Hey guys, I'm making my first TF2 map, and I'm looking for any tips of making sure that its balanced early on, before I start wasting time tidying it all up and detailing. (already learnt the hard way not to start detailing before your happy with the layout ) Its got some missing walls and brushes that don't line up properly, so hopefully no-one dies of shock at such a mess. I'll fix it up once I've got the layout sorted. Anyway, the map is going to be a 3 stage A/D map (dustbowl), and I've started work on Stage 3. Its basically the old secret base in a mountain kinda thing. Stage 1, base of a mountain, alpine theme, stage 2 will be kind of a industrial look to it and 3 will be Spytech themed. Still gotta figure out where exactly the missile is going to be.. inside the mountain or on the other side, or in a valley. So I've thrown together a basic layout and looking for yays or nays on if I could be alright or not, if I need more routes, that kinda stuff. First Cap: http://www.phillipmccallum.com/map/cp_office0012.jpg (screenie) Supposed to be a reception area, I've only got two routes of attack which worries me a bit, but I think sentry nests will be kinda hard for red since Blu can attack them from so far away. I was thinking I might close the two main doors up a bit with glass (its used in the 2Fort spawn rooms, gotta find out what it is) to allow for sentries in either corner. Possibly a shorter path from Red Spawn to Cap 1 (path from balcony to corridor on the side of Cap 2) which locks once Red lose Cap 1? I've also got a second route that goes underneath in what will be a vent / service tunnel and leads to a maintenance room and allow them to attack the sentries from that way. The Vent would be Blu only and the start of the bridge (Blu side) would be as far as Red could go. Couldn't really think up any other good places to have a path come out for blu. :\ Corridors between caps: Honestly wasn't sure what to do with these. I might add some little alcoves for the health / ammo packs. Should I widen the smaller ones up a bit? Increase the height to make some of the corridors a bit more rocket jump friendly? Cap 2: http://www.phillipmccallum.com/map/cp_office0013.jpg (screenie) Ahhh... tricky. I like the stairs + the big window with the missile, but all that space makes it a pain to balance. I'm not sure if I should ditch the little sniper ledge to make up for a lack of good Sentry spots for red (I was thinking of adding some roofed offices next to the cap for some protected spots for the sentries). Anyway, opinions, thoughts, should I stick to my day job? And I spose you'll need this, http://www.phillipmccallum.com/map/cp_office.rar (cp_office - working title, 1.7mb) And while I've got yous, some general questions: - Did my Cubemaps work? They're tricky little buggers. Also, how many should there be in a map? Every room / corridor? - Rounding corners, whats the best method? I did an Arch with a Glass texture, and all of the sudden my compile times (Normal, not fast) were like 15 minutes, got me thinking perhaps thats not the most optimal way. (Although I think I was texturing all of the faces, not just the outside ones). - Is there a way to make middle click with the mouse scroll activate camera mode in Hammer? So many other 3D editing programs use this. :\ - Waterfalls, I've got 4 in there atm, is that a safe number? Can I get 2 large waterfalls? I saw an amazing waterfall in...surf_greatriver? That was huge compared to prop_waterfall001.mdl, but perhaps they did it themselves so the performance hit wasn't a big deal on such a small map. I might get a screenie if anyones not sure. - Skyboxes... am I right in understanding that I only need to skybox the large window at the second cap and the glass bridge, the rest of it can be outside it? - Is there such a thing as too many entities? I'm kinda tempted to go nuts and add lots of stuff to the final cap (big screens ), but I don't wanna regret it if its going to limit what I can do in stage 1 and 2. - Brushes... is it better to have one large brush and use it as the walls for two separate areas, or to make two small brushes and have empty space in between? Few times while mocking this up that I've been able to cheat and just use one brush, but wasn't sure if it was wise.