Situated on the border of the Netherlands and Belgium, lay the 9 hectares big, airsoft location called Dark Forest. As a paintball/ airsoft location it already existed for years and fallen into decay before airsoft organization Critical Hit started to organize weekly skirms at Dark Forest.
The location needed a big reboot, and we were asked to create a location development plan.
Researching the locations layout, opportunities, and possible gameplay we proposed to split up the location into different “themes”. Each theme area would have its own unique look, feel and strategic challenges.
A huge team of motivated airsoft players and volunteers helped, and piece by piece, week by week, the “Dark Forest 2.0” plan was implemented.
Here is an overview of the Dark Forest.
Additional to the different themes, there were also plans for a huge village named “Dead Wood” as an additional Kill House in a corner of the field that often-lacked action.
The existing pond was to be enlarged, with several bridges placed over the water.
The Haunted Hills was an area where huge concrete sewage pipes were covered with the earth that was excavated of the nearby pond. This created a maze of tunnels and levels where you never knew where enemy troops could be hiding.
The Shallow Graves area was inspired by a WW1 trench warzone. Many trenches were dug and plans for bunkers, tunnels, sandbag foxholes and rolls of barbed wire obstacles were created.
The Safe Zone was moved to one of the other corners of the field. Nine big army tents were placed, together with plenty of table space and we repainted the counter container
in a classic U.S. Woodland camouflage pattern.
One of the challenges during skirms was the high number of new and/or rental airsoft players who had no clue where to go (when shot) or they started shooting to and from ‘respawns’.
We designed the solution to make every ‘respawn’ stand out in the field, with bright orange walls that shelter “dead airsofters” while they are waiting to go back ‘in-game’.
All the respawns were numbered, to let players know where they are or where to go.
On the inside we build tables, where players could leave their water bottles, extra ammo, etc. They also included a clock, a location map, blackboard and trash bin.
The Dark Jungle area, situated in the Belgian part of the forest, was left untouched. With it’s huge ferns and bushes it was perfect sniper territory.