A Team Fortress 2 Map designed in the Hammer Editor for Valve's Source engine. This was one of my prototypes developed over the summer to brush up on my level design skills.
My initial concept was a map that comprised of two distinct areas: a long, constricted hallway where a safe-minded player could take cover from opposing fire, and a wide open, "anything-goes" area where chaos would break loose. I wanted to emphasize the juxtaposition between these two segments to spread appeal among support-minded players and offense-minded players.
The first iteration of the open space had a lower ceiling height, as well as a significantly decreased amount of cover and interactable objects. It was just an open, L-shaped space. After playtesting several times with friends and classmates at my University, I discovered that, well, a wide open space is quite boring without anything to interact with or take cover behind, and alongside that, there were no flanking routes. I added several of these for variety and enjoyment.
The first iteration of the hallway was literally an L-shaped path with a direct curve that led right into the other team's spawn, with no manner of entering the open area without running down the stairs next to a player's respective spawn point. After playtesting was performed, this was adjusted so that the player had to take a few turns to get to the other end of the map, as it provided an opportunity to include powerups and not make the path too predictable. Alongside this, the wall that blocked the hallway from the open space had a few "holes" cut into it. This would allow safe-minded players to participate in the fight in some manner, as well as jump down to the open space.
To add additional variety to the open space of the map, a small room located under the main level was implemented to allow players to collect health and ammo, alongside a few small spaces for players to take cover in.
What was initially a direct path to the intelligence turned into three different paths after playtesting: an alternate path to a player's respective spawn area, a flanking route that leads to the center of the battlefield, and, of course, a path to the intelligence.
In brief, what was learned from the process of designing ctf_Anti was that open spaces need an extensive amount of interaction to keep players engaged, and that safe spaces need some open room for players to actually engage in the fight, alongside a path that isn't perfectly straight.
As always, this project proved how integral feedback is to the level design process.