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cp_map_libs v1

A collaborative map made by 28 people!



Eleven Months and one day ago, I announced the Map Libs project. The idea was simple. Carve up a map into sections, let members of the community fill those sections with whatever they want, then sew it all back together into a finished product! It seemed simple at first, but oh how wrong I was. Here is a brief history of the Map Libs project:

March 1, 2019: The Planning Phase
I created a discord server so I could work out the kinks of the project with some other folks. Some of the first to join were Heron, Dr. Squishy, Maid, and Sandwhip. We all discussed the best way to run the project and forumalated an announcement and method of letting people sign up for sections.


March 14, 2019: The Project is Announced
The people who helped set up the project were given first-dibs over sections. (With Maid specifically requesting the long trench at point A.) And some of the early adopters were already posting screenshots of their sections as people started entering the server to join in.


March 23, 2019: All sections are claimed!


April 14, 2019: The Special Compilation Taskforce
After realizing just how much post-work was going to be needed to get this project to compile, I created the Special Compilation Taskforce to whip the sections into shape! The team was made up of Maid, Dr. Squishy, Aapelikaeki, YoshiMario2000, and myself, with each member cleaning up one fifth of the map. This was all to be done after the deadline was hit.


April 20, 2019: The Deadline Arrives
But not every section was submitted. Several people who had claimed sections ended up forgetting about the project. This meant that some sections had to be done by new people. They ended up getting picked up by Da Spud Lord, Dr. Squishy, Aapelikaeki, and myself.


May 10, 2019: Compilation Troubles

In the past month, I had been struggling very hard to get the map to compile. The main problem was the brushside limit. Before starting the project, I did not realize just how ridiculously low TF2's brushside limit was. For reference, cp_steel (which is a pretty compact map) uses about two-thirds of the game's brushside limit. And Map Libs didn't just reach the limit, it smashed it to pieces. It was clear that there was a lot of work to be done to get the map to compile.


May 20, 2019: Retroactive Rules
There was no two ways about it, we had to do a phase 2, where participants were required to resubmit their sections. The new rule was that each section had an allotment of engine limits. Each section was allowed to go to a fullness value of 1.4%. Participants were given another month to get their revised sections in.


July 7, 2019: VBSP Crashes
I think I may have decided that VBSP is the single worst piece of software ever created. It crashes easily, doesn't directly tell you if it crashes, doesn't always tell you what caused the crash, and reports false information about map statistics if it does crash. I spent hours upon hours of my life identifying what part of the map was causing VBSP to crash. I eventually had to resort to just binary searching through the map until I zeroed in on what parts of the map were causing it. But even after that, everyone who tried to compile the map would just hang on the "writing bsp" phase for an unreasonable amount of time.


August 18, 2019: Cursed Project
The brushsides were still over the limit. We had forgotten to account for the fact that compiling the sections together results in more brushsides than the total of compiling them each individually. Since brushsides will cut up other brushsides. The only solution that seemed reasonable was to cut up the map into two smaller maps. What's worse, was that even in these two smaller maps, we were still unable to get the map to compile! At this point, it seemed that all hope was lost for getting the project to compile properly.


February 1, 2020: The Coveted In-Game Screenshot
It had been nearly six months since anything of note had happened with the project. It's fair to say that nobody had any expectations that the project would ever reach completion. But then, out of nowhere, Da Spud Lord posts a screenshot of the map in-game and fully compiled.


February 4, 2020: Da Spud Lord Rescues the Project
After the server came together to fix some final compilation issues, the bsp's were made available! The map still had been split into two smaller maps, but they both played properly in-game! Participants were given just over a week to fix up their sections in the full map and file any other greivances. We were in the home stretch. We finally got to play the map in-game too! We loaded it up on a server and had some laughs over the process and the wacky things people did with their sections.


Februrary 15, 2020: The Project is Released
It's finally over. Through the pain, and through the grief. Through the lies. Through the storms. Through the cries, and through the wars. It was all done. So no matter what you say about the end-result, this was truly a labor of love. This is an art-project that will go down in TF2 mapmaking history as the greatest two maps built by 28 people to ever grace the Team Fortress 2 servers!
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