Level Analyze -- Overwatch
Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer online first-person shooter video game. There are several types of maps in this game. Here I will focus on a control map in Lijiang Tower, called Night Market. Here is the layout.
Firstly, let’s begin with artwork.
It’s very interesting that the three maps in Lijiang Tower contains completely different feelings. Garden feels traditional, Control Center feels modern, and Night Market feels natural. As a Chinese I really like this design because it shows both sides of the China, traditional and modern. Especially in Night Market, they build an ancient pavilion in a modern community, which is actually common than you expect in China nowadays. Thank Blizzard for not making three maps that full of Chinese traditional building. We are tired of that.
Secondly, the lay out.
In Overwatch, almost all control maps contain three paths for two teams. They may or may not connect each other at the center of the map, but all of them are designed carefully to lead players to a battle zone.
However, the battle zone is not always the control point. If the control point is on the cental path, then the control point is also the main battle zone. If the control point is on the side path, players may confront their enemies in the center path. Therefore, the battle zone is actually next to the control point. In this map, the control point is on the side path, so players will have different strategies. They can fight at the battle zone first or they can go straight to the control point. This makes a control game more challenging. And I like this idea.
Thirdly, the three paths.
In this map, let’s say the control point is on the first path, and the central path is the second path. For both teams, the first path is longer, and the third path has more cover than the other paths. Also, the third path is connected to the second path, but the first path did not.
As you can see, since the first path contains the control point, the third path for all players is not as important as other two paths. So, they give the third path more covers and more health bags and also several platforms to balance the map. Snipers may choose the third road to get a good view and protection.
For a longer first path, this means if players choose to go straight to the control point, they need more time before getting into a combat. Also, a path with more twists can give a team advantage when they are retreating. So, each team will have advantages on their side, but disadvantages on the other side.
I like how they balanced the three paths especially when control point is on the side path. Every corner of the map has its own meaning.
Artwork and layout
There is also some interesting about health packs.
Health packs are mainly on the side paths. And there is a health pack on the central path but it’s right in front of the Spawn Point.
For this map, the health packs on the first path is mainly on the ground, while the health packs on the third path is mainly in the room. Players mainly fights on the ground, so they tend to use the health packs that are on the ground because they are obvious. For the health packs on the third path, they are far away from the control point, but they are also hard to get.
Even though the control point is on the side path, they still put a health pack right next to the point to make it symmetry. Player will fight for this health pack, this makes the combat more challenging.
As for the health pack in front of the Spawn Point, this gives a team advantage when they are in disadvantages. Help them fight back.
For all three paths, they begin with a flat ground, then separate into curved roads, at last end in an open ground where player will fight each other.
Team will have advantage on their side but disadvantage on the other side.