This CS:GO defuse map was designed and created as part of a University submission.
My main aim for this map was that it promoted game play styles associated with the game.
I used the Four-square method to start designing this map, I then researched why certain competitive maps work well in CS:GO and applied this to my own map.
CS:GO SDK Hammer
I created three main paths from each side for the teams to use as I found that this is common in other CS:GO maps. More main paths would make the map confusing or take too much time for the players to navigate the map or gain backup.
I then created five alternative routes. This reduced the predictability of the player movement making the game more enjoyable. It also gives the players a choice to take different routes and experiment with different tactics.
I created four connecting paths between these routes. These gave the player a chance to quickly change paths. For a fast paced game I felt that it was important that the player does not need to walk backwards to change direction as the game plan for each team could change quickly.
These symbols represent the Terrorist and Counter Terrorist teams that are found in the game. This map is CT sided, this means that the CT team will reach the bomb sites before the T players, to balance this I created long site lines along the B site and the mid location for the T players to seize before deciding on a bomb site.
These areas are two of the choke points leading up to the bomb sites. I kept the choke points to a small amount on this map as I there are only 5 players per side on a professional team, if I created too many choke points there would be too many areas to monitor.
This is the mid section. This area was designed to enable the teams to change tactics and move around the map. It also provides an area for one team to try to claim.
These are the bombsites on the map. They are on different sides so that they cannot be covered from the same position. They are not too far away from each other as I wanted to enable the T players to move between them quickly as this is important if they find that one bomb site is too heavily defended. It is also important that the CT side can move between them quickly when they discover where the bomb has been planted.
The prototype Agora is set on an isolated island. The players must explore the island and navigate to three checkpoints where they will obtain an item to help them continue the game.
This is the spawn area. I chose to use visual blocking aids such as rocks and thick bushes to encourage the player to follow the path. I made this decision as I felt that invisible walls would break the player's immersion with the game. I also sculpted the path to dip in the center to suggest that it is used on a regular basis.
I placed a fallen tree on the spawn path to teach the player how to jump. Before the player reaches the tree a UI element appears with the control for jump. The path curves after the fallen tree, I decided this with the hope that the player would want to find out what was ahead of them, this would encourage the player to think about the route that they were taking, and stop them from becoming bored.
In the same way as the jump mechanic the player is taught how to crouch. This movement will enable them to navigate through smaller spaces in the game. I placed a high part of land ahead of this player and used trees to frame the end of the path to encourage the player to keep on moving forwards.
At the end of the spawn path I created a slight hill, this provides the player with a view of the camp below. I decided to sculpt this part of the level in this way to intrigue the player and guide them.
In a clearing soon after the spawn path the player will be guided to a camp. Here they are provided with a digital tablet, that keeps track of their body statistics, inventory and a fact file for the objects found on the island. They can view these at any time. The player will come across a tent, campfire and sleeping bag. The purpose of this is to show that someone has been to this area before the player, this adds to the mystery of the game as the player does not know who the camp belongs to.
Before leaving the camp the players are taught the remaining controls; how to pick up items and how to use the combat mode. I placed a bridge to encourage the player to move onto the next part of the island. This once again shows that the island has had someone on it before in order to create the bridge.
Situated in the forest I created a clearing to contain the boar den. Boars are aggressive and attack the player, when defeated they drop meat which the player can consume to regenerate their hunger and health stats. I made this area open, enabling the player to move freely as they fight with the boars. The is also a sheet of metal in an area that the boars have been digging, this is to suggest that there is something man made under the island surface.
Throughout the forests in Agora there are many different paths to guide the player. I decided to use man made objects to attract the player to certain paths, as well as using height to grab the player's attention.
At the thickest part of the river I added a cluster of objects that the player can use to cross the river. I decided to give the player multiple directions to go in on this crossing to encourage the player to explore the island. The man made fence that I placed on the edge of the land signals to the player that the water is dangerous and encourages them to use the crossing.
Throughout the island I sculpted higher and lower areas. The higher areas act as vantage points. The island is very large and I felt that it was important that the players could navigate easily, this will reduce the chance of the player becoming frustrated and lost in the map. The player can use these vantage points to orientate themselves as well as plan out the next part of their route.
At this point in the level the player should be very used to the controls. I decided to give them a choice of three routes; a climbing route onto the high ground, a thin path forwards and a jumping puzzle on the left hand side of the image. I made this decision as I wanted to encourage the player to explore the map and figure out which route would get them to the third objective easier and quicker.
I sculpted a cave using the UE4 landscape tool in order to provide the player with shelter against the harsh weather conditions. I placed extra food sources in the cave for the player to find. This cave also provided a point to navigate the player.
After reaching the third objective the player is presented with the start of a zipline. There is mystery to where this leads and is different to the other objects found on the island, this should make the player feel excited, and cautious. I used man made planks of wood to direct the player into the position to use the zipline.
As they travel along the zipline the player will be able to see through the fog to the final goal found at the forth totem pole.
Once the player has landed from the zipline they will have a very clear view of the fourth totem pole; the win area, once this area is reached the player receives a fact file explaining their identity, uncovering part of the mystery. I decided that this area should be open and easy for the player to navigate as a reward for navigating to this point. If I had more time on this project I would like to improve this area with more objects and terrain height variation.
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Agora is a prototype for a survival, exportation game that I created as part of a group of 5 during a University project. We had nine weeks including a two week planning period to complete this module.
As a Game Designer I was responsible for creating the Game design documentation, creating a backstory and character personalities and communicating with my team.
I designed the level and then used UE4's Landscape tool to create the sculpt of the island and blend textures that were provided to me by the environment artist. I then created the post processing effects and lighting for the prototype.
I was also responsible for leading meetings and assuring that my team were aware of their tasks and that the work was all completed by the set sprint deadlines.
Q&A testing was a very important aspect of this project, I created forms and ran tests with our testers. I would then analyse the feedback and communicate this back to my team and make changes in any design areas.
Unreal Engine 4
Spawn path start
Spawn path end
For this level I used post processing effects to make the colour more saturated and bright. This was to make the level feel warm as the level was set in a hot enviroment.
I used a path to navigate the player through the level. As the prototype was very fast paced the player did not have time to explore the level.
There are pick ups for the player to gather such as speed boosts, health and fire rate increase.
For the Viking themed level I decided to make the scene much darker with blue colours to make the player feel less comfortable. This was as the level was more difficult and to challenge the player.
I used lights to direct the player throughout the level.
The map layout is the same as the first level, even though this level is more difficult the player should be familiar with the route, this stops the game from becoming too frustrating for the player.
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Game jam winner!
Post Survival- Evolved is a prototype created by myself and 3 other team members for a 3 day University game jam.
The constraints for the game jam were:
During this game jam my team and I worked together to create a game idea that fit the constraints give to us. I was then responsible for making some of the 3D environment, designing the levels and then creating them in engine. I also created the post processing effects and lighting for the prototype.
Unreal Engine 4