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Maps of the month – Mars

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Page 2: English version

March just ended and it is now time to present our new Maps of the Month selection. Like in January and February, this article aims to suggest you some recently released great maps. For each map, we will try to get some words from the creators (when it's possible), giving them the opportunity to share thoughts about their map, its developement, its gameplay, their picture references... We hope that you'll appreciate their statements, please let us know in the comments !

 

Map creator : Peppe "Mr.P" Pihl

Release date : March the 9th, 2014

 

The first map we are going to show you is Mist, which has been a great success during this month, in fact it took the 8th place of the most rated maps from the workshop. The reason is that Mist is a very original and bold level, starting with the graphics. The level settles on dizzying heights, overlooking a valley at night. Because of the small size of playing areas, the ambiances are constantly changing with the inside and outside paths, bringing with the lighting and texturing a great dynamism.

About the gameplay, the map is mostly dedicated to close-range combats, few sight lignes will be very favorable for CT’s defense; but overall, everyone can make a difference if he has better reflexes than his opponents. With Mist, the shotguns (Mag7 / Nova / Sawed-off) will probably be devastating weapons. Nevertheless, the map has the particularity of having a sniper spot overlooking the whole level, offering very effective sight lines for the rifle or sniper users.

Mist therefore shines with its graphics and its gameplay, making the game lively and diversified with very good quality images for a Counter-Strike. It is a gamble but some success!

 

Here is what Mr. P wanted to say :

Mist is my second CS:GO level, previously made cs_rush (and de_heat; which was a port of my cs:s level with the same name). Mist was the first level I felt comfortable making after returning to the community mapping scene after a long time of absence. The Steam Workshop is fantastic, wish it was around when I was doing HLDM levels fifteen years ago.

As a player I tend to prefer a fast paced game style with occasional rounds of low paced sniping. On Mist the outside area is more long-range friendly while the inside suites short- and mid-range weapons. I had three words in mind when I was picturing Mist in my head: bunker, vertical and epic, where each word represents something that would influence the emotion of the player, both gameplay and philosophical.

Bunker - Concrete, military, restricted, good target for attackers

Vertical - Multiple levels, player needs to check up and down (in addition to left and right), CT starts on the top (and walks "down" into the level), T starts at the bottom (inside a tunnel) and have to work their way "up" into the level to reach their objective.

Epic - A radar facility set on a high cliff overlooking the Swedish peninsula, long way down if you fall, a level players will remember, objectives that (hopefully) makes sense in the setting and are integrated in the map

I ended up making a custom texture set for Mist. These two screenshots from Hammer (The mapmaking software) shows how the Front looks like without displacement and details (on the left) vs. with displacement and details (on the right).

 

Playtesting Mist has been crucial to the development; mostly to improve gamplay but also to reduce bugs and remove possible exploits, I'm very fortunate to have so many friends in my near surrounding that want's to help out with playteststing.

We started out testing Mist with 1v1, check timing to sites etc, then moved on to 3v3 and 5v5 tests, improving on the layout until it felt good.
The playtests usually consisted of 8 rounds where everyone went to A then 8 rounds where everyone went to B, then we switched sides and redid the 16 rounds. After that we tried 16 rounds of regular play where both teams goes with whatever split they wanted. 
We also tried to stack the "good" players on one team to see if the level had enough diversity to carry the "less" good team without giving any team special advantages. 

Playtesting with skilled players made this process easier, "add a window/angel here for flash/smoke/frag" has been a reoccurring comment that ultimately has change the common run'n'gun gameplay on Mist; emphasizing the usage of all types of grenades through out the level - yet keeping it subtle enough so tactics doesn't completely rely on them.

 
Mist offers quite a lot of tactics and strategies

Workshop linkhere

 

 

Map creators : Sal "Volcano" Garozzo & Shawn "FMPONE" Snelling

Release date : March the 18th, 2014

 

If there is one map that have spoken about more than any other, it is obviously Crown, the new map from the duo made of Volcano (former professional player for Team Dynamic, he also made de_train_ve and de_nuke_ve) and FMPONE (a famous CS:GO mapmaker), that have made together the Cache remake on CS:GO. Today, de_crown is the 5th most rated map from the workshop, and it only took a few days !

Crown may not be the FMPONE's masterpiece (it is mostly him that handles the graphics aspect on their maps) however the visuals aren’t bad at all. Of course the map is beautiful and nice to visit, it is enjoyable to discover a whole new environment (it is not an abandoned factory, New-York or Kabul’s streets … places that all of you have already met many times). In addition to these good graphics, the sharpness of the images offers players an excellent readability, which is essential for a map that aims to be played competitively.

Indeed, the duo is trying to create one of the best competitive maps, even better than their 2 favorite maps on CS:GO : Inferno (Volcano’s favorite map) and Dust2 (Fmpone’s favorite map), in order to see it played in competitions with Cache. They rely on an innovative gameplay with a layout that is, in a way, built with the shape of a square and where the bomb sites are more critical than ever. The absence of middle seems pretty controversial by the players, who then find that the rotation time from a bomb site to the other is a bit too long. Volcano and FMPONE are working on this and will update their map to make it even better.

 

We have made a short video tour of the map :


CS:GO - Visite de CROWN par RedacVaKarM

Video also available on Youtube


The authors have already told us lots of things about the developpement of their map, but FMPONE wanted to give a personal message to the Vakarm Community :

I want to sincerely thank Vakarm and the Vakarm community. Before my maps Museum and Gwalior I wasn’t very active in the Counter-Strike world, nor did I know about Vakarm. But since those projects, and since Cache and now Crown, Vakarm has been a huge part of my outreach. Thanks to leplubeslapin and all of the other staff at Vakarm I’ve been able to connect with French Counter-Strike. So THANK YOU FRENCH CS FANS! I appreciate you, and Volcano appreciates you. We want to make great stuff for you guys. Much love.

ALSO: Please let us know how we’re doing on Crown. We have a big update coming soon which you will hear about in Part 3 of our PC GAMER article. It will tell you about all the changes we’re making to improve the map.

Workshop linkhere

 

 

Map creator : Maik "S!rK" Lutz

Release date : March the 23th, 2014

 

To finish with a slight hint we have chosen the nice Shutdown. It is a map that can remind you of aim_deagle7k, which was famous on older Counter-Strike episodes, but had nothing to do with other aim maps (like aim_redline or aim_map). You have to explore the map before being able to find an enemy. Crates and containers trace the paths you must follow and the fights are often close-range combats (aim_deagle7k was perfect for the training of quick deagle headshots). On Shutdown the author even allowed the players to easily go on top of the crates to watch this tiny maze from above.

The level is pretty with a great cold and and almost glaucous feeling. The fog is strong and the lighting is dark but it is funny and beautiful. Shutdown is then a great fun map.

 

Few words from S!rK about Shutdown references :

Shutdown started as a "doodling" in Hammer. I just started building because I wanted to improve my "instancing-skills" (Instances are a map tool for the creation of modular elements). I never really used it and wanted to look how far I can take it.

It was at that time I noticed that Counter-Stike: Online 2 was released. While going through the maps I saw some screenshots of a called de_shutdown. It had some similarities with the early stages of my "shutdown".

Nexon's version is significantly larger than mine. But I liked the map so I tried to incoporate some of their ideas into the "doodles" I made.

After some playing around with bots and some friends, I made a lot of changes to my original layout. This introduced the second level on top of the containers. The last step in completing the map were making some textures for it. I hope some people will enjoy the map and have the same amount of fun which I had building it.

Workshop linkhere

 

THE SERVER

For correct playtesting of these maps, you can try them on our new casual server (located in Europe), mixing classic maps with maps from our Maps of the Month series. Thanks to GuillOMM for setting this up.

Infos : 16 slots - tick 128
Adress : GAME19.CRYSTAL-SERV.COM:27055

 

You can find out all the maps from the Maps of the Month articles in our Workshop collection :

Thanks to Sickness for the translation
Page 2: English version
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