Game Development level design TF2 Mapping

TF2 Mapping – Cow_Dustbowl, KOTC_Prefab


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:

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

level design TF2 Mapping

TF2 Mapping – MVM_Redbrier

MVM_Redbrier was initially posted about on August 26, 2012 and eventually was uploaded to as a Beta 3 version on January 29, 2016 and the file has been downloaded 232 times. The map has also been uploaded to the TF2 Workshop where it currently has 478 subscribers. These numbers were gathered on 2020-09-27.

A Japanese blog rated a number of custom TF2 maps and MVM_Redbrier was the hardest; with only a ~1/8.5 win-rate. I didn’t intend to make the map as difficult as it was; but I’m happy to see it’s not a 0% win-rate. According to the stats page on “Sushi Server,” MVM_Redbrier was played 2,001 times with 110 wins for a ~5% completion rate.

This map started as a remake of the Meet the Medic video but it quickly morphed into its own map which supports 2 tanks at the same time. The population file is a bit rough because I was mostly winging it and comparing health values between the different bots. The map started as mvm_hospital, then became mvm_ward around 2012-08-23 before switching to “Redbrier.”

The name “Redbrier” is derived from “The Greenbrier,” a luxury resort in West Virginia that opened in 1913. The resort is also home to “Project Greek Island,” which is a massive underground bunker. I previously looked up the floor plan and bunker plan to try to design the interior set piece, but it was easier to place a few of the large rocket props inside rather than try to emulate anything from screenshots of the actual location. I changed the word “Green” to “Red” since the RED team defends in TF2 and the rest is history.

The map features 2 separate locations for tanks and enemy drops, which means it’s easy for the enemy to get behind you in the forward area. Once inside the base, there are still two separate routes with a number of shortcuts for the players to take to transfer from one route to the other. The 6th wave is generally taken to be the hardest due to the fast giant scout bots. The 7th is more of a matter of DPS.

The map consists mostly of standard props, though I did create a custom texture of a pile of robot parts which can be seen in the 4th image in the gallery (many of these images courtesy, a Russian gaming community).

If you decide to play this map or upload a video to YouTube or elsewhere, please let me know!

TheReplayScout on YouTube created a playlist beating all 7 waves in 2014:
XoblinhasGamers on YouTube played the map with 10 people in 2013:

User “goosmurf” on the FacePunch forums says: “Probably my favourite of the community made maps so far. What I like about this is that the two bot spawns are reasonably far apart so it’s not too easy to choke them.”

This is the only MVM map that I released to the public. According to backups, there might be a B5 version, but I’ll look into that at a later date.

There’s apparently a “mvm_redbrier_b3_666_calamatic_r” version of the map which probably changes the population but I haven’t been able to download and test a copy of this.

Tumblr search for “Redbrier”