This is part 2 of my article on 1vs1 map design for level designers. It discusses some example spots of powerful items in more or less known maps. You may want to read part 1 of this article before reading this.
Placing items in a good spot
In the last part, it turned out that placing the major items in good spots, and designing such spots of course, in essential for great 1vs1 gameplay. But what makes a good spot? Remember the idea that the player should risk something to get an item, and let’s look at some more or less famous examples now.
Tight spot, placed on low level, dangerous dead-end: Reclamation railgun, Killing Machine body armor, Phrantic red armor
This is a rather typical placement of the RG: in a tight spot where it is of rather limited use. The place is also dangerous due to the lava and potential splash damage from the walls. Camping here would NOT be a good idea, that’s for sure.
A very similar item placement can be seen in the next shot, this time it is in a room which gets more traffic though:
BA is placed low and in a tight spot on ‘Killing Machine’.
A similar placement can be seen for the red armor on ‘Phrantic’:
It is in a tight dead-end which has 2 entrances, but one of them in a drop-down, and thus there is only 1 exit.
Exposed jump: body armor on Aerowalk and Blood Run
The player has to do a rather hard jump to get the BA which takes a sec to prepare and is very predictable. And in many situations, he has to jump towards/into the fire of his opponent on the lower level. After pickup, he is in a dead end, and needs to get out of it.
A very similar item placement can be seen on ‘Blood Run’:
The jump ain’t that hard, but is is very predictable and places you in a dangerous spot — especially with the GL and rocket ammo for your opponent on the lower level. Note a difference to Aerowalk though: on Blood Run, the player on the lower level has direct line of sight to the item and could rocket jump to it, which is not possible on Aerowalk.
In the open and in dangerous environment: Chastity Belt Duel megahealth and railgun
The MH is placed in the open. It can be grabbed from 2 different spots, but for both of them, the jump is dangerous because it exposes the player. You can try to control the MH from the CA spot in the same room if you have the RG, but to actually grab it, you have to give up line of sight and thus control over it.
(Also note that the RG position is close by, but it takes rather long to get there.) The RG is on a small ledge above lava.
Drop-down and predictable movement before pickup: The Campgrounds II megahealth and railgun
The MH is in an open and dangerous space on the lower level, players will often drop down from above to get it. Down in the pit, opponents can shoot at you from all directions and multiple height levels.
The RG is in a spot that takes a bit to get there, and the route to it is very predictable. The pickup position can be denied from the bridge above RA (not shown) via rocket/grenade/plasma spam.
That’s enough examples. Let’s extract some knowledge from them and draw conclusions in part 3 — Conclusions.