Project Time: 1 week 50%
Game: Reflex Arena (Quake inspired FPS)
Editor: Reflex Arena Map Editor
• Can be played 2 vs 2, FFA or Team Deathmatch.
• Built from scratch based on sketches and whiteboxing.
• Smooth edges for easy movement.
• Weapons placed based on effectiveness/strength.
• All paths split but ultimately connect to each other.
What I learned
- All paths split off in 2 directions to prevent players from being trapped in corridors or tight spaces. This could be open corridors, jump-pads, lifts etc.
- All pick-ups such as weapons, health packs and ammunition should be placed for easy access without breaking the movement flow: No stops.
- A map should be designed around speed and offer at least a few more open spaces for players to duel out on.
- Weapons and its ammunition separated to different locations and sometimes placed were its hard-to-reach based on their potency and effectiveness.
- Bunny-hopping is a technique where the player time between crouching and jumping to increase their speed drastically. In most older games it is an exploit or bug but in Reflex Arena it is an intended mechanic.
All corners, edges, and jumps have to be smooth and curved to make sure players can navigate without getting stuck or lose speed.
Creating a map in a natural setting with large rocks, cliffs, roots, branches and bushes without removing the natural feeling is a challenge. It took quite some playtesting both alone and online to make sure all cliff edges and open areas where accessible and easy to move through with all trees and asymmetric walls around.
Whiteboxing and Finished Map Comparison
A top view of the map. The 2D map layouts were added after to explain paths and flow.
The edge to the right was first added as an experimental third point of interest where the Super Armor could be acquired and it offered a second path to and away from the fortress. After playtesting with friends and players online it was kept.
The Ravine was first intended to have a bottom connected to the bottom level but it was scrapped to make the map more interesting. I later added one extra ledge so that the ravine could be traversed from any direction.
(Edit) Looking at it now from a design perspective, the ravine could have been larger and rounded with platforms on the sides and perhaps have a powerful pickup in the middle of a hard to access platform.