Archive for December, 2008

TF2 Map Design: StareDown Preview

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

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Download the Map ( 9276kb )

Okay, I’ve skipped a few steps here, but I need a little more time to put together a good Tutorial on how to do lighting.  Unfortunately I ended up brute force figuring out how to do it.  And do be quite honest I’m still working on it.  For now some quick tips. 

  • Light a small space with one light to see how it works
  • Play with the Lightmap Levels, they determine how much light bounces off a brush
  • The default Lightmap is 16, you will want to change this for stuff where shadows aren’t mega important, this will help decrease your map’s file size.
  • HDR Lighting is a pain and adds to your final file size
  • Colored lighting really helps set a mood
  • Focus your lights on the important stuff to help lead the player
  • Don’t forget to build your cubemaps in both HDR and LDR modes

With those tips out of the way, I am totally ready for the next major test of CTF_Staredown. is hosting a server if you’d like to pop on.  In TF2 search for either CTF_Staredown or “CTF_Staredown Server“.  All we need now is a few big games to identify any major remaining issues and see what crazy strategies you can come up with, then just  one more solid weekend to do a very final lighting and detail pass.

TF2 Map Design: Balance and Bugs

Monday, December 8th, 2008

With the landmarks in place, it was time to get some actual gameplay in.  So we set up a dedicated server for a few days and got some small games in (View Gallery Here).  It was very quickly discovered that Snipers were WAY too overpowered.  There was only enough cover to make a sniper difficult to pick out.  Even with the alternate paths, snipers could just stand near the bridge and no one would get anywhere.

staredown_balance00.jpg staredown_balance03.jpg staredown_balance01.jpg

It was really quite exciting to play with friends and occasionally strangers!  To see people actually employ the strategies I’d planned was great, but seeing them use the level in all new ways was even better.