How do you design a level such that a rampaging 30 foot behemoth can have an experience just as dynamic for the normal sized humans trying to take it down? Evolve faces a very unique situation in this perspective. Developers fond of giant AI controlled monsters have resorted to giant expanses of open space with sporadic cover to help even the odds between the two forces. However, Turtle Rock Studios has an aspect unique to it's title: that humongous creature is now controller by a player.
Certain similarities can be drawn between the battle between the Goliath duking it out against four hunters and Left 4 Dead's Tank fighting against four survivors. But with a much bigger monster to deal with, things had to be scaled up whilst keeping the encounter fun for the hunters hoping to take the beast down. We spoke with Denby Grace, Executive Producer at 2K Games, and talked about how Turtle Rock Studios was handling the massive contrast in size.
"There’s a natural size difference between the Goliath and the hunters," says Grace, "[but] that’s not necessarily true of all the monsters. Our maps are pretty huge, for a multiplayer space they’re pretty large [and as a result] you have a lot of the cat and mouse gameplay.
To help foster that style of interaction between players Grace says maps also need to vary in height. "One of the biggest things in the level designs is there’s a lot of verticality. [With] the Goliath specifically, he can climb pretty much any surface that’s an interior wall of the map.
And while that's certainly fun for the Goliath, there's one thing that ensures hunters will be having a fun time regardless of whether they are winning or losing according to Grace. "The hunters have jetpacks, which makes maneuvering around the world a great experience in itself before you even look at combat. That verticality is needed when you have a 30-foot monster you’re fighting against," Grace said.
If you missed getting hands on with the title at PAX East, make sure to read our hands on preview.