Alex's Game Design Portfolio

Starcraft Custom Maps

I created dozens of custom maps for Starcraft, ranging from competitive multiplayer to cooperative story-based maps. Blizzard’s tools are always excellent and they really help make the best content possible. Below are a couple of screenshots from one of my maps showing some triggers, locations and the unit editor.



Below is my most ambitious custom map for Starcraft, Dark Sun (no relation to the D&D campaign). It took over 6 months to create. As with other custom maps, I had a group of friends as well as many random players play-test it with me throughout the entire process. I used the largest map size available and maxed out on locations, doodads and strings. I Made constant use of scripted events and special effects. I created an original story and had fun making up the names for all of the characters and units. I filled several notebooks and folders with pages of ideas and bug reports. Looking back I made countless terrible design decisions but it was a great learning experience.



Gears of War Single Player Custom Map – Locust Park


“You must fight your way through a locust-infested park to reach the highly fortified entrance to a historic library. Intelligence reports a giant emergence hole located inside. It is known that at least one high-ranking locust leader is overseeing the operation. What that operation is, we have no idea — but judging by the strength and numbers of locust garrisoned at the library, it is definitely a big one. Eventually you will have to descend into the emergence hole inside to explore the underground locust tunnels in order to find out what is going on, but for the time being your objective is to destroy the locust inhabiting the park and guarding the front entrance. Your mission ends for now at the front door.”


Kismet Scripting Samples

Samples are from my Gears of War map “Nergal”

First I created seperate sequences for major parts of the map.

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This first sequence contains the cinematic that plays before the first battle as well as doors that are opened before and after the second battle.

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The first battle sequence. Battle music begins. Enemies are spawned at specific locations. Some path nodes are turned off to prevent enemies from charging the player too early. Path nodes are then turned back on when the player reaches a certain point so enemies can follow if the player runs away. When all enemies are killed the music is faded out.

The second battle sequence. Enemies start to spawn, battle music begins and a cinematic is played to show them advancing towards the player. A sound effect is played to show the anger of the enemies. More enemies are spawned when the previous groups finish spawning and after short delays. After all enemies are killed or if the player escapes to the next area of the map the battle music fades out.

The final battle sequence. I broke this into the following two pieces because of its large size:

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In this sequence the player enters the final area of the map. Two enemies are spawned before he enters a room and the player gets to see the enemies retreating to another room. A suspenseful sound effect players. The rest of the scripting deals with the navigation of the enemies so that they defend properly and create a proper ambush in the next room.

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Here the enemy turrets (troikas) are set up so that enemies spawn and attack the player with them properly. Battle music is turned on and off, waves of enemies are triggered when other enemies are killed, and the map is finished with the camera centering on the exit, text being displayed and new music starting.

There are encounters with several different types of enemies spawning and attacking from different locations. The timing is handled to make everything seamless and appear to flow naturally.

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