This is my first devblog that I wish I started sooner. I'll start off by recapping what I have done so far in developing my latest competitive 2vs2 map, Platoe.
I started off with a few basic things on my wishlist to include in my next map after recently finishing my last two maps, Overflow and Surfsup. Overflow is a covenant/swamp themed with gameplay similar to Downrush while Surfsup is a forerunner/snow themed map with faster gameplay similar to Derelict. With that I decided for my third map I would try and do something human and with more verticality similar to how Imminent pushes the bounds on what a map can be with large vertical sitelines.
With that in mind I started off creating shapes and cutting them up until I had spaces I thought would be cool and would merge them together to come up with even more intricate and cool spaces. When I found a specific space I liked which was the multilevel pit that went down the center of the map I started to redirect my chaotic way of creating space to narrow down the space to revolve more around what I decided would be my main feature space in the map.
Here is an image taken from when I first started working on the map. There were a few cool spaces I liked in here that I knew I would keep and iterate on. The first being the dropdown to the left onto a block which would then force the player to drop again to keep on going. I like this space mainly because I was intending on using it as a location for a powerup. So the player would have to drop down onto the powerup to get it and then be at the bottom of the level where they would naturally want to climb back up to a higher position. I really liked having the catwalk across the steep pit and then including a large angled surface. An angled surface is cool but is usually only seen in the form of a ramp so I figured lets make this whole wall a slanted surface.
Now in the next photo to the bottom of this I was expanding on the space but knew it was not enough space to make a complete map. I had a conversation about "what is the ideal amount of rooms/spaces for a map" and it concluded with atleast 5-6 rooms\spaces, but there could be a few more. The reasoning for those numbers was that a good team of two players would be able to keep an eye on two rooms each and thus know that the opponent would be in the fourth or sixth room allowing for some fun predictability. So with that I merge this three layered cross into the original model which extended the long pit farther and then it created another corner point which would become the red base.
At this point I knew the overshield would be placed at the end up the top catwalk and needed a place for camo. So during blocking out the hole I created a small little platform for camo and made it grabbable through the floor. This fun gimmick has a practical purpose too because it allows the player to grab camo while still being shielded by the large ramp. At this stage I had developed a level that had an enclosed space and could get it ingame. There I could traverse the space and I liked that it had a natural flow to it because of it having almost a figure eight shape.
I had a location for my powerups and now was starting to think of where my rockets should be placed. I started figuring it would then go at the bottom of the center pit because it was a central location that would force players to traverse down the levels to pick up rockets and then naturally flow back up to the top floors. So this meant I needed to elaborate on this new space where the rockets would be placed as you can see in the next photo below here. I also started carving out open spaces in each of the corners of the pathways with the purpose of enlarging the playable space and to give me enough space for spawns and equipment. I wasn't sure if adding these deadspaces would be good but found that some deadspace gives the player a calm place to spawn and increases the different sitelines that will occur between players.
Creating the dead space worked well because it started to define actual areas on the level. I started to see the benefits of this and expanded these areas out even farther as seen in the image below. I ended up with roughly 4-5 levels and realized having any more than 5 would be stretching the map out to be too complicated. I say 4-5 because the fifth level being the top tower is not much of a level sinse once you teleport up there you must drop down or get bombarded with nades so it's more like an extension of the 4th floor.
At this phase I had some playtesting done and the overall flow of the map was good. A problem that was occurring was that those rooms I carved out usually contained 3 spawns with one in each corner. All those spawns were relatively close to eachother leading to being spawn trapped inside that room with another teammate and the opponents just need to lob in grenades to get you both. With further playtesting there were several areas in those rooms that did allow the player to force spawn their teammate out from the rooms to avoid spawn trapping. Despite having these areas there were still too much spawn trapping occurring. With this I was satisfied with the overall layout and flow of the map and the main issue being spawn traps which was due to spawn placements. I had thoughts on resolving this by lowering the amount of spawns in those rooms and pushing them as far away from eachother as possible making it more likely that a player could force spawn their teammate to an adjacent room. With this I started to do an art pass.
I'm going to end this blog here. I'm still not caught up to date with where I'm at now. Hopefully these blogs don't always trail behind what I'm currently doing but instead discuss some of my thought processes before I do make any changes. For the next blog I'll discuss what I did during the art pass and how that impacted the design for the better and sometimes for the worse and how I deal with those problems. If were lucky, I'll get to discuss future plans for the map. Anyway, with all that thank you if you get to this part of the blog and I hope you've enjoyed reading about how I went about designing my new map Platoe.
A cool note I'd like to point out that can be seen in the photos is my frame is centered in the map at 0,0,0 with dimensions being 20, 30, 70 max units which is the relative size of the player. This helps give me an idea of scale when working and it helps me maintain that coordinate 0,0,0 stay in the level and are centerly located. I want coordinate 0,0,0 inside the map because it makes it easier when placing certain level specific objects and the camera defaults to 0,0,0 during the intro spawn.
If you liked reading this blog check out the next devblog #2: Art Pass - Platoehttp://forum.halomaps.org/index.cfm?page=topic&topicID=50697
Also check out my previous 2 maps
In addition if you're interested in playing competitive 2vs2 games please feel free to message me here for more information.Edited by il Duce Primo on Mar 29, 2018 at 09:56 AM