CS GO Level #2

I want to decide on the sort of layout really quickly. Now because the map is settled in a more organic scenery, and because its a cs_ map (hostage map), there is no traditional layout to be found we so often see in de_ maps(defuse maps). But I really wanted to have the ocean be a part of the map and it should kinda divide the map in the middle. I also want this map to be very close quarter combat focused. I dont want to see AWPs all over the place and would rather have many players with shotguns and SMGs. I believe this could raise the tension a lot as the players slowly creep forward to close the distance to strike fast and deadly

This was the first test. But it feels to stretched. It is not very wide but long and creates two lines that are very distinct from each other. Not necessary bad, but I think I want three lines.

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This is the current block out. It is much wider, and the island has more space. That allows for more battleground and I can create some lanes and choke points for some Ts and CTs.

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I also learned a lot about some tools in the hammer editor. Currently I am working on importing some textures, which is a bit of a busy task. You need the texture, if you want the normal map, height map etc, and use the VTF editor program to create the .VTF (I think it stands for Valve Texture File). Now you need a .VMT. This file describes all the proprieties of that texture. And you can do a lot of stuff in there and I have barely touched the surface. You have to define the maps you want the texture to use, you can set the sound it makes when you walk over it, you can make it a blend texture, which looks nicer, define animations and so much more. There is a wiki article about it.I am still learning how to do the fog, but I think I found the solution.

I think I figured out how to make some fog in the source engine. The key was to create a 3D skybox, have a sky_camera inside it and the camera has to have the same parameters for the fog as the fog_controller in the level. Combining this with a skybox that is (currently) the exact same color as the fog, it creates the thick fog that makes it easy to use the far Z clip to optimize the level more. 

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Now I can really play with the lighting and colors to create some great atmosphere. My goal is to archive a blizzard theme in which the player can not really see very far and the CTs have to slowly and tactically move through the level to not get caught off guard by the Ts.

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Now with some snow.

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My Fifth Semester Project

For our 5th semester we get to choose what we want to pursuit the next six months. The options are an exchange semester abroad, an internship or a self initiated project. Well, after a lot of emails that weren't answered, and declines, I had to choose the project over the internship. 

I love level design. And so far that is the part I usually did in some way or another during the last semester projects. I want to continue that trend and because there are no real constrains for the project, I chose to create a multiplayer map for the game Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).

The reason I like level design in the fist place is because some years ago I started to explore the SDK from CS:GO. At that time I was spending a lot of time with the game and wanted to see if I could add to the community content. But school kinda forced me to ignore that thought as I had to prepare for the Abitur. 

The last year I rediscovered my fascination about the source engine and with it a great platform to release something to the community of CS:GO.

The theme of the map was always clear to me. I really want to see Norway represented in the game. Sweden got its shot with insertion. And I love that map, it is refreshingly different from all the CS:GO maps and offered unique gameplay that we haven't yet seen in the game.

My favorite part of Norway are the coast areas, especially in the north. The Lofoten are an incredible place to visit and I want that feeling in a map. Now that is kinda hard to do, normally CS maps are restrained to cities to have walls between corridors to create choke points. But when villages in the north look like this: 

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Its kinda hard to create this paths for choke points. That is a problem I have to face in the very near future. Right now I am not entirely sure on how to fix it. I dont want to create an insertion_2, but maybe I can find something similar to create a more unique map with interesting gameplay.

On the first day I wanted to see what kind of mood I can create. This was a fast test, and only took 1-2 hours, but I hope to build on this to create some great visuals later on. The rest of the map will be created in dev textures to playtest it before I continue to work on the lighting. 

But I got to say, I am a bit surprised that it sort of worked. The night setting (or day, it is beyond the arctic circle after all) needs some tweaking because I fear that visibility might be an issue later on.

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In the next week I will focus on the layout of the city, peers, ocean and islands. I also have to start learning some 3D modeling. I want to costume models for this map, especially in the areas of stones. Norway has these really smooth rocks, as the glaciers of the ice age formed them over a time span of many thousand years.

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First Entry

Hi there. I hope that I can use this website to express myself in various ways, about video games or different topics. 
I am student in Cologne and am only 20 years of age. So I lack in experience in many ways other than game development. In no way do I expect this blog to reach anyone outside myself and maybe a couple of friends. Therefore I am doing this more for myself to have something I can look back to.