Map and Environment Design AMA With Game Designer Lawrence Barnett

  • Admin

    • Will parts of the map experience different weather conditions to other parts of the maps? How will you be managing these transitions?
    • Will we be able to climb/mantel the environment in ways that will allow us to use terrain with more freedom?

    Dynamic Weather is a really interesting one. On the one part it introduces a fantastic level of realism and immersion to the gameworld, but at the same time two players experience different weather in different locations in the same match, we introduce a random element that has the ability to provide some players with a competitive advantage. If one player is experiencing blue sky, another fog, it’s important the proximity of these weather systems are appropriate not only from a gameplay standpoint but also in our realistic grounding. Weather will dramatically impact player experience across the board so we’ll be experimenting and iterating with the setup and available weather states following testing and feedback. Expect clear blue sky, misty fog in valleys, moving clouds that occlude light (they look awesome!), rain and much more to come!

    Yes, we’re very keen to ensure the players can traverse as much of our gameworld as possible. No only become it’s very good looking and fun to explore but personally I find nothing more frustrating (I’m sure it’s shared) than getting stuck on terrain, objects and foliage. A clear visual language of what’s traversable and what’s not is crucial, from paths and terrain colours, to precise and defined cover/climb heights.

    • How will you guys stop the map from being like pubg for example, where its just town, open space, town, open space, forest, open space etc…

    To blend between our distinct choreographed levels and our natural world, we built the levels around our narrative and base the settings on what’s intuitive and what’s natural. There will sadly be no village in a quarry; what’s much more likely is a more immersive, exciting quarry setting, full of equipment and machinery which house the inevitable combat within. The next avenue of attack is the physical construction of the levels, they are not geometric squares with a harsh cut off. Levels are built into the world. For example: a train yard will have approaching trains that were abandoned, it’ll have signalling stations prior to it that will provide players with direction, insight, and gameplay cover, as well as ensuring our world is easier to navigate. From a gameplay standpoint this is critical to providing the players with alternative routes that may support shorter range scenarios and encounters, rather than requiring the player to run through a football pitch of exposure to enter the occlusion of a level. Lastly, the foliage and natural world is used to help bleed the levels into the world. Expect to find a treeline that’s grown into said trainyard, offering variety and blending the level into the world smoothly.

    • How much of the map are we going to get on Day 1 of the Forge?

    We’re currently testing on a few different map sizes. The Forge will launch on a minimum of a 64km squared map, which we are frequently testing at the present. That will obviously expand as The Forge continues.

    • Will there be caves in the game?
      Will there be a beautiful night sky? (stars) (Ok there will be stars based on the screenshots nvm)
      Will there be hidden rooms in the game? (Break a wall and go trough)

    Caves certainly, although you wouldn’t want to get stuck in there when a grenade drops in…
    I’d love to see a starry night to illuminate the environment, we’d need a nice crescent moon to suit.
    We’re keen to make the most of the destructible environment and that’ll include certain pro-routes and rooms that you’ll may not discover immediately, likewise without destruction, you will find purchase and scalable objects and structures that are easy to miss. Exploring should be great fun and rewarding as you learn new routes and lines of sight to exploit to your advantage.

    • Will there be different biomes on the map or will it be like a pubg map where it’s a large map with the same biome throughout?

    We’ve been working hard to ensure variety and contrast throughout the gameworld, both visually and in the gameplay that the environment creates and supports. We’re grounding the world of Mavericks within a Northern England setting, so it’s important for us to be photorealistic and be grounded in some realism (so don’t expect deserts rubbing shoulders with arctic mountaintops). However, that sets a number of exciting challenges and constraints that we address with variety within biomes. For example, Forests will vary from great Scots Pines, to closer quarters Oak woodland. That’s a quick example, but we have a range of different environment types such as heathland, moorland, meadows and crops/fields.

    Another facet that can’t be ignored is terrain undulation. We have the tools to guide paths through gullies, or expose them in clearing, and these are some of the techniques we’re using to craft the gameplay contrast within the world. Besides the more obvious benefit of exploring exciting environments, we’re set on ensuring that the natural world features areas of close quarters combat, choke-points, areas of power, along with the exposure that’s commonplace and somewhat fundamental such as a crop field or meadow. The kind of detail and consideration that’s second nature to a arena style FPS level but I believe often ignored or sidetracked in large open world multiplayer games. We’re conscious of the importance of long range line of sight for exploration and combat, as much as we want weapons like the shotgun to have their place in river beds and abandoned crop fields, all within the realm of realistic Northern Britain.

    • What aspects of the destructible environment are we going to see in the first playable version in late November?
    • Can we shoot down/blow up trees? Are there going to be explosive environmental objects? Can we burn down trees/grasses?
    • If they’re not going to be present in the first accessible version are they still planned or have they been shelved?
    • Similar to the above about destructible environments, are any aspects of the tracking system going to be present at launch? Footsteps/grass tracks/wildlife etc?
    • Will environmental elements (wind/rain) erase these or is that something that will be added later?
    • Any info on what environmental weather conditions are going to be present at launch. Rain/wind/snow/night etc?

    Tracking will be present in the forge, however the extent of the systems available will be subject to iteration as we’re very keen to collect as much data and feedback regarding their impact as possible. This will allow us to optimise the systems and make informed decisions regarding their place.

    Pursuing destruction in the natural world is something we’re set on delivering. We know it’ll present a really exciting and immersive experience that will change the face of the gameworld, visually and in play. It’s important to us that we integrate it at the launch of Mavericks.

    Pursuing destruction in the natural world is something we’re set on delivering. We know it’ll present a really exciting and immersive experience that will change the face of the gameworld, visually and in play. It’s important to us that we integrate it at the launch of Mavericks.

    Small scale destructible cover will be featured through our wooden assets, from crates to pallets. You shoot them and they’ll pop! We’ll also be giving you a variety of ways to change the flow of the map by opening up destructible walls, or gain an advantageous line of sight.

    As I said above, we’ll have the standard clear weather with dynamic clouds, an overcast variant that can morph into rain, as well as an experimental snow that I’m not sure will be available in the Forge as it’s experimental but something we’re interested in.

    • Is wind and other environmental aspects count to change how weapons/ bullets travel? I.e. long sniper shots bullets affected by wind

    No. We’ve made the call to establish bullet drop at present, and this is still fairly subtle, but we feel the addition of accounting for wind direction within gunplay mastery is not something that fits with our goal of making mavericks highly intuitive and usable. We can blame FPS and the common conventions of shooting for this, or wait for VR shooting with an omni-directional fan - THE FUTURE!

    • Do you plan on adding the ability to set waypoints or to be able to mark locations on the map for teammates?

    Yes, we’re building a great deal of functionality into our map UI to help you and your fellow team to coordinate strategy and visualise movements as best you can. How would feel about the ability to draw abstract shapes and label points of the map that you can share with others?

  • Founders

    I personally like the idea of being able to draw shapes and labels on the map for that extra bit of strategising. I’m actually glad it is being considered.

    Yes, please.

  • Founders

    Well I sure am glad that the developers atleast still share information with us…

  • Founders

    Great job getting this info out! I really appreciate that you followed up the delay with lots of feedback and answers for what is to come. Super stoked for November 29th!