Tom Chiu - Technical Designer/Level Designer / 901.857.6610
Tom Chiu - Skyline


Tom Chiu - Skyline Tom Chiu - Skyline Tom Chiu - Skyline Tom Chiu - Skyline

Overview: Skyline is a small, symmetrical multiplayer level for HALO 4 set atop the platform of a space elevator. It is my response to the lead's request for a "crazy 2 v 2 map like Midship." This level captures the essence of the frenetic 2-floor gameplay. Players flow in a rhythm following a figure-8, often switching between the top floor and the bottom floor, creating interesting gunplay angles and scenarios.

Design Goals:

  • Introduce fast-pace infantry-only combat to the HALO 4 line-up
  • Provide fluid movement between floors to support the verticality
  • Establish memorable views of the skybox

Mission Type: Capture-the-flag & Team Slayer

Recommended # of Players: 2 to 8


  • Vision and design
  • Building the blockmesh
  • Game modes setup
  • Championing gameplay

Development Time: ~6 months





Floor Transitions: Beyond the major paths, jumps provide quick climbs, while dropoffs allow quick descents. The huge variety of options allow for freeform player movement.


Lowering the Skybox Closer: The major paths were designed to provide a gratuitous view of the skybox without sacrificing gameplay. Having an open view on an angled ramp ensures that parts of the skybox is seen without looking up.


Subliminal Messaging: Player's encounter this angle upon exiting the bottom mid. The view lines up to a conveyor platform and hints the player to climb up.


Slicing Up the Space: Full-height wall cover are strategically placed to segregate the combat zones, making fights more manageable in the chaotic pace.


Balancing Path Choices: The most obvious paths lead you up and down the level, while the skill jumps provide dangerous but effective shortcuts. This makes choosing a path a decision depend on the situation.


Weighing Risks and Rewards: Top middle is traditionally the most potent spot in classic HALO levels, and Skyline is no different. However, the quick grav lifts and fusion coils make it a difficult spot to defend.


Lowering the Learning Curve: The column hides a secondary path and funnels players downstairs to improve flow and make it easier for new players to learn the level. It also acts as cover against base-to-base snipers.


Sample Gameplay