Map Design Vol. 2 – “The River District”

This series focuses on the environmental design of Neverwinter within the adventure zones or smaller instances. Today we will take a deeper look at the “River District”, the newest adventure map to be released on the live servers. Tonight’s theme is “Destruction and Nostalgia” The River District follows a theme of lost glory. You can see the houses are big and seem to have inhabited wealthy citizens. There even was a park directly nearby right next to the river and pavilions spread across the map. But the golden days are gone. The River District got hit hard by various catastrophes with the most recent one being the invasion by the Cloaked Ascendancy. The map reflects the story line well as it uses the very old Protector’s Enclave textures for walls and even some models (houses and wells). Conveniently, reusing the old art assets fits perfectly into this module. If you see this as “let’s create a thematic module where we can reuse old assets without backlash” or not is up to you. A love for Details Additionally the devs have done some detailed work to show the actual destructive forces that have hit the River District. There are crooked wells in Gyrion’s region

Read more

Map Design Vol. 1 – “Strongholds”

We often bash Neverwinter’s devs for various reasons. But their level design can be on point sometimes. Let’s take a deeper look into one of the most played maps: The Stronghold. The stronghold map shows on the one hand brillant and on the other hand rather clumsy map design. This post goes into the positive aspects. But before we start, we have to find the map’s predecessor to see with what the level designers at cryptic were tasked with. All hail the 3 lane setup The stronghold map being Neverwinter’s adaption of the classic MOBA genre layout (2 opposing bases and 3 lanes connecting them) both simplified and toughened its creation at once. It may have given a basic structure for orientation but also one that somehow needs to house all of the building plots, Heroic Encounters, mobs and siege mode paths/structures. Creating a map that will be played frequently for modules to come, that players will not easily get tired of and that can be extended without damaging its layout, is a sizable task. Remember geometry The stronghold map is in fact almost perfectly mirrored along two axes (stronghold to stronghold W-E and along the river S-N), the center being the middle

Read more