Pirth Outskirts 1v1

Artist Notes

Paul Jaquays, Skirmish Map Artist, talks about developing Pirth Outskirts:

I hold to the design philosphy that even skirmish maps should tell stories that reveal something about the the game world's history and recent events. Each of my Halo Wars maps, including Pirth Outskirts strives to achieve that. Like most assignments, this one began with a basic, unadorned map layout from design. In this case, a simple, elegant cloverleaf layout by designer Kevin Holme and an instruction to set the map on the jungle environment of the Arcadia game world. I started low-tech and roughed out my ideas for the game setting in a simple pencil sketch. I initially envisioned a sort of "Shang-ri-la" lost city setting with the ruins of a lost civilizaton in the center and plateaus edged by cliffs. The four leaves of the clover (Clover was also the working title for the map) had to be flat, but from the first, I saw the map as a series of descending terraces, connected by sloping roadways that would visually guide the players through it.

In my concept paint-over (a quick digital painting that shows the map and major features as they might appear in game ... with notes and reference photos attached), I built around the idea that wherever mankind explores, tourists typically follow. I developed the area as a remote vacation destination with mysterious ancient ruins, modern hotels, and dramatically steep, mist-shrouded cliffs into which breathtaking waterfalls poured majestically. On top of this, I layered the planet's recent, tragic history. Covenant bombs had cut the area off from the cities and turned the man-made structures into smoking rubble. The wreckage of mankind's attempt to flee the invasion was littered through the setting.

During production development, the hotels became smouldering Oni research stations, but the rest of the map stayed refreshingly true to both the designer's original layout and my initial art ideas, right down to the majestic waterfalls.

Paul Jaquays is a former Ensemble Studios artist who now develops games as Senior Level Designer for CCP North America.


Duncan Stanley, Community Manager, gives his take on how do to well on Pirth Outskirts.

Pirth is a pretty small map, and although it seems like there's a lot of stuff in between you and your opponents base, it only takes a few seconds to get there.

The reactor hooks are also very important to get, and if you're quick, you can skip building a reactor at all, which can make all the difference in the world.

Infantry is usually pretty helpful here, given how small the map is, and the hooks. Infantry is also good to have because they build so quickly, and are good to spam if you need to.

A game for me usually involves building a few extra scouts to grab crates and the free base slot. I usually try to grab my "opponent's" base, just to throw him off his game. From there, I usually try to grab one or both reactors, and start pumping out units. After scouting, I'll try to make some counters which usually involves a couple pieces of armor.

If I can get 2 extra bases up and running while keeping my opponents to 0 or 1, I usually have the game in the bag. I always try to keep some pressure on their main base, and that's easy to do. I usually end up losing if I'm put on the defensive early on and am not able to expand. A couple turrets at a forward base will usually turn back an early enemy advance.