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?

(more…)

Counter-Strike: Source - Valve
Updates for Counter-Strike: Source, Day of Defeat: Source, Half-Life Deathmatch: Source, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, and the Source SDK 2013 Base have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when you restart the game. The major changes include:

  • Various stability and security updates
  • [SDK2013] Fixed NPCs not blinking
  • [DoD:S] Fixed being able to switch weapons while holding a primed grenade
Counter-Strike: Source - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Were Plato alive today, he’d declare a sixth platonic solid: de_dust2, representing the sixth element of devotion. This sacred configuration of geometry escaped its confinement in Counter-Strike and for eighteen years the map has lived in the hearts of men, re-emerging in dreams, in other games with level editors, and in mashed potato sculptures carved at the dinner table. But in the far future, the last remaining copy of de_dust2 is maintained inside Dustnet, a multiplayer sandbox building self-aware deathmatch museum… thing? It’s out now, I’ve played a bit, I adore it, and I’m excited to figure out exactly what it is.

(more…)

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: Source - Valve
Updates for Counter-Strike: Source, Day of Defeat: Source, Half-Life Deathmatch: Source, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, and the Source SDK 2013 Base have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when you restart the game. The major changes include:

  • Fixed physics not operating at the correct tickrate when specifying non-standard -tickrate options on the command line
  • Fixed viewing demos recorded at a non-standard tickrate causing the next listen server hosted to be at that tickrate
  • Various security and stability improvements
  • Updated localization files
Counter-Strike: Source - Valve
Updates for Counter-Strike: Source, Day of Defeat: Source, Half-Life Deathmatch: Source, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, and the Source SDK 2013 Base have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when you restart the game. The major changes include:

  • Fixed being unable to start any map in single-player mode
Counter-Strike: Source - Valve
Updates for Counter-Strike: Source, Day of Defeat: Source, Half-Life Deathmatch: Source, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, and the Source SDK 2013 Base have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when you restart the game. The major changes include:

  • Improved Steam Voice support
    • Removed sv_use_steam_voice convar. Steam voice is now selected via "sv_voicecodec steam"
    • Fixed demos not properly recording Steam Voice status, resulting in potential corrupt voice in demos with differing default settings
    • Will now use the native Steam Voice sampling rate, instead of clamping to 11kHz
    • Improved compatibility with Steam client beta
  • Added CELT audio codec currently in use in TF2 and CS:GO
    • Server operators may enable use of this codec via "sv_voicecodec vaudio_celt"
    • Steam voice remains the default voice codec in all SDK2013 games
  • Updated spec_player command to match recent improvements in TF2
    • Now accepts partial player names, Steam IDs, etc.
  • Fixed security issue reported by Amat Cama via GeekPwn
  • Fixed security issues reported by Justin Taft from One Up Security, LLC
  • Updated engine with recent stability and bug fixes from TF2
  • Updated handling of game language setting to match Team Fortress 2 behavior:
    • Steam per-game language setting is now properly honored and syncs with the in-game setting
    • In-game UI language now honors above language setting, rather than improperly using the Steam client's UI language setting
      • Users wishing to have separate UI and audio languages may pass -audiolanguage on the command line
  • Updated the localization files
  • [DoD:S] Updated custom loading error dialog to include numerous tweaks and fixes that have previously been applied to the base version
Counter-Strike: Source - Valve
An update for Counter-Strike: Source, Day of Defeat: Source, Half-Life Deathmatch: Source, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, and the Source SDK 2013 Base has been made available.

Important note for SDK mod authors: This update replaces the current main branch of the SDK 2013 Base with what was previously the "beta_test" branch. The previous SDK 2013 release branch as well as the outdated "upcoming" branch are now available for a short time as "previous" and "previous_upcoming" respectively.

The major changes include:

  • Fixed potential security issues (thanks to Justin G. (aka sigsegv), Nathaniel Theis, Simon Pinfold for these reports)
  • Fixed a case where changelevel2 would print a map not found error and fail to function in SDK2013 mods
  • Fixed an exploit that could be used to crash dedicated servers
Counter-Strike: Source - Valve
A mandatory update for Counter-Strike: Source, Day of Defeat: Source, Half-Life Deathmatch: Source, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, as well as the Source SDK Base 2013 beta branch has been made available. The patch notes are below.

  • Fixed a security issue related to the file system (thanks to Simon Pinfold for this report)

  • Fixed mp3 sounds causing occasional hitching and framerate stuttering

  • Fixed OS X players being limited to medium texture quality

  • Fixed maps compiled with static prop lighting causing crashes for players on medium or low texture quality

  • [SDK] Fixed steam.inf not being loaded from the base directory for SDK mods

  • [CS:S] Fixed server crash when running with 64 players plus SourceTV


The following fixes were already included in the previous update for Half-Life 2: Deathmatch:
  • Fixed ent_teleport causing a crash when issued by the server

  • Fixed buildcubemaps command not working for maps that already have cubemaps embedded

  • Fixed -buildcubemaps command line option generating black non-HDR cubemaps

...

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