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[CS:GO] de_sonora

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This is Sonora, a map ive been working on since February of 2018. Its been a rough ride during this maps development. I had hoped to have this map out in 6-8 months but now 18 months later its finally out. Nearly every location in this map has gone through 2 or 3 redesigns as I improved in skill, the map had been ready for release at least 3 times before some out of know where setback or bug would delay it.



The map is set in the American southwest, specifically in Arizona. I chose this location because I feel it is very under-represented in Video games and when it is, it is often displayed in harsher desert areas without much love shown to the more Touristy- upper middle class areas. I chose to set the map with the sun setting do to similar reasons. I find not a lot of maps are set in definite American environments either and this aims to try and capture a more genuine "American" feel to it.


The layout is based off the renown de_mill layout. While very obviously not the same as the original, the map is more of a hybrid of all the positive improvements from the numerous off shoots and variations of the original layout that have cropped up over the years (Except that one by you know who). I know remakes arnt everyone's favorite thing on mapcore but I chose to do this for 2 main reasons. First being Mill and its offshoots have been asked to be remade by players for nearly CSGOs entire life span, Second my first released map was often criticized for a poor layout and cover and I agreed with that. I took this remake as a learning experience to see what works and what doesnt as well as seeing past mistakes of other mappers. This map isnt just a hybrid of all the positive additions to the original, it contains many new ideas ive thrown into the mix which I believe will work well. 




A defuse map set in the American southwest, Sonora takes inspiration from the renowned de_mill layout while also mixing in elements and improvements from the numerus offshoots it has inspired over the years along with original ideas, creating its own unique gameplay and the ultimate competitive experience. Players must spread themselves out to maintain map control or risk being overrun by a flank from the opposition.




                “It was supposed to be an easy job…”

A terrorist attack in Italy has blown open in international drug and arms smuggling operation. While the Coalition-Taskforce closes in on linked Terror-cells abroad, local authorities in Arizona have found both the Auty Wine Company and the Massonnat Hotel to be key links in the operation. A cabal of well-Know and well-connected local and state officials involved with the trade risk having their shady-dealing exposed and worse yet, risk the wrath of the Phoenix for failing to conceal the operation. Using their connections this cabal has created an opening to strike. Police evidence transport vehicles have been delayed in transit, leaving the evidence sitting in the open. A team of top notch professionals had been hired to destroy the evidence. Six men, Two bombs, with no witnesses or police around, in and out in minutes, an easy job. That was until by chance an oncoming car smashed into the professional’s truck. Now with a man down, a single bomb remaining and a swat team is on the way to protect the evidence, this easy job is about to erupt into open war.


Select Screenshots








Radar Overview




In closing, I want everyone to know I am very open to feedback and criticism as I aim to make this map the best it can be. Feel free to say what ever you feel about the map and ill almost definitely take that into consideration. 



Screenshot Album

Action Screenshot Album

Edited by fewseb
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I woke up this morning to find Sonora now has 1/5 stars with 603 dislikes, with only 25 likes. Which seems odd because when I went to bed the 650 ish subs it had wernt rating it the often. It only had 20 likes and 1 dislike previously. I see nuke halloween got knocked down a star and the vostok recreation which worked its way up from 3 to 5 stars is now down to 2 stars. All the aim maps that had few ratings but were on the most popular page now have no stars.

Curiously, cyber city hide and seek has 1000 more positive ratings and hasnt been affected by this dislike wave. Anyway this was obviously a mass bot downvote wave, does anyone know if Valve actually goes through and deletes the dislikes or is it going to be permanent?

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Released a small update today based on some feedback I got

-Adjusted forklift angles
-Added back drops to bars in tunnels
-Adjusted textures on some props
-Made barrier in back alley clearer

-Adjusted some clipping





Im looking to optimize the map further but I would like to know how it runs on other peoples systems. On mine it runs about the same as Nuke and better then New cache but Ive heard some people say it runs very poorly for them. If anybody experiences poor performance please let me know.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sonora recently had a mapcore playtest and I learned a lot from people playing the map, there are my main takeaways

-As I suspected people on higher end systems then mine experienced poor framerate, im currently working on an optimization update

-The score at the end was surprisingly even with 16 CT and 14 T, the last round was especially close. I was surprised to see such an even score line, it speaks to the layout I suppose but Its not something I can take credit for given it’s a remake.

-Shout out to HUMHPREY, he failed at flashing out of kitchen a few times through out the match but managed to do it successfully and clutched the round at match point because of that.

-My favorite round had to be I believe the 24th, somewhere around there. Everyone had figured out all the tricks to A and both teams utilized them in trying to control A site. Ts won from pure numbers, but the defending CTs really used everything to their advantage. I liked how the T side waited to open both doors at once to create a crossfire for the ct defending at toilets.

-Everyone complained the door was too loud, I don’t know why but it seemed to play everywhere on the map. I used the same door settings as the nuke_zoo doors. It might be a strange one off issue? I havnt experienced it playing with bots and I ran into something equally strange a few years ago. When my previous map de_vermeil was tested by reddit community nights, the playtest had a strange issue where all the fish in the map would gitter and float in T spawn. This obviously wasn’t intentional and didn’t happen outside of that one playtest but it was still the #2 most complained about thing.

-Some highlights from the text/feedback files


Ouch that stings man


How is this a problem? More importantly why is expected they should turn off?


I don’t see how the body is any more or less necessary then any other decorative prop


I hope to somehow incorporate the layout feedback in the future, but for right now im mostly focused on optimizing, so if anyone has played it and has experienced frame rate issues, please tell me what settings you were on, where it was the worst and what your specs are. Just saying youre getting bad frames in general doesn’t help me iron out the problem areas.


Unfortunately I wasn’t there for the actual playtest do to some communication issues with the staff, so I didn’t hear anything said in the discord voice chat, so if anyone there had more criticisms not noted in the text and can remember what they were it would be great if you could post them here.

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Awful framerates pretty much everywhere. Dipping way under 100 in areas.

I have a  AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 3.8GHz + a 1660TI. I run on full settings (which gives me 300fps on most maps)

Map is quite simply 'over detailed' in places. It's very busy on the eyes, there's too much cover. Skybox and lighting doesn't help either. Simplify.


The whole 'crash' scene in spawn is weird and quite ugly.

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13 minutes ago, Vaya said:

The whole 'crash' scene in spawn is weird and quite ugly.

I kind of liked the crash scene, although it should be heavily touched up to makeit feel more natural & the spawn felt a bit cramped.

Maybe replace the skatepark with something else? Also the map also had fps slowdowns even for someone with a weaker PC (3.2ghz ryzen 5 1600 with a 1050ti) quite noticeably as well.

Also the tunnel felt useless and iirc the kitchen door that leads to the A site felt very cramped. Either remove the tunnel altogether or make it so that it feels less tacked on.

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I thought it looked like some early gmod shit :D posted ragdoll at an un-natural angle. It's lacking all sort of subtly- I guess that's the issue across most of the map though. 100s of breakable windows using the 'surf' version etc. it all adds up.


There's a reason I removed all the underground stuff in CSGO too - it was always overkill for that site's design. Having 2 doors (?? :D) adds to that too.

Edited by Vaya
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Areas like this having transparent windows really doesn't help any optimization you have set up. The cafe for example is VERY prop heavy (including dynamics) and you have it visible for quite a distance.




2 layers of crates + pillars? bleh. Wayyy too busy.




This building + the radio tower + the building in the other corner are most likely the core causes of your FPS issues. you can see them from everywhere. Having this many models so high up with no fade is bad idea.




FYI what is happening here but my FPS hates it.




Not sure what you are blowing up on this site (ladder safe?) but it looks weird as hell. Bar + building site and a neat flowerbed? :S





Very weird trim. Crazy amount of lights (with entities too close to the wall.)






I remember these stairs! they still look weird as hell. Why are they leading to some sort of building site pit too.



Why is the ground made out of floorboards here. Very weird.


I could do a lot of this but I guess the take away from this is subtly >>> prop spam. Less is more here.

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55 minutes ago, Vaya said:



Not sure what you are blowing up on this site (ladder safe?) but it looks weird as hell. Bar + building site and a neat flowerbed? :S

Uh, its a hot-tub. They are pretty common at mid-level hotels here in the US, outdoor ones not so much but I wanted to do a round bomb plant zone. As for what you're actually blowing up, that would be the pallets of cocaine within the shipping containers. The construction going on around it is there to justify the scaffolding area. Beyond being an out door hot tub what about it sticks out as weird?


1 hour ago, Vaya said:



I remember these stairs! they still look weird as hell. Why are they leading to some sort of building site pit too.

Ah yes the classic stairs, unfinished and leading to a newly built entrance to an under construction basketball court. Why is the other side flat? They havnt built those stairs yet. Why didnt I just make it a boring alley way with a simple staircase and a lame chain link fence on the other side? IDK I thought this would work out better but I guess not.


1 hour ago, Vaya said:



Why is the ground made out of floorboards here. Very weird.

The aforementioned basketball court, again I thought it would be more obvious they it turned out. The boards are there so the workers can still walk without risking tripping, much like the stairs I looked into how outdoor basketball courts were made and perhaps tried to be too authentic. I never got a piece of art done explaining the basketball court project but perhaps its time I look into finishing that.


Overall though its nice to see you went above and beyond to showing the areas you think are problematic, I appreciate being able to see the FPS too. I disagree with some of your assessments but I definitely agree the A site pillar area is too much, I thought something similar when I was play testing with bots but I thought a proper human trial would be needed to see how it actually plays out.

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53 minutes ago, fewseb said:

Beyond being an out door hot tub what about it sticks out as weird?

I have lived in the us my whole life and only ever seen fabric and plastic hot tub covers. 

From a purely thematic standpoint, half of the clutter Vaya talks about is created by the last minute construction that seems to be occurring everywhere. Its like plot convenience in a game and it has also been overused.

Even though I could nitpick about theme forever like someone else 👀 I will leave you with this: If the average player doesn't understand or enjoy a thematic element, why is it in your map? Change da world. Goodbye.

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Quick update, after waiting a month ive decided to reupload the map since the Bot downvotes haven't gone away. This new version includes what I hope to improved FPS. I say this because I could not adequately test the FPS on my end. I believe my video card is dying so there severe FPS spikes on every map I play. All I can say for certain is that in certain areas the old version my FPS would get about 80 before dying down to 60, in this new version I seemed to obtain FPS in 120s before that died down to 60 again. This was consistent in my testing.

So if anybody is willing, please down load the new version on the workshop and tell me if your FPS has improved, stayed the same or become worse.


New Workshop Page

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