**** Zombies Level design

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Soldat Du Christ, Mar 23, 2018.

  1. Soldat Du Christ

    Soldat Du Christ Spartan I

    Messages:
    1,482
    Likes Received:
    2,252
    Can we all talk about the level design in the Black ops zombies for a moment? Specificly, i believe Bo2 zombies has some of the most underated examples of stellar level design in games.

    Die rise, the crumbled twin towers of doom. The exagerated verticality, complexity and secrets brings me to tears. In order to go up, you must go down

    Mob of the deads narrow catwalks, hallways and one way drops make you think before your next move.

    I'm sorry guys but it's true, Tranzit is the best map in the bunch of them. Each section of the huge map served different roles, all intended to keep players moving and working together as a coordinated team.

    Town was your classic figure eight, with two 'holdout' locations you would then drop down from once overwhelmed. This keeps players in a constant transition between action, and cooldown.

    There where also several unamed locations players could jump off at, while not always useful, they added a sense of self discovery

    Traveling by foot was a option, but was not meant to be the main means of navigation. The bus was designed with an open hatch on the top where players could climp up, and jump of into advantagous positions and could be used to take shortcuts.

    WaW and Bo1 zombies was pretty good too, but i feel that the series peaked during Bo2 and took a steep drop off in ambition and quality since then.
     
  2. Soldat Du Christ

    Soldat Du Christ Spartan I

    Messages:
    1,482
    Likes Received:
    2,252
    Lmao, who censors the word naz1 are you serious?
     
    Box Knows and MultiLockOn like this.
  3. Ascend Hyperion

    Ascend Hyperion The Homeslice
    Staff Member Forge Critic

    Messages:
    1,087
    Likes Received:
    3,033
    TLDR: This demented soul thinks Tranzit was good
     
  4. DrDreidelBerg

    DrDreidelBerg ONI Agent

    Messages:
    782
    Likes Received:
    2,055
    Who wouldn't want to spend 30 minutes to pack a punch one gun doing extremely tedious tasks while zombies are piping down your throat? How dare you!
     
    Box Knows and Ascend Hyperion like this.
  5. DrDreidelBerg

    DrDreidelBerg ONI Agent

    Messages:
    782
    Likes Received:
    2,055
    I hate how overcomplicated and tedious they make everything on some of the maps now, easter eggs are supposed to be tedious, not pack a punching a gun. For some maps the overcomplicated proccesses kind of worked and were fun like Mob of the Dead, but they went way too far with Buried and all the extremely tedious and vague procceses , I think that is when they just started going too far.

    BO3 zombies really lost my interest due to the absurdly powerful random gumballs you can get from lootboxes along with having the same exact perk-a-colas on every single map.

    Town was my favorite on BO2 due to its simplicity and open routes. I personally like simple maps with optional easy to follow easter eggs.

    All the fun to me is in the weapon and perks pool along with the pack-a-punch.

    Also they remade ascension and did not bring back PHD flopper, so **** them for that.
     
    CertifiedChamp, Dunco and Xandrith like this.
  6. MultiLockOn

    MultiLockOn Promethean
    Forge Critic Banned Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,815
    Likes Received:
    12,120
    They're creative that's for sure. Don't know if I'd call them brilliant.
     
  7. Xandrith

    Xandrith Spartan III
    Forge Critic Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,021
    Likes Received:
    11,955
    The guy who called me a holocaust supporter is censoring naz1, it almost makes sense!

    Zombies was incredible, especially when it was new. I think the best thing they pulled off about their maps, especially in world at war and bo1 was not the level design but the atmosphere. It felt like each map went beyond the playspace and this was magically scary and intriguing. The feelings I got playing shi no numa and verruckt will never be replicated.

    All in all, it would be very easy to "balance" zombies. Is a spot too camp-able? Put a window next too it. Done. Everything past that is creativity.

    Don't get me wrong, I think the level design is good, but I think it could be better. I remember thinking "how much cooler would it be if they did this" all the time.
     
    #7 Xandrith, Mar 23, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
  8. HeX Reapers

    HeX Reapers Spartan I

    Messages:
    1,742
    Likes Received:
    3,858
    Zombies has essentially split into two different types of level philosophies ever since late Black Ops 1. The first being survival maps, which tend to make their own complexities via strategy through the use of simplicity. The second being quest maps, which lead you on a path of many small to medium sized objectives to unlock or accomplish goals around the level in a rotational fashion. Both have their ups and downs, and I believe there are great examples on both fronts. I could go on and on as to why certain maps are so great, but I'd be here for 10 years. Like really, I could probably go on for an hour or so as to why every map from Nacht to Kino is a masterpiece, but instead I'll further explain my 2 favorite maps of all time. One being survival-based, and the other being quest-based. Shout out to Shangri-La, Town, Origins, Shadows of Evil and Der Eisendrache, though. Each of those maps did what they set out to do very well in multiple different aspects. But we could talk about them at another time.

    Right so anyway, lets step back to W@W for a few minutes. Verrückt. Best example of a survival map to this day. A fluent design chock-full of different strategy-fueled scenarios, taking great advantage of each main utility all the way down to their very own placements. Wall-buys, doors, zappers, perks, barricades, Mystery Box locations, etc. All of them included in such locations that compliment certain ways an area should be utilized whether It'd be by locking down as a team, or running around alone in solo. The map has difficulty, fair yet challenging difficulty. Its main purpose was to emphasize the use of teamwork, without it you're bound to fail one-by-one. At a serious level you have to micro-manage so many things when trying to survive as long as possible. Which doors do we leave shut? Which barriers or sight-lines should I be covering? Where should my fall-back route lead to? Our Betty farm? The zappers? Where should I run when everything goes to ****? The possibilities always make each game fresh, no matter the player count. There's no PaP and almost no viable training spots, and for that I can heavily appreciate a map that can accomplish so much without even needing such expected inclusions by today's standards. Even the starting mechanic of splitting the team into duos until one pair reaches power is awesome on its own, but coupled with everything else just adds to its identity. And let's not forget that atmosphere. A haunted, run-down Asylum re-purposed by the Naz(i)s for human experimentation. It's unnerving and mysterious, even managing to be the second creepiest map despite taking place in the afternoon. Title to creepiest and most well-executed theme goes to my next pick.

    After dragging through the unfinished, poorly executed mess that was Tranzit. Soon followed by the lackluster "meh"-ness of Die Rise. DLC II of Black Ops 2 brought us to San Francisco Bay to take part in Mob of the Dead. This map isn't just so highly regarded for nothing. It took a formula commonly associated with tediousness and morphed it in such a way that you can accomplish everything quest-related by simply moving forward and exploring the map. The plane is a perfect example of this. The efforts needed to obtain PaP are fluent, well-integrated, and don't overstay their welcome. From the lock-down in the showers, to the code input down in the tunnels, all the way to the construction on the roof. Each and every micro objective is manageable and can be accomplished as soon as you enter the area where it needs to be completed. By your first or even second time rotating from the Golden Gate back to Alcatraz you're still little-by-little achieving side quests to upgrade your arsenal if not already obtained. You could be upgrading the Acid Gat, obtaining the Hell's Retriever, or possibly trying for the Golden Spork. The map gives you options in a way that isn't forced, but rather rewarding and genuinely fun.

    The Easter Egg can quite literally be competed in almost every practical game as long as you know how to start and finish it. Everything in the middle is all the stuff you'd do anyway, that being completing all the side quests and claiming their rewards. Instead of focusing on treasure hunts and other strange steps, MOTD's Easter Egg gets you directly involved with the story. It spawns questions that build up to answers and other super interesting story elements. IMHO the cast and one-off arc within this map is by far the most well-written when compared to prior and even future installments. If you don't know the ins and outs of this map's lore I HIGHLY recommend looking into it. I'd go as far as to say that it makes up for the lack of difficulty and length within the main quest itself.

    The design of the map goes hand-in-hand with the overall theme. As Soldat briefly mentioned, MOTD really takes advantage of the close-knit hallways and corridors of Alcatraz while also putting an intense, yet welcomed demonic twist on it all. Chains, Hellfire, beaming red Zombie eyes, experiments/rituals, bloody hanging bodies, even ****ing Cerberus himself pops in and out of the walls to say hello. It's a very "tense"-feeling map to say the least. Gameplay-wise It's a very rotational or movement-based map indeed, especially when with a team of 4. While there are admittedly a few strong training spots throughout the map, people who want to hold out in many areas during the game have tons of options to choose from. Not to mention the newly added utilities such as the traps, which also further compliment certain strategies and replayability. Electric Cherry is one of my favorite perks in regards to balance and creativity, and Brutus was a pretty fair boss to fight when he wasn't busy going on a locking-spree. Last thing I'd like to mention is the Afterlife mechanic, which I personally think was a really cool and fresh take on the power system.

    So yeah, Verrückt and Mob, great maps. Besides highlighting that, understand my over-arching point here is that both styles of design can be very well done if executed correctly. Personally I much prefer the more classic survival-style approach, but I don't think it's very fair to disregard quest maps as a whole. Black Ops 3's maps did a whole lot right and a whole lot wrong. Some of the maps made simple things like PaP or its main Wonder Weapon a bit too tedious to obtain for example. Shadows of Evil and Der Eisendrache found a pretty good middle-ground, but maps like Zetsubou no Shima and Revelations fell pretty flat when considering these core fundamentals.

    Unfortunately the maps themselves aren't solely responsible for BO3's stale, and a lot of the time, uninteresting gameplay. All the weapons are pretty samey and with that are extremely strong on their own. It gets even worse when you take advantage of things like Double Tap v2.0, Double-PaP, and of course Weapon Kits. Classic Gobblegums can sometimes make the game a tad easier, but Mega Gobblegums just objectively break the game entirely. Even things as basic as sliding make movement way too easy to get around with when training or just running about. We only saw one new perk because any potential for something else either new or returning went into new Gobblegum. And it's sad too, because while I very much appreciate the time the team put into Chronicles, these new changes break everything that made those old maps either challenging and or fun. Going off on a tangent here, but I think you can get how I feel about BO3 as a whole. Some maps were great, and all of them had their moments. But, every new idea regarding core mechanics either only sounded good on paper no matter which way you implemented it, or had actual potential but was just simply executed terribly.
     
    #8 HeX Reapers, Mar 23, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
  9. CertifiedChamp

    CertifiedChamp Spartan I

    Messages:
    585
    Likes Received:
    1,662
    i didnt read any of this but im assuming that i'd agree so im liking the post anyway
     
    ExTerrestr1al and HeX Reapers like this.
  10. HeX Reapers

    HeX Reapers Spartan I

    Messages:
    1,742
    Likes Received:
    3,858
    TLDR: Verrückt is underrated, MOTD's constant praise is justified, there are both good Survival and Quest maps, and Bo3 is too easy because of X and Y.
     
    CertifiedChamp likes this.
  11. InvokingTexan

    InvokingTexan Spartan II

    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    156
    Exactly, Spicy! To add gasoline to the fire, the excruciating quest to acquire the pitiful jet gun is a pure slap to the face. Spending ten plus minutes in searching for randomly placed parts to build a "wonder" weapon that cannot be pack-a-punched, eliminates a small percentage of a zombie herd over a long period of time, and literally explodes after limited usage only for said exploded weapon components to randomly respawn in other random places is really blood boiling.

    But much like the late Billy Mays, I am not done yet. If you happen to miss the snail-paced bus, and try to go to another location on foot, then autistic screeching frog demons crawl out of hell and scratch your face until you are incapacitated. Granted, the denizens are easy to kill. Turn to the direction of their screeching, and knife, or shoot, them. However, if one is able to latch onto you, then mobility becomes thicker than molasses. This is a real problem, because the zombies are programmed to respawn alongside the road to attack you in poor visibility at full sprint past round seven. Brilliant design!

    TL;DR: Jet gun sucks ass, denizens are trash, fog is an understandable performance evil, and Treyarch is run by muppets.
     
    DrDreidelBerg likes this.
  12. DrDreidelBerg

    DrDreidelBerg ONI Agent

    Messages:
    782
    Likes Received:
    2,055
    "Autistic Screeching Frog Demons"

    Im liking your comment just for that description of denizens.
     
    #12 DrDreidelBerg, Mar 30, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  13. HeX Reapers

    HeX Reapers Spartan I

    Messages:
    1,742
    Likes Received:
    3,858
    Shadows of Evil is just a better Tranzit with little bits of MOTD sprinkled in.
     

Share This Page