Meet Your Map: Beater's Competitive Mapmaking Challenge!

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Beater

L1: Registered
Nov 25, 2017
31
NrsRgPf.png


Meet Your Map: Beater's Competitive Mapmaking Challenge!


Hello TF2 mappers, I am Beater and I am proud to present my competitive 6v6 Map Making Challenge!
The purpose of this map making competition, and the following one-night cup, is to create the best possible competitive, 6v6 koth or 5cp map, with prizes in the form of cold, hard cash!
I firmly believe that new maps are an integral part of keeping the 6v6 meta fresh, so that's why I've decided to throw some cash your way to create some great new maps!

Map makers will have until March 16th, 2018 to create and submit a 6v6 competitive map. The map must be either a 5cp or a koth map, and it must never have been used in ETF2L, ESEA, OZFortress or UGC, ever. The maps can be submitted to the official submission thread on these forums and at the end of the deadline a panel of experts (and me) will select 3 maps which will be featured in a one day cup, where the team captains will vote for their favorite map and determine which mapper will win the 70 euro first prize. Maps can be updated after they are submitted. The newest version will be used for the cup.


Rules:

1. Each contestant can only submit one map. If several people collaborate on a map they can only be involved in that one map.

2. The map must be an original creation that has never been used in ETF2L, ESEA, OZFortress or UGC before. The map must be a koth or 5cp map. You cannot Submit a pro version of a map that is currently or was previously used in any of the listed leagues, no matter how old the map is. Want to make a pro version of cp_mainline or koth_ashville? Too bad, not allowed. Have you worked on a map for a while but it has still not been accepted into any league? These entries are allowed.

3. The map must be submitted to the official competition submission thread before March 16th, 2018, which marks the end of the ETF2L 29 Season. You are allowed to update your map after submitting it, so don't be afraid to add your submission early.

4. Three maps will be picked out after the submission deadline by a panel (or in worst case, Beater), and these three maps will be used in a 6v6 tournament. The team captains of all participating teams will vote for their favorite maps, and this will determine the final winner of the map competition. If shit hits the fan and everything goes horribly wrong, Beater will pick out all the winners.


How to submit

All submissions are to be put in the dedicated submissions thread here. This thread is only for submissions. You can add pictures of your map and download links to updated versions of the map, but all discussion and questions should be directed to this thread, or the map's own separate thread.

The deadline for submissions are March 16th, 2018.


Prizes

First place will receive 130€ and a SVIFT hoodie

Second and third place will receive 35£.

Prizes will be paid out using PayPal.

These figures might change with time, but they will never go below this.
big thanks to Najesu who donated 150€ towards the prize pool



Mapping advice from a 6v6 know-it-all elitist

The following is my (admittedly super subjective) opinion and advice for things to keep in mind when making a good competitive 6v6 map:

1: Avoid left/right asymmetry. Maps like croissant were universally panned by the competitive 6v6 community largely due to its left/right asymmetry. People get confused about red and blu not being the same, and many players argue that one side has an advantage due to many projectiles coming out of the right side of the screen. Save yourself the hassle and don't make a map that features prominent asymmetry like this.

2. Eliminate as much randomness and as many weird gimmicks as possible. Having trains, randomly opening pathways or anything that is outside of the players' control is not recommended. Most 6v6 players also dislike things like elevators, launchpads, death pits and other terrain that kills you. Do not include these features in your map.

3. Pushing into last and pushing out of second are the most important aspects of your 5cp maps to get right. Having a good flow and making sure that all points can be properly pushed are what makes a 5cp map fun to play. This is true at all points of the map, but nowhere more than when it comes to pushing into and out of last, since this is where a lot of maps will get bogged down due to the defense having a spawn advantage, yet being unwilling to take risks and push because they are so close to their last point.

4. Don't put the final capture point too close to the defenders' spawn, and too far away from the attackers' entrance.

5. Avoid tiny chokes as much as possible. The general rule of thumb when making a 5cp map for 6v6 is to have 3-4 entrances between each point, and this mostly holds true. In general you want to keep your doorways wide and tall to allow players to force their way through, and make sure you spread out your chokes in such a way that you can't stand in one convenient spot and watch all entrances. Also avoid cramped areas as much as possible. If any part of your map reminds you of Junction, you need to rethink your map layout! (The metalworks lobby is an example of a bad indoor area, while Badlands has a pretty good lobby)

6. Avoid excessive sight-lines. This goes beyond preventing a sniper from abusing and dominating a map. Players are more willing to move around if they can't be seen by the enemy team, so making sure that props and map architecture blocks players' vision actually help prevent stalemates since it's easier to over-extend and and get caught out by enemy players. It's also easier to sneak in to go for a play.

7. Make use of varied terrain and height differences. Scouts, soldiers and demomen thrive in different kinds of terrain, so making sure that your map has some areas that favor every class more than the others is a good idea. Having a bunch of flat terrain with props on it is boring, and using gradual inclines and changes of terrain is much more interesting to play on, even from a DM-perspective. See Badlands for a master class in varied terrain that emphasizes height differences. Spire is probably going too far, if I'm being perfectly honest, though.

8. Don't use snow. Competitive players hate snow.

9. When holding an area, a 6v6 team is looking to achieve several things:
1. Lock down chokes with sticky traps and rocket/pipe spam.
2. Position their combo on the most advantageous position to win a fight (usually some high-ground spot.)
3. keep their medic far back and well-protected from suicide plays.
4. Have an easy avenue of escape.
5. Protect the cap point.
If all of these objectives can be achieved from the same position, your map is bad. Forcing teams to make choices is what makes for a good competitive map that tests skill and teamwork.



If you have any questions or comments don't hesitate to post them below, and I'll try to address them to the best of my ability. There are still quite a few details that I don't have sorted yet, but I wanted to get this post up as soon as possible to allow you to start mapping immediately while I sort out the details.

Some notable details I still need to sort out:
  • Who will be on the panel that picks out the final three maps?
  • How will the final tournament be organized, who will sponsor it and which teams will be invited?
  • How will we ensure that all maps receive proper feedback and play-testing?
I'm working to resolve these questions and many more details, so while I work on that you guys can start creating new and awesome maps.

Happy mapping!
 
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VEssex

L2: Junior Member
May 19, 2016
76

Da Spud Lord

Occasionally I make maps
aa
Mar 23, 2017
1,341
I'm curious, why is that so?
AFAIK they dislike the snowy precipitation particle effects that fall from the sky in most snowy maps, because the computer having to handle those particles will damage the FPS and comp players really prefer playing at the max FPS possible. This is also the reason that optimization will be important in any comp map.
 

VEssex

L2: Junior Member
May 19, 2016
76
AFAIK they dislike the snowy precipitation particle effects that fall from the sky in most snowy maps, because the computer having to handle those particles will damage the FPS and comp players really prefer playing at the max FPS possible. This is also the reason that optimization will be important in any comp map.
Oh, I thought he meant textures and assets, but thanks.
 

Yrr

An Actual Deer
aa
Sep 20, 2015
1,269
there's also an issue with colour-blindness and team recognition, as well as depth perception on a pure white texture
 

Beater

L1: Registered
Nov 25, 2017
31
I'm curious, why is that so?

All the reasons listed so far are pretty much correct and make sense, but I think the most important point is the one Da Spud Lord mentioned about map optimization, which is something I actually forgot to mention in my advice section. The more frames players can achieve thanks to your map optimization, the more people will like your map.

So suppress your Christmas spirit and don't make a snow themed map!
 

Beater

L1: Registered
Nov 25, 2017
31
Yes! Play-testing and feedback is extremely important when it comes to making a good 6v6 map, so I will be putting in a lot of effort to try and make sure that all maps will get tried out by competitive teams. I don't quite have any details to share with you yet, but my hopes are that we're going to have a map-test group that will play most nights and have the various pug sites periodically feature maps. I'm also working with essentials.tf to make some streamed events and competitions to spread awareness and build some hype.

The faster you submit your map to the submissions thread, the faster I will be aware of your map and be able to feature it in various events (The thread is not up yet, but it won't be long!)
 

Rytu

L1: Registered
Jul 21, 2016
38
Will there be a medal for the participants ?
May i propose my services to make one for your event if there isnt already one planned ?
 

MegapiemanPHD

Doctorate in Deliciousness
aa
Mar 31, 2012
1,838
Yes! Play-testing and feedback is extremely important when it comes to making a good 6v6 map, so I will be putting in a lot of effort to try and make sure that all maps will get tried out by competitive teams. I don't quite have any details to share with you yet, but my hopes are that we're going to have a map-test group that will play most nights and have the various pug sites periodically feature maps. I'm also working with essentials.tf to make some streamed events and competitions to spread awareness and build some hype.

The faster you submit your map to the submissions thread, the faster I will be aware of your map and be able to feature it in various events (The thread is not up yet, but it won't be long!)
So you want us to submit unfinished maps?
 

armio43

L1: Registered
May 25, 2014
49
Are dev textures fine? I completed a map back in March that never got tested (because I didn't promote it). Do you want map makers to go beyond the first testable version?
 

Beater

L1: Registered
Nov 25, 2017
31
So you want us to submit unfinished maps?

Yes. You're allowed to update your map after submitting it, so submitting an early version for feedback is highly recommended.

Are dev textures fine? I completed a map back in March that never got tested (because I didn't promote it). Do you want map makers to go beyond the first testable version?

It's fine for the first initial submission to be largely dev textures, since gameplay is the most important part to get right. The final version once the deadline is reached should definitely be a bit more fleshed out, however.
 

Beater

L1: Registered
Nov 25, 2017
31
SVMZI has graciously agreed to throw in a SVIFT hoodie to the prize pool for the winner (or t-shirts in case there are multiple people collaborating on a map). Thank you SVIFT!
 

bobotype

L1: Registered
Sep 24, 2014
39
Beater, just a question/comment: a stated aim of this contest was to keep 6s fresh. So why wasn't A/D included as one of the contest modes?

Everyone says that pretty much the only thing holding it back from being a good 6s mode is that all the maps are bad. This contest was an opportunity to change that.

In stopwatch A/D it's impossible to have stalemates, which is an advantage over 5CP, and it has multiple objectives, which makes map designs more interesting than Koth's single point.

IMO it would have been worth including in this one, and though it's probably too late now, I would say to anyone here looking to make future competitions: it should be included so we can have a good A/D map for 6s.
 

Mess About

L6: Sharp Member
Jan 16, 2017
357
Beater, just a question/comment: a stated aim of this contest was to keep 6s fresh. So why wasn't A/D included as one of the contest modes?

Everyone says that pretty much the only thing holding it back from being a good 6s mode is that all the maps are bad. This contest was an opportunity to change that.

In stopwatch A/D it's impossible to have stalemates, which is an advantage over 5CP, and it has multiple objectives, which makes map designs more interesting than Koth's single point.

IMO it would have been worth including in this one, and though it's probably too late now, I would say to anyone here looking to make future competitions: it should be included so we can have a good A/D map for 6s.

this is his response on tftv in why there's no A/D
http://www.teamfortress.tv/45156/meet-your-map-competitive-map-making-challenge

"A/D maps have generally not been very popular in 6v6, and I don't believe the game mode has the same amount of depth and potential as 5cp and koth, so I decided to exclude it all together, as to not leave people at an unfair disadvantage should they choose to make an A/D map"

_______________________________

6s A/D had been discussed alot, the reason is just simply people don't like to play the mode

http://www.teamfortress.tv/41950/discussion-attack-defend-gamemode-in-6s
http://www.teamfortress.tv/29784/cp-gravelpit-testing
http://www.teamfortress.tv/39234/new-way-to-play-6s-just-a-thought
 
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bobotype

L1: Registered
Sep 24, 2014
39
Well to respond to his point, the core of the reason why it isn't popular is because the maps are bad! A map competition designed to create good competitive maps could really help. I appreciate your detailed response summing up his response though.

"6s A/D had been discussed alot, the reason is just simply people don't like to play the mode"

The first con of the first discussion you linked was: "-There aren't any Attack/Defend maps currently that I would call able to be played in 6v6 comfortably. Gravelpit is probably the closest we've got, and it did work for many seasons, but there's reasons why it hasn't been played in years."

That reason of course being that 1/3 of Gravelpit is almost useless, and even then, quite a few people said they enjoyed playing Gravelpit.

The problem is the maps, not the mode. If we had a competition where good A/D maps were made with comp in mind, that could change.
 

hutty

aa
Mar 30, 2014
539
Is there a whitelist for the testing these maps will get?

Specifically will the pyros have the jetpack available. And will scouts have access to the FAN or Atomizer.