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[C&C:RA3]DEVELOPER BLOG #1 - MULTIPLAYER MAP DESIGN WITH JEREMY FEASEL

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작성자 해리어 쪽지보내기 아이디로 검색 6건 3,437회 작성일08-08-10 16:29

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Comrades, leading up until the launch of Red Alert 3, we will be bringing you a series of developer blogs, carefully and personally crafted by a different member of our development team each time. This is their opportunity to give you a personal glimpse in to their world, not to mention learning quite a bit about the complex processes in designing and producing an RTS. Be prepared to be shocked and awed, inspired and entertained, our developers have a lot to say...and show!

RA3_Promo_22.jpg


"Designing a map...just right"
by Jeremy Feasel - Multiplayer Map Designer

Hello and welcome to the inaugural Red Alert 3 Developer Blog Series! I'm Jeremy Feasel, your friendly multiplayer map designer and a member of the In-House Hardcores™ of multiplayer. We've spent quite a bit of time focusing on the base unit-and-structure aspects of multiplayer in order to get RA3 to a level of polish that feels intuitive from many different angles. The goal was to hit every aspect of the multilayer experience, from individual unit interactions to relative expansion risk level, until it all "just feels right." When I see people lining up to be a part of the in-house multiplayer tournaments, I feel like we're headed in the right direction - of course, you guys will be the ultimate judge of that. Today I'd like to share some of our MP map features and strategies, and explain how we arrived at them after many, many iterations.

In order to begin designing the maps for RA3, we had to come to a consensus about a lot of unit-specific interactions. Unit speed is a major early focus point: How fast should the fastest/slowest units move? How long would the average user want his units to take to reach a base-expansion site or navigate the entire map? How long a distance feels "just too long" and when does a unit's speed hit that "it's too fast!" tipping point? There are a lot of questions to answer and it poses a daunting challenge, ultimately setting up a dynamic relationship between map elements and the units themselves. Once you've figured out those distances that cause your players to start yawning, you can nail down map sizes and other relative in-game distances.

FeaselMapWall1sm.jpg
You have to start somewhere

The goal throughout the development of RA3 was to create a multiplayer experience that would appeal to a wide audience. We've added quite a variety of map sizes, from small, "knife-fight" 1v1 maps that are the favorites of our fast-click, hardcore MP crowd; to sprawling forests with multiple lanes, elevations, and back-doors, for the thoughtful meta-map strategist. Great map design can add depth by expanding the core experience across a variety of scenarios.

We take a similar approach when considering other important map elements. Garrison distances from major choke points, ore nodes, and points of interest are carefully measured to allow for optimal coverage of that combat area and usage of the garrison/degarrison mini-game. Points of interest, such as oil derricks and other tech buildings, are placed in areas where early-game combat should occur. Expansion points are set up to allow for various levels of player choice: do you take the risky expansion close to your enemy, or the safe expansion that is off to the side and away from your main force?

This becomes especially complex with the naval focus of RA3. The relative power of a player's navy is strongly influenced by the amount of water and ocean-hosted ore nodes on the map. After a few test cases, however, you come up with a system for crafting the "relative aqueousness" of a map. (Ah, sweet aqueousness. I think I just made that word up.) In other words, specific combinations of ore node risk, combined with location, push a map's focus more toward water or land. Neutral structures can also be used to push a player off of their main island early, or force players to fight over a terrestrial area. The key is understanding how the widest range of people play, and that comes from observing a large variety of players and gameplay styles.

I'm also big fan of carefully crafting immersive experiences. We have some great tilesets in Red Alert 3, from fiery volcanoes to snow-swept tundra, which we've used to distinguish each map and give them a very unique feel. The props, textures, lighting, and sound effects for our maps have been given significant attention, which makes for multiplayer experiences that don?t just feel like a bunch of tanks on a floating rock near Anywhere, USA.

As we're nearing completion on RA3, I spend most of my time polishing very specific map elements. Usually, that means making slight adjustments to garrisonables that allow for different usage of an area, reforesting to provide small woodsy areas that can camouflage your units, or slightly modifying the combat flow of areas after observing how they are playing out in-game. Every day the MP squad, led by the effervescent Greg Black, continues to look at unit interactions on a map-by-map basis; they ensure that your cliff-side bombardment has just enough room to do the right amount of damage, that your early-game derrick battle is meaningful, and they confirm that people do, in fact, capture that one observation post.

In an upcoming beta content refresh, we're hoping to update both of the current maps (Cabana Republic and Roundhouse Redux) in ways that improve the flow of each map. Cabana has received a wider water area and the north-central ore nodes have been pushed off into the water, allowing for a more heavy navy focus and the potential of a naval retreat. Roundhouse has had its cliffs flattened into shorelines around the edges of the map, allowing for much easier movement across the major naval areas and for bombardment of the enemy expansions with capital ships. We're also hoping to get some new maps into future beta releases that will open up your gameplay experience: a smaller, close-combat 1v1 map and a larger, multi-lane, land-based 2v2 map. You'll see what I mean when I say a wide variety of map styles!

In the meantime, here are some teaser shots ;)

Revamped and ready to go!

RA3_CabanaRepublicsm.jpg
Cabana Republic - Click for high resolution top-down image


RA3_RoundhouseReduxsm.jpg
Roundhouse Redux - Click for high resolution top-down image


RA3_TemplePrimesm.jpg
Temple Prime - Click for high resolution top-down image


RA3_RockRidgesm.jpg
Rock Ridge - Click for high resolution top-down image


Keep visiting back as we continue our Developer Blog Series all the way up until the launch of Red Alert 3!

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다크시니님의 댓글

다크시니 쪽지보내기 아이디로 검색 작성일

<P>멀티플레이 제작 담당이신가 보네요. 마지막 맵 다리를 기점으로 맹렬한 전투가 벌어질것 같군요.</P>

 

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<P>아직 정식판이 안나와서 모르지만 이번 작은 레드얼럿2와 같은 시가전은 드문것 같아요... 나와봤자 무슨 유럽의 마을 같은 풍의 집들 뿐...3D니까 건물 유닛 비례맞추기 힘들어서그런가;;</P>

 

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그러고보니 <BR><BR>Temple Prime - Click for high resolution top-down image<BR><BR>이맵은 제너럴의 토너먼트 A 맵과 같내요!

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