I think of all the POIs I worked on for Halo Infinite, this was my favorite. The spartan core was a challenge because I wanted to lengthen the experience, but could not move surrounding geometry because of other POIs nearby. Immediately, I began researching how I could increase the play-through time and experience without changing existing geometry. I decided to add more Banished buildings to the space, but needed to elevate some of the geometry to do so. The next challenge I need to solve was how the player was going to move from one building to another with the varying heights and locations of the buildings, all without moving surrounding geometry. I devised a path to go under the building, placing a cave system under the first Banished building that allowed the player to have a longer experience without comprising the criteria set forth. Naturally, I needed to lock the uppermost building’s entrance to prevent players from simply grappling up and skipping the rest of the map.
Now that I had the buildings in situ, I needed to design an area that would trap players in a kill box with three auto-turrets shooting at them. Fine-tuning how these auto-turrets behaved through their placement was a lot of fun, and finding the perfect balance for all three made the space much more entertaining. Many iterations and lots of play-testing later, I found the right balance for all three turrets. I did not want the player to hide from or avoid the turrets, except in specific locations within the area. The goal was for the player to take a strategic approach to this area and consider all of their options before engaging with the turrets. We also placed enemy AI within the space to layer the combat and increase difficulty.
Additionally, I added a secret entrance to the cave system behind one building, because in this open world, players engage with spaces from various vectors. I wanted to make sure there were multiple entrances and access points for the entire encounter. I loved designing this space and found the challenges and constraints of the area thought-provoking and fun to design around.