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Interactive Design & Game Development Thesis Research Journal FPS Multiplayer Map Workflow By Taylor Eldredge SCAD 2012

Checkpoint 1 "Multiplayer Video Game." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Sept. 2012. Web. 27 Sept. 2012. <>. Summary: One of my thesis proposal ideas relates to multiplayer maps within games and how they are built. To start off I decided to get a simple and quick overview of what a multiplayer game is and the history. It offers a good, compact look at the types of multiplayer games and there are in the game industry as well as multiplayer game types within those games. These descriptions may help more with the visual component of my thesis but will still offer a good starting point with the overall strategies, and gameplay behaviors that will ultimately mold a multiplayer map's design.

"Thesis: Game Design and Architecture-" Thesis: Game Design and N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2012. <>. Summary: This article was a game design thesis by Christopher W. Totten. His thesis centers on how game design methods can be used to influence the architectural design process. He reviews some aspects of his method that are important such as Creating a core mechanic that shapes the architectural space and using game engines to play test building designs. This was a good look at how one can take environment art for games and apply it to other fields. His core mechanic step his thesis seemed to be very important and also stands out as an important factor in multiplayer map designs throughout the video game industry.

Masinter, Celeste. "Master's Thesis: Beyond Point A: Game Environments as Psycho-Symbolic" Master's Thesis: Beyond Point A: Game Environments as Psycho-Symbolic Allegory- N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2012. <>. Summary: This was a very interesting thesis by Celeste Masinter, who brings up metaphoric and symbolic powers that can function as virtual expressions of characters. It allows game designers to communicate with the audience things about the characters in a game, whether it be a hero or villain., trough the environments.

Boron, Dariusz. "Master's Thesis: Infinite Regress: The Blurring of an Architectural Game-Space" Master's Thesis: Infinite Regress: The Blurring of an Architectural Game-Space N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2012. <>. Summary: On a related note, this article also involves both architecture and game design for a thesis project. The author, Dariusz Boron, invested time and research in both the architecture and gaming industries and is trying to blur the distinctions between the tools that are used in each industry. As a result, the hope is that architects and other designers can take advantage of the tools and game engines that build worlds for video games. These architects and designers will be able to experience their designs through a virtual, immersive, and even interactive environment in real-time.

McGann, Neal. "Master's Thesis: Watching Games And Playing Movies: The Influence Of Cinema On Computer Games-" Master's Thesis: Watching Games And Playing Movies: The Influence Of Cinema On Computer Games- N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2012. <>. Summary: This article provides some great examples of how cinema has been gaining ever more influence on video games throughout its short history, with the main idea stating that movies and cinema have had a large amount of influence on games, especially recently. Furthermore, the article also talks about the tendency that has developed where game designers attempt to copy cinema so much to a point where some of the uniqueness and potency within games is being lost. In an effort to create games with cinematic aesthetics, some essential qualities of games are inevitably being diminished.


Calabrese, David A.


Concept art : the importance, influence and effect / by David A. Calabrese.


Bryant, Ricky Darnell.


Embracing color more as an emotional and psychological tool in comics / by Ricky Darnell Bryant, Jr.

"Multiplayer Map Theory (Gears of War)." UDN. Epic Games, n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2012. <>. Summary: This article is featured on Epic Game's website and explains the game developer's theory into multiplayer map creation. It explains several different approaches and techniques that have helped make their maps successful in Gears of War and the Unreal series. This article was written based on Epic Game's trial and errors while developing the multiplayer components in their games.

Hill, Simon. "Multiplayer Map Design Theory." Altered Gamer. N.p., 5 Mar. 2011. Web. 27 Sept. 2012. <>. Summary: FPS multiplayer map design is the focus in this article. It runs through a lot of the basic mechanics of "deathmatch" multiplayer, but one thing that stood out to me was the explanation of architectural limitations. "One of the most important things to consider is helping the players not get lost. Landmarks are a fantastic way of doing this. A solitary statue which appears nowhere else in the map or a red house in a village of white ones can be enough to allow the player to figure out where they are quickly and easily. If you use a large landmark where it is visible to the player from multiple spots in the map, then they can always use it to navigate."

Schramm, MIke. "Treyarch Reveals the Behind-the-scenes Story of Call of Duty: Black Ops." Joystiq. N.p., 14 Sept. 2011. Web. 27 Sept. 2012. <>.

Summary: A simple look at how the game developer Treyarch starts off building their multiplayer maps. Not too much information here, but has a straight forward explanation and it is quoted directly from the team that creates the multiplayer maps at the company.

Luban, Pascal. "Introduction - Multiplayer Level Design In-Depth, Part 1: The Specific Constraints of Multiplayer Level Design." Gamasutra. N.p., 26 Oct. 2006. Web. 15 Sept. 2012. <>. Summary: Pascal Luben wrote three interesting articles for Gamasutra about his multiplayer map design ideas as well as other significant areas of game design. Luben is a creative director and game designer who has had experience in the industry since 1995. These articles were really helpful in explaining major points and theories within multiplayer map creation, especially ones that would be used in bigger game studios.

Checkpoint 2 Urk. " : Carney's Crash Course: Map Design 101 : 11/3/2010 1:34 PM PDT." : Carney's Crash Course: Map Design 101 : 11/3/2010 1:34 PM PDT. N.p., 11 Mar. 2010. Web. 16 Sept. 2012. <>. Summary: This is a quick run through of how Bungie, creators of the original Halo series, began creating their Halo: Reach multiplayer remake of Halo 2's Lockout. Most of the information presented here is preliminary work for the design and play testing phases such as overhead layouts, and map flow.

Stout, Mike. "Designing FPS Multiplayer Maps â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Part 2." On Game Design. N.p., 10 Jan. 2008. Web. 18 Sept. 2012. <>. Summary: This is a good series of articles that focus in on what aspects make an FPS multiplayer map fun. The first section is more of an overview of mechanics and design choices that can be made while

creating a map. The next section is a look at what makes multiplayer maps in FPS games not fun. Some things that are mentioned are view distances, linearity, sniper positions, and secret areas.

"Balancing Multiplayer Games, Part 1." Sirlin.Net. N.p., 17 Oct. 2008. Web. 19 Sept. 2012. <>. Summary: This informative article goes over some aspects focused on balancing multiplayer and the fairness within the game. Most of the theories presented in this article apply to most types of multiplayer games whether it be an FPS or fighting game.

Scimeca, Dennis. "How To Build The Best Multiplayer FPS Maps: Part One." G4tv, 15 Dec. 2011. Web. 27 Sept. 2012. <>. Summary: In this article, G4Tv interviewed several game developers to try and find out if there were in fact a set of "rules" in common for how to design the best maps for multiplayer components within games today.

Hillier, Brenna. "Treyarch Talks Multiplayer Map Design." N.p., 4 Aug. 2011. Web. 24 Sept. 2012. <>. Summary: An interview with Treyarch design director David Vonderhaar on how his studio designs multiplayer maps. Most of the interview centers around the game Call of Duty: Black Ops and the design decisions that went into forming those maps in the time frame that they were given. “We go through this pretty rigorous process. There’s a whole series of things a map has to have – it’s gotta have good flow control and pathing, it’s gotta have good cover. There’s things that every map’s going to have in common.”

Castillo, Travis, and Jeannie Novak. Game Development Essentials: Game Level Design. New York: Delmar, 2008. Print. Summary: This book takes the reader on a creative journey that starts at a conceptual beginning and arrives at a polished end. Through this journey, you will learn the process of designing compelling worlds that immerse the player in interactive environments created from your imagination. Visceral worlds that tell a story through their aesthetics are combined with a refined design that allows the player to flow through a level.

Busby, Jason, Zak Parrish, and Jeff Wilson. Mastering Unreal Technology Volume 1: Introduction to Level Design with Unreal Engine 3. Indianapolis, IN: Sams Pub., 2009. Print. Summary: This book has some great tips on how to build a level in unreal 3. I have been using this book for the last three years and it is still useful. Most of the book still applies to the new UDK. Some of the major sections in the book include asset creation and importation, as well as placing assets in the right areas for more effective visual appeal and gameplay.

Co, Phil. Level Designs for Games: Creating Compelling Game Experiences. Berkeley, Calif. : [London: New Riders ; Pearson Education] [distributor, 2006. Print. Summary: Going back to basics, this book has also helped me in the past with level design issues. It provides good tips for level layouts and asset placement as well as asset designs and how they can be properly used within a level or multiplayer map. The book offers a clear workflow with the steps that are provided through the use of a demo map that the author created for the book.

Feil, John, and Marc Scattergood. Beginning Game Level Design. Boston, MA: Thomson Course Technology, 2005. Print. Summary: This is a beginnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book to level and environment design. It gives good tips on how to control gameplay in subtle ways

Bycer, Josh. "Gamasutra: Josh Bycer's Blog - One Man War: Examining Single Player RTS Design." Gamasutra. Gamasutra, 20 Aug. 2011. Web. 27 Sept. 2012. < er_RTS_Design.php>. Summary: Real Time Strategy games also have a seemingly complex design method for multiplayer. Single player is much different from multiplayer and often is much more straightforward and easy to design. This article explains the various game types in single player RTS games and how that could apply to the level designs in the campaigns.

Heussner, Tobias. "RTS Level Design – The Layout (Part 1)." Tobias Heussner. Wordpress, 13 Sept. 2010. Web. 27 Sept. 2012. <>. Summary: Tobias Heussner documented his workflow and design strategies for RTS map designs in his blog. Layout and the "hook" were his major points to consider when developing an RTS map. "The hook should be a unique feature, which makes your map really fun to play. It can be a specific strategy or story or whatever you like, just remember, we’re designing something that should entertain everybody who plays our map, so FUN is the most important aspect of level design as is for any other game design discipline."

"How to Have the Best Level Design and Game Environment Year." World of Level Design. N.p., 11 Jan. 2012. Web. 27 Sept. 2012. <>. Summary: A great look at how to get started with level design, from start to finish. It is very simple yet informative, and goes over a lot of early stages of the level design process. A lot of it is centered around what a student might go through more than a industry professional, but it still provides a solid process and steps to ensure more solid level design results.

Scimeca, Dennis. "10 Of The Most Influential FPS Multiplayer Maps Ever." G4tv, 19 Dec. 2011. Web. 20 Sept. 2012. <>. Summary: This article is about some of the more influential multiplayer maps to ever be made throughout video game history. It is something good to look at in my opinion because it explains why these maps are good and why they have had influences on other game company's maps to follow it. Most of the descriptions should be goals that developers should strive for when creating their multiplayer maps.

Scimeca, Dennis. "The Legacy of Fail: Gears of War 3 Level Design with Epic's Jim Brown." G4tv, 15 June 2012. Web. 20 Sept. 2012. <>. Summary: This article is a great look into the design of the Gears of War 3 multiplayer map Trenches. The article focuses on what was wrong with the map. As part of the Level Design In A Day workshop at the Game Developers Conference this year, Brown gave a presentation called “The Legacy of Fail” which told the story of how the Gears of War 3. Trenches map was developed. His presentation was a breakdown of the iterative design process that fans don’t usually get to see. He goes over flow in a map, as well as techniques that were used at Epic Games to determine good layouts such as heatmaps.

Checkpoint 3

Totilo, Stephen. "Modern Warfare 3 Multiplayer Will Borrow Gun-on-Gun Feel of Call of Duty 4, DeEmphasize Verticality of MW2." Kotaku. N.p., 14 July 2011. Web. 4 Oct. 2012. < on gun-feel-of-call-ofduty-4-de emphasize-verticality-of-mw2>.

Summary: This article explains a few design elements that went into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3's multiplayer in an interview with the game's design teams. A lot of the things that are looked at are technical and revolve around the flow and how different types of players will play though parts of the maps.

Williams, Patrick. Multiplayer Level Design. Robot Renegade, 5 Dec. 2000. Web. 4 Oct. 2012. <>. Summary: This overview provides direction and insight for designers who are creating or working on a multiplayer level. The author addresses topics like Flow, Item Placement, Initial Design, Architecture, and Testing. This is a good, simple overview of these components within the design process.

Bauer, Benjamin. "Ben's Small Bible of Realistic Multiplayer Level Design." The Wall. N.p., 11 Nov. 2004. Web. 10 Oct. 2012. < c_multiplayer_level_design.pdf>. Summary: This PDF journal is a really awesome example of multiplayer design from an industry professional. The journal was made by Ben Bauer from Crytek and focuses on multiplayer design elements used in the company. Most of the areas that are explored are specific to the Crysis series of games but it he goes into pretty good depth for each section. Some of the subjects include strategies, tactical elements, navigation, orientation within levels, level sizes, and art for gameplay.

Smith, Goeffrey. "Multiplayer Level Design." Multiplayer Level Design (2004): 1-9. Web. 12 Oct. 2012. <>. Summary: This article is a good look at a developer's take on major multiplayer design elements. Most of what he has come up with was done so from analyzing the Valve game Counter Strike. While most of the points that are made are good, most seem to apply more to a hobbyists way of designing multiplayer maps and not necessarily a development company that consists of several people and teams. Inspiration, layout, and building methods are the three main components that are looked at.

Douce, Sylvain. "GDC 2010 Level Design Notes Part 1." GDC 2010 - Level Design Notes. World of Level Design, 6 Apr. 2010. Web. 12 Oct. 2012. <>. Summary: This article consists of 5 parts and is a summary of several panels at GDC 2010 that were geared towards Level Design and other game art presentations that could relate to environment art. The article goes over several industry professional's presentations at the conference. It is a mixture of technical and art aspects that contribute to level design, most of which can carry over to multiplayer design as well. While there is a good amount of information provided in this article, most of it is shortened and summarized with some information being left out or not recorded from the original presentation.

Bungie. "Multiplayer Level Design - Halo PC." Main. Bungie, 2003. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. <>. Summary: This article provides a list of multiplayer creation elements used in the Halo release for PC. Most of the sections focus on the art development for the game.

Bleszinski, Cliff. "The Art and Science of Level Design." Game Developer's Conference. 2000. Lecture. Summary: This was a session at GDC featuring Cliff Bleszinski of Epic Games. During his presentation he goes over several elements that define a level designer and evaluates some of the problems that a level designer may encounter and design techniques that one may use in the industry.

Staff, Edge. "FEATURE: Secrets of Multiplayer Maps." Edge Online - Secrets of Multiplayer Maps. Edge Magazine, 25 Nov. 2007. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. <>. Summary: This article covers several different memorable multiplayer maps from the past. The article is a series of interviews of designers and their architecture of multiplayer level design. Some games that are covered are Halo, Team Fortress, and Counter Strike and their respective development teams.

Bungie. "Multiplayer Level Design General Overview." Multiplayer Level Design General Overview. Bungie, n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2012. < overview.html>.

Summary: This article gives a general overview for the creation of Multiplayer (MP) Levels for Halo for the PC. This section includes rules, guidelines, components and other useful information related to the creation and editing of Multiplayer environments for Halo and its various game types.

Crytek. "Multiplayer Level Design." Multiplayer Level Design- CryWiki. Crytek, n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2012. <>. Summary: This is a good general overview of some of the design methods that Crytek uses in their multiplayer development process.

G端ttler, Christian, and Troels Johansson. "Spatial Principles of Level-Design in Multi-Player First-Person Shooters." Thesis. IT-University of Copenhagen, 2005. Web. 14 Oct. 2012. <>.

Summary: This paper outlines the basic spatial principles of level design in multi-player first-person shooters with special reference to Counterstrike, basing itself on experiment, analysis, and theoretical discussion. The Authors addresses the following questions: What characterizes good level design in first-person shooters? Which criteria are necessary in the level-design process in order to obtain quality? Most of the matters that are discussed relate to space in multiplayer levels and how it effects player strategies and tactical choice. Collision points and environment art are also addressed in the paper. The ideas are supported by a redesign of Counter Strike multiplayer maps.

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Chris. "Gears of War: MLG Strategies: Clocktower." GotFrag DPAD. DPAD, 05 Oct. 2007. Web. 23 Oct. 2012. <>. Summary: This article is a good representation of lines of sight and cover placement within the Gears of War map Clock Tower. The article also goes into detail about team strategies and the flow of the map. The details also help reveal what kinds of 3D assets would be suitable for cover types (short or tall).

McCaffrey, Ryan. "Halo 4 - Vortex Multiplayer Map Walkthrough With 343i." IGN. IGN, 31 Oct. 2012. Web. 31 Oct. 2012. <>.

Summary: This article/video is a walkthrough of one of 343 Industries' multiplayer maps in the upcoming game Halo 4. Kynan Pearson, the lead multiplayer designer explains the elements that went into designing the map as well as how the map ends up being played in the final game. This is a really good bit of information since a lot of the design process is explained and mechanics/strategies that players may use based on the designs are looked at as well.

McCaffrey, Ryan. "Halo 4 - Longbow Multiplayer Map Walkthrough With 343i." IGN. IGN, 23 Oct. 2012. Web. 24 Oct. 2012. <>. McCaffrey, Ryan. "Halo 4 - "Meltdown" Multiplayer Map Walkthrough With 343i." IGN. IGN, 16 Oct. 2012. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. <>.

Summary: More articles/videos featuring multiplayer maps from the upcoming 343 Industries game Halo 4. Kynan Pearson, Lead Multiplayer Designer, returns to provide walkthroughs of Longbow and Meltdown. He goes into good detail about his teams design process and goals for the maps. He also explains the maps' iterations and what had changed since day one based on play testing. These are very good sources for how teams work, specifically 343 Industries, to create multiplayer maps in today's video game industry.

"Map Creation Guidelines." Map Level Design Creation Guidelines. World of Level Design, 27 Nov. 2008. Web.01Nov.2012.< n_guidelines.php>. Summary: I originally forgot to add this one from a previous checkpoint, but it is a good article on basic map creation guidelines. It goes over important subjects to consider when one designs a map such as gametype, story, gameplay, and visuals. It doesn’t go into too much depth within each category, but it is a good outline that brings up questions that a designer should constantly be considering throughout their creation process.

Smith, Gillian, Mee Cha, and Jim Whitehead. "A Framework for Analysis of 2D Platformer Levels." A Framework for Analysis of 2D Platformer Levels. UCSC, 2008. Web. 31 Oct. 2012. <>. Summary: This is a thesis that I had found a week ago, and hadn’t finished reading it until now. The thesis is centered on 2D platformers such as Mario and Megaman, but it states some really good ideas that would carry over to the 3D design realm.

"Quantum Of Solace Video Game Level Design." Quantum Of Solace Video Game Level Design. World of Level Design, 04 Oct. 2008. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. < me_level_design.php>. Summary: While not the best produced game in the market, the 007 game Quantum of Solace has some documentaries pertaining to the game’s level and multiplayer designs and process. The videos review such things as: -First stages of level design don't exist on the computer. You do it on paper, you do it in discussion, you get a basic concept to work with. -From your concept you decide how can you make this fun. -Outline it. Draw it. Very basic. Deciding how it will work with the gameplay for your game. -Reference. Pay attention to reference.

-Next is laying down basic blocks. Constantly moving things around and redesigning. Keep it simple. -After gameplay is established you start with details. Detailing the buildings, adding props, etc. Making the world come to life. -Concentrate on immersion. Immersing the player and providing experience.

Checkpoint 5 Whiteman, Bryson. "Good Multi-player Design Elements | | Flash Game Development Discussion." N.p., 31 Mar. 2009. Web. 5 Nov. 2012. <>. Summary: This site offers some interesting things to consider when designing multiplayer. Most are general but some offers good ideas that pertain to more technical areas within multiplayer design.

Diamante, VIncent. "Gamasutra - News - GDC: The Blizzard Approach to Multiplayer Design." Gamasutra Article. Gamasutra, 21 Feb. 2008. Web. 6 Nov. 2012. <>. Summary: Rob Pardo's lecture noting that Blizzard focuses on multiplayer game design as a major component. Several design issues are brought up in this GDC presentation that is very informative. Balance and designing with the player in mind are the main focus.

Bauer, Benjamin. "Ben's Small Bible of Realistic Multiplayer Level Design." World of Level Design. World of Level Design, 11 Nov. 2004. Web. 6 Nov. 2012. < iplayer_Level_Design.pdf>. Summary: Another great design guideline collection from industry professional Ben Bauer of Crytek. Very informative and is taken straight from the company he worked for. Many topics are covered and expanded with details and diagrams. Both technical and art design methods for multiplayer are covered in his collection. Good set of guidelines to wrap up on for the quarter as it can all help with the visual component of my thesis as well.


Video Game Documentaries

Journal Checkpoint 5  

Thesis Journal

Journal Checkpoint 5  

Thesis Journal