Major Contest #15: Payload Checklist Contest [RESULTS]

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a survivor with too much paint
Feb 7, 2008
contest banner.png


It's over! The contest has finally concluded, and we can celebrate the winners (and maybe more importantly, get back to developing these maps further). After six and a half months, I can share who our winners are:

1st: Highwood, by @Asd417
8.36 overall score

2nd: Munitions, by @xB33 @Jusa @Midlou @Bakscratch
7.45 overall score

3rd: Josh, by @Another Bad Pun
7.44 overall score​

Congratulations! All of you will be receiving Mapper's Medallions if you do not already own one. I will be contacting you soon for further information on delivering your prizes.

Results Breakdown

OVERALL | Final | Public | Judges
1st | Highwood | Highwood | Highwood
2nd | Munitions | Munitions | Josh
3rd | Josh | Josh | Munitions
4th | Cannonburg | Cannonburg | Cannonburg
5th | Snowthistle | Snowthistle | Fractal / Kinder (Tie)
6th | Amaryllis | Amaryllis | -
7th | Kinder | Wizard Town | Amaryllis
8th | Fractal | Kinder | Snowthistle
9th | Wizard Town | Fractal | Wizard Town / Rush (Tie)
10th | Rush | Rush | -
There are few surprises on this list, and few discrepancies between the public and judge opinions. Highwood took a pretty steady lead with a final overall score of 8.36, while Munitions and Josh came in right behind with scores only 0.01 apart (7.45 and 7.44 respectively). This is probably the closest any TF2Maps contest has ever come.

The average score of any map from this contest was 6.43. Judges were, on average, harsher than the public by about 0.13 points. The biggest discrepancy between public and judge scores was on Snowthistle, which judges rated about 1.5 points lower than the public. The judges also rated all top three maps higher than the public by at least 0.5 points.

GAMEPLAY | Final | Public | Judges
1st | Highwood | Cannonburg | Highwood
2nd | Josh | Highwood | Josh
3rd | Cannonburg | Josh | Cannonburg / Munitions (tie)
4th | Munitions | Snowthistle | -
5th | Fractal | Munitions / Fractal (tie) | Wizard Town
6th | Wizard Town | - | Fractal
7th | Amaryllis | Amaryllis | Amaryllis
8th | Snowthistle | Wizard Town | Rush
9th | Rush | Rush | Snowthistle
10th | Kinder | Kinder | Kinder
The difference between public and overall scores is interesting here, not because there is a large difference in how they are ranked (besides Snowthistle), but because of the range of scores. Judges rated their top map a full 1.25 above the public's, and their least favorite 0.75 lower than the public. However, the average public score and the average judge score are only 0.01 apart.

AESTHETICS | Final | Public | Judges
1st | Highwood | Highwood | Highwood
2nd | Kinder | Kinder | Munitions
3rd | Munitions | Josh | Kinder
4th | Josh | Snowthistle | Josh
5th | Snowthistle | Munitions | Snowthistle
6th | Amaryllis | Amaryllis | Amaryllis / Cannonburg / Fractal (tie)
7th | Cannonburg | Cannonburg | -
8th | Fractal | Fractal | -
9th | Wizard Town | Wizard Town | Wizard Town
10th | Rush | Rush | Rush
Kinder makes a surprise appearance here, being the only time a map not in the overall top four placed in the top four in any category. The public and the judges disagreed a decent amount in this category, with about half of the maps having a difference in score of about 1 full point. However, on average, judges found maps to only be 0.15 points prettier than the public.

CONTEST THEME | Final | Public | Judges
1st | Highwood | Cannonburg | Munitions
2nd | Cannonburg | Highwood / Snowthistle (tie) | Josh
3rd | Munitions | - | Rush
4th | Josh | Wizard Town | Highwood
5th | Snowthistle | Josh | Cannonburg
6th | Rush | Munitions / Rush (tie) | Snowthistle
7th | Wizard Town | - | Kinder
8th | Kinder | Fractal | Wizard Town
9th | Fractal | Kinder | Amaryllis
10th | Amaryllis | Amaryllis | Fractal
Listen, I've had a long day. I've been staring at this spreadsheet for an hour and a half and I have run out of insight to provide. The public and the judges disagreed on some things! Draw your own conclusions. In fact, if you're in the mood for drawing your own conclusions, you can take a look at the full results spreadsheet here. It has all of the numbers.

Judges feedback:
Diva Dan

If you're itching to start mapping for another contest, we are planning to launch another major contest to coincide with the Summer 72hr Jam, which does not have a solid date but will likely be a couple of months from now. In the meantime, consider flexing your artpass skills for the Dusk Till Dawn detailing contest going on right now!


Stale air
Aug 31, 2014
Congrats all!!!



Sample Text
Mar 20, 2016
Thank you for voting! Well done for Munition (which I unfortunately never got to play but seems like a great map) and Josh!

Edit: I'm excited to read the feedback from the judges.


bonk sploosh
Server Staff
Aug 2, 2017
Congrats to the winners, and gj to the finalists! These maps are a absolute beauts and they definitely deserve their place.

Another Bad Pun

In the shadows, he saw four eyes lit by fire
Jan 15, 2011
Thanks, y'all! Congrats to asd and Highwood (which scored pretty high, I'd say) and to the makers of Munitions as well!


L4: Comfortable Member
Dec 29, 2009
Congratulations to the winners, the finalists and everyone else who entered.

Thank you also to the admins and judges who put their own time into making these contests happen.

I might not have gotten to play the maps during the contest but hopefully I'll get to play the winning maps soon.


L1: Registered
Jan 14, 2012
Holy moly. I wasn't expecting this.
Well then, time to finish munitions.


L2: Junior Member
Jul 23, 2016
Congrats to the winners, and everyone who entered! Enjoyed playing all the maps and hope that they continue to be worked on and improved in the future.
Thanks for hosting the contest
payload best gamemode

Diva Dan

Mar 20, 2016
While other people finish gathering their notes, here is the notepad full of notes I made while playing each map during all the playtests. They aren't super formal and they were just a way for me to lay my thoughts out, so I talk about some maps more than others. If you want more detailed feedback, let me know!

-Halloween mode is cool, but doesn't lend itself to being a well balanced contest map
-aesthetics not complete
+what is there looks pretty good
+pushing into last is fun, 3 lanes, tough fights, health you can take ownership of
+finale is a cool idea- doesn't add too much to the map but definitely makes it unique
+opening doors is well executed
-blu can get camped by a decent team at their first spawn

+Decent artpass
-the boundaries of the map don't look good, its very obvious that you are in a small boxed in world rather than an actual jungle
-the skybox works against it and rather than fleshing out the world, it makes it feel smaller due to how close the cards are
-the cart path and the spawn are so close together at the second point, its very claustrophobic
-very weird sightline on last with the balcony to the right- it can see under walls and feels unintuitive
-last is generally underscaled and the exits to it feel like a pincer around red team
-the part where the cart crosses over its own path feels detrimental to the design due to how small it is

+not many gameplay comments, other than the quality improves as the stages go on
+big ups for making a 3 stage map
+stage two is my favorite stage, feels like it has the most varied gameplay spaces
-the rocket finale looks really strange and out of place, kind of takes me out of it
-It doesn't do anything wrong, but other than stage 2, it doesn't really do anything to really impress me a ton either; which is fine, not every map can say that

+Really pretty, really really well made
+Layout around cap 1 is cleverly designed
+Consistent theming and unique layout
-the choke at the yellow door can be a bit rough as an attacker. Hard to get to adventageous push areas, since to get to highground you have to cross the sightline the choke makes

+Good theming
+Good use of the long track requirement
+meaningful opening doors at the checkpoints, changes how the map plays
-coming out of last spawn as red team can be frustrating
-health placement is a bit unusual and feels like its in the open more often than somewhere safe
-areas that feel like good meeting points for attacking teams dont have the ammo and health to back them up so defenders split up

-health kit placement makes outside of spawn and the middle area the only safe places on the map
-you have to cross a large field to get to anywhere relevant to the objective, which just feels like dead space as any slow class
-the circles on the hud can be confusing as to what the represent, i think they just meant where the carts start? it would be great if somehow those could just not appear or at least not be in two different locations
-the HUD should have text appear when a cart speeds up (or even text for each carts current speed) because its easy to miss when a payload loops back around
-as an objective, ramming one bomb into the back of the other doesn't really make sense? Maybe the payloads could've represented something else, like using a different cart model or even parenting intel props to it so it looks like you're destroying the enemy team's "intel" by blowing it up?
-why does our cart blow up when we win? shouldn't the enemy cart blow up? it would make more sense and feel more like we are defeating the enemy- you could say "well in all payload maps, YOUR bomb blows up when you win", but thats because you're targetting a specific structure to destroy, this is just two carts having a roundabout

+Having all 3 stages in the same world space is tough to do and this map keeps it looking cohesive while doing it
+Stages had a good difficulty curve
+Dynamic element is very unique and plays alright, which couldn't have been easy to balance
-Second stage finale feels way more like a climactic stage 3 finale- when I played, a lot of players were confused and thought the map was over

-stage 2 first spawn has a resupply cabinet that you can heal from while actively shooting at the payload. Not good!
-only 2 ways into stage 2 last... and why is there a sliding door on the top balcony area?
-Red respawn time on stage 2 last feels very short as an attacker- constant stream of defenders, and the room is quite small
-It feels lame to not be able to stop the cart from being sucked into the wormhole at the last point. There is an area the cart passes where there is just nothing you can do as a defender

+stage 2 is fun and well-laid out
-stage 1 is not
-stage 1 has a sentry exploit where you can place buildings behind a nonsolid door
-stage 1 also feels too compact and in comparison to stage 2, I have way less fun

I think what should've been done was to scrap stage 1 and keep stage 2, and then focus time on artpassing that stage instead of the first one- and hten you could replace the multistage check with something else.
I would've given it much better ratings if it were just stage 2, which is why I gave it pretty average scores; it's a good lesson on how completing a check can be detrimental to a map as a whole. Great job on stage 2 though

+Looks really good
+Layout is straightforward, makes sense
-Lack of flank routes all over the map, still has some good ones though that I like, which is reminiscent of older maps
-You need to spawncamp red at every single checkpoint in order to progress, which of course, isnt fun as red team

The gameplay is definitely the part needing the most refinement on this map, and a lot of people would agree. However in all fairness I do think people might be going too hard on it.
Of all the matches I played, I actually enjoyed the gameplay and it gave me a bit of nostalgia- had some good back and forth rounds and never really felt like it was too one-sided.
Oct 6, 2008
Great job everyone!


L14: Bit Member
Oct 5, 2014
Clocking in at 13,050 words and over a month of work, I have finally finished my feedback for the finalists.

I had a lot of fun seeing what the community came up with, and I did my best to be as constructive as possible while writing up all of my thoughts.

I will probably do a live stream discussing my feedback later this week. Feel free to contact me directly about my thoughts if you have any questions as well!

But for now, enjoy:


Doctorate in Deliciousness
Mar 31, 2012
Clocking in at 13,050 words and over a month of work, I have finally finished my feedback for the finalists.

I had a lot of fun seeing what the community came up with, and I did my best to be as constructive as possible while writing up all of my thoughts.

I will probably do a live stream discussing my feedback later this week. Feel free to contact me directly about my thoughts if you have any questions as well!

But for now, enjoy:

Big thanks for the feedback for Rush. I've got an update in the works which addresses many of these issues but idk when it'll be ready for testing.
Oct 6, 2008
Yahoo the results are in and wow! Great job to the top three and to everyone else who participated! I haven't been able to map or play TF2 due to work in over a month now and am extremely jealous of you all!