Meet Exhibit A: Richard Lewis’ forum post, made on the Cadred forums:
A couple of weeks ago I was sworn to secrecy about this but it seems the same people who have demanded I not say anything have gone and told the usual CS:S blabber mouths and as such it’s going to be another “secret” that everyone knows about in a few weeks anyway.
Ordinarily I’d not give a shit but given the general doom and gloom that the CS:S community is subject to at the moment spilling the beans might at least lead to some people being a bit more positive about the future of the game.
So yes, apparently Valve have approached several top players from across Europe, as well as J3di from the Zblock team, and have invited them to a meeting in their Seattle offices to discuss the future of the game.
This is the first time that they have ever attempted anything like this for CS:S and it’s the first time they have showed any sort of interest in the project since Dynamic Weapon Pricing was introduced.
Anyway, the list of invited people looks good so far, even if some players are still wary that it’s some sort of scam and haven’t made a decision to attend or not yet. However, the first few flights from those who have provided the information requested have had flights booked and confirmation sent, so their feeling is it’s all above board.
Discuss away. Just don’t tell anyone. It’s a secret.
This is what started off the majority of the buzz in the community, and with good reason. Definitely very interesting.
Not stopping here! Cadred also interviewed Marek “.PhP” Kadek, a competitive CSS player, returning from a fairly long absence from the community, now joining Epsilon eSports. One of the last questions in the interview is this:
In light of recent events I need to ask you this, but I don’t think I’ll get an answer… Valve HQ, Seattle, August – have you heard anything about it and if so, have you received an invite?
Hot damn. Something’s cooking at Valve HQ, and it’s not just the stuff from the snack bar. No, it’s… it’s… crap, I forgot my “edgy film noir detective jokes” notebook at home again! Nevermind, let us move on to exhibit… S!
Iikka Keränen, one of Valve’s senior level designers, named the greatest Doom level creator of all time by Doomworld in 1998, recently joined the players of the TF2Maps server for their “Mapper’s Day”. He played with them, and even answered their questions. Full transcript can be found here. Here’s the million dollar question:
*In response to being asked if he is currently mapping for TF2*
iikka: not at the moment, I’m working on some counter-strike stuff
Seba: is there anything major comiing to CSS?
iikka: can’t really comment right now
Yes, I have uncovered Valve’s vicious trail of blood and uncovered the smoking gun itself. Level designers being shifted to Counter-Strike. Well, I suppose this means nothing – we still know pretty much nothing and we can only speculate as to what this is all about: CS2? Condition Zero 2? Someone’s finally porting the levels from the old Xbox port to the PC? Maybe someone finally decided to fix up the legendary “Death from Above” and release it on Deleted Scenes? May- Okay, no more wild, insane guesses.
I suppose it’s just a game update, which is pretty great, since Valve has been neglecting CS recently, and with Minh Le’s Tactical Intervention right around the corner, locking CS in the cupboard isn’t going to last much longer. So let’s wait and see what Valve is going to do with CSS.