Mapping Contest #5: The Art Pass Contest


Theme Changer Extraordinaire
Oct 19, 2008

It's the ultimate accolade for a custom mapper; to have your work in an official TF2 map. Well, and Valve Software have teamed up to give ONE lucky mapper that opportunity. We've got our hands on an unfinished Valve map, and we need YOU to detail it! Think you're up to the challenge?

The winner, decided by the TF2 team at Valve, will have their map included in the next TF2 update! It's a 3 CP attack and defend map, similar to Gorge. You have total creative liberty with this, so we'd love to see what YOU can do!

The contest will end on Saturday September 25th 2010 at 11:00am UTC.

  • The layout of the map must remain the same. YES you can change props. YES you can edit the gameplay slightly, it just needs to be obviously this map, no making new routes. You have a LOT of creative liberty, use it!
  • The map must be optimized to the point where it can be released to the world.
  • Custom content is allowed, but you must have permission from the content creator, because, should you win, the files would need to be officially acquired by Valve. The original author of the content must have source files to prove that they made it. This means you need to ask the content creators, not just give credit!
  • Mapping collaborations are not allowed in any form, as it presents a significant disadvantage for everyone who works alone. You are allowed to use an artist to create specific props/textures for your detailing, but the actual map detail must be done by you.
  • You are not allowed to advertise anything in your map, so no using those posters, Novint ones, or ads for other any communities.
  • Your map must be named in this fashion: artpass_yourusername.bsp and have a thread in the Contest Entries forum.

Here are some basic guiding principles for detailing your map:
  • Try to be unique. We are expecting a lot of people to enter; make sure you stand out from the crowd (but not in a bad way!)
  • Stick to the TF2 art style, but don't be afraid to try something new!
  • For optimization, read this.
  • For some theory on standards in Valve maps, read this.
  • To see how Valve does things, read this, this or this.

Judgement Procedure

Eligibility: Maps will be checked and disqualified when the contest submission deadline ends if they do not meet the rules.

Judging Categories
  • Creativity - Author's use of new or existing models, textures, sounds, in interesting or unique ways within the confines of the existing map layout.
  • Composition - Visually how well the map looks with all of its elements in place. Lighting, appropriate texture choices, colour composition, etc.
  • Technical - The map should be optimized for shipping and not bogged down in so much detail that only a few select users can run it.

Submission Procedure

Please note that once the maps are checked, they will be sent off to Valve. No changes can be made after this submission is made.

This time once the submission thread is up and the deadline set you will have until that deadline to the second with no exceptions. If you have any issues with your submission, if you need to fix it, contact me (zpqrei) and we'll see how we can fix your issue. It'll be done on a case-by-case basis, up to a week after the contest ends.


The grand prize is of course, your map being included in TF2. More prizes may be added at a later date.
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L1: Registered
Oct 12, 2008
Are the props there for reference there should be an obstacle, or do we have to keep them there? And can we add solid models on other places?


Jul 14, 2009
On the Rules page,
For some theory on standards in Valve maps, read this tutorial by Acegikmo.
links to Mangys optimization tutorial.

Apart from that, good job, zpq!

Mr. P. Kiwi

L5: Dapper Member
Nov 22, 2009
Sounds like the contest for me!
Edit: where do I download the map?
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Currently On: ?????
Sep 28, 2009
When you say no layout modifications, that means no adding cover props like the hydro barriers?


L1: Registered
Jul 14, 2010
I'm gonna give it a try but the hardest part will be the optimization :(
I don't know how to do it very well but I will learn it before Setember 25th :p


L1: Registered
Jul 16, 2010
Cool hehe i probably won't win because i'm an amateur mapper but im going to give it a shot anyway... where do we post the finished maps in the end?