Emil Andersson

Level Designer

CS_Alaska for Counter Strike Global Offensive

Specifications:


Tools:


  • Hammer for CSGO
  • Adobe Photoshop


Note: Requires a steam acount with Counter Strike Global Offensive to download and play.


About


Terrorist have captured two hostages at a small police station in the snowy Alaska as Counter Terrorist you must extract the hostages wich are guarded by the Terrorists.


This map takes place in a cold environment and lot of detail went to making the snow look natural and not stopping the flow of the map, in later builds I re made parts of the map making it more “closed off” stopping snipers from shooting all across the map. 




Sniper spot for CT over the parking lot

I made sure that there was two paths to go in the spawn for both CT and T

First floor where two (out of four) hostage spawns are located

CtTSpawn set outside in the edge of the map 

Design Process


I decided to work with a theme I've never tried before so I decided to make a map where weather played a big role.


I looked up reference photos online and made three picture collections in photoshop for Environment, Lighting and Props.

I used these to look back on whenever I felt unsurtan about style and theme and needed to get back on track.


After finding a theme to work with I started to draw a level layout on a page in my notebook.

Enviorment reference photos

Early top down  of the level in photoshop

Creating the layout


Writing down words that matched the setting and drawing parts of the map in my note book helped but I later remade it in Photoshop to have a clear sight on what I was going to make.


Having an top down on papper made it easy to start blocking in Hammer, over time the layout changed from what I first had drawn in my notebook. 


I split the map so that there was two main paths for players in both teams to go, one long ranged for player that enjoyed sniping and one wich was more narrow and straight on.

First version


Texturing and propping took me a week but during this time I chanced small parts of the map after feedback from palytesters that played the map.


I added a wall in the middle of the parking lot to make it less open and giving CT a chance to take cover from T snipers.


One of the non player areas was opened up for players and from this position players could flank other incoming players. 

I removed two balconies since they where most in the way for the players and gave T a big advantage over CT.

Old layout from the first textured version 

The map got quite popular at release 

Getting feedback


I released the map on steam workshop and was overwhelmed with how many subscribers I got, even going up to the top three for CSGO maps for several days.


Players complained about the HUD radar being not alined with the map and that parts of the map was blocky. I patched this by adding trims and decals on walls and edges the radar was fixed by editing it's text file.


I continued to work on the map and fixing bugs for two weeks, some areas changed to make it easier for CT to capture and secure the hostages. T spawned inside instead of outside behind the main building.   

Added trims to some of the edges to make it less flat

The radio tower works as a vocal point for the player

Updated layout that is more balanced at CT 

The first version had a balkony but it was so small that i removed it and made it as a part of the building

Final Thoughts


I learned a lot of new tricks while making the map and there is still some things I would want to fix like how the snow looks in the level and put more cliffs and objects in the skybox to make the world more intresting.


The first floor of the big house is one of the parts that I want to move to a whole new section of the map even make it bigger I would even seal of rooms to guide the player there an make it more of an corridor like at the entrance of the popular CSGO map cs_office. Overall I feel that the map needs to be bigger for longer rounds for gameplay and exploring.