.professional / Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault

Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault
Sr Designer


  • Paper Design, layout and development of:
    • 'Elsenborn Ridge'
  • Worked with Environment Artists on beautification passes
  • Attended playtest sessions to collaborate on feedback
  • Ensured required narrative beats were implemented
  • Worked with Animation Team to implement bookend Non-Interactive-Sequence cutscenes
  • Co-developed a fully functional Unity Prototype of the metamap that could communicate with CoH2
  • Helped to develop many of the metamap systems that shipped
  • Had to pivot and scope down the metamap due to staffing and scheduling issues
  • Collaborated with UI towards the end of the project to implement the metamap into the game
  • Designed and implemented the four Companies included in the game (Able, Baker, Dog and Fox)
  • Filtered feedback and implemented changes

Elsenborn Ridge

One of the earliest missions, Elsenborn Ridge was a defense on a hill and actually featured version 3 of my Wave Defense script module (A module I had originally built in Company of Heroes 3), which allowed designers to quickly and easily setup wave defense beats without doing more than filling in some required parameters.

I was only on the mission long enough to get it about halfway through development before I had to shift my focus totally to Metamap and Progression, but it was a fun mission that had you holding off against waves of Germans trying to attack your position on a hilltop in the cold, snowy night. We even had the lighting slowly progress until the mission ends in the early morning - the clouds clear, the sun shines and allied air support comes in to save the day.

This map is a bit unique in that the player chooses when there will be a break in the attack. They have access to offmap artillery he can call in at any time (so long as it's not on cooldown). Doing so will force the attackers to retreat, hwoever they only has so many of these available and he must hold out for 30 minutes - so it's important to only call it when in dire need.

Video sliced up from RedAlert2Havoc's playthrough from their youtube channel.

The Metamap

Unfortunately, the metamap we shipped with was a scoped down version of the map we originally planned to build. Due to some scheduling conflicts, we didn't quite get as much time from programming as we had hoped and had to cut features. The end result was still fun albeit lacking in some depth (which would later return for the CoH3 metamap, I'm happy to say).

At a high level, the metamap consists of the area around Bastogne. The player has three companies they pick (from a possible 4 if you have the Ranger Company DLC) which are scattered around the map. Each company can move around the map and attempt procedural missions that popup or story missions. In addition, we have choice events that come up time to time (You get a distress call, do you help or no?) the outcome of which can be good or bad.

The enemy locations all have a strength associated with them - the higher the strength, the harder it will be to attempt the mission. If you complete a mission, some remnants of the German strength will attempt to retreat to connected territory and reinforce them. This means the metamap will get more difficult as you go.

Unless, that is, you cut them off. If you completely envelop a high strength German spot (say strength 5) then upon completing that mission, those Germans are effectively wiped out. This means how you tackle missions matters in the long run; planning is very important.

Video sliced up from MajorFoley's playthrough from their youtube channel.

The Companies

Along with the Metamap, I was also tasked with building out the Companies the player would take into the campaign. The base game comes with three (Able, Baker, and Dog - Airborn, Mechanized and Support) and if you pre-ordered or purchased post launch, Fox - The Rangers.

Each company has a strength value - this represents their health, or at least the number of units in the company. As you take unit losses in game, the health goes down; if it drops to 0, the company is gone, permanently. You can reinforce your company on the metamap, but doing so brings in greenhorn recruits and can affect your Company's Veterancy.

As you play, units that gain veterancy in game contribute to the Company's Veterancy. As the Company 'vets up', the deploy with better units.

The companies have Skill Trees, which are essentially Talent Trees where they can improve their Commander Abilities, Specializations which they can obtain through various means and grant passive bonuses and finally Units - additional units they can train or call in during gameplay.

Each Company is themed around a different way to play the game. Airborne excel at disruption behind enemy lines, Mechanized are good for taking out tanks or hit and run, Support are masters of defense and the Rangers are a strong all-around group that can adapt easily on the fly to the situation.

Video curtosy of official Company of Heroes youtube channel.