This was one of the first maps I have played when it came to Half-Life deathmatch.
The choice of textures could have been better and the r_speeds of this map were horrible.
Originally it had average r_speeds around 800 and up to 1,300 depending on where you were
standing or looking at. There were two things though that made my friends and me play it
a lot. The first reason was a mod called "Cold Ice" that used the regular HLDM levels. Secondly
we had an agreement while we played this level we all abide to. We agreed not to kill
each other as soon as someone reached the top of the tower (without the help of the grappling
hook, of course) that had the spawn point for the rocket launcher. Once you reached the top
you were supposed to be taken down by everybody else. It sounds easy at first, but keep in mind
that Cold Ice modified the Rocket Launcher to a killing monster that spew out three homing
rockets shortly after another or five at once using alt-fire.
We had a lot of fun and I remember we even played it 15 years after its initial release.
Why did I rework this level? There were two reasons. The first one was that the level was having severe slow downs, even though it looked really simple on the first look. Back in 1998/1999 when Half-Life was being released I still had an old Cyrix CPU with 133MHz and 16MB of RAM which I got in 1996. Of course I did not question why I had slow downs while it seemed to run way better on an Intel CPU that had 266MHz and 64MB of RAM. But fifteen years later with an average clock rate 3,500MHz and 8GB of RAM the exact same level still had slow downs?! I came to the conclusion that the problem couldn't be the hardware. It must be the level itself or the way it was build why it was so slow. The second reason was that I wanted to know how much I could lower the r_speeds and which approach in terms of level design and optimisation would be best to achieve this goal.
I did everything I knew to improve the performance and even made two different versions of
this map to find out which brush layout would reduce r_speeds even more.
The end result can be seen here. It has smooth r_speeds ranging between 300 and 500 max.
Below you can see a side by side comparison of the original map and the rework I have done.