An experimental surf map – surf_dragon

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.

I want to say thanks to The Strafing Discord- and The Source Engine Community for helping me a lot with all the different bugs and issues I ran into making this map.




Making a blog

It’s been around eight months ago, as of the time of writing this, that I decided to buy my own domain. I knew I wanted some kind of hub of some kind, I could hand out to people so they could find me on all the different platforms I use: YouTube, LinkedIn, GitHub and so on.

I also knew i wanted to create a new platform for myself… a personal blog! What I thought i needed was a new platform where i can freely post anything I want. I have a lot of interests from coding, to photography, and it’s nice now to own a blog for myself where I can categorize and post however I want. I’ll mostly be posting about projects or things I’m working on. Making this blog has been quite a project by itself, so here’s a post about it.
So eight months later it’s finally ready to be utilized.

When I started to work on the blog I decided to download the most bare bone theme possible and work from there. In the following image you can see the look I started with (on the left), and you can see how the blog looks like as of posting this.

I knew I wanted a rather minimalistic blog and I wanted a hide able sidebar. The nice thing about the sidebar is that I can keep all the widgets there because there is no reason to look at the widgets while you’re reading this. I wanted the post layout to look similar to what you see on Tumblr and Imgur. I think I’ve achieved something that works rather well for my needs. I don’t have much experience with php, html, css or javascript. So all I’ve been doing a lot of googling to figure out how i could get everything to work correctly.

The colors took a while to settle with. All i knew was that i wanted a dark theme. I ended up pulling the colors out of a still frame from the old Batman: The Animated Series. I found the still from that does fantastic color palettes based on movies stills.

I’m pretty happy with how the blog looks right now so I hope I’ll be taking good use of it.