A few years ago, I used to read through a forum dedicated to making maps for TF2. It had people producing stuff that might be even better than the official maps from Valve. They would collaborate, share tips, and teach each other the art of map making in a way I never quite understood but still enjoyed reading none the less.
It was a nice place, and now Valve has unveiled the Maps Workshop Beta which seems to be directly serving that sort of community. It’s kind of lovely.
The Maps Workshop Beta is an in-development one-stop hub where mapmakers can instantly upload and get feedback on their maps. Simply head over to the in-game Workshop tool and click on the new Maps button. If you're just in the market to play new maps, you can now browse the Maps Workshop and up-vote and subscribe to maps you like—or just connect to a server running a Workshop map and it will download automatically from the Workshop.
It’s a really cool move for everyone involved. People's maps can be found and shared so much easier, and games on a person’s map can be easily set up and played. People used to put so much effort in to making a map, only to not have a server to actually play it on, so hopefully this eradicates that hurdle.
Of course this will mean a deluge in orange dev-textured maps, and the monstrosity that is Balloon Race, but I’m really excited to see how the map making community make use of this new change. Nice to see Valve not screwing up the Workshop for once.