Château… a new creation from one of the minds of Think Twice and the creator of Affinity. A map that bolsters a simple layout at first glance, but is complex in the ways that it interweaves between the available areas. Inspired by a map called Refuel on Brink, a huge emphasis was put on the parkour style movement/gameplay that Brink is known for.
> Château [sha-toh; Fr. shah-toh] - a country house, castle, or manor house, esp in France
Château is created with 4v4 gameplay in mind. It is setup for every gametype (including the new ones up to this point) except for Invasion, Race, and Haloball. Each gametype was tested and tweaked until it was able to offer an enjoyable and balanced experience. It shines most in Slayer, CTF, and Assault based gametypes. CTF plays similar to other small maps like Midship and Zealot where no defense can end up leading to a quick 3 minute game. Stockpile is a constant push and shove to stop your opponent from pulling more flags than you before each collection. Three plots encourages tons of team work to ensure that you stay ahead of your opponents or suffer the consequences. Even the more casual gametypes like Speedpile, Juggernaut, and Infection play great on this map.
Château offers a simple general layout, but creates a multitude of options by how one can traverse between each section. With just a quick glance, Château is two sides, with two 3 story buildings, a bridge that connects them, and a courtyard between them in a inverse symmetrical setup. However various jumps and movement techniques open up the possibility of quickly changing your destination point without skipping a beat in order to through your opponents off. From one spot branches several paths, which each path branching again and again, creating a root style decision tree that keeps combat interesting and different every time you play.
As for weapon placement every weapon is easy to find making it easy to learn the map and quickly keep up with those that are already familiar with it. DMRs are scattered around the map and needle rifles are always available around crates. Plasma Pistols can be found on the ramps up to the main floor of the buildings from the bottom level or on your way into the top center bridge. Spikers are on the ramp up from bottom mid by the rock jumps to open side of each base so you can assault around the column with a flurry of spikes. Needlers sit atop open side balcony in a good position to either defend the flag or take out any opposition sitting without cover. Plasma repeaters situate themselves in the main floor of the building to offer an alternative to the AR. As for power weapons the Sniper Rifles sit on open side ramp. While there are a couple of long sight lines, it will take a trained sharpshooter to excel on this map. Grenade launchers sit in front of initial spawn in order to offer a little bit of power with a lot of control. In bottom center there is a rocket launcher that could potentially clear rooms and give you the chance to pull the flag through the building safely. Plasma grenades are placed by the health packs on the mid level to offer a powerful option when you get into a “sticky” situation.
Château was in production for 32 days, from May 16th, 2011 to June 16th, 2011. The map was first inspired by a section of a map called Refuel on Brink. Here is a video of the map being played at the section that inspired Château. If you watch it closely you will first notice bottom mid, and the ramp up then the flag capture point (where they plant the charge), and the building. In my head I took that section, added more floors to the one building, and rotated a copy of it 180 degrees and connected the two buildings with a bridge. Then I went to tempest and rough drafted out the layout. As I built I added doors to the buildings and different connection points between each area, keeping in mind how flag running would work on the map. When I felt ready I found a cohesive aesthetic/theme for the buildings and took Sven’s suggestion of building with a water/sandy floor and built the first version between the island and the cave. Framerate drop from the water was rough so I reforged the map in the Canyon, and shifted the whole map several times until I was satisfied with the lighting.
After tons of forging and reforging, testing and retesting I am finally happy to bring you Château. I owe a HUGE thanks to all of the members of ReachingPerfection. ExternalMemory especially who helped me come up with ideas for the side ramps and gave opinions on the design in different aspects. Also him as well as many others from RP helped me shift the WHOLE map several times, both near the island and in the canyon. Without them the map would not have been done so quickly because I’m a pretty lay guy. Thanks to everyone who gave feedback during the beta as well. Your feedback was greatly appreciated and all of your support helped motivate me to get this finish. I hope you guys enjoy this. It may be my last map for a while because I have a child on the way next month. Hopefully it won’t be too long til my next project. Take care peepz.