Fracture will be the first lore-based map in the game with multiple interactive objects. These objects will reveal more about the Mirror Earth, and its Agents.
Although there is no new Agent arriving in Episode 3 Act 2, the devs revealed copious details about Fracture, and its place in the VALORANT universe.
Riot Devs Reveal Inspiration Behind VALORANT's New Map Fracture
Here's what Riot developers had to say about the new map Fracture. VALORANT's Level Designer, Joe Lansford, explained how Fracture started merely as an inquisitive “what if?”
What were your goals when designing Canyon/Fracture?
Joe Lansford: The idea for the map came from a simple question: “What if?” Specifically, what if attackers started on both sides of the map, pinching defenders? We really wanted to ask players to rethink some fundamental assumptions and give them unique problems to solve. For example, for whom is the neutral space really for? From there, the goals just all focused on supporting that “what if.” The H-shape of the map, the neutral spaces, the ziplines, everything is built to reinforce that core idea.
What did you take inspiration from / any notable concepts you wanted to convey with Canyon/Fracture?
Joe Lansford: For gameplay, (weirdly?) I took at least some of my inspiration from the Battle of Helm’s Deep. As the orcs are breaking down the gates, Aragorn and Théoden (and the remaining squadzinho) ride out to meet them. “Now for wrath, now for ruin and the red dawn!” Gandalf and the Riders of Rohan storm down the mountain from the other side. When you’re on defense and both A and B players push out to flip the tables and pinch attackers instead, it always reminds me of this moment.
Brian Yam, Lead Artist: For visual development, we wanted to create a distinctive visual split for the two sides of the map to suggest that an accident occurred, which resulted in timeline a fracture caused by a rift. We wanted to create a unique visual that supported the narrative of a covert experiment gone wrong.
A site is distinguished by its arid desert environment with its abandoned facilities deteriorating. B site is contrasted by lush, overgrown foliage left to take over the science facility. The mid building is where the central collider is located, underneath where players can zipline through. Fracture is a special map from a design standpoint, but we also wanted to push unique solutions on the visual side. By having two distinct sides, this allows visually interesting storytelling by prompting players to question the events that took place and the radical results that ensued. It also provides clear player orientation from a visual and callout perspective.
David Nottingham, Creative Director: For narrative, we wanted to create a setting that would play a role in expanding players' understanding of the conflict at play in VALORANT. After the Duality cinematic revealed to players the existence of a twin Earth, our aim was to give players a further peek into the conflict at stake between these two worlds. And in Fracture, we see that perhaps there are aspects of the conflict not as black and white as might initially appear.
As with previous maps, we’ve inserted a lot of storytelling into the map, with the aim of creating a ‘what happened here’ question for players to ponder.
Any unexpected challenges or novelty stories you'd like to share when designing Canyon/Fracture?
Brandon Martynowicz, Principal Environment Artist: Canyon was an experiment in efficiency, one in which we leveraged some pre-existing textures and assets made for other maps, then only built new assets for the set pieces that were specific to this map. This was meant to help the maps team speed the process of building Canyon. But due to the technical challenges with modelling/texture mapping Kingdom style architecture across an entire map, Canyon took a bit longer than expected. That being said, we found some cool new ways to make Kingdom hallways look interesting.
Joe Lansford: This map might have gone through the most iteration of any of our maps? The core footprint of the map (the actual H-shape) stayed the same throughout, but basically, everything else has changed at some point. Scale, paths, structures, mechanical elements (like zip lines), etc. The unique layout took a bunch of reps for us just to understand what the H-shape was going to do to basic strategy.
George Sokol, Lead Environment Artist: Having two sides to attack/defend each site from was challenging in early playtests. This led to us giving each quadrant of the map a distinct visual identity so that players can get a better sense of direction and aid with clear callouts.
Anything else you would like to share with our players?
Brandon Martynoiwicz: There are 10 Tac-Bears hidden throughout the map. Have fun finding them.
David Nottingham: This map plays a KEY role in the linear timeline of the conflict taking place between our Earth and this mysterious 'other earth' that is sending their own VALORANT Agents. As such we've invested in environmental and visual storytelling to help inquisitive players more fully unravel the mysterious conflict taking place.