War Games is a new map for Titanfall, based in a virtual world where Pilots compete in simulated environments of Angel City, Rise and Airbase Sierra. When brainstorming ideas for the first Titanfall DLC map pack, the concept of a level in the training mission simulator got a lot of people excited. Designers imagined a level that was smooth, clean and abstract - a perfect place to design easy-to-read battle spaces and wallrun paths. Artists had images of differently themed areas mixed with digital artifacts and colorful lighting. The concept maintained throughout development was "parkour playground".
The concept of a simulator level allowed for themed areas to act as the hardpoints while the buildings between are in the smooth, featureless style of the training mission rooms. The IMC start in an Airbase-style structure, complete with working Marvins and a tank repair garage. Some areas throughout the map will be "glitching out", providing landmarks that remind you that you’re fighting in a virtual simulator.
The middle tower is based off Rise, with small interior rooms connected by a very tight, high wallrun path through the center. Titans can capture this hardpoint, but they will need to enter a very narrow hallway with pilots at every angle and nowhere to run if an enemy Titan decides to attack. This is also a shortcut across the center of the map, but with a high risk factor of being rodeo’ed or trapped by other Titans.
The Militia side is based on Angel City, but with a night time twist. The multiple, spaced out buildings offer a different game play style than the singular, large structures found elsewhere. Rooftop and window¬-to-window fighting is the crux of combat here, with the hardpoint being on the bottom floor of a two-story shop that only Pilots and AI can access.
As a designer, I wanted to have the freedom to place wallrun paths wherever I needed them, to connect important areas together. After running around the training mission looking for inspiration, I realized the colored force fields could make a fun wallrunning panel. These are found throughout the map and sometimes stretch across long distances, above battling Titans below. These are meant to be obvious paths to help encourage players that haven't embraced this new way of traversing maps. Because of the environment, we even used arrows to help guide players where we wanted them to run.
We use heatmap technology to track what our players are doing during play tests. This heatmap shows where players are wallrunning the most in War Games. You can see when compared to one of our most wallrunning friendly maps, Rise, it offers a lot of fun traversal options.
But besides Pilots, we also have Titans to consider when building a map. I wanted to use the clean simulator style to give Titans a more competitive field for Last Titan Standing. On the outskirts of the level, paintball style fields are designed clutter-free to make enemies easy to spot and paths easy to discern. Titan spawn points push players into these areas, while also allowing flanking Titans to travel through the center of the map.
War Games is one of our most wallrunning friendly maps with a fun visual hook and plenty of space for Titans to engage in large scale battles. I hope you enjoy playing it and all the other levels in the Titanfall Expedition Pack!
- Jason McCord, Designer