A friend of mine, Radu Tanasie (working as an LD at Ubisoft Bukarest), assigned me with a task to create a small believable outpost map for FC5. The assignment contained specific directions for me to experience how it is to work under a lead and to get known to a different editor and game mode.
Logging Site in the US
Small 3-4 buildings max
Slightly vertical with small hills, surrounded by forest and some small cliffs
US logging site, woodcutting place, wood transport, sleeping facilities, and relaxation
Designing a map for a more open world casual game mode;
Working with terrain shaping and painting tools;
Working with AI's and scripts;
Creating a believable real-life location while keeping the gameplay aspects in mind.
A new editor
Working with the FC5 map editor was a whole new and effective experience. It allowed me to focus on different points such as terraforming, real-life logic, and the functionality of each area. It was not just about putting the focus on Level Design but also on the Levels Art, the composition of the terrain, and adding in smaller details to tell a story. Instead of spending months designing a greybox and iterating on its design I have spent about a week on this single map from start to finish.
During the design phase, I have been sharing images of the map's progress and received feedback based on those images. Also, I have been playtesting the map myself to indicate where control areas, animation points, weapon/health/ammo pickups should be. Based on this feedback and information I have done several iterations to not only have the map play well but also look good and tell a story.
The game mode
The outpost game mode in FC5 is a more casual game mode that requires a whole different approach then a FPS MP map does. There were new gameplay elements involved like AI's, control areas, animations, and allowing the player to figure out his own playstyle.
In my design, I allow the player to choose different classes and paths to approach the outpost. Right from the start he will get to choose to use a vehicle to drive with full force into the camp, slide down a zipline right in the center, or sneak his way around the campsite and remain undetected
Control Areas and AI
To prevent AI be scattered around the map, I have created areas that control where an AI patrol and what his behavior is like. The control areas in the center of the map are more overlapping and busier with enemies than the outer control areas of the map. This will build up the difficulty level of the map's progress and allows the player to plan his next move to get closer to the heart of the map. Around the map, I have placed animation points that will make the map feel more alive, but also allows players to predict AI's behavior and act on that.
When the alarm goes off (located in the center, most enemy-occupied area of the map), a new wave of enemies will rush to this point from the surrounding forests. As a cherry on the pie, two SUV's armed with a heavy machine gun will rush the camp