Welcome to Easter Island
Feels good to finally say that…
The Smile Dev team hopes you’re enjoying the map. Like Germany and Belgium before us, we want to show off some of the map’s development.
In case it wasn’t clear,
This “Blog Post” will be spoiling a ton about the map, so if you want to go in blind, I’d recommend you come back later.
This maps development cycle has been an interesting, and stressful one, head our warnings, make sure you have a plan for your map before you get too far into it, that way you aren’t retroactively changing a ton of things. It also means that you have a clear idea regarding what you want to do. Half of this project’s ideas were thought up in the latter half of development. While this does lead to an interesting project to examine, it doesn’t make it a fun one to develop.
Unlike other maps, very little drastically changed with Easter Island’s development. One thing we realized soon after we started development is that we couldn’t really make Easter Island, we could only make something that was vaguely like Easter Island, didn’t help that there isn’t a ton of information on the island.
Since we couldn’t get much info on what the Island is actually like we had to take a ton of liberties, plus an accurate Easter Island map just wouldn’t work, Trees are sparse on Easter Island, and only really exist in 3 locations. Only 1 location with decent loot exists (Hanga Roa), no Military loot or really anything better than Police. We couldn’t make a map like that, wouldn’t work. So we brainstormed, we had to make up a ton of locations, locations like Piki Farm are named after the name of a street in Hanga Roa. We also took existing locations, like Ahu Akahanga, and made them worth going to. How? Imagination.
We created Vermillin to fill the role of the Military, in Cannon they’re an organization like Scorpion-7, the difference being is that they have full permission and funding from the Chilean government, which is why they’re armed with Military weaponry. You will most likely see them again in our future projects.
Development for Easter Island started on the 16th of March, 2019 with 3 team members, @Spebby, @Paladin, and Meloncat (who does not have a forum account). Development ended in late January, with the aforementioned members as well as @Azzaholic who joined during the middle of development. @danaby2 also joined and helped out with the Easter Island mystery box.
The Original Plan for the Map
Believe it or not, Easter Island was originally going to be a simplistic map. This was meant to be the kind of map a small team creates for experience, before moving on to bigger and better projects. Again, this is not what happened.
Back in the early days of the project, we originally wanted to make two maps: Easter Island and Easter Island Arena. Each version was different. The arena would be more “tribalistic”, featuring more of the ancient culture of the island with ancient weapons and armour. The main map would be a modern version of Easter Island. Eventually, we decided to drop the arena aspect as a whole, but some remnants of the arena version of the map can still be found, specifically in the Northern Fissures area, as that area was made to be the final area of an arena game.
Stages in the Map’s Development
Spebby here, I’ll be handling the majority of this section of the Blog Post. My interest in mapping came from TF2. I used to make a ton of maps for TF2, and like most beginner maps, none of them were any good. The whole reason why this blog post exists is because I’ve always loved reading through these “The Development of” posts, I love seeing a map transform from a blank canvas to a finished creation, I also really like reading about the thought processes of the Developers, and what might have changed their perspective on things.
In TF2 mapping, maps are categorized into 4 stages, WIP (Work In Progress), Alpha, Beta and RC (Release Candidate) I’ll be referring to that naming scheme here, I’ll be adding an “Early” stage because these screenshots don’t fit in WIP.
Before you start with terrain, it’s not always a bad idea to start with a concept.
Both are pretty bad, and neither were even used. But it’s fun to imagine what the map could have been like if we went with one of these concepts.
Here are the first couple screenshots of Easter Island Screenshots, the general shape of the island was still being decided, the whole scope of the project was being thought out at this point.
Paladin here, you might notice there’s a little red dot in the centre of the 3 images above. To figure out where north is on a map, I usually place down Radar #3 and rotate it on its side to signify which way is north. Sometimes it’s not always obvious which way you’re facing in the editor, so placing one of these down helps!
I also have some images from when I was messing around with the Materials. Here’s some.
Before we get into things…
Some of the original map files have been lost to time, so these GPS/Chart images are all we have, that’s why it switches back and forth between them on occasion. Sometimes it’s due to changes only really being apparent on one version over the other. In hindsight, we really should have done a better job at archiving the Charts/GPS, something we’ll keep in mind for future projects.
For whatever reason, we opted to use the Hawaii chart, instead of just sticking with the default PEI chart. I have no idea why it just makes this harder to look at. But this is where the layout of the map starts to take shape. The south’s layout remains relatively unchanged throughout development.
This was our first attempt at a custom chart. It wasn’t very good so we ended up redoing it later on down the line. In this version, the terrain in the south is starting to take shape, as well as a few placeholder objects being placed down across the map.
Teravaka and Rano Kau get basic landscape, of course, this gets overhauled almost immediately. The first research base is also added in the south of the map. If you look over where modern-day Hanga Roa is, you can see a single road. (On the GPS)
This image was our first attempt at a fully custom chart. Eventually, this concept would make it into the final version of the map. Hanga Roa, the eastern extinct volcanoes, and Orongo Lookout are all properly added in this version, as well as some basic boulder work in parts of the map.
Renblackson V1, stupid name, but “Renblackson” is the name the map was given throughout development, originally it was just “Decoy” and “Easter Island” but we changed it after two community members found out about the project prematurely through steam’s “View Info” feature. As you can see, a ton changed from the last version and this version, mainly, the Volcano is properly fleshed out with boulders and now has its crown. The Harbor also exists now but remains filled with placeholder objects, and the Airport gets its first version with custom assets. Pretty much all roads have been placed at this point and not much changes regarding them. An early version of the Crustation Station is also added, but originally had the name of “Pauls Gas”.
Renblackson V2 adds the Platforms found up on Teravaka, I tried damn hard to make them like the Haiku stairs objects, down to measuring the originals. In hindsight I could of probably just asked what the proportions were, but I was on a roll with these. The Harbor gains it’s “Research Center” and Poike got its boulders.
Finally, we reach the Alpha Stage, the Alpha stage is reached when a map has had its layout and terrain finished. Very little terrain wise changes in these versions, and it’s not often that new locations are added. This is the stage where you prepare to make your final touches before you say “It’s time to detail.”
The Crustation Station has been added, and Hanga Roa has been redesigned and Teravaka finally receives its research centre and bunker.
The second version of Hanga Roa is pretty much finished, it has all its buildings and a boardwalk. Poike also got its signature Resort in this version.
This one is a trip, in this version Freighter was added into the map, mainly because @Froggo (Creator of Freighter) asked us to. Some underwater details were added, and we threw a giant Liberator on the map, that was added only really to mark where the Giant Chasm was going to go. This was also the stage we were at when we got Curated Status.
In this version, a lot was added, though it may be hard to tell due to the lack of water. We removed the water in this version to focus on Underwater Detailing, which didn’t even happen in this version. The Giant Chasm is added, along with the Quarry. The Aquatic Research Center in the north-west gets its massive model.
We gave Poseidon the go-ahead, and the ocean returned. Piki farm was also added in this version, and the caves at Rano Kau were added. There was also a lot of smaller detailing done in this version.
While scrolling through our Devchat, I found this. This is a result of a horrific issue with GPS and Devkit. It was fixed after we showed Nelson, but if you look at Germany’s GPS from around that time, you can see the same thing. With Medium maps it’s especially bad, you can also the areas where the Tiles meet, due to the materials suddenly changing in a straight line.
In this version, a lot of the Platforms around Teravaka were removed, but the islands in the South and North-Eastern parts of the map hadn’t been added yet. This image dates to 28/07/2019 ( 07/28/2019 for Americans)
Soon after Nelson fixed the issue, and during this version we removed the water so we could work Underwater again.
A lot has changed since the last version. For starters, a ton of underwater detail has been added. Poike Resort and another random beach got their Life Gaurd huts. Hanga Roa got its docks. Freighter has also been properly detailed and a ton of islands were added, one of which has a Resort house on it. I remember that we were debating between adding scattered islands, or an atoll, however, we went with scattered islands.
Hey Nolan interjecting here - for about a week the team had an argument about what to put in the south eastern sea. Originally we were going to put an atoll, a sort of ring shaped coral reef, but eventually we decided on just putting a few islands there as it would take up less space and be easier to navigate the area.
I’m including the Satellite for this one, as it gives you a good idea of what changed.
The most obvious change is that the cluster of three islands to the south got expanded into a sizeable chunk of land. The island was originally just going to be eye candy with coral surrounding it, however, the team decided to put a new location there. Other less obvious/invisible changes in this version were the extra detailing in the areas around the ravine and to the North West. The Ravine also had another large Vermillin ship added, along with a normal Cargo ship. A ton of trees we’re also added in this version, one big complaint we got in the previous version is that the landscape was way too boring, so we decided to add more trees. (Thank you @Pork and @pondfisher) The issue with doing this is that performance dropped by quite a bit, the burnt areas weren’t as much of an issue, as most of the trees there have low poly counts due to having no leaves. The performance wasn’t great in the centre of the map due to the extra trees, we had to optimize the trees. Another change in this version is that Rano Raraku got its caldera flattened, this was in preparation for the Quarry that was later implemented.
In this version, the map was finally in a “Complete” state. Hanga Roa was redone, primarily because it was a boring town and didn’t reflect the IRL version of the town, and due to a few unsavoury comments regarding the shape of the town. A few more houses were added to give the town better loot. The Quarry at Rano Raraku was also added. The islands in the south become more fleshed out with boulders, and more underwater features are added. Easter Island would then enter the final stages of production for the next few weeks, or that’s what we hoped at the very least. You see, this was back in September.
This is the current version of the chart. Big diffences is obviously the custom chart, which took 3 hours!
The custom chart when through a few itterations, so I’ll link them here.
17/1/20 (1/17/20 for those who use the American format) was the day this GPS/Chart were rendered. From what I hear it’s pretty common for curated map projects to slow down near the end of development, but not to this extent. The map was supposed to release back in August, but was originally delayed for Dango, but was again delayed to let California release.
In terms of changes, the Tide Pools, Pirate locations, and sea zombies spawns were added, some minor underwater detail was also added, and a pumice island in the South-East of the map was flattened. An NPC base was also supposed to be added in this version, however, our NPC maker didn’t have the time to devote to the project, so they were shelved until further noticed.
The Crown was a nightmarish gun from hell. What was supposed to be a mid-tier gun, a bit better than the Maplestrike, but worse than the Nightraider, turned out to be an absolute monster that was in the top 5 when it came to DPS. What was worse is that it was incapable of hammering, so if you had maxed out Dexterity you could just go through one mag, reload and then start shooting in under 3 seconds. Now it’s not quite as bad as it seems, it was incapable of taking anything other than its mag, it never once used Military mags, meaning it couldn’t use drums, and its mag could only hold 25 rounds. Point is is that it was way too powerful and needed a heavy nerf. The Crown’s name is a reference to Terevaka’s Crown. The Crown was originally called the Unkown and is based on the Sturmgewehr 57 (SIG SG 510).
The Crown went through a number of revisions, the first version looked like this.
The Second version looked like this.
Its real-life counterpart looks like this.
Post-release we decided to retool the Crown to be an Auto DMR. I’d say it’s in a good state right now.
The Famae was always underwhelming, though that was always the point, a better version of the Eaglefire. The Famae is named after the company that manufactures Chile’s weaponry, FAMAE, and is based on the SIG SG 540.
The real-life variant looks like this.
The Reefer was a bit different. Instead of going from being Overpowered to mid-tier, the Reefer went from being on par with an unmodified Viper to being a Mid-Tier SMG, to becoming a really good close-combat SMG. We were worried that the gun was going to be too over-powered, due to it coming with a Drum, and how fast it shot. The gun got a buff after we compared it to the Viper, we upped the gun’s damage from 20 to 24, however, it was a little bit too powerful, so we nerfed it to 23. Later on, we decided to both buff it, and nerf it. Normal Magazines were changed from 1x1 to 1x2, and the Drum’s capacity was buffed from 60 to 80. The reefer’s Zombie damage was also nerfed.
Something of note is that the Reefer’s model is also on another map, Candyland. On that map it’s the Taffaes, it was given to us because the Reefer is based on the same gun as the Taffaes, the FAMAE SAF.
The real-life counterpart looks like this.
In this section, we talk about the Numerous changes locations have received and the thought process behind them.
We were really worried about Hanga Roa’s balance, you see since it’s the only town on the map we were worried that people would crowd around it, trying to get a sweet, sweet slice of that Hanga Roa pie. We worried about this less and less after we decided to make the map more PvP based.
Hanga Roa V1 - We don’t have any screenshots of what this looks like in editor, so this is the best that you get
Hanga Roa V2 - This is the version that the town was for the majority of the map’s lifespan
This version was changed due to phallic implications
Hanga Roa V3 Final - This is the town’s finished and final state
Teravaka, the main volcanic structure on the map. It received many changes throughout development, mainly visual, but they’re still worth documenting for those who are interested. When building Teravaka, we wanted to take the volcano concept that Hawaii introduced and expand upon it. To do that we added much more lava, as well as a more fine-tuned cave system for players to explore, players, are funnelled towards the “Content”, rather than being funnelled into a never-ending loop.
I also have this image, (Taken on 27/07/2019, or 07/27/2019 for Americans) not sure what value it adds, thought I should include it regardless.
This area was designed with Arena in mind, however, since we dropped arena we had to find a way to retool this location quite a bit.
Early in development, we used Hawaii palms as placeholders, mentioning it now because it’s really obvious in these screenshots.
Later on, in development, we would add a few destroyed buildings to the area, as well as a small camp and a helicopter crash
In-game the Vermillin base doesn’t have a name, it’s just included with Teravaka, canonically it’s called the Omega Research Center. As you all probably know, the Vermillin base has a Bunker, a very large bunker at that. The Bunker was originally much, much smaller. The Top floor didn’t exist in the earliest version, along with the Control room, Manager’s Office and Conference room. The vents were also much, much simpler. The original version didn’t have the maze the current version has, because the maze was added so player without a Keycard could reach the Control Room.
Speaking of the Keycard, you were originally supposed to obtain it after locating, something. Wasn’t decided on yet, we weren’t even sure if we wanted NPCs at this point. Point is, it was a quest exclusive item.
This location straightup never changed, but there are a few photos from when the location was first being put together.
For anyone interested.
These were originally going to be “Heat Distortion” particles, but we couldn’t get them to look good without writing custom shaders, which we didn’t know how to do at the time.
Orongo Lookout was one of the first locations added to the map, as we worked from the south of the map up. Overall it’s a pretty basic location for some starter gear. We don’t have any early images of Orongo, but here is one in its final state!
(put a picture of Orongo lookout here)
Akahanga Burial Grounds
Akahanga Burial Grounds is meant to represent an IRL location found on Easter Island and is an actual burial ground for the ancient leaders of the island. It was a pretty simple location to add, only requiring a few custom assets. Take a look at the early and final versions.
Here’s an early version:
Here’s the final version:
Unlisted Points of Interest
This location originally started as a joke between the team members, but we eventually decided to make it a real location, where you can get all your auto parts and where high prices are truly gone !
The first version had this funky roof, but we decided to remove it because it was too funky.
The final version ended up looking much more basic, but fit the area much better
Originally named the Great Ravine this location went through several changes. Originally we planned to have an “Atlantis-Esque biodome” location, something like Rapture from the Bioshock games, however, it just seemed like an out of place location so we swapped it from a Chasm.
Here’s an early screenshot:
Here’s the final version:
Team communication is really important if you want a functioning team. That’s something both Spebby, Paladin and Nolan have learned from past projects. But even the experienced can fall victim to poor communication. One really important thing is to have an organized workflow, the Easter Island team did not have that luxury. Most of the time, instead of having an organized list of objects and descriptions to make in the Trello, Nolan was given vague object names in random intervals. There was a chat called #object-requests. An entire chat where he had to take object requests whenever a new one arrived, this is useful for an editor, but not for a modeller unless you can describe what you need to be made.
This was not very efficient. It left Nolan asking “what do I do” and sitting on his ass when he could’ve
“been shooting out object models like a Hell’s Fury shoots out freedom.”
Take this as a cautionary tale to give your modellers an immediate and consistent list to go off of, instead of having a cluttered discord chat with object requests that double as vague questions.
Every curated map is defined by its assets, whether that be trees, guns, vehicles or buildings, maps wouldn’t be the same without them.
When Nolan started making vehicles, every vehicle that was planned as a land vehicle besides some canoes. Every vehicle being a land vehicle on a map that is more than 50% water (at the time) is not a very good idea. So he had to make the amphibious vehicles on his own accord.
Each Vehicle was primarily designed to fill the void the Hawaii vehicles left. The Pelican was added to the map could have a useful helicopter, and the same can be said for the Albatross. Speaking of the Albatross, the plane was always meant to be the extremely versatile plane it is today, if not even more so. It was originally able to make turns on par with the Fighter Jet.
After some more inspection on Easter Island’s vehicle situation in survival tests, the amphibious vehicles were cool but it was still important to travel on land, but Unturned’s original vehicles are decidedly terrible and annoying and stupid off-road. So Nolan went out of his way to make a new off-road vehicle unlike any other:
From the beginning, this was planned to be a vehicle that controlled easily and had a boost ability where you could kick the engine into gear. At first, Nolan (like an idiot) wanted to have a constant force activated by pressing the Ctrl key, but this (obviously) didn’t work out because it continued to speed away when the engine was off. Next, Spebby (Like a smart and amazing brained person) swooped in and made it function almost like a bicycle, giving you a speed boost as long as you hold the sprint key, at the cost of slightly more fuel. Due to a bug which allowed for this to work, the vehicle also drains the player’s Stamina, hopefully, this will be fixed soon.
The hornet also controls better than other vehicles because it has twice the weight. It might seem illogical since this is a lightweight buggy, but for reference, an Unturned coffee machine has 1 mass in its rigid body. The Dumptruck also has a mass of 1. Not very intuitive right? That’s why you might notice that the Easter Island vehicles handle better, it’s because they weigh more than one coffee machine.
Spebby here, Easter Island has a large variety of animals present on the map, I’d like to take some time to tell you about how nightmarishly terrible animals are.
The Mutant Crab
This animal was originally meant to be the “Boss” of the map, spawning around Freighter. It was originally meant as a way to keep people away from Freighter, for only those who dare trespass in the domain nightmare-fueled crustaceans may reap the rewards of Freighter. That was the intended effect at the very least. In actuality these crabs would just launch at you out of nowhere, often running at you backwards. Due to this, and a few other bugs relating to ragdolls, the Mutant Crab was ultimately scrapped. However, it remains in the game files in case you want to mess around with it.
These were much easier to get working, the hardest part of getting these crabs to work was simply figuring out how Animals worked.
There are so many pictures of absolutely broken horse ragdolls. When the Horse died, it would often try to fall forwards, but its front legs kept it standing up. However, its head would have different plans, usually pushing itself into the body of the horse, collapsing in on itself, and causing the horse’s now mutilated corpse to start vibrating rapidly.
Boars could fly for the longest time. To this day I have no idea how this happened.
Donated by @Dieselsisel, these little guys were probably the simplest to set up. What was annoying though, is that its ragdoll would slide across the floor on death.
The Turtle would bounce into the sky when killed, the limbs of the turtle would also enjoy spinning rapidly, and after a while, these limbs would straight up fall off.
At first, Nolan wasn’t the “lead architect”, he wasn’t even on the team. It was another fella who you might know named [REDACTED]. But, after a few months of [REDACTED] ghosting, ignoring messages and coming up with excuse after excuse, Spebby finally gave in and made Nolan become EI’s lead architect. ([REDACTED] was promptly removed from the Smile Dev team)
So while stubbornly waiting for an inactive team member to make buildings, months were wasted when the map could have been released quicker.
There are so many bunkers on Easter, there were so many that we had to leave one unused. It’s still in the map files, so if you wanted to you could use it on a custom map. If you want to find these bunkers, simply go cave exploring!
For Easter Island, we had to recycle the lava effect already in-game and make our own. The reason behind this was that we needed lava that could flow in different directions. The vanilla lava object only flows in a single direction based on the shader applied to it, so Spebby needed to make 4 new lava objects that all faced a different direction so we could make lava flow differently.
Not a lot was scrapped from the final version of the map. However, I’ll list as much as I can bellow.
Unfortunately, a lot of content was lost, due to MelonCat’s hard drive failing. Most of the scraped content was made by him.
I honestly forget the name of the barricade, this was the first version.
Pretty much a better compound bow, this wasn’t made specifically for the project but wasn’t being used in anything else, so we wanted to include it. It was also very broken for most of its time in the game since nobody could figure out why it was broken.
I don’t know what these are called, it was modelled by Melon, it was meant for the Mystery Box, but it was never sent.
Make Make Mask
While this did make it into the game, the original version did not.
Like the Make Make Mask, this made it into the game, but it was heavily changed.
Before Dango came out, we were originally going to make Bundles, however, we got the opportunity to make a Mystery Box, which we did due to not being able to think of big enough ideas for bundles. Some of the cosmetics on this bundle made it into the Box, but the shirt and pants didn’t.
Banana Hat. Never looked good so was scrapped.
I am still really bummed these didn’t make it in, in the end it was Nelson’s call. The Zubeknakov was cut early on and was never shown to Nelson. Thanks to @danaby2 for creating them. They were cut due to the flowers on the weapons. They just didn’t look good up close.
Created by @Azzaholic, cut by Nelson. Cut due to not being up to standard.
While I don’t have any images, he was going to be a “Pet” cosmetic for awhile.
Pet cosmetic, would have animated. The mouth would have opened and closed, and while you can’t see it, there was a rattle that would have raddled despite being a boa instead of a rattlesnake.
Removed for fairly obvious reasons. Too similar to the makeshift bat already in the game
Early Hazmat Suit
Was green for awhile. However, in this image, you can also see the “Souvenir Shirt” which is only found at one location on the whole map! Check the Souvenir Shop in Hanga Roa if you want one.
Was a vest, not just clothes.
We originally created 4 mythicals for the map, with only the Bananza and High Tide getting accepted.
A smoke cloud, with balls of light jetting upwards. Cut due to not fitting with the rest of the game.
Really early version, cloud effect was changed, along with the size of the flashes.
A storm cloud, with lightning flashing every once and awhile. Was cut in the end due to fears of it potentially causing seizures.
This never had an official name, was cut before we ever showed it to Nelson.
Pukao are those “Red Hats” that you see on top of several Moai,
These were the first models ever made for the Project, in fact, MelonCat, the creator of these models, just decided to model them one day, and this exchange was the start of the project.
Simple Guitar model was always the plan to have a Concert Stage on a beach, but we never ended up doing this.
I don’t quite remember why this was never added, I’m pretty sure it was due to not wanting to go around and manually place every single patch of flowers, and also because we lost the source files.
Welcome to Easter Island Sign
It had lips. Promptly removed.
Original Map Concept Images
Paladin Here. Early on in development, we had a few concept images of what the map was going to look like and what would be featured in it. These images were shared at the top of the post, but I felt like I should give a bit more context to the images.
This image was the first layout image of what the map would have, overlaid onto an IRL map of Easter Island. There are some areas in this image that did make it into the final map, such as the Active Zone, Volcano Zone, and Town Zone. However, most of the other areas just didn’t fit how a good map layout works nor how Paladin wanted to make the map.
This was the first “chart”, probably made in MS Paint. Obviously this was a VERY rough draft, and the island now looks very different than what this concept was showing.
As stated before in one of the earlier sections, Nolan had the idea for an atoll in the South-Eastern part of the map, which we eventually replaced with islands. Here’s the original concept image:
Originally we were going to have a trailer for the map, with @Froggo recording it. However Froggo couldn’t record at 1080p, so it was very low res for the most part. Since we could never find another time nor another person to record, we ended up scrapping doing a trailer as a whole. If you want to see what we did have completed, here you go:
These aren’t really scrapped, but more along the lines of updated. Anyway here are some early screenshots of various locations around Easter Island!
This map has been the culmination of about a year’s work. Starting in early March, Easter Island has been a beast, with its highs and lows of development. But through it all, we hope we managed to make one of the most kick-ass maps made for Unturned. We hope you’re enjoying the map, and we look forward to continuing making curated maps for the game. Hopefully a little more timely next time
I feel like I should cut this off before this post gets any longer. Thanks for playing the map, and reading this Devpost!
Before You Go
We’re not completely done with this map yet. Your requests may be heard, don’t keep them to yourselves. Stay tuned for more…
Oh and thank Molton for
Lil' bonus for you fellas and ladies