In 2007 I contributed textures to Jamie 'Fishbus' Manson's Team Fortress 2 level cp_steel. cp_steel is a unique control point map in which the main point can be captured at any time, but the surrounding 4 points make it easier to capture. Valve really liked the map and decided to include it in Team Fortress 2's Heavy Update as the third community map.
I really enjoyed the experience and the map was new and refreshing. I wanted to make my own steel type map and didn't have a clear concept until Valve released pl_upward, a crazy impressive map on top of a mountain.
The setting of pl_upward and the mechanics of cp_steel created an interesting design challenge, to fit both together in one map. I started work on it but quickly realised I could use another hand. I enlisted the help of an old mapping friend Mark Sinclair to figure out the logistics and be my design partner. He brought a whole host of new ideas to the table and we quickly got the map up and running.
For version control, we use a synced dropbox folder with all the custom content the map contains, and only one of us worked on a VMF at a time. This works out pretty well as I'm in the American midwest and he's in England. So we traded ideas and notes when I woke up in the morning and when I went to bed at night.
For a setting, I decided to use the grand canyon, as my girlfriend had just come back from a trip with some great pictures. We placed the map on a plateau overloooking the river, level with the second floor of the canyon. Mark came up with a neat flowing water texture so the river lazily drifts by. Visually, we used a combination of plr_hightower and pl_upward, to use metal as a nice accent to the wooden structures.
I designed the blue spawn, capture point B, capture point C, capture point D, capture point E, and most of the detail areas near those capture points. Mark did capture point A, the optimization, the skybox, the custom posters and the custom models.Click here to download.
Extract to your Team Fortress 2/tf/maps directory, and run by typing "map cp_upland_rc1" in console.