My goal is to create a set of 2vs2 arenas (no pickup, probably) that will function as well for 2vs2 as they will for 1vs1 (since in the current build you can force 1vs1 but you can't play 2vs2 on a 1vs1 arena), that will be composed of solid, sweeping architecture, and that will be fun and interesting to look at without looking like they're trying to be Quake3 too much. I'm actually drawing a little inspiration for some of it from Descent2, believe it or not! :)
In some ways, creating an RA map is easier than creating a normal DM map or CTF/AS/DOM. For one thing, RA arenas are generally much smaller, and built for speed (framerate). For instance, I get a solid 80 frames per second and higher on virtually all the RA 1.42 arenas (I know, the facts that no weapons/ammo/pickups are sitting around and that there are usually only a few players in an arena at one time contribute as well).
Also, there is no need to worry about item placement, as there are no items. Bot pathing becomes much easier in RA as well (the bots are pretty bad in RA anyway, compared to those in normal DM). The one skybox limitation kinda hurts, but I think I can work around it. Maybe I can have one arena with a ceiling sky.
Not having a pickup arena may get some boos, but then again, BigBird (my favorite RA mapper) has two maps without pickup arenas as well. Besides, there are only a handful of original pickup arenas out there anyway--RA-CliffyB, for instance, just uses DM-Tempest as the pickup arena. Now if Mongo would get on the ball and make the next version able to use any DM map for MORE than a 1vs1, the problem would be solved! :)
Lo grav RA arenas seem to be pretty well universally hated. Don't believe me? Go hit a server playing RA-Outworld and just see how many players are on JumpPortal and S.S.NovaCharger. Now go see the reactions when you ask someone to come to one of those!
HOWEVER, I'd like to experiment with lo/medium gravity zones in my map. My DM map, DM-Pit, featured something I've never seen elsewhere that I think worked damn well. And for those of you who've played it, no I'm not talking about the big glowing blue crystal that lowered your framerate to 20 and killed you when you got too close :) (heh, that was actually modeled in Truespace 3 and imported into UeD).
I mean the pit itself. I had this really good-looking lighting scheme in there. I had concentric cylinders and varied gravity zones--the gravity decreased near the center. It was really cool to be running along normal gravity and then hit the pit which you could jump across flipping and firing and then get to the other side where normal gravity prevailed once again.
Obviously, I want to expand on the idea for the arena I want to use it in. DM-Pit was the beginning map that had a lot of rough edges but was a great learning experience. RA-KevynWight will be much more accomplished. Man, Maverick went from just a guy like me playing around with the editor to having his map pack included with the RA portion of the UT Game of the Year Edition--and getting paid for it. If I'd only started this a couple months ago, perhaps I could have had my map stuck in there as well.
Also, if you look at something like RA-Shinigami, you see it is awesome to look at; unique, VERY interesting design. However, it's just not very exciting or well thought-out gameplay-wise. And that's a shame. On the other hand, I had an absolute ball on BP-Llama's new arena called Ruins (first arena in RA-BPLlama), and everyone else has slagged it completely. So there's a lot of subjectivity.
There is no doubt, DavidM will hate my map, but then, he hates every map that isn't his, even his idol CliffyB's maps! So I'm really not worried about Mr. Munnich or however you spell the dipshit's name.
(On a side note, I played AS-5CubesEZKeel last night--it features a poster of DavidM you have to destroy in order to win--crap map but really funny and the sound effect when you destroy DavidM is priceless!)
So I think I will start on that soon (I'm workng on ideas right now). I'll probably work up a practice map just to get used to the differences involved in making RA maps. And to get used to UeD "2.5" or whatever it is now.
One thing could slow me down, and that's if RA 1.5 (GotYE) requires a total redesign of existing RA maps. I must find out about that. If it's just a matter of changing a few actors or tags, no problem.