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So this is a map I hoped to create over 10 years ago originally for Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. Unfortunately for me the game died in popularity before I could really get the ball rolling. It's based on a real life location that I have visited to many times to count. I've always thought it was suited to an FPS game due to it's layout allowing a good flow.

I'm a huge fan of Library from GoldenEye on the N64. I loved the multiple layers of the map, where the high ground having less area to roam but the advantage of a good viewpoint whereas the lower levels had more cover and multiple ways to flank, even with hidden doors! I also like how it was two maps rolled into one. You could play Basement for a more 1on1 close combat game, Stack for 1on1 longer range gameplay or Library for a more spaced out 4 player game.

With the old GoldenEye map in mind, my intention is to build a map that can be broken up and played individually depending on the game type. For example; Defuse would be played West to East with the North and South sealed off and in the background, Hostage could be played North to South and finally all areas accessible for casual gameplay such as Arms Race or other custom game types.

Due to the nature of a map such as this, I'm aiming to try and finish just one section in order to submit it in time for the competition deadline (Probably a defuse map). I might not actually make it but getting something out in the wild and play tested will at least scratch my decade and a half old itch. This competition provides me with a bit of motivation and also sharing it's progress feeds my hunger to always be learning.

 


Backstory
 

Spoiler

An organised criminal gang with ties to a terrorist organisation have targeted a luxury jewelers inside a large mall. The group have planned a sophisticated heist consisting of two alternative options:

Plan A - Stealth
Knock out the mall's security control room, preventing anyone from raising the alarm and buying the gang time to break into the jewelers

Plan B - Brute Force
Blow up the vault door within the jewelers, a much quicker option but carries larger risk

Layout

Spoiler

As this is based on a real world location it means I'm working in a backwards manner then most mappers in the competition. I pretty much already have a basic layout to work from and I've got to adapt it to make it actually work in a game of CS:GO. I guess I'm not making this easy for myself really.

Here's a map and aerial view of the real location:
 

N4JZtIa.png
0TVK7yT.jpg

Yep you guessed it, it's just a mall, but stick with me on this one. This mall is like no other that I've ever seen before. It's almost like what you'd expect from a theme park which is one of the reasons I've always had a love for it.

Ti9jCND.jpg


U2zUfP9.jpg

YV6fCfI.jpg

The mall has a rococo/late baroque architectural style throughout. It also has themed areas such as New Orleans, China Town and a huge cruise liner that acts as a food court. It's an extremely fascinating place to walk around, let alone shop or kill terrorists.


Progress Updates

Initial progress update can be found within the first post
(Click an update blow to view)

  1. Added roof section to main mall 
  2. Initial work on 'the Dome' (CT Spawn) and the map's backstory
  3. Planned main areas and initial map sketch
  4. Started work on Bombsite A, a Luxury Jewelers called Raven&Co.


Risks, Comments & Changes

Spoiler
  • It's going to be super hard to get the balance of the map correct between T and CT sides
    • The mall is relatively symmetrical which i'm hoping helps prevent this problem
  • I'm aware long maps give bias to AWPers
    • Most of the stores will have their shutters down however some will be accessible in order to provide ways to advance under cover
  • I've never created models before and i'm worried the map won't be as aesthetically pleasing as I'd hoped without some custom ones
  • I've never really released a full blown polished map to the public before either (only really used them with friends at Lan parties etc) so this in itself is a challenge/a little bit scary.

 

Fun facts

Spoiler
  • The mall was used in a large scale police anti-terror rehearsal back in 2018. Footage of the mock attack can be found online on various news outlets/YouTube.
  • The company that originally built the mall has a secret board room under one of the malls famous dome roofs.
  • The 2 story mall is said to be 'future proof' regarding expansion. It has a sealed off 3rd floor and the infrastructure already in place for an additional row of stores.
  • It's currently the largest mall in the UK (185,000m2) and has the largest food court in Europe.

 

 

Edited by DazRave
Added update 4

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Initial Progress

Here's a few screenshots after a few hours work. This work was carried out about a week before this map build thread was started.
 

Spoiler


Peel Avenue (upper):

3GICQLh.jpg

Regent Crescent (upper):

qkn6Mtq.jpg

Regent Crescent (Stairs & Lower):

DVa3gnC.jpg


 


 

Edited by DazRave
Provided screenshots

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Update 1

A few progress shots from this evening after adding a roof to the main upper and lower malls. I don't normally detail so early on but to be perfectly honest..... i'm having fun.


Sizing up

Spoiler


gYjykss.jpg


Complete Roof:

Spoiler


XhlvdGX.jpg

vFjN0hz.jpg

XnEKnxJ.jpg


Another reference shot for comparison
One thing I'm likely to not attempt is the slight curvature of the mall in the below shot. Since time is short as it is I feel as though adding this curve (as gorgeous as it is) will burn time when I could be getting on with finishing the main areas and making sure it plays correct/is balanced.

Spoiler


OW60SO8.jpg

uwXTqBc.png

 

Edited by DazRave
Added spoiler wrapper around images

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Update 2

Small update today as I didn't have much time at the computer. I did have a little more time to think of a backstory as to why Terrorists would want to bomb an empty mall though.

p.s. Excuse the shadows on the screenshots. I didn't have time for a full compile.


Backstory
An organised criminal gang with ties to a terrorist organisation have targeted a luxury jewelers inside a large mall. The group have planned a sophisticated heist consisting of two alternative options.

Plan A - Stealth
Knock out the mall's security control room, preventing anyone from raising the alarm and buying the gang time to break into the jewelers

Plan B - Brute Force
The quicker of the two options is to blow up the vault door within the jewelers, but it's an option that carries larger risk





Initial work started on 'the dome'

Spoiler

Here's a rough start on the middle of the map (and centre of the mall in real life), it will feature 3 overlooking floors, 12 roman style columns and a huge dome roof. It's likely that I'll place the CT area on the second floor which will give the CTs quick access to both bomb sites.

  • To the left of the image is the secondary mall corridor that will lead towards bomb site A (A mall security control room)
  • To the right of the image is the main mall corridor that will have bomb site B (the jewelers & vault)
  • Both routes have an upper and lower 'deck'
    • The upper decks provide very little cover but have much better visibility for snipers
    • The lower decks provide a lot of cover but have the longest routes to both bomb sites
  • The T spawn will (likely) be towards the every end of the main mall corridor


ZcWsXvI.jpg

 


Main mall upper corridor
 

Spoiler

 

u03ctag.jpg


9v0YXvC.jpg


Very start of the New Orleans themed area of the mall

Spoiler

This area is likely to be sealed off and left out for the release of the map. It's part of my bigger ambition to try and create a huge mall for fun custom game types but will not provide any benefit for a competitive game.

   EIhtNlY.jpg 

JGB4whc.png

 

Edited by DazRave
Typo

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Ey man I honestly did not read all the text, but the layout sketch, references and graybox looks cool. Just ahmm watch out with focususing to much on the references and art right now. Do not let these two get in the way of your layout/gameplay features. Its best to keep things as simple as possible, focus on the layout, do playtests, itterate your layout and when the map is fun and you & the playtesters likes it, you got all the room to focus on art to make it look beautiful and be fun to play. If you have to make layout changes on areas you spend alot of time on, then that really sucks

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Following-up on Roald's comment, it's indeed more beneficial to sketch your layout for gameplay purposes, rather than chain it to a reference. I've learned this the hard way in all my past projects, where I always created a map and layout purely based off something that already existed (because, visually, it's easier to replicate). However this simply doesn't work in your favor 99% of the time. It's like playing the lottery and hoping you get the lucky ticket right away to have a playable layout. Use references for the hero assets and general style of your map, but shape the layout entirely based on fun-factor and balance.

Regardless, it looks like a great project, and am really interested in how the project shapes up in the near future 😉

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Appreciate the advice from the both of you @Roald/@JorisCeoen. Thank you for taking the time to write them.

I've made an advance towards the ideas you both have. The main mall areas will now (kind of) serve as a 'mid' and are the only areas that will be true to the real location.
A combination of accessible stores and service corridors are going to be the 'made up' parts and serve the biggest way to improve the flow and gameplay of the map. I've sketched out a layout that I'll attempt to block out over the weekend in Hammer. This should give me the very basics for a few games vs bots to see how far off I am from something that works.

p.s. thank you also for the kinds words.



Update 3

With the above in mind...

Main areas of the map will be:

  • Regent Crescent* (access to T spawn)
  • Peel Avenue* (access to CT spawn)
  • The Dome* ('Mid')
  • Jewellery Store (Bombsite A)
  • Security Control Room (Bombsite B)

Key map features:

  • The Jewellery Store (A) is quick to access (for T's) but carries higher risk
  • The Dome is three stories high and offers 'some' oversight into the Jewellery Store (A)
  • Motion detected inside the Jewellery Store (A) will trigger an alarm heard in the Security Control Room (B)
  • The Security Control Room (B) is on the 3rd floor and offers the most cover

(* Parts loosely Based on real location)

Map sketch (Very rough)
 

Spoiler

ZgBOuG9.png



The Dome Progress

Spoiler


suJ3g9Y.jpg

- In the distance you can see 'Regent Crescent' which leads to T Spawn (located on the ground floor)
- Top left you can see where the front of the Jewellery Store will be (Bombsite A)
- Top left in the distance, you can see orange columns which lead to Service corridor 1 and ultimately the rear of Bombsite A
- To the right on the ground floor you can see the storefront what will become an accessible store for T's to get closer with cover (but longer way around) which is accessed by Service Corridor 3

DCZoyLP.jpg

- Top middle features the front of the Jewellery store
- Left of image is Peel Avenue which leads to CT Spawn
- Right of image is Regent Crescent which leads to T Spawn

fVCwVOd.jpg

- This is the sight line provided by the third floor of The Dome looking into bombsite A
- Behind this image will be the Control room
- It will take roughly 5 seconds to reach this position from the control room (where an alarm will sound if someone enters bombsite A)

 

 

Edited by DazRave
Added map sketch and some extra progress images

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25 minutes ago, That50'sGuy said:

Visually it looks awesome! Though while I'm no expert at layout, I'm worried about snipers. It seems like anyone with an AWP will have a massive advantage.

Agreed, this was always a big risk.

The upper levels are exposed but also offer the fastest ways to both bombsites (so risk/reward is high). Whereas the lower levels will have a combination of cover from the use of service corridors and when out in the mall itself, kiosks and other mall 'furniture'.  

Plan is to make sure there's 2 routes that are slow but provide cover and 1 route that's open but if tactically used (smokes and cover fire as a team) can pay off massively.

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Just now, DazRave said:

Agreed, this was always a big risk.

The upper levels are exposed but also offer the fastest ways to both bombsites (so risk/reward is high). Whereas the lower levels will have a combination of cover from the use of service corridors and when out in the mall itself, kiosks and other mall 'furniture'.  

Plan is to make sure there's 2 routes that are slow but provide cover and 1 route that's open but if tactically used (smokes and cover fire as a team) can pay off massively.

Seems like an interesting idea. Just out of curiosity, how are you planning the bombsites to look like? That's something I can't wait to see :)

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Just now, That50'sGuy said:

Seems like an interesting idea. Just out of curiosity, how are you planning the bombsites to look like? That's something I can't wait to see :)


Bombsite A (the Jewellery store) I've not decided on yet. I hope it to be extremely glamorous at the front of store with big windows (and jewellery on display)  but the layout I've not even thought about yet.

As for Bombsite B, it's going to be split across 3 rooms with the bomb planting area split across 2 of them. It'll be an Office area, Control room (CCTV screens etc) and a server/generator room. The control room and server room being the bombable sites.

I'll have some time to actually block up these areas this weekend.

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5 minutes ago, DazRave said:


Bombsite A (the Jewellery store) I've not decided on yet. I hope it to be extremely glamorous at the front of store with big windows (and jewellery on display)  but the layout I've not even thought about yet.

As for Bombsite B, it's going to be split across 3 rooms with the bomb planting area split across 2 of them. It'll be an Office area, Control room (CCTV screens etc) and a server/generator room. The control room and server room being the bombable sites.

I'll have some time to actually block up these areas this weekend.

Sounds cool! If you can't find models for the jewelry, feel free to message me any time. I'm not that experienced with modeling, but jewelry should be simple to model. :)

Edited by That50'sGuy

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5 minutes ago, That50'sGuy said:

Sounds cool! If you can't find models for the jewelry, feel free to message me any time. I'm not that experienced with modeling, but jewelry should be simple to model. :)

Legend. Thanks.

I think the eye-candy of that bombsite will be the external facing windows and fancy display cabinets which will also provide players some cover.

Oh, and lots of gold! 
 

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2 minutes ago, DazRave said:

Legend. Thanks.

I think the eye-candy of that bombsite will be the external facing windows and fancy display cabinets which will also provide players some cover.

Oh, and lots of gold! 
 

Sounds real nice! I like the ambition! If it's not too much to ask, could you perhaps PM me a simple sketch of some of your ideas along with the preferred dimensions of the props? The sketch doesn't have to be complex at all, just enough to give me a sort of idea of what you're looking for.

Edited by That50'sGuy

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1 minute ago, That50'sGuy said:

Sounds real nice! I like the ambition! If it's not too much to ask, could you perhaps PM me a simple sketch of some of your ideas along with the preferred dimensions of the props? The sketch doesn't have to be complex at all, just enough to give me a sort of idea of what you're looking for.


Shouldn't be a problem, I've already got the shop front 'openings' blocked into hammer which gives me fairly accurate window sizes. I can then provide the rest during this weekend. Appreciate anything you can provide massively.

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