Map Building, an interesting job
This evening I was working on maps for a new game. This is very hard, for single player and multiplayer. Many AAA title developers (Infinity Ward, Treyarch, COD guys) complain about how hard designing a MP map is a very hard part, well I find single player maps the hardest. The game will not be a “shoot the bad guys and push forward”, you are the squad leader, trying to find a way out. So, the map needs multiple dead ends, interesting routes, and many lines of sight. Also, it must be balanced so that AI cannot easily get you, nor can the player just get them all in a small spot to ‘nade.
I think the single player is important, without a good map a level may be really easy, or ridiculously hard. Neither is fun. Thus balancing comes to play. Now, once you have balancing down you also need to take into consideration the player’s gaming platform. A SP map is bigger than MP with more objects to load because it has enemy spawns, the large map for the mission, interactive elements, and constant sound. So, you need a good medium of balance, load time, and overall fun level.