Byre is a map developed for Team Fortress 2's "arena" mode, which is unique from other modes of the game in that players do not respawn. The primary objective is to eliminate all players on the enemy team. Typically this means rounds are focused on survival and deathmatch ability, making communication between allies important. To prevent stalemates when players decide to hide from the enemy team, a capture point objective is placed in the center of the map which only unlocks after about a minute into the round.

Byre turns this objective into an asset by featuring two of them on opposite sides of the map and unlocking them at the very start of the round. Players must make strategic decisions not only about how to stay alive, but also on how to attack the enemy's control point while defending their own.

The map was created for the Mercenaries Vs. Aliens Contest, in which it placed third. Subsequently it was included in the Invasion Update, making Byre an official part of Team Fortress 2 (along with three other community-created maps). page


The first version of Byre was a symmetrical 4 control point map, where teams must own both of the two central points before they can capture the final point near the enemy's spawn. After a playtest, I decided that the middle area of the map needed to be rearranged, so I scrapped the final points and worked on just the middle area. After moving pieces around to more comfortable positions, I decided that this new layout didn't make sense as the center of a 4 control point map, so I went with a smaller mode: Arena.

This version of the map is what was submitted to a 72 hour contest that I was making the map for. The map was then given an art pass, and a few scale adjustments were made. After a round of feedback from Valve, the density of detailing in higher traffic areas was reduced.

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