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  1. dabmasterars

    [TUTORIAL] How to make simple texture variants without bloating your map's file size

    As a mapper, you should always try to make the map less repetitive. One way of achieving this is by adding texture variants to spice up the layout. However, multiple texture variants can cause your map's file size to increase by a margin. Let's say you have a 512x512 texture that is ~600 KB...
  2. Katsu! :3

    Katsu's Article Index

    Hi, I'm Katsu. I like writing articles, but I don't have room for them in my bio! (And the formatting would feel weird) So, I'm just gonna post a list here. There's a treasure trove of knowledge in these threads and while they're not all super sunny and positive, I'll always recommend them to...
  3. Katsu! :3

    The Importance of Universal Terminology, and Why I Stay Here

    If you know one thing about me, it's likely my custom maps spreadsheet. It's a resource that I am very proud of, and something that I will continue to improve upon, little by little, until the day I die. That is something I promise. My goal is to improve the knowledge of all mappers as much as I...
  4. Katsu! :3

    "Don't Make the Flag Bad!" - CTF & Flag Desirability

    When making a custom map that uses flags in some way, have you ever stopped to ask yourself "Hmm... maybe I should debuff the flag carrier to make them work with their team?" Or perhaps in an Invade CTF map, you've observed that carrying the flag makes you a dispenser for your team? Well my...
  5. adam2

    [Tutorial] Creating Custom 2D Skyboxes for Team Fortress 2 using Blender

    Introduction Welcome to my guide on how to create skyboxes for Team Fortress 2 (and other source games) using Blender as our method of creating the skybox! With this guide you can expect a step-by-step walkthrough on how to create both HDR and non-HDR skyboxes. The method used may be used for...
  6. Katsu! :3

    Reverse Invade CTF - A Gameplay Travesty

    Hello. Today I would like to try and educate you on why Reverse Invade Capture the Flag, as a concept, falls flat on its face, and why it reasonably could continue to be neglected by level designers for the foreseeable future. I'm going to try and keep this relatively brief since this gamemode...
  7. Katsu! :3

    Playability vs. Identity - "Why is A/D CTF controversial?"

    This is gonna be a bit of a rant so forgive me if this turns into a massive tangent or is overly wordy. It's hard to deny that Attack / Defense Capture the Flag is a controversial gamemode. People over here say that it's terrible because backcaps are the devil, people over here say that it's a...
  8. Tiftid

    How to make a good content pack

    As you may have noticed, tf2maps.net proudly advertises five content packs at the bottom of the homepage. These content packs each promise a distinct map theme, and the textures and models you need to create it. In fact, one of these - the Swamp pack - was even bought by Valve and officially...
  9. Katsu! :3

    The 60MB Rule - Why is it good to follow?

    The 60MB Rule is something that I've been trying to posit to mappers for a few months now; In this, I will explain what it is, and why it's a good thing to keep in mind. What is the 60MB Rule? The 60MB Rule is a guideline when making a map to not let a map's filesize exceed 60.0 MB. This is a...
  10. collacot

    [GUIDE] Using zz_red/blue_koth_timers in KoTH Maps Through I/O

    For a more permanent place for this info, I've updated the Valve Developer Community page on tf_logic_koth. Introduction The zz_red_koth_timer and zz_blue_koth_timer entities are team_round_timer entities auto-generated by the tf_logic_koth entity on map load. These timers control the...
  11. Katsu! :3

    The User Manual: Control the Keep

    Control the Keep is a custom, hybrid Capture the Flag & King of the Hill gamemode created by @Spipper in 2014. The gamemode consists of bringing the singular flag between each team's base, and gaining time. There are four things that define Control the Keep at its best: There must be a neutral...
  12. Katsu! :3

    The User Manual: Contamination (Rock's Gamemode)

    "The Rock" is a map present in Team Fortress Classic, having been remade multiple times in Team Fortress 2 to varying degrees of success. One thing that makes Rock distinct from the other CTF maps in TFC is its gamemode, which we call Contamination. There are two points that define...
  13. Tiftid

    [GUIDE] How to Design Design Itself _v1

    This guide talks about how to make your map better over time, when to call it done and how to give better feedback to other people's maps. I didn't go too much into the "how do we know what changes to make that will solve our equation" part, because that's really what my other guides are for -...
  14. Tiftid

    [GUIDE] Following the Golden Rule

    Lately I've been thinking of writing another guide, since it's been the traditional 8 months since my last one. I have a kind of pipe-dream agenda of eventually writing a guide for every gamemode, even some unofficial ones. I think that would take around 7 years? But I've already covered the...
  15. Lacry

    [Guide] Particles 101

    This is a super short guide about particles I made for myself and I felt like sharing it here. Most of this has been taken from VDC, so go there for more information. Keep in mind this is super short, so I won't go in detail about the stuff i mention. Getting started To open the Particle Editor...
  16. ALIEN31

    [GUIDE][Blender] Displacement Sculpting alternative

    This is an easy way, for people (like me) that don't like or can't sculpt/use 3dsmax (with wallworm), and just want to fix things fast!!! You will need SourceOps, Lassi Vmf Importer (Optional) and Blender 2.8+ in order to use this. 1. Add a plane, and add the Multires modifier. 2. Go to...
  17. Katsu! :3

    Past 72hr Jam Entry A Quick Guide To: Capture the Flag Gamemodes v2

    A guide detailing what different Capture the Flag-based gamemodes are and how they work. Originally made for the 2022 72-hour Jam.
  18. Asd417

    [GUIDE] Health Pack, Ammo, and Layout

    For summer 2022 72hr jam, I want to talk about recommended placement of pickups because the old thread has broken image links and I want to expand on it as well. I intend that this guide be for beginners however I also introduce an advanced use of pickup. Small Pickups In most cases these will...
  19. SpookyToad

    Past 72hr Jam Entry [GUIDE] Mixing Gamemode Logics 2022-10-18

    Recommended for Advanced mappers ----------Introduction---------- Hello there! Have you ever tried to switch between different gamemodes at one map? Well, now you can! Check videos below to see what i'm talking about. I'm changing logic from arena's one in order to make cool hud for minigames...
  20. Tiftid

    [GUIDE] Navigating the Secret Dynamics of Single-Stage Payload

    So, you want to make a Payload map. And if you're anything like me when I was making my first maps, you also want to follow the classic "RED and BLU get one set of spawns to attack/defend A and B, then when B is captured they get new spawns to attack/defend C and D" formula. I find this formula...