Since Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s launch Valve have been pushing out community map packs. The first of these, Operation: Payback, raised more than $180,000 for the amateur designers involved. One of these mappers, Shawn ‘FMPONE’ Snelling, has said how these efforts by Valve are “having a real impact on our lives.”
“I’m in law school,” explains Snelling. “At my school, students should budget for a debt load in the area of $60,000. So far, thanks to Valve and the community’s generosity, I have received almost $18,000, putting a serious dent in my debt.”
It’s not all money, either. “From the moment that my map was included in Operation: Payback back in April, it instantly attained a higher public profile than ever before and received more play than ever before (including substantial play fromCS:GO’s developers — which is pretty special). It’s difficult to describe the stress, fascination, and thrill you experience watching a crowd of gamers running around a level you created. Basically, it made me prouder than ever to do what I do.”
After his course, if he decided to move into game development as a career, Snelling will be in a position to approach studios and point to his work as being recognised for its quality by Valve.
It only gets better for Snelling and the other developers included in CS:GO’s next map pack, Operation: Bravo. Because “Bravo is intimately connected to the case-drop system,” writes Snelling. “What that means is that by buying a Bravo pass, you increase your likelihood of obtaining cases which can be opened to obtain rare items, or simply sold on the marketplace for a profit. At initial launch, Bravo cases were going for as much as thirty dollars. It sounds ridiculous, but it seems likely that for most players, Bravo will tend to pay for itself.”