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DynamicBits
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Having a map overview is nice when spectating from certain points of view. Unfortunately not all map authors include one with their map. Fortunately, it isn't difficult to create one.

Launch Counter-Strike Properly

Before even launching Counter-Strike, you need to set your display to 8-bit (256 colors). This is done through your operating system, not from within Counter-Strike or Steam. Unless you are a graphics expert and plan to downsample to 256 colors later, setting your display to 256 colors will result in the best quality images.

You need to launch Counter-Strike with additional parameters. There are two methods (per operating system) of doing this. The first method, which is applicable to all operating systems, is to right-click on Counter-Strike in the Steam game list and select "Properties." In the new window, select "Set Launch Options...," and then add the following parameters:

Code
-dev -window -w 1024 -h 768 -noborder +map YOUR_MAP_NAME


When running under Windows, you may have better luck with fullscreen mode:

Code
-dev -full -w 1024 -h 768 +map YOUR_MAP_NAME


The Linux-specific method (which is not required if you used the Steam method) requires you to use the following terminal command while in the ...Steam/SteamApps/common/Half-Life/ directory (or create a launcher):

Code
LD_LIBRARY_PATH=".:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH" ./hl_linux -game cstrike -dev -window -w 1024 -h 768 -noborder +map YOUR_MAP_NAME


The Windows-specific method (which is not required if you used the Steam method) requires you to create a shortcut to Counter-Strike (right click Counter-Strike in the Steam game list and select "Create Desktop Shortcut"), and add the following parameters to the "Target" line in the shortcut's properties:

Code
-dev -window -w 1024 -h 768 -noborder +map YOUR_MAP_NAME


If you have issues with windowed mode, try fullscreen mode:

Code
-dev -full -w 1024 -h 768 +map YOUR_MAP_NAME


Create Overview Image

Once the map is loaded, you need to change the point of view to the overview by typing the following command in the Counter-Strike console:

Code
dev_overview 2


Close the console and take a screenshot (F5 by default).

Open the console and type the following command:

Code
dev_overview 1


At the top of the game window, and scrolling in the console will be a line similar to the following:

Code
 Overview: Zoom 4.00, Map Origin (-128.00, 512.00, 50.00), Z Min 321.00, Z Max -221.00, Rotated 0


Take another screen-shot, copy and paste that line, or just write it down because we will need those numbers for the next step.

Note: The screen-shot should be 1024x768 and have 8-bit color depth (256 colors) and result in a bmp file that is 770KB in size. Anywhere the lime green color (R:0 G:255 B:0)  appears will be transparent. If your file is much larger than 770KB, you either didn't set your display to 8-bit (256 colors), or aren't using the correct resolution. It is also possible to use a .tga image file, but that is beyond the scope of this HOWTO.

Create Overview Description File

Create a file named YOUR_MAP_NAME.txt with the following layout:

Quoted Text
// overview description file for YOUR_MAP_NAME.bsp

global
{
     ZOOM     4.00
     ORIGIN     -128 512 50
     ROTATED     0
}

layer
{
     IMAGE     "overviews/YOUR_MAP_NAME.bmp"
     HEIGHT     -221
}


You need to replace the six numbers with the numbers you saved earlier. The line appears below with matching color coding to the file above for reference.

Quoted Text
Overview: Zoom 4.00, Map Origin (-128.00, 512.00, 50.00), Z Min 321.00, Z Max -221.00, Rotated 0


Put the Files in the Correct Directory

Right now, the screen-shot should be in your .../cstrike/ directory and it will be named something like YOUR_MAP_NAME0000.bmp.

To use it for the overview, it should be named exactly the same as the map, except for the extension.

Place the YOUR_MAP_NAME.bmp and YOUR_MAP_NAME.txt files in the .../cstrike/overviews/ directory for your server If you have a fast download server, make sure to copy the files there as well.

If there is a resource file (.../cstrike/maps/YOUR_MAP_NAME.res) for your map, make sure the following two lines are in it:

Code
overviews/YOUR_MAP_NAME.bmp
overviews/YOUR_MAP_NAME.txt


Cleaning Up

Once you are finished, make sure to remove the extra parameters from the launch options in Steam and/or the shortcut you use to launch the game. If you find that the game still launches in the 1024x768 window (and you don't want it to), uncheck the following setting in Counter-Strike: Options > Video > Run in a window.

Assuming you changed your color depth to 8-bit (256 colors), be sure to change it back to whatever you had it set at before.
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