Let's get the big question settled up front. The PSP Galveston layout is a playable design with a potentially very active snake that is capable of promoting (or inviting) explosive action. [In large measure because it's going to be damn difficult to intentionally shoot anyone out of it. It will however be possible to spray a lot of paint around and clip careless, large, clumsy and unprepared players all day every day.] Will that necessarily happen? No. How a field is played is ultimately in the hands of the teams and players but this layout is not the slower play norm propagated last season--although I suspect that's more of a happy accident than anything else.
It could also very easily prove to be a very difficult field to play but that too will be dependent on how teams analyse the layout and execute their game plans. If you want to play vanilla it will play vanilla and you can drag points out--particularly if your opponent settles for the same. If they discover a trick or two you aren't aware of it will also be possible to lose a few points very quickly. Do your homework.
Okay, that's the short term positive. What about the longer term? I think the layout confirms every concern that VFTD and others had from the first release of information and images of these new bunkers. The bunkers clearly don't function independently. They do not free up props for other uses or placements. They dictate the rest of the field in order to accommodate the new props and they certainly don't help fulfill the PSP's desire to offer a fully competitive but more forgiving playing environment. Did I leave anything out? Probably but if you've been following the prior debates you know the score. No need to re-hash it again.
Here is where I would have liked to tell you why this decision and not something else. I can't because I don't know. I do know a number of options were considered. I strongly urged a different decision and I did so based on my concern for how these props will play in the lower divisions. (Of course all dressed up like this Galveston layout it's a different scenario.) Even so the apparently widening gulf between rec and competitive paintball at the grassroots isn't helped by this new, technical snake either. Still, I'm not privy to all the in's and out's and it's easy to focus on one potential concern perhaps to the detriment of others I'm unaware of.
Unfortunately there is also something of a Pandora's Box quality to having chosen to go this route. Even with the limitations involved it shouldn't be a problem to generate 5 designs that will satisfy the PSP and its player base for 2012. (That said by mid-season and after there's a good chance we see some consistent themes emerge.) But it will be an ongoing issue. What happens in 2013 or 2014? If everyone acknowledges the bunkers were a mistake what happens? Another kit undoing the effects of this one? Or a different kit of new props making the new snake more versatile and no longer holding the rest of the design hostage to the snake layout? Or the status quo carrying over trying to avoid another year another bunker kit upgrade? I'll be honest, none of those options sound like winners to me but I also don't see a better option given the path we're now on. For whatever reason the PSP made the call to accept the new props that choice also locked them into some future decisions.