Deport - Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (September 2019, Hammer)

Designer

New Defuse map for CSGO. Teams fight over an overpass that allows for easy rotation and attacking of bomb sites. Download

Deport started in the polish stages of Half-Life 2: Displacement. I wanted to get the most out of Brad Furminger's mentorship, I was familiar with the Hammer tools, and I didn’t have much experience with multiplayer game design. So I felt Brad's guidance would be most useful. I’ve played Counter-Strike for many years but wouldn't consider myself any good. Do you need to be to make a good CS map? You’re the judge.

As usual I started with setpiece ideas and sketches, moving to a paper map. The first concept for Deport was to have a Dust2-style middle with a long Terrorist sniping ramp, and give the Counter Terrorists an overpass to even the playing field and easy access to check bombsites. I didn't have any other locations in mind when I started drawing, since I felt the flow of the map was the first thing to get right.

It was around this time that I had moved back to my hometown, and was taking the train to Toronto every week to meet with Brad. I was also often taking the train to Ottawa. I found a lot of striking architecture in these stations, and felt that the blend of old and new architecture, unique shapes and indoor/outdoor dynamics would make for a good CS map. While everyone knows de_Train, that map is more of an industrial station. The plan was to make Deport a public station.

On one of these train rides I was wrapping up the paper sketches when the guy sitting next to me asked if I was drawing a Counter-Strike level. Arin (Aaron?) had been playing CS a lot longer than me, and offered some great advice and ideas for the map.

As the level built up, bombsite B changed from a unique but frustrating room-within-a-room to a more conventional, flatter setup. I’d like to do more with this one.

Mid changed to add two routes into A, one neutral and one T sided to allow Ts to escape when losing mid, and CTs who control Mid to flank A Site. I added a train car under the overpass for close quarters fights in mid and to offer cover. The largest change was swapping the overpass from a CT area to neutral, allowing whichever side that controls Mid to have easy rotation access. This entranceway has its own separate room.

A Site has a large pillar that the bomb can be planted around, on any side. I’m happy with this because depending on where the bomb goes it can cut off or increase the viability of a number of entrances and angles. A defend can play out wildly. This spot will need more testing, since right now the best place to plant is on the closed side where snipers from the overpass can’t attack.

I ran some playtests with a group of friends which led to these changes:

 

- Windows that allowed teams to attack each other on lanes into B were removed. A narrow traversal lane isn’t a good spot for a choke point.

 

- Added a plank of wood between the window from Mid into B lane. Nobody wants to trip and fall to their death in a game with no respawns.

 

- Adjusted mid timings so both teams will reach the staircase to the overpass at the same time.

The next step would be arranging rooms in less rigid shapes, breaking from the grid, and blocking out some proper visuals. But I’m not sure I want to go that far. I’m not involved with the CSGO community enough to get players in the map beyond planned playtests. I see Deport more as a valuable learning experience and a palette cleanser between projects.

© 2020 by Ian Colquhoun.

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