The Immersive Campaign Maps in TideTurn

While TideTurn is known for its fast-paced multiplayer mode, this game is about more than just high stakes strategy and movement mechanics. TideTurn carries with it a powerful message about the critical state of the world’s oceans, and its stories are told through its defenders during engaging single-player missions. 

Stanion Studios is preparing to test its first single-player campaign during its imminent beta release, and TideTurn designers and artists around the world are working to bring various D.R.I. Corporation locations to life for the campaign. 

These locations are not only a way to explore the TideTurn conflict between Atlanteans and Humans, but they also invite immersion into a world where players can become a TideTurn defender and act as an integral part of the community. 


What has the team been working on for the campaign most recently? 

Augustin Chiwo – Concept Designer: I’ve been working on the visual development of both the Visitor Center and the Laboratory areas for the last couple of months, trying to help Kevin, the Level Designer, decide the final look of those locations.

I take care of the visual design of these areas. I make sketches and illustrations of the general appearance and mood of the different locations, and I also create drawings and schemes of the various props and assets needed to populate those settings. Sometimes I make rough 3D sketches to preview the dimension and functionality of the assets, and then I pass them to the team to share some thoughts. Once I get some feedback, I draw a final design with notes.

Kevin Wiratama – Level Designer: I’ve been building the lobby area and blocking out the visitor center. I also design the layout of the map as well as the combat encounters, and I build the entire level using the assets our 3D artists create. I also orchestrate the development and review of all environment assets.

What goes into creating a campaign map?

Chiwo: It’s the work of many people – from level designers, modelers, animators, AI programmers, VFX artists, technical artists, and concept designers. The workflow that is specific to me starts with a discussion with the game designer to develop requirements and to imagine and envision the map. My ideas and concepts are then passed on to the level designer, who builds a playable blockout of each setting and then passes back to me the brief so I can start developing the visual dressing of those surfaces so that players don’t need to play with just bare gray boxes everywhere. Later on, when I have ideas fully sketched, they are discussed with other concept artists, the level designer, and 3D modelers to decide the final design. Then the 3D modelers work on the individual environment assets and textures until it’s all finally placed on the map, tested, and approved by the game designer, Ian.

What worlds can people expect to encounter in the first chapter of the campaign? 

Wiratama: The first chapter is the tutorial level as well as the beginning of the story of TideTurn. It takes place in the DRI facility in San Francisco Bay, the first coastal city attacked by the Atlanteans. 

Chiwo: It all begins at the headquarters of the DRI Corp visitor center, which is the public area of the entire complex, including the training grounds, the mech lab, and a crazy chemical laboratory, among many more.

What specific elements of these areas did you work on and how did they help tell the TideTurn story? 

Chiwo: I made a handful of sketches for a particular area of the Laboratories within the Headquarters that might become a new location and will be shown further into the campaign. I also sketched a workshop that seems to be integrated quite well into Manatsu’s lore.

Wiratama: For example, in Manatsu’s mech development lab, her desk and room are much more disorganized and cluttered (with lots of empty coffee cups) compared to Beatrice’s office, for example, because, while Manatsu is brilliant, she also seems to be a bit more chaotic.

TideTurn campaign

Why are maps important to telling TideTurn’s story?

Chiwo: Maps are what separate video games from movies: they provide the capacity to move around and explore a virtual location and encounter other characters and objects you can interact with as you become familiar with this new fictional world. The player actively decides how and when to interact with the assets.

Wiratama: The maps also provide an extra layer of world-building and backstory to the characters outside the main plot, if the players explore and pay attention to its details. 

Who is your favorite defender featured on the campaign’s first level? 

Wiratama: There are a lot of great defenders,but I’ll say Beatrice!

Chiwo: Crato, of course!

Olivia “y05h1eggz” Richman //

Stanion Studios Marketing Copyeditor

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