Scarab RC6

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Poggers Mapper™
Nov 10, 2017
  • Expanded the capture area for B, moving the jumppad platform further back (and raised it slightly).
  • Moved the position of the stairs and jumppad on the jumppad platform so that there are now 2 sets of stairs, and only one jumppad.
  • Removed the bridge between B and the area underneath the scaffolding.
  • Added stairs to the B-facing side of the highground access for B
  • B detail overhaul
  • BLU side detail improvements
  • Increased the height of a building on BLU side to fix a vis error
  • Major skybox improvements
  • Clipping fixes and improvements
  • Optimisation improvements
  • Adjusted the fog inside the temple to be slightly weaker
  • Increased voiceline volume (will probably re-record at a later date)
  • Added custom sounds for the jumppad
  • Added custom soul-deposit sounds
  • Lighting improvements
  • Fixed some props not animating correctly
  • Adjusted prop fades
  • General bug fixes
So what's next? For B3, I aim to get most, if not all, of the custom models/textures made and included. This includes the PD pickup, a pumpkin bomb replacement, various props, and a bunch of overlays.

Known issues:
  • Some fog problems
  • PD deposit sounds are quiet

Read the rest of this update entry...


Poggers Mapper™
Nov 10, 2017
  • Added custom particles for the jumppad (thanks Yrrzy!)
  • Adjusted volume of several sounds
  • Improved detail on RED side
  • Improved lighting
  • Improved skybox detail
  • Fog changes
  • Fixed overlays not being applied on some faces
  • Optimisation improvements
  • Fixed candles being to 'glowy'
  • Added a shit ton of new voicelines
  • Finale improvements
  • Added temp pumpkin bomb replacements
Known issues:
Bomb sounds play globally for some reason
Some bombs spawn in walls???
Some bombs are floating
Skybox fog is kinda weird
Some voicelines get cut off
Sound quality on some effects is shit

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Poggers Mapper™
Nov 10, 2017
  • Added custom bomb models (thanks Freyja!)
  • Improved custom bomb sounds
  • Fixed bomb sounds playing globally/not at all
  • Fixed an issue causing players games to run out of memory (if this still happens, delete your sound.cache or uninstall quicktime player)
  • Improved jumppad particle (thanks again Yrrzy!)
  • Improved fog
  • Lowered voiceline volume
  • B detail improvements
  • HUD improvements
  • Fixed B not depositing red points
  • Fixed some floating props
  • Increased height of jumppad trigger
What's next for B5?:
  • Many additional custom overlays (if you'd like to help, let me know!)
  • Detail improvements to blue side interiors
  • PD pickup replacement
  • Something to replace the brushwork capzone borders
  • Optimisation improvements
  • Red side exterior detail improvements
  • Asset improvements
  • Bug fixes

..And after that?:
RC1 - Soft deadline of September 4, 2020

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Poggers Mapper™
Nov 10, 2017
  • Lighting improvements
  • Blue side detail improvements
  • Bomb improvements (added particle, fixed sound, changed colours)
  • Optimisation improvements
  • Adjusted finale flash
  • Audio improvements
  • New icons (thanks Yrrzy!)
  • Voiceline improvements
  • Added custom pickup model
  • General detail improvements
  • Fog improvements
  • Skybox improvements
  • Bug fixes
The next version will be RC1, the deadline has been moved up to 28/08

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Poggers Mapper™
Nov 10, 2017
Okay so there were a couple problems with today's test.
Firstly, bomb sounds still play globally, so i'll have to tie an ambient_generic to every single one
Secondly, the pickup model didn't pack for some reason???

Otherwise, just a couple little detail additions/sound changes and this will be good for RC1!
Here's a to-do list for the 'final' update, since i'll probably forget it lol.
  • Brighten up a couple areas of the map, especially areas around the points
  • Tie ambient-generics to bombs to make sounds directional and not global
  • Adjust prop fades on several props around mid
  • Redo scoring sounds to be more indicative of teams scoring points
  • Add more foliage-based detailing
  • Adjust announcer voicelines
  • Add a bit more wear to signs
  • Remove pumpkin bombs from sniper spots
  • Library detail improvements
  • Create more signs/overlays
  • Add blockbullet behind the box at arch highground
  • More 'surface' detail in general, a lot of walls still look pretty bare
  • Make sure everything is packed you dumb of ass
There'll probably be more than this in the patch notes, but I should be able to get this done within a day or two.
(Overlays may take longer lol)

In the meantime I would appreciate if people could walk around the map and just.. nitpick it! Wanna make sure I nail everything!
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Bimbo · Moocow · E-girl · Clown
Sep 29, 2018
nitpick time !!!!!!!!



idk if this is something you can fix, but a description here would be great; especially since youre dealing with a more complex pd variant that people might need extra help to understand.


i personally feel like these barrels might b out of place? idk if they appear in other places in the map, but they dont really fit the theme imo.



a little triangular ramp here would help to clip this prop properly


this could do with clipping too


so could this


and the little notch between these props could maybe be smoothed out?


walking over this prop from this angle sends you leftwards into the hole - it would b a bit weird but if the top part of this prop could be made noncolliding so its just a smooth little ramp i feel like itd help


these little notches in the ground throughout the map should probably be blockbulleted to not absorb splash damage


i can stand up here !!!!!


and here too


another lil spot that could do with clipping


this is probably preference since you might prefer players being able to get up on this, but especially since its not present on the other side i think it might be a slight issue


i might b tempted to add clipping to just this block? since the blocks on the left act as a smooth ramp from this angle, but this one blocks the ascent.


this torch in this lil trench has collisions, unlike all the other torches in the map


this canister is quite close into the clip brush but isnt smoothed out, which it should be at least from this angle in my opinion


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Bimbo · Moocow · E-girl · Clown
Sep 29, 2018
lol posted that early accidentally - pt2!!!!


one lil thing - can you swap out the merasmus gargoyle voiceline for one of your own?


since the platform up there is broken off, it might be nice to have some matching debris in the water below. right now youve got cracked columns, but no explanation for where the rest of the debris went


this mat being completely flat to the ground looks kinda bad in my opinion - it looks painted on rather than a solid object


the break between map and skybox can be seen quite easily over there imo


while i like this spotlight, im not entirely sure whats meant to be lighting it up? it matches the lighting colour of the torches which makes it seem like it has a physical origin. i think if you made it warmer to match the lighting colour of the candles, it would pass off more as magical in origin


while its only visible from above, i feel like itd be nice to have something in this space? it seems perfect truck size imo


it might not end up looking as good, but id be tempted to try recompiling these props without the fullbright texture (which ive done in the past and works fine) - right now theyre the brightest thing in the room and grab a lot of the attention



the inside of this door could do with a clip


jus the bottom of this sign prop here


all these paintings - i can stand up here on top of them, and get stuck up against the edges of them


while this would usually be fine imo, an awning like this above a spawn door feels like it could very easily be exploitable, especially since there's no equivalent awning on the other side


i can get stuck in here on blu side and be completely forced into a surf, meaning im fully unable to get out without an explosive jump


these blocks r a bit awkward to move and fight around and i feel like they could be smoothed out a touch?


same again with these windows, since theyre not reflected on the other side they could b a bit of an issue



a bit of smoothing would help out here between the wall and column


not only could this lil stickout benefit from cliiping, but for some reason my game seems to think the extreme left side of this staircase (when im hugging the wall) is too steep and i start to slow down? needs a bit of investigation i think, idk


another standard clip bit


Poggers Mapper™
Nov 10, 2017
Took a while, but we made it, RC1!
Before I move on to the changelog i'd like to thank a few people in particular.
Obviously, I need to first thank the wonderful asset creators, Freyja and Yrrzy, for their contributions to the map. There is exactly 0% chance that this map would release if it wasn't for them.
Next up are those who contributed to the map, but in minor (but still very appreciated!) ways: Lofi, for their illustrations used for some overlays in the map; Maid, for their scutinous nitpicking of the map as it approached RC1; Lazersofa, for creating the concept art for the bombs; 14Bit, for helping out with the PD logic; and Yoshimario, for creating a model to house the pickup particle.
Lastly, everyone who helped playtest, because it REALLY woudn't be the map it is now without them.

Right, that's enough theatrics, onto the changelog!
  • Adjusted sound volumes
  • Remade the deposit sounds
  • Made bomb sounds directional, and no longer global to all players
  • Lighting improvements
  • Adjusted prop fades
  • Changed palm tree models to the ones made by Ravidge
  • Removed pumpkin bombs from sniper perches
  • Blue side detail improvements
  • Added detail sprites
  • Global clipping pass
  • Added map intro text and photos
  • General minor detail improvements
  • Added shake effect to bombs
  • Added particle effect to active points
  • Capzone border now has a scrolling texture
  • Disabled shadows on pickups
And that's all folks! Hope to see you in Scream Fortess!

Read the rest of this update entry...
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Doctorate in Deliciousness
Mar 31, 2012
I've liked this map every time I've played it. Here's some feedback:

-this sign is really stretched out
-since this is a oob area near one of the cap zones where players will be often, I feel like it's a wasted opportunity to hide something in there. Maybe a sarcophagus from the pd_tribute props?
-I can get caught up on the clipping on the welding machine here.
-Can hide stickies in this rubble plus red side doesn't have it so it gives one team a bit of an advantage since this is well used path.
-something's up with the texture above the arch. It doesn't seem a smooth transition even though it doesn't fully look misaligned
-the inner support beams in the middle of this texture above the doorway doesn't make sense to BE above a door way.
-love this pyramid. Reminds me of a Metal album cover.
-z clipping
-wood pillars like the one in the corner here are used pretty often in this map and few if any seem to have any clipping
-clip the sign smooth
-While the map is set in a desert, it doesn't make sense that a team wouldn't clean this sand out of their spawn room, especially since it's not in a building that's broken nor buried
-remove shadows from the foliage here. Also the spike thing on the left goes in the wall
-These steps are real thick. Egypt/ruin theme lets you get away with thicker steps to a point but something about these and where they are seems off
-probably should try to connect the displacement on the ramp and sand here to make the transition from one to the other look smoother. It's also kinda odd that there's sand on the inner part of the ramp but not the ramp trim
-can hide stickies in the rocks
-pop in on the red banner
-the broken walls don't transition to the normal wall seamlessly. Maybe try smoothgroups or messing with lightmap scale?
-the resupply locker shadow goes through the wall here
-might be hard to see but there's a really odd seam on the wall between the torch and arch. Dunno if that's just source being source though.
-remove shadows from the foliage, also it clips through the wood brushes
-can still snipe behind this crate
-is this a model or a texture? either way it's a neat effect.
-I get the plunger and barbwire cable is similar to how lakeside did something like this but with this being located in an area where players will be more often, it really doesn't look all that great. probably could make the cable out of a metal beam texture and displacement.
-clip it smooth
-misaligned texture behind the fence. The fence also seems kind of low for keeping players out of that area behind it
-prop clipping into the floor

That's all for now :D


Poggers Mapper™
Nov 10, 2017
Was waiting for this, thanks. I'll try get around to most of these, though there are a couple exceptions.
Maybe a sarcophagus from the pd_tribute props?
I would like to use these, but I don't want ot pile up the contributor list too high, plus i'm not even sure what the permissions are on those props.
-something's up with the texture above the arch. It doesn't seem a smooth transition even though it doesn't fully look misaligned
Think this is to do with lightmap scale, but if not, it may not be fixable.
-clip the sign smooth
Could have sworn I already did, are you sure it's not clipped?
-the resupply locker shadow goes through the wall here
No idea why this is happening.
-can still snipe behind this crate
There's a blockbullet there now, so no, you can't (unless i'm an idiot and forgot). Even then, it's not exactly a powerful sightline.
-is this a model or a texture? either way it's a neat effect.
Texture, you can thank Yrrzy for that.
-misaligned texture behind the fence. The fence also seems kind of low for keeping players out of that area behind it
I'm guessing you mean the beam in front of the fence (same texture the sign is resting on), which is intentional. I'll change the texture to something else to make it more obvious though.


Poggers Mapper™
Nov 10, 2017
Apologies if I don't get to all the changes in this version, I didn't keep a written list this time around and the number of changes just kept increasing so this is from memory alone.

  • Added additional detail in OOB areas
  • Clipping improvements
  • Fixed some props floating
  • Fixed some props not lighting correctly
  • Adjusted position of several props
  • Fixed bomb explosion sound playing globally (for real this time I swear)
  • Improved particles (pickup, finale)
  • Improved gold textures
  • Improved detailing in RED cavern
  • Replaced voicelines with ones done by the fantastic Emnudge!
  • Lighting improvements
  • Major optimisation improvements
  • Jarate now extinguishes players
  • Fixed waterfall models being fullbright (thanks maid!)
  • Added custom bomb explosion particle
  • General texture improvements
  • Fixed arabic text being absolute nonsense (thanks pdan!)
  • A bunch of other stuff idk

Read the rest of this update entry...


Doctorate in Deliciousness
Mar 31, 2012
Here's more feedback:

-I can get back here in blu spawn. There's no clipping on the door prop
-there's an obvious split between textures here. Not sure if I suggested this before but try messing with smooth groups and lightmap scale to make it seamless.
-Inside the building has a nice blend texture between stone and sand while out here it's not
20200908000611_1.jpg 20200908000613_1.jpg
-the torch on the far wall pops in and out obviously here
-these text boxes disappear faster than I can really notice them. Probably should have them stick around a bit longer.
-candle in the sand
-no respawnroom visualizer on the side red spawn exit
20200908000523_1.jpg 20200908000254_1.jpg20200908000238_1.jpg 20200908000729_1.jpg
-clip the lips in these screenshots on both sides of the map
-remove collision on board as well as the grass going through it.
-foliage goes through post

Lastly while the new voice lines are great and just the right volume, the first one that played for me had a really loud static pop at the end. It was one that played at the start of the round saying something about collecting souls.

That's all for now.


Poggers Mapper™
Nov 10, 2017
Oops there's a couple of broken things, gonna be updating right after the imp
  • Finale particle isn't set up quite right
  • A team still gets 'winning' voiceline when they collect enough points even if they're losing


Poggers Mapper™
Nov 10, 2017
I've got some time on my hands, and have been thinking about doing a write-up on a making of Scarab, so I suppose I may as well.

All the way back in 2018 I was experimenting with may different PD layout styles, including mars base, mayan temple, and of course, egyptian temple. I actually did a substantial amount of development into a mayan temple-based PD map, but ended up not releasing an A1 as I wasn't confident at all with the layout.

Then in 2019, I restarted development, this time going for an egyptian theme. This actually occured twice, once in april, and again for the 72hr Jam. The april version, again, had a decent amount of work put into it, but I was unable to figure out an engaging layout for mid, and abandoned the map. The 72hr jam version had similar issues, this time however the prolem lay within the connectors. I quickly switched from that project to Theia, completing it in a little over a day.

Then of course, this year comes the 'Pick it up!' Contest. I originally planned to do a invade-ctf map for this, but upon further thought realised this would be the perfect opportunity to once again try to create a egyptian PD map. Obviously, I went with that idea.

I began by making the mid temple interior, which I imagined as being a popular flank, similar to the one in lakeside. Next came center mid, which is actually the very same mid used in my ill-fated PLR map, Yikes.
I knew that while that map wasn't.. good, it did have good DM in that area. Then came the 'yard' flank, where the arch is located now. I had never intended any of these areas to be, or house, capture zones. Instead, it would be more similar to cursed cove or pit of death, with the capture zone being the underworld. Across mid, doors would open to allow players access upon the timer hitting 0. As for the connectors and spawn, I tried something a bit more expirimental. I had the layout set up so the full layout was essentially a U shape, but with a shortcut form spawn leading directly to the mid temple. I did a quick layer of detail, and published A1.

A1 was.. not very well recieved. The shortcut from spawn straight to mid was the route players took the most, but it was able to be camped very easily and led to a lot of frustration. Players were also confused as to how they deposit points, as there was no communication to say "hey, go to the underworld to score points!". While I could have created that, the underworld itself would have needed a rework as well. It was too large for what it was trying to accomplish, and presented very little risk to those who entered. Speaking of very large, this is what this map was. Rather than big teamfights, most conflicts were usually 1v1's, which weren't especially interesting.

So, I made the decision to switch to the style of PD seen in 14Bit's Waterlog. 2 points at opposite ends of the map that alternate. I already had to suitable positions (temple and yard), so all I had to do was add the points. Obviously, I also had to rework the spawns so I did that as well. This version was recieved much better, and I made a few more layout tweaks over the next couple of versions in order to create more flow between the points, but the hardest challenge was balancing temple. This was not designed to be an area for players to stay in, and no amount of layout tweaks would change that, so I knew it had to go, with the point moved into mid instead. But, if I do that, then there's only one way into mid. If I did this, then it would require me to redo the majority of the layout.
I did it anyway.

And, it worked out (kinda)! For this layout, I decided that I would try to go for a layout similar to koth, since that's basically how the map works now (but with two points). Pretty standard spawn>yard>connector>yard>conector>mid layout. I was pretty confident with the gameplay in the early playtests of this iteration, and just thankful I wouldn't have to remake the layout yet again. So I stuck with this, and tried to refine it as best I could. One thing that had slowly been creeping up on me though were sightlines. The oringal version of Scarab had some sightlines, but nothing too extreme. But as I made more and more layout changes, more and more little gaps started appearing. Then Tekku found a sightline spanning from the spawn connector all the way to the enemy's mid connector. I tried my absolute best to block this sightline, but there was always another sightline I created to take its place. In the end, the version I submitted to the contest didn't have these sightlines fixed, I simply ran out of time.

Honestly, I seriously considered just leaving the map as it was and moving on to a new project.
But, a month later I returned to the map and fixed the sightline my making a route which had previously been outside... inside. I saw general gameplay improvements immediately, and it was a lot more than I was expecting. At that point, I knew that this map was ready for beta. I would make my last few layout changes, and that would be it.

As I prepared to move the map into beta, I was contacted by Diva Dan, who expressed concerns at the detailing I was currently using for the map. I had stylised it based off of Crypt, one of his own maps. This was detailing I was generally intending to be placeholder, though would retain parts of later on. However he made it clear, and I agreed, that the detailing could not continue using this style. There were too many similarities to be considered just coincidental or inspired, and I knew it needed to look completely different going forward.

So, I started on a complete re-artpass of the map. Freyja's egyptian theme however doesn't allow for too much variation (it is all just stone bricks after all) so it was difficult to create something that looked unique when compared to other maps that used this theme, such as Crypt or Oasis. You can see inspiration from both in the finished product.

As I worked on the re-artpass, I attempted to get some help from people in the emporium, though didn't find much success besides a couple of concept artists as I wasn't well known in their community, nor had much to go off of. So instead I turned to people I knew. First was Freyja, since they had created the assets I was already using. They agreed and soon enough I had my first custom model for scarab: A resized pillar.

Before long, I had my first beta release for Scarab in August, and with that I was able to convince more and more people to hop on and help out. Lo-fi helped out with some sign illustrations, Yrrzy made several particles and textures, Yoshimario made a model to house the pickups, and Freyja made the explosive pots. During this time I also tried my best to learn the particle editor, with varying amounts of success.

Release Candidate:
Four months after the initial relase (exactly!), Scarab hit the milestone of Release Candidate. There were however some problems that presented themselves. One that had been recurring for several versions was the bomb sounds being audible globally. Thankfully in this case it was due to my own error, and not a technical issue.

The next, and more pressing issue, was the custom announcer. I had done the script, recording, and editing myself, and felt the lines were acceptable, but could certainly be better. But, feedback I recieved convinced me to reach out to voice actors for better lines. I reached out to both Emnudge and Benjamoose, but ultimately went with Emnudge, who you can hear in the map right now!

Besides those two issues, the map was practically complete. There was some extra polish done in RC2 but at this point i'm not sure what else i'd add!

Lastly, i'd like to talk about some of the technical things involved with the making of the map (which is probably what you want to read). Since I just got done talking about the voicelines, let's talk audio.

90% of all technical issues throughout the development were audio-related, because my god, source is not good with audio. It's pretty well known that you often need two ambient_generic entities to make some sounds be audible, but what do you do if you're using a soundscript? Unfortunately the scripts for soundscripts have no function to boost audio levels in the context I was using them, so the only option left is to increase the volume of the raw audio files. If you were to extract the sounds from Scarab and listen to them raw, you would find that they are all loud. Very loud. Because they have to be loud. This caused a lot of problems with my own announcer files, as increasing the volume, with the filters applied, made the lines difficult to understand. Getting a good balance is very difficult and i'm honestly baffled at how Emnudge was able to make the lines as clear as they are with the accent they're using.

Secondly, tf_generic_bomb. If you want to use a custom sound on these, it's busted. It's also busted with some stock sounds, and I don't know why. They're supposed to play the sound in a radius, but for some reason it plays it globally. This wouldn't be too much of an issue if it was only to the player who shot it, but no. It's to everyone. To solve this, you need to have a ambient_generic for each bomb that plays whenever the bomb explodes, and obviously the bomb needs to be silent.

Another thing with audio is that source will just decide it doesn't like certain files sometimes. Some players may, to this day, may have their console filled with errors related to mp3 decoding. But i've yet to find a reason as to why certain players expirience this when the majority doesn't. It's a wild ride, i'll say that much.

Okay, lets get out of the negatives shall we? Lets talk curses.
Scarab features four curses: Skeletons, Crits, Jarate, and Magic. These curses are picked randomly whenever a point closes, but not every time a point closes. It works using the logic_case entity, and the input PickRandomShuffle.
The chance of a curse coming into play is 1/3, but since it's PickRandomShuffle, it will go down the list. If the first point closure results in a curse, then the next two point closures are gauranteed to not result in a curse. Through this logic, it's possible to have 4 point closures in a row without a curse, or two with a curse. It's random, but predictable, keeping chaos balanced.
The same logic is used for the curses themselves, making it likely that each curse will only be seen once per round; and giving them all an equal opportunity to come into play.

The skeletons, crits, and magic curses are all simple, but what about the jarate? How was that done? Well, the simple answer is that I use Yrrzy's custom pickup templates, and just enable/disable the jarate/pickups. That's pretty much it. If you want to know how the pickups themselves work, you should ask Yrrzy since she made them.

If you have any other questions regarding the map, just post them in the thread and i'll answer as best I can!

I'm very grateful to everyone who has supported me throughout the development of this map, from those who have directly contributed, to those who have simply said 'this is cool', or 'this sucks', because your opinion matters. This map is made using my own failures (literally), and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Is this kinda egotistical? It feels like it.


L1: Registered
Nov 24, 2016
I've had a lot of fun watching the development of this, and I do love the whole vibe this gives off. It's different and fun, so I hope Valve picks it up for Scream Fortress XII.


L1: Registered
Apr 26, 2020
I was really convinced that this entry would make it to Scream Fortress and it might not have happened this year but I like to think it deserves a spot in one of the future ones for sure!

It was so fun to see the whole progress of creation on one of my favorite map (totally based) and make it to this point.
This map is going to be a major reason why I am going to create another server slot for a all year around Halloween server.
^ This is why I added a pd_scarab.nav file here for you since I see you have a nav included for your skeletons but I am very nitpicky when it comes to bot AI and smoothing the gameplay experience for people who enjoy playing against bots and make them reliable, worked a couple of hours on this nav to smooth out some kinks it had like skeletons thinking they can reach you on walk platform since your auto generate told them they can reach places they clearly couldn't.
Also removed left my nav out which connected the boost jump platform to be connected with the upper one since Skeletons can't take them (Originally made the nav for player-bots)

Sorry for the long blabbering about navs... anyhow really looking forward to your next work/projects!


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Poggers Mapper™
Nov 10, 2017
Happy late anniversary!

  • Fixed a bug causing servers to crash after a round lasted too long
  • Fixed point deposit sounds not playing
  • Added new sound for souls dropping
  • Improved detailing in some areas
  • Improved capture zone particle
  • Improved bomb particle
  • Added a couple small easter eggs
  • Probably some other things!

Read the rest of this update entry...