Valve Hammer Editor
The main purpose was to learn the Hammer editor and the whole process of making a CSGO map and publishing it.
Main focus while designing the level
- High Visibility for players to see
- Color Composition for players to understand the length of walls and railings
- Perfect Angles for peeking
Please Note:- I did not make any of the assets. All the assets used in this map were in the engine.
Level Design Process
The first thing I did was play aim maps in the steam workshop. This helped me understand what all things have been done in all maps so that when I learn the Hammer Editor I can understand how things were done.
Since this was an aim map I did not really go into 2D sketch because it is a very small map. So I went directly into SketchUp to do rough map layout.
I always had in mind that I wanted some kind of verticality to add a bit of depth to the level. So I came up with the following Sketch Up Work.
After the sketch up, I got into hammer editor and started white boxing the level. As I was doing this, I realized out of the 6 boxes 4 of the box's height is below 64 Units which very low compared to the player's height which is 64x64 units. This can be a problem because once the round starts, the player can get killed at the first second of the round without even getting any breathing space.
So I changed the height of all the boxes to be above 64 Units so that when the player spawns at the start of the round the player can have some breathing space to peek angles.
For Verticality, my goal was that the player had to take a risk and get rewarded for that. In this level, in order to reach the railing above, there is a slope near the spawn area at each side and the player have to go up the slope which results in them to expose a lot to the opposition.
But in the end, if the player successfully reaches at the top of the railing the reward is at the center of the railing in which the player has to expose the full body to the opposition to reach there. The reward is that there is an AWP at the center of the railing which is very powerful.
Also, there is another way to the top of the railing and that is by jumping on top of the Blue Boxes at center walls but this will expose the whole body compared to the slope.
While doing all this, I playtest, make changes and repeat till I am happy with the positioning of the walls, boxes, spawn points & weapon placements.
Below is the picture for white boxing I did in the editor,
After White boxing is done, I go onto applying textures to the walls, floor, and railing. I wanted to make sure that all the of these objects are visible easily from every angle to distinguish between each other.
Below are the pictures after texturing in editor,
Now that texturing is done, I did some polishing on the level by changing the skybox settings to match the colors in the level.
After this, I worked on the radar to fit a top-down view of the map. And then playtested with 2-3 people. I got some feedback from playtesting but I did not make any changes to the level. I went ahead and published the map. After that, I got some feedback from some players in Reddit.
The players were saying that it was fun but the only problem that everyone had was that, once the player reaches the top of the railing and gets the AWP, it is very difficult for the player to move forward to kill the other player who has the AWP since there is no cover in between to move forward.
At the moment, I have added a vertical column supporting the railing at the center of the map and added two boxes which are 56 units beside the column for cover. 56 Units means the player can see the tip of the head from the opposite side. I am playtesting the above update. Below are the pictures of them.