In this Designer Dissection, Level Designer Draska leads us through the design decisions behind Dirty Bomb's next Objective map. Check out the Prototype Showcase post
for the full rundown of Dockyard's objectives, and try it out for yourself in the Server Browser and in Private Matches until the 2nd of January.
Get to the Airship
Dockyard is designed to depart from the linear, sometimes "meat-grindy" gameplay inherent to escort maps by focusing action around key areas, such as pivotal strategic points and secondary objectives rather than the EV itself. In other words, the goal is to disperse combat that naturally pinpoints on the critical progression element leading to "spam". The strategic points are places in the map that dominate certain areas and offer good cover, height advantage, clear lines of sight and/or access to MG nests, which grant the controlling team an upper hand. Secondary objectives control the flow by opening/closing additional routes and completing them is also essential to the team's success.
Jackal and CDA are now presented with several tactical choices and each choice carries certain consequences. Pursuing multiple key areas at a time leads to team dispersion but also results in a “cleaner”, duel-like combat and doesn’t leave any key area uncontested. A “strength in numbers” approach on the other hand, gives the best chance of success but only when pursuing one goal at a time and is more susceptible to fire support and grenades. Team structure plays a crucial role, as some Mercs are better suited to carry out certain tasks.
This kind of gameplay requires a certain level of coordination and teamwork but also adds depth, contributing to replay value and longevity of the map.
Such a solution also leads to a more desirable pace: Once Jackal gain control of a strategic point the EV is able to progress, until it meets resistance from the next control point.
Destroy the Black Box
The final objective tries to achieve balance between a variety of choices and ease of navigation, while remaining focused and fast paced.
Choice and Navigation
Trenches funnel players towards the Primary Objective while raised areas give access to additional routes via secondary objectives. The CDA defenders can restrict the flow of the map by establishing a forward defense and not allowing Jackal to complete Secondary Objectives. The crashed Airship acts as a landmark for the entire map and aids navigation. Its burning pieces scattered around the final objective area will act as a breadcrumb trail.
Fast pace is achieved by shorter travel times and a reduced gameplay area. Trenches favour sudden encounters and short range combat, while raised areas allow for scouting and long range firefights.
Have you played Dockyard? Where does it succeed and how could it be improved? Let us know in the comments below!