27th Oct, 2016By Softmints

During the summer I had the pleasure of being interviewed by esports journalist and writer Josh Calixto as part of a feature piece about the 'geography' of commercial mobas: addressing the question of how the ubiquitous "three lanes" layout evolved, and why it's been so enduring.

We also covered the evolution of various other map features, and mused about possibilities and constraints on where map designs might be headed next.

If you like the sound of that, check it the full article out over on Killscreen.

1st Sep, 2016By Softmints

Hi folks, I am acutely aware that I haven't been able to update lpg in a while (due to the demands of another project). Rest assured that my work here won't be left unfinished; I will get back to writing articles as soon as time permits.

17th Mar, 2016By Softmints8 minutes

Overdrive is one of those AoS maps which delivers a surprising amount of emergent gameplay by introducing a single twist.

The twist in question is using the Overdrive mechanic from Final Fantasy X to give heroes their ultimates, rather than the usual method of granting them at level 6 and having lengthy cooldowns.

28th Jan, 2016By Softmints8 minutes

Scars of War (Skar, 2009-2011) is an unusual combination of a relatively recent map using 2005-era scripting. It draws loose inspiration from DotA, and is mostly comprised of minor to moderate twists on familiar ideas. The map includes more features than it needs, and many of them aren't integrated well, but among the clutter lie a few interesting concepts.

12th Nov, 2015By Softmints9 minutes

Comfortably one of the most refined AoS experiences in the genre, Desert of Exile is 6v6 map built on the premise that simple, elegant systems can produce complex and engaging gameplay when their parts are allowed to interact.

It is the first AoS to adopt this philosophy seriously, and it is executed with confidence and discipline. There are no half-baked systems, nor any peripheral mechanics that don't quite tie in with the rest.

3rd Sep, 2015By Softmints8 minutes

In a world of mobas which are aiming for the skies, it's nice to see a project that executes well with a smaller scope. I was recently introduced to AoS Sunken Ruins (Quillraven, 2008-2010), which manages to provide a surprisingly complete AoS experience despite having less heroes, items, and supplementary mechanics than its peers.

The simplicity of the map objectives, and transparency of gold-spending options make Sunken Ruins a game to be played, rather than solved.