koth_mill is a Team Fortress 2 King Of The Hill map that has RED and BLU fighting over the disused Rockford Mill. The map is mirrored and has a large focus on vertical elements. The mill is three floors tall and peppered with entrances and exits.
I was very interested in doing a King Of The Hill map, and I used Valve's koth_viaduct as a model for how the map should be laid out. Koth maps tend to be built as:
(Spawn) -> (Yard) -> (Goal) <- (Yard) <- (Spawn)
to provide a little distance that is superfluous in Arena mode. This space ends up straining supplies for the offensive team, keeping them closer to the objective and acts as a soft barrier to keep them from pushing too far into the other team's territory.
Along with this, if the map is small enough a mirrored playing field won't have a negative impact on either team. Mirrored playing fields are used several times in Valve maps, such as the center of cp_well, koth_viaduct, and plr_hightower.
I'm a big fan of vertical elements in maps and I feel they're not used enough in the official or community maps. I wanted the attic of the mill open, and to give a view down onto the control point, but not allow players in the attic to affect the control point directly. I surrounded the upper area of the point with a wire mesh that allows players a view, but does not allow them to shoot through.
Originally the attic space was only available to jumping classes: Soldier, Demoman and Scout. Through playtesting, we found the map was pretty boring for the other 6 classes, and they frequently did not understand why they were killed from above by an enemy they didn't see. Opening the attic up to everyone was an obvious solution, but that raised another problem: If a team controlled the attic, they could control the entire high ground of the map. The entrances to the attic needed to be one way to prevent the offensive team from spilling into the other team's area.
I found that wooden lifts at all the aerial entrances helped establish them as paths to new areas, and also solved the issue of precision jumping to enter these areas. Instead of aiming for a vertical target, they could aim for a horizontal one.
The control point remained unchanged throughout most of the testing, but it was found that the interior of the mill was too spammy, and narrow doorways encouraged players to shoot at them, creating a spam barrier that took several players to break. I removed the extraneous walls surrounding the mill to solve this issue. What resulted was easier movement between areas, and less spam since players could not lock down areas as easily.
Thanks to Cat Gosson for the bread and corn posters flanking the main point, and "SiniStarR" for the skybox versions of the evergreen trees. Other custom art assets are by me. All other art assets are from Team Fortress 2.Click here to download.
Extract to your Team Fortress 2/tf/maps directory, and run by typing "map koth_mill_rc4" in console.