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Radix

[CS:GO] de_austria (WIP)

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This is one of those soul-destroying things :( you would expect/hope that Valve was more communicative with the contributors. A map that has been in the cycle for this long deserved it. Also it’s still winter, I don’t see why removing the winter-y maps now.

Only lesson I would make of it, is to try and engage with the CSGO team early in the process, maybe they weren’t expecting your update the map.

Hopefully it will be reintroduced next autumn 🤞🏼 

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5 hours ago, blackdog said:

This is one of those soul-destroying things :( you would expect/hope that Valve was more communicative with the contributors. A map that has been in the cycle for this long deserved it. Also it’s still winter, I don’t see why removing the winter-y maps now.

Only lesson I would make of it, is to try and engage with the CSGO team early in the process, maybe they weren’t expecting your update the map.

Hopefully it will be reintroduced next autumn 🤞🏼 

The middle section was interesting and I don't have too big of a problem with snow, but last time I played the map my frames were terrible on a 1050ti and i7 9(20?). I don't understand how optimization was such a huge oversight. Also the t spawns are really badly designed because the best spawns for every lane are the front row meaning that luck is a factor in rush timings and you can get screwed by the furthest back spawn. It had a nice theme though.

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3 hours ago, Radix said:

Well, it's okay that it's been removed. It has been in the game for 20 months. There are only 2 community maps which have been in CS:GO for longer: agency and cache...
To be honest, it's ridiculous how long austria has been in CS:GO. It's really not that good after all. It doesn't look as good as the other maps, most of the assets are really bad. I made many of them with Propper back then (which is just LOL), because I could not handle Blender yet. There are also a couple of problems with the gameplay. And optimization is a problem because I did it wrong. I used way too many small props. Nearly all other maps run faster (only subzero and biome are also a bit slow), but that's because the "autocombine" feature doesn't work (or I'm just too dumb to make it work?). E.g. de_nuke would lag like shit if it didn't use static prop combine.
The bad performance is probably one of the biggest reasons why the map dropped out in the end. So it's sad that I could not finish my update earlier, which made it run ~20% faster, and there was still some space to squeeze a little bit more out of it. And, as already said, I also replaced a majority of the ugly props with better ones.

So, why didn't I update the map earlier?
In early 2016 Valve killed the compiler for me. There was a bug which made static props look way too bright when lit by a light_spot. In most other maps this wasn't a big issue, but still noticeable. But it made de_austria look really bad because there are many static light sources and white textures (snow), so I could not update my workshop submission anymore. So I wrote to my contact guys at Valve something like 4 times, but never got an answer. So I decided, to leave the map like it was. There were no game breaking bugs, and it was added to an Operation already, so it wasn't really necessary to improve the map anymore. So I decided to make a new map. But after nearly 2 years of working on it I realized that it was just not good enough. So I took a break from it and came back to de_austria, when it was promoted to competitive matchmaking again. I wrote to Valve again asking for a compiler bugfix, and it was finally fixed in December 2018. But ultimately too late for me and de_austria.

What about communication with Valve?
I have two guys from Valve in my Steam contact list and an email address. If you want an answer you should probably use the email, lol.
Usually they tell you what they want and what you have to do. Sometimes they send you a list of bugs in your map. Once (October 2018) I got some balancing stats of de_austria (T vs CT win percentage in different skill rankings, pistol round vs later in the match), which helped a lot, but it was too late to actually use this information.
But I never knew how many players were actually playing the map (compared to other maps). Nothing about which game modes were played or how rounds are won (bomb vs kill them all etc.). And of course I did not know that the map would be removed.
Maybe this was all my fault. Maybe I should have asked explicitly for information. But I always felt like "they are busy, don't bother them and just do your thing". But that's probably what's wrong with me.
Would be interesting to hear what the other Operation guys think about communication with Valve...

All in all de_austria has been a huge success for me. The Operation money I got, plus the payment for 10/2018 - 01/2019, (all in all ~1,5 Operations) gave me the chance to work on another map for two years. Unfortunately I failed. So time to get back to serious business, I guess.
Unfortunately there are no Operations anymore and the current payment is just not enough. So even if you get added for 3-4 months like subzero, it's still a financial fail. So we probably won't see as many high quality maps anymore in the future.

Well, optimization is an issue in de_austria, but it's not that bad, I think. My system is >2 years old and de_austria still runs >>200fps at any time with a high screen resolution and max detail. I have another old pc (most components >15 (!) years) and it's still playable.

In 5v5 you should always spawn at the front row.

But things like that should be reported earlier. Why not write a comment on the workshop page of the map (or in this thread)? I mean, I could have changed anything in the map, but nearly never got any useful suggestions (except what's in this thread here and a few bug reports).

Now I know my PC is really messed up XD. Pretty sure I didn't know about mapcore during hydra and didn't know there was an Austria thread :( Fmpone apparently made 18k plus off of the cache remake in the operations and it's in the game now so there is some sort of nda with valve so he's prolly not too short on paper to continue but who knows. Anyway it's really nice to see someone admit failures but if I have to be honest Austria was way better than Biome from both a casual and competitive standpoint due to it's  much greater simplicity and catering to various ranges of guns. Can you tell what the theme of your next next map will be yet? 👀

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3 hours ago, Vaya said:

congrats on your success with this map/. with the 2 year project - you should post on here or on the discord with the issues you are facing. it might be savable.

Thanks! Of course it's saveable. I will try my best (I would even try to save a stupid snowman in hell, I guess 😉).

But I wasted a lot of time and I can't spend so many hours per week working on it anymore. So I will probably finish this 2021 or so. Maybe even de_highlands will be released earlier. 😅

15 minutes ago, Interfearance said:

 Can you tell what the theme of your next next map will be yet?

I chose a setting in Norway/Scandinavia,  a little similar to blacksite, the Danger Zone map. But I never managed to make it look right. Maybe I'll change to something else. Have to rebuild 30-50% of the layout anyways...

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@Radix , I think that you are too harsh on yourself. You did an amazing job in the limits imposed by the old and dusty source engine.  I played this map many times on a 44 slot server at full capacity and nobody complained about frames per second ever. 

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37 minutes ago, Serialmapper said:

@Radix , I think that you are too harsh on yourself. You did an amazing job in the limits imposed by the old and dusty source engine.  I played this map many times on a 44 slot server at full capacity and nobody complained about frames per second ever. 

Hmm maybe I'm an anomaly but my frames were really bad and my friends complained too. It was like black gold for us.

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I apologize for the off-topic

When you have a 60Hz monitor and you have just over 60 fps, it doesn't matter if you don't have 300.

Edited by Serialmapper

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On 1/26/2019 at 6:17 PM, Radix said:

What about communication with Valve?
I have two guys from Valve in my Steam contact list and an email address. If you want an answer you should probably use the email, lol.
Usually they tell you what they want and what you have to do. Sometimes they send you a list of bugs in your map. Once (October 2018) I got some balancing stats of de_austria (T vs CT win percentage in different skill rankings, pistol round vs later in the match), which helped a lot, but it was too late to actually use this information.
But I never knew how many players were actually playing the map (compared to other maps). Nothing about which game modes were played or how rounds are won (bomb vs kill them all etc.). And of course I did not know that the map would be removed.
Maybe this was all my fault. Maybe I should have asked explicitly for information. But I always felt like "they are busy, don't bother them and just do your thing". But that's probably what's wrong with me.
Would be interesting to hear what the other Operation guys think about communication with Valve...

Had pretty much the same experience, except I knew the maps would be switched up in January (because I specifically asked). Didn't know the playtimes, was a little surprised it was biome that stayed, especially since it had the longest MM queue times. Would be good to have a playtime API like operation hydra did. I guess for now it's best to just ask them how your map is doing playtime-wise and hope they answer.

On 1/26/2019 at 6:17 PM, Radix said:

But things like that should be reported earlier. Why not write a comment on the workshop page of the map (or in this thread)? I mean, I could have changed anything in the map, but nearly never got any useful suggestions (except what's in this thread here and a few bug reports).

Did you check out reddit comments? I think there's a lot of feedback in various update and map related threads on r/globaloffensive.

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On 2/2/2019 at 12:25 PM, jd40 said:

Had pretty much the same experience, except I knew the maps would be switched up in January (because I specifically asked). Didn't know the playtimes, was a little surprised it was biome that stayed, especially since it had the longest MM queue times. Would be good to have a playtime API like operation hydra did. I guess for now it's best to just ask them how your map is doing playtime-wise and hope they answer.

The queue time is just one hint. But there is also casual matchmaking, deathmatch etc.

As long as Austria was in Casual MM group Sigma, it was doing pretty well. I often played it in deathmatch to warm up, and it felt like every second match was on de_austria. But the moment Valve moved it to group Delta, it wasn't played anymore because now it had to compete with mirage, cache and inferno which is just:

2e6mdl.jpg

Not only are these maps on a completely different popularity/quality level, but also they are AWP maps and Austria is not. So people who like the AWP, queue for this MM group, but Austria doesn't like AWP players. 😎

Maybe it would have been more transparent if there were something like 3 different groups of (de_) maps. New maps get added to group 3. The most popular maps of group 3 get moved to group 2, while the least popular maps of group 2 get degraded to group 3 and the least popular maps of group 3 drop out (and so on for the other groups).

So if your favorite map is in group 3, you should play it a little more often so that it doesn't drop out. On the other hand there would be a chance to get rid of maps like cobble 🤐😂

Or maybe a completely different queuing system where you vote against maps you don't want to play or whatever.

Also there should be a little more time for new maps to establish. So "2 in, 2 out" after ~3 months has the consequence that the new maps will be removed immediately again in most cases.

In my opinion for example subzero is better than canals, cobble (nuke and train). It just needed some balancing work to be done (?). But there was absolutely no time to get it done for a single person...

(Also: What about Wingman community maps? Hostage maps? ...)

On 2/2/2019 at 12:25 PM, jd40 said:

Did you check out reddit comments? I think there's a lot of feedback in various update and map related threads on r/globaloffensive.

Yeah, reddit is probably the place to go when you are looking for player feedback. But it's just player's opinions, not reliable data. So for example pretty much everyone said, de_austria was imbalanced. One half of the players meant it's heavily T-sided. The other half said, it's CT-sided. But according to the data I got from Valve it was pretty much 50:50... 😆

In the end the most useful feedback was just playing the map and watching others play it. And of course some youtube videos, e.g. from 3kliksphilip or TheWarOwl (who really knows what he's talking about).

Edited by Radix

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1 hour ago, Radix said:

So for example pretty much everyone said, de_austria was imbalanced. One half of the players meant it's heavily T-sided. The other half said, it's CT-sided. But according to the data I got from Valve it was pretty much 50:50... 😆

Yup been there 😄

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6 hours ago, Radix said:

pretty much everyone said, de_austria was imbalanced. One half of the players meant it's heavily T-sided. The other half said, it's CT-sided. But according to the data I got from Valve it was pretty much 50:50... 😆

Yeah, not sure how reliable those comments are and the funny statistics don’t surprise me, as I managed to play competitive Austria max 4 times in all these months: how can you get a proper understanding of the balance on such a small sample (I assume the average player has played this little as well, since nobody likes to queue for 5+ min and would never select just one map to play). I’ve played the same of Biome and Subzero already… and I’m always having these community maps in my selection, and bear in mind most often I leave out Mirage, Inferno, Dust 2 (then for following matches I tend to remove the maps I’ve just played, most often Cache, Nuke).

It’s very true that Austria was super popular in DM, and noticed that drop you describe. Although I’m not sure the AWP argument is correct: I pretty much always play my DM with AWP or Scout (since I don’t snipe in comp) and I won several matches on Austria no problem. I think that if people are DMing to warm up, they might want to do on maps they will queue up next, to “refresh their angles” (although to me most people look like just running around like CODders).

btw is the voting somewhat broken? Often seems I don’t get to vote what map to play next, don’t see the “roulette” animation in case of tie votes…

~

regarding queuing, I never thought before a change could be useful, but after listening Warowl suggest a “veto” approach instead, I really do like the idea and sounds you do too, unless you’ve come to the same conclusion without watching one of the latest videos

It would work perfectly for me as well considering I am basically already permabanning only Mirage, Inferno, D2.

(Also Valve please remove the CS maps why are they even in the competitive rotation?)

~

OT: I’m a bit puzzled by the comment of Subzero being better than Train and Nuke, I know they are not much loved by the average player, but I think that’s because they’re structured much differently, whilst Subzero is much more classic in its layout. I personally really like the weird rotations you get on Nuke/Train and literally grown to love Train for the amount of cat-and-mouse occasions you can create… I guess fits my play style and got some of my best clutches on it.

Edited by blackdog

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