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Counter-Cartography: CSGO Reviving De_Cbble

This is Jim's house, isn't it? Jim! We're in your house!

Dave Johnston is best known for creating de_dust and de_dust 2, but he also made other maps for Counter-Strike. No, I’m not talking about cs_tire, the reddish-brown retirement home which was cut from an early beta. (That’s me establishing my CS credentials). I mean de_cbble, the quaint castle-set map.

Over on the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive blog, the CS:GO team have written about their work in re-creating and updating de_cbble for the new game, alongside an entirely new map they’re adding soon. They say mean things about the old de_cbble.

The post begins by praising the map, but it’s not shy about commenting on its problems.

The original map fell out of favor for several reasons. For one, its paths to bomb sites were long and disconnected from each other, ending in tight choke points. This meant that teams were unable to react and change strategy mid-round. The same choke points that made it difficult to plant bombs made it near-impossible to re-take a site and defuse a bomb in time. The lack of strategic options made de_cbble’s gameplay feel limited and monotonous.

Limited and monotonous! Oof. The post also notes that “Players in the original de_cbble felt out of scale, as if they were in a “land of giants”.” The solution to all of these problems is apparently to turn the map into a fairytale-lookin’ castle with new pieces of cover and new routes to bomb sites.

Johnston, you just got schooled! The level designer, who made many of these maps as a teenager, now works at Splash Damage. What’s he going to say to all this?

Alright, he seems pretty happy.

Here’s a screenshot comparing the new and old map.

Dear Americans, this is what all of England definitely looks like.

The post also explains the design process for a new map called Overpass, which is designed to be “fast-paced” and which has nice paint on the walls.

This one is Alec's house.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the latest iteration of Counter-Strike, which began life as a mod, switched engines in CS: Source and which is still as popular as ever. I’ve been playing it a little recently and, in between moments of vertigo where the last fifteen years of my life telescope out before me, I’ve been having a great time. Although isn’t it about time they brought back de_jeepathon2k?

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Graham Smith

Editor-in-chief

Graham is to blame for all this.

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