Starting in 2012, I became involved in a Minecraft server community called the Overcast Network. The Overcast Network hosts huge, massively multiplayer objective games, like capture the flag and team deathmatch, with as many as 100 simultaneous players in a given game. Their maps are all created from scratch, and run using custom plugins. It wasn’t long before I started making my own maps, and I assisted in moderating the server for a year and a half, too.
I contributed around a dozen maps of my own creation, often working alongside the server’s administrators and plugin developers to push the limits of what their games could do. On numerous occasions, the development of my maps offered the Overcast developers opportunities to update their plugins, broaden the flexibility offered to mappers, and increase the number of interesting features available.
For example, “Rift,” which was a recreation of League Of Legend’s “Summoner’s Rift,” launched with new, unique systems that allowed game-objective monuments to be destroyed in a set order (i.e. front to back). It also included a currency system that rewarded player kills, and an upgrades shop to redeem that currency in.
In addition, “Storm” marked the revival of the King-of-the-Hill game mode on the Overcast Network, after the code had been neglected for a long time. It sported new game timers, point systems for controlling “hills,” and even snazzy visual capture-point indicators that gradually changed the color of blocks on the capture-point hills as they were fought over and captured.
But my favorite contribution was a silly map called “BlockBlock,” a simple team deathmatch map that randomly spawned upgrade items around the battlefield. It also sported “score boxes” that players could race to, on the enemy’s side of the map, for bonus points. BlockBlock utilized map space incredibly efficiently, using multiple height levels and clear “lanes” to run down, in order to distribute its massive player capacity of 50 versus 50 players across an otherwise small and compact space.
Many of my maps remain in the Overcast Network official map rotation today, and BlockBlock has one of the highest overall player ratings on the entire server.