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Hey guys. For the past few months, I have been pretty busy working on maps and everything. My main focus is "De_archipelago." So far it's at 75% completion. Last night I ran a fast compile to test and see how it works so far. I had some minor bugs, and one really nasty bug with the 3D skybox, so bare with me when looking at the pictures. Also, I think the fast compile made the lighting look really crappy and pale. The shadows look terrible.


If you do not know the definition for the word "Archipelago," it means "A group of islands." My map is a group of very small islands linked together by a series of docks. Some islets (if that's a word) have a house or structure on it, or have simply vegetation (trees and such).

Since it is a "De_" map, it has two bomb sites, they are each in a house in the map. One is in the two story house with the hole in it's front wall, and the other is in the small, red, square hut with the strange roof. I made the bomb sites more dynamic, rather than just a crappy explosion sprite and that's it.

But nonetheless, here are some pictures of how the map looks so far:















I think 14 images is enough.


-I made the bombsites already, I'll probably have to go back and make them a bit better.

-I need to make a better 3D skybox.

-Need to make markings and directions for the bomb sites and everything.

It's a few more weeks of work, but I am really trying to make this map as good as possible.

I understand that the outer cliff walls look terrible, it was a temporary 3D skybox until I really started in on the official one.

Constructive Criticism is welcome, I really want some informative feedback on this, so let me know what you think about it.

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Oooh, nice and different for CS! Reminds me a lot of our map in The Ship called "Raifucu Maru", which has a somewhat similar setup (top of the map screenshots)...


To me things are looking a bit inconsistent - some of the buildings that are propped up on rocks give an awesome overall effect in places (here and here, for instance), but the buildings themselves are fairly basic and awkwardly shaped, with severely bland interiors. The second shot with the cross-beams supporting the roof is the strongest of the building interiors, but even that could use some simple things like a door frame, skirting boards, maybe a rug decal, or something. Also you should work on your texture alignment on objects like the stairs in this shot - make sure the wooden beams in the texture make sense the way you orientate them (eg. having a single beam running along the length of a step rather than half a dozen of them cut really short and stuck next to each other!).

I applaud your efforts here though - I love to see people pushing themes that a game isn't used to seeing :)

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i dont like the water...

how about adding some trees to the background? :)

nice theme. dunno about the gameplay.. looks like a large open area (which is bad)

and some of the structure seems weird...

i dont think you could build houses like that in real life (de_archipelago0004.jpg - red house on top of the rock and some others)...

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Well, I pondered the gameplay as well, and I have to say that it was actually quite fun for me, and it was pretty tactical:


I was play-testing the map in it's latest compile. I have HDR in it and everything, navigation worked surprisingly VERY well after I ran nav_generate. It took a long time to generate the navigation, but it was worth it. Here is a taste of what it looked like before I started more work on it:





(Sneaky bastards like to hide)



(Bombsite A in action!)


As you can see, the old 3D skybox is gone, I have not gotten around to working on the new one yet. I am focusing my work on the play area first, then I will work on the 3Dskybox last. I changed one of the islands, and gave it a rock arch, and a ladder leading to the top of it, and there is a watch tower on top that you can climb up to. This sort of evens out the gameplay. CT and T now have two spots they can get up high at and snipe. But, each spot is pretty risky to get to. I may need to re-think it because the Terrorists' high-spots are houses with A LOT of cover, and the CT spots are very open and exposing.

But all this brings up the dynamics of the way the level was designed. The map is based somewhat on de_dust. The CT spawn at one bomb site, and are close to the other. The Terrorists, have a lot of different ways they can go, and some what of a better advantage in sniping spots. But, CT have more cover on the ground, and them being closer to the bomb sites, they can just chill at the sites and camp. The navigation build went well for the most part, but my mapping made it impossible for the bots to get to bombsite A, which is the two story house. They could only plant the bomb at B, which is the red hut in the picture above, getting blown away by the c4. Anyway, I am thinking that this map is actually balanced, because the first playtest, I was on terrorists team, and we were demolishing the CT. But the second play test, it was the other way around, and I was still on the Terrorists side, I think that the team the human player is on, has bots with less skill than the team with only bots. So, I am assuming that the map's design is well laid out and fair on both sides.

I am thinking about possibly releasing a beta of this or something for people who are interested to play. But, I need to gather up all the models and materials so that you don't see checkerboards and errors. And I, as well, am starting to dislike this water texture. I am not sure if I should use a pre-made one from Valve, or if I could find a good, custom texture.

Any of you know of a really good water texture that suits a tropical environment?

PS: About the house on the rocks and such. I have decided to bump the percent of completion down to 60%. Your comment just made me realize how skimpy the support structure really looks on that house. Normally, a structure like that would collapse, and if it managed to even stay up, if a storm were to hit the area, it would be demolished. :D

But anyway, I am probably going to recreate that entire island, maybe just make another two story house, or just an island dedicated to tropical vegetation, for a person who wants to stay back and snipe people. The map seems like a sniping map, really, but a lot of servers I go to, they restrict the AWP and autosnipers.

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Warby, it's an honor to have you post here. I appreciate your praises. I loved de_wanda by the way. :D

But anyway, I believe I sent you a PM about de_wanda's custom content, asking if I could use any of it in this map. Specifically the water falls. I do plan to get a larger island in an open spot and make it look like a mini jungle or something.

I may even change the houses so it looks more like a paradise vacation of some sort. Right now it looks like some sort of tiny village on a random archipelago in the ocean.

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Thanks. But that, I think, was only Bloom and not full HDR. Last time I ran it with full HDR, a lot of things were over-shiny and silvery, specifically the finger nails on the hands, and the windows were pure white. The docks had white dots all over them from the shiny reflections, it was terrible looking...

But yeah, I also found that the HDR suited the map well. The cool thing about HDR lighting is if you look at a rather dark area, then turn and look at a spot that is rather bright, it focuses the lighting and dims down some. And this suited the map well, and also gives it a more tactical and realistic feel. It's difficult to see an enemy when you have a huge glare of light blind your eyes, but since it focuses, it isn't an annoyance or flaw in the map.

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I wouldn't say this is an archipelago, this is more of an atol. Archipelagos are actually larger islands spaced closely together rather than just sandbanks that stick up above water.

The 3d sky could also be nice if you did a sort of island feel putting some islands around and unending water in all directions.

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