Many people have already tried out Ascent, the latest map to join VALORANT‘s rotation. But not many people realize how much effort is needed to create such a detailed yet balanced map for a tactical shooter. In fact, it took Riot Games five years to fully develop Ascent for general release.
Ascent was one of the first maps that the team put together for the game, according to Riot’s newest developer blog. It was also the map where the VALORANT team developed and perfected many of the core gameplay elements that fans see today.
Ascent was the map that helped create the foundation for VALORANT. Because of this, “the goal of this map was to create a traditional three-lane tactical experience,” according to Riot, while also providing some variance with mechanical doors and breakable glass.
After creating a base idea, the team entered the Greybox Phase. Riot built a rough model of the map in-engine, set up all the core gameplay elements, added in new elements, and then sent in playtesters to ensure that every area of the map was satisfactory and without bugs.
The Block-in Phase allowed Riot to figure out how to introduce detailed art and design choice, while also adding to the way the map plays out. Certain areas of the map are accentuated with landmarks, like several statues and murals that help players identify unique callouts around the map.
This process usually takes about a year to complete. But since Ascent continued to evolve as the game took form, Riot said it took five years to lock down the final form of the map. Although it’s an ever-changing landscape, Ascent has become yet another map that VALORANT players can call home.