Counter-Strike - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Robert Yang)

I frequent a Counter-Strike level design forum called Mapcore. There, a Dutch teenager who goes by “RD” (“RealDespair”) has long claimed to have been the original author of fy_iceworld. His now defunct portfolio site went on a lengthy rant about it:

“Yes, you read it right. I am the creator of this unholy monster. When i created this map i had absolutely no idea how popular it would become. It is sad that there are many txt files in rotation from kids that claim to have made this map, but you have now stumbled upon the true author…”

Was RD actually responsible for making one of the most influential and popular game maps of all time? I began a forensic investigation to verify its authorship, digging through the ancient detritus of dead Geocities pages, Angelfire websites, and Romanian file servers. I even datamined the fy_iceworld file for clues. I now know what “fy_” actually meant, and it wasn’t “fight yard.” Originally, it wasn’t even called fy_iceworld either! But let’s start from the beginning.

(more…)

Counter-Strike - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Robert Yang)

I remember playing a Counter-Strike map in 2001 called fy_iceworld. It was a small simple grey killbox of a map that virtually anyone could’ve made within the first few hours of downloading the editor tools.

fy_iceworld quickly became one of the most popular and divisive CS maps at my school. I was, of course, one of the haters. I tried to convince my friends to vote against fy_iceworld on our local internet cafe’s CS server, but they argued that I was just salty about being bad at it (which was partly true) and they forced the mapchange anyway. Similar conversations played out across countless clan servers, cyber cafes, PC bangs, and LAN parties around the entire world.

To properly gauge fy_iceworld’s influence and legacy, I asked several working level designers for their takes. Should we love it or bury it?

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Counter-Strike - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

While Counter-Strike has long seemed one of those games that might just have found its final form and will now be around forever, I am surprised that it’s still breaking its own records. Over the weekend, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive set a new record for the number of people in-game online at the same time, beating a record set in April 2016. That was back before CS:GO went free-to-play, mind, but it’s taken a year for free CS to climb up and topple that mighty record. 901,681 players on Sunday, that’s the new high.

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Counter-Strike - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Craig Pearson)

The dramatically named Korean developer Pearl Abyss has three new games whirring away on their development PCs. The developers of Black Desert Online are working on three new MMOs: one shooter from the creator of Counter-Strike, one child-friendly jaunt, and one fantasy game. The three games have a proper reveal planned for on November 14, during Pearl Abyss Connect at G-STAR 2019. For now, we know they’re called PLAN 8, Crimson Desert, and DokeV, alongside a handful of other details.

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Counter-Strike - mikela
A small Counter-Strike update is now available that fixes some issues identified after the last release.

General
  • Fixed crash when playing back certain demos recorded on older server versions
  • Fixed some resources not downloading properly through FastDL
  • Fixed gl_texturemode and gl_ansio not updating properly when enabling/disabling Low video quality mode
Counter-Strike - mikela
An update for Counter-Strike is now available:

Changes and Additions
  • Prevent texgamma and lightgamma and brightness cvars from affecting lighting in multiplayer
  • Added support for player avatars in scoreboard for lower display resolutions
  • Added scoreboard cvar to show shortened, simple headers for columns: scoreboard_shortheaders, set to 0/1 to disable/enable
  • Added scoreboard cvar to enable/disable showing avatars: scoreboard_showavatars, set to 0/1 to disable/enable
  • Added new server cvar, mp_infinite_ammo, set to 0 to disable, 1 for infinite ammo in guns, 2 for infinite reload ammo
  • Added money and health columns to scoreboard and player/server cvars to control their display
    • Player cvars are: scoreboard_showhealth and scoreboard_showmoney, can be set to 0/1 to disable/enable the column from showing
    • Server cvars are: mp_scoreboard_showhealth and mp_scoreboard_showmoney, they can be set to the following values:
      Value
      Description
      0
      Disable showing health/money altogether
      1
      Show Terrorist health/money to all teams
      2
      Show CT health/money to all teams
      3 (default)
      Show CT health/money to teammates only and Terrorist health/money to teammates only
      4
      Show health/money for all players to all other players
      5
      Show CT and T health/money to teammates and to spectators

Fixes
  • Fixed shotgun shell reload delay when holding +attack while magazine is empty
  • Fixed non-translucent crosshair being slightly off-center
  • Fixed UMP45 +attack being canceled when +attack2 is pressed

General
  • Fixed setting monitor refresh rates through -freq when used with -nofbo
  • Fixed unnecessary texture rescaling with NPOT textures
  • Fixed slist command, will now show servers on the local network
  • Fixed progress bar for individual files in resource download always showing at 100%
  • Added auto-saving of several cvars (HL #2237)
  • Fixed missing localizations in spectator UI
  • Reordered columns in server browser to prevent game descriptions from being used to fake server player count
  • Fixed sv_cheats being settable by players in a multiplayer game (sv_cheats is now controlled by the server)
  • Security fixes to console commands
  • Security fixes to resource loading
Counter-Strike

Counter-Strike is 20 this year, incredibly. The Half-Life mod was released way back in 1999, before being acquired by Valve, who then launched the 1.0 version in 2000. To celebrate the anniversary, you can now play an older version of the classic Dust 2 map in CS:GO.

A revamped Dust 2 was released in 2017, but Valve's released a "retro version" that you can check out in the Casual Dust 2 map group. It's an enduring, popular map and almost as old as Counter-Strike itself, so it's a neat way to mark the occasion. 

It's so popular, in fact, that it frequently appears in other games, with fans recreating it in everything from Fortnite to Far Cry. Even if you've not played it in CS:GO or the original Counter-Strike, you might have come across it somewhere else. 

The retro map is available now.

Counter-Strike - mikela
This list covers the releases between March 20 and April 11 that are each part of a series of security updates.

Larger changes:
  • Added privilege checking to command execution. Commands originating outside of the client are now only able to execute commands that are considered to be safe. Commands such as 'connect', 'bind', 'quit' and certain cvars such as 'cl_filterstuffcmd' are now only executable by trusted sources.
  • Setting 'cl_filterstuffcmd' to a value greater than zero (e.g. 'cl_filterstuffcmd 1') will set a number of commands that are potentially abusable, such as 'say', 'fps_max', and 'setinfo', to also be only executable by privileged sources.

Fixes:
  • Fixed client incorrectly blocking download of custom sprays

Security fixes:
  • All custom resources downloaded from a server now have their file name's checked for safety before being allowed to download
  • Invalid file extensions are now prevented in several commands
  • Dynamic libraries are no longer searched for in custom resource directories
  • Added additional file extensions to custom resource blocked extensions list
  • Fixed buffer overflow in message delta parsing
  • Fixed RCE in weapon message handling
  • Fixed RCE in model loading
  • Fixed buffer overflows in TGA and BMP loading
  • Fixed buffer overflow in demo playback
  • Fixed buffer overflows in model name loading
  • Fixed buffer overflow in detail texture loading
  • Fixed buffer overflow in console map listing
  • Fixed command chaining in cvar's that specified config files to be passed to the 'exec' command
Counter-Strike

In my younger and more vulnerable years, I spent a lot of time getting shot in the head in Counter-Strike: Source. While there were many factors working against me - my age, my characteristic lack of dexterity, my (for the time) toaster-level PC, and my bargain-bin 200 DPI Dell laser mouse - I never let these disadvantages stop me from padding some lucky player's K/D ratio with my ill-fated MAC-10 rushes. When I would search through the list of servers for players of a similar skill level, I would come across a panoply of fan-made mods and maps intended to offer a respite from the endless dual grind of de_dust and cs_office, and I would occasionally take the plunge and sully my dad's hard-drive with these bizarre creations.

Of these offerings, the most consistently-populated servers were always devoted to the act of "surfing," a fact that boggled my pre-teen mind. When I would connect, I would see long, sloped ramps to nowhere, curling and twisting through empty space towards an unknown destination. While my opponents seemed to slide across the slope with ease, I would hurtle into the abyss every single time. No matter how loudly I pleaded with my fellow surfers to explain the trick, they would hurl obscenities at me and tell me to use F10 to deploy parachute - a button which would, in fact, abort the game. (To be fair, it was pretty funny the first time.) Later in life, I eventually figured out that holding a movement key against the slope allowed you to stick to the path, and I embraced surfing and other such "trickjumping" as a fun palate-cleanser at the end of a long night of gaming.

Charlie "Mariowned" Joyce is the apparent inventor of the first surf map for Counter-Strike 1.6. Joyce confided this in AskReddit thread where people revealed their "greatest accomplishment" that they can't bring up in normal conversation, and he was immediately mobbed by fans of his work, and surfing in general. "It was pretty overwhelming," he tells me. "I thought I'd just get a couple of people saying, 'hey, I remember surfing, that's cool.' Or maybe, best-case scenario, reconnecting with an old buddy. But it was way, way more than that."

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Counter-Strike

Intel Extreme Masters will return to Sydney in 2019 for the third year running, bringing world class Counter-Strike: GO play to the city's Qudos Bank Arena. Sixteen teams will compete for a US$250,000 prize pool, with winners working towards attendance at the Intel Grand Slam.

Nathan Lawrence was in attendance at last year's event, and it's safe to say that professional Counter-Strike doesn't get much bigger and more lavish in Australia. Over 7,500 folk were in attendance last year, while 13.5 million people viewed from home. 

The proceedings take place May 3-5 next year, but you can get in early for tickets: they go on sale this Friday, November 16. Prices range $39 for a day, through to $139 for the whole weekend. There are also Weekend Premium and Global Elite tickets for $239 and $1,199 respectively.

Check out a trailer below:

...

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