View Full Version : [Devblog] Battlefield Creation of DUST 514

November 1 2013, 02:20:04 AM
Hello everyone, this is CCP Stiffneck from the Level Design team! Today I am going to share with you some details on how we are building battlefields in DUST 514 together with CCP Tigris and CCP LogicLoop.
The Beginning
Starting from blank paper to design a 5x5 km map which contains rich topographic features, as well as the complexity of a real environment, is a very interesting and challenging process.
In a single-player game we consider what only one player will experience at different times and in different locations. It’s straightforward, because you can usually design from a particular view for the player without considering NPCs. But you can’t do the same in multiplayer games like DUST 514, because each player should be treated equally. This is the key rule we need to follow from the beginning to the end as designers.
For example, in Skirmish mode, the main goal is to occupy objectives for as long as you as you can. In order to ensure two teams can race fairly, the distance and time to reach each objective requires careful planning. We need to avoid allowing the goal for each team to be too simple or difficult to achieve.
Overall design for the entire 5x5km map
This principle is essential for good multiplayer game design. Even a great idea, if it’s one that all players can’t enjoy equally, is actually a bad idea.
When we start designing specific areas, we explicitly define the overall topographic features as well as the terrain. Unlike general terrain features, terrain design is usually more specific, such as what kind elevation changes occur. Battlefield terrain in this stage will determine the layout when we’re on the detailed design stage. If it’s not prepared in advance, we‘ll have many problems when production begins. The biggest problem often is that terrain of the battlefield is unlikely to fit into the terrain shape that we have built, which will then adversely affect the overall environment and placement of additional elements.
Next we will take these designs to the concept and level artists to see if we can achieve the same view in terms of both gameplay and art effect. The concept artist will create a basic terrain with all the features we want in realistic size and scale. The level designers will make a design based on this terrain, including the battleground, roads, the definition of functional areas, etc. The reason we do it this way is that when level designers design the battlefield terrain, it’s always based on realistic proportions and sizes. It really helps to unify game content and visual effects.
Concept for one of the battlefields in the map
A large terrain map in DUST 514 contains several battlefields, and each has its own use. They can be an energy supply base, an ore mining field, a facility for resource storage, or just a part of the natural terrain of a planet's surface. We try to make every battlefield authentic through logical and reasonable design. They are the "real things" in the EVE universe.
Detailed design of a battlefield
The detailed design of each battlefield includes many aspects. The size and terrain will be defined more precisely. The distance and location between sockets will be carefully considered. Spawn locations, starting bases, objective, installations, covers, visual blocks, game path, etc. But before we start to work on the complex, we address several key elements first. These elements will have the most influence on determining how the battlefield ends up at the final stage.
The socket
A ”socket” is the container for a group of game contents. The same socket on the battlefield can be loaded with different content, which provides variations of battlefields when players play on the same terrain.
In DUST 514, there are three different sizes of socket, which can be used as outposts, spawn bases, or objectives. Due to memory, budget, and performance issues, the number of sockets are limited, so their positions need to be carefully planned. For instance, outpost sockets always take up large amounts of memory, so they are typically placed in the center of the battlefield, whereas small and medium-sized sockets are more flexible. Due to these constraints, we always try to make sockets appear in the places they are most needed.
Tactics/game flow
By adjusting the locations and routes for the objective in the battlefield, we can provide different tactics for players to use, resulting in different game flows.
As can be seen from the following image, all objectives on this map are distributed along a circular line. At the start, each team has two objectives. Each objective will connect to three or four other objectives or spawn bases, which brings more flexible options for players when they need to attack or defend their objectives.
Objectives are distributed along the circular line
Here is another battlefield with a different setting. All objectives are distributed in a straight line. There is only one objective for each team at the beginning. Players will have fewer options available to them, but the conflict zones will be more focused and will likely have more intense fighting.
Objectives are distributed along a straight line
We have more tactical choices to provide other, different gaming experiences, but of course when players are actually fighting, they might behave nothing like we imagined! Still, this is our starting point when we design maps.
The place where players spawn in the initial stage should be the safest place in the entire battlefield. To ensure that’s the case, we put the initial base location far away from the battlefield. The line of sight from the battlefield will be almost entirely obstructed. The action scope from the hostile team will also be limited to a certain distance from the initial base.
By contrast, players are completely defenseless while hacking objectives. Because there is such a high chance of being killed while hacking, those positions must be well protected. There should not be a direct line of sight from any point on the map which could allow for a sniper to make continual headshots.
The things we’ve spoken about here, and of course more, make up the battlefields in DUST. We try our best to provide an interesting environment for all players to compete in, and of course your feedback and opinions are always the most important to us! -CCP Stiffneck
-CCP LogicLoop
-CCP Tigris

original link (http://dust514.com/news/blog/2013/11/battlefields-of-dust-514/)

November 1 2013, 02:43:15 AM

Mike deVoid
November 1 2013, 01:41:38 PM

Underlined for emphasis.

i think its awsome how the maps are really coming together now and every bit of new content inncoperates a new gaming experience with it :) iv noticed that on several of the maps you can see OTHER maps outside of the "red zone"

is this a glimpse into the future vision of DUST 32v32 MAPS with 9 objectives over an espansive map of 3 objective clusters!!

i.e............ ................................. A "super" NULL CANNON
............................................... B C

player spawn* .................................................. ........................................... player spawn *

................. D "super" NULL CANNON ................................... G "super" NULL CANNON
.............. E F .................................................. .................... .... H I

have you guys considered this... is this on the road map? (way down the line)

i really see the potential but the performance issues of the ps3 may be a drama..

ps. sorry my example is really bad :/

No problem~ I got you. There is the plan from our creative director. The maps we designed need to fulfill the game mode "conquest" , which means you have the chance to have all battlegrounds available at the same time and travel between them. I don't know when it will come to true and how many players it will support. But it should be there in the near future.

About the general view map you saw in the blog. You guys only play 3 sections of this map. They are Spine Crescent , Ashland and Iron Delta. This terrain was designed at the end of 2012. For some reasons, there were 2 battlegrounds we didn't have time to finish them. But who knows, maybe you will find them on live some day:)

Thanks for supporting

^Conquest on the Craters map would be awesome if say you start out on Border Gulch, head over to Fractured Road, then everyone takes a mad dash down the crater side into Impact Ridge.

Yes, you have[:lol:]


Rakshasa The Cat
November 1 2013, 02:55:31 PM
That 5x5 km map would be so nice if we could do LAV races on...

November 1 2013, 07:56:22 PM
That 5x5 km map would be so nice if we could do LAV races on...

Well there is a pending feature where corps can free-roam on districts that they own.

Step 1: organize race
Step 2: place bets
Step 3: have corp member 'sponsors' invite racers
Step 4: ...
Step 5: profit

November 2 2013, 01:18:14 AM
something something affiliate program

November 2 2013, 07:04:07 AM
That 5x5 km map would be so nice if we could do LAV races on...

Well there is a pending feature where corps can free-roam on districts that they own.

Step 1: organize race
Step 2: place bets
Step 3: have corp member 'sponsors' invite racers
Step 4: ...
Step 5: profit

Step 4 is clearly: Drop Moros strike on the course.