TF2Maps Preparing A New Payload Delivery

I'm so proud, I'm doing this until the competition is over.
Any new Team Fortress 2 Payload maps are relevant to my interests. My interests being defending my themed house from carts of explosives while wearing a very silly hat. I rarely stray from Badwater Basin, but when I do it’s for more Payload fun. So I’m eagerly awaiting the entries of the newly announced Dynamic Payload competition, to add a little excitement to the bomb on wheels.

As defined by the rules, a dynamic element could be “moving, turning, lifting, teleporting, cloning or turbo-boosting the payload cart”, but really it’s up to the mapper to come up with something tied to the trundling of the cart. If I had any mapping skills at all, I’d make the level up with a series of moveable cubes, so when the cart reaches it’s destination, the map would reconfigure itself. Depending on how many people are on the cart when the it reaches the control point, the level would configure differently. Any mapper that uses that idea must credit it as pl_sexington, or you’ll hurt my feelings. You’ll have till the end of April to get your map made.

TF2Maps are the biggest mapping community for the game, and Valve are pretty active within it, so there’s a good chance of some of the entries catching Robin Walker’s eye, if he can tear himself away from his horse. If you do enter, you’ll receive plenty of feedback, some good, some bad, and some directed towards your mother, but it’s a good place to be if you’re interested in Source Engine mapping.

Via the Official TF2 blog.


  1. tsmike says:

    I wish they’d throw some love towards tc_ maps. We’ve got enough payload maps as it is. Sure, Hydro is horrible, but there’s nothing wrong with the actual gamemode itself.

    A little variety would be nice, rather than another payload map “with a twist”.

    • Okrag says:

      The trouble is making TC maps takes a much longer time compared to other maps, so running a contest for it would be difficult.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      I feel this way too. There are a couple good tc maps I know of, and only a few more than that in total circulation. Additionally, being essentially a bunch of capture points stuck together (as far as AI is concerned), bots shouldn’t have any trouble with the mode.

      Some maps are unplayable without others on the server, but bot-compatible maps mean good times 24/7. This is especially important when one has a night job and needs to get up early to meet players who are staying up late only for everyone to leave for bed once you’ve just gotten warmed up. *sigh*

    • Fr0z3n says:

      A collabrative TC contest was talked about. It was decided that it was a “summer” project.

      … So future prospects.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      @ MadTinkerer: I’m not 100% certain about TF2 maps, but L4D maps and many other games require you to lay down specific pathing for bots to navigate. You basically just apply a brush over the ground that is accessible to them so that they know where they can and can’t navigate. It also works to help tell the SI and regular zombies where to go. So, depending, adding bot support can sometimes be more difficult than just doing a non-bot-friendly map.

      Also, yes, TC maps are hard to make. Not jut because of the number of areas needed on one map, but because of the dynamic nature of attacks and the headaches that can come with balancing them.

  2. CMaster says:

    “If I had any mapping skills at all, I’d make the level up with a series of moveable cubes, so when the cart reaches it’s destination, the map would reconfigure itself. Depending on how many people are on the cart when the it reaches the control point, the level would configure differently. ”

    Sadly, doing such a thing would doom your map to never be played, as the vaugeries of the Source Engine would mean doing such a thing would cause horrible, horrible performance.

    I always thought pl_frontier was a lot of fun and am confused as to why since going official, it seems to be in pretty much no server rotations.

  3. Eukatheude says:

    Never really enjoyed payload too much, it’s too spammy.

    • Asuron says:

      Dittoing this, some classes like the Scout don’t really have much of a role in payload at all and Engies have too prominent a role. The whole thing just devolves into a spamming match on some maps and kinda takes away the fun sometimes.

    • Popish Frenzy says:


      Only speaking of badwater but ive found once blu are nearing the second-to-last point there’s quite a fun niche for red scout to fill in harassing the enemy back line (bonk past the sentry). You can overlook the blu spawn in relative safety and pick off chumps at your leisure. Once you’ve got them good and angry there’s enough map and health/ammo behind their spawn to make actually catching you quite tricky. When they give up, rinse and repeat.

    • Eukatheude says:

      Exactly. Playing scout (which is my main class) on payload or even some terrible a/d maps like dustbowl is plain useless.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Hardly. Scouts, if you remember, count as 2 people when capping. This is also true on Payload. 2 scouts on cart = 4 people. Hell, have your entire team stay upfront to clear the path and have a scout and pyro man the cart to victory. The scout is fast enough that they can quickly evade enemies that may try to harass the cart and then quickly return to get back to pushing it. Also, as mentioned, scouts can be great for menacing a back line and causing distraction, especially during an uber push or just any push in general, really.

      Is scout the best class for payload? Perhaps not, but they are hardly worthless if you actually use their perks to your advantage. It’s like people who constantly complain about GRU Heavies. Pro Tip: backstab them when they eat their sandvich. After repeatedly dieing, they’ll rethink their terrible strategy.

    • Asuron says:

      @stupid_ mcgee

      See I’m not saying they don’t have a role, I’m saying their role is negligible in Payload. They have to stay in one place to push the payload faster, which defeats their main advantage of speed and because the payload has one direction to go in, the Scouts strength of ambush attacks are not effective because the the other team only has to focus on the area around the payload to stop them coming in close.
      Essentially all the strengths of the Scout are next to worthless on Payload.

      Sure you can go around picking off stragglers with the Scout and sure you can use the pistol to keep the distance and do chip damage on a pushing team, but that’s not really what the Scouts about is it. The Scout is a class that thrives in a capture point type map that is open and has multiple pathways, going around ambushing enemies using hit and run tactics. In Payload all they can really do is run backwards instead of being able to find another pathway to strike an enemy from because of how Payload maps are typically designed.
      It doesn’t make the Scout a bad class, it just makes them pointless on Payload. Why pick that class when all the others have a more useful purpose?

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      @ Asuron: I agree that the scout is more limited, especially if they are expected to sit on the cart. However, that’s a very lazy and bad way to use a scout. It was just an example that, yes, scouts can still have their cp benefits apply to payload. Ideally, you want a heavy and pyro on the cart thanks to the infinite ammo and healing.

      I don’t see why a scout can’t perform what they need to in something like, badwater (which is a payload that I find to be fairly linear), versus foundry, fastlane, or granary or many of the A/D maps. It’s not like you’re stuck in a corridor. You can flank. There are areas to run and doge around. Especially in something like pl_upward. And in a payload race, a good scout can make a world of difference.

      The scout isn’t a bad class, he’s just very nuanced and his advantages may not always be apparent. Thus a lot of people rely on gimmicks. In pl_badwater, after an uber has cleared the hill, scouts will often surge ahead and clear the roof of any lvl1’s by point 2 and keep harassing engies from being able to build up there. Likewise with the next point. The capping aspect might not count as much, but the offensive nature is still there.

      For example, is the scout better on a cp map when he sits on the main point with everyone else, or is he more beneficial running ahead to get that quick cap right after the first? While you can’t get the quick cap in payload, you can do a lot to ensure a strong push and to keep momentum rolling. You can also help by keeping the cart from rolling back if the team begins to stall, which can mean a big difference in how far your next push will have to be.

      It’s fine if you don’t like payload, but to say that scout is useless for payload and for this to be popular opinion just shows that people are simply being lazy in their tactics and falling into bad routines.

    • Eukatheude says:

      Your point is valid until one realises that that kind of maps have sentries EVERYWHERE. And usually in points you can’t circumvent, so either you use bonk or you’re useless. And being on the cart doesn’t make you that useful, since you have no fighting chance unless you’re very up close. You just get spammed to death in three seconds.

  4. Nevard says:

    I love payload but so does my friend and it ends up being the only kind of map he’ll pick when we are playing together
    My other friend has a broader range of tastes but plays almost exclusively on massive 30 person servers, where some classes are reduced to uselessness due to the sheer weight of players

    I don’t like playing with random people all on my own, I guess I just need to find more friends who play TF2 if I want some kind of middle ground ;)

    • empfeix says:

      Nevard your entire experience is exactly what I have with my friends. They like payload and large 30 man servers. I’d say lets play but you are probably from across the pond :D

  5. Lone Gunman says:

    Badwater aside I generally prefer cp_maps since they seem the most balanced to me.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      I miss the days when people used to play cp_junction. I love that map! Thankfully I still see ctf_turbine a lot, which is by far my favorite ctf map.

      Recently, I’ve fallen in love with pl_upward. It’s a really good map that continues to enforce my “bad teams that lemming the same route will lose, good teams that read the map will win” ethos. Upward is a fun map that doesn’t quite reward lazy gameplay as much as, I feel, badwater does. I like badwater, but it’s not very dynamic and if you have a halfway decent team, it’s easy to plow through unless the other team goes very engie heavy. I dunno. I feel like badwater encourages cheap tactics while upward encourages more strategic awareness, due to how much potential flanking there is..

    • Bostec says:

      I do like a good payload map, Goldrush being the one I enjoy quite alot but yeah a CP would be nice, something along the lines of Steel, a beautifully designed map I must say.

  6. MikoSquiz says:

    Active in the mapping community? That seems implausible given how seldom any of the better-than-Valve’s-own-stuff maps actually get added as community officials.

    I’m especially baffled that plr_panic continues to not be in the game somehow, even thought it’s 1) clearly the best payload race map 2) possibly the best tf2 map in general 3) endowed with an original gameplay idea not present in any other map afaik and 4) the most highly polished tf2 map in terms of presentation.. well, gimmicky stage openings, but still.

  7. Fr0z3n says:

    (Thanks RPS!)

    … and you forgot to mention the mappers medal, a reward for the top 3 winners of the contest (and much much more!)

  8. aeromorte says:

    It would be great but each time i try to play the game steam wants to redownload it … after 3rd time i said screw it