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"Bastion" by Shock Theta on 06.01.2008
An imposing central structure hides the workings of a complex and novel gameplay mechanic. Map by Shock Theta.
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  • Map: Foundry
  • Size: 56.48 KB

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Subject: Bastion

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Created by Shock Theta

Sr. Consultancy: rusty eagle
Video: running chron
Consultancy: Qrangeremi

Pictures and Video at

YouTube Video

Map Development
Several months ago I had a conversation with rusty eagle where he mentioned his ideas for a map design which was influenced by a certain other map of old. Coincidentally, I had been toying with a similar idea and informed rusty of my vague plans. We exchanged ideas and as rusty was a little further ahead than me I was ready to leave him to pursue the project but delightfully he offered to team up. We began designing and even started forging, but unfortunately rusty was almost instantly afflicted by the RRoD (and its worth noting that this was not a conspiracy of mine). The result is my own version of a map that rusty will release his separate version of in due course. If you like the look of Bastion, or if you think it could be done better, you can check out Rusty Bastion in a month or so.

When designing and brainstorming we settled on a symmetrical rather than asymmetrical map, mainly because we wanted a wider variety of gametypes to be supported and have two teams fighting it out over some form of central structure. Whilst the attraction of building an asymmetrical map with the increased difficulty involved was high, that can be left for another day and project. This one seemed to fit perfectly well enough to validate this initial choice, creating gameplay that is reminiscent of the push and shove of Conquest but in a free flowing, open map format and with novel map elements thrown in.

Key Features
When rusty eagle was working on the switches forging 101 article and video, I came to him and mentioned the 5 minute switch I had been casually considering since before foundry. Back then Its implementation was much more difficult due to the lack of immovable objects to work with and the necessary inclusion of grav lifts, leading me to consider the idea a thought experiment rather than anything practical. With the heroic map pack and Foundry in particular however, this changed. We worked to refine the idea and developed various practical methods of implementing the switch - which basically allows you transit through a teleporter to one receiver node for 5 minutes, followed by a separate receiver node after 5 minutes. This breaks the 3 minute limit on spawning objects and the difference between the two times is not inconsiderable.

Between us we have our own preferences on which system is more useful for the map concept, and in my design here go into forge and you'll see how I personally went about things. Rusty will be chasing after a different style of switch and I'm looking forward to seeing how he integrates it into his own original design. In my version, teleporters in each side base take you into the opposite tower, which you'll see in the map video produced by running chron.

The result of the 5 minute switch in Bastion is the creation of areas which are inaccessible after 5 minutes into the game, and other areas that are only accessible after that point. The obvious conclusion you can jump to is that this gameplay mechanic could be ideal for an original territories gametype. A territory on the upper floor of each of the two towers and three below result in five territories being available for the first 5 minutes and the remaining three available for the rest of the game. An area overlooking parts of the map is opened up after 5 minutes which does not contain additional territories - but does provide a degree of map control - and more importantly, it's a great vantage point to notify your teammates of enemy movements. The result in game is a frantic struggle for control that ensues around the 4 minute mark as well as near the end of the game, drawing out the tension and excitement of a territories game and giving meaning to important plays throughout the match. There's also the risk in a game of territories of having all five territories being captured by one team - in this case a sudden death situation occurs and the game is at risk of a premature end. This risk of being thoroughly embarrassed only adds to the tension!

Bastion also contains several other features such as:

* Dumpster doors than can be opened from below and automatically close after 20 seconds, enabling a degree of map control by organised and communicative teams as well as a faster route to the middle area of the map.

* A variety of ledges, jumps (including edge ghost jumps) and player routes litter the map.

* Powerup placement that is visible to players from a distance without compromising the enclosed areas of the map (for example, the overshield is interlocked so that you can pick it up from above but from below you can still see whether it has spawned or not; active camo is visible through fence walls around the centre of the map)

* Intelligent and intuitive weapon and equipment placement - Sniper rifles are in exposed areas but have access to long sight lines; Custom powerups provide an occasional speed boost when running around the outside of the map or can be used to cause your opponents to miss shots at close range; Flares spawn on a long timer and slowly roll down their respective set of stairs which attracts attention so that they can be acquired intentionally; A variety of weapons that cater for each situation and player taste but none of which overpowers or clutters the map.

* Interlocking, merging and other subtle aesthetic touches included free of charge.

Gametype Suggestions and Points to Consider
Bastion supports all gametypes, although some are more suited than others. Due to the item limit I was restricted in my placement of respawn areas and you may experience the rare questionable spawn on some of the more outlandish gametypes. The 5 minute switch system is very robust on this map and I worked hard to contain it and eliminate honour rules. As a result, the only way the switch can be broken is by the use of frag or plasma grenades bounced off the ceiling of Foundry. There are none of these grenade types placed on the map, so when loading up a gametype here consider whether you want to allow grenade starts. In my experience of around 30-40 playtesting games, mostly with starting grenades enabled, this has happened a scant once, so you may feel comfortable taking the risk.

The gametype I'm providing is a Flag Rally variant that does not have many changes to the default. Round time is set at 8 minutes, starting grenades are Off, and that's about it. You can easily construct your own and the gametype won't not be available on my fileshare indefinitely. The key points to remember are to consider your preference on grenades and ensure that the round time is longer than 5 minutes if you want the switch system to be a feature of the gameplay.

Download the Flag Rally Variant

Recommended Gametypes:

* Territories
* Assault
* Infection

Bastion is a versatile map that can cater to your tastes and all gametypes are certainly playable, so you can feel confident trying them out.

Bastion has been the work of several months of planning, multiple iterations, budget glitch set backs and protracted yet hugely valuable testing sessions. The concept was fresh and original in my mind when I started, but the grind of getting the map to work made me consider putting the whole project on an indefinite hold at one point. Thankfully, I am in the immensely fortunate position of having some good friends who stuck by the map through the times 'o fail and helped me discover a gem under all the rock and dirt. It took a huge amount of scrubbing and chipping away, but I got there, and I'm incredibly thankful to all of you who took part. Thank you.

I hope you like how it turned out.


[Edited on 06.01.2008 8:03 PM PDT]

  • 06.01.2008 3:26 PM PDT
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  • last post: 01.01.0001 12:00 AM PDT

This looks nice ----> . <----that is a period

  • 06.01.2008 4:07 PM PDT
  • gamertag: Er1c0
  • user homepage:

ER1C0 is BataBING BataBOOM.

I suggest not to put so much writing, and maybe have the youtube video link on this bungie thread... But that's only what I think, otherwise, nice map

  • 06.01.2008 5:00 PM PDT

Awesome map, awesome post. I suppose this will keep me entertained until Rusty Bastion.

  • 06.01.2008 5:39 PM PDT

I used to RRX... :'(

dis map is da b's nees. I is mad impresssed wid dis map. Big up da Shock Theta, tho I ownz u in 1v1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!111!!!!!!!!1

(for more eloquent responses check out the original Forge Hub thread)

  • 06.21.2008 4:45 AM PDT


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