Post news RSS [Road to Wolfenstein] Devblog 05 | Revamping Maps

While mapping is a very organic progress, you sometimes lose the objectivity when it comes to size and length. Instead of knowing when it's time to stop adding more, you simply think "Wow, this is something I could add here as well". This is what happened to a lot of maps in Chapter 2, especially Operation Schlangenkopf (C2M3). While we were watching various gameplay videos on Youtube (specifically ZikShadow and MrIcarus), we simply went overboard, putting more and more stuff into one single map

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While mapping is a very organic progress, you sometimes lose the objectivity when it comes to size and length. Instead of knowing when it's time to stop adding more, you simply think "Wow, this is something I could add here as well". This is what happened to a lot of maps in Chapter 2, especially Operation Schlangenkopf (C2M3). While we were watching various gameplay videos on Youtube (specifically ZikShadow and MrIcarus), we simply went overboard, putting more and more stuff into one single map. Players needed almost an hour to complete one map. This is simply too much and absolutely not satisfying.

Shortening Maps

We needed to check all the maps (from the beginning of Tunis up to the Astrostein missions), and find out what areas are needed to keep the tension and gameflow, and what portions of the map could be removed because they do not add to the overall experience. C2M3 was a very good example. As soon as you collect the yellow key, you enter a huge area of containment and underground labs that just doesn't add anything to the story or the gameflow. It's just there. Removing it was the logical consequence, and that's what we did with a lot of places. Instead, we tried to add something in the spirit of the map, or tossed areas around to make the progress more fluid and organic.

Improving Maps

Sometimes, if you play your own maps again after a while, you start to think of different approaches, different solutions, different possibilities that will make your original vision more convincing. The second half of Operation Astrostein is a very good example of how a map can still improve, despite it already being finished (Yes, this is a spoiler; I hope you've played Chapter 2 already). When I first created the map, I had a very clean futuristic design in mind, just like the original Astrostein episodes. After visiting New Berlin again however, I thought that this approach wasn't realistic. I imagined this place to be more dirty, more dangerous, something between Coruscant and Los Angeles from the blockbuster movie Blade Runner. And that's what I turned it into - and it's worth a second visit, I promise.

Finetuning Maps

Believe it or not: I actually watched almost every Wolfenstein Let's Play video on Youtube - at least those in a language I know (sorry for skipping the Polish, Czech and Russian ones), and for me this is the most useful feedback you can get on your own maps. You can see and hear how people react in certain situations, what they think and how they approach your creation. We listen closely to the feedback we get and there are hundreds of changes and improvements that we made in order to improve our players' experiences. So thanks a lot to all of you for sharing that - it got noticed!

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