Senior Multiplayer Designer
Jan. 2012 // Starhawk Multiplayer
Basin is a sprawling 32-player level on the barren world of Dust and the largest pure terrestrial level featured in Starhawk. Players got their first glimpse of the level when Starhawk's Public Beta launched in January 2012. Additionally, this level served as the first introduction to the Sidewinder Jet Bike and Ox Heavy Tank vehicles.
The planet Dust is central to to Starhawk's story and the most literal interpretation of the western influences on the game. This style lends itself very well to vast open terrain with sweeping routes and is the perfect location to showcase the Sidewinder. I built much of this level with massive Sidewinder and Razorback jumps in mind, such as the twin ramp plateaus framing the front entrance to each base. What the level boasts in ground excitement, though, it lacks in flight - the massive hoodoo structures provide limited flight cover, but overall this layout leaves Hawks massively exposed and vulnerable to ground fire and other dogfighters.
The crater in the center of the level is actually my oldest work on Starhawk. The first World Machine terrain I created after being hired in September 2009 was a large hand-crafted crater made of polygon shapes. The crater was a hit with everyone, but languished for almost two years before being resurrected as the midground of this layout. I lost some fidelity due to shrinking the crater to fit this level and some more aggressive erosion settings, but in the end it remains one of the more notable pure terrain features in the game.
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