Blizzard Entertainment just released Rialto, a new map for its hero-based first-person shooter . Set in Venice, Italy, Rialto does a few things differently from past maps—it has more water than any before it and uses 90° angles in tightly packed streets to create choke points in addition to narrow archways, to name a couple changes.
In this video, Assistant Game Director Aaron Keller talks about how Blizzard approached designing the map and about the process for making maps in general. I visited Blizzard HQ in Irvine, California, and among many other things, I asked Keller: How do you balance a map for nearly 30 characters? Do you design maps to be strong for specific characters? How do you make sure framerates stay high and the action stays fast? And do the differences between consoles and PCs affect map designs in any way?
If you want answers to all those questions and more, check out the video. Keller also revealed a hint about a new easter egg, and he explained how a fleet of small boats run by robot gondoliers saved players from getting booped into the water too much and helped keep the map balanced.