Mapping for VCTF4

This page serves as a guideline for creating VCTF4 maps covering several aspects. It is no mapping tutorial, but a source of information for mappers who'd like to start building a VCTF4 map.

1 – Design aspects

There are a few certain aspects that should already be considered at design time - even if you "simply" port an existing VCTF map to VCTF4.

1.1 – Map size

Twice as many teams does not mean that the map needs to be twice as large. Even though there are more teams, the amount of players per team is roughly the same as before, if not less. Therefore, be careful not to oversize the bases and neither the central battlefield (provided there is one).

1.2 – Navigation help

Navigation help is a topic that has a way higher priority on VCTF4 maps than on casual VCTF or CTF maps. In VCTF, you walk or drive from base A to base B. Yes, a good map provides several options in doing so, but the direction is roughly a straight line in most cases. In VCTF4, this is different. Depending on which team's flag you are currently trying to capture, you need to take a different route. Depending on the map layout, you may even have to pass another team's base first.

Therefore, be sure to provide a lot of navigation help in the form of colorized textures, team banners and monitors, colored arrows, lighting and whatever else you can come with.

It is generally a good idea to study the maps included in the VCTF4 release package. They have been picked because they do a good job in helping you navigate. You are free to pick navigation help elements from them, a select bunch is also described below.

1.3 – Performance

A VCTF4 map means there are 4 bases with pickups, vehicles and possibly lots of decoration. In VCTF, you usually either see your base or the opponent base, but in VCTF4, you may end up seeing multiple bases at the same time depending on where you are on the map. This is even more likely in VCTF4 than in CTF4, because VCTF maps are usually more open. This naturally comes with a performance hit, therefore you should pay extra attention on a more performance related design that allows for sufficient view occlusion between the bases.

2 – Mapping guideline

This section covers how to start building a VCTF4 maps and which special actors you should place instead of the usual ones in order to make your map work with VCTF4.

2.1 – Getting started

Before you can place VCTF4 actors, you need to load the VCTF4 package into UnrealEd. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Open the Actor Browser and hit File → Open Package... in the menu and select the file OLTeamVehicleGames.u.
  2. Close UnrealEd if it is opened, then open your UT2004.ini file and head to the [Editor.EditorEngine]. Find the list of EditPackages and add the following line after that list:
    This will make UnrealEd load the VCTF4 package whenever you open it.
In order for your map to be recognized as VCTF4, use the prefix VCTF4- for the map's file name (e.g. VCTF4-MyMap).

2.2 – Flag bases

You need to place the special CTF4 flag bases for the flags to work with VCTF4. Open the Actor Browser and navigate through the class tree to

Actor → NavigationPoint → JumpDest → JumpSpot → GameObjective → CTFBase → xRealCTFBase → OLRealCTFBase
Use one of the four underlying classes for the respective flag bases.

Note that you do not need to place 4 flags on a VCTF4 maps. You can also create a "VCTF3" map by only placing 3 flags (leave the gold one out)! Your map will still need to use the VCTF4 prefix, however.

2.3 – Spawn points

You can use the usual StartingPoint class for spawn points. Use the following team numbers for the respective team:

0 - Red
1 - Blue
2 - Green
3 - Gold

2.4 – Vehicle factories

In order to have the especially skinned VCTF4 vehicles, you need to use different vehicle factory classes than usual. You can find them under

Actor → SVehicleFactory → ONSVehicleFactory → OLVehicleFactory
The following vehicles are included in the VCTF4 package: If you need a custom vehicle you need to port it to VCTF4, please follow the Vehicle creation guideline. Vehicles not created after that guideline will not work correctly with VCTF4. Besides, you wouldn't have the correct skins for green and gold players, which would suck.

2.5 – Neutral vehicles

Unlike UT2004 itself, VCTF4 supports neutral vehicles out of the box. These are vehicles on the map that do not belong to any team and are not locked until somebody enters it. Teams can get them for a strategic advantage.

To make a vehicle neutral, after you placed its factory on the map, open the factory's properties window and set the option bNeutral in the OLVehicleFactoryt section to True.

2.6 – Laser turrets

Onslaught's laser turrets are not like the other vehicles, technically, and there need different treatment. To place a laser turret, use the following class:

Actor → Pawn → Vehicle → ONSWeaponPawn → ONSStationaryWeaponPawn → ONSManualGunPawn → OLManualGunPawn
You will need to set the team it belongs to manually in the properties (TeamNum in the OLManualGunPawn section). Use the value 255 to get a neutral laser turret.

2.7 – Minigun turrets

Minigun turrets belong to Assault technically and need special treatment when placing them as well. Use the following class for VCTF4 minigun turrets:

Actor → SVehicleFactory → ASVehicleFactory → ASVehicleFactory_MinigunTurret → OLVehicleFactory_MinigunTurret
You will need to set the team it belongs to manually in the properties (TeamNum in the OLManualGunPawn section). Unlike the original Minigun turret, the VCTF4 version will be locked for its owning team. Use the team number 255 to get a neutral minigun turret.

2.8 – Team monitors and banners

These are good for navigation help on the maps. Use the following special CTF4 classes like their original UT2004 counterparts:

Actor → Decoration → uTeamBanner → OLTeamBanner
Actor → Decoration → xMonitor → OLTeamsMonitor
Actor → Decoration → xTeamBanner → OLTeamXBanner

Appendix A – Map Layouts

What follows is a subjective evaluation of several VCTF4 map layouts that are already in use out there.

A.1 – The Cross

Since many casual VCTF maps are roughly linear, the most straightforward of all possible VCTF port layouts is the Cross. A good example for this is the map VCTF4-R!P-Castle, which is included in the VCTF4 release package. The Cross layout separates the 4 bases from a central battlefield which needs to be passed in order to get from one base to another:

As straightforward as this might be, in practice it also proved to become boring pretty quickly. So the general recommendation is to go by a different layout and only use this if you really can't think of anything better.

A.2 – The Crosshair

Linear VCTF maps can also be converted into a Crosshair layout. This basically works like the Cross, except that additionally to a central connection of all 4 bases, 2 respective bases are connected to each other as well:

An example for this layout is the map VCTF4-ApA][RedRooms2, which is included in the VCTF4 release package. This layout allows for more escape options and generally results in a more dynamic gameplay than the Cross layout. Usually, this layout allows the most occlusion possibilities and distributes players further over the map, yielding a better performance.

A.3 – The Ring

This layout works without a central battlefield, two respective bases are directly connected to each other:

The interesting part in this layout is that a team has to pass another team's base in order to capture the flag of the team across. The team the base of which has to be passed can catch such a capture attempt and capture that flag by itself if it needs to - or keep a team from winning. An example for this layout is the map VCTF4-TheOrb, which is included in the VCTF4 release package. There is no example of a casual VCTF map converted to this layout so far.

A.4 – The Triangle

In case you choose to create a VCTF4 map with only 3 flags (and thus 3 teams), the Triangle is the most straightforward layout:

All bases are connected to each other, there may or may not be a central battle area. This works very well in practice and a good example is included in the VCTF4 release package: VCTF4-MassDestruction-3Flags.