The invisible hand: how FPS multiplayer maps are designed
Anybody who has ever fiddled around with a game's map creation tool knows that creating a multiplayer map is much more difficult than it might appear. A great multiplayer shooter map takes into account many things that most players never actually notice. Things like game flow, speed, pacing, range, and navigation.
In this Gamasutra article, author James Holloway talks design practice and theory with map designers working on 343 Industries Halo 4 and Respawn's Titanfall.
Interestingly, much of the conversation focuses on how the designers on these games work to make their maps logical and intuitive for the average player, which was one of the points Ben brought up in his March piece, "Call of Duty is making us dumb: how modern shooters are robbing us of skill."
The type of design discussed in detail in the Gamasutra piece is no doubt fascinating and challenging in its own right, but the debate remains about whether hardcore gamers benefit from a design philosophy centered around initiation rather than mastery.