Hey, my name is Josh. I'm a level designer with experience in creating FPS and RTS layouts. I've worked with multiple independent developers to create multiplayer and singleplayer experiences. Below is some of my work.
Lumberyard Deatmatch - Unreal Engine
Player's fight over sawblades and old wood in this Lumberyard themed FFA map. Designed for the Core: Arenas of Combat level design contest, I had one month to blockout, playtest, and fully artpass before the submission deadline.
Below was my first iteration of the layout. During the blockout I was still figuring out the space and scale of the map, changing some aspects of it to better fit gameplay. Once it was finished I playtested and began experimenting with slight artpassing to try and figure out what kind of space I wanted to create.
The only theming I had in mind was that the bottom section of the map would be a cliff, which led me into a more nature-esque, lumberyard theme.
This initial basic theming did help me to realize the space more. In the screenshots above I added slight height to the back area with an elevated platform and mitigated a sightline through the mid section by making the bridges inclined.
I also added a new interior area which bridged the two halves of the map and helped to add more varied gameplay spaces. The new area adds a vantage point that players can use to try and snipe other players while also creating a nice rotation route that improves overall flow. The railing on the inside also helps to make sure a player standing in the window has to commit to being there, they can't strafe to cover if a player outside spots them.
Around this time only about a week remained before the contest deadline. I had the gameplay in a state where I felt it was solid, and then began artpassing. Below is a gif I created of the different versions, from alpha to final.
Chaos Canyon - Source Engine
An asymmetrical control point map for Team Fortress 2 where teams start with a randomly assigned base.
Chaos Canyon is an asymmetrical control point map for Team Fortress 2 where teams start with a randomly assigned base. To win teams must hold a majority of control points on the map or take control of the enemy team's base.
My idea for this map was to have the points be situated in a circle, with each point having an attacking advantage on the other. Flow chart below being a super basic representation of this.
A can attack both the B and C points, but it has an overall advantage while attacking B. My idea being that teams wouldn't have to split themselves between the two fronts, as a few players can defend while the rest focus on attacking.
Rather than sketch out a layout on paper I just went into editor and started blocking out spaces until I felt they were interesting enough to navigate and play on. The first iteration of the map looked like this.
The main issues of this early version had was awkward point design of A and routing between points, the basic layout was there but it needed refinement. The focus of the second update was redesigning A to make it more defendable as well as make it overall less weird to play on.
I also focused on making some of the routes between points more interesting. Height was added between A and B by having snaking cliffs reaching through the route, and a route that reached into a high ground area for A players to attack B from.
Another issue that I was having with the map at this point was long stalemates, most of which was caused by from B point being really easy to hold. To fix this I completely redesigned B and the routes leading into it. Converting the point to an open space allowed players to utalize more movement options and rotations when playing on the point.
Between these versions I also did some re-theming of the map from a desert environment to alpine.
Finally having A and B in states where the gameplay felt good, I turned my attention to C point. C point never really played badly, and I thought the valley it was built in was interesting, however it caused a lot of flow issues. Players spawning at C tended to only attack A, as the A route was immediately evident while leaving spawn.
The only solution I could find to this flow issue was completely redesigning the entire point.
After some more playtesting and iteration I finally got the map into a final state where I felt the gameplay worked. Most of the changes between the previous versions and this were related to overall scale of the spaces and streamlining pathing between areas.
Instakill Arena - Unreal Engine
Heavily inspired by Quake's Longest Yard, this level was desined to facilitate fast action and quick decision making. Portals act as a quick escape and allow players access to the higher areas of the map.
Instakill Arena was created for a gamemode I made modeled after Quake's Instagib, in which players are given weapons that can kill other players with a single shot. I wanted to create a level that allowed players to maneuver around the map quickly and gain advantage over other players though quick thinking. I decided that a map taking elements from Quake's Longest Yard, as seen below, would work the best.
To begin I immediately went into editor and started blocking out a layout, with the only elements I planned before being that it would have teleporters and jumpads. What I ended up creating was a symmetrical layout split between 3 floating islands.
While I wanted the map to be small, this first virsion was a little too small. To fix this I added two side islands, conncted to the rest of the map by two jumpads. I had also done some slight artpassing, going with a kind of fantastical, flying fortress aesthetic.
Then after some more playtesting and a bit of work I had a final artpass.
Players have to use an array of teleports and jump pads to navigate around, below is an image denoting the destinations that they take you too.
The Red dotted lines are jump pads with the X's being their landing locations. The yellow and blue solid lines are teleports, with the circles being the entrances and arrows being where they exit too.
The use of jumppads and teleporters offer players high maneuverability at a risk. Each has a set destination, meaning that a player familiar with the level will have some idea of how to counter someone using one to try and gain an advantage.
For example, if a player where to take the orange teleport in the screenshot above they'd be sent to the jump pad sending them to the smaller mid island. A player seeing this on the lower island could then take one of the yellow teleporters to gain a sightline on the landing player.