A Free-for-All/Team Deathmatch map designed in the Unreal Engine for FPSBois, a first-person shooter project with 12 other colleagues. The map is set in a mining outpost within a forest in Siberia, and is designed to be fast-paced and close-quarters, in which no area is one where the player will  feel safe.

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This symmetrical map surrounds a conflict between two distinct sides in the middle of a forest in Siberia. Each side contains its own base, a small space for the player to move through and remain safe with extensive cover. From each base, pathways weave through choke points across the center of the map, guiding the player towards different locations through guidelines and lighting. The layout of the map itself has been designed to allow for extensive maneuverability between all major areas.

Starting off as a blockout for a Capture-the-Flag map in a snowy forest, Siberia went through numerous layout changes, alongside several art passes, over a 7 month period. Constant playtesting was performed across a multitude of Steam builds.

Credit to Dell Barnes for the gun animations in the video above, Andrew Baldridge for the mountains outside of the map, and the rest of the FPSBois team for putting in the work and being amazing ♥

Click here to read more

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Bases:

Two bases are located on the extreme ends of the map, each housing two spawns around it. Two entrances are located outside of each base, one coming from the side path near the center, and two directly outside of the base, both leading the player up from the snow to the base’s height. These entrances act as a form of cover that the player can use to duck out and in, although it’s still possible for them to be flanked from either their direct left or right. The base itself comprises of a raised ramp with a single pillar in the center, allowing the player to move around it towards different entrances. From the base, a bridge to a window is added as a method of exit that those outside the base cannot use.

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These bases serve to be easily accessible spaces with cover to protect the player from those attacking from the center, yet it still opens enough vulnerability through its many entrances. At the same time, however, the player still needs to be wary of enemies approaching from pathways behind, or from the center’s side path.

Center:

The center of the map remained the least-changed area across development, as playtesters noted that its layout was often good as-is.

The center comprises of a side path that runs straight from one base to the other. It begins to the left of one base (relative to the base’s front), next to an outdoor spawn to the right of it, then straight to the other base, close to stairs that lead into said base. Other pathways branch off of this path:

  1. An entrance leading from one side path to the other, directly across from it, through a bridge in a tower.
  2. An entrance leading under the above-mentioned bridge, with paths that lead to the bases from the ground.
  3. An alternate, longer route to the lower floor of the tower, leading players back, down stairs, then across to it.

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Overall, it serves to be an area that encourages combat through pathways that weave from all major areas of the map, making it an important conflict point.

Alongside these two routes, various props are placed around the map to act as guidelines towards particular locations. The flaming props near the tower in particular allow the player to orient themselves relative to the rest of the map.

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Roadblocks and Comparisons to Last iteration:

This is a comparison to a previous iteration of Siberia, last modified on May 2019.

Click here for an analysis of Siberia’s previous iteration

  • Spawns across the map were, originally, either spaces that players came across while running through any of the main paths, or areas with a large amount of cover in front of them. Because of these, players would, depending on the type of spawn, encounter a player the millisecond they spawned, or camp at their spawn and move out of cover when another player was near. In general, players either felt too vulnerable, or too safe.
    • As such, spawns were modified to be exited, but never re-entered once the player enters the actual map itself. Once the player moves off of an enclosed spawn point, whether it be an area high in height, or a building with a door, they cannot return, and must stay within the actual map until they die.

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  • The base originally comprised of a small room relatively close to a spawn, alongside a large balcony weaving atop it. This was around the time that the center did not comprise of a tower itself, with it simply containing a bridge and the two side paths.  This was problematic, as players could easily remain at the balcony and shoot towards the center as much as they wanted, as a result of large sightlines. To put it briefly, the balconies were on the outside, looking into the center.
    • To solve this, the layout was modified so neither the base nor the balcony could look into one another. The base was changed to a building at a higher height with entrances leading up, as the lower height really served no purpose.

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  • The flanking paths that branched from the side paths seemed to allow too easy of an escape from players coming from the tower, according to playtesters.
    • Instead, these flanking paths were replaced with a weaving pathway that leads straight from the side path to the lower floor of the tower. This was added as a flanking route that didn’t serve to simply extend a particular area horizontally, rather, it served to immediately transfer a player from one area to another, allowing for easy traversal.

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  • The original bridge in the center of the map felt too simplistic, as it simply went from one side path to another. Alongside this, it possessed another path stretching below it, which was viewed to be tight and unnecessary.
    • To resolve this, the tower was added to to ensure that both the base and the center of the map were on the same level, so as to prevent incredibly long sightlines and add a tight, vertical path. The tower is essentially the top and lower floors of the original bridge, but vertically reversed, with walls surrounding it to prevent long sightlines.

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