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NihiL

[WIP] de_spice (playtest tonight at 9pm CET)

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Hello there everybody! First-time poster here but long-time CS mapper (mostly ~1.5 era, skipped Source, just recently got into CS:GO mapping). I just finished my very first CS:GO map called de_spice and I'd love to get more feedback.

NJdGavA.png

CT spawn west, T spawn east, A bombsite south, B bombsite north.

Here's me walking around on it and talking about the newest updates if you want to get a better picture:

 

Two screenshots:

jrn1Yj4.jpg

uJRW3mO.jpg

More screenshots:

zEqzMdT.jpg11Cmp90.jpgeop7A8Z.jpgsBydllV.jpgYpht3fh.jpgbsGSaZG.jpgPiGKOV9.jpgRQSBMYY.jpguVcCPnj.jpgdNM4KRM.jpgJEc2h0V.jpg

 

And if you want to walk around on it (please do if you want to leave feedback, it makes it much more valuable!): STEAM WORKSHOP LINK http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=271742721

This map has already undergone three big updates and a full Reddit playtesting session.

Here's things I already am aware of:

- The setting is boring. This is something I learned from making this map. Just going for Dust 2/Mirage Middle-Eastern village crap isn't enough. Unfortunately it's too late to change that for de_spice obviously.

- Same goes for the visuals. It looks Source-y because I haven't figured out a good Maya or 3DS Max workflow for importing custom models quite yet and didn't do custom textures either. A complete revamp is also out of the question at this point.

- You are spread thin as CTs on the map in the beginning. There's 4 as opposed to 3 areas to cover (A, Middle, Apps and B where in for example Dust 2 it's just A, Middle and B because you can watch Short from Middle). This is something I'm thinking of changing but it would need more feedback and testing.

Apart from that, I'd love to find out what you think of it, what should be improved and so on. Maybe there are any tricks or tips for a newcomer like me?

Cheers!

Edited by NihiL
Embedded youtube video for MORE VIEWS!!!11!1

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I'm going to run around and try to find some exploits and bugs. Talk to you soon ^_^

 

Only thing I could find in the first play was a graphical issue, palm trees that float in the water.

http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/38624733534296512/B5D34B71B5954CA8DBA45422407E0DCD1649BE49/

Edited by Bastion

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Hey Bastion, thanks for running around de_spice! I've already fixed countless boosts and exploits after the previous playtesting but it's always nice to get more people to try and break the map haha.

Thanks for the report, that should be easy enough to fix, cheers.

Any more feedback anybody?

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I'm at work so am unable to run around the map which will ofc give me a slightly different view, but it would help to offer a lot more screenshots so people know what they are subscribing to. Not everyone wants to watch a video and even fewer will subscribe just to test it. Consequently I am working from the radar image.

9c438a907e4e078bef467df5dbc142b7.png

Everything in that orange circle is far too complicated. It's a labyrinth. And by my count (judging from the radar, as this is what I would look at to help navigate myself) bombsite A has about 5 entrances. You need to massively simplify that area. If it's easy to flank (even easier when you are a couple of CTs down and can't hold all the angles), people are going to get shot in the back a lot and that pisses people off and will automatically deter them from playing again.

The route to A from T spawn can be done via mid, the southern most route. In fact, you don't even need to go mid as a terrorist, you have full access to all the routes going both ways which means mid has no tactical value.

The CT route to A is a pretty boring one if i'm honest, and is a horrific chokepoint. You could quite easily open it up.

Another problem you have is very long sightlines everywhere.

I'd get this playtested on mapcore (more / again?)

TLDR:

  • Your routes are far too complex and will lead to people getting lost and flanking (neither are good)
  • Your bombsites have too many entrances (there's a reason it's normally 2-3)
  • You have far too many long sightlines leading to campy, AWP matches
  • A lot of your paths are too narrow (imo 160units wide is a good starting point, get some variation in there)
Edited by jackophant

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I don't have any feedback on this as I'm not a mapper but it looks good. What I particularly like is how you took the effort of making a video going over the features of the map and what has changed because of feedback. I want to see more of this!

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@Dennispls: Thank you very much, I got the idea from FMpone/Vulcano who did this for crown back in the day!

 

@jackophant:

Thank you very much for taking a look!

So, the issue is that the map has a degree of verticality to it that you're not getting from just looking at the radar map obviously. So you've misunderstood a number of routes unfortunately. The orange 'labyrinth' is lessened because in that red circle, that's actually a very high wall you can't see through (except for a very small window). So it's much more straight-forward. And mid has a connector to A that isn't shown because of the apps above. So it's definitely got more value than what it looks like. Same goes for the bombsite entrances, A has 3 and B 2 which I'd consider standard (2 of the three A entrances can be covered by one position: mid).

The long sightlines is probably true, you didn't quite get the points of confrontation right on your radar map since T spawn is actually in a second-story apartment so at B the fights don't occur on the long beach in the north but rather closer to the warehouse itself, but that's (intended) to be very long-range. At A, you've got mid or the market shop (south route) which are also fairly long range so I agree that these could be less AWP-ey haha. And then there's apps which are pretty normal range I guess.

Good point on the narrow-ness, 160 units sounds like a good starting point!

Thanks again for taking the time, that's very appreciated. I initially didn't provide all that many screenshots because I - ironically - wanted to avoid getting too much feedback based on images and not actually running the map, because I consider that more valuable feedback for obvious reasons. But your point is valid, I should take a couple extra screenshots (they're also on the steam workshop page as I said in my original post) haha.

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@NihiL Thanks for clearing a couple of things up for me.

Although I might not have acknowledged the verticality of the area, the fact that all those routes exist is still the problem even if it's slightly more obvious a route than I had initially anticipated. If someone were to be just dropped into your map, especially if you have complex routes, you need to make sure that the radar is clear on what I can and can't traverse. That tall wall at A looks like it could probably be awped through, and if you say there is a window there, it sounds even more T sided.

I highlighted the long sightlines to show long angles, not contact points. The T's might decide to camp outside the bombsite and that's an angle they can abuse, or a CT can watch from the site if Ts are slow/rotating from elsewhere.

When someone plays the map, they are going to be able to see what you would have shown in the screenshots. I had actually checked your workshop link and you 3 videos and 6 photos (including your radar) which really didn't give anything away.

You need to provide the eye candy for people so they know exactly what they're getting into and if they'll like it or not rather than gambling. When I browse the workshop I quite frankly don't bother trying a map if the mapper can't even be bothered to make a few screenshots. You need let your work sell itself!

GL HF

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Yeah radar maps just can't do vertical elements justice, not sure what I could do to improve my radar map. I tried semi-transparent overlays for upper sections but that honestly just made it more confusing :(

About the sightlines: Gotcha. My philosophy is that, if Ts camp at the beach, CTs just don't need to push out. If they do, it's a newbie mistake similar to rushing Banana on Inferno when there's no need etc. But yeah, it's a long shot range there. Can be nullified with a simple smoke though!

Okay so more screenshots are needed for the workshop page, that's very useful info, I don't really have too much experience with 'marketing' haha. I have now removed the two older videos so there's only one left and added a bunch more, better screenshots to the Steam workshop page. Here they are:

zEqzMdT.jpg11Cmp90.jpgeop7A8Z.jpgsBydllV.jpgYpht3fh.jpgbsGSaZG.jpgPiGKOV9.jpgRQSBMYY.jpguVcCPnj.jpgdNM4KRM.jpgJEc2h0V.jpg

Thanks again for taking the time to take a look.

Edited by NihiL

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Looks good so far. Is that a forklift in that container?

uVcCPnj.jpg

It' looks a little weird. How did it get in there? Maybe add some wooden boards or something like that as a little ramp.

I like the toppled-over dome in the background.

 

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not sure what I could do to improve my radar map.

About the sightlines: Gotcha. My philosophy is that, if Ts camp at the beach, CTs just don't need to push out. If they do, it's a newbie mistake similar to rushing Banana on Inferno when there's no need etc. But yeah, it's a long shot range there. Can be nullified with a simple smoke though!

The wall out side A, outline it so it looks solid on the radar. The way I outline my radar is block out everything in black with white outline even stuff you can jump over, unlessunless toyouy can step down off it, and then you just have a single white line on the edge of the lowest area of ground.

The problem with those sight lines is that maps require CT rotation, and if Ts haven't been sighted it's not uncommon for the CTs to uniformly push forward to trap hesitant/slow Ts in a corner somewhere manageable, restricting their rotation. You've almost given Ts the entire map to run around freely in, coupled with lots of entrances to A, I think CTs are going to have a hard time covering it all.

You really need to get it on a play test, asap as slots will fly off the shelves now the mapping competition is under way

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Looks good so far. Is that a forklift in that container?

uVcCPnj.jpg

It' looks a little weird. How did it get in there? Maybe add some wooden boards or something like that as a little ramp.

I like the toppled-over dome in the background.

 

Thanks @esspho! So, bombsite A is a construction site. There's an unfinished mosque being build there and the Terrorists are trying to blow that up. That thing in the container isn't really a forklift, more like a moving elevated 'stage' for construction workers, kind of like window cleaners have on skyscrapers, except it's on a vehicle. It's under that metal barring with the blue sign as that is kind of the metal skeleton for the next wall of the building. And the thing was packed into the container for over-night storage. Does that make sense? :)

The wall out side A, outline it so it looks solid on the radar. The way I outline my radar is block out everything in black with white outline even stuff you can jump over, unlessunless toyouy can step down off it, and then you just have a single white line on the edge of the lowest area of ground.

The problem with those sight lines is that maps require CT rotation, and if Ts haven't been sighted it's not uncommon for the CTs to uniformly push forward to trap hesitant/slow Ts in a corner somewhere manageable, restricting their rotation. You've almost given Ts the entire map to run around freely in, coupled with lots of entrances to A, I think CTs are going to have a hard time covering it all.

You really need to get it on a play test, asap as slots will fly off the shelves now the mapping competition is under way

​@jackophant: Done! I added in the white outline to the wall on the radar dds and improved the white stroke effect on other parts of the map as well. It doesn't completely solve the issue of overlapping vertical elements but it does make it clearer in these key areas. Thanks for the tip!

Let's talk more about the sight lines. First I thought they were just too long in general, ie. too many AWP ranges and not enough close combat areas, but it seems you're talking about a different kind of problem now? Sorry if I'm a bit slow to understand :P On my map, the idea for CTs is that you defend both bombsites from within the site, exactly like Cache and Mirage for example. If CTs have mid and apps under control, there is only one entrance to the A bombsite. Note that mid and apps are connected in this map, so this position can be played by only one CT! There's a maximum of 3 routes into A if and only if both mid and apps control is lost by CTs. I'd compare this to A site Inferno where Ts can get 3 routes into A if they get apps and mid control as well.

Just so we are on the same wavelength for the discussion/theory, the standard CT stance would be 2 in B (which has 2 entrances so that should be enough), 2 in mid (1 mid itself, the other covering Apps) and then that leaves A with just one single route (the Market area to the south) which would be held by the last CT and can be smoked/flashed very well. Very similar to holding B on Dust 2 which is also mostly done by a single player:

sunAiHH.png

About the playtesting: I already did that :) spice was playtested on reddit 2 weeks ago! Back then, the map was different and I already changed the layout according to the feedback haha.

 

I really hope this doesn't come across as super defensive from me, I greatly appreciate your and everybody else's feedback. I'm just trying to really understand the issues that people have with the map so I can make the changes and learn from it for future projects as well. Please do follow up and let me know what you're thinking @jackophant!

Edited by NihiL

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@NihiL It's not coming across as defensive, but I would understand if it was, lol.

I understand what you are going for with how CTs play on the bombsite, but I'm talking about later situations. CTs don't have much room to play with if they want to push through. CTs pushing is a perfectly valid late round tactic if Ts are taking too long and you want to shut the map down around them giving them less space to coordinate.

Radar changes sound good! May I also suggest changing the angle of your sun? Right now you have 1 bombsite inside, and the other outside, but permanently cast in shadow. Perhaps playing around with the light_environment to have the light shining into the bombsite instead and maybe have a slightly different pitch, perhaps -70ish to have shorter shadows.

Anyway, this is your project, I'm going to shut up now :)

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​ So, bombsite A is a construction site. There's an unfinished mosque being build there and the Terrorists are trying to blow that up. That thing in the container isn't really a forklift, more like a moving elevated 'stage' for construction workers, kind of like window cleaners have on skyscrapers, except it's on a vehicle. It's under that metal barring with the blue sign as that is kind of the metal skeleton for the next wall of the building. And the thing was packed into the container for over-night storage. Does that make sense? :)

​I guess so. But  I'm still wondering how that thing will get out of there again :v

Good luck to you!

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@NihiL It's not coming across as defensive, but I would understand if it was, lol.

I understand what you are going for with how CTs play on the bombsite, but I'm talking about later situations. CTs don't have much room to play with if they want to push through. CTs pushing is a perfectly valid late round tactic if Ts are taking too long and you want to shut the map down around them giving them less space to coordinate.

Radar changes sound good! May I also suggest changing the angle of your sun? Right now you have 1 bombsite inside, and the other outside, but permanently cast in shadow. Perhaps playing around with the light_environment to have the light shining into the bombsite instead and maybe have a slightly different pitch, perhaps -70ish to have shorter shadows.

Anyway, this is your project, I'm going to shut up now :)

Ah okay. To be perfectly honest, I never thought about CTs pushing when I designed the map. I just evaluated how CTs would cover the map initially and how Ts can break in to the bombsites. So that's a very interesting new perspective for me. I can't come up with any concrete changes that I could make to the layout to change that situation however so far, any ideas? Please don't 'shut up' haha! Good call on the sun angle, I will play around with that and see if I can't get the bombsite to be more in the sun. I really like the current sun angle in other spots right now so it's going to be a tough decision! I'll definitely try increasing the pitch though as you said. There's something to be said, aesthetically, for long dramatic shadows but gameplay has priority and it would improve visibility!

 

​I guess so. But  I'm still wondering how that thing will get out of there again :v

Good luck to you!

​Well it's mobile! It's got wheels haha! You wheel it in and out of the container is how I picture it to work.

Thanks for checking the map out guys and please do keep feedback coming! Cheers.

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Okay I've decided I want to try and enter de_spice into the Mapcore & r/GlobalOffensive contest so now I'm beautifying it as much as possible with the extremely little time I have per day (so I do one area a day or something). Here's some new shots:

3LrM7oH.jpgraWusaW.jpg

That part of the map is called Market and it's the tunnel that leads to A from the Bunker. I decided to finally do it's name justice! :) This is similar to an area seen in de_sparity. Sue me! I'm having an issue where some props get a very bright lighting effect, anybody know the issue? Do I need to bother creating light origin's for these assets?

KkAlYhf.jpg

And this one shows some new decals for the thin Mid to A connector under the Plank, some updated lighting and the new sun light as well (thanks for the tip)!

Any opinions? Further feedback on more basic stuff like the layout are still very welcome too. I want to improve this map AS MUCH AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE hehe.

Edited by NihiL

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