Base Wars Level Design

Base Wars’ Level Design, from Concept to Completion

Base Wars Level DesignWe’ve introduced you to ROBLOX Base Wars version 1.0 and explained how Luke Weber created its highly responsive weapons using raycasting techniques. Now, we’re rounding out the trio of Base Wars development stories with a look at the game’s level design.

Loosely inspired by a classic Counter-Strike level (de_Dust2, to be specific), Base Wars’ map is designed to give each team a fair chance to take control of any of the three capture points. That’s not to say it’s perfectly symmetrical; for instance, the blue team’s base is further from the capture points, but they have the advantage of elevation – particularly conducive to the game’s Sniper class. Each capture point is located in a small, open arena, where combat is almost guaranteed, and connected by narrow, winding paths.

Base Wars’ level design was a front-loaded process, so the ROBLOX Content Team focused its initial efforts on implementing the capture-point mechanic through careful layout planning. What started as whiteboard drawings became a balanced, successful map through about 10 iterations – spanning everything from a sketch, to a single-texture layout used to determine the scale, to a version with identifiable bases and paths, to a final build with all the shortcuts, elevation changes and cover objects in place.

[do action=”youtube-iframe” videoid=”QlzHEcKjqHk”/] This video shows the details we added to the map through four major iterations.

Level designers Deepak Chandrasekaran and Tara Byars approached the map with a few concrete goals.

Balance: There are three capture points, creating an ongoing tug of war between red and blue, with constant opportunities for either team to take control. Deepak and Tara placed all three capture points so that both teams have an equal chance to be the first to arrive – assuming both have at least one person playing the quick Assault class – and tested the distances by timing runs between each team’s base and the capture points.

Flexibility: The Base Wars map uses simple, standard style. Since we nailed the balance, it’s easily adaptable to other skins and looks. That means we can decorate it for special events throughout the year and offer it to ROBLOX builders as an example of a strong first-person-shooter (FPS) level.

Simplicity: If you’ve been following our Base Wars stories, you know that, in FPS games, responsive gameplay is of utmost importance. By focusing on an effective layout and building the map primarily using terrain, Tara and Deepak ensured Base Wars would play well and perform well. Tara took advantage of both ROBLOX Studio and a beta plug-in known as Region Edit to elevate and lower large swaths of terrain, for a total elevation change of 10 cells between the lowest and highest points.

Initial Map Sketch and Finished Product

The ROBLOX Base Wars map is not only well balanced, but, with the addition of character classes in version 1.0, also high on replay value. The right combination of classes is always capable of taking a capture point from the opposition.

“It’s not just about reaching the capture point as soon as possible anymore,” Tara said.

ROBLOX Base Wars’ development made for fascinating stories. As our Content Team releases more games in other genres, we’ll continue to offer insight into how ideas become reality at ROBLOX and help you bring yours to fruition. In the meantime, what are your techniques for creating and balancing levels on ROBLOX? Share them with your fellow developers in our Game Design Forum.

About Andrew "blockhaak" Haak

Sr. Communications Manager. blockhaak on ROBLOX; @andrewjhaak on Twitter; blockhaak on Twitch.

71 thoughts on “Base Wars’ Level Design, from Concept to Completion

  1. Toonhero303

    I think the game is really-really great! What I really think is the best is the “Flag Capture Device”, I think those are Really cool. ROBLOX is going to a hole new Level of Fun.

  2. awesome game

    i think its a cool game and its very fun but the thing is that not many players play so sometimes ur the only 1 there and u cant fight

  3. Vinya

    It’s a good map, in design, but it still lacks really dynamic cover and movement obstructions. Sure, the crates add a little, but fighting for a bunch of open space is pretty boring. Maybe adding some more cover, trenches, and towers to spice things up?

    1. BOOMheadshot246

      I agree with Vinya there, But you gotta give ‘em credit. I mean, That is a great way to use the Terrain tools. And it does need more things like you said, But the point is it’s way better than the old Base Wars. And my suggestions for the game are Updated Jeeps, Maybe even a Tank or 2. Maybe even a couple helicopters and some jets.

      1. TheMinimoo

        It is a nice game, yes, but I don’t think that tanks, jeeps and jets would make it better

  4. matchattacks

    I would say the name isn’t unfair on dark simply because it’s not copy righted by Dark and furtherly it’s a completely different game design, which I think is a bit like TheThreeStooges Game, but better. I would play this more than Dark’s Game.

  5. thesandbar2

    I like the concept, however, the name similarity to Dark886’s front page (since 2009) base war is very unfair to Dark.

  6. Clubmini123

    I’d rather have better graphics.. Roblox should provide more meshes and let the mesh texture easily customizable. It’s just an opinion.. so..

  7. Lol

    I never thought ppl will draw the map then they build . I think only noobs who dont know how to build do that ! Lol !!!

    1. Windershiro

      Well actually, you’ll find that drawing plans and sketches can really help. All programmers will start with pen on paper, when they are ready, they write the program and debug it.

    2. Timmy

      Actually, that’s how the professionals make programs and games. All the games you love start out as a plan on paper.

  8. elena55

    cooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooolllllll mega game

  9. mariocokefoot

    I like the gameplay style of FPS. It’s almost like MW3 Domination, constant fighting over 3 flags

  10. supergokurocks

    LOL This is a total cheat sheet for the tunnels in Base Wars. CHEAT TO GET THE POINTS!

  11. SPIRITnU

    Maybe you could add diffrent kinds of games, like: Capture the flag [get to the other teams base and back with the flag]. capture the points [the one you have right now.] Most Kos [says it in the name.]

  12. Avery Walker

    Like the Three Stooges Game.. Keep the Good work up Roblox! Some people say that you’re Games’ are Terrible, You should look at they’re Game. Making “Games” a New Account was A Great Idea. I love how you can Script all those Capture Scripts’ and make those Meshes’ and all that. I think you Should Work on the “High Scabillity”.. It sorta looks like it getting a bit Old.. Is it just me or the Graphics.. Yeah.. I’m pretty sure you should fix maybeh the Size of the Pixels. Hope yoy Read it, ROBLOX! Like I siad, Keep up the Good Work! For my Roblox account, awalk2003.

  13. SN0X

    Great game. 3 things.
    1) Add gun sounds, not paintball.
    2) Add perks/upgrades…game gets plain after a while.
    3) Some sort of notification for when players join…it’s annoying that you don’t know automatically when a player leaves/joins, and I think you should have kept the default leaderboard there, but also keep the end-of-round one.

    1. Booster57

      5. Add more guns
      4. Make the guns stronger, they’re useless and it’s not easy to kill someone.

      1. tahu157

        yeah, the weapons are scripted with a “spread” fire so that not all of thge shots are accurate to simulate recoil, the longer you hold the trigger the more off target you will get

  14. DirtyToiletPaper

    I like the game. But you cant just steal the name There is already a Base Wars, Roblox should make it to were Place names cant be copied.

    1. Tidbit1

      This is Base Wars FPS, not just Base Wars. Completely different game, and slightly different name. As shysun said, it is their game.

  15. Redniw

    Its a great map I just hear people complain how the aiming is somewhat off and its stunning but at the same time different gameplay to TF2.

  16. TheRobloxianOne

    Not very many good FPS games on ROBLOX are there?
    Other than d4rk866’s Base Wars and litozinnamon’s Call of Robloxia, this game sets a pretty good example.

  17. Kijadzel

    It is very interesting what you can do with the terrain feature and all, but for a 3-year builder who is by now used to my old CFrame GUI and buildtools, terrain is frustratingly hard to use at all. Not only that, but without proper scripting knowledge, the tools given to us to manipulate the terrain are next to useless.

  18. tweetytime

    I dont belive Roblox should make games, Cause its not really fair to the users that want players playing their game, and not some one elses. Roblox gets millions of profile views a day and this means millions of people playing their games as well. I dont belive its fair that you all get free advertizment in the mass numbers. And were forced to pay t compete with you…

    1. Ubayle

      I do not agree. I think that roblox should set a good example and help experienced scripters and builders come up ideas with their own. They do not get millions of place visits everyday. If I played the game of every profile page I played, I wouldn’t have time to breathe!

  19. Sethalonian

    Now, just make the guns weld to the direction you look, and it will be almost as professional as Call of Robloxia.

    1. RA2lover

      Call of Robloxia doesn’t have guns welded to your look direction. however, daxter33’s paintball game is an example making this is possible.

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