ROBYN STOTTER

Level Designer / Environment Artist

KOTH/ARENA SUIJIN

Project Description

Suijin is a large arena map for Valve's Team Fortress 2 set in and around a cliffside shinto temple. It is a traditional arena map designed with the ethos of "clip only if it's necessary," meaning for most locations in the map, if the player can see it, they can get there. This allows for numerous strateigic possibilities in a game mode that is infamous for it's lack of strategy. Often, this results in players trying to find new and creative ways to navigate the map, resulting in more replayability and a different match every time, rather than the rather static stratergies existant in other maps.

Suijin is the flagship map for the Japan theme, a pack of custom models, materials and particles for Valve's Team Fortress 2, developed for this map by myself and E-Arkham.

Suijin also exists as a koth gametype, with a few design changes to make it more suitable to this mode, such as extra spawn exits and health/ammo pickups. Despite the Arena Mode being the primary focus of Suijin's Design, the King of the Hill version of Suijin was chosen to be featured by Valve as part of the Gun Mettle Team Fortress 2 update, and is now shipped with the game for all players. It has been well recieved by players, many enjoying the freeform design.

Challenges

The primary challenge from this map came from the design ethos of not restricting player movement. Source engine relies on a sequence of closed off areas for it's optimisation, and the idea of allowing players to traverse almost all the rooftops in the map broke this up. This resulted in almost the entire map being rendered at once, requiring a creative use of Source's optimisation techniques to produce a playable experience.