Senior Multiplayer Designer
May 2011 // Starhawk Multiplayer
Conduit, set in the "Acid Sea" environment of Dust's moon Scourge, was the general public's first glimpse of Starhawk's multiplayer. The level debuted to the press at our unveil event at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz in May 2011 and then to the general public at E3 2011. Conduit was also included in both phases of the Starhawk beta that kicked off in late 2011.
This was actually the second attempt at an Acid Sea-themed multiplayer level. The first was the layout that would eventually become Cove, which was deemed too large for sixteen-player servers in our unveil and early stages of the beta. Conduit's layout focuses around a large land mass with a central plateau, providing a key midground for CTF play. The side islands connected by bridges provide alternate routes (and additional rift locations for Zones).
I made one significant layout change to the central plateau during the beta. My original plan had called for a unique asset in the center with the large pipe structures socketed into the sides. That asset was de-scoped and replaced with a pair of large square platforms, but their sharp edges and awkward ramp positioning made navigation a chore. I pulled these two buildings apart and socketed them underneath the pipe structures, then added a standalone ramp to allow access from both sides. This resulted in greatly improved layout flow, more interesting Build & Battle strategies, and much better placement of the central rift in Zones.
© Sony Computer Entertainment America