Although there are many rules and guidelines that have to be taken into consideration when building multiplayer maps for a first person shooting game, I will only cover the most important in this post. These rules should be included with the next Halo to help Forgers make the best maps they can.
Risk Vs Reward
The "Keg of Health" in the middle of the Unreal Tournament map Facing Worlds is an example of Risk vs Reward!
Certain areas within a multiplayer FPS map are considered high danger areas. These areas are usally small confined areas with a limited number of exits or large wide open areas with no cover. Because of the high danger associated with such areas players will avoid them if and when possible. This can be a problem; disrupting the flow of the map. In such circumstances there are two options - either amend the area in question by suuplying cover opportunities in wide open spaces or by adding extra exits to dead end rooms and long corridors, or alternatively you can place a juicy reward withiin the high risk area enticing greedy players to risk all in the hope of a reward.
Blood Drive from the Gears of War franchise allows players multiple routes of attack and evasion!
This is the most important aspect of any multiplayer FPS map. A player should, ideally, be able to run around your map in an unpredictable fashion without having to think about their actions. As such when faced with an enemy the player should have multiple options available to them - retreat, fight, flank. Thus ideally most areas within the map should have between three to five exits. Any less than three exits will make the area a high risk area (see above), whereas more than five exits will present the player with too many options, again breaking the flow.
Halo 4's Skyline uses the commonly used theme of a city based skyscraper map!
Each key area within a map should also be easily identifiable so that players can orientate themselves, while allowing players to easily communicate to each other their locations and the locations of enemies. However with symmetrical maps, ensure that each side of the map differs from the other. Creating such identifiable areas is easier to achieve if the map has a theme, a particular setting.
Quake 3 Arena's Longest Yard offers no clear advantage to any player!
No area of any map should be able to be dominated by a single player, thus each area should have and advantage and a disadvantage to it - for example, players should be able to flank a sniper, evade a tank where it cannot follow, infiltrate a heavily guarded base unseen. As with Flow, multiple choice is the key - for every advantage create a disadvantage, for every turret create a blind spot, for every vehicle placed place an anti vehicle weapon.
Taking into consideration the four above rules when forging a multiplayer map will help to ensure the map is fair and enjoyable. If any areas feel out-of-place you will usually find that you are breaking one or more of the above rules.
Next time in Snorkelbottoms Workshop we will continue with Halo: Ultimate with Forge - Pickup Placement!