This page is written from my point of view and the level is designed from what I knew when I built it. Surrounding environment, features and gameplay might change before the game is released. All pictures from this sector are from the game in its alpha state.
This is one of my levels for the turn based strategy game Jagged Alliance: Flashback. It is located on the northern part of the main island of San Hermanos. There are mountainous areas to the south and the road that runs through the area connects a mine and a city some sectors away. The central point of the level is a small diner where the owners serves some miners and truckers that pass through the area. They also deals in various small supplies that he stores in the fenced yard out back.
Units can enter the sector from east or west. It is possible to attack from the south, which gives a small advantage, but this is not very likely due to the time it takes to cross the mountains. Most of the combat will take place in the center of the map so I wanted the eastern and western approaches to be different from each other. I decided to have one approach that was wider and one that was more of a bottleneck. Both approaches would provide tactical advantages such as flanking, stealthy approach and pincer maneuvers.
The player is allowed to place the squad on a wider area but still out of range from the building. From here, the player has several different tactics to choose from. As an example, the player could spread out the units to control more of the terrain. Have units provide cover towards the yard while a strike force go around and approaches from north, concealed by vegetation. This allows some of the players units to engage in close combat without allowing the enemy to disperse out into the jungle. The player should be able to come near the yard due to the tarps that block line of sight without providing the enemy with any cover. When shots are fired, take control of the yard and provide cover from there while moving the rest of the units in through the parking to take the diner.
A cliff-side and the open beach form a choke point just outside of range of the building. One strategy would be to get as close as possible, either by following the treeline or by moving close to the cliffs. Get the squad in position and begin attack maneuver towards the diner and yard. Even though this approach is dangerous due to the open road the opponent lacks good firing positions since the diner only has one window towards the west. The yard only has a couple of covers within firing range of the road, which gives the attackers better opportunities to cross. Regroup outside of the toilet or charge right in and engage in close quarter combat with the enemies.
The sector does not only revolve around combat, there are also plenty of beautiful surroundings to explore. Cover placement and vegetation density have to look natural and real even if they are very carefully distributed to enhance gameplay. Level dressing is an important aspect, a stiff and obviously placed environment will not feel natural and will look fake. It could harm the overall feeling of immersion in the game. If I were to continue working on this level I would make another terrain and environment pass to improve this further. Just as tweaking combat is key for the level to play well, tweaking the looks of it is very important.