Staff Editorials

Sanctum 2 Developer Diary - Level Design
Posted: 08.05.2013 11:00 by PRBot Comments: 0
Naturally the level design part of a game such as Sanctum is incredibly important. That’s why it has to be even better in Sanctum 2! During the development of Sanctum 2, we’ve made design decisions that make the game much more action packed than Sanctum 1. For example, enemies can now attack the player, and they can reach the player even if they are standing on the walls. Because of this, we felt that we also needed expand on the complexity of the level design as well, as to keep the strategic elements on par with the action-based ones.

Variation, complexity, and replay value have been keywords for the level design in Sanctum 2. We want maps that offer up new strategies and new ways to optimize towers for defense of the Core. We also want every map to offer a new type of challenge so that there’ll never be the same strategy used twice throughout the entire game.

One map has the core in the middle and enemy spawnpoints from both sides. Will the player let their maze take care of one side and take on the other side by themselves? Or will they try and build a maze that can handle enemies from both sides? If all else fails, they can always invite a friend into their game and take one side each. If players are great at aiming, they can pick a long-range weapon, jump on top of the core and snipe everything that comes close.

We’ve also added environmental hazards to maps. Some places have fire bursting up from the ground where they’ll definitely want to funnel their enemies through. There are jump-pads, explosive barrels and all kinds of miscellaneous stuff that clever Core Guardians will use to their advantage. When playing Sanctum 2 with all Feats of Strength turned on, players will need every little bit of help they can get.

Finally, not all levels will give players the same starting conditions. In some parts of the story (such as the Outpost in the picture above), resources will be very sparse and players might not be able to build that many walls, so they might have to vary their loadout to complement that. Other maps will force players to have an extremely well-planned maze if they want to survive even the first waves.

Simply put, being skilled at FPS-games will only get players so far in Sanctum 2. The level design will make sure that they will need to temper their FPS skills with careful strategic planning as well. We hope everyone is up for it!


Armin Ibrisagic
Game Designer
Coffee Stain Studios