I’m releasing VMFs of every Valve-created
CS:GO map, as well as my own so that you can look at them and edit them as you like. Download
them in this video’s description. From the interest that both my Newke and Infernew projects
received, the CS:GO community is clearly very keen to experiment and to change existing
maps. Just the other day on Reddit, LaxGuit shared sketched out plans for an improved
Nuke and I was called to do them. Well… now, I don’t have to. Because you can.
Before I go any further, just to clarify the obvious, I didn’t make these maps. They’re
not mine. They are all Valve’s, if you do use them then don’t claim them as your own
or sell them or do anything particularly stupid with them. I have simply extracted them, fixed
the mess that this leaves behind, and have packaged them up into a bundle to share with
you. It took a long time. More on this process later. What you need to know is that the VMF
files are the editable copies of the maps. They can be opened and modified using the
Hammer editor, of which I have tutorials for. You can also open them using Notepad, which
is pointless but interesting because you get to see how they’re made- they’re effectively
a list of coordinates and properties for every item that makes up a level.
I’ve also uploaded all of my own maps in this format. This is scary since it leaves
my creations naked, letting everybody prod and poke at them as they please, criticising
all the shortcuts I used to make them in the first place.
I’m going to warn you now that I don’t recommend editing any of these maps unless
you know what you’re doing. I will not provide help for all of the thousands of complicated
errors you could face, which almost definitely WILL occur if you try changing the maps in
any major or meaningful way beyond just adding a few new props or blocks for the hell of
it. Also, to convert these VMF files back into playable map files that CS:GO can load,
you have to compile them so that it can calculate the lighting and stuff. This can take anywhere
between 1 and 18 (!) hours to do on my super fast DinoPC that’s almost certainly faster
than yours. You’ll find 3 downloads: one containing
all of my maps, one featuring every Valve map apart from Nuke… and one containing
Nuke. I kept this one separate because for some reason they haven’t included most of
the models it uses in the game itself, so I had to rip these out and include them with
the download. This makes the Nuke download larger than all of the other maps put together.
You won’t find Cache anywhere, since this is FMPone’s and he has personally requested
I don’t release it. For every map you’ll find the VMF file,
doesn’t matter where you put this since when you compile the map in Hammer it automatically
saves the map file to the correct location. But for the folders, you need to drag them
into CSGO’s base directory like so. Doing this isn’t essential but will ensure that
the radar and map descriptions work. I have renamed all of these files, so editing any
of these will not replace the official maps. But even if it did it won’t get you VAC
banned or anything like that, it would only stop you from joining servers officially hosting
those maps. I’m aware that releasing all of Valve’s
stuff like this is a little iffy, I’m a bit unsure as to what they think of me doing
this because… well, they don’t talk much. But they’ve already included some out of
date versions for people to edit and- let’s face it- getting us to edit the maps is the
best way to get these custom layouts tested. It’s taken me a lot of time to get these
files ready, but I’m hoping that it will save the community a lot more in the longrun.
Finally I’ll share with you the problems I faced with this project. Any mapper can
extract a VMF file by using a program like BSPsource, it takes about 5 seconds to do.
The problem is that it makes some mistakes. For a start, it groups all of the func_details
together. These are all of the hand-placed items that Valve have made for the maps, excluding
the models. There are typically several thousand of these per level and it’s up to me to
remake them one by one based on my own judgement of what should be grouped together. This stage
is fairly simple to do, but takes a while. Then I have to fix the areaportals and occluders
which are the things in the level that hide bits you shouldn’t be able to see. This
improves the framerate. When they’re broken it typically looks something like this in-game.
I render the maps in super fast mode to find these problems and to see if they’re fixed.
Rendering in super fast mode only takes a few seconds, but does mean that the maps aren’t
properly lit. I normally manage to fix the areaportals, but the occluders are mostly
horrendously broken and I typically just delete them, so although these edited maps work they
may not be quite as optimised as the original things. But I did my best.
I then compile it properly, which takes forever and after which I usually find one last problem
that will seriously trigger my OCD but won’t be serious enough for me to compile again
to see if I managed to fix it, leaving me feeling restless for weeks. To further complicate
things I accidentally deleted Mirage and the new Inferno’s fixed files, meaning that
I had to do them twice. But now it’s all done and in your hands. If you find any problems
with them, let me know and I’ll try to fix and update the download. And if Valve updates
the maps I’ll have to do it again any way. So for once… Valve, please don’t fix.
For a while, at least.