The following post/tutorial has been sitting in my queue for about a year. It is something I've wanted to finish and share with you for a while, but other tutorials would get in the way. Until I took last few months off from posting and focused on practicing and improving my skillset. I realized how important what I am about to share with you is. So now I am back and completely refocused on WoLD. To get things moving again, the topic of today's blog post is practice.
Deliberate practice isn't daily work. It isn't what most call, practice. It is a specific kind of practice with its own steps, actions and principles to follow.
What I used to consider "practice" is merely working on a map or a game environment.
What software/applications do you need to create game environment art?
The following article is a list of software you would need to know and use to create game environments.
I narrowed the list down to essentials few to get you started in the right direction. After you've gone through this article you should have a strong foundation of what software you would need. From there you could choose to explore alternative applications. This is not a complete list of software and it is subjective, based on my experience and what I've seen environment artist use majority of the time.
I included 'What I Use' section, to see what software I use and recommend.
I've split software into pipeline categories. From visual development to modeling to rendering your work inside a game engine.
I've also listed free alternative applications that you could use.
It is time to get rid of our developer textures and make the simple room look like an environment. This requires to texture bsp brushes. There are hundreds if not thousands of textures available for you to use in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
In this tutorial I will cover how to texture your geometry, how to replace textures, how to apply and align your textures as well as how to start optimizing early and use nodraw texture.
It is time to illuminate our simple map. To do that we need to insert light entities and tweak their properties for color and light intensity. There are a few bugs and errors we need to address. I will also cover how to problem solve some common light issues.
Your final map will be a combination of BSP geometry and prop models. The shell of your map is going to be made up of brushes, then more detailed geometry are 3d models placed in your map.
There are 3 basic prop model types that you will be dealing with. Static, physics and dynamic. In this tutorial I will show you how to add all three model types. What the difference is between these props and how to manipulate them in the editor so you can detail your map.
Complete tutorial focusing on bsp brush geometry for beginners in CS:GO SDK.
A lot of key concepts covered in this tutorial. Creating your first room. Expand to second room and add hallways. Using developer textures and how to avoid having compile error leaks. Using player reference model for scale and why you shouldn't use make hollow feature.
Essential principle to any map creation, is keeping your world to scale and proper proportion. Walls, hallways, windows, doorways have to look just right to make your map realistic. If one of architectural elements looks too big or too small, the illusion of the world is gone. No matter how beautifully lit and textured it is.
Before starting your map in CS:GO, you need to know key unit dimensions for characters and architecture. This includes character crouching, standing, width. Wall heights, depths, stairs height and depth, windows, doors etc. You can't fix this in the later stages of your production, without remaking and reworking your geometry. So you must make sure that when you build your first wall, your first doorway or your first window, that they look correct.
In this tutorial we are going to cover all the necessary dimensions that you need to know in order to keep your map to correct scale and proportion.
Counter-Strike series has always been one of those games for me, that set me on the path to level design. I've spend considerable amount of time in early 2000's playing Counter-Strike 1.3 - 1.6. More then I care to admit.
I didn't get much mapping done for Counter-Strike. But playing one of the best online shooters, did make me very perceptive at multiplayer team based level design. The layout, pacing, timing of objectives and choke points. Counter-Strike did this so well, that it requires its own study.
So when CS:GO was announced I couldn't wait for it come out. Not because I wanted to get back into playing. But because after L4D1/2 I wanted to get back into Source based mapping.
Mapping for a game that I love playing and which I still consider to be the best online multiplayer based gameplay out there. If you want to study level design for online multiplayer shooters. Counter-Strike is it.
So, here is to mapping in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
In the beginner series, I will cover all the basics that you need to get started with CS:GO. So if you have never mapped for Source based game before. This is where you should start.
Within the next 8 tutorials, we'll go through the basics and a bit of intermediate techniques. At the end of the tutorial series, you should be very comfortable in CS:GO Hammer Editor, in order to continue creating your own custom map.
Below you will find the links to all the tutorials within the basics beginner series.
In this first tutorial we'll cover how to download, install and launch Hammer World Editor for CS:GO. We'll go through few extra steps to properly set up the editor so everything works when we launch it.