Fastener is a two-player Mann vs Machine map developed for, and winner of, the TF2Maps Guardian Dynamica Contest. It uniquely features a moving train in place of the typical bomb that enemy robots escort, with a second train occasionally bringing in extra robots.

Development took place over winter 2020. Fastener was my first time working with MvM mode - I had to learn how to write popfiles to make missions, how to balance those missions, how to guide (or, more appropriately, wrangle) NextBots around nonstandard and moving map elements, author navmeshes, and learned how to execute freight yard theming. You can imagine my surprise placing first!


Alpha screenshots of the train that enemy robots escort, and the secondary train that brings in extra supporting robots.


Fastener's layout didn't change all that much beyond adding extra cover and ammo in some spaces - it was pretty solid from the start, and PvE modes are much more forgiving than PvP.

When I have time, I would like to go back and polish Fastener. Despite the bulk of the work on the map being dealing with robot-train interactions (NextBots were NOT meant to do this sort of thing), issues still remain with them rarely getting lodged in walls. I would also like to go back and revise the balance of sniper robots, add support for engineer robots, adjust how the final part of the map plays, and write more missions (I only had time for one during the contest).

A full development log is available on TF2Maps, linked below.

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