The Making of Steel Zenith

From Red Faction Wiki

NOTE: This article was originally written by SKA-Diesel and included in the download for his map DM - Steel Zenith when it was released on 20 June 2003.

Welcome to the making of Steel Zenith. I’ve added this bonus to let you all know my thought process, and let you see my sketchy drawings. It’s hard to believe, but the idea for Steel Zenith came to me way back when I was making dm-Satellite.

Diesel steelzenith1.jpg

The idea was that the game would take place on narrow platforms hundreds of feet in the air.

Diesel steelzenith2.jpg

After I finished dm Jerusalem I began building towers for Steel Zenith. Once I had a rough layout I connected the towers with the narrow platforms. Soon I had an entire level, with a hover ship, which a player could jump on, get inside, and open the side doors to sniper other players. This was all well and good… if you were the server. I sent the file to xXx Sorrow and we had a match on my server.

Diesel steelzenith3.jpg

The hover ship worked fine for the server, but any other user suffered from the dreaded auto-trigger ping-pong infinite effect. This is that a player joining a server will see auto movers start from the moment they join, so the server and the other users will all be out of sync. So Sorrow would see me flying through the towers rather than the ship… although the ship would follow shortly afterwards, or in front. After a week or so I changed a couple of things, added weapons, and some more jump pads… but it just wasn’t very exciting.

I started Ducks Drive By, and Steel Zenith was left on the shelf for a while. Before I finished Ducks Drive By I stuck in a poster of Steel Zenith, believing that it may never see the light of day. Then on Saturday the 14th of June 2003 I was inspired and started sketching more ideas for Zenith.

Diesel steelzenith4.jpg Diesel steelzenith5.jpg

In the original file the towers were really far from each other, but these drawings conveyed them to be much closer. So the next day (Sunday 15th) I opened the file… I basically took a hammer to it. I deleted all the buildings, lights, jump pads, space ships, weapons. The only things left were the sky box and the tallest tower. I made the other 4 buildings, and then started thinking about how to link them. Then I drew this…

Diesel steelzenith6.jpg

After making the first bridge the rest just fell into place, and after a day or so I had something, which looked like this…

Diesel steelzenith7.jpg

Then I started adding in the extra stuff.

Diesel steelzenith8.jpg Diesel steelzenith9.jpg

These drawings were the start of what soon became the Sky Runner.

Diesel steelzenith10.jpg

Based roughly on the hovercrafts from Minority Report.

So there you have it. I hope you enjoy my new dm level for Red Faction. I had a lot of fun making it and especially play testing it.

Thanks to all the folks who helped play test Steel Zenith

  • Killa Freak
  • Daveman
  • Sir Lots A Pot
  • Mrs Muse
  • Pash
  • Ktv UnC
  • Philinator