Warhead is a deathmatch map for the TF2 mod Open Fortress, set in a subterranean facility around a large missile silo. The map was developed slowly over spring 2020 between other projects, then artpassed that summer in about two weeks.

The multi-tiered and heavily interconnected circular layout lends itself well to the frenetic nature of deathmatch mode, offering a variety of combat spaces and distributing players evenly around the map. It also makes it very difficult to get good screenshots.


Various parts of the map through development. Some areas on the lower floor were culled and a jump pad briefly appeared before the final blue vent route took shape.


The sheer speed of Open Fortress' deathmatch mode means that level design needs to prioritise readability and routing at all costs. Dead-ends are a no-go; players must always have a place to go next. Signposting their options and guiding their attention with lighting and geometry is just as important as making sure there's the right balance of health, weaponry, and just too little ammo to keep players switching between guns.

Warhead's detailing features extensive use of material parameters like colour tints to save on filesize - the same concrete slab texture is used, tinted differently, almost a dozen times across the entire level.

I'm proud of my work on Warhead, and happy to hear that it's a favourite among a decent chunk of the mod's community. Working alongside the rest of the Open Fortress team has been a blast.

Warhead is available to play in Open Fortress, linked below.
(NOTE: Downloads for Open Fortress are currently temporarily suspended due to an arrangement with Valve.)

Visit the Open Fortress site