In & Out - Detailing Contest 2021 [VOTING]

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Poggers Mapper™
Nov 10, 2017
Rules and Information | Upload Thread | Voting | Results

Voting ends 27 September, 2021, 11:59 PM (23:59) UTC.

Maps are scored on a 0 to 100 scale, using 50 as an average scale.
Provide a score for each map, taking into account not just the visual fidelity, but also anything else that impacts your experience, such as sound and interactivity.

Written feedback is encouraged but not required.

Optionally, you may award these honorary titles:
  • Most Creative
  • Best Sound
  • Best Attention to Detail
  • Best Style
A ballot must contain scores for all entries to count, with the exclusion of your own map, if you have entered the contest.
Ballots may be thrown out at discretion of staff. A public log will be kept of any ballots that are disqualified for the sake of transparency.

If you wish to submit your ballot privately, DM it to me on the forums. Any private ballots will be made public at the end of voting for the sake of transparency.

Use this table in your posts to cast your votes:
Averyc1876 | |
Dotmd | |
DrSquishy | |
Evynbktothbse | |
Fiddleford | |
Mattie | |
Olikat | |
Pdan4 | |
Punnamesardum | |
Stack_Man | |
Swagmeister | |
TurnsIntoCroc | |
YoshiMario | |

You can open each map by typing in console:
map inandout_"username"

Map pack download (243 MB)
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May 13, 2013

Averyc1876 |40 |
Dotmd |55 |
DrSquishy |64 |
Evynbktothbse |5 |
Fiddleford |79 |
Mattie |98 |Best Sound, Best Attention to Detail, Best Style
Olikat |20 |
Pdan4 |60 |Most Creative
Punnamesardum |30 |
Stack_Man |85 |
Swagmeister |33 |
TurnsIntoCroc |62 |
YoshiMario |64 |

If you want to know why I scored your map this way, you can shoot me a DM on Discord.
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Jan 20, 2019

Averyc1876 |72 |
Dotmd |75 | Best Attention to Detail
DrSquishy |78 | Best Style
Evynbktothbse |37 |
Fiddleford |80 |
Mattie |100 | Most Creative
Olikat |40 |
Pdan4 |? | Best Sound
Punnamesardum |60 |
Stack_Man |80 |
Swagmeister |54 |
TurnsIntoCroc |68 |
YoshiMario |75 |
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Poggers Mapper™
Nov 10, 2017

Averyc1876 | 20 |
Dotmd | 50 |
DrSquishy | 60 |
Evynbktothbse | 10 |
Fiddleford | 80 | Best Style
Mattie | 100 | Best Attention to Detail, Best Sound
Olikat | 20 |
Pdan4 | 25 |
Punnamesardum | 30 |
Stack_Man | 70 |
Swagmeister | 40 |
TurnsIntoCroc | 75 | Most Creative
YoshiMario | 65 |


L2: Junior Member
Jul 28, 2018

Averyc1876 |70|Best Sound
Dotmd |70|Most Creative
DrSquishy |75|
Evynbktothbse |15|
Fiddleford |90|Best Style
Mattie |0|[own entry]
Olikat |30|
Pdan4 |45|
Punnamesardum |45|
Stack_Man |85|Best Attention to Detail
Swagmeister |40|
TurnsIntoCroc |65|
YoshiMario |75|

I admittedly tempered my expectations going into this entry, since the download description mentioned it was unfinished - so imagine my delight when, instead of dev-textured walls or blocky displacements, I ended up in one of this contest’s most visually striking locations. The deep blue hues both inside and out are unlike anything else seen before in TF2, and really help to reinforce how bitterly cold the storm raging outside must be (props to the howling wind sound effects too). And then there’s the interactivity - not just something you have to find out for yourself, but a smartly signposted light switch with impressively convincing flickering light effects, tasteful enough to make me forget the limitations of dynamic lighting in Source 1. It’s those sort of atmospheric details that I love here, along with things like icicles following the direction of the wind outside, heavy snowdrifts on the rooftops, and light beams flowing through the windows. I do of course have to dock some points for the map’s incompleteness, as the interior is a little barren and the otherwise promising exterior cuts off abruptly - but as an atmospheric teaser of what’s to come, it definitely doesn’t leave me cold.

Unique locations that feel like real, lived-in spaces are some of my favourite in TF2, and the tool-laden shelves and sturdy ceiling beams of this entry’s basement area are no exception; the in-progress D&D game adds a unique narrative twist to the setting, with some very creative usage of 3D skybox props. The exterior is certainly well-made too with its authentically placed vegetation and grand lakeside vista, although the blue 3D skybox trees don’t really fit well with the orange environmental lighting, and the volumetric sunbeams look a bit awkward suspended in mid-air. My biggest issue is the connection between the two spaces; it took me a while to figure out that you travel through a portal into the fantasy world of the D&D game, because at first I assumed the basement was just built into the side of the forest cliffs. It would’ve helped to make the magical nature of the portal more obvious - perhaps by building it into the floor, perhaps by using particle effects and colourful lighting, or by incorporating a trigger_teleport instead of trying to link the two areas in Euclidean space. For what it’s worth though, the qualities of the two different locations manage to overcome any quibbles I have about the way they interlink.

Diva Dan’s skinny pine tree models have been something of a fixture of the scene in recent years, but rarely have I seen them integrated as well into the Alpine theme as they have been here. Part of that’s down to the specific setting: the geothermal pools are dazzling enough with their crystal blue tincture and bubbling layers of steam, but combined with those needly northwestern pines - not to mention the surrounding wooden buildings with their naturalistic-looking destruction - you really feel like you could be standing right on top of the Yellowstone caldera itself. However, I was disappointed to find that the underground section, although cleverly connected to the surface (with an ingenious solution to TF2’s longstanding lack of ladder entities), doesn’t continue the concept in as visually appealing a way; the combination of bright turquoise water with murky red and yellow lighting jars pretty awkwardly, whereas simply illuminating the bunker with intense blue reflections from the groundwater might have had a more satisfactory effect. Having said that I definitely like the overall concept, this sense of a careful spy base facade being unravelled by outside forces both natural and manmade (the upheaval caused by the hot springs and the arrival of the police respectively); just a little more finesse in how this undoing was presented could have elevated this entry to an even higher altitude.

The exterior of this entry shows some promise, with the architecture of the railway turntable and sloped-roof buildings catching my eye, but I sadly can’t say the same for the interior. Flat, grey lighting is hardly flattering in the best of maps, but it fails to do these featureless brick halls any favours; and the view of the strange low-level station through the glass windows - plus the open but oddly impassable train gate - just raises frustrating questions about the wider world they should be hinting at. (Is it a freight loading bay or a passenger station? How does anyone get down to platform level if there aren’t any visible stairs or doors? And if this is a train station, where are the tracks?) Mannhattan-type industrial railway infrastructure with night-time lighting has potential, but the execution of that particular combo here leaves a lot to be desired.

It’s not often that a map is able to take a stock TF2 theme and do something new with it, let alone with two different themes, but that’s exactly what Fiddleford’s entry manages to pull off with considerable flair. By simply using a far colder skybox and environment lighting than is typical of the Goldrush/Hoodoo theme (a setting usually bathed in yellowish tones), the rich detailing of the exterior area really gets to shine, with lush purple shadows accentuating the intricate brown contours of structures such as the watchtower and the grain elevators, offset wonderfully by the cool blue clouds. The interior Spytech areas are given their own twists too, in the form of unique architectural embellishments that manage to impress even in relatively small rooms (shoutout to the dramatically lit ziggurat-esque trims above the tape reel cabinets!). This entry is a true feast for the eyes, not just reaching the heights of Valve-quality detailing, but in some respects surpassing it too.

My own entry so no feedback. map SUCKS i go to BED

A diner in the middle of a lonely, moody desertscape should play right into the strengths of TF2’s style and setting, but unfortunately this entry doesn’t particularly manage to flatter either the environment or the eatery. Right off the bat the awkwardly aligned 3D skybox with visible seams and blocky 90-degree roads doesn’t bode well; indeed, this tiny vista almost seems more cramped than the diner it surrounds. Through the doors and you’re in a cavernous space scaled far too large for its own good, with awkwardly placed props that feel lost in the encompassing expanse - imagine the server trying to push your meal tray over that enormous counter, or straining to reach over those four-unit combo tables to grab some ketchup for your burg'. I can respect the attempts to create functional elements that these kinds of eateries have, such as the intercom system out by the drive-thru, but the merit of these touches is offset still by careless flubs such as floating table props, conspicuous HL2 textures, and signage boards that don’t have any actual signs on them. It’s a shame, because more work could really have done the roadside greasy spoon location justice; as it stands, when the establishment in question looks like you’re viewing it through the wrong end of a telescope, the taste it leaves in your mouth is disappointingly sour.

Of all the entries submitted to this contest, Pdan’s is by far the most unevenly weighted. On the one hand the jungle scene is spectacular - the trees and bushes really feel like a natural accumulation of foliage rather than props plopped down in the Hammer editor, and the luxuriant shades of blue and pink that light the canopy give an almost magical aura to the area. But then you try to go inside and find this expanse of half-finished geometry, a barebones sketch of a location that even in this state doesn't make much sense - and while I acknowledge what the map was supposed to be based on the download description, it just isn’t enough to piece together a picture in your mind. Maybe a sense of mystery was the intent here (I can imagine an ominous backstory surrounding the mysterious cave painting, the giant gears on the termite mounds, and the aviary that looks like something burst out of it), but sadly a lot of that mystery seems to come from this entry’s incompleteness rather than its visual strengths.

The most interesting aspect of this entry for me is its use of colour; the decision to use as many white and grey textures and models as possible seems intentional, walking hand in hand with the pinkish light sources that add striking bursts of colour (environmental lighting outside, accent lights inside). But the effects of this unique creative decision are mitigated by just how bright the lighting is both inside and out, threatening to turn the pristine facility into an eye-straining washout. It narrowly avoids this fate, and glimpses of inaccessible offices and a groovy waterfall add some welcome personality, but it still suffers from a general sparseness as well as some strange texture choices (including the inexplicable use of thick stone cladding as a rooftop material). It’s a fair start, but a bit of interior decorating wouldn't go amiss - as would a good dimmer switch or two.

Even with fourteen years of examples to draw from it can be easy to get some of TF2’s “classic” themes wrong, so it’s nice to explore an entry that manages to combine two of them with pitch-perfect 2007 precision. This vignette successfully integrates Dustbowl on top and Spytech down below, taking the player from Steinbeck to Strangelove with panache I’m sure Valve’s own environmental artists would be proud of; not a single corrugated roof or computer console feels out of place here. There were a few small visual drawbacks - the fog in the 3D skybox is too bright, the special message in the intel room feels more like a gritty stone plaque than a painterly paper note, and on the whole the detailing perhaps could have been more adventurous, as it does seem very geared towards the demands on detailing density that standard TF2 gameplay requires. Small blemishes aside, this is a solid, well-constructed entry, not to mention an impressive homage to the precisionist stylings that make TF2’s artstyle so iconic.

I can definitely respect this entry’s recognition of all the types of spaces that make TF2’s narrative tick - big mission control chambers, diabolical doomsday devices in plain sight, and the behind-the-scenes industrial/personnel facilities that keep spy bases running (the inclusion of a kitchen helps reinforce the latter aspect too.) In execution, however, the aspects of this formula fall short of the mark; dim lights without any visible sources and long stretches of blank walls don’t particularly impress, and neither do the sudden skyboxless map boundary and imprecise building brushwork. One building wall has a clearly visible gap right at its top - imagine the draughts! It’s this general lack of polish, not to mention missing cubemaps and a complete lack of sound, that stops me from rating this entry any higher.

I’m a fan of this entry’s narrative conceit - certainly the next step up from a typical payload cart explosion, and the visual of the destroyed train makes for a striking focal point to the map’s exterior portion. The wooden buildings outside and the various interiors are competently constructed as well, with architecture that wouldn’t be out of place in some official TF2 maps. However, it could have been made more obvious that the laser canon beneath the surface was responsible for the destruction up above, especially with the player spawning indoors as the derailment occurs but barely having enough time to run outside and see it happen. Other visual flaws such as disproportionately large interior doors and and poor texture alignment on the destroyed railway tracks sadly stop this entry living up to the potential of its backstory. Not quite off the rails, but not quite full steam ahead either.

It’s ironic that in a map with such an out-there centrepiece even by TF2 standards, the more realistic features are the ones that stand out to me - the concrete bumpers and yellow road lines in the parking lot, the unkempt kitchen, the locker rooms that actually have separate areas for showers. Of course that’s not to diss the nature of said centrepiece, more that all the rooms and side paths are what I found the most fun to explore, and really help give the impression of a sprawling, lived-in facility (albeit one with its eyes on a different goal than the usual doomsday devices). The use of interesting angles in the layout, along with innovative decorative styles such as the wood-panelled elevator lobby and the long blue corridor with a combination ramp/staircase, is a definite boon in that regard as well. Having said that, it felt like this expansiveness spread the detailing a little thin, and maybe a tighter focus on the progression from parking lot to test chamber would have been a benefit; I counted eleven landings on the stairwell, whereas cutting that down to eight or so might have kept this map from feeling as sparse as it sometimes it does. But for the most part, as far as combining the world of TF2 with anthro dragon cryogenics goes, you could probably do a lot worse (and trust me that’s not a sentence I say every day).
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L3: Member
Jul 21, 2016

Averyc1876 | 40
Dotmd | 40
DrSquishy | 40
Evynbktothbse | 30
Fiddleford | 50
Mattie | 70
Olikat | 30
Pdan4 | 30
Punnamesardum | 30
Stack_Man | 60
Swagmeister | 35
TurnsIntoCroc | 45
YoshiMario | 55
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L1: Registered
Jun 28, 2019

Averyc1876 | 70 | Even though the map is unfinished I still like what you have
Dotmd | 65 |
DrSquishy | 60 |
Evynbktothbse | 65 |
Fiddleford | 55 |
Mattie | 90 | I wish the map had more interesting environment lighting |
Olikat | 20 |
Pdan4 | 25 |
Punnamesardum | 40 |
Stack_Man | 70 |
Swagmeister | 25 | No 3dskybox/cubemaps, fast compile, not enough "stuff" in the map.
TurnsIntoCroc | 75 | Ugly cubemaps and a few places with weird texture alignment
YoshiMario | 70 | low quality cubemaps

I don't have space to say what I liked about the maps so I will say what I disliked. I also don't have time to leave notes for every map.
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L3: Member
Jul 21, 2016

Hey there! Please read the description for my map; there is an undiagnosed silent crash affecting some users and the quick fix is in the description.
Separately, Mattie uses she/her pronouns.

In addition with your other feedbacks, please keep in mind that we do have a "don't be a jerk" rule. You need to write in constructive criticism.
I downloaded all the maps from the map pack, so for your benefit I will find your map's thread and redo it, I don't like to give a 0 either. I didn't know Mattie's gender, I like to get genders right, I just got lazy and used he/they at whatever was convenient for me. Funny how we can default 'he' but not 'she'. Hope she doesn't mind though, no ill-will intended.

"Don't be a jerk" can be interpreted quite vaguely, though I did expect someone to call me out for my unfiltered method of feedback. Those who want you to improve yourself tell you as they see it, not sugarcoated, would be my view (and I get this feedback myself, tough, but it's straightforward). I understand some may disagree with my dialect, though I don't see it breaking rules. If you think it does, I can just remove the feedback, no big deal.

Stack Man

L3: Member
Aug 26, 2016

Averyc1876 | 70 | Best Sound
Dotmd | 60 |
DrSquishy | 70 |
Evynbktothbse | 10 |
Fiddleford | 90 | Best Style
Mattie | 100 | Most Creative
Olikat | 40 |
Pdan4 | 10 |
Punnamesardum | 50 |
Stack_Man | X | (my entry)
Swagmeister | 20 |
TurnsIntoCroc | 80 |
YoshiMario | 70 |


What's there looks great, but it's a shame that it's incomplete.

The outside area is pretty nice, but the interior is lacking in comparison. It also feels very disconnected from the forest environment. A single wall papered hallway leading into a cluttered basement is not what I'd call impressive.

Geothermal vents are a nice idea, but the map doesn't quite give off the right vibe. Perhaps it could have been more reminiscent of a national park. The well area also feels underdeveloped, like I'm walking through what is only the entranceway into a much larger facility.

You could have done without so many brick textures. The area also feels small and empty.

I love the desert theme and this map executes it well. My only complaint is that the meeting room is missing a sense of scale that would improve it greatly.

A very creative design that's executed well.

A desert diner is a creative theme, but the execution is poor. The skybox is unconvincing, and there are ugly shadows everywhere (only make the visible faces of a brush into a displacement, not every side!)

Very ambitious. TOO ambitious. The starting area is ugly, and there doesn't seem to be a visible path out of the observatory without noclip. After placing down the gear, a hole opens up that's too small to fall through. In the end, it left me feeling weirded out, rather than impressed.

Very lacking in detail. Many walls are too blank, and plenty of setpieces are too dull.

Missing cubemaps and textures. Lacking in detail and variety. There should have at least been a skybox.

I enjoyed the design of the outdoor areas. My favorite detail was the red train passing overhead. Some areas were a bit lacking (death pit, some underground rooms), but overall, a very decent submission.

Side rooms were abundant, and other details almost non-existent, leaving a very incohesive feeling map.


Aug 6, 2016

Averyc1876 | 55 |
Dotmd | 65 |
DrSquishy | 90 |Best Style
Evynbktothbse | 40 |
Fiddleford | 90 | Best Sound
Mattie | 95 | Best attention to detail
Olikat | 30 |
Pdan4 | 50 | Most Creative
Punnamesardum | 30 |
Stack_Man | 75 |
Swagmeister | 40 |
TurnsIntoCroc | 55 |
YoshiMario | 65 |

Avery- Did a lot better on the exterior than the interior. Interior feels rather empty. Feels unfinished in a lot of spots. I like the idea of the icicles being blasted by the wind.

Dotmd- Lots of interesting details in the basement, not certain why we start in a mann manor-esque hallway. The interior has a wide variety of props and a lot of them are probably out of place. The exterior uses a combination of Lazarus, Merc park, and forest assets which gives a very confusing idea of what biome the player is in. I like the usage of displacements combined with the waterfall, feels very natural.

DrSquishy- Hot springs are something that I rarely see in tf2, its good to see someone trying out a new idea. I feel that there's generally too much reliance on the thin pine trees, it could use some more variety. Not sure why the skybox is so close to the player there's some issues with it overlapping with the players space. Good 3d skybox detailing however. Confusing as to where the smoke is coming from the busted building. The interior could use a big focus spot as to where the player should look. Right now the interior is just a couple of hallways with some old shelve- would be interesting to know why someone built a bunker into a well.

Evynbktothbse- Very big and rather empty. I like the trusswork on the exterior building.

Fiddleford- Very red looking, could use some additional coloring to make things pop out more. Some of the brushwork for the watchtower feels too thin for TF2. The brushwork in the rest of the map is solid however. Good usage of spytech assets. Generally a very cohesive entry.

Mattie- Have never seen a cruise ship for TF2 before- really interesting concept. Lots of custom 3d and 2d assets made for this, you have very good understanding of custom content. Most of it is definitely outside of TF2s timeframe- looks to be placed somewhere in the 2010s judging by the technology and the Michael Mundy booking signing. A lot of the map feels very alien to TF2s original design, small assets are very high detail and a few of the areas feel visually noisy. The brushwork for the interior and exterior is very complex. The underwater restaurant is an interesting idea, and the stairwell leading to it is probably the closest to the rest of the Team Fortress world compared to the rest of the map. I hate the green dog in the kidz club. Its smug aura mocks me. Very complex map with lots of interesting, unique ideas.

Olikat- The opening area feels empty (although I do suppose that works with the idea of a lonely diner in the desert) could do better merging of the desert with the parking lot probably just by making the parking lot smaller. The inside of the diner also suffers from this by being rather empty. Not sure why there's a tunnel that doesn't go under anything in the skybox. I haven't really touched up on any of the others issues with mistakes, but it would be good if you compiled with normal vrad settings instead of the fast ones. The idea of a diner in the desert is good, but I'd like you to fill that idea out more.

Pdan- This is one of the strangest detail entries I've seen. Feels like it deviates too much from the original artstyle of the game and falls more into the science fiction area. Very interesting ideas, would've liked to see it be finished.

Punnamesardum- Interior hallways are generally too bright and are under-detailed. The colors are range from different shades of white and gray and the pinkish skybox. Lots of the brushwork is either unaligned or over-exaggerated with very thick walls and roofs.

Stack Man- The exterior design is solid but probably too empty. I also feel like there's overusage of signs in the topside part, I counted 15 in one shot of the map. I like the trench in top part, good usage of the concrete pipes, and the trench segments well into the spytech area. The crane area is well-made, but again too many signs. The opening shot of the toxic vat is good. The stalactites feel out of place for the cave section since we're in the desert and not that far underground. Cute sign at the end.

Swagmeister- The opening room feels cluttered enough, but the ones directly after feel empty. This map was also compiled using fast settings, but its less obvious since there's less displacements. The outside part doesn't haver much going for it either, also feels empty. It's also dead silent across the map.

TurnsIntoCroc- Some of the brushwork around the map feels unpolished with simple geometry and incorrect texture alignments. Honestly the map could do without the exploded train, it draws a lot of attention for something that is rather unimpressive after inspection. A blast mark or some additional debris can make or break explosions in games. You seem to have a good idea with how cluttered an area should be. Your displacements are rather flat and could use some more smoothing. Some of your support beams are too big along with some of your roofs. I like the big laser in the bunker and I think that explosion is more interesting than the train.

Yoshimario- I like the blue shacks brushwork although I do wonder why they built it into the concrete building without a wall seperating it. Displacement tunnel looks good, but doesn't have that much interesting going on with it. The big elevator shaft and the stairwell could use some more clutter. I like that the stairwell numbers go into the negative. The spytech areas flow well, and they connect to each other properly.
Sep 1, 2019

Averyc1876 | 45 | Lighting looks very cool. Would like to see the map get finished.
Dotmd | 70 | The forest looks too normal for me. Since it's supposed to take place inside a d&d world, I expected to find stuff that I would normally find in a fantasy world. (Castles, spell books, medieval stuff, etc.)
DrSquishy | 70 | The sewer/underground base felt empty, each room look almost the same. Exterior looks cool tho.
Evynbktothbse | 25 | I like the idea that you're going for. I'm sure that if you practiced a lot more in detailing maps, it would've looked cool. (I still think the sign looks weird.)
Fiddleford | 80 | Looks like a valve-made map. I like the blinking lights on the computers.
Mattie | 95 | Beautiful, this map is going to win. 100%
Olikat | 20 | Fast compile. Same feedback with Evynbktothbse.
Pdan4 | 50 | Would like to see this map get finished. (These parrots makes me scared, why are they so intimidating? :( )
Punnamesardum | 25 | The whole map feels empty.
Stack_Man | 80 | Another official looking map.
Swagmeister | 25 | This map also feels empty.
TurnsIntoCroc | This is | Mine
YoshiMario | 70 | The dragon doesn't look like it would fit in tf2, It's a nice model tho.
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Punn Ames Ardum

L1: Registered
Jan 16, 2021

Averyc1876 | 73 |
Dotmd | 81 |
DrSquishy | 82 | Most Creative
Evynbktothbse | 21 |
Fiddleford | 92 | Best Style
Mattie | 99 | Best Attention to Detail
Olikat | 38 |
Pdan4 | 39 |
Punnamesardum | My map | (thanks for the feedback!)
Stack_Man | 100 | Best Sound
Swagmeister | 39 |
TurnsIntoCroc | 40 | Most Engaging (wish that was an award type)
YoshiMario | 59 |

(I'll put this here when I am done with the map)
I would give this "this most wanting to look around" award if I could, and if I could think of a better name for it; others have already said about the rock clipping in spawn and such, but the opening is mysterious and the outside you actually want to look around! I have only tested this mpa as of now, but the architecture makes me want to go and look behind it, which is pretty good for a detail-oriented map. Though, like many others, I wish this was more completed, or at least tried to make it like some sort of mountain peak (due to time constraints). This truly is a map with wonder and potential. (Also there is just a floating light prop outside that I don't think others have said about, but you probably know that already)
Also I think the sound entity doesn't go back to a non-gusting background if you go out and then back in
I have to say that this map has an abundance of detail, but not a lot of "nooks and crannies" to really pique interest/curiosity, the outside is very straight foward, though if you stray off the path it gets wonky with the tree undersides and the displacements not attaching (like behind the tent) though if you stay on path the waterfall is a beaut! The sound is also pretty nice, but gets kinda broken if you walk back into the lower room from the outside. Of course, I save what a lot of other people said for last, and that is that it seems to just be a bit off in terms of style; perhaps a shot of a manor behind the trees with a solid stone foundation would of helped? or a better abundance of jungle vines and ferns on the outside to correlate to the entry way vines? or maybe just simple ivy instead of vine? etc. etc. Don't fret though, each of the separate feeling rooms feel really well done and loved and can be very much appreciated on their own, maybe really capture the feeling of one of them and focus on that entirely? Great job!
I have to say that it give a pretty good atmosphere, though peculiar in using a well and not one of the barn or broken roof house to go down to it (mainly the broken pipes not being used to hide the entrance) though both seem quite empty I feel like it really give the feeling of a TF2 map, maybe due to the multiple buildings and the transition to a more serious/mysterious spot? I feel like it is unfinished with it's story telling potential though, with the buildings not saying much about the underground area (like no storage of underground building materials), however the blasted roofs are very nice to look at. The particles seem like they could be refined, though they certainly work even if they look smoky for a geyser. And the sounds! they sound a lot like these, which is very impressive! Best of luck with future projects, great stuff!
Now I can't say much that hasn't been said, like how you should look into using light_spots, add an info_observer_point, env_soundscape, etc. but I do want to say that the out of bounds areas with the trains actually work pretty good if you noclip to it, just wish that that level of detail and scaling was brought to the rest of the map!
Now I have to say that this gives me a very strong sense of a more open TF2 map, the trick with the rocks in the skybox are also very inspiring. The flow is a bit weird with no "main path" though I think that would just make it an actual game play map instead of, y'know, a detail map. Where the soundscapes where were perfect, though I feel like the actual soundscape might not have been the best fit for it (a bit more creaky wood? I don't know, all the structual construction/damage seems like it should of been more creaky) I have to say this is some very wonderful stuff! (also glad you made the little dried water canal able to be gotten out of)
I have to say that this is just wonderful, though it feels very cramped outdoors somehow, and in some other places. The outdoor lighting is also very, very nice. I feel like everyone here knows this is going to be the winner, yet I hope you still got good feedback and can easily improve with it! Great stuff! (also those two water slides seems like it would decimate your back with no water going along with ya, but that is a great nitpick)
I really like the spirit of this, I could definetly see Mann Co. putting out a diner in the middle of nowhere! It is picturesque yet it only gives that feeling at certain angles. When you spawn, the diner looks brisk and clean, yet once you get to the doors (where the windows are higher than your head) it sadly breaks. I love what it is going for, but I feel like you just haven't got all the stuff you wanted to learn to fix it to your vision. Don't give up!
I think you just had to much to chew, and didn't set your priorities correctly. The entrance to the observatory is passable, yet when you look up it completely breaks the surprise and the looks of the snowy outside. Going in is quite peculiar, with the empty observatory and a broken roof being the most mysterious bit about the map. Yet, I feel like having to noclip out of the observatory to see the rest that you worked on should of stopped you right there. The flow isn't good when you have to open the developer console, yet outside was nice. I still feel like it was peculiar with how you decided to player clip the grass around the parrot tree yet not the trees bordering the path or the stalagmites you might just run through! Sorry if I have gone on too long, or have been too harsh, this is a wonderful map in concept yet I just yearn for it to be realized! Congrats and hope I get as good as you!
This map is just immaculate! The outside was open and breathy, yet felt like a structured area with clear goals to go towards and how. The inside allowed a good looping, instead of just one entrance and exit (though the prop stack is a tad hard to climb up and the top, though I respect it and how it seems to actually fit there). The double doors make flowing through the underground spy areas nice. Seeing the toxic chemical machine from two sides at different points on the adventure to the intel was very nice. The other rooms had enough detail to invigorate a sense of curiosity and I made sure to look up every time I went in a new room, yet wasn't outweighing the details of the floor/normal looking area! It just feels great to go through underground and above ground, and none feel cramped or too vast. I have to say that I would have never thought of such a great buildup to the intel's punchline! I hope that the other's responses help you with your future mapping! Delectable work!
I have to say with learning more about cubemaps and soundscapes, along with a bit more use of decals, this would be quite a fine map! While some of the scaling seems a bit on the large side in some areas (mainly the areas where the vertical levels are shifting at stairs) that could be fixed. I hope everyone's feedback encourages you to continue on mapping, and maybe even refine this one real quick! Enjoy creating!
I have to say this is a very engaging map, hence the non-existent award. However it is a very crowded map, which could be because of the many props, the two train tracks and bridges so close, and/or the really close level design. The insides were good, though the transitioning from the minecart room to the regular wooden room is pretty stark/not a lot of sense. The teleporter also seems really out of place. As others have put it, a lightmap would of done a lot of good. The 3D skybox has also done a lot of good! The setpiece of the train blowing up was engaging, but once you go outside that is really it. The buildings have a nice packed and stacked look, though some outside trim would do good. Really just a plain good map, wish that it had more polish though!
I have to say, that when I first played this map I had fullbright on, glad I was able to catch it! The lighting colors is very well done, and there isn't really any dark/poorly lit areas. The 3D skybox is down well, but the outside seems wanting. The inside is pretty long but it feels a bit cramped? I think the long hallway and little rooms of the floors make it that way, there isn't any big "oh! stop here and look up and around" place. The way you use the props is good, like the pipe that has a bit of a hole in the wall for it comes to mind, though they are pretty spread out. Very well done though! Happy mapping endeavors!
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Nov 26, 2012

Averyc1876 | 50 | Best Sound
Dotmd | 75 |
DrSquishy | 90 |
Evynbktothbse | 20 |
Fiddleford | 85 | Best Style
Mattie | 100 | Best Attention to Detail
Olikat | 40 |
Pdan4 | 50 | Most Creative
Punnamesardum | 45 |
Stack_Man | 70 |
Swagmeister | 50 |
TurnsIntoCroc | 70 |
YoshiMario | 70 |
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Party Time 2.0!
Jun 8, 2016

Averyc1876 | 60 | Best Style
Dotmd | 80 | Best Attention to Detail
DrSquishy | 60 |
Evynbktothbse | 10 |
Fiddleford | 70 |
Mattie | 90 | Most Creative
Olikat | 30 |
Pdan4 | 70 | Best Sound
Punnamesardum | 20 |
Stack_Man | 50 |
Swagmeister | 30 |
TurnsIntoCroc | 50 |
YoshiMario | 55 |

Dang, it's a shame the skybox is unfinished. Really cool atmosphere. The lights on sequence was so cool. I appreciate the attention to detail with the oil spill and prop above only to then realize the lights were floating lol. The outdoors area had a nice high level of detail on the building as well.

Wow. Fantastic attention to detail. Great small things like the cat scratch marks, growth height marks, or trying to paint over cracks in the wall. Using skybox props as mini versions is always a nice touch. The transition to the outside was done well including hiding the house with the displacement walls, though I feel it couldve used a sound effect. Also, 9/10 for the floor framing structure though the use of a steel beam is questionable.

Mop bucket prop clipped in wood beam makes the map literally unplayable. Bonus 10+ points for the swimming condition ladder that was super creative. Otherwise, the entry is pretty neat. Hotsprings is an interesting setting (at least I think it's a hot spring), but it's not really clear if it actually is a hot spring. I was also unsure why the buildings were damaged. The underground base was cool, though I wasn't a fan of the lighting.

This map leaves a lot to be desired. Namely, the lighting could use some work since it is very flat. The use of dynamic props for hard shadows is a strange choice. The moon skybox does not match the environment lighting. Most if not all light props have a point light when a light_spot would have been a better choice. There are also ghost lights (lights without a prop) in some places (The moonlight light at the spawn building just comes across as a ghost light). Overall the map is pretty bright for the lights that are there.
The main indoor building is massive for seemingly no reason, and there is less detailing on this main building than the fenced off building outside to the left. The indoor building seems to expand into a railway system underground but it's not very visible and the windows are disproportionate.

Very nice classic theming. The spytech area was cool, and I liked the attention to detail with all the blinking lights on the computers and map. The meeting room was pretty epic. I will say that after going into the 3rd spytech room, the whole area starting looking a bit samey, and for the ceiling beams, the end of the props could have probably been concealed or worked around better.

Wow...where to even begin? Probably the most unfortunate thing about the map was that the majority of it was spoiled through wip screenshots, so it was overhyped in my mind. Other than that, there was so much to explore; the map just kept going, and not once did I feel it was at the limits of the size constraints. Bravo on the flawless use of space. That takes an expert understanding of environment design (Heck, even after noclipping around to break the illusion, it's just too good and still holds up). If I had to complain about one thing, is the soundscape seemed lacking. Maybe my volume is too low, but I was cranking it up and it just felt really empty. The best part of the soundscape was the arcade room though. Also, I'm gonna nitpick the stairwell at the deep dive still goes down despite the glass of the restaurant being higher. Maybe the whole restaurant is faked, or the bottom of the ship is very bulbous. Overall, the ratings for the map are well deserved, this was a labor of love. The naysayers might say the future aesthetic doesn't fit TF2, but I disagree and will say the fact that it attempts to follow the aesthetic at all is a testament to the mastery of the content. (Also the laser arena was very disappointing as an actual laser arena)

The map is overscaled as it is. Massive parking, and massive interior. Pro tip is to place spawns or playermodels to get a better idea of how big a player is compared to the map. The lighting was compiled on fast since the displacements have shadow bugs.

Pdan map! Pdan map! Dang. Very cool experience. A shame it wasn't completed, but what was there was incredible. Probably the best soundscape so far. Those gears are uber detailed lol.

Indoors, the lights are very bright, and the room geometry is questionably angled. The texture choice and color palette are nice, but the poor lighting and prop use make the areas feel really empty and lacking purpose. Props jammed into walls just for the sake of being in walls without considering how they connect or contribute to the environment. I noticed there are computer cabinets facing the walls, which leads me to believe that you didn't know that you can place any computer panel prop on the dark side of the model.
Outdoors also lacks purpose in general. The displacements are fairly jagged and uneven. The path doesn't lead anywhere outside the facility. It means that there isn't anything to suggest world building outside the scope of this facility. It comes across as very video gamey. Even a wall with a security door or gate would have done wonders.

In general, not bad at all. The overall theming, texture, prop choice is well executed. However, the map layout struggles to provide form and scale. The areas are pretty overscaled, and the spytech area seemed to lack purpose. The green tank seemed like a cool setpiece, but the architecture just lacked to convey that. The hallways were just placed around and filled with detailing as if the setpiece wasn't there. The architecture underground was pretty linear too. Big double doors all leading to the same location, and it didn't feel like a physical place.
Outside seemed like it was designed to resemble a gameplay space, but it was very overscaled, so walk times were long and it made the whole area seem too big. Even the dump truck is dwarfed by the scale of the canyon.

The door texture behind where I spawned is not centered. The lighting could use some work due to the ghost lights and the flat lighting in general. The overall layout of the map is alright, very clear purpose of the laser in the middle and the surrounding complex despite some areas being bigger than necessary. When making displacements only select the required faces, instead of converting every brush face to a displacement. Too many bollard props. No soundscape either is unfortunate.

Pretty expansive area, and cool choice to make it feel like a gameplay map as well. Some walls could benefit from a lightmap scale. Some wood beams don't have the texture aligned properly. The laser is a cool setpiece, but it's a shame the model is very low res. The outside buildings could benefit heavily from the use of wood trims around the edges so there don't appear as flat. The shiny wood was not the best texture choice for beams since the reflections are distracting. The rock wall displacements are not very convincing, and too smooth/unfinished. Also not sure why the broken top secret door is w i d e, and the microstairs in front of the doorway seem like a tripping hazard.
The robot testing area was a nice touch, and I found the button to blow up the laser which was cool.

Hydro detailing is nice. The ADA compliant hallway is funny. When going through the stairwell I felt like it went on forever. The road to the roof seemed like it had unfinished displacements. The paint prop for the warped displacement parking stripe is a clever cover up. Overall, the facility felt kinda empty, and each room felt short/small.

Red Dagger

L1: Registered
Mar 7, 2016

Averyc1876 |45 |gives the impression of being built with one exterior viewing angle in mind, and while it is a very nice shot, I can't give it any higher with how unfinished it is
Dotmd |68 |the exterior is very pleasent, though would benefit from more care in details (esp. the skybox); the interior unfortunately feels fairly basic, more props-in-a-box than something created for visuals
DrSquishy |65 |I really like the various spots of detail and the overall vibe, however the implmentation is fairly rough - displacement edges, floating props, differing water levels etc.
Evynbktothbse |10 |unfortunately plainly unfinished
Fiddleford |73 |pleasant, evokes strong classic tf2 vibes; feels like it's somewhat unfocused, there's not much that draws my eye as being "ooh detail" compared to a detailed-for-gameplay map. It also feels weirdly...flat? Like there's missed opportunity for more interesting geometry
Mattie |97 |swear I'm not just making up a reason to not give this 100, but it really feels like the interiors should have more ambient noise to make the place feel less like a set; otherwise, obviously absurdly fantastic
Olikat |20 |rather empty and unfinished
Pdan4 |35 |has the potential to be something interesting, but unfortunately incomplete
Punnamesardum |30 |an appreciable starting aesthetic, but as of right now it's rather plain, white, and very bright
Stack_Man |77 |another very tf2-y look pulled off well, feels like it would benefit a lot from more variation in the spaces and sticking less rigidly to orthogonal angles
Swagmeister |25 |rather plain and unfinished; would look a lot better by merely making the lighting not flat
TurnsIntoCroc |70 |nice, good use of a story element for detailing, though rough in places and could do with more polish to make it really shine
YoshiMario |65 |cool theming and layout, however it feels like the detailing was stretched thin and would've worked a lot better if the time was focused on fewer elements


Jul 31, 2009

Averyc1876 | 70 | Best Style
Dotmd | 80 | Most Creative
DrSquishy | 60 |
Evynbktothbse | 40 |
Fiddleford | 85|
Mattie | 95 | Best Attention to Detail, Best Sound
Olikat | 35|
Pdan4 | 50 |
Punnamesardum |45 |
Stack_Man | 75|
Swagmeister | 40|
TurnsIntoCroc | 65|
YoshiMario | 60|

I like the lighting a lot when it's dark, and the feeling of undeniable cold is great. I really love the way the outside looks. The style is great. The inside is a little empty and looked better when the lights were off. I also really wish it had a 3D skybox or felt a little more finished.

The useage of light shaft models is superb and I applaud your useage of them for the magic doorway to make it feel...magical. It really feels like stepping through a portal and that's a hard effect to achieve. Outside feels like it could have used more polish, the props feel a little hastily placed and the way you move around the space feels a bit clunky, with props in the way and floating ivy and stuff, but it achieves the effect quite well. The clock probably should be moving, but the story you tell with the detail here is pretty fantastic, I really get the sense of kids playing DnD and stepping through a magical door to adventure.

I like the idea, and the underground base is very neat. But the map feels a little unfinished, there's floating trees and holes in the rocks and the displacements don't feel very natural. Some of them aren't even displaced. The interior feels very empty, and the environment lighting is kind of boring. There's not much of a story here and the space is awkward to move through. The skybox is pretty great though.

I feel like this entry could be really cool with a lot more time. You have a good base, but as it is it's pretty empty. The lighting needs a lot of work, with some interesting lighting you can do a lot, but it's very flat at the moment, and there's random lights that dont' seem to be cast from anywhere? The shape of the buildings is pretty cool though.

This one comes together really nice. I wish there was a bit more of a suggestion that the aboveground facility doesn't just end at the map bounds and the triangular gravel pile kind of breaks the look a little. The spytech base is fantastic though, the lighting is really great and the architecture is really cool. The interior detailing of the wooden buildings is really good too. The stairs for the watchtower look like they need some support.

What can I say that hasn't already been said about this one. I only wish I could have explored more, I would have loved to see how you did the bridge, and the japanese restaurant, but size constraints are a thing. Spectacular all around. My favourite is the kitchen with the chef being chewed out, though caustics on the roof here don't make much sense.
The only thing I deduct points for is I wish it was a little more interactive. Like the showers on the lido deck turning on when you step in them, or the elevators working.

I like the idea but the execution isn't the best. The diner feels very overscaled and the lighting is pretty poor, with ugly shadows all over. Textures are stretched as well. Good base to something greater though.

What I wonder this map could have been if it was finished. I love these kind of surreal entries and the skybox and lighting could have been something cool. What we get is a very weird experience though. I hope you finish this.

I dig the brutalist feeling of this entry but it seems lacking a lot of polish. The displacements are choppy and brushwork lacks detail. All the lighting feels twice as bright as it needs to be. Cool outer atmosphere though.

Stack Man
Well executed but feels like it lacks direction. The spytech is really nice though, but the underside feels like it lacks the same polish. I think the aboveground needs a stronger focalpoint.

The first thought I had when spawning into this map was - sorry - this is some drab lighting. It doesn't really continue well outsie either, which is pretty drab env light wise and the architecture is blocky and boring. The interior spytech is competently put together though, I just really wish the lighting made it more interesting.

The train crash is really cool but the map lacks polish. There's undisplaced surfaces in the mine, misangled wood textures everywhere, tiny stairs and so on. The giant laser underground is really cool though, great use of space and it really makes the spytech part of the map feel great. The exterior works well, though it is a little noisy in terms of composition and detailing. With a bit more polish, this map could be really cool.

This map seems like it's right before a second pass of detail. Everything is competently made and lit, it just feels...empty. Impersonal. There's a lot of empty hallways, a lot of empty spaces.

Da Spud Lord

Occasionally I make maps
Mar 23, 2017
I didn't want anyone to feel left out, so I came up with some less honorary titles to go with the honorary ones.
MAP | SCORE | HONORARY (and less honorary) TITLES
Averyc1876 | 50 | Most Chess; Most Likely to Give Me Frostbite
Dotmd | 50 | Most Likely to Make Me Nostalgic for a Game I've Never Played
DrSquishy | 60 | Best Sound ; Second-Most Confusing Mystery
Evynbktothbse | 10 | Most Likely to Train
Fiddleford | 80 | Most Likely to Convince Me to Make Poor Life Decisions Like Playing Dustbowl Again
Mattie | 100 | Best Attention to Detail ; Most Pee; Most Likely to Win Every Honorary Title if I Had Less Self-Restraint
Olikat | 20 | Most Likely to Make Me Hungry
Pdan4 | 30 | Most Creative ; Most Want to See Finished; Most Likely to Leave Me Lying Awake in Bed at Night Thinking About the Night of '81, Wondering if There was Anything I Could've Done to Save Her
Punnamesardum | 30 | Most Likely to be Harboring a Human-Killing Nightmare Monster That Will Jump Out at Any Moment, Brutally Slaughter Me, and Lay Eggs in my Sternum
Stack_Man | 90 | Best Style ; Most Likely to Make Me Forget Which Detail Contest I'm Judging
Swagmeister | 30 | Best Use of materials\soho\yellowline001.vtf
TurnsIntoCroc | 60 | Most Makes me Want to Blow Something Up
YoshiMario | 70 | Most Likely to Make Me Burst an Artery from Trying to Suppress the Urge to Point Out Unclipped Stairs

-A shame it's unfinished, because what is finished is quite well done
-There's a rock prop sticking through the wall of the spawn room
-The dynamic lights are a nice touch but the prompt to turn them on is a tad immersion-breaking at first
-Also, the light props turning visibly on doesn't line up with the light being cast onto the surrounding walls
-It is possible to get stuck in the pointy stone pit
-The trigger_push is an odd choice for clipping
-Overall, my biggest complaint is just the barrenness of the map, but I guess that's what incomplete means
-The indoor area looks very good, the outdoor area not so much. The outdoor area just doesn't have a lot going on visually; there aren't nearly as many small details, and while it looks alright at a distance, the outdoor area starts to feel less like a natural environment the closer I look
-The outdoor area's blandness is especially disappointing given that it seems to be a fantasy world brought to life. I don't know much about DnD, but I feel like there was a missed opportunity for a more fantastical outside area, and there were a lot of routes that you could've gone down. You didn't necessarily have to get too crazy either, the fantasy elements could be more subtle too: a castle in the distance; aging artifacts from a past battle; signs of inhabitance around the tent, indicating it's ongoing or prior use as a place of residence by brave adventurers. Why is there a portal connecting our world to a fantasy world? Who chopped down this tree to make the bridge across the river? Why do the vines hanging down from the rocky overpass have chains in them? I don't need answers to all of these questions, or even any of them, but it would be nice to see some indication that this world has a story to it, rather than just existing. The chains especially feel like they should be hinting to something given how out-of-place they are, but there's nothing else in the environment to go with them and on their own they're too vague of a hint. Heck, I wouldn't have even noticed them had I not started noclipping around the map to make sure I hadn't missed some secret cave or something.
-why is there a burger physics prop that vibrates when i shoot it
-Why are all the rock props prop_dynamic? The lack of vertex lighting on them is very noticeable
-The portal to narnia transition thing also only looks decent from the inside area, from the outside it looks like a cave with some weird fog effects
-Missing rope texture
-I appreciate any map that tries to use environmental storytelling to unfold a mystery, but after exploring everything there is to explore (including the well), I'm still not sure what caused the geothermal pools to spring up. I looked at all the maps, but no obvious patterns or signs emerged and the writing was mostly non-legible (even with my texture settings at max). Why are they growing grass in lines in special planters underground?
-The underground area also just feels a tad barren and lacking in detail.
-The outdoor area is also a tad lacking for a detail contest entry, particularly the springs that aren't in/next to buildings. The buildings themselves look good.
-I feel like with the amount of steam coming up through the spring in the basement, there should be more visible damage than a crack overlay
-Overall a well put-together map that doesn't quite live up to what I would expect from a detail contest entry, with a mystery that seems to be missing the big "aha!" moment.
-The bare, boxy interiors provide little interesting detail to look at. Much of the playable space is dead space; with the exception of the turntable, all the interesting stuff is out-of-bounds.
-The only interesting part of the interior is the little train station, which admittedly is decently good from a distance
-The outside area is a little better. The beams on the buildings help to hide the flatness of the walls, and the buildings with non-flat roofs have nice silhouettes. The big Redstone Cargo sign also looks much better than when I first saw a preview of it in the Discord server, and the brushwork melds well with the gate prop. The stairs in the turntable also help that feel a lot less flat.
-Even with these things, the map is still quite simple and barren, and the lighting does not help at all (tip: use light_spot for directional lighting). But for what seems to be someone's first attempt at detailing, it definitely shows potential. It's a hell of a lot better than my first public attempt at detailing, anyway.
-Nothing amazing or memorable, but it does enough things well enough to net the highest score thus far
-The quality across the map is pretty consistently Valve+, which is all the more respectable given how expansive the map is. The spytech area isn't quite as good as the above area, but it's still good enough
-I don't have much else to say tbh. It's a good map, I enjoyed exploring it, but I probably won't remember it in the long run
-the pool table balls are not physics objects, 0/10 immersion ruined
-The scrolling water effects in the deep restaurant are very pixeley and look very fake, despite my texture settings being maxed
-Okay but seriously, this map is incredible with a capital I and a capital NCREDIBLE. The attention to detail is awesome; every location feels unique, creating a wide diversity of areas to explore; but still it all feels like it belongs together. And despite it's vastness, every little corner is detailed to perfection. The custom assets are fantastic and I really hope they get a release. Given that you're basically pioneering a never-before-seen theme in TF2, the fact that the map looks this good is all the more impressive.
-Up close, it's kinda obvious that the rocks on the rock wall are just dots on the texture. IMO it'd look better if they were 3d
-The layout of the ship kinda doesn't make sense? For example, it's an oddly long walk from the lido deck pool to the surf machine, and is the only way to access the slides really to go indoors and take the elevator?
-I could probably keep nitpicking if I wanted to, but I don't want to. This map is definitely my winner.
-Did you compile with fast lighting? Very odd lighting seams on the displacements. Also, the fence props are missing vertex lighting and it's very noticeable.
-The outside area feels very overscaled, flat, and blocky.
-The indoor area is better than the outdoor area, but it too is quite overscaled. There's a lot of dead space in the map
-Most of your light props are directional lights, which benefit from using light_spot for their lighting
-There's a decent amount of effort put into this, but it makes a lot of simple mistakes that hold it back.
-I really wish the map had been delayed. It looks like a neat concept and the story is interesting, but the unfinishedness of it really holds it back and makes it really weird to explore.
-I think the jungle would look better if it were more varied in its appearance. For the most part its just spamming the same tree and grass props over and over again everywhere. Some boulders, water, vines, and/or a secondary theme (like destroyed buildings) could help make it look less monotone
-The invisible wall placement is really aggressive, and I usually try to avoid commenting on clipping in a detail map. I get that you wanted to show off the parrots tracking the player, which is admittedly a nice touch, but was there really no better way to get the player to do a lap around the tree than surrounding it in an invisible spiral wall?
-Even with the explanation on the download page's description, there's a number of questions I have that don't seem adequately explained. Why are the parrots stealing hubcaps? Why is there a gear shrine that unlocks a secret cave when completed? What is even causing the time anomalies? What's up with the dump trucks? Hopefully these are questions that would be answered in the completed map. In fact, I really hope that we do get to see the finished map.
-In its current state, the map just feels confusing, clunky, and generally unsatisfying. The invisible walls play a sizeable role in this, but also simple things like displacements being misaligned, neither the cave entrance nor exit are even big enough to pass through (I had to noclip past them), and the overreliance on spamming the same foliage props over and over again. Ignoring the dome and the parrots, the map feels amateurish
-The observatory dome looks impressive though
-The HDR brings pain to my eyeballs
-The layout and shape of the building is interesting enough to make it fun to run around
-However, an overall lack of detail means there's not much to find. The few details that are there are well-done, the map just doesn't go far enough, even for a non-detail map
-For example, I noticed the only stairs in the map are OOB prop stairs. There are ramps in the playable space that are steep enough to be stairs, but they're not stairs, they're ramps. Things like using stairs instead of ramps may seem like minor details, but stuff like that helps immensely in making the map feel like a real place, and a map that constantly uses ramps instead of stairs comes off as lazy
-The displacements are kinda spiky
-Why is the stairwell blocked off by glass? What purpose does an inaccessible stairwell serve to the persons who work in this facility?
-The map could also use some more texture variation, most everything inside is just white and gray
-The brushwork is also unrealistically blocky in some areas
-I don't know why the dustbowl-themed maps with a hidden spytech base always seem the least memorable to me. They're not bad; so far, they compose 2 of the 3 top-scorers on my sheet, and for good reason: they're well made, plentifully detailed, look good, and plain fun to explore. Maybe the Dustbowl-style doesn't lend itself to having memorable landmarks? Or maybe I've just still got hidden spytech base fatigue from the High and Low contest 2 years ago. Wait no, that was 3 years ago, there was no detail contest last year. (I'm not accidentally looking at the High and Low entries, right?)
-Sorry, please ignore the brain-dumpage above. It's a good map - the spytech area is one of the best usages of the theme I've seen in a detail map - but if you couldn't tell, I just don't really have much to say about it. Take your 90, you've earned it champ
-Missing overlay on the building behind the laser!
-A few weird lighting stuff: A prop that clearly isn't using -StaticPropPolys, lightbleed from under some staircases, and weird displacement lighting seams.
-Map feels blocky and underdetailed. The laser, which is presumably the focal point, isn't very interesting to look at on its own. The buildings are all bare squares
-The interiors are a bit more interesting to look at, but doesn't really go far enough and needs more detail to hold up. Even for a non-detail map, the interiors are sparse.
-I do appreciate that there's a healthy variety of textures so the interiors don't look too samey, but again I think the map needs to go a bit further in this department
-Even the OOB areas feel empty.
-I appreciate the pavement markings, they're a simple detail that can add a lot to a map.
-If you're going to have deathpits, don't make them so shallow that they can be easily confused for playable space. I normally wouldn't comment on deathpits in a detail map but its kinda frustrating that I keep dying from trying to explore the map
-There's clearly a lot of good effort put into this map, and it mostly pays off. At a distance, it's a very good-looking map and is generally fun to explore.
-However, a variety of small and medium-sized mistakes keep popping up that knock points off the score. Weird, blocky brushwork (particularly for the roofs and stairs); lots of flat, undisplaced terrain; a variety of improperly-rotated trim and beam textures; a bit of visible nodraw here, and some awkward lighting there.
-It's a nice map! But it's in need of some more general polish.
-The roof of the facility and the tunnel leading up to it are a lot of dead space. There's little up there to find, so I'm not sure what the point of letting me up there even is.
-I like the architecture/design of the hallway leading up to the dragon tank room.
-i am not a furry. i am not a furry. i am not a furry. i am not a furry, i am not a furry, i am not a furry i am not a furry i am not a furry i am not a furry i am not a furry i am not a furry i am not
-The facility feels barren; not in the "abandoned" way, but moreso in the "this doesn't feel like a real place that people use" sort of way. Much of the side rooms/areas seem to have just enough detailing to be considered detailed. The dragon tank room and the areas leading up to it are the worst in this regard; the shelves and cabinets in the room just outside have a surprising lack of clutter save for the one corner where all the beer is stored, and the dragon tank room itself feels like it should have a lot more equipment in it. For a facility that is obstensibly incubating and/or sustaining some sort of dragon girl (which presumably has a variety of survival requirements that are comparable to those in humans), it feels like there's a general lack of equipment for carrying out such an endeavor.
-Custom assets are very nicely done though. i am not a furry
-Alright, I'm done searching this map, and I think I managed to make it out with my sexuality intact. Lemme just noclip around to make sure I didn't miss anything,... oh hey, there's a secret room. I wonder what's- oh. oh no
-In all seriousness, it's a nice little map that just needs an extra detail pass or two.
-I actually like the secret room, it seems to add a touch of backstory to the facility instead of the facility just being a place that exists for the sake of having a map. I'm always a sucker for environmental storytelling, although I wish there was more of it.
If you have any questions about anything I've said here, feel free to hit me up.


L2: Junior Member
Jul 23, 2016

Averyc1876 | 55 |
Dotmd | x |
DrSquishy | 65 | Best sound
Evynbktothbse | 15 |
Fiddleford | 85 | Best style
Mattie | 100 | Best attention to detail
Olikat | 20 |
Pdan4 | 40 | Most creative
Punnamesardum | 50 |
Stack_Man | 80 |
Swagmeister | 35 |
TurnsIntoCroc | 75 |
YoshiMario | 75 |
Had a lot of fun looking through all of these
Really like the atmosphere of this one, felt like the beginning of a mystery/horror game. Great sounds and the exterior of the building is interesting so far. Nice details with the uneven floorboards and sideways icicles in the wind. The ceiling lights inside look out of place with one somehow on the chickenwire and the other one isn't quite attached, not sure if this was part of rushing to finish. Would love to see it finished.

Environment outside is super pretty and I really like the 3d skybox. The whole first scene is well framed to the mountain in the distance. The buildings themselves are ok but a little empty, there's only just enough clutter to be able to tell what each room is used for. More could have been added to make it look more lived in. The secret bunker in the well was fun to explore, cool lighting. I think I could follow the story of there being an explosion from the dynamite, causing hot springs to leak out and damage the stables? And the police are here to investigate the explosion? Overall I really liked the "out", but the "in" was underdeveloped.

There's not really any difference between the inside area and outside area other than there being a ceiling instead of sky; they're very large empty rooms. The buildings outside with the light brick facade thing is a good start at adding interest to the walls, but it's there's not very much to look at. Maybe if you used some photos of a trainyard/turntable to reference, the area could have been made more realistic and interesting to explore.

Outside felt very coherent and everything seemed to have a purpose rather than a random assortment of buildings. All the powerlines add a lot to the scene and the snipers in the watchtowers is a nice touch. Going inside, I like the shape of the all the rooms. Having servers in the first entrance seemed strange, feel like they should be tucked away in some out-of-the-way place rather than the first thing you see going in. Actually all the rooms seemed to be in a strange order walking through, like the most important secret stuff was at the front. All the flickering lights on the computers are cute. Really nice lighting throughout, lots of different styles. Felt a little overly symmetrical in places, there's a few times where props were mirrored across the room which I felt didn't need to be there twice, like the water coolers/alarms. Moving the chairs around did help.

It's clear how much work and care was put into making it and I had a lot of fun exploring. I liked how you added branding to all the stock props, I thought that helped (figuratively) ground it in the TF2 universe. Great idea doing a cruise ship too as it gives you so much freedom to throw loads of completely different areas together in one space, and still have it make sense. Don't have much else to say other than great job :)

The strange flat lighting outside and lack of a 3d skybox make the outside area feel off. The drive thru idea is cute, I like that. The whole map feels too empty which is especially noticeable inside. The room is much too big for the size of the props and it's eerily quiet. The booths on the side look ok, but the way you've grouped 4 tables together into one giant table should have been the indication that the space is too big. I do appreciate the in-and-out style sign though

ok so. Obviously this is isn't nearly finished, but the moment when I put the gear on the rock and the sky starting spinning was amazing. I love the idea and can see the artistic vision and how you wanted it to be in the end. I really want to see this, or whatever other crazy ideas you have, finished and refined into a little single player mystery game. Especially if you weren't limited by time/size/using hammer. This kind of "mini experience" reminded me a lot of what people make in dreams on ps4. In terms of this contest it's hard to judge in its current state, but I appreciate the work.

Very bright in HDR so had to switch to LDR. I like the strong angles on the buildings, very brutalist. Not of a huge fan of how monochrome everything is, lots of grey walls and white snow. Even something simple like a coloured paint stripe running across the outside of the building, or brightly coloured railings would have really popped and broken up the grey. I like the idea of the skylight but that whole room stuck out as being confusingly designed with the triangle slope ceiling and square blocks also being there. I can imagine it was a pain to make in hammer. The sprawling maze of room is fun to explore, but wish I could have gone further down into the base. Displacements could be smoother, especially since it's snow. I do like the style you were going for.

Very believable tf2 location. For the outside, the buildings all felt like they belonged there and were part of the same base, although the one on the right of the trench is pretty flat on the outside face, you could have pushed parts of the wall in/out to break that line better. The overhanging rock looks kinda out of place, not sure if it's just there to block a sightline for some reason? For the inside, I liked how every room was so unique. My favourite little detail was either the tiny hooks to hang helmets on, or the light glowing through the doorway behind the reception desk.

Fairly standard spytech base set up. Quite a lot of empty/unused space as I felt like I was walking through empty corridors a lot. Looking at the exterior of the building, it's a good foundation for the ground floor, but I think you could have built it up higher to make it more grand and give the opportunity for some more interesting shapes other than squares. There's a few places you've started to make different shapes like the curved reception area which is good. The main control room was almost more of an interesting shape with the triangular roof, but the horizontal beams turns it back into another square. The flow of exploring the map was a bit strange too since you end up having to go back on yourself to get between the outside area and the control room which felt a little awkward. Overall it's a good showcase of what the spytech theme is all about, but could have been pushed further.

jumpscared me when I loaded the map 0/100. I had my sound up really loud after listening to sounds on the previous map too haha. Good use of the space, from the number of buildings it felt a lot bigger outside than it actually is. The buildings are almost there as being really nice TF2 style, but you need to break up the flat faces. Like where you've got two different material buildings joined together, if one is just 32units in front of the other, it will make a huge difference and make it look more realistically patched together. You've done that in some places, but the places where you haven't, or instead used the trims, don't look as good. Maybe a few too many lights inside. The fact they plugged in that yellow light so the wire trails in front of the door, instead of the much closer socket is funny. A few minor issues around like texture angles, cliffs are super flat, and some of the lighting inside sticks out a bit too much. I had fun exploring it and there's some cute touches that I liked a lot.

Didn't think there was a huge amount you could do with a desert skybox but what you've made looks natural and just the right amount of stuff to keep it fairly sparse and empty, but still interesting to look at. The ramp up to the second car park could have been smoother, looked kinda off with the obvious stepped ramps. Cute wonky painted line. Very believable spytech base, I liked that you used lots of different types of lighting rather than sticking to one and copy/pasting it into each room. Although some lights were a little too bright. I think the dragon tank is kind of the centrepiece of the whole map and so the entrance into that room could have lead up to it a bit more dramatically. Especially with the nice circular room, walking in at a different angle might have made more of an impact rather than turning a corner and stumbling across the tank. (After writing this I realised I had missed the door into the observation room, which does give a good first look at the tank, but I still think the moment you get to walk into that room could be more dramatic.) how do i free the dragon?


we've all had better times to die
Feb 10, 2017

Averyc1876 | 65 | Best style
Dotmd | 75 |
DrSquishy | N/A |
Evynbktothbse | 30 |
Fiddleford | 80 |
Mattie | 100 | Best attention to detail
Olikat | 15 |
Pdan4 | 60 | Most creative
Punnamesardum | 40 |
Stack_Man | 85 | Best sound
Swagmeister | 35 |
TurnsIntoCroc | 95 |
YoshiMario | 55 |
If you'd like me to expand on feedback at all, PM me here or on Discord at Squishy#7009.
A huge shame that this was unfinished, the atmosphere is fantastic and the outdoors detailing for what exists is well done. Some things are a bit odd but I put that down to you not having the time to smooth everything out. I would give this a higher score if it was in a more finished state.
I really like the detailing in the house, and the little details like the model train on the table/the brushwork sofa were nice. The outdoors doesn't feel as polished though and I felt it lacked a focal point of sorts. I feel the skybox could use also use a little more work to make the beach less noticably barren, and vertex lighting would go a long way to helping some of the weird lighting on some outdoors props.
I was happy with the upper area for the most part, but I wish I had more time to refine the exterior detailing and flesh out the inside of the house/storeroom more. I should've gone for a completely different design of the underground area too, it ended up ugly and without any clear idea of what was going on in it.
Would be nice to see this fleshed out a lot - the facade on the detailed brick buildings was nice and it had some interesting ideas behind it. I think the high ceilings of the interior would have looked great with some support structures and other details to help flesh it out, instead of it just being a big box. There were some other odd details too, namely the tracks leading into fences or walls, a distinct lack of ways that normal people might move between buildings (other than walking on the tracks), and the station that looked like it was meant to be some sort of subway but had no ways onto the platforms (and what would it be doing there?).
Solid red dustbowl and spytech areas. The structures are done well and I really liked how run down parts felt, with holes in the walls and roofing. I did find the supporting structures in the spytech area looked a bit odd and tacked on though, and there were some strange bits of detailing such the watchtower staircase looking a bit odd without supports. I felt the spytech area needed a proper focal point in it as well.
Absolutely fantastic, I think everything that can be said has been said about this entry. I love the wood panel walls you've used, and there's so much work put into every little bit of this. Everywhere I went there seemed to be more detail popping out, or some little area off to the side to explore.
Big, flat, and pretty empty. I like the core idea and some of the little details you put in but it needs a lot of refinement to feel like a proper, fleshed-out detailing entry. It was all too large to feel comfortable to move around in too.
Absolutely bizarre, it would have been cool to see this surreal entry finished. I liked the soundscapes a lot, and the detailing that exists is nice (I love the observatory dome). I would give this a higher score if it was in a more finished state.
This entry felt very unpolished. Displacements outside were very jagged - use a weaker + larger brush and smooth to make them feel a little more natural - and the insides felt pretty blocky with no significant details that I could see to help me find my way around the grey concrete maze. That said, I do like the waterfall window room a lot and the idea behind it is nice.
More dustbowl/spytech done well. I quite liked the outdoors structures but parts of the above-ground detailing felt a little lacking to me. I found the ground in the middle rather empty for how large it was, and some of the props didn't gel with the rest of the detailing - e,g, the random wooden crane, and the big grey pipes on the outside of the structure felt a bit tacked on. The spytech detailing was fantastic though and I think you did a really good job on it. I particularly liked all of the rock walls in the second large room. Sounds in the spytech area were well done too.
An interesting start, but needs a lot more polish. Lighting was very flat and boring, and the lack of sounds made it rather unnerving to walk through. Good focal point with the laser, but I think you using the whole space given ended up being to this entry's detriment - everything felt too spread out and exemplified the feeling of areas being rather quite barren. The spytech could have also used some other textures than the concretewall one, and some more interesting architecture other than the stacked computers and the window.
I liked the detailing a lot for the most part, and while some parts could use a bit of polish it was very solid overall. I think the huge underground laser is one of the best-executed spytech setpieces I've seen, it's fantastically done. My biggest qualms with this entry are just little things such as wishing more roofs used displacement snow instead of flat blend-painted, the cluttered geometry near the spytech base's entrance, and some quite visible misaligned textures on beams and the like.
A detailing scene that didn't feel poorly done, but didn't particularly stand-out in what it did either. A lot of the areas felt they were a bit starved of some clutter - they just existed as little side rooms with nothing special about them; nothing really to draw my eye and justify me going into them or them being there. I liked the detailing around the dragon room but it felt as if you set it up to be a big central area of the base then tucked it away far underground. I think this entry would have been more interesting if you cut out the filler rooms and corridors and made it focused around a nice big spytech setpiece like the tank room but on a larger scale.
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