Unveiling the Ghosts of History: The Making of AUTOSAVE: REDOUBT in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

AUTOSAVE: REDOUBT is a scale reconstruction of a World War II bunker system in Hong Kong made as a playable map within the computer game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).

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AUTOSAVE: REDOUBT is a scale reconstruction of a World War II bunker system in Hong Kong made as a playable map within the computer game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). The project was a collaborative effort by Andrew Luk, Peter Nelson, and Alexis Mailles.

In this talk, we’ll delve into the research process and proposal journey involved in designing site-specific games that simulate military vision like CS:GO, using the example of AUTOSAVE: REDOUBT.  Are such technologies perceived as realistic or neutral but as simulations of military perception?

CS:GO as a Venue For Creation

Counter-Strike is a unique venue for a work like this. The transformation from CAD files to the Source engine is examined, highlighting the use of monocular gaze by framing the player’s vision with a gun and crosshairs. While observers might notice film conventions, the player focuses on spatial awareness and optical targeting to survive within the game.

We’ll explore the significance of visiting the site and collaborating with diverse individuals to build a cohesive team. What are the challenges of working with people and the importance of problem-solving skills in this context? Finding the right technical experts is crucial, as their decisions shape the project based on their training, which may differ from historians.

Designing in CS:Go as Non-Designers

Luk, Nelson, and Mailles will discuss the process of designing games as non-designers in an environment like CS:GO. Despite the medium’s limitations, maintaining stable geometry by adhering to a grid system allows for the addition of props, sounds, and lighting effects to enhance the overall experience.

Site-specific challenges are also featured, including conservation concerns and balancing historicity with playability. The presentation sheds light on the team’s realization that rebuilding each tunnel within Hammer Engine in CS:GO would be the most computationally efficient approach instead of importing converted architectural files.

Lastly, the talk emphasizes the importance of engaging the community throughout the project. Despite the unconventional nature of the map, it proves to be a unique and captivating exploration of the site, challenging traditional notions of conventional mapping.

This talk provides valuable insights into the research, design process, collaboration, technical challenges, and community engagement in creating site-specific games that simulate military vision, using AUTOSAVE: REDOUBT as a prime example. It encourages a deeper understanding of the medium’s potential as a means of exploration and expression.

About Your Speakers

Andrew Luk specializes in the history and memory embedded in detritus materials from the urban environment. He studied Fine Art and European History at the School of Art & Design at Suffolk University in Boston and has exhibited in the USA, Hong Kong, and Korea.

Alexis Mailles has a long history of working between digital and analog technologies and produces hybrid art installations referring to Arte Povera and cyberpunk aesthetics. He taught at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts and has exhibited widely in France, Taiwan, and Mainland China.

Peter Nelson works between drawing, 3D graphics, and interactive digital media. He also specializes in art historical landscape research and computer game studies. He studied at the University of New South Wales and City University Hong Kong. Luk, Mailles, and Nelson worked together for one year to produce the historical creation of Autosave: Redoubt, which is now freely available as a custom environment for Counterstrike: Global Offensive. 

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