[Tutorial] Creating a Basic Counter Strike 1.6 map


This article is not an exhaustive guide rather a holistic overview to Counter-strike 1.6 mapping but to aid the amateur effort in using the half-life mapping tools and for helping out the clueless greenhorns of mapping. The ideas presented here are as well valid for half-life1 maps. Grasp the basic concept & you are good to go!

This work was originally published by me on May 22, 2011 @ another un-maintained blog of mine, decided to carry it back here for my readers.

 

We play multiplayer games like counterstrike on and off! The huge and weird looking arenas present various levels-styles-tactics of interesting game-play! However did you ever feel like, if only there was no door over there on the map or say It’d be great if I could add a flowering pot on the ledge! If you did so, I might show you a little way to just do that! Others if you are still interested, read on!

Basic Requirements:
First things first! What do we need to make a Cs 1.6 map?
1. Half-life 1 goldsource SDK
2. Hammer editor v3.4
3. Zoner’s Half-Life Compiler tools (ZHLT)

Google is your best friend and you can find these after a few hours of intelligent hounding! Yet this site has some nice tools that you may care using! Say you must be having your Counterstrike installed as D:\CS_Digital_Zone (let’s call this ROOT). You will see immediately within this directory there is your cstrike.exe, hlds.exe, hl.exe and folders like cstrike\ etc.Suiting up:
These ready let’s get going.
a. First install the hl1 goldsrc sdk in the ROOT.
b. Now install Hammer 3.4 in the ROOT.
c. Unzip the ZHLT tools in ROOT.
(I don’t like scattering my computer with debris– incase something goes wrong I know what to wipe out!)

Readying the palette:
Now lets fire up Hammer, after the customary hammer iconography you face a blank editor. Click-> Tools-> options. And configuration screen comes up.

Configuration

1.Create a new game type, I typed counterstrike1.6 (try variations)
2. Add the game data file, cstrike\halflife-cs.fgd
3. Select Game executable directory as ROOT.
4. Add game directory as cstrike\ & Rmf directory as cstrike\maps
5. Add the ZHLT in Build programs tab,&
6. In Textures tab select cstrike\cstrike.wad and halflife.wad.
Hit Ok, Apply & restart Hammer to help the changes take their desired effects! The palette is ready!

Know the tools:

New map file (hammer)

1.File->New will give a screen like in the figure!
2. The grid windows are xy, yz, zx views & first window is the3d view. My 3d view is in 3d flat mode at this point!
3. On the left are the brush window, on the right are texture, primitive and entity selection windows.
4. We will be mainly using 2 brushes (i) block (ii) entity. Block brush is a grey looking cube and entity brush looks like a light bulb. it’s just below the camera icon.

Let’s Map:

1. Select the primitive block brush and draw a min 512×512 square in xy plane, make sure it’s height is min 192 units from the yz/zx plane i.e the bottom two panels. Press Enter to create the object. Select it, goto Tools-> Make hollow, set the value to -32 (to hollow outward). If you want apply same texture to all walls and floor. Just select the hollow cube. Browse for an apt texture from the right and press the apply current texture button on the left. you can other wise do this same thing by selecting a desired wall or roof one by one!Click the camera button an place the camera within the cube to see inside it, in the 3d view! we can change the orientation of the camera to view different directions.
2. Now we need to have players in the map, 2 teams and some decors! Let’s go get em in! Select the entity brush. From the right bottom window select info_player_start entity. Draw the entity in a corner & press Enter to create! In the opposite corner again select the entity brush and select entity info_player_deathmatch and similarly place and create them. Make sure these entities are atleast  8 units above the ground! Guess what? The info_player_start is our CT side & info_player_deathmatch is the T side!
3. Now all is not done and we should not play yet! It’s dark in there — let there be light! Again select the entity brush & from the entity list select light. Place a few light sources to illuminate the map i.e within the hollow cube!
4. Lets decorate the map. Select block brush & select Crates from the right bottom window where we were previously selecting entities. Use some ammo-boxes of some specification, draw them, then create them. Place them in proper positions. Apply some proper steel like textures on the boxes to get the feel!
5. Now this minimal map is ready to play for a 2 player duel! So save the map. And build it using this hammer editor configured with ZHL tools. Here is the image of a cool looking simple map I was making!

6. Maps successfully built, fire up your cs 1.6– the game create new server, select “Your own map” & hit Start!  And feel the awesome feeling when you first step into the arena you have created yourself!

3D map almost complete

Things to Remember & always note:

1. Number of players playing on the map depends on no of spawn points. For example this map I just instructed you about can have only 2 players. Add several more info_player_start entities clustered at the supposed CT spawn area & similarly for T’s. If you allocate x spawn points at CT location and y spawn points at T location, the map is playable by x+y players at a time!
2. Make sure Player spawns are atleast at a height of 8 units from floor, walls and each-other else they might stick to each-other or the walls and not move! Make sure walls & floors are minimum 8 units thick!

3. Be sure that there is no opening in your map else we will be getting a uniformly lit map with no light and shade! Actually we were in side a lit up box in the middle of a dark expanse. But if we leak it the compiler unable to handle the complexity assumes total map is lit by same intensity! There will be no problem about playing but the washed out looks sucks! Seal the leaks to get a light and shade ambiance!

Ingame shot (amx mods were installed)
I had just knifed a pro Awp-er, it was Raptor actually
(damn, I was good with that dangerous mp5 run)

P.S:  This is a holistic overview written by me from my experiences of various pitfalls and drawbacks any new mapper would face. I did read a lot to be able to produce my first simple map. just an effort to make it easier. If you do find useful, just do drop a few lines to pat my back. But it’s more than a year now… I am away from the game and all this, so just trust my tutorial. I really wont have many answers to your questions :). Peace!