Feature: 'The Specific Constraints of Multiplayer Level Design'

For today's Gamasutra feature, multiplayer lead level designer Pascal Luban (Splinter Cell: Pan...
For today's Gamasutra feature, multiplayer lead level designer Pascal Luban (Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory) reveals his secrets in the first of a three part series, starting with the four specific constraints level creators should know. The specific needs of multiplayer levels differ greatly from those of a single-player map, as elucidated by Luban in his feature. In one such instance, Luban explains how the intensive use a multiplayer map goes through, taking on thousands of continual and repeated plays over a stretch of years, puts a greater stress on the efficient design of the level: "In a single player game, the player goes through a level with a single objective in mind, finishes it and passes to the next. He only spends little time in each level. But in multiplayer games, the players will spend hundreds of hours on each map. All map weaknesses will then be found. Thus, design errors or bugs that allow cheating are revealed and exchanged among players. A second consequence of this hyper-use of the maps is the risk of player boredom if the map is not tactically rich enough. Multiplayer maps must support thousands of hours of play without letting the player feel bored. One year after the marketing of Splinter Cell – Pandora Tomorrow, thousands of multiplayer sessions were still being played every day, this is the same for other tactically rich maps such as some Halo 2 maps. " You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the topic including more on the specific needs of multiplayer level design, and a preview of Luban's upcoming installments (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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