Senior Multiplayer Designer
May 2012 // Starhawk Multiplayer
While not released until Starhawk's retail debut, Narrows is the game's oldest multiplayer level. While this is often a strike against a level, in this case I was able to take advantage of the extra time and make a few extra iterations on the terrain layout. Those extra revisions resulted in (arguably) the best MP layout in the shipping game.
Early versions of this level had a sixth Rift location between the three large spires. This was great for integrating the spires into the play space vs. the mostly inaccessible side landmarks they became, but it was so isolated from the rest of the layout that it was rarely used in playtests. I removed the area and re-routed the roads to create the long winding "high road" route across the midground.
One other failed experiment from early drafts of this layout was an attempt at combining symmetric CTF and asymmetric Zones layouts into the same terrain. In addition to the core layout, I added two unique bases with a pair of connecting routes: one to the southwest, below the Rifter base, and one to the northeast, above the Outcast base. While it was an interesting idea and showed promise, ultimately I backed off the idea for time, scope, and complexity reasons. The northeast area disappeared entirely, while I mirrored the southwest area to the southeast corner of the map - these became the initial expansion Rift areas in Zones.
© Sony Computer Entertainment America
Stephen Daniele / Jon Galloway