Sanctum 2 is the sequel to the world’s first Tower Defense/FPS hybrid game! Pick from four unique character classes and take up the mission of protecting the Cores from hordes of mysterious aliens. In Sanctum 2 you play your character exactly the way you want through the new and extensive customization system. Pick your own loadout of towers, weapons and perks, and pick well, because you are humanity’s last defense against the hordes set out to destroy it. Sanctum 2 is not just a simple upgrade of the Steam hit that was Sanctum 1, it’s a new game completely rebuilt from the ground up using community feedback and outside-of-the-box indie game design to really push the bar of what an indie-studio can do.

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Comments from a level designer working on the FPS-Tower Defense hybrid game Sanctum 2!

Posted by Arminposts on Apr 5th, 2013

Level design is an enormously important part of Sanctum 2 and also the part that I’ve worked on a lot myself, so I’m really excited to finally tell you guys all about it!

Size matters, but they can be too big

In Sanctum 1, we really wanted the maps to feel epic. However in retrospect, we feel that 20-30 waves per map were a bit too much for a normal playthrough. Maps in Sanctum 2 will have around 10 waves each in normal mode, but the total playtime of Sanctum 2 will still be much higher than Sanctum 1, as it will have way more maps on release day than Sanctum 1 did. Our goal is to keep and expand on the complexity of the level design in Sanctum 1, but make the playthroughs faster and more action-packed.

Oh, and since enemies now attack you, we lowered the walls so that you can jump up on them and run through your maze much easier without having to bring up the map to use a televator.

Map layouts

It was clear from the start of Sanctum 2’s development that level design would be incredibly important for the game as a whole. Sadly you won’t be able to see all the maps before the game is released, but we have invested much more resources in the level design of Sanctum 2 compared to Sanctum 1. We want every map to have a nearly infinite amount of different maze layout possibilities, so that you’ll always be looking for ways to optimize your strategy. Furthermore, Sanctum 2 will have 16 different maps on launch, compared to Sanctum 1 which only had 3 maps on launch. This will give Sanctum 2 an incredibly higher replayability value at day one compared to its predecessor!

Finally, one important thing to note about the maps in Sanctum 2 is that they will feel more alive than in Sanctum 1. One of my favorite maps is one at the start where the enemies come from one side during the first few waves, but then a door on the other side of the map is blast up and enemies start pouring out from that side too. This kind of changing maps and spawn points keeps players constantly on their feet, having to change their strategy and adapt to whatever the situation calls for.That’s all for today, thanks for reading and see you next time!

Post comment Comments
booman Apr 5 2013 says:

Sounds like some great features! Keep em coming! Will there be a cooperative mode in 2?

+4 votes     reply to comment
SnowOkami Apr 5 2013 replied:

Why wouldn't there be? There was one in 1

+5 votes     reply to comment
Arminposts Author
Arminposts Apr 8 2013 replied:

Yep, we recieved awesome feedback on the co-op mode in Sanctum 1, so Sanctum 2 will of course have 4-player co-op on day 1 =)

+1 vote   reply to comment
booman Apr 9 2013 replied:

Awesome! Co-op makes my day.
I never played Sanctum 1, but now I'm going to try it out.
I didn't realize it had cooperative gameplay

+1 vote     reply to comment
DevinSherry Apr 5 2013 says:

How do you go about creating a map lay-out from scratch for this type of game-play? Is there a set of level design theories or practices that your team follows to ensure that levels are interesting and play well? Also, how do elevation shifts affect game-play in the case of a FPS tower defense game?

I am also a level designer and would love to learn as much as possible for designing levels for a unique game-type.

+3 votes     reply to comment
SabreXT Apr 5 2013 says:

Dumb question, if you want a long, epic feel, why not have a longer mode available? Defence Grid was really good about alternate ways to play the maps. (My favourite was one where it was lots of waves of just walkers) It might be something to think about.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Arminposts Author
Arminposts Apr 8 2013 replied:

There is an endless mode in Sanctum 2 :)

+1 vote   reply to comment
JackiChain Apr 5 2013 says:

Awesome news.
I'm so exited for this sequel can't wait :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
Stormrage256 May 13 2015 says:

Hi, I've been a huge fan of Sanctum 2 every since I started playing it a few months back. I've been really fascinated by Sanctum 2's design as it has been one of the most fun game experiences I had in recent times. So I started working on a First Person Shooter tower defense template for Unreal Engine 4. I've finished implementing all the core gameplay stuff, but I just had some doubts regarding the grid system. I know that you cannot reveal trade secrets. But just in case you're willing to do so, could you tell me if you guys are using some sort of grid manager to place tiles on the level or just doing line traces on the specialized floor actors to come up with the grid data?

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Sanctum 2
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Released Sep 30, 2013
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