ROBYN STOTTER

Level Designer / Environment Artist

CP MOSSROCK

Project Description

Mossrock is a single stage a/d control point map for Valve's Team Fortress 2. It was designed around the idea of a set of buildings hanging over a perilous cliff, much like Valve's own Upward, to which the visual style is inspired, but with more focus on fighting around the cliff. The second point also features a train that takes up almost half of the capture area. This allows strategies such as blue team pushing with the train in order to overcome red team's defenses to emerge.

Mossrock was created originally for TF2Maps.net's 72 hour winter 2014 mapping contest under the name CP Keikoku, a challenge requiring designers to create a fully playable map within 72 hours. Mossrock placed second. Mossrock was also entered into the TF2Maps.net's "A Tale of Two Skillsets" contest, in both the level design and artpass phases, of which it placed first in both sections.

The map was re-themed from a desert theme to a Jungle theme for the Jungle Inferno update for Team Fortress 2. It was officially selected by valve to be included as part of the update and is now featured as a community map shipped with Team Fortress 2.

Challenges

The primary goal of this map was to give the main feeling of being on perilous footing at all times, encouraging them to make determined movements throughout the map and use the environment itself more to their advantage than in traditional maps.

This presented a challenge as Team Fortress 2 features multiple ways of knocking players back - and therefore off a cliff to their death, if correctly timed. Many players don't find this kind of death fair - however many find it rewarding to perform. This creates an interesting dynamic where you need to design your map as such that the player on the recieving end feels like they took a necessary risk in placing themselves close to the environmental hazards.

I designed the map in such a way where routes that took the player into a dangerous situation near the death pits also rewarded them with significant advantage for attacking or defending the point. Around the first control point, this is achieved by having the lower, perilous route, deliver the player behind the defending team, as well as featuring large health and ammo pickups on the way. For the second control point, the train, which crosses over the capture zone itself, serves as the environmental hazard rather than a death pit. Depending on how the teams utilise this, it can either be used to attack with, blocking the defending team from accessing the point in their usual way for a small time, or offering the defending team a way to flush players off the point if they time their pushback with it's arrival.