[Research] FPS space and place research: Counterstrike's case

Güttler, C. and Johansson, T.D. (2003) Spatial principles of level-design in multi-player first-person shooters, Proceedings of the 2nd workshop on Network and system support for game, Redwood City, California. ACM Press: New York, pp:158 - 170 .

Basing itself on a theoretical discussion and experiments, this paper outlines the basic spatial principles of level design in multi-player first-person shooters with special reference to Counter-Strike (Sierra). In this manner, the paper seeks to outline a heuristics of level design in firstperson shooters. The thesis of the paper is that a consistent examination of a game’s gameplay, its agents, and spatial components is necessary for the development of a design method that will lead to ultimate level design. Setting off from a theoretical discussion of the terms gameplay and emergence, the paper starts by establishing some basic characteristics of multiplayer shooters. The concept of emergence leads to a distinction of the unique features of multi-play and teamplay, and notions of gameplay help us to map out the basic spatial properties of the game environment and its staging of player strategies and tactical choice. The key concept in the principles of spatiality in level design advanced here is the socalled collision point; the location that marks the clash of players and hence by the set of relevant tactical choices to be made by the teams. To demonstrate the empirical basis and possible application in practical level design, the paper provides an analysis of a demonstrate the pros and cons of various design solutions and point at the basic spatial principles referred to above. The paper affirms that it does make sense to regard level design as tool for controlling the gameplay and the game’s progression. Also it affirms that it is possible by means of a critical and systematical approach to distinguish between good and bad level-design. Thus a set of heuristics is suggested as a set of guidelines that could lead to better leveldesign for practitioners.