Contest #8 - KoTH, Sponsored by STAR_

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Fruity Snacks

Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums
Sep 5, 2010

I don't think they saw that one comin'
Annoucement Video

Remember when I said that the next Major contest was the 72hr contest? I lied. Today we're launching our next major contest. But this contest isn't like our usual ones, this one is a sponsored contest. Our Sponsor? STAR. That's right, this guy. STAR has approached us with a simple task: host a King of the Hill mapping contest, with an emphasis on competitive Highlander play. Now, it is your turn to take up the challenge (and possibly win some amazing prizes).

You have 2 and ½ months to create, test, and finish (to the best of your abilities) a KotH map, with a layout and gameplay suited for competitive Highlander. That being said, it's not a Highlander-only kind of contest. You're free to test and optimize for public play if you wish, but Highlander gameplay is definitely something you should take into consideration as our judges will be looking at that aspect extensively when rating the maps! A lot of the rules are different this time around. Please read the whole thread!

What is Highlander?
It's a competitive format where you play 9 versus 9 and you may only have 1 of each class.
For a level designer this twist brings up interesting options where you can assume that there will only ever be 1 sentry gun per team, only 1 sniper and so on, and make decisions around that. You will also want to think about roll-outs, sniper positioning, health/ammo placement, etc.


  • Must be a single stage KotH map.
    - Multi-CP KoTH is allowed, up to 3 control points.
  • No medieval mode.
  • No Collaborations.
  • A forum thread for your map development must be posted in this subforum: [Link] You MUST have a thread for you map by no later than August 12th. If you do not have a thread your map will be disqualified.
    Your thread must include screenshots of your map, download highly recommended​
  • Must be able to spawn 32 players (16 per team)
  • Maximum of two entries per author.
  • No straight out copying or stealing content from other maps, official or otherwise. Inspiration and ideas are good, just make sure you built it yourself for this competition.
    You can not recycle your previous maps into this competition. (Even the ones you started last week)​

Other things that should be mentioned to avoid confusion:
  • Custom content is allowed. All publicly released content will not count towards collaboration, more than 'a few' from a single modeler specifically for your map will, the first 'few' wont be. This will be enforced on a case by case basis.
    "Publicly released content" means content that is available for download and use by anyone, at least one month before the submission deadline.​
  • TF2M Staff and Officers are allowed to enter and win, but contest judges are not.


The contest will end on August 30th, 9:00 pm UTC (Check your timezone!), (Countdown!).

  • You are to submit your map into the submission thread if you want it submitted.
  • The submission thread will be created and open 1 week before the deadline.
    The submission thread will be created and stickied in the Contests forum
  • After the deadline closes there will be a 72 hour grace period to fix any critical errors and mistakes. This will be handled on a case by case basis. The grace period is not "extra time", it's a safety net to prevent crashing servers and broken map logic.

Late entries will not be accepted! Make sure you plan ahead and avoid the risk of having 2½ months of work get disqualified.

Judgment Procedure:

------>> Note: there will be NO public voting at all!<<------
Eligibility: Maps will be checked and disqualified when the contest submission deadline ends if they do not meet the rules (see above "rules" section).

There are 3 judging categories, each one has a different weight on the final score of the map.

Game and Class Balance (50% of final score) - This category is looking specifically and the details of gameplay. Does the map have a good flow, is the layout intuitive? Are spawn timers correctly adjusted to create battles in the right areas? Is the objective too difficult to attack or too easy to defend? Is there a fair fight for the objective? Is there a good and logical distribution of health and ammo kits? How well can each class play their "roles." Is any class overpowered?
Aesthetics (25%) - Everyone knows what this means! Is the map intricate and beautiful? Is there a high level of polish to the map? Does the map fit the style of TF2? Do the individual detailing choices make the map feel put together, or discordant? Is the environment visually pleasing?
Technical (25%) - This looks at the technical aspect of the map. How well is the map optimized? How well is it clipped? Can you build teleporters inside the spawnroom? Do you have displacement seams? Does your entities cause unwanted bugs?

Preliminary voting
Preliminary voting will ALWAYS occur, no matter the number of entrants into the contest. The Preliminary voting will be done by the judge panel after the grace period has ended. The process will not be public. A maximum of 15 maps may pass through the preliminary vote, there is no minimum limit set.
After the preliminary vote the remaining finalists will of course be presented to the public.

Judges' votes
  • There will be a panel of judges appointed by STAR. We will also have 3-4 Judges with them. If you think you can provide a higher-than-average level of expertise, feedback and critiques, send me (Fr0z3n) a PM on the forums, saying that you are interested. The Site staff will review the applicants, and you will be contacted if selected.
  • The judges appointed by STAR_ will only score the 'Game and Class balance' category, while the Judges will score 'Aesthetics' and 'Technical'.
  • Judges will playtest each map considerably on their own, in private, via the server, private servers or Highlander lobbies/pugs. Game and Class balance judges will factor in Highlander play in their scores.
  • The goal of the judges' vote is to get a professional look at each map, with a high degree of scrutiny that the mapmakers can use to improve their skills in the future.
  • Judges' own entries will be disqualified from winning; they will receive marks but will not be eligible to place in the final rankings. Judges may review their own maps but their rating will not be calculated into the map's total score.
  • The complete results of the scoring process will be publicized shortly after STAR has revealed the winners.

STAR_ and his Judges will be judging Game and Class Balance, giving it a rating of 1 to 100. Select Judges will be judging Aesthetics and Technical Aspect of the map, and will give each category a rating of 1 to 100. At the completion of Judging, Staff will collect the ratings, weight the values and calculate the winners. STAR_ will announce the winners via his Youtube channel, through the use of gameplay commentary video's.

Who are STAR_'s judges?
Hein - TF2 HL Senior Admin for UGC, and Medic for the 'Looking Handsom,' Highlander Team, who placed 1st in last seasons Platinum league.
Ma3la - Friend of STAR_ from his Highlander team [GG], they placed first in the (2nd to last season) Platinum league. He also plays 6v6


All prizes provided by STAR_

1st Place Prize:
$150 USD
2 Bill's Hat

2nd Place Prize:
$75 USD
1 Bill's Hat

3rd Place Prize:
$50 USD
1 Bill's Hat

(except this one, this one is a treat from me) As a special extra prize, the Mappers Medal will be handed out to the top 3 winners, assuming that they do not already have one.

Q: Can you explain "Must have Highlander play in consideration?"
A: When designing your map, you will need to consider aspects of highlander play, ie: tactically sightlines, respawn times, height advantages, class roles, roll-outs, etc. While you only have 2 and ½ months to make the map, you need to take the extra time and consider all these aspects when designing your map. If you have never played Highlander before, it is highly recommended that you play a few rounds via, to get yourself acquainted with the game type.

Q: Why must I make a thread? Can't I just develop this on my own?
A: This requirement is being put in for a few reasons. First being that gameplay and balance are key to this contest. We want everyone to have a central place for players to leave detailed feedback and discuss it. Also, having a thread is good exposure for the community. More people will see the map, thus, more feedback and more testing. This rule is beneficial for you.

Q: Why is there no public vote?
A: STAR has requested that all the voting be private, and judges only. You are still free and encouraged to play the maps post-submission deadline.

Q: 70 days to make a map, Isn't that too quick?
A: Well, we believe it can be done. A KotH map is normally symmetrical in one way or the other, and the maps are usually quite small, compared to other modes (except arena). If you think about it, 2½ months is plenty of time! What we've seen from previous competitions that span several months is that people don't really use the first 30-60 days and the time is just wasted. So we're going to try this format with this smaller gamemode to see if people can get themselves in gear quicker! Hopefully this makes the competition more engaging for both competitors and 'spectators'.

Q: Can I do a hybrid KotH gamemode?
A: No. The map must be a standard KotH map, following the standard gamerules.

Q: How come multi-cp KotH is allowed but other variations are not?
A: Multiple capture points in KotH doesn't dramatically change the rules, and it's easy enough to grasp what is going on. However, as a fair warning: only attempt to incorporate additional control points in your design if you think it will improve the gameplay, you don't get any extra points just for trying it.

Q: Is this the 72 hour competition that was planned, wait, I'm confused?
A: This competition is separate from the 72h competition, both are happening, neither of them is replacing anything.
You may enter both if you like, you may even participate in the 72h competition and then submit your entry from that, to this (highlander KotH) competition. Assuming that entry fit the rules listed in this thread of course.
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Sep 11, 2013
Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. I was starting a gpit style map in an attempt to put Hella off some more, but this works.


Sep 23, 2011
Aw, now I can't reuse koth_pointless. That was a fun map.


Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle
Mar 4, 2008
Aw, now I can't reuse koth_pointless. That was a fun map.

I seem to remember this map giving everyone in the server ants in their pants about TF2maps.
Mar 23, 2010


L3: Member
Aug 15, 2009
Entering this one for sure! Now I've got something to really fight for!


EDIT: Woah, what's with the space between "fr" and "om" in "from"? It's not there when I edit the post... FROZEN!!
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Fruity Snacks

Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums
Sep 5, 2010
Sorry to everyone who started a koth map recently... It has been killing the staff that we are seeing all these really neat KoTH maps pop up, and can't tell you "NO NO NO NO DON'T DO IT! NOOO!"

... it's been like yelling into a TV screen while watching a horror movie at the part where you know the chick is going to be eaten by the monster.