King of the Hill (Overwatch)
Level Design Toolbox (Overwatch)
– Winston (Long range jump)
– Tracer (Three quick blinks)
– D’va (Boost that gives her verticality)
– Zen (Long sight lines)
– Widowmaker (Grappling hook)
– Pharah (Aerial ability)
Environmental Level Rules
– 3 Levels of height.
– Have consistent irregular building placements due to the nature of favelas.
– Have clear distinct areas for possible callouts.
– Have symmetry to make the level fair for both teams.
– Create clear conflict points where the players can converge upon.
– Create flanking routes so the players can flank a team holding a position.
– Make sure that the team can’t spawn camp once they control the map.
– Health packs (Small and Large)
– Capture Point
My starting point for this level is that I wanted to make a fevela themed level for Overwatch. I wanted to make a King of the Hill map because it is in my opinion the most balanced type of gameplay.
Because the game of Overwatch takes place in the future I had to give a twist to favela’s who would normally be seen as a community that is in poverty.
Favela Research Results
– There are no government regulations within Favelas so everything is done by the communities.
– This means there are no building codes and everything is build where it can, the only rules that exist are based on mutual acceptance.
– Houses are built with cheap materials.
– The houses are improved upon from generation by generation.
– Sketchup Layout
I started out with looking at all the already existing King of the Hill maps in Overwatch and tried to look for patterns that appeared in them.
These are the things that stood out to me:
1. There is always one main path that connects the other flanking routes.
2. There are a minimal of four main possible ways the player can go.
3. Health packs are mostly in contested areas of the map.
4. The player always has two or three options from which he can move at any given point.
After analyzing the different level flows it was time to make my own, these were the rules I abided by:
1. Make sure that holding the point is not too easy, there should be a decisive team fight victory if you want to take the point.
2. Make sure there are a minimal of four main pathways towards the point.
3. Make sure there are enough flanking routes for the players to engage in.
After designing the level flow it was time to look at where the level was going to take place. I did some research in to how the favelas looked to get a better idea of the verticality should play out.
As I found out favelas are mostly build up on top of each other without any building codes. Most of these neighbourhoods came to exist without help of the goverment so there were never any buliding regulations.
This was definitely one of the things I wanted to show in the level design. Especially this more chaotic way of building and also the large amounts of vertically that is present in the favelas.
What you also see is that these buildings are build with not a lot of space in between. So I wanted to make sure that the spaces in the level felt generally more smaller with less open planes.
Favelas In the Future
With that in mind I set out to think how they might develop in to the future. As Overwatch is a game set in the distant future. How would technology impact the favelas.
My thoughts were that these favelas would industrialize more and it would become more of a local economy where businesses would pop up and provide for this community.
I started out with my level flow and used big blocks to surround this level flow to start out. I wanted to break the level up in to four different areas and continue working on every specific area one after another.
I started with the main area that the players have at their disposal. The houses with the balconies. I wanted to make sure that there was a high ground from which the players could choose other paths and that the enemy team couldn’t spawn camp by having this vertical barrier.
I then moved on to the fountain, I wanted this place to be around smaller sight lines and continuous peeking outside of the door. Also there is a large health pack that could be heavily contested but you have to be willing to move out in to the open.
This is the most central part of the map from which the players can traverse. I wanted to give the players some high ground to overlook the point and a lot of exit points to look for flanking routes. There is also a high way to the left which allows for a quick flank but could be shut down from the balconies.
To the right side I wanted to opt for more longer sight lines but they could be countered by a flanking route.
There is also some high ground which looks out over the whole point and gives the players a good vantage point. I made sure that this vantage point could be countered from balcony and the hotel/restaurant.
What I found important is that the player always has multiple paths he has to choose from when moving around the map.
I wanted to give the player a lot of opportunities to allow for flanking especially with the multiple strong vantage points and the amount of opportunities the player has for peeking safely behind a wall.
When designing a map I don’t only want to focus on how the map should play, I also want to give opportunities for the players to easily communicate with each other. What is very common in multiplayer games is callouts for specific spots in the map to easily give information where possible players are.
I wanted to include these callouts in to my map design so the players will have an easier time navigating the map.