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Level Specifications


Number of Players: 


Game Modes:

Development Time: 

Unreal Engine 4

Up to 32

First person PVP and PVE

Eight different gamemodes and ten different layouts

Four months

Making the Player Play Tactically

Citadel's map hook was all about forcing players to work tactically as they progressed throughout the areas. The goal was that the map would play differently in each major section, expanding and contracting sharply from CQB to long range as players moved through the different zones. 

Citadel was also the second half of the single player story map that also encompassed Bab. I was brought on board to build the entire second half of the map, convert the first half from single player to multiplayer, to complete the art and to build all the gameplay layouts. My main areas of work are highlighted in the image! 

A Different Style of Play for Each Section of the Map

Citadel was all about pushing players into a different flow state than other Insurgency maps. Most of the map designs for Sandstorm were usually tailored to a specific type of playstyle. For example, Bab was all about long range engagements, a map like Tell was completely about CQB. Citadel was a shake up to the recipe of the game.

To achieve this I sought to replicate the first half of the maps expansion and contraction, but push it to the extreme on either end. Players wouldn't be able to win comfortably by using the same tactic throughout the map. They would have to change the way they worked together to overcome the levels changes to geometry.


In the image to the right you can see mapped out areas of CQB to long range, with blue being CQB areas and red being long range. The orange section shows where I mixed the two by providing both extremely tight trenches and relatively open above ground play for the final push.

Overcoming Tough Challenges and Encouraging Teamwork

One example of this was the sub central point of the map that was styled after an archeology dig.  After leaving the wide open space of the ampitheatre zone, players would fight through a series of tight tunnels into a looping staircase

The fight through the closed quarters area relies heavily on use of supressing fire and flanks. After fighting through this zone they come to the peak of a vast valley - the archeology site. There are flanks and tunnels players can use to bypass the largest, most dangerous areas, but they were always funnelled into the central zone. How do you make this fun?

  1. Counter Positions and the Tactical Advantage

The main element of the open zones of Citadel were to provide powerful counter positions each time players transition into large open spaces. Both sides, regardless of direction would be able to quickly get a feel of the zone, spot enemy vantage points, and engage rushing enemies.


    2. Make Players Feel Smart

Another key factor was to always reward players for exploring and thinking tactically. If a player pushed a wide flank as a risk they were rewarded with either saftey or a good counter position/angle. For example, an intrepid player could completely bypass the fierce fighting of the final castle push by using a series of slower, hidden trench tunnels. 

    3. Reward Teamwork

Many of the points on Citadel hammered home the idea of covering fire, smokes and staging. For the C point on Push Security, it was designed to be nearly impossible to take without a coordinated effort to use fire support on the enemy position combined with supressing flanks and a direct rush. However, if players did cooperate? They were rewarded with powerful positions, and gained territory. 

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