Microcontest #24: Two Wishes

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L1: Registered
May 19, 2020


I've attempted the three challenges above and left the other three prompts.

Wasn't sure what "Map is inside out" meant. So I've made an inside out nipple point if that counts.


Crime and Punishment
Oct 5, 2020


L6: Sharp Member
Sep 10, 2016

That means it's the 500000th forum post, right?


L14: Bit Member
Oct 5, 2014
This was by far the largest microcontest we've had so far! 53 people signed up, and we got 43 maps spread across 19 different modes (only two of those were late!). Incredible! And now, on to the feedback:

Fun geo, the ice is a fun interpretation of the "slippery ground" prompt even if it just draws inspiration rather than fully completing it. The point was be a bit hard to reach at times, having to jump so much. Might have just been me though, since I kept taking the same route every time. I think the map plays into the height of the point well. I think my biggest complaint is that I wish there was some way to flank around the outside of the main combat space, maybe as another underwater route for sneaky back attacks?

Thoughts on prompt: @Seacat08
Fun prompts! You did a good job making the bonus requests support the gameplay requirements. The slippery ground one was probably the weakest/most limiting since there's not many ways to actually do slippery surfaces in TF2 without using the ice dev texture or making custom textures with weird surface properties.
Funky floor, neat mode idea! From what I remember hearing during the test you aren't the first to do KotF like this, but I've not seen it before and thought it was fun. I think the areas around the spawns are too cramped; it's hard to push out through all the small doorways. That meant it was hard to recap the flag, and it felt like most games were rather one-sided because of it. With better/larger/more open connectors between spawn and the other areas this style of layout might work. I like how the point is high up, so you can attempt to defend it, but it's still small enough that a solid push from attackers can clear it. Lots of fun play around dropped flags in general, though overall the combat spaces felt quite tight. You marked the map as having "destructible elements" but I don't see them and they didn't really effect gameplay.

Thoughts on prompt: @Gruppy
Neat prompts! Both less common modes, which might have presented a problem, but including a link to a prefab helped smooth that out. The gameplay requirements presented some interesting layout opportunities. Both were quite doable as bonuses, which is great. Solid overall!
A bit small, and the setup time without setup gates is a bit strange; I would lower it to 3 seconds maximum or remove it entirely with a layout like this. Setup time is mainly intended for multistage PLR maps and the single-stage ones don't use it. In terms of layout, the carts never really interact and always stay on your own team's side. I've seen this attempted many times over the years, and it's never worked; you need the carts to interact or cross sides so teams actually fight each other rather than just piling on their own carts. Even just swapping the finals and making the carts cross where the health pack is would help a lot I think. I do like the use of height, you embraced the prompt well. There is a known bug with the ABS PLR prefab where the blu cart can't be blocked, which almost all the PLR maps this time succumbed to which sucks, but I won't hold it against the map.

Thoughts on prompt: @Funnystuf
Very clever to use PL and PLR as your prompts to almost guarantee a payload-like map. Your gameplay requirements also leaned into forcing your mapper into doing it, though there's still enough wiggle room to skirt around it if you swapped out the objectives. Requiring a shrine to a fictional character you enjoy is one of the more wild bonus prompts we got, but it ended up working out!
Quite small, but visually unique. The flags are very hard to reach, but I assume that's intentional to slow the game down and combat the small size of the map. While it works, it's not terribly fun to me; it is quite frustrating to get stuck on enemy players trying to use the jump pads since they're the only way out of the water. A few ramps here and there would be really nice. Another spawn exit would be nice, to break up defenders a bit more and allow for more variation in how the rounds play out.

Thoughts on prompt: @Paper Shadow
One relatively easy prompt, one difficult one; a great balance! While the water prompt was used as a previous microcontest, it's still a good prompt. The required descriptions are open enough to apply to any mode which is good, and the bonuses were also interesting enough to provide inspiration. Neat!
@Brushwagg Connoisseur
Not a lot going on here, and not entirely sure which prompts this is trying to fulfill. My best guess is "capture area on a cliff" and "KotH"/"Triple-layered gameplay on the point" from Alternate Prompt #2. Running on that assumption, the layout is very linear and has some really bad sightline problems. The lack of flanks causes the gameplay to stagnate quickly and just become an exercise in spawn camping. The height variation is admirable, and the jump pads are an interesting touch, but doesn't really work due to the connectors being so limiting and campable. Adding a third route to mid, maybe into the room with all the "1" overlays could help. The layout is just overly simple and doesn't have enough going on that is relevant to the objective; all the side areas don't matter to holding the point at all when you can just camp the two doorways into mid.

Thoughts on prompt: @Squaggies
These are some really interesting prompts, though the modes and required gameplay elements might have been a bit too strongly tied in your first one, meaning when payload wasn't an option the whole prompt had to be thrown out. Not a bad thing, but such a specific gameplay requirement was bound to be difficult to pull off, and impossible in some modes. Surprisingly, you were not the only one to request Mannpower, two others had asked before you!
There's something really good buried in here I think; the overall layout of the track is very nice. Sadly, most of the rounds were a painful fight through one hallway at mid. Some flanks would be nice, maybe some rooms on the side of the center hallway? The enemy's cart progressing actually helped your own team cap, which was kind of interesting and might not be a bad thing if there was other flanks, but it its current form it feels like a bug and not a feature. Overall quite clean and interesting, just needs a bit of tweaking and I think it'll feel like a nice little stage for a multistage PLR!

Thoughts on prompt: @TheFluffycart
After your emergency tweak removing the "platform slows down" part of the second prompt, both of these are quite reasonable prompts in isolation. Unfortunately, since you were allowed to swap out objectives in prompts based on gamemode both prompts are now "as you [do objective], new paths open up" and "as [you do objective], new entryways open up to allow defenders to stop the [objective]" which are effectively the same thing. It didn't cause too many problems this time, but those kind of mistakes/loopholes are important to keep in mind! Fun fact: you second prompt was one of only three prompts that didn't include an optional bonus.
@Fault in Maps
A very strange map; I didn't particularly enjoy it, but it was memorable! The whole opening area, with both the capture point and the first payload checkpoint, are a complete joke for attackers; I see no possible way a defense could hold here. Red technically gets height advantage, but the jump pads trivialize it completely. B is weird since Blu has to own the whole area to cap A anyways, so they just get to go on a lovely stroll through the bit they already control. Moving it up to next to the door might help a little bit? The jump pads to the A area for Red should probably be disabled when B is capped, too, since Red just kept forward holding C. The rollforward before final is kind of neat, but it doesn't see much play since you have to push so hard to get it onto the rollforward that you just roll all the way to the end. Neat take on CP/PL, but I'm not sure it benefits much from the point existing since both A and B occupy the same space.

Thoughts on prompt: @Aulli
Nice mix of easy and hard prompts, with a prefab provided for the harder gamemode. A few prompts gave multiple mode options, but your "any asymmetrical CP" one is nicely worded and unique. Your gameplay requirements look fun to work with, and are flexible enough to work in most modes which is nice. The themes for the bonuses are also specific while vague enough to be interpreted in a few different ways as well. Good job!
Incredibly impressive for 24 hours, but maybe too impressive; it's massively overscaled. Cut the distances between the points in half and it might be right. The general idea is neat; I like mid, and entering below the temples for final is a fun idea. 2nd is also kind of cool, with the little route that comes out of the wall for attacking from mid. The connectors are quite boring, and often condense down to a single route. Try to always have two routes between point in 5cp if you can! The split spawns on final are probably not a great idea, especially when they are this far apart; it is a nightmare for medics and engineers who can't control where the spawn in relation to teammates and their buildings. The arrow into the deathpit is funny.

Thoughts on prompt: @Ismaciodismorphus
Frontier Style Payload Race is an incredible idea, and good on you for pairing it with a slightly-easier mode (5cp) in case your mapper didn't want to do PLR. My big complaint is the required gameplay element from the first one is a bit mode-dependent and doesn't translate well to other modes. It's a neat idea, and did get kind of twisted into working for 5cp, but it almost doesn't work. Overall nice mix of easy and difficult, with some fun theming ideas. Nice!
Well-scaled, though the zones aren't too interesting to fight in and around; I think it's mostly that the entrances can be camped, so the fighting doesn't actually happen in the zones themselves? Maybe not. Both zones are pretty similar as well since they're kind of up on platforms surrounded by low ground; a bit more variety in the combat spaces would be nice. During the test I said points deposit faster depending on how many people are on the point; I have since been corrected and it's based on the total number of players in the game, not the number of players on the point. Logic seems to be a bit borked; one of the zones was eating blu's points! That may be my fault in the prefab, but another map later that also used the same logic didn't have that issue so I'm not sure. You made good use of the prompts!

Thoughts on prompt: @8BitFenix
These are some really solid prompts; they provide a lot of flexibility, while still requiring you mapper to work around/with them at a fundamental level. Very well done!
Thank you for using the right jump pad overlays! Quite small, but somehow not too bad? Not a fan of the water route with how hard it is to see, but it's fine. I'd choose a different water texture, or renovate it into a non-water route if you continue. I know it was part of the bonus, but now that the microcontest is over you're free from that restriction. The weakest part is the intel rooms I think; one sentry can cover all entrances, and it's pretty easy to chain captures and spawn camp if you wipe the enemy team. Simple, works well. Probably the best U-shaped CTF I've played in a long time, I had fun!

Thoughts on prompt: @Custard1 @Rhamkin
Very interesting prompts! I think a grammatical error messed up your intention for the first bonus; "Must contain at least of the following props" is unclear if you need only one or all of them, though I'd lean towards "at least one" as the intended reading. Besides that, including a large "hero" prop is a neat idea (one that's been on the shortlist for microcontests since season 1!) and it was neat to see someone suggest it. Not too difficult, not too specific. Well done!
This sadly falls victim to the the classic PLR mistake of the carts never interacting. Since the tracks don't cross until the end, there's little resistance to pushing your cart in the first half, which means one team just pulls way ahead. Respawning players are too far to stop the team that is ahead, so it just continues to roll with one team basically spawncamping. Pipeline Stage 3 has this type of layout and works, but has the spawns in the center so teams can stop the enemy without having to fight their way through the whole map. Moving your spawns to the middle would fix a lot of issues almost immediately. I like the crusher, but I feel you could have leaned into it more; it's not really an active threat. The little dynamic lights near it are nice though!

Thoughts on prompt: @Kiglirs
Your first mode and gameplay requirements are a bit hard to reconcile; it is unclear if an "objective on a train or on a track of a train" counts PLR carts as automatically qualifying, or if only cart checkpoints count as objectives that must be on tracks, or if any part of the payload tracks must cross a track, or if the payload track itself must be on a moving train, or any of the dozens of other readings of that statement. It's poorly worded and confusing to parse. Additionally, your second bonus is hard to read and difficult to understand; most people have no idea that's how Suna's InvadeCTF prefab works, so it just seems like a lot of work and random requests. The ideas underpinning the prompts are cool, they're just not well-communicated.
Not a bad little CTF map, but has a few glaring flaws, most notably spawn being directly behind the intel means it's easy to chain capture crits and hard to push back to mid. The drawbridges are funny if you are on them or in a fight near them when they flip up, but they don't do much to meaningfully change the layout. There's a better route (highground) nearby, and the only way out of the water is also near the highground, so it's far more important to hold that than deal with the bridge in most cases. There's also no warning it's about to flip up, so it can be frustrating. A quick sound, maybe a gate lowering, would help. Other that that it's pretty fun. Another way out of the water would be nice, so the highground isn't as important and fights happen in more places. Oh no, I think I might be starting to enjoy CTF as a mode.

Thoughts on prompt: @SED4906
Clever that both prompts are CTF variants to try and force a CTF variant! Thankfully, one is easy and one is hard, so there's a bit of wiggle room for the mapper. The gameplay prompts are short and sweet, but still require planning, and the bonuses were neat little extra challenges that are fun to try and work in. Well done!
I like the idea of an urban PLR map, but this is too open. Fights feel very spread out and uncoordinated since the carts are never near each other; little focus for the combat. There's a decent amount of height, but I'm not sure it's used well. There's a lack of larger cover which is throwing my sense of scale off and hurting navigation; everything happens in one big room. The chokes are not well-defined (it's unclear where they are and how you need to attack them), so while chokes do exist and the cart stops in the same places each time, you don't know where that will be until you've played the map at least once. It's very bizarre and I've not really seen anything like it before. The finale is also far away from the enemy base, so once a cart is up the rollback the match is over; it's impossible to defend.

Thoughts on prompt: @Tang
Decent prompts, they vary in difficulty well to provide the mapper with freedom. "Do not have the tracks intersect" is a bit tough to translate to modes other than PLR, but it's an interesting prompt and the others are flexible enough to work around it if the mapper wanted it. Fun fact: your second prompt is one of three in the whole microcontest that didn't include a bonus requirement!
This is wild and wacky and I love it! Seems Red has a hard time defending, everything is too open and there's no real chokes until the turn after B. All the routes seem designed to help blu reach the cart without consideration for how red can reach it to contest it, which is an important part of payload design and gameplay. For example, Red has to approach B from below, with no routes up to the cart that are not watched by Blu's extreme height advantage. Walk times feel quite long; seems like the whole thing is overscaled by a lot. Shorten some segments and move some cover around to help defenders and I think you could get something that plays a lot better pretty quickly! Aesthetically it's quite fun.

Thoughts on prompt: @Zacco
Fun prompts! Some easy, some more hard, some goofy, some serious; you've got a good mix going here. Well done!
@Stack Man
You nailed the hydro theme. The hot tub points are funny, if a bit annoying with all the hidden sentry nonsense going on. There's some neat areas, but I'm not sure if they flow super well? There's just some weird navigation you have to learn to get places, though it might be fine. Final is quite a meat grinder with how close the point is to spawn; I'd push Red back more. The giant flanks on final felt underutilized, and I think Red's spawn being so close caused that since they kept being able to push out the main door so easily so Blu had to constantly hold it to prevent from being pushed back to A. The indoor lighting is a bit intense, almost feels fullbright in places; if you're using light entities for the indoor lighting I suggest doing light_spots instead, which will immediately feel a lot nicer.

Thoughts on prompt: @zythe_
Nice and flexible prompts that work for a variety of modes (mostly). All pretty simple requests, but none of them could be slapped in last minute, which is good. Good work!
I can't tell if it was actually that good or I went insane from the lack of sleep and number of maps, but I loved this one. Frankenstein, the theming, Applebees, the final platform, all of it. Especially the Dragon. The launch over the trees is really fun and creative, though it means Blu can't always tell where attackers will be coming from. A more designated "landing zone" might be nice, but the chaos was also fun in its own way so it might be fine. Blu's spawn is also right up at the point, which means there's a lot of combat right at the spawn gates. Time is not added on capping the first point. Sad news: Frankenstein doesn't work at all with Medieval mode's auto-rp feature; we have it off on the testing servers so feedback isn't auto-rp-ified, but for anywhere else that plays the map it will get in the way and auto-rp all your questions into forms Frankenstein won't understand. Tragic! I think the spectator camera looking at the final point should instead be looking at the screen showing the final point, it would be funny.

Thoughts on prompt: @Yaki
Some really fun goofy prompts, without being too hard for most people. Nice! You did list your requested mode a second time in the requested gameplay elements section (which technically broke the rules, since the description wasn't supposed to have a mode tied to it so it could be mixed and matched with other modes), but thankfully it didn't cause problems since the mode was chose by your mapper. Your bonus requests were quite hard, but that's fine for a bonus.
Pretty decent layout, though a lot of it looks the same and I got turned around a few times (particularly the routes to B look like routes forward to the drop site when spawning as Red at the start of the round). Some variation in dev texture brightness and/or signage would help a lot. I think I like the first point more, it's got more interesting routes to defend and attack. There's no warning on the train and it comes from behind attackers, so people keep dying to it. Consider adding a slight delay before spawning the next flag, so Red and Blu both have time to regroup. The drop onto final is fun, but Red's spawn is so close to the point that it doesn't play that well. Lower the kill trigger on the water to water height please, or even remove the kill trigger entirely; being able to reset the flag with a death pit so easily on an instant-cap A/D CTF would be fine, but on a timed-cap A/D CTF it's a bit rough. The train is fun, but it's not super well integrated to my mind; having a room that opens for only the train and kills anyone who tries to run through after with no visible indicator isn't fun.

Thoughts on prompt: @B!scuit
Well-written and creative prompts! I don't know if making it possible to do all 6 at once was an intention, but if so they worked together very well. Nice mix of simple but interesting ideas, with the gameplay ones being particularly interesting and encouraging experimentation.
Super interesting ideas, but it kind of falls apart in execution. Lots of poor signage and routing; attackers in the first round couldn't find the first point for a long time since there's signs pointing at closed doors. The idea of the central A building is really cool, I like how you spiral up and through it! I'd open that lower doorway when A is in play, so there's a bit more freedom for both teams? Ah, but then Red gets to Blu spawn too fast and Blu can bypass A with the flag, hm. Maybe if Red entered the area from the second floor of the A building already, and could choose to spiral down to that door? The flag moving up and down each cap doesn't add much other than slow teams going for B, but it's a neat idea and a nice use of the prompt. B is okay, nothing special. Final is quite a hike for Blu, and there's not many places to set up for a push. Shame about the logic issues, this is quite an experimental layout that seems really neat! The cows are fun.

Thoughts on prompt: @Alecsa
Nice prompts, good mix of difficulty and interesting ideas! The description for the payload one probably would have been hard to translate into use with another mode, but the rest are solid. Your bonus prompts are particularly entertaining, well done!
It (mostly) works! I was worried it would be too small, but it seems just about right for a faster take on the mode. The main issue was the spawns; I will need to move the spawn adjustment triggers since teams were playing a lot farther back with the ball than I expected, unintentionally sabotaging themselves by moving their spawns back. People liked the jump pads through the buildings, though there's a few spots you can get stuck if you know what you are doing. Not too hard to fix with clipping, though. Might be a bit to easy to lock down mid. The "respawning teams the moment the ball drops" might be too much at this small of a scale, I might remove it for the next test.

Thoughts on prompt: @DoctorDoomtrain64
I liked working with these prompts! There was a good mix of difficulty, and everything could pretty easily be translated to other modes if needed. The first bonus was a bit easy for my tastes, but I guess if I wasn't the organizer and didn't know who had given me the prompts it would have been a fun guessing/detective game to try and figure out which OC I needed to add.
I think you nailed the scaling; all the areas feel the right size and the right distance apart. Quite easy to spawn camp, however, since both teams can open all spawn doors. That's an easy fix though. The zones themselves are alright, though there's not too much interesting geometry to play on. A in particular feels a bit odd since it's in the middle of a space and you have to be careful not to step out during combat; maybe extending it to the wall, or lowering it by like 16-32hu so it's easier to tell when you step out? There's a general lack of small cover all over which makes it feel very empty, but that's also an easy fix, just slap a crate or two down, maybe a small shack in the center of the highground.

Thoughts on prompt: @Switchgeer
Simple and clean prompts, with one pretty standard mode and one less common mode. All parts work well with the ones they are grouped with, and are pretty easy to swap around, too. The bonus ideas are fun too, nice work.
Very cool idea, not enough space for the idea to develop. The whole map feels narrow; while there's usually a few different routes, they aren't substantially different and share the same spaces as the others. A is really cool, but it's so far from Red's spawn and Blu spawns so close there's just no chance to hold most of the time. Red spawn is also super close to B, and Blu has to fight past it to camp. On paper it seems that it would be too hard for Blu, but it's so easy to camp the exits that if Blu gets a good push onto A they can just roll through final. Extreme height like this is tricky to work with and I'm not sure it's working here; the layout is too reliant on tight corners that are hard to push up through. A few routes that swing out wider to gain height before circling back in would be nice.

Thoughts on prompt: @Brushwagg Connoisseur
Very easy prompts, which can be fine, but both of the "required gameplay elements" described visual elements instead of gameplay elements. That means both of your prompts technically broke the rules, as you did not make any gameplay requests other than modes. I would have requested you redid them before the microcontest, but I didn't catch them until now. Fun fact: Your first prompt was one of only three that did not include a optional requirements section, and the only one where the mapper got the bonus by not having to do anything special because of that.
My brain was mush by this time of the night, so sorry if this feedback isn't as great as some of the others. Not having visible tracks hurts this layout a lot; usually you can guess where the cart will be going, but at several points it's unclear here. The layout in general is pretty linear with nothing terribly interesting going on but it seems to work. Lots of height variation, but it usually favors attackers so much of the track rolled for Blu. The bit with the water is kind of neat. The turntable doesn't add much sadly; usually turntables are used to let Red regroup but it's so far from the next point Red would have regrouped anyways. Instead, it just lets Blu group up; I don't know if that's good or bad. The diagonal platform at final is kind of neat too, I've not seen anything like that before. It might have been too good for Blu though, since the only way up there is so far in Blu territory. I'm not really seeing the canyons you mention doing from the bonus, this geo alone isn't suggesting "canyons" to me; even just adding rock textures to the walls would have done it probably.

Thoughts on prompt: @Jameson
Really interesting prompts! I particularly like the second one with the teleporters; I saw it early on and hoped someone was going to do it. Most of the bits were modular, though the turntable requirement is mode mode-locked than I would have liked to allow for mixing and matching, but it didn't cause issues. Good job!
This is a weird one, and I think the mode might be fundamentally flawed. Red (theoretically) wins by default by hiding in spawn; entering combat whatsoever is a detriment to their team. Despite that, everyone just kind of played along and engaged in combat, which is interesting. You could probably fix the mode by making it ToW or PLR, so there was an actual incentive for teams to leave spawn. Layout-wise, there's not really much happening. It's mostly one long hallway without useful flanks. The side room seems to be built with only Red team in mind; it is little use for Blu since you have to pass through enemy-owned space then double back to get into it, and even then the route though it just ends up in the same place you just double backed from. A checkpoint closing Red's lower spawn door would be nice. It already seems to close at some point, but you can't tell since there's no checkpoint.

Thoughts on prompt: @Sarexicus
Super interesting prompts! All of yours are really creative and unique. A good mix of medium difficulty stuff without being too hard, and if the modes were too hard the gameplay requirements both worked in "easy" modes like KotH and Arena. Nice job!
@Paper Shadow
Mid is kind of KotH-like, meaning the cart gets stuck in it a lot. It's also quite easy for enemies to get behind you, which also might be contributing to the cart staying at mid often. Personally I prefer my ToW mids a bit chokier so the cart moves more, but this works too in a sort of "brain off DM" kind of way. With how short the track is it probably makes sense it should stay at mid a lot, so unless you make it longer it's probably fine. The finals themselves are rather underwhelming, and feel too easy to get to most of the time. The geometry is clean and pleasing, though I'm not sure if that rock is supposed to be a bunny or a dog.

Thoughts on prompt: @Mercia
Pretty clean prompts, though the second description was probably a bit too tied to the second gamemode, and hard to do on its own if the mapper wanted to mix and match prompt parts. I like the creativity of the second bonus!
I'm not a fan of cloaktype, so I'm not sure I'll do a great job on giving feedback about it. What I can say is that this map is very, very small, and rounds went very fast because of that. The one upper flank isn't terribly useful since it doesn't provide access to the point, which is super important in cloaktype. It does have a dropdown into a room that does have part of the capture zone it in, but I didn't realize that was part of the capture zone until feedback round. I don't think anyone else did really either, the floor texture isn't enough; you may want to use the hazard stripe texture to outline the zone so people realize it continues down there. It almost felt like arena, since it was so small that rounds ended in one push most of the time.

Thoughts on prompt: @Sonoma
Your gameplay requests were very tightly tied to the modes you provided, which made it hard to mix and match. I'd have gone for requests that were a bit easier to combine, but really locking in your modes was not necessarily a bad thing. I do think your first description was a bit demanding though; four different requests at once was a lot more involved than most others' requirements which had one or two max. Your bonuses were nice a broad though, which is nice.
A fun little payload! Doesn't do much new, but it's solid for 24 hours. The sneaky route is kind of neat, but the fake one almost seems more interesting. A tight switchback with multi-leveled gameplay appeals to me more than another gradual incline with a few shacks on the sides. Granted, in its current state the fake route would suck to push, but if you gave Blu a few ways to gain height it might work. Do keep in mind I am crazy and love Hoodoo's second stage. I would not consider this map to have "lots of verticality" nor "set in a forest." 2fort has more verticality than this, and I'm not joking. TL;DR: The first point is fun to hold and push, not a fan of the second.

Thoughts on prompt: @SnickerPuffs
I like these prompts! Nice an varied, while all being perfectly doable in 24 hours. The gamemode requirements are creative and interesting, though maybe a bit closely tied to the gamemodes and hard to use in other modes if your mapper had wanted to mix and match.
@Rhamkin @Custard1
I love all the angled geo at A. The point at A is weird to be on, crouching half in water sucks and doesn't always work. Freed from the constraints of the microcontests, it might be best to raise the sub a bit so you can stand on it easier. Despite that, A is my favorite point to play. The routing between A and B is strange for both teams, with that final corner near the point being the main issue. It's not great to hold as Red, you either have to hold from behind the point or in some rounds defenders pushed back to A and held the connectors there. Because of the way the area is set up the rollout for defenders is weird and doesn't flow well either, and pushing as Blu requires some awkward jumps and angles. Overall fascinating and enjoyable, well done!

Thoughts on prompt: @icechiller2.0
Neat prompts, though a bit confusing. Your first gameplay requirement is particularly hard to parse to me; the prepositions are all funky and can be interpreted in a few different ways. Does "on top of a drop down that's at least 160hu tall [and also] covered in water" mean the point has to be at the top of a 160hu ledge, but also covered in water (so, like, the edge of a waterfall?) or the point has to be below a 160hu ledge and also covered in water (bottom of a waterfall), or does that mean the point can just be over 160hu underwater with a platform near it at surface level? What counts as a drop down? Where is the drop down in relation to the point? I have no idea, since "being on top" and "covered in water" are conceptually hard to reconcile with each other with the wording being so vague. Other than that, the rest of your prompts are fine and your bonuses are fun!
@Le Codex
Pretty neat! Having A and B flipped from how they are in all other Graveplit-style maps fills me with rage. Speaking of A and B, they fell very fast in all rounds. They seem fun, but there's nowhere to defend them from except on the points themselves which are easy to clear thanks to the hazards. That bit under the ledge at C is brutal if engineer set up there and Blu can't find it, since 90% of the routes for Blu direct people to attack C from B, but the only route to that under route is near A.

Thoughts on prompt: @MegapiemanPHD
Enjoyable prompts, though both descriptions are effectively the same. Since you were allowed to swap out objectives to work with different modes, they became "Each [objective] must have at least 1 Saw environmental hazard" and "Each [objective] has a kill saw environmental hazard". Other than that, nice mix of modes and fun bonus themes!
This is neat! Mid is weird, not sure if it works? You pretty much have to make two pushes in a row, one into mid then one through it to clear it. It is certainly unique, and might be a good thing, but I'd have to play it more to have a solid opinion. The triple-layered gameplay with the pipes below is really cool and the pipes themselves are very nicely constructed. Fun to play in and around! Final is quite far from the team bases, one a push starts out of mid, you can't stop it. Looks great, very solid overall!

Thoughts on prompt: @Emil_Rusboi @Tea at '5
I like these prompts. You made a good mix of difficulties in mode selection, and your gameplay requirements have wide interpretations giving your mapper a lot of freedom. Your bonuses were fun too! Great work.
There's some neat ideas going on here, but it's let down by all the bugs; no resupply lockers, no spawn room triggers, no pickups, and broken elevator logic just to name a few. It also has the known "can't block blu cart" issue from ABS's PLR prefab which most of the other PLR maps this microcontest also fell victim to. Asymmetrical PLR is an interesting idea (and surprisingly not the only one submitted for this microcontest!) but I think this map favors Red? All of Blu team has to enter mid through a single doorway watched by highground, so a flank or two would be nice. The elevators are fun! Overall a bit large with not a lot going on, but it presents some interesting ideas.

Thoughts on prompt: @ScarlettValkrie
Very simple, very clear prompts that cover a wide range of possible skill levels. Great work!
Wait a moment, stage 2 is just stage 1 again, but sideways! Sneaky. It's an interesting idea, to reuse points between stages, but I think you over-complicated the geometry around final to account for it. There's so many little routes that get around the enemies, and having all the hallways look the same doesn't help with navigation. The final point is more fun in Stage 1 than in stage 2 to me; it's got a neat "holding a chokepoint, rather than an area" feel to it that I've never seen before. Sadly, it only works in one direction and not the other. Blu's first spawn is bizarre, and splits teams a lot meaning it's unclear where Red is meant to try and defend other than on the point itself. Overall quite interesting, though I'm not sure if it's actually good or not.

Thoughts on prompt: @qualitykk
Your choice of modes is interesting, you're the only one who included multistage as a mode! You balanced it out nicely with a smaller mode, though the required gameplay element from the second prompt is a bit closely tied to the mode, and would be completely trivial if your mapper chose standard CTF. I'd have swapped your second description and the second bonus.
Absoultely wild, well done! Very solid layout that does everything PASS Time needs to, though maybe I'd add a second route through to the enemy bases so you can sneak a ball in. Perhaps open a route through where the jump pad leads somehow? I feel like it might be worth making the goals easier to reach, so respawns happen more often. More scoring = more respawns = more fun! There's a bit of clutter on the bridge that gets in the way of melee combat; removing the minecart props would help. I almost want to see how this plays as a standard PASS Time map, it might work. Adding guns to it while keeping it arena I don't think would work though, so don't do that. If you can fix the crashing issue, I'd love to play this again!

Thoughts on prompt: @14bit
PASS Time and TC would have been too much, so I'm glad I swapped TC out for Arena Respawn at the last minute. It seems my prompts were flexible enough (considering they all got used!) so I consider that a win. I am happy with my prompts.
Super interesting conceptually, but it kind of falls apart layout wise. The choke after A is a nightmare; Blu can't reach the cart if it stalls just after the point. I'd remove the red ring of death, it does more harm than good in my eyes. The plain walls and no cart path make it hard to know where the cart is going, and makes routing for Red difficult. Lots of people got lost in the Red base at round start due to that. Final is also a cool idea, but I'm not sure it works in a satisfying way; the one time we got there it pretty much rolled. Lots of really funny ideas though, and I think it's worth seeing if this works with a different or improved layout.

Thoughts on prompt: @Fault in Maps
Most of your prompts are pretty simple, though your second description is a league ahead of others in terms of difficulty. I think that's fine though, since the rest are pretty easy. Creative and interesting prompts overall!
Quite a long track for PLC, but it works I think. You did a decent job trying to keep the cart away from spawn exits, but I think they might still be a bit close. There's one bit in particular that's really easy to lock down and stall the cart at, so it just turns into camping the enemy cart rather than trying to push your own harder. I think removing the cover on the platform just behind where the carts spawn (above the track as it ascends) could open up the space in an interesting way and give a place for defenders to hold that isn't right outside of a spawn.

Thoughts on prompt: @Maid
Very nice variety and mix of difficulty, and one of the few that used the term "objective" in place of one tied to a specific mode. Nice, great work!
Genuinely unsure what an "inverted nipple point" is, but I don't really see one here. There's a cylinder above the point, but I would have assumed "inverted nipple point" means the nipple is recessed, so there's a pit in the center of the capture zone. Regardless, it doesn't feel "inside out" to me. Moving to more practical feedback, it's really hard to flip the point. Holding the flanks seems like it's really important here, but the routes don't push players there much and it took people a few rounds to start using them. The connecting building from spawns to the areas around the point are also quite long, so I think reworking them to be smaller and direct players to the side more could solve multiple issues at once. Overall fun geometry!

Thoughts on prompt: @SwaggyZeal
Simple and easy to understand prompts! I particularly like that your second bonus was related to your second gamemode; since they have to be paired together you included something really payload specific. Many other people didn't pay attention to that and tried to request things that would be a nightmare to translate across modes, so well done.
@youporkchop5 @radarhead
I like this, lots of team and cart interaction! Maybe too much. It gets a bit spawncampy at times, with the carts both getting stuck at the bases; I think it might be (partially) because it's quite hard to contest highground at mid. It's hard to recover from that going into final, too, and the ending rolls despite the drawbridge. Fun, but a bit of a DMfest, and I'm not sure what can be done to fix it without major rebuilds. It feels like an early custom PLR map with as much track piled into a space as possible, instead of it being more intentionally designed with proper holds and such. Looks very nice! I particularly like the little rooms with the health near mid; the supports inside under the ramps are nice.

Thoughts on prompt: @SuperLuxDeluxe
Nice attempt to force payload, but enough wiggle room for someone to avoid it if they didn't want to do it! All your prompts are clear and interesting, and your second bonus giving potential context for your second gameplay requirement is really clever. Nice job!
I think we had a lot of burnout during testing this one. Very few people wanted to actually play the objective, so it's hard to tell how it played. People just wanted to explore the void, which probably isn't a great sign if people prefer an empty room over the gameplay spaces you've made. The routing is a bit odd in places, with the signage unclear; routes between A<->B are all marked C. Blu went for B first every time, probably because of how spawn is set up, and how hard it looks to attack A. The yellow rectangle marked "B" on A confused a lot of people, since it doesn't seem to do anything. C is hard to reach for both teams, and would probably be better if it wasn't as deep and there was a second route into the water. The broken doors on Red spawn are not, however. Finally, there's a bunch of strange dead-ends and sniper holes that don't really contribute to the layout. This map feels like a dream, but neither a good one nor a bad one, and certainly doesn't feel like Junction.

Thoughts on prompt: @Tiftid
Requiring route timings for your requests is certainly unique, but I don't think they worked well as prompts. Your second one in particular includes a mode request (which was technically against the rules) and is highly mode-specific, which does not work at all for translating to other modes if necessary.
Interesting idea! I think the start is too hard to defend though, and the team that pulls ahead gets more and more high ground as the match goes on, which just leads to whoever wins the opening fight steamrolling for a while. Layout-wise, it's very clever that the carts go up a tower instead of moving away from spawns, so that the carts stay kind of in the same area the whole time and don't get too split up. The DM is fun, but gets a bit stale since the spawns are so close to everything. Surprisingly fun!

Thoughts on prompt: @Hadull
Very unique and cool prompts, maybe a bit on the difficult side? I do like that you provided a bit of technical information on how to pull off that first gameplay requirement. Fun fact: your second prompt was only one of three that didn't include a bonus requirement!
I want to like this, but it falls to the most basic design flaw possible for PLR: you have the track pass directly in front of a spawn doors on both sides. The spawns here are really bad to pushing past; there's a reason a lot of PLC maps have rollforward zones near the bases or spawn exits that don't face the tracks. It's just a meat grinder with little strategy, instead of a race because of this. The overtime mechanics seem busted, check if you included the whole prefab. Asymmetric PLC is a neat concept, but I'm not sure how well it's working; you did give both teams have a hard choke so it's balanced in that respect at least. The outside area, the room where the tracks cross, and the tunnel heading towards the water are all quite nice gameplay spaces. I'd love to see this again with different spawns.

Thoughts on prompt: @Le Codex
A good mix of modes and requirements, though I'm a bit confused by your second bonus mentioning PLC when it's not paired with the mode. I guess it's for if someone is doing the bonus for fun instead of as a real bonus, so in that case the clarity is nice? Nice prompts overall.
This map is really great looking and super interesting, and far, far too large. The bots are really far apart, meaning it's hard if not impossible to push through A->B->C-Flag like in most RD maps. Teams get split too much to coordinate, since there's no clear routing from one objective to the next! Lots of overscaled maps get called "open world" jokingly, but here the layout of your objectives almost makes that true. The train gets in the way a lot, and there's no warning it's coming. having tracks on the ground would be very nice. The core is also quite close to spawn, which led to matches dragging on. We had a really tense, close match at the end, but it was very slow getting there.

Thoughts on prompt: @Prestige
Fun prompts, though maybe a bit much asking for three gameplay elements in one for your second one? It got done in the end so maybe not, but it did get done late. I enjoy your first gameplay requirement description a lot; it's got personality!
Very linear, with not a lot of variation in the routes. Might be a bit vertically overscaled too; everything gives you fall damage pretty much. The underground routes aren't much use; they don't really get near anywhere you'd want to be. Run times seem a bit long, though timing it vs. Powerhouse came out with the same time on the shortest route. Even with that though, the individual areas are overscaled and there's little small cover for fights to happen around. Particularly bad is the sightline down the road from base to base; it's really hard to avoid for non-jumping classes unless you head for the tunnels, which are quite far out of the way. Shoving all of mid out towards the cliff more and bending the tunnels between mid and the bases would fix it. I like the interpretation of the prompts, everyone immediately knew it was a pizza hut!

Thoughts on prompt: @Another Bad Pun
Most of your prompts were fun and flexible, except for the first gameplay requirement which was very heavily tied to payload and couldn't be translated into another mode without significant effort. A good mix of modes, though, and really creative bonus requirements!
I think this is the best microcontest CTF map I've ever played, and one of the few CTF maps I have genuinely liked alongside the likes of Landfall and Pelican Peak. I am begging you to continue working on this, please! The routes are fun to fight through, and you have a reasonable chance to stop the flag carrier. Mid is fun to cross, and the tunnels are fun to run through. The intel rooms are by far the weakest point (not the rooms before them with the hole in the floor and the shutter, those parts are great) and need a significant rework. The room is too small, there's not enough ways in and out, and the bridge doesn't add anything interesting.

Thoughts on prompt: @Stack Man
A very nice set of prompts, with a lot of flexibility while still requiring interesting designs to fulfill them. Great work!
Very compact, but not in a good way. A lot of the flanks aren't terribly useful since you need to pass through an active combat area to actually reach them, and even then they don't give you much of an advantage. Final is a nightmare to push both into and out of, so both teams gets stuck; I think it's because of how close the spawns are to the track. Pushing things spawns back and extending the tracks to give mid more breathing room would help a lot, moving away from a contstant meat grinder of player deaths at the chokes and towards a more push-and-pull style of combat that works for TF2. I like how the tracks weave around each other, it's neat!

Thoughts on prompt: @norfolk
I like these prompts, particularly your funny bonus ones. Having a final that is a death pit isn't super unique, but having to design around it is a fine challenge in combination with other things. Nice job!

That's all the finished maps and their prompts, but what about all the prompts that didn't get completed? Here's some feedback on those, too!

Nice mix of modes to cater to different skill levels, though your second gameplay requirement would be hard to translate to non-payload modes. Your bonuses are fun. Neat!

Good on you for doing an easy mode on your second prompt to counterbalance TC. Sadly, your first gameplay requirement is quite mode-tied and wouldn't work well translated to other modes if your mapper wanted to mix and match prompts.

@Will Alfred:
You asked if your prompts were fine before we started and I said yes, but it turns out I severely misunderstood what your first prompt's bonus was asking for and it was way, way too hard. "The payload Tracks twist all the way along the map" brings to mind Goldrush with the whole layout following tracks, and was what I had assumed you meant. Asking for a continuous spiraling tube of payload track the cart rotates with is completely insane, especially for 24 hours. I get that it's a bonus, but it's still unreasonable to expect someone to be able to do that in such a short time, and forced your mapper into having to do the second prompt to have any chance at the bonus. Your other prompts were fine.

I like most of these prompts, though your second gameplay requirement is a bit specific, and would have worked better as a bonus. As it stands, it was difficult if not impossible to get that one to work in a mode other than PD, which severely limited your mapper's options. Other than that, good mix of modes, and fun bonuses!

Your prompts already had to be toned down once before the microcontest began, and I think they were still a bit specific and might have scared your mapper off. Your modes were fine, but requiring 3 gamplay elements for the first one is pushing it, and requiring 3 (or 8, if you count each jump pad at one element) including assymetrical when both of your modes were symmetrical was too much. Your bonuses were also extremely specific and difficult, which didn't leave your mapper much room to be creative. The trick to writing good prompts is to strip things down to their most basic level and provide a solid core idea to build from, but you got a bit too excited and threw everything you could think of at your mapper. Interesting prompts, but too difficult in the end.

Easy to understand, fun to work around. The bonuses are neat too. Well done!

You included an extremely mode-specific thing for payload in the first gameplay requirement, which meant it was hard if not impossible for your mapper to mix and match that with other modes and prompts. A shame, since the rest of your prompts are interesting and would have worked being mixed. I like your bonus prompts!

I like your prompts! You chose some nice modes and prompts that when mixed wouldn't be too hard, with some cool bonuses for anyone who wanted to push themselves. Neat!

@youporkchop5 @radarhead
Good use of the first bonus to provide context to the first gameplay requirement, though that requirement is quite mode-specific and hard to re-use for a different mode. I'd have linked Maid's version of the logic instead; it has less bugs and more features. Nice prompts overall!

Creative prompts that were flexible enough to work with different modes (for the most part). The big issue was specifiying "payload" in your second description, though that could easily be ignored and replaced with capture points or whatever other modes was being made. The bonuses are tricky, but doable. Neat prompts!

And finally, here's the mode breakdown:

Arena            1             
KotF             1             
PLR              7             
CTF              4             
KotH             2             
CP/PL            1             
5CP              1             
PD               2             
PL               4             
A/D CP           8
    Gravelpit        2
    Medieval         1
    Multistage       1
A/D CTF          2             
PASS             1             
PL/PD            1             
ToW              2             
Cloak-type       1             
Medieval/PASS/Arena Respawn    1             
PLC              2             
RD               1             
3CP              1

Incredible turnout, and see you all next time for the season finale!
It's a wild one...
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