CTF Isotope Final


What's a greybox?
Nov 10, 2017
Isotope - Back in time, baby

Two teams fight over a heavy water production plant, by blowing up half of it.

How do you blow up half of it, you ask?
By dumping some australium down a pipe of course!
Of course you can't actually dump it down there without getting yourself down there.
Some of you may die, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make.

Developed with 2007 in mind, this map is linear, choke-heavy, quite small, and 'bad'. Truly a product of its time.

Custom assets are used only when necessary, trying to stick with things you would have seen in maps of the time.


What's a greybox?
Nov 10, 2017
Storage/Boiling buildings:

+Removed many walls
I had many complaints that these buildings were too chokey/claustrophobic. With the removal of these walls the buildings feel much better to fight in and less enclosed.

+Made red side more... red
I felt like there wasn't as much distinction between the red and blue sides as needed, though this should fix that

+Added doors to the large entrances to mid
With the changes to these buildings, a rather extreme sightline was created. The doors should help cut this off.

+Changed several other textures
There wasn't enough variety in the textures of these buildings, this makes the space feel much better and expressive

+Added some extra detail

+Changed some lighting positions
Related to the building changes

+Added several ambient sounds
Primarily prop based (fans, boilers, etc)

+Added awnings above windows
Snipers had a bit too much free reign here, especially against jumping classes. These awnings should help restrict their capabilities, if just a little.


-Removed some nature and other excess props
Some props in this area were simply unneeded, and complicated the area a bit too much

+Added a miniature control point underneath the bomb spawn location
The single piece of paper just wasn't cutting it, this should signify the spawn location better

Canyon/Final Stretch:

+Alarm sound now plays for the duration of when the bomb is in the 'hazard area'.
Previously the alarm only sounded once, when the bomb entered the area. It now sounds continuously as long as the bomb is within the trigger. (the voiceline still only plays once per trigger)

+Added shake effect to capture
This shake effect should better help signify that an explosion has occurred, and help show defenders that the bomb has been delivered.
(planning to add a 'point scored' effect in future for the same purpose)

+Clipping improvements


-Spawn now only has one resupply cabinet, down from 2
This change should increase the time it takes for engineers to set up and maintain a nest directly outside of spawn. Additionally, the new resupply cabinet is located in the centre of spawn rather than beside a spawn door.

+Added new spawn area, where players spawn.
This is the first stage of my spawn detailing, adding some height variation in spawn and providing more room for improvement

+Added windows above spawn doors

Mostly a ambient/detail based change, though it does create some good opportunity for strategy

+Increased opening speed of spawn doors
Players moving at speeds slightly faster than scout would often hit the doors before they were able to fully open, this change should now allow even charging demoknights to get through the doors smoothly


+Respawn times shift dynamically based on who owns the bomb
Lengthened respawn times for defenders, lessened respawn time for offenders (the specific times in question are likely to change frequently)

+Halved time it takes for bomb to reset/become neutral
The 30 seconds it took for the bomb to become neutral often felt tedious to defend whilst attackers flung themselves on it, frequently resetting the timer back to 30 seconds. The time to become neutral is now 15 seconds, emphasising teamplay over 1-man runs, and time to reset to the spawn point is now 30 seconds, down from a minute.

+Extended initial round time from 5 to 7 minutes

The short round timer often didn't provide enough time for teams to score 3 points within the time limit, resulting in frequent stalemates.
Adding a additional 2 minutes should help, though extra time may be added in future if stalemates persist. If they continue past that, the timer may be removed altogether. (Side note: capturing still adds 5 minutes to the time remaining)

+Added 'flag returned' voicelines


+Fixed some miscellaneous bugs
+Fixed positions of multiple particle effects

Read the rest of this update entry...


What's a greybox?
Nov 10, 2017
Garage/Boiler room:

+Increased floor space on the top walkway and garage floor

It often felt like there wan't quite enough room to smoothly traverse this area, this change should help (floor space on the high ground beside the truck has been reduced)

+Replaced fan props with vent props
The fan, being a mercenary park prop, didn't quite fit the 2007

Mid and Canyon:

-Removed all joshua tree props from gameplay area
these props tended to clutter the area and didn't have the best clipping

+Retextured areas on red's canyon

needed more redness


-Removed the 'team' timer on the bomb
To increase the overall pace of the map, the bomb now instantly becomes neutral when dropped, rather than after 15 seconds. This encourages a more offensive playstyle and discourages solo pushes

+Increased the initial timer length from 7 to 10 minutes
Should help against stalemates, as they were still occurring after the last update. (time added on capture is still 5 minutes, but maximum time has been increased to 15 minutes (from 10))

Read the rest of this update entry...


What's a greybox?
Nov 10, 2017
+Improved skybox
These are just some visual changes to improve the atmosphere of the map, there's still a lot of work to be done.

+Changed dynamic respawn times
It felt a bit too difficult to push into the enemy territory given the distance you need to travel and the instant pickup having now been implemented, so I've changed the respawn times to strongly benefit offenders.
Attacker respawn time (max): 9 seconds, previously 12
Defender respawn time (max): 24 seconds, previously 18

+Changed round timer mechanics
With the frequent stalemates from past playtests, I have once again changed the round timer settings.
Starting time: 15 minutes (same)
Added time on capture: 5 minutes (same)
Maximum times: Unlimited (up from 20 minutes)

+Raised 'ceiling' in mid
I've removed the player clip 'ceiling' in mid, and made clipping improvements around the area to accommodate this. This change was made due to more vertical playspace in the area compared to the canyons, and you would often hit your head when attempting to use vertical movement abilities in this area.

+Minor texture improvements

Read the rest of this update entry...


L-3: Simulated Member
Feb 17, 2016
Here's some feedback for you. Keep in mind that I only run around on the map, without actually playing on it, so my gameplay suggestions might be wrong.

First of all some visual stuff:
While your map is still in alpha it seems like you already started to detail quite a lot, so here's some stuff I noticed:

Very dark map, add a light to make it visible:

There is some light leaking from below the displacement here:

I also feel like your cliffs are too even at the top. They all have the same height which makes it look like an artificial wall not a natural canyon. Take a look at a few official maps and you will probably notice, that most of their cliffs change in height to make them look more natural:

And here is some of my opinion on the (possible) gameplay:
I think it's a bad idea to leave these ledges unclipped. If a enemy solider jumps up on it he has a easy time spawn camping the players in the spawn. Maybe remove them completely if you didn't had a special design idea in mind when adding these:

I'm not sure how I feel about getting fall damage when jumping of this building. Maybe it is enough to remove the railing or add a crate add the bottom to stop this from happening. However I'm not sure if this is intended or not:

Last but not least some sniper sightlines I found. In general your map seems pretty balanced for snipers but one spot might create problems during a game. When looking out of the balcony a sniper can see all entrances through which the enemies can enter mid. It also doesn't really help that there is a medium size healthpack next to this position, which greatly increases the snipers ability to survive.

Same deal with this spot. Also has a medium size healthpack next to it and the added bonus of a sliding door, that the sniper can close, when he gets shoot. However, this seems like a busy route to me, so it might not be that big of a problem:

Hope this helps you out and good luck in future development.


  • 20190329102800_1.jpg
    282.6 KB · Views: 310


What's a greybox?
Nov 10, 2017
Detailing changes:
+Added lots of extra detail-based props and geometry to the map
Working off of the minor detailing changes I made recently, i've altered some more textures and placed a very large number of props here, there and everywhere. I did however focus on the transition buildings in particular.

+Major displacement improvements
I've done a lot of work on the side wall displacements in the canyon and mid to look more like the cliff walls of hydro, now looking rougher and bumpier overall.

+Added many additional decals
These include tyre tracks in the canyon, signs in the transition buildings, and more.

+Added a large window to the boiler rooms canyon entrance
This is mostly detail-based, but it does add some extra visability so who knows, may be useful gameplay-wise.

+Added inaccessible 'detail' rooms to the transition buildings
Check 'em out, they're pretty neato

Gameplay changes:
+Added a 'self-destruct' mechanic

I occasionally saw in gameplay that people would hold the flag for a very long time without making much advancement into enemy territory. This, I then realised, could let a player throw the game by taking the flag and reaching a position too difficult for the enemy team to attack, such as directly outside of friendly spawn, thus ruining the game for everyone. This mechanic has been implemented to combat that, and should only rarely be seen in normal gameplay.

Holding the flag for 2 minutes without dropping it now causes the bomb to explode, resetting to its original position. The explosion damages ALL players within a small radius. A warning and alarm is given shortly before detonation, encouraging the user to drop the flag or make a last-second push.

+Added cover on a section of the canyon high-ground.
I noticed that the most common route for players to take after exiting spawn was to immediately head towards the small high-ground alcove in the canyon, then to the boiler room high ground. This I feel gave defenders too much accessibility to the high-ground, which is targeted more towards the offenders. To fix this, I've added a small concrete barrier along the edge of the alcove, and another at the high-ground exit of the boiler room. Both are topped with security fences. This not only provides attackers with more cover and better offensive ability, but also prevents defenders from reaching the alcove as easily. (scouts can jump over the barrier just fine however, so watch out)

+Added attacker voicelines for 'the final stretch'
Previously, bringing the flag into the 'hazard area' would only play a voiceline for defenders, warning them of an imminent capture. Now; a voiceline also plays for attackers informing them of their progress. This should prevent attacking players from thinking the bomb is near their base when the alarm sounds. (Alarms still plays for both teams)

Also, we're on the workshop, baby!

Read the rest of this update entry...


What's a greybox?
Nov 10, 2017
+Added additional route from mid to the boiler room
People often commented the map felt too choke-heavy and didn't have enough routes, so this additional route has been added to give some more options; especially to flankers. This route also provides more cover from snipers, and gives attackers a good angle to assualt a sentry nest in the boiler room. This was going to be added in A6, however.... I forgot. Sorry.
Demonstration of route


This is the only change made in this update, apart from a couple bug fixes.

-Removed gay frogs

Read the rest of this update entry...


What's a greybox?
Nov 10, 2017
+Added planks to reach the connector buildings roofs from mid
This was originally in early development versions, but I removed it. Now it's back, hopefully to help.

+Increased timer length by 33% (was 900 seconds, now 1200 seconds)

+Fixed a bug which caused the warning alarms to play endlessly

/Shifted some prop positions

Read the rest of this update entry...


What's a greybox?
Nov 10, 2017
-Removed bomb warning alarm
This sound tended to bug out a lot, and was quite annoying when the bomb was in the hazard area frequently. As such, it has been removed.
(I have added a different one to replace it, which plays much less often)

+Improved voiceline frequency
This should reduce announcer spam when in the hazard area

+Added nobuild areas directly outside the bomb hatch
Engineers would put their sentries directly in front of the hatch in order to prevent entry, which was awful to fight against without a large push.

-Removed planks to access the highground from mid
These made it a bit too easy to get to the highground, leaving snipers very vulnerable; and making it harder to regain mid once lost.

+Added additional highground walkway in canyon
This is more experimental than anything, but should give defending engineers a good spot to place a sentry gun and make the canyon corner feel a bit more enclosed. It also functions as a good sightline blocker.

-Reverted timer back to 15 minutes
The games could end up lasting far too long in the previous version, with the round timer reaching upwards of 30 minutes. The max time is also now 15 minutes. Time added on capture is now also back to 5 minutes.

+Re-added flag timer
The flag now belongs to the team that last possessed it for 5 seconds before becoming neutral. This is to make it harder to kill an enemy holding the flag in a group, pick it up, and run off without consequence.
(also lessens announcer spam)
This may be removed again in future.

+Multiple prop lighting improvements

-Reduced time taken for the bomb to self-destruct from 2 minutes to 1.5 minutes

+Added a hint module to help explain the gamemode

+Slightly raised the 'ceiling' in canyon


Read the rest of this update entry...


What's a greybox?
Nov 10, 2017
+Completely reworked the capture point and spawns
It was often difficult for players to capture the flag as the defenders spawn was so close to the capture point as well as it being located in a choke. There's many changes to go over so I won't mention them here, but they are pretty obvious from the screenshots below.




+Reverted bomb back to being neutral immediately after being dropped
The previous changes did not actually implement correctly, as the flag seems hardcoded into having a 30-second timer. This obviously isn't what I wanted.

+Changed flag return time from 30 seconds to 60 seconds to accommodate for the longer layout

-Removed balls

Read the rest of this update entry...


What's a greybox?
Nov 10, 2017
+Added small section in canyon for defenders to reach highground
It often felt like a chore to get to the highground if you had not initially chosen the route to lead you there. This in-between point should help the flow considerably.

+Re-added team timer to flag
I properly got it working this time, so it's back (again). The flag will now belong to the team who possessed it last for 5 seconds before becoming neutral. It will then reset to the spawn point after another 5 seconds.

+Reinstated overtime
Overtime is back, but will end upon the flag resetting, which only takes 3 seconds to happen upon being dropped, belonging to the team who held it last for only 1.5 seconds.

+Fixed several voiceline-related bugs

+Fixed sever bugs related to the waiting for players period

+Improved overall prop lighting

+Clipping improvements

+Minor texture changes

+Minor performance improvements

Read the rest of this update entry...


What's a greybox?
Nov 10, 2017
+Added forward spawns
With the increased length, getting to the enemy base took quite a while, and made it very difficult to push. This new forward spawn activates after the flag has passed the enemy connector building, halving the distance needed for attackers to travel.

+Added score tracker
Now, the team with the highest number of captures will win. Getting 3 captures will still insta-win the round.

+Reduced flag reset timer duration during overtime from 3 seconds to 2 seconds.

+Shortened the length of the mini-healthkit building in base

+Fixed the flag timer duration resetting to 30 seconds after capture

+Overall lighting improvements

+Some minor texture changes

+Moved the boundary of the hazard area back slightly

+Minor detailing

+Added multiple easter eggs/secrets

Thank you for all the support

Read the rest of this update entry...


What's a greybox?
Nov 10, 2017
-Removed the 'trainyard' area directly before the capture point
While being an interesting fighting area, it didn't add much to the map as a whole and didn't make much sense being there aesthetically.

-Removed the alternative ground-level route into/out of the capture point
This route was barely used, and didn't provide much use for attackers.

-Replaced hut on the canyon highground with an extension of the canyon highground
Again, wasn't used very much and contributed very little

-Removed secondary canyon highground 'walkway' above the water puddle
With the trainyard area removed, this became obsolete and served no purpose.

-Removed forward spawns
As the map has now been shortened. they're unnecessary and would provide too much of an advantage to attackers.

/Changed the position of the dropdown in the connector buildings

+Added a full ammo pack just outside the entryway to the capture zone
People in the area were frequently running out of ammo, and needing to run back to spawn to safely resupply.

+Optimised the 'hazard zone' triggers
This should help stop voiceline spam considerably

+Added some temporary signs to help get feedback in 'trouble spots'


Read the rest of this update entry...


What's a greybox?
Nov 10, 2017
Finally, beta!
Now that I feel like I have nailed down the gameplay, future updates will mostly focus on the look of the map rather than making significant layout changes.
Speaking of significant layout changes:

+Added additional route from garage to canyon highground
This area is very chokey, and I often saw players group up around this area a bit too much. This new doorway enables easy access to highground for attackers in the garage so should help create a more balanced 'arena' in the canyon.

+Re-added side route from canyon to warehouse(last)
People complained about it being gone, and thus not having enough routes in the area; so it's back.

-Removed canyon 'bridge'
As cool as it was, this was home to an extremely powerful sentry spot, which almost always required an uber push in order to be destroyed.
Fear not though, as there is still a way to quickly get between both highground areas. A rock has been placed in the centre of where the bridge was, and you can use this to jump between the two highground areas with relative ease. (You can place a sentry on top of it too)

That's the majority of the layout changes, but i'd also like to quickly talk about some changes to layout that are prop-based.

+Added multiple shipping containers to warehouse (lower-level)
It often felt as though attackers has too little cover once they made it inside last, and defenders didn't have enough good ground to work with.
Adding these crates both help decorate the area and help solve these problems, working as an extension of the highground. It also solves the problem of not being able to easily get back to highground after dropping down, as they are at crouch-jump height if you use the dropzone barriers.

-Removed barriers along canyon/garage highground
These were... iffy. A rock has been placed at the location of the fence in the 'grove area' to provide a portion of the cover that was provided previously.

Now, onto the big part of this update: the DETAILING

+Added a lot of signs and overlays
+Reworked displacements at mid to be more cliff-like
+Changed water texture
+Changed roof texture of blue garage
+Added multiple props in warehouse and adjoining rooms
+Heavily detailed spawn, and improved lighting
+Fixed light leaking through displacements in blue canyon
+Fixed multiple texture errors
+Fixed collisions/clipping on multiple props
+Improved bulb ambience
+Improved clipping in several areas
+Changed texture of garage entrance for both teams
+Changed red warehouse exterior texture
+Improved the look of the wooden beams in red garage/offices
+Fixed lighting issues on several props
+Added extra brush detail to main garage entrance and window
+Slightly tweaked environmental lighting
+Tweaked cubemaps
+Centred boilers in garage
+Slightly improved performance (as if it needed it)
+Changed position of multiple props
-Removed some props and detail due to layout changes
/Probably some other stuff I can't remember

Known issues:
|Small ammo and health on warehouse balcony too close to wall, and texture under it is a bit weird|
|Texture problem with displacement directly above red mid tunnel entrance|
|Some displacements aren't 'synced', this includes the ones at garage entrance, warehouse entrance, and offices side entrance|
|Skybox isn't very good|

As always, map will continue to be worked on. I REALLY want to get this to a RC.
And if you want to help, i'm open to offers.


Thanks for reading!

Read the rest of this update entry...