My first entry to the Grindhouse Killing Floor 2 mapping competition. One of Horzine's storefronts and HQ, selling everyone the promise of a brighter future through all kinds of tablets, creams and wonder-drugs. If the public knew just HOW they'd achieved their research, however, they might have been a bit more skeptical of the company... #grindhouse
Motormouth here, with my (first) entry to the Grindhouse competition!
This is a map I've been working on for quite some time, which I've given a major overhaul visually and gameplay-wise since version 1.
This map is intended to be a look into Horzine's more "public" side, focusing on how the company presented themselves to both investors and the general populace at large. For this, I aimed for an even mix of indoor/outdoor gameplay, where the players start outside on the streets but move into the store and then deeper into the research facility that the store is a front for.
Initially the players begin outside in the downtown streets. I've made this darker and more cramped than urban areas like Burning Paris or Evacuation Point, in order to attempt to deter players from feeling completely comfortable just camping outside in the more wider environment. While there are a large ammount of destructible lights inside the facility, there's also areas that are very well lit and also unalterable inside, so hopefully players feel compelled to push inwards more often than not for the sakes of visibility as well as being surrounded fron unexpected angles.
In terms of what kind of a front Horzine had to the public, I imagined it wouldn't be a stretch to assume that a company experimenting with genetic splicing would have also used their research to invent pharmaceuticals in order to give their company credit, profit, and a justifiable position in various locations all over Europe. I aimed for the storefront to appear modern and sophisticated with sleek shelves, screens, displays and information kiosks, but also appear to be suspiciously small compared to the rest of the towering building that it's a part of.
Beyond turning a profit, I also envisioned that this place would be a corporate environment alongside the store, a place for executives and potential investors to come and go, and see the results of Horzine's efforts. Therefore, the next stage in progression through the map is through a parking area into the reception of the offices. Immediately I wanted models on display demonstrating the company's success, with a door to the left leading to a larger showroom, and stairs to the right leading up to the offices. A door ahead, however, would NOT be an immediate destination for visitors, and is monitored by security to make sure just anyone isn't wandering in there just yet...
The reception leads to a large showroom area, with offices surrounding. Guests and executives would be lead here, to marvel at the success demonstrated by Horzine, and proceeding upstairs leads to the boardroom where all kinds of meetings to crunch numbers, sell stocks and general business would eventually lead to the downfall of mankind.
Not everything in the building is clean and corporate, however, and particularly serious and sympathetic investors and executives might be trusted enough to be allowed access to the inner research facility, where the true dark nature of Horzine is revealed. Beyond a security checkpoint lies a large series of laboratories, where the VIPs would proceed along the catwalk before arriving in the executive lounges, which have large observation windows to observe the research from afar.
Rather than a production facility like Biotics Labs, I wanted to create a facility that conducts research and experimentation, yielding Horzine the knowledge to further beef-up their super soldier clones, as well as delve deep into the dna and evolution of mankind. The facility's loading bay is connected to this area as well, as ZEDs would be shipped in externally from the labs and kept in containment in floors beneath. I wanted various experimental chambers to show ZEDs undergoing numerous exposures to extreme conditions, such as light trauma, electroshock and medical gas, as well as other various injections and shockings going on in the background. Originally I had a variety of ZED models in these stations, but since decided to change them all to Cysts, due to their more confused, child-like demeanour being subjected to all kinds of physical and mental harassment seems a lot more grotesque and devoid of moral character, much as Horzine is.
There is also an area I've filled with several "clot mothers" in tanks that are strung up to be experimented on as well. I wanted these to appear to be constantly drained and harvested of fluid grown within them, in a vile mockery of the human condition. This also should cast heavy suspicion on what exactly is IN the products Horzine's selling in the stores...
The final area of the map is a large dissection room to the most northeast side of the map. I wanted the central machine of the area to look large, imposing, and nasty, towering up into the ceiling with spidery mechanical arms extending from the base. The room is also overlooked by another corporate lounge, suggesting Horzine was confident enough that many would be able to stomach watching the live dissection of cloned human beings. For research purposes and humanity's future, of course!
I've had a lot of fun in the process of envisioning and creating this map, and I hope it's just as fun for you to blast ZEDs on as it was for me to mash it all together. Thanks for checking it out and also taking the time to read all this!