@Evironmental Artists/ Map Designers


#1

How does the asymmetrical balance of mobility affect how you design maps, and how do you tackle that problem?

In Natural Selection 2 I was always amazed by how the maps and how the two sides traversed them, and the complexity of the problem that presented for making maps balanced.

The complexity of that problem might be slightly different here, but its still totally interesting. Especially how you deal with setting possible spawns, and balancing how far/close certain kinds of things can be from one another.

Care to share your process?


#2

I would also like to know a bit more about what determines where the Dropship drops people re-spawning? Is it based on the location of the remaining hunters, are there set locations (If so, how many are there) etc…


#3

I was just going to start a thread to praise the map design, but here seems as good a thread as any.

I just came from watching the IGN map reveal for Refuelling Tower and I just wanted to say how awesome it looks. I was blown away with the maps in the alpha too, it seemed to me that they were well-designed spaces with lots of interesting visual and tactical features.

I honestly have no idea why there are a few people whinging about variety of the maps and saying they all look the same, they don’t in the slightest, I think people are just used to being beaten over the head with ‘THIS IS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT AREA’ colour palette change that games like World of Warcraft and Borderlands do. I love how subtle they feel, and there’s a feeling of realism to them too, despite still feeling alien. It must have taken a lot of balancing, and… Well, I should stop before I get much more sycophantic, but I just love them, so just wanted to say thanks for a job well done.

I’d love to hear a little about the design process for these things too, both on the environmental art side as well as layout design. Do you think more biomes will be introduced post-launch with the new maps, or are current plans to flesh out the existing biomes further?


#4

I wasn’t able to see the beauty of the level design as intended due to alpha performance issues, but I did see a lot of people running on PCs that had no issues and I have to say they do a fantastic job. They had this one moment where they were hunting a Kraken, and the player had positioned the camera so there was moon (er, planet?) light in the background, and off in the distance, you saw the billowy form of Kraken pass in front of it like some creepy lurking ethereal monstrosity.

Was very evocative of the hunt!


#5

One of the interesting things I think that I took away from SC2 is that maps don’t have to be balanced perfectly for every side.

If you set the format up to support biased maps that allows you a lot of room to toy with things, did you guys have that same sort of mindset for maps in Evolve?

Where you allow for some bias? How do you gauge how much a map favors a side to win? Is that information going to be opaque or will players sort of be able to gauge that bias and play/pick differently to adapt?


#6

That would be interesting to know. Do you have stats for monster wins/losses for each map? @Macman


#7

We do. I haven’t looked at them for some time.


#8

Did you notice trends that some maps were more biased than others towards certain monsters/hunter team setup, and if so, did you change the maps to try and balance, or are you more concerned with W/L of individuals as opposed to the maps?


#9

We definitely had to work on it. A map being too small can sway to the Hunter’s favor. A map with too much food can sway to the monster’s favor, etc. Lots of ways that the maps affect the game balance.


#10

Cool stuff. Love to find out the details of the hows and whys :slight_smile: Keep up the great work you guys! P.S. I would love a complete cave level. Have the dropship drop in the hunters through small openings/holes that funnel down into the Cave Proper. You could have ioluminescent walls/fauna that could make for a really cool experience. It would also have a good reason to have those flashlights on all the time :smiley:


#11

We wanted to do this too but found that we had to have a lot of openings in the ceiling so that Hank could sometimes do his Orbital, and Cabot could sometimes do the Dusting.


#12

Hmmm… I guess that makes sense. What about a really large ‘hole’ that had walls similar to caverns but was porous up top, almost like some sort of Coral design with an open top/roof?