Last week, 343 Industries community manager Jessica Shea shared with us some developer insight on the Halo 4 Wraparound multiplayer map. As promised, today's Halo bulletin delves deeper into the realm of Halo 4 multiplayer giving us a look at the Warhouse map.
You look to the left and see nothing but industrial, man-made surfaces. A glance to the right, however, reveals space as far as the eye can see. As you wander around one of the exposed platforms on a mysterious mining ship, you become captivated by the dramatic vista.
After working your way through the numerous levels, stairs, and crates that litter the outer deck, you sneak a furtive glance inside the spacecraft, which reveals the sounds and shape of a half-constructed mech. Curiosity gets the better of you, and you decide to venture down the vessel’s tight and twisted corridors for a closer look.
We hope you have a weapon because if your experience is anything like ours, you’re going to need it.
The original concept for Warhouse, which is only a working title, was to build a smaller level catered to the Slayer mode with the idea that a symmetrical map doesn't have to be generic. Warhouse is designed for fans of "small-team, close-quarters combat" and for those who love "wreaking havoc with effective, close-range infantry weapons." Of course, even if you don't enjoy those things, 343 Industries still insists this map is for you.
"We wanted it to feel like something memorable, from an interesting and unseen part of the Halo universe, that tells a story," Shea explained.
After exploring many environmental ideas the artists decided on a "space-platform idea" which eventually evolved into a stratospheric gas-mining ship.
"This idea offered not only more explanation for gravity, but also greater opportunities for orienting players."
"Because Warhouse is a symmetrical map, our greatest challenge was making sure players know where they are at any given point, and yet having it make sense as an inspiring visual story. There are lots of complex mirrored paths which could be overwhelming, so we had to develop landmarks and key features to give players a sense of unique position," Shea added. "Adding another layer of complexity to situational awareness was the fact that this map is made entirely of man-made surfaces, with no terrain. Answers came in the form of symmetrical design elements that fit within each side’s geometry and convince players that each side is visually very different."
According to Shea, the playspace of Warhouse is "similar competition-wise to older symmetrical maps in previous Halos."
Expect numerous over-and-under pathways which could lead to surprise opponents sneaking up on you from unexpected directions. Of course, if you're the one taking advantage of this symmetrical design, then you will find great pleasure in Warhouse.
Both Warhouse and last week's Wraparound maps were showcased in the "Making Halo 4: First Look" video.