Play
Please use a flash video capable browser to watch videos.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Feature Video

The Anatomy of a Titanfall Map

Charting the way.

Competitive shooters live and die by the layout of their environments. If a game's maps don't encourage exciting battles between players, all the flashy guns and sound effects in the world don't stand a chance of saving it. Therein lies the challenge for the team behind Titanfall: how do you build maps that work for wall-running pilots, towering robots, and all the asymmetrical conflicts that arise between the two? In our latest installment of The Next Big Game, Respawn Entertainment sheds some light on that design process.

"If you have a mechanic like wall-running, you need the player to psychologically feel like they can go there," says lead designer Justin Hendry. "So there's this fine balance with the way we design the surfaces and height of buildings."

"The first thing I do as a player, knowing the game the way I do now, is look at my options for wall-running, or how I'm going to ambush a titan." Hendry continues. "We worked really hard on all the textures and geometry to really encourage that kind of thinking."

Of course, Titanfall's parkour abilities are going to feel very strange to a large segment of players, but Respawn is confident that it's only a matter of time before everyone figures out how to navigate its spacious maps.

"You have to realize there's now another dimension," says studio co-founder Vince Zampella. "You can jump up and get to places you couldn't before in other games. I think it takes people a little while to snap into that. Some people get it really quick, some people take an hour or two before they're really comfortable with it and say, oh, yeah, I can jump up into that window."

But there's more to Titanfall's map design than buildings and doorways. Without a traditional single-player campaign, Respawn wanted to tell the story of its world through environmental narrative.

"What we worked towards was to make sure the levels had a real hardcore identity and fiction behind them," says Hendry. "The concept was to build a relatable environment for players since we're asking so much of them to learn these new mechanics. Give them an environment they can understand, but always feeling used and lived in--not pristine and clean."

Hit play on the video above to find out even more about the philosophies behind Titanfall's map design.

Written By

Want the latest news about Titanfall?

Titanfall

Titanfall

Discussion

110 comments
NeonClaw
NeonClaw

UT came out when i was 13, i loved it. it was action packed and manic but our internet connection was crap. i played that game until i mastered god mode against the bots. then we got a half decent internet connection and i started online. it was my window into online gaming and i've not found a game as fun since, even later additions of UT (TF2 came close). I loved the titanfall beta and can't wait for release, it reminded me of UT. I couldn't care less about the graphics, the game play is awesome and to me that is the main thing that matters, i'd play a game as pixelated as space invaders as long as the game play is there!

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

 BTW I just learned that you can block the NextBigGame header with Adblock. Thank god, it's so much better now.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

Only 1 day of this "next big fuss" left. Oh, time cannot fly fast enough.

yodaonfire
yodaonfire

Was lucky enough to be on the Alpha and now the Beta, this game sets the bar really high. And while I like good graphics, it has never been the biggest factor in my decisions. The GAMEPLAY totally makes up for its CONS:


1) Lack of a cohesive story (At least until now) and Single-player campaign. Most people don't remember but there used to be a game called Starlancer (Y U NO MAKE STARLANCER 2 MICROSOFT!! )  loooooong ago with a great captivating story. I always wished for a game based on the cut scenes showing troops on the ground fighting it out on Europa !! Titanfall brings back those happy wishful memories.


2) Not the best graphics IMHO, but you don't really stick around looking at trashcans and trees a lot.   


3) THIS HAS SPOILED BATTLEFIELD 4 for me ! Hate wading across the ocean waiting for my buddy in the next country to drive his boat looking for me :P. Or parachuting on top of a satellite dish and then chasing a dude driving a quad 12 kms away with 20 teammates running for the bomb. Or getting camped on, dying, walking across the scenery for what honestly feels like an eternity, killing 1-2 guys, dying again, cycle continues. -.-


Can't wait !



Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@Gamespot I think you guys should include an intro paragraph on each page stating, in bold (For those with comprehension disabilities), that all this coverage of Titanfall is a new series you're starting called "The Next Big Game", and will be repeated for the (ahem) next big game later, so all the trolls and idiots giving you grief for doing these can politely go away.

krishnaV_
krishnaV_

Is the music being  played behind part of Titanfall OST or is that something GS mixed themselves?

It's pretty rad!

Zironn1
Zironn1

I really hope it launches with 20 maps, would be nice :) 

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@Xx_DemonSoul_xX  

@tomservo51

Heh, you can ask for features and such on games that you like, but I would tell you this: if those games get the same week-long feature treatment like Titanfall did, other people are going to say the same things that you said about the Titanfall coverage.

What would you do then, *hmm*? Oh wait, I know the answer: you would argue that the game that you like "deserves" the coverage, of course.

Especially you, @Xx_DemonSoul_xX : when - not "if" - GameSpot features a crap-ton of Dark Souls 2 articles, don't be pissed when other people say Dark Souls 2 is "over-rated" and the coverage is "lame".

uninspiredcup
uninspiredcup

Tomorrows article : "The top 10 chairs in Titanfall".

Brought to you by EA in association with  KFC.



quakke
quakke

Headline: Titanfall. Paragraph starts with "competitive shooters..". *compares to Quake3 and laughs..* 


Nah, this not competitive, it's casual all the way baby..

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

This is shaping up to be a really fun game. I for one am actually quite glad they've limited the number of players in a match to twelve when you consider how many different directions enemies could potentially approach from.

Looking forward to tomorrows piece with Zampella talking about the elephant in the room. Bit of a shame West isn't there anymore though.

rasterror
rasterror

I thought the maps were designed pretty well. There was tons of space for titans to move around but small nooks where you can get a good jump on titans and find a great vantage point.

MagicMarker5000
MagicMarker5000

Babies, please stop whining about the Titanfall coverage. No one is forcing you to watch these so stop complaining. 


Being slightly interested yet skeptical in the game, I played the beta and was instantly hooked. This little sample of the game makes the online FPS feel fresh again in a sea of shooter clones. To put it simply, it's a blast to play.

kvan33
kvan33

Ok, I just got back from the future.  Here's what happened after the Titanfall release:  Game scores an 85 on Metacritic.  Sony fanboys point and say "Ha, it's no COD killer!".   MS fanboys say "ha, see 85 is an awesome score.  Suck it PS fans".  Secretly nobody feels completely vindicated.   Fast forward two years and Titanfall 2 is released on both PS4 and Xbone.   Fanboys wander to another battlefield to wage their never-ending war.

MakoNB
MakoNB

Will gladly answer any concerns some may have about these Titanfall videos. The Next Big Game feature is something we plan to do with many popular titles. Worry not. 

Feeder16
Feeder16

This coverage is excruciating, can we get some news on other things.

themc_7
themc_7

@yodaonfire  For your #3, I've stopped playing Conquest and Obliteration. I stick to TDM or SDM. Smaller maps, more action, less running around. With Rush and Deathmatch game types the frontlines of battle are much closer and it's more enjoyable imo. 

wallacom
wallacom

@yodaonfire  I'm not the only one.... I cant play BF4 anymore it's so slow and not very captive, and I just bought a premium last month, feels like such a waste now, ohh well, easy comes easy goes. 

DAMN YOU Respawn for creating a good game.

sammoth
sammoth

@yodaonfire


1) Campaign mode built into multiplayer. This has be said a dozen+ time by developers.


2) Graphics are not final. This has also been said by developers. Textures are a lower resolution for a reason so is the main resolution.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

@Daemoroth  so what? it's still a disgrace of a project. It just steals away from Gamespot a whole lot of credibility and layout. 1 dedicated day is enough, but 5? That's some bullshit.

eelektrik
eelektrik

@quakke  It's a multiplayer only shooter pitting you against other players. It is by definition a competitive shooter. 'Casual' is not the antonym to competitive by the way.

eelektrik
eelektrik

@MagicMarker5000  I wasn't really following Titanfall until the beta hit and didn't even realize the game came out next month, then after playing the beta I can't wait. The beta was the most fun I have had in a multiplayer shooter since Starsiege: Tribes.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

@MakoNB  well your feature sucks because it basically dedicates Gamespot headlines to a single game for 5 days. You're becoming Nextbiggamespot essentially, there is no need for that crap here, diversity is the key.

yodaonfire
yodaonfire

@sammoth 1) I know, I've written "(At least until now)" for that same reason.2) Graphics isn't just textures, there's a bunch of other things.
Anyways, I'm not criticizing the game. I love it. :)

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@Morphine_OD Let's see what you have to say when a game you like gets covered like this. I expect MGS5, Destiny, inFamous:SS, DriveClub, etc. will get the same treatment.

Credibility is lost when faking reports and falsifying leads, lies, slander, etc., I don't see any of that here. And layout? I see a header on the home page, the rest being the news, so again, layout?

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@sammoth  

I am aware of that, at least for tomservo51 - dude's certainly a Sony fanboy. I am writing the above for posterity's sake - and just in case I would want to make a "told-you-so" jab later.

Also, just to remind you of an argument that we had before: mechs are giant robots. :P

MagicMarker5000
MagicMarker5000

@eelektrik @MagicMarker5000  I agree 100%! The last time I had this much fun playing a multiplayer game was when I first played Halo & Halo 2 online. People aren't just sitting around, camping, waiting for the action to come to them. Everyone is running around and battling and it's chaos. Even when you get killed you never really feel like someone got a cheap/unfair kill. The game is just fun to play, pure and simple. Cannot wait until March 11!

MakoNB
MakoNB

@Morphine_OD @MakoNB  TGIF, then, right? Duly noted. We are considering scaling it back a bit, but we will diversify this feature, and include other titles. You're feedback is appreciated. 

Feeder16
Feeder16

@lameblamer @Feeder16  


I'm not here to troll, I'm here to read about information about games, unfortunately the website is awash with Titan Fall articles / advertisement and not a lot about anything else.


At what point did I mention PS4? I have a xbox 360, so could get this game for that if I wanted.

sammoth
sammoth

@yodaonfire OH I know you love it. I wasn't trying to put you down I'm just saying the graphics and such are not final. =)

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@Daemoroth  

I like how you counter-argued that analogy. ;)

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@Morphine_OD  Hmm, fair point, though the difference is that you need to eat, you don't need to read these articles if you've had enough. Also, when your favourite food is being cooked constantly, you don't have an alternative, it's that or air for dinner, whereas you could read other articles or visit other sites.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

@Daemoroth I like Titanfall, I will play it on PC. Cognitive dissonance? How would you treat if you've been fed 5 days straight with your favourite food? I think you'd puke.

quakke
quakke

@benelori @Gelugon_baat@quakke 

What are you talking about? "They were hard because hardware limitations..", Quake3 was casual". What?

Or maybe it's just like the Unreal creators so well put it in their game's backcover. "Welcome to the new team sport of extreme gamers".. EXTREME GAMERS. The challenge was in there on purpose because that is what created the whole E-Sport.

benelori
benelori

@Gelugon_baat @quakke 

Exactly...and it is so even now, only not as widespread as these new shooters...this casual game shtick is such rubbish, most of the classic games people played and loved, are simplistic and easy, and in the rare cases when they were hard, is because hardware limitation was a bigger concern back then...

 

sammoth
sammoth

@quakke @eelektrik That's 2 words and you're wrong. Q3 Arena was competitive for it's time. Many aspects of Titanfall where borrowed from Q3 Arena.