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Turning to dust

January 31st, 2006, By Duncan Gough

Sometime just before New Year I found David Johnston’s blog, where I stayed for quite some time, reading a long article on The making of de_dust.

The fascinating part of David’s work is how open to change he was – there were plenty of mistakes made in the development of de_dust and yet he managed to pull off one the most well balanced Counter Strike maps. Given the many collective hours of game time that people have spent in that map, I’d say that it has since been exhaustively stress tested.

At any point in time, Dust (1) is host to around 10,000 players, around 5% of all online gamers (source). In its lifetime it has been host to millions of matches, responsible for billions of kills, and just won’t stop.

How can you top that? Well, David managed it by doing the obvious thing, a companion piece called The making of de_dust2. Brilliant, just what I wanted.

It took a couple of days to take the design I had pencilled out and actually create it. The main problem came halfway – I realised the dimensions of the map didn’t really relate to the designs as much as I had hoped, and hence I had very little room to create the terrorist side of the map. Even still, I didn’t really have a plan for the terrorist side.

I can’t remember how the terrorist side of the map developed, but it was a squeeze fitting it in – it was originally larger. I could have moved the whole map over to provide more space, but for some reason I didn’t. Thankfully it turned out well.

If you’ve ever played Counter Strike then you’ll have played on both of these maps. The fact that, after all these years, they are still in heavy rotation on the most played online game is really quite some achievement. The fact that Valve kept them in when they revealed Counter Strike: Source is also quite something.

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