Testing - Wave #1
During the first wave of testing, I had two of my four maps tested by close peers. They each tested one or two maps, and gave written feedback using my original feedback form. The maps tested were ctf-redemption, and ctf-void. I will cover each of the map's feedback and relate them to industry research.
"What you liked:"
1) "As a Rocket Launcher CTF sort of gametype, this map works very well"
2) "Good idea."
At first, this map was not intended to be a rocket launcher focused map, however seeing the recorded gameplay it is obvious that a lot of players would use the rocket launcher due to its instant timer refresh and lock-on function. Albeit it did make the map fun, and the testers enjoyed it this way, yet, it does take the focus away from the other weapon spawns.
One discussion in the Unreal Tournament forums caught my eye, as user '_Lynx' replied to 'jackalox's' post discussion unfriendly weapon placements. His argument discussed that weapon placements / spawns "makes the game unfriendly to new players without much reason". Now, I feel that this makes sense considering - as a rookie to Unreal Tournament - I find it difficult to run into weapons on a few maps due to spawn points. Arguably, most maps require map knowledge to master. Unreal Tournament relies on strategy from the players to understand the maps to utilise the mechanics (wall run, lift jump), and the pickup locations.
I feel like keeping the map as a rocket launcher game mode because it makes it quick, and tying in with the ability to fall off the map easily, dangerous.
"What you didn't like:"
1)It feels quite open for a game that can easily access homing missiles, perhaps look into more obstacles to avoid fire or pathways *Ofcourse this could potentially be solved by removing rockets and more testing*
2)Rocket Launcher Overused
As discussed above, this map was not intended to be a rocket launcher game type. However, I understand the feedback due to the open map - mixed with the rocket launcher's homing mode. The feedback was useful as it detailed that I should consider obstacles to block the launchers path. This could work if I create the map as originally intended as if it was in the middle of a valley in a forest. This would take away the chance to fall off the map, add in much more routes and blocked lines of sights, and a more artistic theme.
"The primary metric that alters difficult is player line of sight" - (McKillan, 2012) 
This sentence by Luke argues the advantage and disadvantages of variations of line of sight. This includes the larger amount of tactical options provided by greater lines of sight - as with ctf-void - giving the player time to plan. Limited lines of sight puts players at a disadvantage, giving them less situational awareness, and less time to act. With an open map like Void, the rocket launcher is given much more power over the other weapons, as the players have longer to react to lock-on to their opponents. If I am to use this map, and keep the rocket launchers, I will have to block certain lines of sight using geometry.
1) "The middle lift thingy, pushed us up too far so it was hard to escape."
This feedback was a little too obvious for me, and is something I was worried about, yet wanted to test anyway. A simple change for this would be to make it larger and reduce the length of the matinee.
Gameplay Score (Average) 3/5
Navigation (Average) 4/5
"What you liked:"
1) "Very nice symmetrical feel, even odds for both teams are good The map itself isn't too big, so the players cant get lost, they know where to defend and where to attack"
2) "Nice CQC map for small teams, teams any larger and it may feel crowded (worth testing)"
Overall, the feedback for Redemption was positive. It seems the map works in itself as a Close Quarter Combat game mode well fit for small teams. Larger teams will be a good idea to test so I can update the map to make it larger if needs be. A larger map will provide more pathways to traverse (or at least longer), and add more movement into the map as UT4 has a lot of emphasis on navigation. With the addition of weapon / pickup placements, size and navigation are important as the player must be able to reach these effectively.
"In the case of a Halo title, designers will ask themselves if a map should be large or small, the size influencing the ideal number of players, the engagement distances and the weapons best suited to them, and the suitability of vehicles." (Holloway, 2013) 
In terms of ctf-redemption, there are two weapons in each base, and a biorifle in the middle, including 3 power ups across the map. Holloway details how designers should consider map size due to the engagement disatances and the weapons best suited to them. This is why the biorifle was selected to be included in the middle of the map, as it is a great defensive short-range weapon. The Link Gun and Rocket launcher are included to add variation and the rocket launcher serves as another defensive weapon as the link gun acts as an offensive weapon when running for the flag.
"What you didn't like:"
1) "Lighting was dark in some areas but I assume its a work in progress, wasn't alot of incentive to use the below pathways"
Setting the lighting aside as it is a WIP project, I will focus on the comment about the below pathways. I noticed that the whole section inside the building, the ground floor isn't needed and adds more places for noone to go. The other section adds a quick navigation to the one side of the map and the middle, so it shall be kept. My idea for this level is to open it up and remove the bridge. In addition, have a ramp go down as a quick but dangerous run where it balances out the speed to the flag and the vulnerabilities.
1) "Feels like you need a third level for possible sniper points, you may want to add side paths in the base incase AI trap you in"
As there is one route out of the base it is possible that the players can be trapped in. I will fix this by adding more routes of of the base, leading to alternate routes to run for the flag. As for a sniper level, this could be included when changing the level to add a choke point in the center of the map. By this I may rotate the bridge and underpass to add in a choke point in the center of the map, this way it will balance the route problem and allow snipers - and perhaps more players per team.
"Each map's choke points should support various playing styles - sniping, close quarter combat or stealth." (World of Level Design, 2013) 
Choke points add in combat engagements between players, most game modes like Search and Destroy use this to balance the attacking team vs the defending team. Where as in ctf it adds a way to defenders of each flag to fight as their runners use alternate routes to grab the flag, utilising the map flow, weapon placements, and strategy. As with any map, when the choke point is compromised, it changes the gameplay drastically. In Redemption I will focus closely on playing styles, as with ctf, there's usually one or two runners, then one or two defenders that preferably stay in mid when engaging the enemy. Adding sniper rifles will apply the incentive to stay back, which might slow the game flow with just two people.
Gameplay Score (Average) 4/5
Navigation (Average) 3/
1)GAMASUTRA., The Metrics of Space: Tactical Level Design., McKillan, Luke., [Online], Available from: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/1 ... tical_.php . [Accessed: 25th January 2016]
2) GAMASUTRA., Deathmatch Map Design: The Architecture of Flow., Holloway, James., [Online], Available from: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/1 ... n_the_.php . [Accessed: 25th January 2016]
3) WORLD OF LEVEL DESIGN., CS:GO 6 Principles of Choke Point Level Design., [Online]., Available from: http://www.worldofleveldesign.com/categ ... esign.php., [Accessed: 25th January 2016]