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Battleblog #14: Multiplayer Map Reveal, Part II

Ready to see the final five multiplayer maps included in Battlefield 3? We talked to the multiplayer team at DICE about the concept behind each map, and how they decided which maps made the cut into the final game.

GRAND BAZAAR

WORKING TITLE> BAZAAR
DICE INTERNAL DESIGNATION> MP001
SUPPORTED GAME MODES> ALL
BRIEF> TIGHT URBAN COMBAT

 

FICTION> THE BATTLE FOR CENTRAL TEHRAN HAS REACHED ITS SECOND WEEK, AND WHAT WAS EXPECTED TO BE OVER WITHIN DAYS NOW CONTINUES AS RUSSIAN AND U.S. FORCES CLASH FOR CONTROL OVER THIS ANCIENT CITY.

 

DESIGN THOUGHTS> We knew we wanted to do something very urban in the city center of Tehran. The fiction has you coming in two weeks after fighting started, so the tight and narrowly built city has a great deal of destruction already when you spawn into the game. Grand Bazaar is a classically mirrored map where both sides have very similar pathways, sideways, and possibilities to traverse heights to get a better view of the action. It’s a very short range close quarter combat map where shotguns tend to be favored.

 

CASPIAN BORDER

WORKING TITLE> FOREST
DICE INTERNAL DESIGNATION> MP007
SUPPORTED GAME MODES> ALL
BRIEF> VEHICLE WARFARE IN LARGE VALLEY

 

FICTION> A RECON RUSSIAN FORCE HAS SET UP CAMP ON THE TURKMENISTAN SIDE OF THE IRANIAN BORDER AND PROCEEDED TO TAKE OVER THE HEAVILY BUILT UP BORDER CHECKPOINT.

 

 

DESIGN THOUGHTS> Caspian Border was meant to encapsulate the classic Battlefield all-out vehicle warfare gameplay, and also to be a lush and green contrast to the more urban and desert maps in Battlefield 3. The border control splitting the map in two was introduced to add an interesting break both visually and gameplay wise in the otherwise beautiful and open landscape. Caspian Border is one of the obvious map choices if you are after the full vehicle experience, as base distances are generally too long to cover by foot. Pretty much every type of vehicle is available in this map.

 

SEINE CROSSING

WORKING TITLE> PARIS
DICE INTERNAL DESIGNATION> MP011
SUPPORTED GAME MODES> ALL
BRIEF> VEHICLE/INFANTRY COMBAT IN DOWNTOWN PARIS

 

 

FICTION> THE AMERICAN INVASION OF RUSSIAN OCCUPIED PARIS IS IN FULL MOTION. THE UPSCALE AREA IN THE 7TH DISTRICT OF PARIS SERVES AS THE BATTLEGROUND.

 

DESIGN THOUGHTS> Seine Crossing has two sections of Paris split in the middle by the river Seine. Seine Crossing has a number of larger roads for vehicles to patrol, while infantry can sneak through tight alleyways and climb staircases to reach second or third levels inside buildings to reach a better tactical position – unless the enemy takes down the building facades. The final M-COM stations in Rush are placed inside a bank building, which is the largest indoor environments of this map and forces the attackers to slightly change tactics.

 

NOSHAHR CANALS

WORKING TITLE> CANALS
DICE INTERNAL DESIGNATION> MP017
SUPPORTED GAME MODES> ALL
BRIEF> MIXED COMBAT IN INDUSTRIAL SETTING

 

FICTION>  U.S. MARINES LAUNCH A STRIKE ON A MAJOR HARBOR BY THE NOSHAHR CANALS ON THE IRANIAN COAST. THE STRATEGICALLY IMPORTANT PORT ALLOWS FOR DEEP WATER VESSELS TO OFFLOAD ESSENTIAL MATERIALS.

 

DESIGN THOUGHTS> When we set out to do Noshahr Canals, we wanted to contrast the urban and rural with something more industrial. So we set Noshahr Canals up as an industrial harbor, featuring a mix of infantry, land vehicle, and boat gameplay. The attackers in Rush start out on an carrier ship and can reach the beachhead by amphibious vehicles, boats, and helicopters. All of the bases on the map have an industrial theme but still have different styles, like a train yard, dry dock, or airfield. Compared with the larger vehicle maps in the game, this allows for tighter infantry combat.

 

KHARG ISLAND

WORKING TITLE> KHARG
DICE INTERNAL DESIGNATION> MP018
SUPPORTED GAME MODES> ALL
BRIEF> AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT

 

FICTION> KHARG ISLAND IS IRAN’S BIGGEST OIL EXPORT TERMINAL. IF THE U.S. CAN STAKE CONTROL OVER THIS ISLAND, IT WILL DENY THE RUSSIANS CRITICAL ACCESS TO IRANIAN OIL RESERVES.

 

DESIGN THOUGHTS> Kharg Island is our second map with boat gameplay. Thematically it’s representing an assault against Kharg island in the Persian sea, an industrialized island not far from the Iranian coast. The map is slightly more focused on vehicles with longer distance between flags than for example Noshahar Canals. In the Rush game mode, the beach assault begins on the coastline with a well-defended beach you need to break through to create a beachhead for further attacks on the island, before it opens up wider in the later part of the map.

 

THIS IS HOW WE DO IT
Creating levels at DICE is a democratic affair, and a process that is ruled in equal amounts by art and gameplay design. This in order to not only get a balanced mix of gameplay variations in the game, but also a variety of visual impressions.

 

At the start of the design process, the artists mocked up a number of creative briefs together with level designers Inge Jøran Holberg, Diego Jimenez and Niklas Åstrand. These briefs explain the gameplay type and idea, story and visual theme. Everyone on the Battlefield 3 development team was encouraged to vote for their favorites among the briefs and also add ideas of their own. From there, prototypes of the favorite levels were produced in so called “pods” -- pairs with a level designer and artist per map -- so the team could play them to see which ones were the most promising.

 

Then, the team as a whole weighed the maps against one another to see which ones would make the most compelling and diverse package to ship the game with. We finally ended up with the 9 cherry-picked multiplayer maps you can read all about here today and in yesterday’s blog post. They’re the best of the best, the maps that shone the brightest in our playtests, and the ones that combined bring out everything we want both veteran and new Battlefield players to experience in Battlefield 3 multiplayer.

 

Oh, and did you know there's a sand castle on one of our maps in Battlefield 3? This classic easter egg has been present in many Battlefield maps through the years. See if you can find it!

 

THE COMPLETE BATTLEFIELD 3 MULTIPLAYER MAP LIST
(IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER)

Caspian Border / Level Designer: Diego Jimenez
Damavand Peak / Level Designer: Niklas Åstrand
Grand Bazaar / Level Designer: Niklas Åstrand
Kharg Island / Level Designer: Inge Jøran Holberg
Noshahar Canals / Level Designer: Niklas Åstrand
Operation Firestorm / Level Designer: Inge Jøran Holberg
Operation Métro / Level Designer: Inge Jøran Holberg
Seine Crossing / Level Designer: Diego Jimenez
Tehran Highway / Level Designer: Niklas Åstrand

Did you miss the previous stories in the Battleblog series?
Battleblog #1: Lars Gustavsson on DICE's new multiplayer philosophy in Battlefield 3
Battleblog #2: With a bit of class
Battleblog #3: With an army by your side
Battleblog #4: Up close and personal
Battleblog #5: Years' worth of unlocks and rewards in Battlefield 3
Battleblog #6: Building Battlefield 3 From The Gun Out
Battleblog #7: Battlefield 3 introduces themed co-op campaign
Battleblog #8: Build Your Weapon Of Choice
Battleblog #9: Online Vehicle Warfare Refined
Battleblog #10: Crafting A Captivating Story Grounded In Authenticity
Battleblog #11: Every Battlefield 3 Multiplayer Game Mode Explained
Battleblog #12: Fight For The Honour And Glory Of Your Battlefield 3 Platoon!

 
 
 
 
 
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