Vacant is a 3v3 Showdown, Team Deathmatch and Free For All level for Unreal Tournament. It was created for the Epic Games & Mapcore's Unreal Tournament Level Design Contest which ran for 3 months starting in April 2016. The first month focused on developing the layout and weapon placement for the level, with the remaining time being used for art and polish. Vacant achieved 4th place and received high praise for its art pass. It is currently undergoing improvement work in response to feedback received from the Unreal Tournament team following the end of the contest.
The layout allows players to use the expansive movement options available in Unreal Tournament to chase, or escape from their opponents while providing good sight lines and clear readability to allow players to track and react to their opponents. The main power-ups are placed in highly visible areas to highlight their importance, and to draw attention to any movement towards them. Weapon placement is used to help maintain flow through the environment, especially during the beginning of a Showdown round.
To enhance readability and to aid in player tracking water was used around powerful weapon pickups to highlight when a player was near them. Care was taken to provide a clear environment, allowing player models to stand out without compromising the style or theme. Ground clutter was used sparingly to keep the play space readable and avoid players becoming caught on the environment while performing complex movement.
The environment consists largely of stock assets, with a few key custom assets created to add individuality. In order to support the art style a new custom material was created to allow each mesh asset to be customised with wear and rust via Unreal Engine 4’s Vertex Painting system. The following is an example of a custom asset which uses this material.