11th October 2021 – 3:25pm
The new map of Valorant, Fracture, is the first map with extensive narrative content, including email bubbles during the buy phase. Joe Lansford, Level Designer and Brian Yam, Lead Artist on the maps, took a look at the various stages on the map's creation. Let's get behind the scenes of Fracture's development!
This is Riot's leitmotiv for each map creation: build a unique map and significantly different from its siblings. As you can see, Fracture is no exception to the rule, especially with its zip lines running through the map.
However, as you might expect, it wasn't all done in a flash, and Brian Yam explains that the teams went through a lot of experiments to come up with a first version of the map:
It quickly becomes clear that this concept is quite different from the map we know today! However, a strong concept was already designed and it was only necessary to solve some problems. For example, the defenders' area has been modified to offer them more protection, and points A and B are radically different from their final version.
Brian Yam also tells us that, at one stage of its design, Fracture had an additional zip line connecting the Arcade and Antenna areas, as well as a second path across the map!
Once the attackers' and defenders' zones were completed, it was necessary to complete the neutral spaces. It was during this phase that the Antenna zone was created, which was initially more open and complex than what we know today. Once the neutral spaces were completed, it was time to move on to the aesthetic part of Fracture.
One of the first steps in the visual development of a map is its dollhouse : an image that gives the artistic direction of the map, notably through its colours and atmosphere. On Fracture, we can clearly see the two sides of the map, which are radically opposed in nature.
These two distinct sides are of interest both narratively and for gameplay. Indeed, the contrast between the desert and the forest makes it easier to communicate within the map.
After the dollhouse comes the stage of greyboxing to create 3D models that are 70-75% complete in order to have a solid base to work from. The map then goes back and forth between the design and illustration teams to make the artistic models that allow for a more detailed representation of the environment as well as to adjust certain elements of the map.
We've finally reached the final stage of Fracture's creation! After the greyboxing and artwork stages completed, it's now time to work on the final 3D illustrations, leading to the creation of the map as we know it today!
You now know the backstage of the creation of Fracture! You can read the full article from Riot on this page. We remind you that Fracture will be essential in the development of Valorant's Lore in the coming weeks via updates adding storytelling elements. So keep an eye out for each patch!