As a novice TF2 mapper, I spent entirely too long trying to come up with game modes that would never be conventionally popular. Perhaps the best example of this is my Cow_ and KOTC_ game modes.
Cow_ Game Mode
Cow_ is an attack/defend mode where the defending team is protecting several wooden cutouts of cows. It is possible for the level designer to determine how many cows are in each stage of a level and how many cows need to be destroyed before moving on to the next area/stage.
The cows can only be knocked over with melee weapons and the defending team can stand next to the cows to make the cows temporarily invincible (marked with a large red “cancel” or “do not enter” symbol).
There are countless problems with the mode; for instance, spies can very easily backstab the cows and the only way the defending team can prevent this is by having someone camp within the protection radius of the cow. As you can imagine, the mode lends itself to having spies on the attacking team and pyros on the defending team.
As a proof of concept, I set up two maps using the mode, cow_activate_a2 and cow_dustbowl. Activate will get its own page in the future and Dustbowl is the standard Dustbowl map with cows instead of control points.
KotC_ Game Mode
KotC stands for King of the Cow. The two teams compete to have control over the cow for the longest amount of time. The cow changes teams when it has successfully been hit by a melee attack without the other team being in the protection radius.
I created a template for this mode but never implemented it into any map.
Cow_Dustbowl on TF2Maps: https://tf2maps.net/threads/cow_dustbowl_a1.18807/
My Tumblr post about cow_dustbowl_a1:
Second Tumblr post about cow_dustbowl_a1:
A short video on Youtube of Cow_Dustbowl:
Apparently played as part of April Fools 2013 at TF2Maps