After receiving a very quick layout sketch from a fellow designer I began creating a quick blockout.
Once in the engine, I did the first block out of the map using dev textures and blocky geometry. This step ensured the play area was not too big or too small. Simotuaniously as I'm blocking out the map I'm changing the sketch on paper.
Very early on we realized the stage had a very strong identity and it was easy to recognize what it was trying to replicate.
After an art sweep, we have the first iteration of the lumbermill stage. It featured a train on the right part of the map to serve as a hazard, sawblades, and electrical boxes in the top part of the map.
Early on I had extensive playtest to see where players form as well as how the map feels to play. I noticed that the train had little to no impact on gameplay since it was thrust into the right part of the map. I also received feedback that the stage felt very open.
Playtesters were always in this area of the map. This gave me a very good insight into what areas I should focus on and what props to move for a rework. I knew that the saw blade was in a good position since it was in the middle of the play area which is a hazard you can push players into.
I sat down and created another sketch on the reworked version of the lumbermill stage. While doing this I had the old version on screen and the old sketch next to me.
I wanted the train to have more of a central role on the stage. I moved it to the center of the stage and introduced ways to get onto the train in the middle part of the map. This would choke the players into meeting at the same location if they want to get across. Additionally, to draw the players in I spawned weapons on the train.
The spawns are relatively the same but they are now covered by more props and hazards. This was to decrease the players feeling of walking around in empty space and to increase the chance of vertical gameplay.