Koth_Cabine is a King Of The Hill map for Team Fortress 2. I made it with a friend, as a personal project. I started by drawing sketches based on the experience we wanted our map to provide, then built most of the map geometry in Hammer. I also did some lighting, scripting, and experimented with 3D skyboxes. We iterated a lot, basing ourselves on playtests, to make the best experience possible.

A Vertical map

It was my first map project, and I wanted to make a vertical map with many opportunities for environmental kills. With the Pyro’s airblast, or the Scout’s Force-A-Nature for example, there were already several weapons/mechanics in TF2 that allowed players to push each other around, into bottomless pits or other deadly hazards.

I’ve always enjoyed those unconventional ways of neutralizing opponents, so I wanted a map where those abilities could be used at any time. A cylindrical, mostly vertical map, with only empty nothingness around it, ensures that you’re never too far away from being pushed to your death, or just clumsily falling to your doom yourself (which I find very funny too).

cabine_1 cabine_2

Different Paths for Different Classes

It’s part of TF2’s class-based gameplay that some classes have access to places that the others can’t reach. The Scout can double-jump, the Demoman can propel himself by detonating sticky bombs under his feet, and the Soldier can rocket-jump.

In Cabine however, this aspect of the game is more important than in other maps, because only those 3 classes have “easy” access to the control point. For the other classes to reach the point, they have to take the stairs to the top of the map, then fall down on it.

The classes that aren’t Demoman, Soldier, or Scout have to plan ahead when they want to get on the point, because they can’t reach it immediately. If they want to help a team-mate who is already on the point, most of the time they’ll be more helpful by patrolling around the point and preventing enemies from attacking him.

Also, the fact that they lose a little bit of health when falling down on the point encourages them to fall on the point with a Medic, or to get overhealed by one before they go ahead and launch their offensive.

All in all, it encourages people to play in a more interesting way, and this dynamic gives a specific “flavour” to this map, that you won’t find when playing on another one.

cabine_3 cabine_4

Preventing Projectile Spam

So as I’ve mentioned, people can go up on the rooftop, and then fall down directly on the point. Now if there was just a hole in the rooftop, it would also allow for projectile spam. A Soldier could just go on the rooftop, and spam the point with rockets from up there. So we devised a system to let players fall through, but not projectiles. (click here to see it).

cabine_5 cabine_6

Fine for a small number of players

The map has never been up on an online server, but being in a Game Design school makes playtesting possible even only on LAN. We’ve played countless games with other students, and as more and more people wanted to join in, we realized that due to the small size of the map, it’s funnier to play with only up to 12 players (so, two teams of 6).

This is both a bad and a good thing. For a Team Fortress 2 map, which is a game usually played with 20 to 24 players, a map that plays better with half of the usual player count removed feels weirdly inappropriate.

The good news is : the map is also tons of fun with as low as four players (2 vs 2), which is very handy when you just want to play with a few friends.