Creating Team Fortress 2 Content – Koth_Courtyard – Blockout

Quick recap: I have previously been interested in making content for Team Fortress 2, Valve’s fantastic class-based shooter from 2007. I have designed a hat, made some Source Film Maker work and now, a map.

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February 8th 2020 Progress – The point was being created.

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post. As always, I’m busy with university work and running the Poker Society (which will have another update soon) but I have made significant progress that I’m ready to share with you.

After making the post on the 8th, I went home after uni and continued to work on it. Adding the second entrance to the point towards the bottom and also adding a ramp up to the building at the top of the picture. I also added logic, the control point and some planks for cover against snipers. I also enlarged the point’s platform by 1.25x as it was very hard to fit the capture point on.

8th February 2020 – Additional progress made after the last post.

Over the next couple of days, I really wanted to push and get the map further into development. This led to the creation of nearly all of the initial block out of the map. This is where I began to move away from a couple of initial design choices.

Starting with the center of the map, I added an additional platform on top of the capture point. This is done in maps like Harvest and White Winter and allows different classes to utilise their vertical mobility as a way to attack the point. Due to the small map size, I have not allowed any holes in the roof as to help players who are defending. This design also is natural cover for people who are looking to avoid Snipers on the balconies.

11th February 2020 – Center Point

Following the original design, I made 3 ways for players to come out of the spawn and 3 routes to go through to reach the point. The middle is the most direct, the left leads to the building with the balconies and the right leads round the back where you can either go up to another high point or come through to the courtyard.

11th February 2020 – Looking towards the center from Red Spawn.

This second way up allows the team to counter sniper against the balconies and also allows Scouts and Soldiers to reach a higher platform easier. It also allows other classes to jump from here to the roof so that it connects round to the other building.

11th February 2020 – Looking at the new balcony from center.

The left route sports two ramps to climb up to the higher levels. The fencing has been added to allow other players when walking up to see what’s going to be around the corner. This will also stop Demos and Engineers from locking down both balcony rooms so easily.

11th February 2020 – Left Route to balconies.

By this point, I hadn’t run the map in about 2 weeks and was getting anxious to see how it played. Over the period of the next 5 days, I worked on getting the map to a much more playable state by adding a few textures and then copying/pasting the one side over that I had been working on.

In this version, I added roofs, additional buildings, blocked up the middle ramp from the center point and then added a small wooden bridge from either rooftop to meet in the middle. I enlarged the “roof” on the center point to make sure people could fight on it. Even as of typing this, I’m most worried about the wooden bridges when I start play testing. I think they’re a bit scruffy and I’m not sure how they’re going to play out. The map as a whole is quite small and blocking some of this with an overhead bridge may lead this map to get too frantic. Once we get to play testing, we’ll see how this works.

16th February 2020 – Overlooking the new roofs and buildings. Colour-coordinated roofs show the player which they can walk on.
16th February 2020 – Looking at the point where the bridges now meet. Crouch jumping from a bridge can get you to the top platform. Same to the balconies.
16th February 2020 – Red Roofs overview onto center.

After receiving some feedback from UEAK_Crash about the height at which the spawn rooms were at, I took the time to learn about how displacements work so that players leaving their spawn had an advantage over the other team if they decide to spawn camp.

After a bit of trial and error with them, I ended up getting a nice curve from the spawn rooms to the buildings. This should give the spawning team an easier time when getting to the point.

20th February 2020 – New displacement with a painted floor. I liked messing about with this.

Few days later, I decided to add some basic clipping to the map to start it getting ready for play testing. Additional changes I made were to the textures, adding a few details to block out Z-clashing and to the skybox.

23rd February 2020 – Clipping and new (temporary) props.

That’s where I’m up to so far. I’m excited to start play testing the map soon. Just need to add some lights to brighten up some areas. May add a few windows to help with this too, should make gameplay and the map flow better when you can see what players are doing at the central point from inside your base.

As always, thanks for reading this new post. I’ll hope to have the next one up in a few days, talking about the Poker Society and how that’s been running. Send me an email at jameskinchuk@gmail.com if you’ve got any questions or tips on how I could improve the map!

Talk to you soon,

-James

Published by James Kinch

Full-time student. Manage and moderate for several different organisations. Love to drink tea, collect Monopoly and play games!

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