Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the competitive FPS  game played by hundreds of thousands of gamers, but let’s be real, if you’ve ever played the game how many times have you played de_dust2 even though you queued for de_cache or de_inferno aswell? maxresdefault

Dust2 was “never originally supposed to happen” (Dave Johnston) let alone  become one of  the  most  played, most recognised and  even one of  the most balanced maps. David Johnston only created a few maps for the Counter-Strike series, two of which are still played in the professional scene and still part of the “active duty map-pool” (Dust 2 and Cobblestone), and  both maps have been part of the game since 2001!

Come now and a huge name in the CS:GO community is FMPONE, Level Designer and Environment Artist, only recently he updated the graphics for de_nuke and confirmed major aesthetic updates for de_cache, whilst also getting a brand new map de_santorini into the game and potentially into the ‘active duty map pool’. Showing the CS:GO community that it’s not all for the old maps, and that a good map still has the potential to be released into the active duty. The “Operation Coins” also serve a purpose for map designers to also potentially have their maps added into the game, even if its only temporarily (during the operation), and also forcing people to play the maps to complete  the missions, meaning that no map gets left behind.

This got me wondering, how hard is it to design a competitive map that has a  good balance in-game, is fun to play, and also looks good, whilst not copying the layout of dust2, So for my assignment, Instead of creating an entirely new game I will attempt to design and build a map for competitive CS:GO, to be played at any rank or skill level with accessibility for all players. May AWPs drop and T-Side heads pop…


  1. Jase, interesting post and topic for the project dossier.

    Although I’m not the biggest fan of CS:GO (due to my peasant dependency on the subservient controller) I have nevertheless spent many an hour awkwardly stumbling around Dust2.
    I think map design is a very open and creative project, and personally I’m a big fan of asymmetric map design which seems to afford greater creative liberties to the designer and I think that would be interesting for you to explore.

    How well asymmetric designs integrate into CS I’m not sure, but nevertheless here’s a link to the maps of Red Orchestra 2, which very creatively explore this type of map design.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Jase as a huge fan of Counter Strike Source back in the day, I think this is such a good idea! I am yet to start playing CS:GO however I have always wondered what it would be like to edit or design my own map. I would like to know some more info on the map you’re thinking of creating? Is it going to be a closer quarter map or more open plan? Also what software were you thinking of using for design? I know CS:GO has a Workshop Map Publisher but I’m not too sure of the finer details. Keen for your next blog to see how the design is coming along.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This map on CS reminds me of the river map in Halo CE, as well as Rust on COD6. It’s such a well balanced map. I really wonder just how complicated designing a well balanced map like this is, do you just design a map with some brief ideas about advantage points, or do you just let the audience work out the advantage points and best positions?
    I would love to see how well you could make one! It would be awesome if we could organise a big match on your map to test it out when it was finished!


  4. Hey awesome post Jase, I too am doing a map for CS:GO and I found reading into the history of dust actually helped me grasp what goes into making the map work. An interesting read from the maker of dust can be found here https://www.johnsto.co.uk/design/making-dust. David Johnston essentially breaks down his thoughts going into creating the very early versions of the map, and I found it very useful aswell.


  5. Nice Jase! This map is an absolute classic and leads to a really interesting idea about balanced maps and what makes a map good or bad. Have you so considered looking into other games and their maps, and seeing what ones became favored for their “fairness”? Or alternatively, looking at maps known to be favorable to one side, such as Hoth in Star Wars Battlefront 2?


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