Reactor was a level I designed for Gears 5 DLC. Gears levels typically being very rectilinear in form, I wanted to challenge myself and create a circular map. While challenging it was also rewarding, turning out to be one of my favorite maps. Comprised mostly of just two concentric circles, the map appeals to close quarter combat and an elevated structure in the center which acts as an overlook and a shortcut. Leaning into the theme, I chose a dynamic element that would obscure the overlook and allows players an advantageous flank.
Originally, Ephyra was designed as an idyllic farmhouse surrounded by fields of tall and overgrown grass that would conceal player approaches. Performance concerns required that we move away from those ideas, but the central structure that would become the hotel still remains. In Ephyra, I wanted to explore more residential elements such as wrap around porches that allow for quick flanks.
Crater's main inspiration was a D-Day type invasion, where using dragon's teeth and other battlefield relics, players could mount a successful charge up the imposing slope. Two base structures overlooking the vista used to be a broken cargo ship, with the bow and the stern acting as sniper's roost.