Luminous Plateau is a two-player PVP map for Starcraft 2. It was designed to cater to beginning level players who are trying to learn the game's base mechanics.
Engine: Starcraft 2 Editor
Base Game: Starcraft Two
Development Time: 10 hours
Luminous Plateau is a PVP Starcraft 2 map set on a far-flung jungle planet deep in space. The map features large swaths of glowing trees and channels of clear water running alongside gameplay spaces. Players compete for resources and advance towards one another as they build up their armies in preparation for battle.
Luminous Plateau's memorable aesthetic and easy-to-understand gameplay style make it the ideal level for beginners to test their skills.
Map & Layout
Luminous Plateau was created during a one-week design assignment at SMU Guildhall. We were challenged to take simple map and turn it into a complex space.
Because of the limited time frame, I kept my map for Luminous Plateau very simple. I created a map where each player starts at one of the corners and moves across a series of islands that decrease in size towards one another before eventually meeting for combat or invading one another.
"Simple" paper map for Luminous Plateau. Created in 10 minutes, per assignment specificiations.
The overview map turned into a functional gameplay space.
What Went Well?
I was able to create a clean-looking level in the 10 hours allotted by the assignment.
I was able to create the type of simple beginner level I was aiming for by isolating resources and making sure there were clear paths to tell players where to go.
I learned to use the Starcraft editor in a very short amount of time.
What Went Wrong?
At times, I prioritized aesthetics over gameplay only to discover that a scenery piece was impeding players. This meant I had to make several targeted iterations to my aesthetics. These could have been avoided if I had tested more frequently during development.
What I Learned
Symmetry is key in real-time strategy games. Players should never feel like the map is giving them an advantage or disadvantage.
Maps for games with multiple races like Starcraft should support players no matter which race they choose to play.
Contrast between gameplay elements like resources and scenic elements like trees and water is important to make sure players understand where they are trying to go.