Schermerhorn

Category: Game Design

I designed a couple of maps for Company of Heroes when it came out and had a lot of fun doing so. When I came across the review of one of one of these maps when I was cleaning up my hard drive, I wanted to save it somewhere where I would never lose it again. So now it is here on my site, for all to enjoy.

Excellent map. Visually on par with the Relic maps. Unique layout and Territory placement. Ample and well-placed resources. “problems” from earlier versions seem to have been completely corrected. I believe this map deserves to be ranked amoung the best of the maps produced so far; I highly recommend it to all.

With a review like that, I was quite proud of it when I finished it and it went on to become Gamereplays’ Map of the Week somewhere in 2006. I was in particular pleased with a couple of design ideas I managed to implement. I still remember the following features:

  • There’s a hidden path through a lake that the AI won’t pick up. It’s somewhat of a little extra for players that are good at micro-managing their troops.
  • It is impossible to bombard the enemy base using heavy artillery that is setup within your own base. I hated how the endgame in 1-1 CoH sometimes ended up that way.
  • There is a walkway on the cliffs that only soldier squads can use, so that vehicles can’t fight in the castle on top of it. I thought it was pretty cool to have soldiers-only battles for a nice resource point in there.
  • I think I did a good job of making the map graphically as detailed as any map actually made by the real developers.
  • And finally, I love how the map has a very assymetric feel to it, even though it is mostly symmetrical in design.

I have to admit that the map was a bit too gimmicky in my opinion (with all the hidden paths), but that’s how you win the appreciation of an internet reviewer, I guess.