Awesome stuff Fishy. I have to agree that the tex set is partly whats keeping this map from looking as amazing as it could. Also, The great room is inspiring with its support beams amidst the rocks. I would recommend a more darkened dramatic approach to lighting this room. Upwards pointing spots to hilite the ceilings and so on. Could be a real show piece.
I agree with mazemaster's assessment. The solid, clean brushwork will definitely appeal to TF gameplay, I wouldn't clutter things up with movable junk like an HL2DM map or immovable junk like a CS map. The hallways are clean and this is good. But otherwise, it's unremarkable.
Your team colors are very muted. I haven't played TF2, so I don't know if that's par the course, but I learned from my few CTF attempts that vibrant team colors are not to be overlooked, and standing out really is a good thing. Put some sharp color strips along the ceiling. Make the team home OBVIOUS. And get rid of that prefab cart in the shot, along with any texture that screams HL1.
The last of the three preview shots hints that there's more dynamic gameplay than we can really notice in these shots, otherwise I'd mention something for making the hallways too flat.
style-ised realism, I like it. I really like it.
Let's talk rocks. My biggest qualm with most TF2 maps, Valve's releases included, is the terrain. In almost every level, it's flatly textured, choppily lit and colored like coffee with too much milk in it, and the rock ceiling you've shown here is no exception. Give it a texture that brings out its shape. If none are available, I'll give you some of mine.
Fishy, you should have this playing over and over in the map.
Edit: I hate regenerating links sometimes. Here's the main page. Click on "Subterranean Caverns".
Yea, the cavern map. Now that you mentioned it... " SRC="images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif">
These have a striking resemblance to Goldeneye. If that was already noticed, sorry, I didn't read the thread.
First two pics are hard to distinguish. Generally I think knowing what base you're in should be as obvious as possible based on wall colors alone. This is extremely subtle. In TF2 they use this beautiful color-bounce effect a lot (bright white spotlights on a red textured surface dimly lighting the faces around it - mainly the ceiling - with a reddish glow). Maybe you could experiment with some central, colored and sharply lit structures? Like a spotlight facing up right across the ceiling in the third pic. Most colored parts in your map are in the shade (not hit directly by any lights).
Third screenshot looks the best so far. With the textures changing right at the brush-edges the wall supports look a bit... polygony. I know TF2 goes for stylization, but screen 3 almost looks TFC. I think it's the different colors for different brushes that makes their low-poly structure so obvious, so maybe it just needs a more fluid transition between the red and whit/concrete parts?
I definitely like the direction the map is going, though. That looks like a fun ramp-room. Many good memories coming up and yet it looks fresh.
Anyway, back to business.
The first 2 pics show the same view from each base, and the main textures that I've used to differentiate between the bases. The floor edges and metal bars are probably the least obvious until you compare them side by side. Examples of both can be seen from probably 80% of the map.( the bars are used for window frames too)
The floor texture used on the stairs, and the concrete used on the roof supports are a little more obvious as team colours in the red versions. I don't know if that's maybe because blue would be a more of a 'normal' colour for these surfaces. Better examples of these in the last pic.
Thanks for the comments. I agree that the base colour is something that's maybe a little too subtle at the moment, but I'm hoping that when I add the various navigation signs, and any other decals etc, that the problem won't be as obvious.
I'll post a few more screens after this damn migraine is past the optical stage, and I can see what I'm typing.
[Edit] No I won't. I went for a lie down, and left the map to compile the updates that I made today, but the compile settings were for vbsp only. (leakfinding settings). It's amazing what you miss when you can't see right, or in this case, it was mainly left that was affected. :/