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Spotlight: Level Design

Dev Blog
August 19, 2021
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Welcome Soldiers!

We have a new type of developer blog to share with you which will be taking a deep dive into certain areas and departments of development. With the standards on the project ever increasing the development team will be taking time out to explain some of the new techniques and creative direction that’s being explored for Beyond The Wire.

For this first instalment we’re going to focus on level design. The new maps coming in Operation III mark a visible progression in our level design process, resulting in maps that are not only more visually impressive but also deliver a better gameplay experience for players.

Our level designers have experimented with some new visual effects to add life to the Operation III maps. With the landscape of Vimy having suffered heavy barrages in the moments leading up to the advance, new types of burning trees can be seen where the recent explosions have ignited nature. While fire effects have been used on previous maps adding variety in these areas further cements the diversity seen across our maps.

Vieil Armand also has some new effects present to add a cold edge to the atmosphere of the level. The breeze over the mountain brushes light snow from the cliff edges, immersing you into the chilly air of this snowy battlefield. Adding bits of polish such as this can help bring the map together and contribute more to the immersive environments.

Attempting to recreate the difficult and hazardous environment of the Western Front when certain paths were simply impassable, the team have introduced rows of thick, charred wooden stumps. With an aim to create some structure into the routes that armies use to advance, these thick branches have allowed us to create pathways that funnel infantry units into tight combat zones.

With Operation III opening up different areas of the war, various styles of trench systems are needed. Introducing new trench walls, depth variation and strong points, these unique visuals and combat spaces will add fresh experiences as well as building upon the intense trench warfare already seen on many of our maps.

In addition to new trench assets work has been done to bring life to the houses and farm lands that still stand. Adding decoration to the interior of civilian buildings helps bring history to the area, with furniture and table arrangements hinting at times before the war, while supplies and sleeping areas for armies can be found in barracks and under bunkers.

Finally, we wanted to close out with a word from our Creative Director!

Hello everyone,

Here at Redstone Interactive, we are all hard at work adding content, new features, and polishing systems on Beyond The Wire to make it the greatest World War 1 First Person Shooter ever made. It’s not an easy task, but our team is passionate and full of talent and I have no doubt we will get to that goal.

This new format of development updates — that digs a bit deeper into the concept of each element we’re adding or changing — will help share our vision with the World more clearly and with more transparency, and I’m happy we’re able to do that!

As we look forward to releasing Operation III, even if there’s still much to be done, we’re getting to a point where all parts of that vision are coming together and turning our ideas into something we can experience inside of the world of Beyond The Wire.

These two new maps — Vimy Ridge and Vieil Armand — are the most beautiful, immersive and interesting levels we’ve done so far. This is the result of uncountable hours of sweat and hard work, and it really shows on the level design and flow, and also on the visuals and atmospheric feel. I’m proud of everyone in our team working on these maps, be it boots on the ground on Level Design and Art, or Programmers fixing bugs and implementing features, or Quality Assurance finding new bugs for us to fix and improving the experience! These new battle fields are a testament to how amazing our artists and level designers are, and also a great homage to the men who fought these battles in real life.

So strap on your boots and get ready, things are about to get muddy. The warscapes of Vimy Ridge and Vieil Armand await you, and Soldiers let me tell you, they won’t go easy on you.

See you in the trenches!

– Bruno