Oilrig is a Mann vs. Machine map developed for Team Fortress 2 in 2013. It pits a 6-man squad of players against an angry horde of flesh-grinding robots. Don’t let them get to your base and plant their bomb or its all over! This map features an all original theme, and the implementation of custom robot types, complete with in-game icons and original game mechanics.
When the Mann vs. Machine game mode was released for TF2, I instantly knew I wanted to create a custom level for it. The possibilities of this game mode are just endless, and it really brings out the teamwork aspect that exists in Team Fortress 2, more so than even the original game modes.
I wanted to create an entirely unique and original theme with this level, as with Casbah 3, so I settled on a mid-ocean oilrig. It actually surprised me to see that there had been so few attempts at making a mid-ocean themed map by the TF2 community, so I decided this would be a good opportunity to bring out the idea. The map itself takes place during a rainstorm, which adds a large amount to the overall atmosphere of the level. I personally love rain, so I decided it would be a great fit for a mid-ocean map. The mood is brought out through the usage of soundscapes and a generally dark, murky lighting tone. Various puddles of water around the map also help to enforce the rainstorm atmosphere.
One of the things that bugged me about the initial MvM maps were the lack of creative routes for players to take throughout the level. Simplicity in itself can be a great thing, but at the same time also limiting. With the map being an oilrig, I remedied this issue by implementing a large system of catwalks that players can use to navigate through the map. Most of these catwalks are accessible on foot, while others can only be reached by jumping. While it is still possible to navigate the level without using the catwalks, I felt that it gave a player a more interesting option. One can take the shorter, but potentially dangerous ground route to the objective, or they can take the high ground and gain a tactical advantage, all the while sacrificing space (the catwalks are very thin), and time. The higher areas of the map have less resources, eventually forcing even the most well-armed player to come down and grab supplies, as well as face possible danger. This also proved to be an interesting gameplay element during beta testing as it gave many different angles of attack on the same location. Furthermore, it allowed for more interesting routes for the less combative classes, such the Spy or Scout, to navigate the map’s terrain, whilst keeping away from the combat.
In addition to the vertical gameplay elements, I also decided to implement custom robot enemy types with Oilrig. The default MvM maps already offered a wide variety of enemy types, but I felt that they were far too simple. There are about 15 different custom enemies present in Oilrig that are not included with any other maps. Here are a few examples:
A Soldier whose rockets do double damage, and have a double blast radius. His rockets however, travel at 30% the normal flight speed. When balancing this class, I wanted to make him an enemy that players feared. With double damage, and a 2x blast damage radius, a Nuker Soldier has absolutely no issues destroying even the strongest targets. His downfall however, are his slow rockets, which are very easy for players to dodge, shoot down, or reflect. This makes the Nuker Soldier a high priority target whenever he appears, as a clever Pyro can reflect his rockets into other robots and do massive damage.
A Heavy whose minigun slows your movement speed, as well as drags you toward him. He has a low damage output and fires slightly slower than other Heavies. The primary goal of the Grapple Heavy is to prevent you from moving away from him, so that other robots may hopefully catch up to you and finish the job. He serves as more of a deterrent than as a reckoning force, and tends to come with the most powerful robots, such as the Nuker Soldier. Grapple Heavies can also separate priority targets from the team, such as a Medic or Engineer, if left unattended.
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