Showdown level design ammo considerations


  1. Keep ammo more in flow than out of it. Unlike weapons where you’d choose to go to a particular area of the map you’re unlikely to do so for ammo alone; thus pickup up ammo should only require small diversions and be low risk.
  2. Spread it evenly across the map, and in theory useful to particular weapon routes.
  3. Keep ammo numbers equal to avoid biasing one weapon.

Some counter points. I understand this is primarly coming from designing dm maps (and I disagree in part there, ammo can be used differently) but needs additional thought for showdown.

1) Alternatively you can force a player to spend more time obtaining ammo at the expense of not being able to do something else. Get armor, pressure enemy team, cover team mates, get other weapons etc.

Goes without saying this is during the early pickup phase of showdown. Scavenging ammo later is different and not what we are aiming for here – and not what is achieved with spread out ammo in “the flow”.

Players must gamble on leaving ammo up and pushing for other weapons/pickups at the expense of another player potentially picking the ammo up. If ammo is always in the flow players will simply pick everything up they can as they travel from A to B. This is not to say ammo should be wildly out of the way but rather (for example) the ammo cache near the pad side mini lift on ASDF. It is out of the flow.

ammo on dm-asdf

Given how the gametype works I disagree that players are “unlikely” to make diversions for ammo. Single pickups may not draw players the way larger pickups do early game but should not be given away for free* by placing them directly in player movement paths. Two ammo packs can make a larger contribution mid-late game compared to the very limited amp pickup early game. Maybe even one ammo pack.

* The currency is time and this is severely limited in showdown to player opening moves.

2) Grouping up ammo buffs the importance of 1), to the point of it possibly adding another weapon/powerup “importance” point that is neither a weapon or a powerup. If a player knows their opponent has shock they can potentially deny their ammo, or the majority of their additional ammo.

In the picture below when there are two single packs A there is only one route to take – if the “something important” was a jacket, belt, amp, boots this would be the next pickup after the first ammo pack “in” the flow. The alternative is dropping out the center top then going up the stairs for the weapon. Both provide the same pickups in different order. When the ammo is a double stack at B there are more choices and possible repercussions for the spawning player. There are three possibilities with enough travel time to make each different.

Grouped ammo

In this way weapons could be organised near, but not next to, their ammo and players then have a number of choices after obtaining a weapon –

a) Take their own ammo. Add to team resources.
b) Take their opposing nearby spawn ammo. Deny enemy resources.
c) Ignore ammo and go for the closer pickup (armor, amp, belt, etc) and risk losing the ammo.

Outside of weapons and pickups this is not a large consideration for showdown currently and adding an additional layer of “objectives” could only be considered a good thing for showdown since they are rather quickly exhausted with higher player counts in the current game. Extending the opening moves further is a benefit.

Further to this, if there is ammo somewhere else on the map a player or team may not opt to risk themselves for a single pack but two? Maybe more chance for this to happen.

On the flip side it could be interesting if ammo is not near weapons and players need to share weapons based on what ammo they have picked up. For example if player A spawns and receives two rocket packs but player B has the rocket launcher, they need to meet up and rocket player needs to drop weapon before using the last rocket in order to eek as much potential from the teams resources. For a “teamplay” based team this could be a huge boost to potential damage output.

If the flow is player movement between point A and point B players would leave if there was a reason to, a single ammo pack is not a reason but two may be. Finding the trigger to get players to change their ingrained behavior is interesting.

Ammo is slightly different in showdown due to the no-respawn aspect and showdown needs more player interaction drivers. It also come relatively freely in players minds compared to slapping down multiple belts, amps or additional weapons. Its only ammo right?

Both these points together also mean that if ammo is “in the flow” it must be near the weapon otherwise it will just be picked up.


Power ups
Dual ammo caches
Single ammo

25 health


3) There is something wrong with biasing one weapon? A map and areas on a map will favor one more than another. ut, especially dm maps feel very… samey. By and large most (except smaller “arena” style maps) have one of each weapon spawn. In general all very homogeneous.

Having pickups that are more desirable drives better player interaction. 1-2 weapons having more ammo makes these weapons more important without adding additional

This is not to say your points are not good, but the inverse also applies and can potentially make for interesting times as well!

Finally there have been posts about maps like asdf not being suitable for 4v4. Why not? There are sufficient weapons and pickups. If you screw up and get nothing.. that ss player fault. You now need to play accordingly with your enforcer and play near your team mates more than you might otherwise have to. This makes a weapon drop important and perhaps your team mates will oblige killing someone for you. 4v4 tdm on ASDF would be horrible, but I am not convinced showdown would not work.

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