Surf_dragon is an experimental surf map. The map has visuals mostly inspired from retro wave & vaporwave aesthetics and consists of two sections. One section being the code generated, experimental, long-winded path that will test your endurance. This section of the map can take up to 8 minutes, even for experienced surfers to complete. The other section is a more conventional and fun linear surf stage.
When I started making this map I decided that I only wanted to use assets made by myself. That meant not using textures or other assets included from the game engine or downloading them online, thus forcing myself to make a world completely from scratch. This made the mapping a lot more fun, and I feel like the map is a lot more my own creation.
The reason for the name is because I was originally inspired by the fractal known as the “Dragon curve” or the “Heighway Dragon“. The dragon curve describes a shape or path that can be up to infinite in length. Somehow, I thought it would be interesting to see a map in this shape. Of course, I couldn’t make my map infinite. So, I had to settle with the 9th iteration of this fractal to be able to fit it within the limits set by the source engine, and have the turns be a convenient size. This resulted in 511 consecutive turns.
So with 511 turns to make I didn’t really feel like manually putting in every single turn in the level editor. So instead I would just make two turns. One that went to the right and one that went left, and then write a program that would output a .vmf file with the final shape of the map!
This map ended up being huge, and I quickly realized that I exceeded all brush, brush face and entity limits set by the Source SDK after inserting 511 rooms. So, I had to cut down on a lot of the stuff I had made. All details had to be made into props to decrease brush count, and a lot of the props had to be combined to reduce the entity limit. At the end, each turn is made of 9 props and 5 brushes.
So, when I was done with this experiment I was quick to realize that the map surprisingly just very long and very repetitive. since I still had some headroom in terms of entity and brush limits, I decided I would add another more conventional skill surf section to the map. This section ended up taking the longest time to make because I had to produce a lot more ramps, details, and gameplay, but I think it’s going to make the map a ton more enjoyable and replayable.
The last things I had to do was prepare a version that would also work in csgo. Because I originally developed this map for css the map can quickly be compiled for csgo as well, with a few minor changes.
A side project to this project was also to make a sweet skybox. I don’t have much experience painting textures like this so I’m happy how it turned out.