Okay so firstly apologies if this or something similar has already come up. I had a quick look and couldn't find anything.
So the Battle Royales I've played all have some basic similar game mechanics, a shrinking map size to force engagements and a drop at the beginning from some form of air ship to help spread everyone out.
Idea One: The Drop.
This isn't specific to the map below, it's just a personal bugbear of mine. So currently we jump from a dropship and glide to where we want to be. Same as jumping from the C-130 in PUBG, The battle bus in Fortnite, pretty sure there’s some magical boat thing in Realm Royale. I'm sure the list goes on.
My idea is that we use the drop pods. The Apex/TF universe is basically a sci-fi shooter, so why not use that? They're already in game and IIRC they're used to drop grunts in the TF games.
I think it would allow a slight change of game play at the beginning
I see something like an orbital drop, with each team in a drop pod. You get a 15 second count down to target a location on the map, after the countdown each team is launched simultaneously. Although this might feel like a "Hot Drop" it'd wouldn't have the same issues
1) The full map would be available, so would make spreading out easier at the beginning.
2) would reduce in air manoeuvrability, the drop pod would descend at a much faster rate straight down without the glide ability although there would be some balance for correcting angles, landing zones with thrusters for example. This would make the initial landing choice much more important.
3) Teams wouldn't be able to split up right at the beginning. I picture you'd be kept in the pod until it completes its airbrake manoeuvre at which point you'd be ejected forward, providing instant moment for your legend allowing you to run straight for cover/loot.
Idea Two: The Map
I've never liked the idea of just a random circle closing in to shrink the area, while it might fit in a bit better lore-wise in Apex (being a competition) than say PUBG, I still feel it's a bit arbitrary. So to change that I came up with this idea.
A walled city inside a large impact crater. The city would be made up of multiple multi-tiered buildings that are interconnected with walkways, zip lines with smaller flatter areas such as town squares or one or 2 story buildings. Outside the impact crater there would be a permanent, static storm, of which the crater/city would be in the middle of the eye. This would be a visual like the giant animals in the water there is currently. There would also be a number of waterfalls & Dams visible outside the playable area of the city.
This is where the difference comes in. Rather than a randomly closing circle my suggestion would be to use rising water to close off areas. The dams in the distance are holding back the flood. Instead of a circle warning there would be a dam break warning, followed by a storm surge countdown, instead of the circle closing in water would sweep in flooding huge areas of the city.
I also thought there could, throughout the city be numerous large gates, big enough to close off entire roads/walkways/tunnels. These would be interactive, the player would be able to open close these and redirect the flow of the water. These would be randomly broken to ensure they couldn't all just be closed to create a permanent safe space. Say you know a storm surge is coming, you could block one end of a tunnel to trap someone in it and drown them. Or if you're being pursued you could open one to let some amount of water into an area, denying your pursuers access. Etc.
If your team were playing tactically you could even use these to force teams into an ambush, although I do recognise there would still have to be some element of randomness to ensure the game flowed. Say the doors would break if they're hit with 2 storm surges.
So what do you think? Let me know, any improvements, anything you think is utter rubbish? Any game breakers