My current plan is to only make a single map for the game in the end. I white-boxed a few different environments out, but this post will focus on the one pictured above, as it brings out a lot of the game play scenarios that I was aiming for in the level's design.
In the game both players movement speed is very fast, until one player picks up the bullet. Once they have the bullet, that player drastically slows down. While they have the only thing that can eliminate the other player, their move speed becomes a disadvantage. The player's movement speed affects their jump height, so players without the bullet can get to areas the player with the bullet can't. The platform with the windows behind it in the image above, is an example of this. I don't want these to be safe areas though, I want them to be escape routes or quicker ways around the map, so players accessing these areas still need to be vulnerable. These areas are kept open so they don't create a hiding spot that could cause a stalemate.
The other part of the map that is working well is the reception area stairwell. (The left most stairwell in the gallery below) I really enjoy all of the game play that has happened around that stairwell in play tests. If you are being hunted, you can use this area to bait the other player in, or escape multiple ways, or get the drop on someone from up above. I want to fill the map with these kind of places.
I tried to make a balance between areas where the player with the bullet would have advantages: open rooms and long halls. As well as areas where the players without the bullet would have advantages: lots of corners and multiple escapes. There is way too much of the former, and not enough of the latter in the current map.
In the play tests it became very clear that 4 players would not work. There is a really fun tension that happens in every one-on-one game, that is lost with four players. The map is way too large as is for one versus one. My current plan is to shrink the lobby (center room) and get rid of the office and hallway underneath (the rooms on the right of the gallery above) to test out the size. Once I can nail down the appropriate size, I'll begin reconfiguring the map to continue to build those areas that I really like into the map.
Michael Stanley did an awesome paint over to start getting an idea of what we could do with the lighting and colors (Top concept) and did the top views to get an idea of how to spruce up the level a bit with better art. Everything is built modularly, so reconfiguring will be simple, but one of the next big things to tackle will be make each room more distinct. In the current build, it's very easy to get lost, as a lot of rooms end up feeling the same due to reuse of textures and models.