I feel that after the ESL banned CS 1.6 from the Intel Extreme Masters the discussion for a reasonable replacement has become urgent.
I have to say that the developments over the last years were - to those not completely closing their eyes - already pointing towards this direction for quiet a long time.
Further I suppose I will not have to mention that neither CS:GO or any other fps coming out in the near future will be capable of doing so.
So instead of talking which game possibly could replace 1.6 - which I almost talked to death with most of my Counter-Strike buddies - I started playing around with a "what if" kind of idea.
What if we as a community with as well deep knwoledge about the game itself and part of one of the largest eSport communities could help developing a game which
- delivers the exact (!) same gameplay experience we all love as 1.6 players
- enhance graphics in way that will NOT change the way the gameplay works, but will please the eye
- adds a competetive, eSport focused enviroment which emphasizes all the aspects we so dearly love and that have been the reason I´m still around...
So I decided to tell you about what has been a wet dream of mine for quiet some time now:
Imagine that you start a game called Counter-Strike 2 from your desktop. You login into the game and everything is there at your fingertips:
a matchmaking system (ranked or gather), ladders, cups, tournaments, leagues etc., player and team stats, ingame team/clan support, mIRC, proper ingame voice communication... [insert more features here]
The list of features the community asked for goes on for very long, as well as the list of work-arounds we found or even invented ourselfs and shared with each other.
It is almost like there are so many people that have created and added things to the game that before we are ready to compete and get this eSport experience and do what we love (giving triple deagle headshots, clearing out banana eco rushes with our M4 - all that good jazz...) there is very much to consider and to prepare in order for these moments to happen.
At least this is the way I feel...
So I asked myself how I could make this happen as i was fairly disappointed in the CS:GO beta. I ended up writing down what the perfect version of CS 1.6 to me is like and what I expect from a game to be a worthy replacement for 1.6 in the competetive scene. I did not finish as my list continues to grow day by day.
During this time I realized that I would need to build the game either myself from scratch or pay a developer team in order to do so.
As I´m not made of money and still have not learned to program myself I was looking for realistic way to make my dream happen. During this time I discovered a website called "kickstarter.com" were there are plenty of videogames on that are developed on a crowdfunding basis and this seemed like a very much reasonable and realistic way to collect money for a project this size.
So I started telling my friends about it and to get their opinion on it - they really were getting excited about my idea and I was feeling that I had to check wether there are enough people that think the same way or not.
So today I´m creating this poll, ask for your opinion on the idea and for your help.
To prevent any form of scepsis, flames, etc. as I am not a known person and this is not about me but a serious meant attempt to get something going here, I kindly ask for you to take this seriously, because I can assure you that I am serious!
If you are interested in my motivation or who I am and where I come from, I am glad to answer your pm or even write another blog.
To people who say that CSPromod is an alternative.
If people want to play games with better graphic they won't play CSPromod, just saying.
There's no one who would change from CSS to Promod, I think. It would be the same community as it was before (1.6). They are going to play CS:GO anyways.
1. I know a lot of CSS players who enjoy CSP.
2. CSPromod is for free and people take everything that's free.
3. If you play CS:GO and try CSPromod, you will fucking love it. It plays and feels so much better.
No well known gamestudio will create and run something similar to 1.6, because:
1. Recreation of something other studios made is a NO-GO in the world of being a creative game developer.
2. If you haven't played CS for a long time you just don't know how the gameplay works and what are the important parts of game-mechanics (that's also the reason why studios like HPE fail at making new CS versions).
3. You need someone who will support the game after its release and work close to the community and the esport-business (fixing bugs, developing new tools, tweak things, develop anti-cheat-tools, ...). Only people who are a part of the community (like the CSP devs) are willed and able to do that.
But I really like the idea of crowdfunding. The biggest problem of CSP is the lack of texture artists, level designers, sound engineers, effect developers and programmers to implement different tools like CSPTV. I would invest the money in different projects like paying some gamestudios to create new textures or new game-sounds. The current developers of CSP would still remain as the owner of their game (they worked on it for 5 years!). And you know what? That's exactly what the creators of the original CS did: Before they sold it to Valve they engaged a small studio called "barking dog studios" which made new sounds, new textures and new maps (de_train and cs_backalley; thats why there is a "pop dog" -> that's the logo of the barking dog studios).
But the best would be to buy a source license: Everyone is free to buy a source engine. There is no fix price, you have to deal with Valve. Once you got the licence you will get the newest version of the source engine (the one of CS:GO!), newer and better development-tools and the support of Valve. That would be huge!
A source engine also allows the developers to make money with the game: As a MOD they aren't allowed to sell it or to make money by advertisement. But once you own a source licence you are free to make money.
But CSP could also work as a pure MOD, if Valve allows them to use "steamworks". Steamworks is a project from Valve which allows MOD-developers to make their games official steam game and which brings them tools like matchmaking (unfortunately the steamworks-project isn't ready yet).
btw: They aren't allowed to call it "Counter-Strike 2" since Valve is the owner of the Counter-Strike franchise. That's why they named it "CSpromod". But we fans are free to call it however we want. We can call it "Counter-Strike Promod", it just isn't the official name :P