CS:GO de_dust2 (pre-production): I worked as an Architect/Environment designer on the pre-production phase for the revamp of DustII (de_dust2). Team goals were the following:
1) Upping the realism and moving the iconic map out its current Iraq-istan setting, look and feel.
2) A ground up rebuild. Looking at every aspect and asset (outside of the gameplay space) as beginning from scratch.
3) No restrictions on what was once indoor/outdoor space (allowing the freedom to propose opening once enclosed areas or making a interior space now a exterior one).
4) Re-theming of bombsites A and B with new narratives and supporting it through set dressing that is integral with the architecture.
5) Maintain the map layout, the gameplay ground, with its critical corners and sniper line of sights.
This is a good example of how I, and another architect at Valve, used SketchUp during the look-dev process to quickly understand multiplayer map problems and quickly test ideas, pursuing an alternate ground, with detailed block-outs and proxies that can be imported into the game engine. I was responsible for proposing and redesigning the bombsite areas as a historic kasbah fortress and the other as a boutique hotel, setting the map in Morocco. I did the texturing and decal passes of buildings in the editor alongside three other environment artists on the team. I also designed and modeled/UV’d/textured the cafe table and chairs, signage for the hotel and restaurant, street lamps, a window/shutter kit and other supporting props for the the new bombsite themes in Modo.
I was very fortunate while at Valve to be given the opportunity to pursue design solutions that we wanted to explore. This phase was true to a company philosophy to begin with a few simple ideas, goals and few constraints so we could experiment. The following images represent a very early version, proposed solutions that were not yet play-tested and iterated on, of the recently released map.