Previous Development Dairies:
Solar 4 Development Diary #1
Solar 4 Development Diary #2
Solar 4 Development Diary #3
Welcome to Solar 4 Development Diary #4
In Dev Diary #1 we looked the initial process of Map Identifiers (MIDS) that became the 4 solar panels. MIDS create immediate connections to players and grounds them within the space they inhabit.
In Dev Diary #2 and Dev Diary #3 we looked over the development of Blue and Red bases, the changes that took place over the course of a week, and how rethinking the approach to designing bases can yield expanding results.
Welcome to Dev #4!
Solar 4 not only holds 4 massive solar panels and 2 solid team bases, Solar 4 has plenty of terrain to cover between them. This development diary will look at the process of filling in all the space between Red and Blue bases and the possible encounters all around the 4 solar panels.
Hang On...This is a long ride.
First let's look at Solar 4's lowest elevation. Low Ground called for increased cover options, so it required special attention.
Low Ground Version 1 was more tent than the attention that Low Ground needed
My tent was a simple design and fit well within the theme of the map
The tent doubled in size later, was tall, and provided visibility while in cover
Play tests showed the tent to be a camping spot that provided unwanted havens and pooled campy players inside the tent's transparent cover as they watched safely as their challengers approached at a disadvantage.
Low Ground Version 2: Starting to open up this space.
This layout of Low Ground took away the camping advantage that the tent had provided, but instead began leaning the balance of power too heavily toward Red Base as the low elevation and limited cover killed dare-devil travelers.
Low Ground Version 3. A compromise. Solid, non-transparent, and usable cover.
Players holding cover here now must choose to sacrifice their safe position to gain situational awareness. Low Ground also gained a unique layout that will hopefully yield exciting encounters as players and vehicles dance with stones.
Version 1. It was a long process to get this area worthy of visiting.
It's a common location that everyone can see from almost every point on the map.
The Perch is primarily for Blue team. The teleporter at Solar 4 gets Blue team there faster than any from Red.
The rock landing that hugs The Perch's corner, and faces Red Base, was a favorite option of players.
As development and testing continued, all players appeared to see The Perch, but most assumed it to stand too far from reach, or noticed little desire for entry. The Perch's initial design asked players to walk a 90 degree turn at the bottom from side to side. The structures at the top for sniper positioning also left many players confused.
As The Perch welcomed visitors it came to light that walking around the bottom and moving about up top felt tedious and left players out in the open for wrong choices.
The Perch: Version 2
Now here's that player-favorite corner facing Red Base. I've used sections of a tower to give players elevation/cover choices.
Still not satisifed, I changed The Perch's layout again. The 90 degree wall is changed to 30 degrees.
The Perch's wall now curves around the rock toward solar panel #4 and allows players to move quickly from one side to the other.
The wrap around of the new tower bit into the rock face...
...so a touch up fixed the hole, and added a cubby.
Here you can see the added lower cover at the outside corner provides a rest and reflect point that players demand.
Version 1: Simple and easy. A spot that both Red & Blue teams have potential for control.
Version 2: Corner Hold's orientation hasn't changed much over its development, but the structures that make up its geometry have changed explosively.
Version 3: As the structure grew, I found that it became almost a new base of conflict. Not final, but cool.
Even at this late stage in Solar 4's development, Corner Hold challenges my tolerances. Players have gravitated to Corner Hold for its cover from the main road and the awareness it provides of the area's approach & egress paths. As with any design, continued play tests will provide me with welcome data to compile and apply to future revisions.
Center Stage is the primary approach to Red Base, and the primary traverse path to Blue Base.
Center Stage includes Main Road and Power Strip. Main Road is the Northeast path that goes between solar panel 2 and Corner Hold. Power Strip is the path along the North barrier wall with power cables laid about the terrain.
Center Stage ended up being the SINGLE LARGEST REWORK of the original Solar 4 map design.
Center Stage South High (Version 1)
Center Stage South High (Version 2)
Center Stage South Low (Version 1)
Center Stage South Low (Version 2)
Center Stage North High (Version 1)
Center Stage North High (Version 2)
Version 2 of Center Stage allowed me to save more than 3000 in budget and provided Solar 4 with a smarter manipulation of each path that a player may opt to use. Center stage looks cleaner, allowed me the budget to rework Red Base, Blue Base, Corner hold, and Low Ground into what you've seen in previous diaries.
Overall Solar 4 is an exciting design project for me. I have much more testing yet to do. Optimal spawning and weapon placement will certainly be an ongoing process, but what you have seen up to this point is currently where I am on the development of Solar 4.
I hope to see the RP community on Live in the near future so that Solar 4 can get some proper attention by the professionals. I am talking to you Godly, Jonzorz, Mythic, and RP community members.
Thanks for looking over these diaries. I'll post a video of Solar 4 as soon as I get a few good games played on it.
Design with Determination!
XBL Gamertag: DriedMoss
Its lookin good moss! i usually wait till i play with a member before i send them a friend request, but i dont want to miss out on one of your playtests, so i'll try to add you next time im on(if i remember).
Again, the map looks great! hopefully it plays that way too!
Looks epic, I would like to play on this. Do not be afraid to invite Doc when you play test this again.
In reply to this post by DriedMoss
DAAAANG! This thing looks nice. The only concern I have looking at it is the sheer size. It honestly looks like you could play 2 or 3 BTBs at the same time (now that would be interesting). But, I'm sure you've considered all of this, as you aren't the kind of person to skip over things. Can't wait to see the whole thing, and more importantly, play it.
~Josh Hollinrake, Dj7291993
"Dreamers Dream, Doers Do, Achievers Achieve, But Champions Do It ALL." ~The Goads
"A man cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances." ~James Allen (As a Man Thinketh)
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