By Squally DaBeanz
"This facility is known to lack proper safety protocols... Watch your step."
Guess what's back? I know, this map has been built in three different Halo games now. It's good, get over. At least this time I made some significant design changes. Okay, rant over...
Stigma is a small asymmetrical bridgework map inspired by Guardian, Lockout, and Ascension. It take the design pillars of these maps and incorporates them using unique geometry that feels familiar but different. Unlike Guardian and Lockout, the entirety of the perimeter can be traversed without having to cross the middle. This creates a circular flow and keeps players moving between power positions. The map mainly consists of two towers, a large interior structure, a lower open street, and the middle platform. Bottom mid houses the Overshield, and is often a mosh pit at the start of a match. Top Green is home to the Sniper, and overlooks the side of Red Tower. The Rockets are on a lower platform by Blue Tower that requires a lift to escape, exposing the player to open lines of sight.
After Echelon was chosen for HCS, I was looking back at the visual fidelity of all my maps and, unfortunately, Stigma stuck out like a sore thumb. This is mainly because I was just learning Halo 5's forge when I built it and was just slapping more detailed assets on top of the blockout over the following months, which lead to a very messy and unfocused look. Since then, I've learned how to make a map look detailed and clean on the initial construction (like Echelon), rather than just shoving as much detail as I can on top of a blockout.
My inner perfectionist wanted the map to look on par with all my others, so I ended up porting the base geometry over to the Tidal canvas and rebuilding the details and surrounding environment from the ground up. What I ended up with was a version of Stigma that looked a lot more clean and uniform and, more importantly, was on par with my more recent creations visually.