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Everything posted by Kokopelli

  1. Just ran around this and I have to say this is very well done. The visuals are superb and I love the serene mood the lighting produces. I also like how there is just enough detail to make the environment look nice, but not cluttered. And despite having such moody lighting, visibility is great. There really is a lot of good craftsmanship on display here. In regard to the layout, it's quite unique and has good logic. The only thing that seemed a bit iffy is the area with all the stairs—seems like there are some angles were you can spot someone's feet first and that could potentially be frustrating. Lastly, I think you nailed the perfect size for a wingman map. I haven't played it with real players, but dare I say this may be the gold standard of wingman maps by virtually every metric (although I think FPS could be improved in some areas). Brilliant job!
  2. Kokopelli

    [CS:GO] Offshore

    Just released the official trailer for Offshore. Check it out!
  3. Kokopelli

    [CS:GO] Offshore

    Offshore is my entry to the 2020 Source Engine Wingman Mapping Contest. This map takes place on an offshore decontamination facility. Play It Now I began this project with the idea of creating a map that would support multiple games modes in which each game mode would be played on a different floor/area of the map. Eventually I scrapped that layout and decided to take the theme and build out a wingman map instead. Since a few months had already gone by since the contest was announced, my goal for this project was to leverage existing assets to create a fresh experience in an environment that hasn't been explored much. I'll get into some of the gameplay details in my next post. For now, enjoy some screenshots:
  4. If a map isn't intuitive, it's bad design. If by the end of a match players still haven't figured out where the encounters points are, it's bad design. If players need to watch a video to understand how to properly play it, it's bad design. Mark Rosewater, the lead designer of MTG coined a game design philosophy that I think applies to all types of competitive games: lenticular design. It's the idea of creating something that on the surface is seemingly simple but as players understand it more they become more complex. This approach produces designs that have depth while also creating an intuitive learning curve. In contrast your map is just outright complex and doesn't have the elegance or simplicity that you see in active duty maps. I don't think you're placing enough value on making design decisions that guide the player and set them on a path to discovering depth. The biggest issue to me is that you're giving players way too much freedom, to the point where the checks and balances of the game begin to fade away. The incredible amount of freedom players have is also what makes it so unintuitive. Players need constraints. The art is in giving them constraints that still allow for a lot of expression. I think it's also terribly misguided to chalk it all up to a lack of patience on the mapping community's part. If you think we're impatient, wait until you hear what players say. A lot of players will make their verdict within the first few rounds of playing a map for the first time. If they're dying to AWPs on rooftops halfway across the map, that's GG. It honestly doesn't feel great to see everyone pile on you like this. Seems like you put a lot of thought into your level designs, and you've probably done some good work for Halo, but you've come here with a whole lot of bravado for someone who has barely played any counter-strike. It would behoove you to play the game more if you aspire to make something that works.
  5. You really hit the nail on the head, @csWaldo . My initial impressions of the map are that it's extremely open and has too much height variance for players to manage. It all looks way too unpredictable. I imagine players will die to AWPs in really frustrating ways because they will be exposed from so many directions and at varying distances, many of which appear to be really long. The window that goes out onto the rooftop in particular seems dangerous as it exposes the player to so many angles around the entire map. Overall, there are too many angles—you're giving players a lot of freedom and choice but it's overwhelming. If you're claiming that it's possible to clear all of these angles one by one, then I have to say there are way too many angles to clear. If you compare the average number of angles to clear on any given part of your map to what you see on existing active duty maps, this is orders of magnitude higher. I also think there is too much height gradation with all the slopes. It's okay to have some but it needs to be more controlled than this or else you're introducing too many potential headshot angles. All the rooftops enable players to position themselves for headshot angles as well and it's especially problematic given how much freedom they have to move about the rooftops. Lastly, the map's design seems to give players an incredible amount of mobility. Call it breaking the mold, but to me it just breaks the CS experience.
  6. Kokopelli


    Looking spicy my dude. I like the unique take on the underground areas—offers something different from the other DZ maps and folds into the theme nicely rather than being an afterthought.
  7. Kokopelli

    [CS:GO] Yamaha

    Looks really nice and I love the mood. Even with the dark time of day it has a very pleasant feel to it. Nice work! You should get it playtested sooner rather than later, even if you don't have all the architecture thought out. At a glance, the map seems very open with a lot of long sight lines. It reminds me of Ruby in that regard and that was one of the map's biggest problems. The road that leads to B in particular seems like a daunting approach with little cover. It's also not clear to me how utility would be used to take the site. Maybe I'm not getting the full picture but that's my impression based on the screenshots (the new and the old ones). If I could offer a word of caution, it would be to not let the realism of your theme override the need for good gameplay. That's what killed Ruby for me. Not to hate on Ruby so much—it's just such a great case study on how a map can look absolutely gorgeous and yet produce poor gameplay.
  8. Yeah, I would scrap the overcast. Your theme doesn't really demand it and bringing in some warm sunlight through all those gaps in the ceiling could look really nice.
  9. Kokopelli

    Maginot [Wingman]

    Looks cool so far. If it's important for you to have this map entered in the contest, I would just keep doing what you're doing, giving each area a rough pass until the whole map has some degree of art. Then if there's still time you can polish it up more. And of course, once the contest is over you can continue to work on it. It doesn't have to be a competition winner to be considered for future mapcore wingman hub map pools.
  10. @TheOnionChef Nice work. It definitely has that Prodigy vibe that i'm sure many will find alluring. I would milk that nostalgia as much as you can. Also like that you used Zion as a reference—I went camping there last year and it was beautiful. In that third screenshot with the staircase, are the areas to the sides of the staircase accessible? If they aren't, they should probably look more like they aren't. Areas that look accessible but aren't is a common complaint with players.
  11. @Soldat Du Christ Looking good so far and faithful to your first blockout. I'm interested to see how the sight lines work once it's done. One thing I would be mindful of is how the open nature of the map might affect your ability to optimize it. I know your focus right now is on layout (as it should be), but at the same time you don't want to make it impossible for whoever will be doing the art. To some degree, the limitations of the engine inform the layout. For example, in Danger Zone, since the maps are large and open, the overall quality is much simpler than on standard defuse maps. Danger Zone maps also implement heavy fog, which allows for far z clipping to further optimize. You don't really have this luxury on defuse maps since you want to keep fog to a minimum. So if there are any areas where you may potentially be rendering the entire map, that's going to be an issue. Of all the defuse maps, Nuke is probably the most detailed one with multiple elevations, but the areas are still somewhat segmented so you don't have vision across the entire map. The devs also combined props to reduce draw calls and placed occluder brushes in certain places to reduce rendering. I made a really open map before and it was really difficult to optimize once it was fully detailed. Just wanted to give you a heads up as more knowledge can help save you headaches down the road. Of course, so much of this stuff simply has to be lived and learned.
  12. Yeah, I feel like one easy explanation for that scenario is the designers simply deemed their project unsuccessful after not passing the first round and decided to move onto another project. No sense in laboriously polishing a turd. People just want to use their time wisely. You have to be judicious about where you put your energy. If you're developing a hostage map for example, you're really risking being disappointed because it's a neglected game mode and frankly it needs re-balancing on Valve's side in regards to economy to even be viable (CT side gets punished extra hard in hostage mode because they have to play offense with weaker and more expensive guns). So you really need to go into it fully prepared to be disappointed. I wouldn't say a balanced 3 bombsite map is impossible, but it's an incredibly daunting problem to solve and a very risky time investment, and many would say betrays a fundamental structure of the game. A map with 3 bombsites inherently forces the defending team to spread themselves thin, so you would really have to rethink all of the game's dynamics. It's not simply creating 3 bombsites and having standard rotation times between them. The bombsites would have to have relationships with each other in ways we've never seen in a CS:GO map. I think the main reason it's not completely broken in Valorant is because the map design is very rigid and it's easier for players to solo hold corridors. All the intel-gathering abilities factor in as well. There's plenty of room for innovation with 2 bombsites though. I mean, shit, that's hard enough! Look at all the amazing stuff people have made here and how little has stuck after so long.
  13. I believe your intentions are good, Ringle. I think one reason why some people feel somewhat insulted, for lack of a better word, is because you keep calling for more innovation, which implies you believe we aren't all trying to be innovative already. I'm sure many of us here are genuinely trying to push the boundaries of what CSGO can be, but we all have different takes on how to accomplish that. Maybe you didn't find any of the last mapping competition entries to be innovative and that's perfectly fine, you're entitled to your opinion. But I would argue Swamp was pretty innovative—it actually created a new mechanic, albeit a frustrating one. But hey, they tried something new, something risky and that's commendable. Basalt has a pretty unique mid with its arena-like structure and manages to capture a very open-world feel while still having boundaries that make it playable. For some people, putting a twist on the classic clover design is being innovative because that's about as much wiggle room as their paradigm of CSGO allows. It's not that they aren't thinking outside of the box, it's that they are doing what they believe pushes boundaries while still allowing the game to feel like Counter-strike. It's out of respect. You can only twist and bend the rules of checkers so much before it becomes chess. If you're unimpressed with the lack of innovation here, then that just means the glory is yours for the taking. If you come up with a design that's fun and pushes the boundaries, it will get noticed and it will stick. Thorin once mentioned there is no so-called "Michael Bay" of map design. CS maps have always found success in a sort of viral way. Keep throwing shit until it sticks—in a thoughtful manner of course.
  14. I feel like 3kliksphilip is dead wrong when he says there is no way to plan out a DZ map and that the best way is to build it out and hope for the best. Blacksite, for example, is brilliantly built and I'll be damned if it that map wasn't thoughtfully planned out. I have 500+ wins in dangerzone and I've spent quite a bit of time analyzing the map and there is a lot to appreciate in regard to gameplay design choices. There are so many angles and cover placements with clear intention, and all designed while making the areas unique and with little repetition. The terrain elevations all make perfect sense in terms of how they limit visibility from one area to another and the whole map just flows beautiful both visually and from a gameplay perspective —it's just hard to believe it was all a shot in the dark. I'm sure many things were fine tuned, but I think they must have planned out the map in broad strokes pretty thoughtfully. Even in DZ, I think you still want to design with the mindset of having a fair degree of predictability. Players are generally going to have more choices by virtue of the fact that it's a more open map, but I think the designer should still show restraint and make choices with clear intention to avoid complete chaos. This is my biggest criticism of Jungle—it doesn't feel like it was planned for Dangerzone gameplay at all, but rather aimed to capture an environment first and foremost. This was most evident with all the porous buildings, open yet inaccessible windows, sparse cover placement and repetitive locations. I haven't had a chance to play around Frostbite yet, but I'm eager to check it out and provide some feedback. I dig the Ski resort theme. Congrats on the release!
  15. Let's say you have five CTs in the positions above. As I'm approaching from the tunnel I'm hugging the right wall so I can engage a player playing the back of the site without being exposed to any other angles. When I get here, I can get a narrow peak at a player playing behind the stack on site. As I continue forward, I begin hugging the left side of the tunnel as I sweep right to clear each angle on site one by one. Before stepping outside the tunnel, I look up to check for a CT playing on top of this stack. While I'm checking that stack I'm still inside the tunnel and not exposed to the CT playing the corner on the left. Then I check that corner. Next, I press up against the stack so I can again check for a player playing the stack on the bombsite. After that I check car. Then deep in the cubby. And finally directly behind the stack.
  16. Kokopelli

    [CS:GO] Cusco

    @FMPONE @blackdog @Vaya @Lizard @Minos Thanks for all the feedback guys, you make good points. I haven't played too much with the skybox/lighting yet as I've been mainly focused on the layout, but I definitely would like to give it some love to make the map really stand out. The current lighting is the way it is because I do understand that players are psychologically drawn to brighter maps and visibility is such a big factor in how enjoyable the experience is, so I kept it simple. I hope to find a way to make it distinct without giving players any added anxiety or frustration. When do you guys find yourselves playing around with lighting the most? During blockout? During art pass? Or is it persistent throughout development? @Minos Thanks for sharing those resources! I'll will look into them further. @Radu What did you use to make your skybox for Chlorine? It is a lovely one indeed. Going to schedule a playtest for next weekend.
  17. Responding to some of your points from the last thread to hopefully move the conversation here. I don't think this is true. Most choke points are designed in a way that allows players to methodically check corners one by one. On Dust 2, the only spot where you're forced to take a 50/50 gamble is double doors on long as T (and I'd say it's the most egregious chokepoint of all the maps in the competitive pool). Every other chokepoint allows you to peak corners in a sequential manner. I don't think any map denies a player the ability to play without utility, but rather allows for enhanced play when it is used. A site on Mirage is probably the hardest to play without any utility but you can still clear each angle one by one if you know how. Overpass is a good example of a map that allows you to play without utility. The angles are really well designed for that, and yet it is considered one of the most tactical maps and is greatly enhanced by the usage of utility. I would argue this is what makes an e-sport an e-sport. What makes people appreciate a player's skill is how they are able to anticipate situations and recall their knowledge of the environment and the game's mechanics to overcome an opponent. There needs to be a certain amount of predictability to make that possible. It's the idea of mastery that hooks people onto e-sports and sports for that matter. I definitely believe we can find new ways to increase map depth without adding too much complexity and therefore unpredictability. But it's also important to realize that the derogatory way you've framed the game is precisely why people respect it. Dust 2 is the map layout that defined how Counter-strike is played but it's also a true relic. The engine 1.6 was built on basically required maps to be heavily segmented because of its limitations. And to some degree, maps still have to be built this way, but there is a lot more freedom now. The bigger argument for segmentation is you need teams to have to take gambles. There needs to be risk/reward for the pathing choices you make at any point during a round, so you have to be careful with how much visual intel you afford players. CTs should have to take some risks with their positioning. They can position themselves more favorably by pushing for map control and using process of elimination, as well as using sound cues to predict movement. I don't think it's fair to say designers here aren't thinking outside of the box so much as they are respecting the fundamental principles of how the game is played. I'm not saying we have it all figured out either. I think this is something to explore, but keep in mind every sight line is effectively another corner to check. If you've designed a tower for CTs to gain sight of a T across the map, that T has to know to check that tower window every time they cross X location as well as any other corner they already have to check along the path they are walking. You know what's not Dust 2? Train, Nuke, Overpass, Cache, Inferno, Vertigo, Canals and every entry from the last Mapcore competition. If you consider all of those dust 2, I think you're wishing for CS to be something it's not. On that note, I'm curious to see what ideas you come up with. I do believe there is a lot more room for exploration.
  18. Kokopelli

    [CS:GO] Cusco

    Updated video tour of the map.
  19. Kokopelli

    [CS:GO] Cusco

    I've been working slowly but surely to get Cusco in a good place for playtesting. It has been case after case of "oh, let me just fix this first," but now I think I'm happy enough to get this rolling! I've added a lot more architecture and placeholder detail throughout the map, partly to give the greybox some more character, but more importantly to start bringing the vision together. I've made many greyboxes in the past that had interesting ideas, but where so abstract in their conception I could not figure out how to bring it all together. With Cusco, it's been a very delicate dance between function and form all throughout development. There are still some things to work out, but for the most part, I think I was able to give each area of the map a coherent and distinct identity. CT SPAWN - Based on the Plaza de Armas, one of the most popular areas in the historic district in Cusco. It's a very open area with lots of pretty looking buildings. Seemed like the perfect eye candy for a spawn area. I've only worked on the playable area, but looking in the opposite direction will reveal an open view of the plaza. The added arches allowed me to add a thick pillar for much needed cover during rotations through CT spawn. A SITE - A Site is based around a hotel, which terrorists will attempt to destroy by blowing up a propane truck outside. I widened the windows above the doors for more grenade options during takes and retakes. Also added some vendor carts around the site for some addition cover. I added a little nook in the middle of the plant zone for a safer plant position. Moved some things around inside of the hotel lobby for readability. Also added a piano for partial cover. T Spawn - T spawn is based on the Santa Ana Arch. The route to B takes players through a cathedral based on the Basilica Catedral del Cusco. The route to A leads up a residential road based on architecture around the Santa Ana Arch. I spent a long time on google maps looking at various types of building designs that would work with the map's geometry. I focused on making things cohesive but also distinctive so players always know what part of the map they are in. Y - I opened up the lower part of the Y-juncture for a few reasons. It allows Ts to move more freely and clear angles more methodically on the approach. It also gives CTs an opportunity to push out and hold a new angle towards the upper area for more aggressive plays. The building the CTs play inside of is shaping up to be an apartment complex under construction. A MAIN - This staging area has turned into a warehouse. There are lots of construction material warehouses throughout the real city of Cusco. This area seemed like the right fit. Players can use the large windows above to throw grenades into the site. I reduced the height of the stairs leading from the warehouse by half and added sloped terrain behind it to make the incline more gradual. I also pushed it farther back to enable more medium to long range gun play along this route. B SITE - This site takes place outside the cathedral. Terrorists are trying to blow up a crypt that was built on the site of an Incan temple that was destroyed by the Spanish long ago. I redesigned the main CT entrance to nerf some sniper positions towards balcony that I felt were too deep and hard to predict. Added a crate against the wall so CTs pushing through smoke are rewarded with a more advantageous position. The view from balcony towards the CT main entrance is simpler and easier to read. The crate I added was placed so that it cannot give snipers cover from players on the balcony. MID - Layout for mid has remained mostly the same, just with some added architecture. Windows high up on the cathedral allow for lots of grenade play between mid and the staging area inside the cathedral for B site. One of my favorite features of the map. There are also windows overlooking the CT side of Mid as well as B site proper. UPDATED RADAR Check out the latest version on the workshop: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2098558153 I'll be scheduling a playtest shortly.
  20. I live in LA and I can say you captured the setting very nicely.
  21. Kokopelli

    [CS:GO] Cusco

    Made some adjustments to the pathing at A Main. Before: After: I replaced the cubby on the right with a more deepened space so Ts could push out and be rewarded with a position closer to the site. I also added some grassy elevation and replaced the cubby on the left with boost-able cover. Now if Ts get smoked out, they can boost up from the top of the hill and work parts of the site. ------ On the B site, I added some angled doors to the Crypt entrances to make positions in and around it more playable. I also extended the plant zone to the back wall so Ts have a safer plant position. ------ Inside the Cathedral, I closed up the mezzanine here with some boarded up archways. I initially had it opened up for quicker rotations, but decided to close it up to give Ts some more safety and reduce some of the unnecessary open space on the map. Updated Radar Feeling like this will be ready for a playtest really soon. Probably one more update or two. https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2098558153
  22. Kokopelli

    [CS:GO] Cusco

    I moved the CT spawns back a bit to adjust the timings for the A routes. This had the side effect of making the CT timings to mid too fast. Then it occurred to me: why not just completely remove the route from CT spawn to mid? I was already trying to think of ways to avoid the archetypal CT sniper window at mid after all. This allowed me to simplify the CT side of the map, improving rotation speeds and making mid less hectic. Current Layout Now CTs can only reach mid from B site and from the middle connector. Since mid ends in a T-juncture, CTs must coordinate effectively from either side to secure mid control. If Ts gain control, the T-juncture provides adequate safety to function as a staging area for B site, while also enabling fakes/rotations to A site through the connector at the center of the map. At least that's the idea. And with that, here's a first glimpse of Cusco! B site T Spawn A Main T-Side of Mid CT Spawn CT-Side of Mid A Site CT-Side of Mid Alt route to A CT Spawn to B Site Check it out in the workshop and let me know what you think! https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2098558153
  23. Kokopelli

    De_Despot [WIP]

    Looking better by the day. I'm glad you added that E-box so players can boost onto A site. The thought occurred to me while I was running around the map but forgot to mention.
  24. @Interfearance @The_Virus Yeah, those steps look like they are 16 units high. 8 Units height is more true to size and plays better. Cool environment though.
  25. Kokopelli

    De_Despot [WIP]

    I dig it. The timings are really tight and the map has a nice flow overall. Well done. Here are a few things I noticed that could be improved. Seems like the earliest pick a CT can get on this site is by sprinting to this position (7-8 seconds). The problem is the T gets better visibility of the CT. I imagine the T would win the encounter more often than the CT. I feel like there's too much brick going on throughout these tunnels, which kinda gives this feeling of not progressing. Could use some more texture to break up the repetition. Are CTs suppose to be able to see the legs of Ts standing here? I feel like those planks should extend and cover the whole length of the train. Or there could be a 32+ unit high elevation against the brick wall so Ts can avoid being seen at the cost of losing some mobility. This upper spot on the scaffolding is clipped off. There should be some visual representation of that, as it seems like a playable spot. You should rotate some of the CT spawns so that they are facing bombsite B. Took me awhile to discover the route to B site. There's also something about this route that makes me always want to go straight to bombsite A. Doesn't feel as tempting to make a right to mid. I feel like people are going to complain about this angle. There's a T right there and you can barely see him. Maybe just board that up. Most, if not all, of the T spawns didn't allow me to go up this ramp naturally, but instead had me jumping up to it. I see there's a ladder there, but it just felt a bit frustrating to tease me with the ramp. Is there a way to make it shorter so I can run up it from the start? That would feel more natural. This is one of the longest angles on the map and it's the CT's main way of navigating their side of the map. Might be a bit rough for CTs to retake this site. CTs need to cross the mid entrance to rotate, which also feels rough. Dust 2 gets away with it because the sightline through the double doors is very narrow. Mirage avoids it altogether by making it really inconvenient for Ts to get access to the CT side of the map.
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