In cased you missed us, we're back with a new map feature for you! Today, we're looking at Scorch Palace by Mr DeliciousMan. Ever wondered what would happen if your favorite super city was suddenly consumed by an endless sea of sand? Ever wanted to throw hyper-aggressive Spartans in the mix? Well Scorch Palace may be that super hypothetical answer you've been looking for!
Scorch Palace takes players to the sandblasted rooftops of the Buried City from Destiny and will deliver an action packed experience from start to finish. Delicious spent plenty of time on the map hammering out a variety of interesting sight lines to compliment a layout that allows for diverse and interesting gameplay each time you make a break for heavy ammo...er...ahh I mean the Rocket Launcher!
But in all seriousness, Scorch Palace is an incredible map, and I've had the unique opportunity to see it grow all the way since version 1.0. Deliciousman conveyed the Destiny aesthetic very well and seeing the early stages of the map actually motivated me to get into doing Vex themed maps. Not to mention it's a blast to play to boot. The map has an awesome capacity to allow for cool hover shots, ground pounds and cheeky slides in and out of combat. Each part of the playspace has a push and pull affect on the parts around it allows for any spot on the map to become the ground zero for some wicked action.
Enough of my blabber. Let's jump in!
Ascend: What was the inspiration for Scorch Palace?
Mr Deliciousman: The inspirations were very different between aesthetics and gameplay. Aesthetically, the inspiration came from the Buried City on Mars from Destiny. I always felt that with alien themes the art could be more interesting because people can suspend their belief more so than with traditional city levels. I also made a conscious decision to make it feel like Halo so there isn't a disconnect between gameplay and art. Conversely, the gameplay wasn't inspired by one single game. It actually came from maps from different games such as Destiny, and even Call of Duty. What I really tried to do was make interesting lines of sight that would force movement through the play spaces. Additionally, I wanted teams to be able to put pressure on the enemy from certain power positions, but for those power positions to be countered by how open those areas are.
Ascend: Since this map was built pre-Barrens, what were some of the challenges with conveying the theme without dedicated pieces?
Mr Deliciousman: The most difficult challenge was how to make the player feel like they were on Mars. I chose Tidal so that I could fully control what the players see in the distance. I also made a custom landscape outside of the map to cover the water. And with the help of fog I was able to pull off a convincing theme. I feel that barren pieces weren't necessary actually because the geometry and silhouettes of the distant buildings hint that the player is on Mars.
Ascend: I know first-hand that this map has changed a lot. What was the biggest change for you?
Mr Deliciousman: I learned a lot from playtesting with the ATN and as a result, there have been significant changes from the beginning to end. Blue room, Red room, and the broken floor along with the middle play space have all stayed relatively the same. The main pathing near Cinema was there also but with each play test I made little changes to aesthetics, pathing, and readability.
The biggest change that was hardest for me was that some of the art had to change to help differentiate the areas. This was my first map that I posted on Forgehub and have playtested, so I am so grateful for all the feedback that was given.
Ascend: What's your favorite part of the map?
Mr Deliciousman: My personal favorite part of Scorch Palace is the Rocket Launcher route that connects cafe to Blue Long Hall. I feel that it can be used to flank your enemy in interesting ways while also being risky. If used right, that area can be very powerful.
Ascend: Was there anything you wanted to add to the map but didn't?
Mr Deliciousman: Of course, there's always things I wish I could add. I wish I could put in more micro detail without affecting the frame rate, and all the typical technical hurdles. The biggest thing would be adding effects to amplify the atmosphere. I am however happy with the balance of art, gameplay and performance.
Ascend: Do you feel like this is your best map or should we expect bigger and better things?
Mr Deliciousman: I'm currently focused on the Hammerfall contest with my two submissions: Elder's Treason, and Siren's Song. I do feel that Scorch Palace is my best map in terms of gameplay but I do have a soft spot for my other map Divine Fury. However, I do plan on coming back to 4v4 asymmetrical maps with my next project. I definitely strive to make new and fresh ideas for my maps so yes; expect bigger things in the future. And thanks to everyone for the positive support I have received from this awesome community. And, shout out to xDemption for encouraging me to join this community.
Looking for a new 4v4 map to throw on your personal rotation? Wanna inject some Destiny nostalgia in your Halo experience? Consider giving Scorch Palace a bookmark and a play or two!
Like always I wanna hear what YOU think. Drop your thoughts on the map below! Until next time, Forgehub!