back into one at the one of the tunnel system.
The underground labyrinth is mostly sharp rock and hard muddy surface which is untreated and makes it more difficult to drive in.

The Circus Maximus highway track is the longest track so far and requires the most stamina and skill to drive around successfully.
The original track has again been modified in a way to incorporate the addition of the over head track which twists around into sharp corners over the Circus Maximus track and then back to ground level again.

Turrets, ramps and consoles placed within this track are all usable via use of the console, ramps and turrets have been placed in a way to cause as much disruption as possible and this is at the cost of consoles being placed in very dangerous places which increase risk to people using them.

The pit lanes on the ground floor of the Circus Maximus track have again been closed, make shift tent like structures have been created on the highway which provide a very basic pit lane for the drivers. These tents use a new technology to stop incoming attacks penetrating the pit lane, this also stops drivers spawn camping the opposing teams pit lane.

The starting grid has been move an equal distance from each other to let each team chase one another again, one team will start in the middle of the highway and the other team will start on the original Circus Maximus track.

Circus maximus highway has unique look to the surroundings once you leave the original base track, the roads have 3 lanes which make for narrow driving and the ability for team members to make a rolling road block in order to protect other team members.
The highway has a modern day tarmac surface as you would see on motorways; this is surrounded by concrete walls to stop players ramming other drivers off the bridge. The roads will be lit via a new plasma technology that has been placed within cats eyes in the middle of each lane. This will give off a very orange glow.
The roads will be kept tidy and clean, there may be visible tyre marks from previous races.

During the building of the track within the unreal editor, the flow of creation has followed the design plan as close as possible, however some features of the track have slightly changed to what originally planned. These are;

  • Position of entrance and exit to the pit lane
  • Randomness being added to the ramps operation

The new position of the pit lanes entrance and exit has changed only slightly, as the original design had them protuding out of the middle section, this has changed to include the door ways as part of the middle section in order to increase with overall width.

Ramps will have a random AI in controll when not being operated by a player, this is to add extra mayhem during play.

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