The 2015 Summer 72hr Mapping Contest! Announcement Thread | Upload Thread | Voting Phase One | Voting Phase Two | Results Thread RESULTS The day is finally here! We've taken a pool of almost 70 maps and slowly whittled it down over the course of almost 2 months, eventually arriving at the final winning three maps. Here they are: 1st place: Pughead by Bakscratch 2nd place: Snowlodge by Phi 3rd place: 14bit by 14bit Congratulations to our winners! If you're one of these people, I'll be contacting you shortly with information about your prizes. It'll probably take a while to actually dish all of the goodies out, but you'll get your stuff eventually. The official judging panel consisted of three members: LeSwordfish, Killohurtz, and Tyler. They all have feedback for each of the finalist maps, and you can find that here: Spoiler 14bit: Killohurtz: Very fast paced and exciting map thanks to the intel room door mechanic. Making infiltration harder while simplifying the escape was an interesting approach to the gamemode, and it's a refreshing change of pace from standard CTF where both teams defend and nothing gets done. However, I think the map suffers from being small - flag carriers never have to walk far to be in the safety of their own base, and the height advantages in the middle of the map often make it easy to spam or ambush enemies defending a dropped flag. I don't think the trains add anything to the map, in fact I hardly ever die to them and I never think about them as a threat. The most straightforward/obvious routes either lead players directly to the enemy spawn doors or through a small ventilation shaft, neither of which feel like main routes. Other official maps like Doublecross have a "main" route that's plenty spacious and takes you close to the enemy spawn, but the spawn itself is still out of the way and has the height advantage to mitigate defenders dying right out of their spawnroom. I think you should try to emulate this in your map, rearranging the routes so that the central one is the most prominent and runs at a disadvantage relative to the defenders' spawn, and let the side flanks offer less resistance and more advantages in exchange for being longer. LeSwordfish: I like this. I won't say much since of all the maps it's the one i've played least, but it's good to see people trying to "fix" ctf and doing a fairly decent job of it. The outside area is pretty fun - a good arena to fight in with reasonable flanks, avoiding the deathbox of 2fort for something more like doublecross, but accessing the intel room itself is harder than it needs to be, either taking you through a bunch of small corridors - that it's quite hard to see the location of from outside - or in through a raised window. The doors that open on pickup are a great idea, but the intel is still too hard to reach at all - it's very easy to set up a sentry - or three sentries, because CTF - and stop anyone from touching the flag at all. Tyler: http://i.imgur.com/5WyFHaj.jpg I find this pipe bridge pretty annoying, because you can't tell how wide the bridge is. It makes strafing on it hard, so it's hard to be aware of what's around you. I'd prefer if this was just a flat catwalk so it'd be possible to see where you're going without having to think really hard about where the walkable edges of a cylinder are. http://i.imgur.com/djgoCto.jpg Really frustrating sightline to have basically right out of spawn. Also no prop fades. http://i.imgur.com/zDTVTKe.jpg This is the best area to attack the flag from but people rarely use it successfully. Actually all the routes are kind of weirdly difficult. The vent is so central that everyone uses it but it's really easy to lock out. This area is really good for attacking the flag but it leaves you so vulnerable. The only other way to attack the flag is by going past the spawn doors, which is suicidal most likely. I don't want the routes to be necessarily easier, but it'd be nice if they were a bit more fleshed out. I don't like CTF, but I don't mind playing this map. I think that's because the rounds actually go quickly. You really need to defend your flag, or you lose. Some teams can split their offense and defense well, but some can't. I like that things actually happen in a CTF map--we don't go 5-15+ minutes without something happening. It's all because of your flag/door mechanics. I'm a big fan of the flag mechanics but I'm not sure you've got quite the right layout for it. This is a case where I think a more traditional CTF layout would actually make sense. Imagine a typical CTF map but with doors that would open "in emergency" that make traveling through it easier/faster. I think that'd allow you to solve some of the route problems with the windows/vents area and make it a bit harder to simply run away immediately with the intel. Alternately (just thought of this) have the doors open slower, so players have to wipe the enemy and defend a bit before they can escape. I don't really like the random trains. I do like the detailing, though obviously it's a bit simple. Most the vehicles on the freeway are impossible to see unless you rocket jump, but they still get rendered from everywhere outside. Looks pretty convincingly urban, like a backyard between two industrial facilities or something. I hope other people consider mechanics like this when they make CTF maps going forward. You've shown that we can get creative with CTF without making it feel weird. Well done. + unique flag mechanics make ctf play faster, aka better + easy to understand layout - can be too easy to get away with the flag once you're inside - the paths to the flag are a little odd--vent is a main route but doesnt seem like one Mom Killohurtz: Neat idea and commendable attempt at a vertical map. Point A is by far the strongest, even though attacking it is still difficult because Blu's routes are spammable doorways or narrow ramps that can all be covered by one sentry. I think A could benefit from another flank route (to the left from Blu's perspective, perhaps) that isn't right next to the elevator, or approaches at the same height level. Based on my observations, if Blu manages to capture A, they usually end up taking the rest of the points with relative ease. I think the biggest cause of this is the way you implemented setup times in the middle of the round. Here's why: if Blu captures a point, chances are many of their team members are alive and a good portion of Red is dead or retreating. The setup time only traps the Blu players who were dead or in spawn at the time of capture, and Red is likely still regrouping in their spawn. The Blu players who were alive are free to move on to the next point and can begin fighting Red before they've had time to set up a defense. This is especially bad on C, where the point is in a direct line of sight from Red spawn. There are also issues with returning to the fight after a player falls back down to a lower level. I'd suggest using dynamic signs or new routes that open after capture to help guide players back to the right floor. LeSwordfish: This map has a cool idea at it's core, but that idea drastically restricts the execution, meaning that, in my opinion, the layout is more "miss" than "hit". The first "point" is pretty cool, and a lot of fun to fight on, but the higher ones have to be too cramped and restricted to really work. Every path is doing double or triple duty, which hurts the flow in the later levels,, particularly in the final level which turns into a v-shaped spambox because the single flanking path is long and half-hidden. There's also a few technical issues - hovering dispensers, the ability to place sentries in locked-off areas. Bad stuff said and done, the first point works very well, and while I think the second and third were always capped quickly enough that i can't remember the specifics, both are alright. I also really like the core concept - i'm glad someone dedicated themselves to seriously doing a super-vertical map, and even if it doesn't totally work, it's one more experimental idea done RIGHT, you know? Tyler: Man what a cool map. Too bad it is miserable to play. It's like, almost there, and I really hope you decide to update it after the contest. I think that this idea can actually work. You might have cracked how to do vertical A/D in TF2. When it works, and BLU can do anything, it's pretty cool. I'm not sure what you'd detail it as, but it could be really cool if you just embraced the crazy and made it like the outside of old Aperture in Portal 2 or Tim Burton's Batman. Or a construction site? Get conpack in gaaaame You make cool stuff. Keep it up. Make Mom good. + the closest I've seen a vertical map come to working, which is incredible! - a miserable grind if red has good engineers - hard to find paths up if you fall down while attacking a higher point Snowlodge Killohurtz: This map is solid for the most part, but I think it suffers from A being too hard to capture and B being too easy. It seems sort of backwards in terms of difficulty. Most games I've played supported that notion, because whenever Blu was able to take A, they almost always took B too. The route options at A feel like they're shuffled around, like they're not in the right places. The most straightforward route takes attackers to a spiral staircase that leaves them at the immediate mercy of a sentry at the top or players spamming down at the lower landing from the balcony. The route to the right is the only one that allows players to approach the point at the same height level, and it also happens to be the longest walking distance. Finally, the route in the back is so hidden it didn't get used much by Blu at first, but as soon as testers started realizing its potential, Red also figured out they could easily lock it down by sticking a sentry back there. To top it all off, the cap time for A is REALLY long and the capture zone itself is prone to spam and splash damage, requiring Blu to leave themselves vulnerable for an extended amount of time. Meanwhile at B, I don't think there is a single sentry location that can't be spammed out from outside its range. Detailing is very busy here, and combined with a noticeable drop in FPS, it can be difficult to spot players (especially Red) or sentries at a glance. The leftmost route for Blu that leads to the dropdown is a little overpowered since it allows Blu to get very close to the point with lots of cover and a height advantage. LeSwordfish: I remain to be completely convinced that first is actually all that hard to cap, since i've seen so few good ubers through it, but the point remains that it's a really hard area. You're attacking uphill, into the teeth of sentry-guns, and the point itself is a splash-zone from several directions. It also takes ages to cap, meaning that you have to "push" the point multiple times to hold your ground. I like the area before first - it's a solid "yard" area and easy enough to prevent counter-pushes, and the wide flanks are a bold move towards breaking the deadlocks. The few times i've played on Second i've found it both more fun and much easier, without such strong sentry positions - i've never seen it defended. I can't say much about the spaces in-between first and second other than they seem more or less fun, and i'm always surprised when the glass door of the lodge opens. (It looks more decorative than functional to me.) The detail is great, and you've clearly put a lot of effort into it, but looking closer reveals the rough edges - it's great for 72 hours, but needs more polish for finalisation. Tyler: Really beautiful map. Really fun map, too... unless you're on BLU team and they can't figure out how to get an uber in. Which is common, actually. http://i.imgur.com/4dtEQR0.jpg The problem (imo) is pushing this staircase seems like the obvious choice, but actually it's possibly the hardest? It's much better to come from either the far side (near the forward spawn door) or come up the back stairs. But no one knows the back stairs exist! http://i.imgur.com/taosTOE.jpg Part of the problem is the setup. Players see a big main route to the point and no indication there's another route near here. If you come in from this side you're liable to miss the back stairs as well, because nothing draws or points you to it. The light on the main stair well is brighter, actually. A couple arrows might work. You might also want to get rid of the fireplace, since it doesn't make sense (where is the flume?) and move that detail piece somewhere else. Then you could either modify the column or just put a sign on it to help players realize there is a flank there. The back stairs themselves might need to be made better--bigger I think, maybe oriented differently?, maybe with pickups, I don't know. If RED occupies there it splits the defense a lot and makes pushes from the far right better; otherwise, BLU can use it to flank to great effect. Neat dynamic? When players know about it, I think it's a lot easier to capture A. You just kind of have to remind them... I found that out a few times and finally confirmed it when we tested with alltalk off. Both points are defendable and that's very good, but I think people overestimate how hard A actually is because they don't know about those back stairs. It's such an important third route, yet no one knows about it. http://i.imgur.com/b1TPX28.jpg It annoys me how far to the side the forward spawn is. It makes it hard to reach (or want to reach) this far left door when playing slower classes. It's the far better route though, so I guess that's fair. B feels a little simple to me. Every position kind of neatly outranges 2 others, so everyone is always getting crossfired on. I think it could stand to be a little more complex, maybe with more sightline blocking? A different layout? More interesting balconies? It's kind of tricky to fight around the furniture as it is now. Also, because the far left path into B is so far away, I frequently feel very separated from my teammates when attacking B. As RED, I kind of feel like BLU just filters in randomly a few at a time until they eventually filter in fast enough that we lose. It's weird. Potentially making one half of the lodge more unique in layout would help in creating a space BLU could inhabit. Then the other balcony could be changed accordingly, to offer some contrasting benefit. I like your detailing, it's beautiful, but the glass doors going in/out of B feel off to me. I don't know that the main doors to a lodge would be supermarket doors, you know? And I find many of the walls to be quite plain. There aren't main overlays or paintings inside the lodge, or the building just after the blu forward spawn. And people are rendering this whole room for no reason. The lighting is a bit drab, which is a letdown, but that's the most time consuming thing to do so I can hardly blame you! I think it will be a fun map to light. Really embrace the Manor aesthetic! This was my favorite map in the contest. + very unique points + very well put together a/d map + well thought out gameplay spaces - B feels a bit too spread out and funky - attacking A can be a big big challenge Tidewater Killohurtz: It took me more rounds than it should have to learn the layout of this. It's pretty solid once you're familiar with all the routes, but the large amount of indoor space, mazelike flank paths, and limited size of outdoor areas make this map feel rather small and cramped. At mid, non-jumping classes are restricted to a single <256u opening onto a raised point, making pushes difficult and sometimes frustrating. Due to the spawnrooms being located between mid and last, it's also very easy for a team to keep pressure on mid and intercept pushes to last, effectively restricting most of the action to the middle of the map. In fact, because of this, the only times I've ever been able to touch the enemy last was when I snuck past them as a scout, and the only times I've seen the last point actually captured was when a combo or scout/spy came through the back flank undetected. I never see sentries last long either, and running through waist deep water (the quickest path) in a last-ditch effort to defend your point never works because enemies on the point can see you coming from a mile away. It just doesn't feel like the way a push map should work - having to set up a defense between mid and last because it's the only effective place to hold and constantly watching for backcaps isn't really that fun. LeSwordfish: I think this is my favourite of the 3cp maps - It seems dedicated to going its own way, rather than being another powerhouse clone like gunfight, and the last point in particular seems built with attention to tf2 gameplay, and to creating an interestingly different arena, rather than gunfight's amateur dramatics or Jess's "square room with hole". It stalemates like all the other maps, more's the goddamn pity, but in my experience does so slightly less so. This is, I think, because of the many routes throughout the map - the main highways are good, and clear, but it feels a bit like there's always another corridor or door and no matter where you are, somebody's going to come at you from the side or something. Most of the caps are backcaps or spycaps - which the spawn position makes hard to deal with. Better than stalemates, I guess, but not tremendously fun for anyone but the spy. If it had fewer routes this would happen less often, and you'd feel safer and more in control, but you'd get more stalemates so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ While I've not taken it into account in the score, I love the detailing - it's some of the best swamp there's been since the original maps with the pack's release. Tyler: Beautiful map and pretty enjoyable. Certainly one of the best 3CP maps in the contest. I think mid is pretty solid, not too far away, interesting to fight around. I wouldn't mind more maneuverability options for non jump classes, but I'm not sure where you'd put them. Reworking this area might do the job. I don't know. Also the steps down by the small health are z fighting with the water, you might want to fix that. http://i.imgur.com/OzY4zGl.jpg Degenerate faces on this brush here. http://i.imgur.com/ISvp2MG.jpg I find this route really awkward for both teams. The low path just means you don't see anything unless both players are standing near that edge and looking at each other. http://i.imgur.com/slkiKSO.jpg To avoid running past spawns you need to use that route, and then you come here. Both rooms void of pickups except places that the defenders can more easily watch/control. This place where the void is, between the two rooms, might make a good spot for a 3rd area that attackers can kind of hole up in. I think they need it. Similarly, across from the point, you've got lots of health and ammo in that building where sentries can be really effective. Seems like overkill considering spawns are so close. I believe most the problems with the map stem from just these few problems. I don't think the point design or layout is fundamentally wrong or bad, but the pickups and routes don't really support attackers at all and are useless to defenders pushing out in most cases. I think rethinking some of that could really help make this map pretty amazing. It's pretty well detailed in most places--I have some nitpicks, like the "Slippery When Wet" sign being in a muddy corner and half submerged (seems like you'd put that near a walkway normally?). If the routes to last for attackers and pickups were better, I think this would be a top 3 for me. As it is, I have to edge it out. + good fighting spaces and unique last - messy connectors to last - poor pickup placement Cloudtop Killohurtz: Overall, the layout works as KotH, but it almost feels like it would serve Arena better. Players are not funneled to the point, and as a result, they could end up anywhere on the map fairly easily, making it difficult to tell where an enemy could attack you from at any time. The small size of the point and its positioning directly under a height advantage makes capturing feel riskier than it should - while on the point, a player could be sniped from across the narrow bridge, forced off the point by a pyro who was able to get close due to the pipes blocking visibility, or ambushed by heavies and soldiers from the ledge above. These things tend to allow the point to change hands often, which is good, but I don't think it's the ideal way to go about it. I think that if you're going to use a Lakeside-like room near the point that gives the attacking team a place to group and push from, it should not have such a significant height advantage so close to the capture area. The most height you can get coming out of Lakeside's house is standing on top of the small hill of stairs in the doorway, and there is even a small buffer between it and the actual capture zone. Also, a team competent enough to control the point area can easily look into or enter the room and check for enemies. On the other hand, players on Cloudtop's point have no idea what's hiding in the room above them, and an ambush by one or two players is almost guaranteed to clear them out. LeSwordfish: This is a very pretty koth map - consider the source, of course it is - but I think actually not one that plays all that well, i think. It's very wide - i count five separate paths through the map, two of which completely circumnavigate the point area. This hurts it for various reasons: the point always feels unsafe, because there's so many angles you can be attacked from, and it's hard to properly push past the point since the only place the routes come together is right in front of spawn. Some of the deathpits are quite good, but the smaller ones fall (pun!) into the trap of being too small to use offensively, but large enough to accidentally fall into, thus being frustrating for the falling player and not very much fun for the people they were fighting. The nearest ones to the point are fairly easy to recover from if you can steer a bit mid-fall, which means that for all the falls very few actually get used - again, the width of the map splits players up, and its fairly rare for the right sort of combat to happen in the right sort of place to use them. Tyler: Cool theme idea and interesting detailing, but I'd stop short of calling this one beautiful as I have others. It's just too gray. Everything is gray. It's not quite cookie-cutter levels of boring, but almost. Not a fan of the point. It's really exposed, easy to spam, and there isn't much in the way of holding areas around it. I don't really enjoy fighting in or watching all the negative space in the central building, either. Attackers can come from so many places it feels like. And I feel--even when playing on a full server--that the map is simply empty. I rarely encounter more than 2-4 players at once, on either team. Why? I don't know. http://i.imgur.com/sSQI5Nv.jpg This area is a cool vista but I think it separate players too much. I'd cut it out entirely. Show the vista with a window, or move these outer railings inward (removing the inside paths to make room). http://i.imgur.com/lSFTPQA.jpg I despise dead ends. It's weird, because I find I don't have much to say here. I just don't have fun on Cloudtop. Like Mom, I think it's almost there, and just needs some work. I'd like to see this become a really fun and beloved map. It certainly has a unique landmark (the clouds) to make it memorable. - frustrating point/building area - too many routes past mid Banana Killohurtz: Mid is the strongest point of this map. It's a unique design for a mirrored-symmetry 5CP and offers options for a variety of classes that allow them to shine - buildings for soldiers to jump on, small rooms that benefit pyros and heavies, and a circular design that opens up flanks for scouts and spies. As for second, I'm not really a fan of all the geometry being pushed against one wall of the area. It makes the higher route far more favorable because of the raised walkway and convenient health kits along it; meanwhile the lower ground has nothing going for it. The rock closest to the second-last connector can be built on, and engineers used that extensively as a sentry perch to discourage defenders from pushing back out. And then there's last. If you take away the pillars, which don't do much to block visibility in the first place, it just boils down to a pit in the floor with no cover. Entrances are the standard one-on-each-side, lower-one-in-the-center format. The design is lackluster overall. Finally, the shortcut from mid to last is one of the map's biggest flaws in my opinion, since all it does is allow the attacking team to keep pressure on last. Defenders pushing back out to second leave their base vulnerable because teams can bypass each other completely. LeSwordfish: I'm not really a fan of this map. The point areas themselves are okay - except last, which is a box - but they're so crowded together that there's no progression - one good push can take you from mid to last while people are still respawning. In chat you mentioned that someone had said it didnt need forward spawns and you were horrified by the idea, but that reaction is missing the point. It doesnt need forward spawns. Because it's not much larger than a koth map - hell, I think there are larger 3cps. As I said before, last is a box with a spam-trap in the middle and pillars that dont provide cover but do make it annoying to move around on the point. Second I quite like - the area around the point is, again, fairly small, but well-shaped with good height advantages. It's only a doorway away from mid though, so fights spill back and forward very quickly. Tyler: So, frankly, I was giving maps lots of !gf/!fb feedback if I didn't expect them to hit top 10. This is one I gave a lot of feedback to already. But I'll sum it up, I guess. Your points are too close. That's really it. There's no point in really discussing the intricacies of the connectors, what to do, etc. It all has to be thrown out and redone. Your more recent maps show you understand this, so I won't bother explaining it beyond that. I like the idea of second. Last is a snoozefest. Mid is somewhat interesting, but the sightlines are horrific and it feels a little lame for whatever reason--like it's almost reaching its potential. + interesting enough 2nd and mid to continue working on the basic premise, imo - points are too close together - points are too close together - points are too close together Egan Killohurtz: Average layout combined with an average gimmick. The extra time given for each death doesn't really add anything to the gamemode, it just results in really long rounds when the teams are balanced. Snipers are a problem because they could get powerful sightlines onto the point from various locations on their side of the map, and flanking options to counter them are limited - you either walk across the point directly into the enemy holding area, or you walk all the way up a series of ramps to get to equally vulnerable high ground that's still far from the snipers. I can say that, especially as a soldier, this map as a whole is very wide and open with long walk distances to the high ground. The beams above the point aren't really advantageous enough for the amount of climbing you have to do to get there. The areas to either side of the point don't feel like they have any rhyme or reason to the design. It's like they're so big you had to rely on shipping containers and rocks in very specific places that would block sightlines, instead of designing intuitive geometry that would do the job by itself. As a result, the first thing you see when you walk into the area is a field of props and nothing really stands out as a distinct route. A couple places are annoying for movement as well, namely the pipe half-buried in the ground and the a gap between a rock and the shipping containers that you can't fit between. LeSwordfish: There's two things going on here: the layout and the mode. The mode is... okay, i guess? Firstly, I think the time on kill needs to be tweaked further - games can run on very long indeed, and perhaps a stalemate timer or something like that should be implemented. I still don't know how the time on kill is calculated, since it seems different at different times, but 6 is waay too much. Maybe there's some clever dynamic way of doing it? I don't know. I think I prefer regular KOTH but, as with Mom, its a great experiment and i'm glad somebody is doing it. The layout is alright, I think, but climbing into the tunnel above the point feels a bit fiddly to me. Also there are some dark spots and sightlines - in one playtest, about one in every three red kills was a red sniper hidden in a dark area (and getting to them requires a lot of running on narrow paths and passing the point, meaning that counter-attacking them was hard.) It's nothing that can't be fixed, but is maybe a bit generic. That's fair enough though, I guess - if I was making this map I'd slap the mode on viaduct or some boring KOTH to not skew things too much. Compared to the rest of it, the gantries above the point are pretty radical, but I never saw them used that much, which is a shame really. Tyler: Cool map idea and cool game mode idea. I think I would prefer vanilla KOTH more, but that might be because the implementation of the timer stuff isn't quite right yet. Detailing is simple but effective, well done on that front. http://i.imgur.com/NtRjObt.jpg Mid and the surrounding area is SO WIDE. These ramps (in the foreground and background) are SO LONG. This is the only area where the layout really hurts, imo. Maybe it's an intentional design goal? Maybe it would be worse shorter? I don't know. http://i.imgur.com/BIct77S.jpg As a result this area feels like a doom tunnel. I commit 2-3 seconds to running up one side not knowing what class is about to spam me to oblivion once I reach the junction with the ammo. Perhaps simply reworking some or all of the long ramps in the map would improve the experience of traveling on them. http://i.imgur.com/1B2N4Cc.jpg Here's another annoying to traverse area: this pipe, the ramps, everything. Just a hassle. I find myself having to look where I'm going a lot. It isn't even jumpable! I can see how this was probably well-intentioned, but the reality is that it gets in the way every time I go near it. The mode itself is fun, after you get past the first game. If you can get past it. Normal rounds on this map take about 5-6 minutes, which is about as long as normal KOTH, but if a round starts before everyone is in, once they do get in, rounds can take 10+ minutes. I hope that you can think of a way to fix the time added dynamically, because that might be all you need to get people to like it more. Once that initial bad taste no longer appears, people (like me!) might be kinder in general to it. I don't know. It's not my favorite map in the contest, and I was surprised to see it get in the top 10, honestly. But upon reflection (and having played it more) I see why people are so enthusiastic about it, and I hope you continue with it after the contest. It's a great idea at its core. + unique game mode makes KOTH a bit more interesting - but it can also make KOTH way more miserable, in some cases - long, boring, spammy tunnels that lead to high ground Jess Killohurtz: This map just felt really generic overall. It's not a bad layout by any means, but it gave me the same impression as any old push CP mid with indoor bases. I'm glad you made the point easy enough to contest by adding a variety of routes to approach it from; however, a lot of the space at mid felt empty and underused, so I would suggest looking at the heatmaps and finding out what you could trim. Another gripe I have with this map was with the indoor spaces. It's a network of rooms that all look extremely similar, so I didn't feel a sense of direction moving inside the enemy base. I rarely ever saw last because I was always intercepted by an enemy that I couldn't predict because, of course, I didn't know which direction I was supposed to be going. If there was more variation in the structure of each room or perhaps some signs, that would go miles to help guide pushes in the right direction, and help last see more action. LeSwordfish: 3cp represent! 72hrLAN represent! It's interesting that of all the 3cp maps in the contest, only a couple made it through to the final stages - maybe the mode does suck! Who knows? This map feels a bit bland to me, is my main concern - The layout is okay, but has nothing especially interesting or stand-out about it - the final points feel like they're just rooms, the spaces between are just corridors, the mid is an open space with some buildings? Am I being unfair? Maybe. It's fun, and good-quality, it just has the fastlane problem of being a bit generic. Detail will help with this, definitely, but there's no real sense of anything different from the detail so far, which is a shame. It has the 3cp problem of stalemating: that's the first thing about the layout. I can't adequately say why at the moment. The "lobby" area between the points seems to be where most of the fighting takes place - that and mid - perhaps it's too far to push from one point to the other. Very little combat ever took place at last, and the only times I ever saw final in risk of capping was a back-cap or spycap. I had fun while fighting on it - as I said, the layout is interesting, and there's enough ways to approach mid to keep it fun - but I never felt particularly likely to ever reach the final, or that my own final point ever really needed defending. Maybe we're just sucky players. Who knows? Tyler: I think you've had it with this map so I'll make it quick. http://i.imgur.com/HKJ1PzR.jpg Should probably cut or change this. It's one too many routes past the point. I still get lost in the bases sometimes, but I think that's a reflection of the detailing (no rooms are unique) more than the layout. http://i.imgur.com/bzICsFo.jpg Only rocket jumpers can ever see this stuff, but everyone renders it. Naughty. Really this feels like another map that is almost good, and just suffered from being done in 72 hours. Maybe leaving out detailing would have given you time to improve the layout a bit. I don't know. I think you should make a new version with a lot of changes and try it out again. This was one of the better 3CP maps in the contest, despite its flaws. + good mid + i like last - too many routes around the point - feels overscaled outside Pughead Killohurtz: Strong KotH design with a layout that efficiently funnels players to the point. Despite it being a typical "bridge" mid, the options for attacking it are varied and I always felt like I had a chance to take on the point no matter what class I was playing. Unfortunately the map as a whole felt a little too narrow overall, which made it rather easy to step down onto the enemy side of the map and deny the area to incoming enemies. As a single soldier, I was able to push all the way to the tunnels between mid and spawn and spam out anyone who tried to come through. I also think the layout suffers from being too flat - the only part of the map that's ever higher than the point itself is a balcony that's only useful to snipers. While this doesn't really detract from the map, adding more height variation would really help to make it more interesting and fun. LeSwordfish: This is a pretty cool KOTH, and while I have some things about it to quibble with it's generally fun, and there's not all that much to say, really. I like the point area - it's simple, and effective, and the cover around on the low ground breaks fights up enough and avoids the point itself being too powerful, while not making it feel cramped. I saw very few sentries on this map - whether because of or as a cause of this, the point seemed to change hands quite a lot. I found it difficult to progress far into enemy territory to consolidate the gains of the point, and I can see the map overstaying it's welcome as the point changes hands repeatedly - that never happened, but it's a concern. The map also felt a little narrow, with no way to significantly flank either the point area or the "yard"s. Tyler: It's strange to me that you (that anyone) made a KOTH map and themed it exactly like Viaduct. How will anyone remember what it is? Even the supporting details (train bridge) are the same. I don't think you copy and pasted them, but it looks like you did. I can only assume you chose the theme because it was easy to get a high quality reference? Plays well: the routes wisely converge at the point, but the point is wide enough that sneaking by (or under, in the short tunnel) is actually viable. I like this a lot. All classes feel useful on and around the point, which is great. Unfortunately, some of the routes are kinda lame. The best one is completely flat until you get to the control point and as a result is totally boring. But the routes with height variation are like, twice as long, and then don't even really offer you much. And to be clear, the "best" route is the best because it's like, half as much time to get to the point as the other routes. I think it's also easy to push into the side hallway on the point, enter the enemy's territory, and then have an easy time holding their high ground on 2 of the 3 routes. I've done it as a Heavy with one other player (various classes) several times, which means it's probably too easy. I think this was the best KOTH map in the contest, and one of the best maps overall. Well done. However, I'd like to see you make the aesthetics more original. I can easily see this being in a Yukon-type setting with a bit more industrialized facades. Of course it's your call though. + great point + great layout overall - some routes are easy to lock down - the fastest route to the point is boring and open Overgrown Killohurtz: This map is a mixture of good and bad layout. Overall, the spawn yard and point areas are solid, but the connectors are rather weak, and, I hate to say it, but the train mechanic is not very well implemented. In the beginning of testing, I observed that Blu was much more likely to be successful when using the train route, but over time people realized that a competent engineer and maybe a soldier or heavy could easily lock down the drop off station and effectively turn it into a death trap. Even if Blu managed to survive, there were rarely enough people who took the train in the first place to make an effective push. I think the connector between Blu spawn and point A could be reworked so that it's not just a Wall of Building - as it is now, Red almost never maintains a defense there, and once Blu moves in, they have no way to tell what's next. Consider adding a window overlooking the A area to allow Blu to see what they're up against before stepping out into the open. I don't really like the dropdown in this connector because the next thing a player sees after emerging from behind the wall is an open yard at the mercy of snipers or scouts and soldiers roaming the area. I know you're aware of the problems with the A-B connector, but I want to mention a couple things in particular. First is the three ramps that lead into the second floor of the connector - since all three come up inside the building, that makes it super easy for Red to split up and spam down them while enjoying the cover of the surrounding walls. What if you added some structure on the outside allowing Blu to climb to the height of the second floor before entering the building itself? Second, I never saw much of a use for the one-way door. It offers an extremely poor viewing angle into B, which probably discourages players from pushing through it. Maybe that route could be reworked so that Blu can climb to the balcony above from the far end - it could also help to reduce Red presence in the connector. LeSwordfish: This is a competant and well-put-together map, and the considerable time and resources put into it show. The first point and the area before it are great, in my opinion, and the balance is maybe the best of any A/D in the contest - or so it feels from the ground level, anyway. There are a few areas that fall flat to me. The train doesnt really work - I say that, i'm not sure what it's meant to do as such. It doesnt really seem to do anything, in games i've played, and I think intertwining it through the level more carefully and having it as a more interesting environmental hazard would work better. For me, this coincides with the other thing, which is that the area from the first point onwards doesn't feel terribly interesting to me - the connector is kind of bland, layout-wise. The second point is pretty simple, but works i guess, though I dislike the deathpit: its too small to effectively knock people into, which means you mostly fall into it by accident, which isnt especially fun for anyone. Tyler: God, it's a beautiful map. Brilliant use of the ivy with the jungle assets, and I love seeing a map with rain! It's a far better take on the idea than Abandoned Upward (which was already abandoned, so...?). This is some of your best detailing yet! I've already left you lots of feedback about the area between A and B, so just mentally insert that here. To sum up: I don't like it that well. Now here's what I don't like about some other areas. http://i.imgur.com/xzajQCh.jpg One thing I touched on in that other post is visibility. In this picture, we can see that none of BLU's paths to the point offer any visibility of what they are running toward. I've found it's pretty easy for RED to hold a bit further forward than you'd think makes sense in the A yard and successfully lock BLU out, because their options are so miserable. Here we've got two drop downs (one more blind than the other) and a door right at the bottom of a ramp. http://i.imgur.com/wf6vCg7.jpg And this wooden walkway doesn't really help you either, as an attacker. It's terrible to stand in here and an engie set up around here can pretty easily make that route almost useless. http://i.imgur.com/D9WGOwD.jpg When it comes to the big door, RED can watch BLU feet way before BLU can see anything. A competent RED team can shut the map down here. After playing this about a dozen times, I've realized I enjoy attacking A less and less every time. After taking A, I don't really spend time fighting on/around B (hence I've had so little feedback on it) because the A->B connector and area just past it is so miserable. I never feel rewarded. Everything seems like a brick wall. Win or lose, I find myself zombielike. I know you had a goal to make a fully detailed, RC level map in 72 hours. I feel like you got there, but only if you ignore that the gameplay doesn't really work. With the amount of work you put into detailing, I know that some more testing and a few more iterations could have made this map AMAZING. As it stands, the more players get to know the map, the less fun I've had, and it's all because of little things that will be trivial to adjust but so important in fixing some of the layout problems. Obviously stuff like the A->B routes need to be rebuilt from scratch probably, but other things, like entering the A yard, are so quick to fix! I know that this map will be really fun in just one or two versions. Unfortunately, my honest opinion is that people are letting their votes be swayed by the detailing here quite a bit. + unique, memorable B layout + good geometry around points--nothing feels like cookie cutter tf2 - miserable spawn->A connectors - even worse A->B connectors - train route is half-baked Here's a bar graph version of the final results. If you want a further breakdown, here's all the numbers. All of the scores were rescaled so that the highest scores counted as 10, and lowest scores counted as 1, making it possible to compare the public and official judging results together. Thanks to everyone who participated! Even if you're not in the top 3, top 10, or top whatever, you've done something pretty cool by making a map in 72 hours. It's not an easy thing to make a map, and much less under a stressful time limit! I hope you've all had a fun time with the mapping, playing, and judging. See you next time!