Mod Showcase: PropHunt

I hope they don't see me here...
I hope they don’t see me here…


Salutations, SPUFers, TF2 players and old people who are lost on the internet. Let me guess what you’re thinking: it’s either “Why do the nurses keep stealing from me?” or “I’m sick of the default TF2 gamemodes!” CTF, filled with Snipers. Payload, filled with Engineers. Arena, filled with… uh… nobody.

Well, you’re in luck today Gramps, because Team Fortress fan and sex panther Brickinator is here to tell you all about some mod gamemodes to preoccupy your feeble brain. Take your pills now lest you forget it all by the end.

This time, we’ll be taking a gander at PropHunt, a custom game that takes Hide and Seek to the extreme with mutilation and cows. PropHunt uses Arena mode as a base. When the round starts, you’ll be one of two teams- the seekers or the props. If you’re one of the latter, you’ll have a random chosen prop from the game set as your playermodel, be it a plant (very good), a barrel (eh), a cow (bad) or a control point (oh shit oh shit). There are loads of possible props, not just those ones, but you can bet your arse that you’ll always get the worst ones because Gabe doesn’t love you.

The props have the same stats as Scouts, which is to say that you can run really quickly but die instantly if you are shot or a feather brushes against you.

The props are given 30 seconds to hide. Most servers run on arena maps while some have their own custom maps made specifically for the gamemode. You generally want to find a dark corner where you can intersect your prop into a wall where it can’t all be seen. Alternatively, run around like a lunatic and die. Remember that, as a prop, you cannot drown. This makes hiding underwater a far more effective tactic than it is in real life Hide and Seek. Damn, that ended badly.

After that 30 seconds, ready or not, the seekers are released. The seekers have access to all classes except for the Spy and Medic with the Solemn Vow (due to their ability to see enemy stats). Pyro is the default class, and the most widely used; fire effects are visible on props, making them easy to track after they are found. Also Pyros are granted the ability to “fly” by firing their flamethrowers in midair as a means increasing vertical mobility in to combat the Scout’s Double Jump.

Seekers are encouraged to focus on suspicious props rather than shooting everything in sight because using your weapons harms yourself too. The props, on the other hand, are as defenceless as you are when the staff at the retirement home go through your things. You can’t fight back, so avoiding the seekers is essential.

They're everywhere...
They’re everywhere…

When seekers get a kill or assist, they are restored to full health and granted a small speed boost for as long as they keep their current weapon out. This discourages props to hide together, because if one of you gets killed the rest are buggered.

Health pickups are scarce on most maps. Nevertheless, rubbing yourself on the control point will fully heal you to full health. This is useful for props who have been set on fire as you extinguish yourself and are no longer a huge beacon to the enemy. You can only use it once every 55 seconds, so don’t waste it.

As there are no respawns, if you die you’re dead until the next round. When there is only one prop remaining, the seekers are covered in Jarate and the surviving prop is allowed to shoot at them.

If the entire enemy team die, you win. The props also succeed by staying alive until the end of the round’s duration, at which point all seekers drop dead like when they had that gas leak at the retirement home last week.

Here’s a tip, just for you guys. When the seekers leave their spawnroom, they usually don’t bother to return. If you’re sufficiently sneaky, you can dash in there once they all leave and you’ll be in the clear.

After each round, the seekers and props are swapped around, creating an eternal cycle of back and forth, like an Alzheimer’s patient on a chairlift. Only a player with immense talent at hiding can ever succeed at PropHunt, so let’s hope that for your sake the skills are transferable to hiding from the nurses as well.

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