The Smoke has Cleared: Analyzing Workshop Stats for De_Boardroom

In early February, I posted my CS map, de_boardroom to the csgo workshop. Here’s the breakdown of how the map was received, and a brief outline for future versions of it.

Initial Fervor

The CSGO Workshop mimics other game marketplaces. You make all of your downloads in the first one to two weeks. Notably, within the first day the map sputtered to life, then picked up a steep- then steeper rate of downloads.

An interesting trend emerged: The number of New Visitors vastly outnumbers the actual Subscribers once the map hit the Front Page of the workshop. This ratio finally settled at about 50-50 which is actually a pretty amazing click-thru compared with some of the shipped titles I’ve worked on.





Competitive Scene

Ultimately, the feedback I received via comments was mostly positive (after filtering out the majority of the comments, which are spam). The experimental nature of the level design meant that I was never going to make it into any servers playing Competitive CS. But that was OK, my goal from the start was to explore a non-traditional CS map style.




Bugs & Revisions

Though I did release several new versions of the map, they were mostly bug fixes. One was a severely bad bug, which might’ve affected my downloads during the key time period. However I did fix it and engage with some users who had keyed me into the bug.

My Trello board for the map still lists several serious bugs, and a lot of additional tasks that I’ll go into in a minute. The bug fixes will have to wait, as I’m swamped and this is after all a “free time” project.

Community Testing

One thing that I will add to my process in the future is to facilitate playtesting with the community in a more open way. Mapcore has a dedicated testing time set up which I plan to use, and I’ll also run the map on my own server. I knew that I should be doing this but wanted to have an initial limited release – I didn’t expect to get so many downloads on this first go-round.


Future Development

The plan with de_boardroom:

1] There are a few gameplay tweaks that need to be made to the flow that will come now, and some will come later. In general, to make it into a great CS Demolition map worthy of a place in a CSGO map pack, the level would have to be largely broken up, and spread into the typical CS layout. That’s not happening, because-

2] The main plan as far as gameplay is considered is to create a new game mode, along the lines of Spies vs Mercs from Splinter Cell, or the Infiltration phase of Vice and Virtue. Features like extensive overlapping floors, multiple points of egress, and a single, gaping weakpoint for the Terrorists, will dovetail nicely with a slower-paced yet high stress style of play. More on this in a future post.

3] The art of the level got a lot of compliments. However there are zero custom models made outside of hammer. I went old-school and created bsp based geometry, and exported them via Propper. There’s nothing exactly wrong with this – but there is a lack of some certain architectural details on the exterior, and the large modern sculpture hanging in the atrium is literally a blurry, blocky set of detail brushes. All have planned models and textures that need to be created and inserted.

4] Character. I’m actually happy with a lot of the areas in the map, but much of it is like a broken bridge that has no rubble underneath it. By that I mean, there is a missing narrative element that can only come through additional models and textures. Where is the building, what company has this modern take on a stodgy style office, who sat at this boardroom table and why do terrorists want to destroy it? I have a detailed story to tell, and I know some players will really dig it.

I have had all of this in my head, docs, or in collections of reference, for 18 months, and I’d like to go on and get it out.

5] If you got this far – here’s another tidbit. There’s a secret plan to embed some secret content into this map. I can say no more.

Thanks for visiting. Check it out on the workshop if you haven’t yet: