Military Conflict: Vietnam
Dustfade contacted me to help them out with creating maps for their new game MCV (build in Source). It looked like an interesting project, so I decided to create some maps in my free time on a voluntairy basis. The transition from CS:GO to MCV was a nice refreshment. It was a game that was still in early production and didn't know exactly what it wanted to be. This allowed me to explore and try out things on my own to find out what works for this game's mechanics and specifics. The military theme and more casual approach of the game and multiple game modes made it fun to work on. I will showcase the Conquest game mode where players have to capture flags and hold them to drain down the enemy their tickets.
For Saigon they had an idea in mind and already started with a block out for this map. But after getting a better idea of what they want the game to be and how the Source Engine works I decided to step away from their approach and come with an idea of my own. For example the idea was to have a huge open streets with a tramline and long open fights between the two sides, but personally I saw a lot of problems in this approach. Also, most existing maps were designed symmetrical and only focused on running & gunning and I wanted to come with something more identical and tactical.
So I decided to do research on the city Saigon during the Vietnam War era and go back to 2D and sketch a idea of my own. The idea of this big city and big streets would still be part of the design, but executed differently. The things I wanted to archieve in my design were:
Designing a map for a larger player count than they had at the time (6-10 players per team instead of 3-6 players per team).
Get rid of the symmetric design they used for all their maps.
Encourage players to use smoke grenades (and other equipment) to safely and fastly get somewhere.
Encourage players to choose a route that fits their weapon class & playstyle (different fire ranges).
Make each Capture Point (CP) feels slightly different (also visually for orientation/navigation purpose).
Make use of elevation and positions that give an advantage. Allow for more slow/defensive/supportive playstyles instead of purely running & gunning.
Allow players to use tactics and teamwork to archieve their goal and shine in their roles.
Introduce more destruction for interesting cover situations and traversing from one place to the other.
Pathing and Positioning
The USP for this map is the vertical central main street with the two balconies facing each other overseing the central Capture Point (CP). Both teams have to cross this road in order to reach one of the outer CP's (A or C) or take a safe detour instead. This allows supportive classes like the Sniper & LMG to setup in a passive position giving support fire to their teammates crossing or capturing the point.
Initially each team has three routes to choose from (to go to each CP), which then splits into multiple options to either change decision, to get a agressive angle on the enemy or to flank the opponent. The different options provide differents risks and oppertunities encouraging the player to make decisions based on his weapon class & playstyle.
What I missed in the existing maps was encouraging players to stick around CP's and defend them. When your team has control over a certain CP each team has certain positions (for the supportive role) to set up more agressively to supress the enemies. This allows your team to respawn and reinforce your CP or push for other CP's and get more map control.
The respawn mechanic was new to me and quite a challenge. To encourage players to focus on the CP I created ways to always rotate from one CP to the other and flank your enemy around these points. To avoid being spawnkilled I made the spawns less attractive for the enemies and created strong positions for the respawning team.