Squad - Shorabad
Level Design Breakdown
Below you will find a video breakdown of my level design process behind the SQUAD mod Shorabad as well as any particular techniques used in order to facilitate gameplay
Primarily the maps size was reduced in order to shorten the map run time and travel time between objectives. Mountains were made shorter to allow players the choice of trans versing the hill zones and help to avoid them being funnelled down chokepoints. Landmarks and sublocations were added in subsequent iteration to help create fluid and dynamic gameplya between the interest points and not solely focused within the interest points themselves
Moodboards / Concept
The level will be themed in the context of a fictional Azerbaijani border town located on the coastline of the Caspian Sea The chosen landscape will allow for ample usage of distinctive terrain and geometry features as the region is very mountainous. The location of a coastline will allow for dynamic player decision-making as players will be able to make flanking decisions using amphibious vehicles present in the game. This will help guide the player but not force them down a set path as mountainous roads and hilly terrain will also be traversable. Using a coastal location will allow for experimentation with colour contrast from the colour of the water compared to the rest of the environment and level. Lighting would be positioned on the side of the water to highlight the environment and landscape accommodating for tall landmarks style structures to stand out and be illuminated as objective points.
Node Based Designs RAAS
As my map mod is made in the Squad SDK it has the ability to feature multiple gamemodes that facilitate gameplay notably RAAS (random advance and secure)
This gamemode features a set of layer based objectives that randomly progresses between each concurrent objective with teams only being able to view already captured objectives and the next capture site while not being able to view into the enemy captured points.
This gamemode was used as a backup and future goals plan for the mod as this gamemode proved to be less asymmetrical than the Invasion gamemode. This is due to the fact that both teams are simultaneously attacking and defending and have relatively equal start locations and situations
Node Based Designs Invasion
Node designs were made for the Invasion gamemode since this gamemode is by nature asymmetrical as one team will be defending pre-set positions while the attacking team only knows the objectives one at a time meaning they have to use strategy and tactics in order to circumnavigate the defenders advantage.
The objectives functioned on a cluster based system so each playthrough of the game will result in a different outcome for the player having around 24 different possible objective combinations.
Gameplay can also be planned so that the defending team starts with unequal resources compared to the attack team as vehicles can be placed asymmetrically to balance and create dynamic combat encounters
Node Based Design Combat Zones
I made node designs to outline the various combat types in the game. Due to the scale of the map it would be impossible within the timeframe to outline all potential combat locations therefore i made node designs to outline the type of encounters players may face so that i can retrospectively analyse combat areas and balance them to fit in one of 3 categories
Top Down plans and planning
in order to plan out the map in a fashion that would match up with the desired scale and metrics of the map i created a document with the same resolution of the target landscape and overlayed a top down screenshot of a flat level landscape to gauge scale and metrics.
Each objective zone was planned so that gameplay can have numerous different routes the player can take to achieve the same objective which would in turn complement Squads existing gameplay rewarding teamwork and player choice. I then made rough plans for how players will progress from spawns and how their sight lines will be at certain areas allowing me to refer back to the document to determine whether it would be a good idea to block line of sight from certain locations
Below is the map mod trailer showcasing key gameplay areas and objectives to prospective players.