Team Fortress 2
Arena_Goldtooth was my first experience in designing a level for Team Fortress 2. As a result I learned an incredible amount about Multiplayer level design for a game that needs constant balance for 9 classes. Goldtooth’s layout was inspired by a logo for Nine Inch Nail’s song echoplex. Listening to Nine Inch Nails at the time my eye caught the logo, and before I knew it, I had a layout based off of its shapes.
The level was constructed with open sight lines down the sides, but paths on the top and bottom to run through the buildings shielding you from most sniper fire. The center structure was designed as a 2 story building roof access allowing for ample amounts of vertical combat around the whole map. A later version yielded an addition of a pit that held a small health on a narrow plank. This new area gave better purpose to the bottom room, and became an excellent space for spies to corner their prey.
Arena_Flourmill is a level with a design that was considerably different from it’s initial plan. Originally the level consisted of a single building that sat elevated upon rocks next to a small pond. Water flowed from rocks above the mill and down to the waterwheel. After doing a block-out in the editor it became very apparent that the level needed drastic change.
On paper I had forgot the important element of verticality, so at the time I was left with a rather flat version of what I set out to make. While I kept the shapes for the buildings, I split it in two and began to experiment with the 3 mini-arenas within the level. The level is split by a path right down the middle to the point or routes to the left and right that open to mini arenas. You can cut through the buildings providing shelter or routes to drop in on your opponents, and of course there is a working waterwheel which was the one core element that stayed from the two drastically different designs.
The waterwheel houses the only health in the map and has 2 openings allowing the players to run through and collect the health. The catch is there can be a wait to get in, and you could also get trapped if you do not move quickly leaving you stuck momentarily and allowing your foes to catch up to you. Throughout playtests, there were hilarious moments of people running for the health and luring others to their deaths by the choke-point it created.