Level Design & Workflow
This was the first time working with Hammer, this meant I had to learn everything from the start. I only had 3 weeks(half time) to finish the map, I had to make sure everything I wanted to do was possible within the engine.
I started with the scripting for the game mode, once that was done I moved on to things like testing terrain, skybox and other elements.
Since I made a choice to have a symmetrical map, I knew it could lead to the players being confused. Things like the player mistaking one side for another could easily occur.
What I did to prevent this was to add colored props on both sides with the color representing the teams.
(Top down of the level)
In King of the Hill, I think it's really important to split up the map into 3 zones. These pieces should be Red, Blue and the Neutral zone. When dividing the map into these zones, it creates a sense of ownership for the teams. This also leads to that the Neutral zone is the most appealing one, and this means that most of the combat will be happening in the Neutral zone and around it.
When playing the scout in Team Fortress 2, it is all about high mobility and playing smarter than your opponent. As I said before, I wanted my map to be playable by all classes in different ways.
To make the Scout feel like it really had a different play style than any other class, I made paths only the scout could take. In general, he can jump over obstacles on the map that other classes will have to run around.
(3 spawn exits)
The next step when creating the map was to look through the majority of assets that was within Team fortress 2. When working on a game that has all the assets already completed, it's more about gathering the assets you want to use and that work with your map.
I picked out assets that went well with the theme I wanted my map to have.
(Flanking routes from the middle zone to the blue zone)
(Map split up in 3 zones)
During development, I had issues with snipers on the bridge. Before the bridge had no walls and was hollow, so classes like Demoman and Soldier were useless against the sniper. Since rockets and grenades just passed through the bridge, my solution was to add see through walls on the bridge. So that the Solider and Demoman could fire towards the opening of the window and hit the walls, which would lead to the sniper taking splash damage from the explosion.
(Sniper spot at the bridge)
In Team Fortress 2 I believe it's really important having 3 or more spawn exits. This is to prevent spawn killing from occurring, and if it were to occur I want the team being spawn killed having an advantage.
I solved this by making one of the exits out of sight from the other team, and by making one of the exits having a height advantage.
In King of the hill, the Engineer class can very easily become overpowered, since the class can put down a stationary turret which covers a large area. This lead to that the class had too much of an impact on the game.
To balance it, I made sure the turret had a spot close to the main objective and that it had a weakness. My design made it so the turret could be flanked by higher ground, where the turret had no vision.
The pickups on the map are not placed very close to the capture point, since I didn't want the team controlling the objective having an easier time keeping it under control.
If the players want to replenish a lot of ammo or health they have to run outside of the capture point area. I placed out smaller pickups in places where player activity was lower so players running there gained something by taking a different path.
(All assets used in the map)
(Turret spot at the control point)
(Alternative route for the Scout)
(Color coding on diffrent sides)
(Flow in the middle of the map)
Encampment is King of the Hill map for Team Fortress 2 designed for 10-12 players. The map is a bit smaller than a standard King of the Hill map with quick flanking paths. I chose a smaller size since I wanted players to encounter each other more often. Thus, increasing the combat intensity.
From the Neutral zone of the map to the enemy teams side, there is a lot of paths the players can take. On my map the teams own their respective sides, usually having control over them. This means that it's high-risk high reward to flank the other team. The players might be successful and come behind the enemy, or spotted in an instant.
I started my production of the map by making a basic layout with pen and paper. The map was supposed to have some underground tunnels and more flanking routes than I currently have. I play tested it with several different people and having the underground tunnels only meant players were gone from the action for too long. During the rest of the development, I kept iterating on the map with the feedback I got.
I made a choice to have a symmetrical map to make it as balanced as possible for both teams. Since this is a Team Fortress 2 map I had to keep in mind all of the different classes, they all need to have a unique play style on the map. The classes I think are the most important to keep an eye on is Scout, Engineer and Sniper. The other classes like Pyro, Soldier and Demoman are more a matter of not making the map too small in certain rooms and hallways, since they use Splash damage or high area of effect weapons.
(Testing the scripting for the game mode)
(Time lapse of the map)