Jun. 2011 // Starhawk Multiplayer

Orbital made its debut at E3 2011 and was playable at the Sony booth on the show floor. In addition to putting the "star" in Starhawk multiplayer, it served as players' first introduction to the Vulture Jet Pack. Orbital became the second map featured in the Starhawk private beta in November 2011.

Starhawk's space levels were interesting beasts to construct. Unlike the terrestrial levels, which relied on terrain rendered in World Machine, our space levels were constructed from individually-placed platform meshes. This was a double-edged sword; editing and iteration became much easier without the need for tedious rendering and conversion, but were hell on object count and performance. This resulted in smaller, more compact layouts - the space levels ended up being the smallest levels in the shipping game.

The floating side platforms off each base turned into brutal spawn camping points during the private beta, as players would build Bunkers and land Hawks, raining rockets and missiles down on the opposing team's base. For the public beta and final relase, I rotated this entire platform and moved the platform's tower to block line of sight between the main platform and the opposing base. A smaller floating platform in between provided additional LOS blockage to the back of the base and provided cover for jetpacking defenders to mount a counter-attack on the platform.

© Sony Computer Entertainment America

Orbital 2/5 Orbital 3/5 Orbital 4/5 Orbital 5/5

Level Design

Andrew Weldon

Environment Art

LightBox Interactive