My 10 minute email to my buddy turned into an hour long email. I thought I'd share with everyone. I am by no means an expert or even a "published" mapper but I thought maybe this could spark some discussion. Fishbus had mentioned earlier today that a lot of the maps aren't as creative as they could be and a lot of people are taking conventional designs and applying them over and over to make decent, but unoriginal maps. I'm not sure that's entirely a bad thing though; it's a good way to understand the game mechanics and make a fun and balanced map. There's a lot of work that goes into a map and it's frustrating to sink a lot of time into a design only to realize it's fundamentally flawed. For a first time mapper, "stealing from the greats" might be the way to cut your teeth. In theory, you should be able to model an atrium after one of these points below and plug it into the A or B point of gravelpit. I'm sort of the opinion that gravelpit style maps, due to how they flow, as long as the connecting tunnels are done well, are modular in design. A&B have some general guidelines to follow, but you can sort of model them after your favorite points from almost any map, and plug . That's what I'm focusing on here today.but for the most part C is the "free play" you can use to try and tie the map theme together, since when you're defending it, it has only entrances and no exits. ok so gravelpit style maps have three main features 1) only one entrance to the atrium for red 2) one main entrance for blue that is easily defensible by red, a primary flank used to take pressure off the main entrance, and a secondary flank to clean up any deadlock flaws in the atrium 3) three levels of vertical play, red and blu main entrances on middle level. vertical play is what makes maps interesting and allow for many more strategies (see also: badlands) 3a) indirect fire to key locations, typically from secondary flank Badwater is intriguing since it's done at a right angle. There's a lot of options for doing a point on a right angle but nobody's really ran with it. Badwater has a contestable battlement on the attacker's side that starts off in the defender's possession but is key to winning the point; there's a much smaller battlement on the defender's side that is of no use to blue and hard to utilize for red. in no particular order cp badwater 1) red comes around the corner, lots of cover 2) blues main entrance is easily defensible by a single sniper, primary flank goes up to battlements, secondary flank provides (3a) indirect fire to clean up red's defensive edge of that battlement 3) three levels: mid, battlements, and defense has a lower level offscreen behind that ramp cp beerbowl i really like this one. it's more suited to replace gpit B however 1) red has three entrances, primary, an entrance to the battlement (left side of pic, longish distance to get there), but all the good vantage points are behind bulletproof chikenwire, and also a loooong flank that takes 3x as long to get to the point as primary (bottom of pic) 2) blue primary comes up that ramp, primary flank is through that door just to the right of the point, and secondary is a long trek to that balcony that everyone seems to forget about, but is easily countered by red's long flank and a sniper 3) three levels, the bottom of the ramp, the point, and red's battlements and blue's secondary flank cp downpour pass this is similar (modeled after?) to swiftwater B 1) red enters through the building on the left, but also has space for a semi-undefended base in the right building 2) blu comes down the canyon as primary, there is cover on either side of the canyon for blu, but both teams can spam indirect fire over the bridge, left flank is a quick trip to the battlements (bridge) or also to mess up red's base in the left house, secondary (right) flank is a long walk but makes it easy to clear out the right building and has some cover provided by the building 3) only two levels. maybe two and a half, it's an uphill battle through the canyon, but total rise of the ramp is less than 10 ft cp swiftwater 1) red enters close to, but from behind and downhill of the point. they have a superior defensive position, but stairs to get to the battlements (bridge overtop point) are long and on the other side of the canyon so once their defense collapses it's difficult to recover (much like gpit B). red does have some cover on the left in the form of the tower, that rock, and the shield to the upper right of the rock. 2) primary comes down the shoot into a canyon, pretty much a deathtrap. the cave makes an excellent pooling area however. left flank is designed to keep red from regaining their defensive position, right flank is to take out their defenses. lots of indirect fire opportunities from right flank to red's cover behind the rock, on the point 3) three obvious levels, bridge/right flank, mid/left flank/blue primary, lower/point/red spawn cp steel there is a lot going on here 1) red enters from top mid, also defensive platform with cover. both entrances take a long time to reach the point 2) blue has lots of entrances. primary arrives at a battlement with lots of cover. primary flank is a long walk and has a faster route than secondary flank, which is a loooooong walk to the atrium, and enters at the drainhole for demo spam. 2a) of note, there's a "two way door" on the bottom right, both teams can use this to their advantage 3) three obvious levels; red and blue flank enter at mid, blue has a higher battlement with sightlines to both the point and red's defensive platform, and the secondary flank enters at the bottom 3a) blue can lob indirect fire at the point all day long from their battlements, with plenty of ammo and health on the other side of that door cp coldfront just something neat. indirect fire really opens up a lot of possibilities for breaking stalemates 1/2/3) n/a 3a) this is unusual, but freight has it as well (pushing into 4th from the left ramp); it allows indirect blind fire, but it's also playerclipped off. it's a rarely used gameplay mechanic, but a really nice touch and very elegant imo.