Winner of the Mapcore's 2019 Exotic Places Contest!

A story on how Anubis made it to the first place in the 2019 Exotic Mapcore Mapping contest & became a part of the official CS:GO map rotation


I have started on this project on my own, setting the theme of the map and thinking about the gameplay aspects. For this contest, I wanted to do a theme that hasn't been done before in CS:GO, but is resembling a real-life location in the present time. I decided to go for an ancient Egyptian theme that is divided into three regions: an ancient temple site/bathing place, a touristic city center, and a residential periphery. The challenge was to make it feel as in modern time but keeping the historical aspects to it. I started off by collecting reference images where I took inspiration from for the environment art, but also the layout.

For the layout, I wanted to create something different from the existing map pool, but stay true to the so-called three-lane or four square layouts as it has proven to work in CS:GO. My goal was to create something simplistic, but dynamic at the same time. My biggest aim was the middle of the map where I made use of a bridge crossing a canal creating a lot of dynamic to the map, but also loads of risks in terms of Level Design.

The 15 - 20 playtests I have done on Anubis have lead to many changes. Also, after analyzing the matches on FaceIt on a later state I have done many iterations to improve the gameplay experience. It was a long and difficult road to get to the map as it is today, but every change did something positive though. Even though the balance shifted between the sides and a lot of feedback was contradicting, it all was little steps to the present version. Halfway the development I decided to rework the entire map, get rid of the details and get back to simple geometry to work on the core layout of the map with the feedback I was given. It was a hard call, but a call you sometimes have to make as a Level Designer and I am glad I did it. For the bridge, it has been the most complicated part of the map, but my persistence and the help of the playtesters made it work at the end. If I have to take anything from this experience I would say it is good to be flexible, but be persistent and optimistic at the same time. 


Anubis has been in the official CS:GO map rotation since 1 April 2020


This time I decided to get an idea of the environment art early on, so I could already work towards this part during the greybox stage. The reason for that is because I had to do the LD part and Environment Art on my own. However, during the project, I had 'jakuza' joining me and creating the custom assets for me to use. Later on, also 'jd40 ' joined the team helping on dressing the biggest part of the map. This allowed me to focus on the gameplay purely and give direction to the others. Besides LD I have done a bit of Environment Art, Polishing and Optimisation. 


©2019 by Roald van der Scheur.