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Most _lovely_ Maps Ever?
A counter thread to Tronyn's interesting "most _evile_ maps ever".

Which are the maps, or locations, in any game (preferably FPS), that strike you as the most lovely, the most beautiful, the most serene, the most inspiring, the most "I wish this was real so I could actually be here"??

And what made those maps/locations so lovely??

And do you think "nice" mapping is used effectively in games?? Does it have a good role or purpose??
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To Tronyn 
it's not fps, but in commander keen 4 the starting forest was quite nice with all the old trees slowly blinking in the background and the bouncy smily ball and the pogo stick, the water drops, the huts, the slugs - all very positive. And your blaster only stunned the animals, it didn't kill them.

I wish id returned to something other than doom and gloom for a while.

You can get the keen4e.zip from the net. Btw the readme says: Copyright (c) 1991, Id Software Inc., Madison, Wisconsin, USA. 
Thread Hijack 
 
Sonic and Knuckles: Mushroom Hill Zone
GTA: Vice City (No one particular "level" just all of it)
aaaaannnndddd ummmmmm that floaty castle spire level from UT the original. 
Actually, 
i'd love to visit the first map of pong!

and maybe some of the alice maps, too. 
Thats Ut2k4 
^ UT2K4 
That is the best map I have ever seen linked at this board, ever. 
Looks Very Nice 
but if its not sp (which is more than likely given its ut2k4), the layout looks dodgy. 
Other Stuff 
 
frankly saying, water and sky are very good, but growth and rocks are not 
Speedy 
really ?

shots looked good to me (I havent got the game so cant say in game.

what do you think is wrong about rocks and growth ? 
 
not convincing, too smooth, UT lighting fails (definately no match for HL2 light) 
For A Onslaught Map 
which I assume has many players, surely there would be r_speed type issues with too much detail. 
 
gg on finding weathered mountains, now notice how much UTs light and texture is inferior to the work of nature

well, take HL2 rocks and see how much more realism they have (atleast the surface rendering) 
notice how much UTs light and texture is inferior to the work of nature

Certainly it's not the only game people still enjoy regardless of it's engine abilities. 
Ignorant Babble 
I noticed that HL2 had some really nice rocks in shots of that beach map created by some user I forget.
Damn if I had the energy and time and resources I'd like to try to test-model some real world place in hl2.

Currently, I don't have the game or even a clue about the geometry and texturing technologies it has.

It seems hl2 anyway has good textures and lighting, it goes a pretty long way! 
Well... 
Lots of good replies there. Unfortunately mostly too good that I'll just be repeating what others have said.

Now, I've seen a lot of inspiring and impressive settings in games, but not all of them have the real beauty, the real "I would just love to live there aspect". But there's some that I think do:

In game:

Unreal - Na Pali Haven - really soothing and just great floating above the clouds.

Unreal - Bluff Eversmoking - setting is great, on a mountain top, and the whole atmosphere is enticing and intriguing.

Unreal - Illhaven - well, duh. Very cute and quaint and just generally nice.

FAKK2 - first map at least, maybe later ones. Really nice exotic vibe, good views, nice chicks, etc...

Daikatana - a couple of maps, the start of E3 and one or two in E2 as well.

Enclave - there were some in this, I've just forgotten them >:(.

HL2 - pretty sure there are some places there.

Painkiller - yeah that monastry island, a bit eerie but also beautiful and magical.

Far Cry - many places, once you've cleared them out of all hostiles. Tropical paradise!

Guild Wars - many places, but in particular the Shiverpeak mountains in general. Some of the isolated villages up there are just delightful - quaint houses, nice scenery, amazing views. Possibly the most "I'd like to live there" places I've seen... 
Mmm. 
Pre-searing ascalon is very nice indeed. I keep a low level character there just so I can go back and wander around from time to time. :P The LionsArch pvp arena entrance is pretty too.

Of all the game locations I've visited though, I'd have to say Morrowind would be my top holiday destination. I could quite happily just lay back on a hillock and watch the planets. Just as long as a diseased rat doesn't come and nibble on my toes. 
Blah 
The most lovely maps I've played lately were in the Operation Na Pali mod for Unreal/UT. There was a ruined Nali temple, half submerged in water and lava, with a palpable sense of decay and disaray everywhere: collapsed pillars, rickety walkways, and occasional scripted sequences where stuff would fall as you passed through the level. Wouldnt want to actually live there, but the sense of place was astounding.

ONP also had some very consistently nice outdoor cliff/canyon areas, with good sky lighting. 
 
If you got "I would just love to live there" feeling about HL2 - just move your ass to Russia or somewhere like Poland ;) 
I'm Thinking 
of buying an island and creating my own country, which I shall rule with an iron fist. Think City 17, but with statues of me in place of those silly horses. You're all welcome to come and be supressed and beaten by my legions of autonomous soldiers there, if you like. 
In Addition To ONP... 
The 7 Bullets SP mod and the Xidia mods had beutiful, calming temples, outdoor areas and even some of the tech levels that overlooked a big lake. And caves with ferns and things growing.

The Unreal universe was drawn to beauty in the same way that Quake was drawn to dreariness. (Both are good.) 
Ztn2dm5 
I've been re-collecting and running through a lot of the old q2 DM maps I recall playing Eraserbots in years ago.

The Crucible is the sexiest map I've ever seen. All black, and the brushwork is so simple but the textures are all put together absolutely perfectly. The recessed bits with that ridiculously useful 32-square vent grate in it, and a trim of red neon ... oooh.

Looking back on it now I dunno if I'd have been as much of a fan of the gameplay (like piling all the ammo for a weapon next to the weapon ... I'm glad I unlearned that), but the architecture and ztn's favorite cathedral lighting is still damn fine. 
Ztn2dm5 
beaten it to death (uhmm.. rl/RA whoring@500fph, uhmm... spot on about the ammo placement :))

wouldnt call it pretty, but thats about the way I see it (hardly black, rather red-purplish) :

http://images.google.com/images?q=tbn:5m--kltE9O4J:http://quake2.com.ru/maps_upload/03009.jpg

btw, who invented this style of mapping
(minimal, functional and proportional brushwork with some angles and nice diretional lighting) Ztn or headshot?
Most of
Q4 dm maps are very much like that 
Uhmm Uhmm Uhmm 
Insofar as you're looking for a map that's picturesque, no, it's not lovely at all, but I meant more in terms of execution. 
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