Train2Game interview: Valve’s Chet Faliszek on CS:GO


Train2Game attended the Eurogamer Expo, and during our time there we had a chat with Valve Software writer Chet Faliszek about Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. In an in depth interview, Faliszek discusses the reasons for making CS: GO, bringing the PC title to consoles,  the importance of beta testing and much more.

The Valve Software writer also tells the Train2Game blog how important modding can be as part of finding work in the games industry.

Read the interview below, on Train2Game’s Scribd page, or listen to it via Train2Game Radio.

We’re over ten years on from the original Counter-Strike, why is the time right for CS: GO now?

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive started because we were actually originally just going to do a port of Counter-Strike: Source for XBLA. Internally we started playing it a lot and released that ‘Oh, this is a lot of fun’ We forgot how much fun this translates over to the 360 now we’ve got really good at this, so we should make a bigger investment, a full game and expand out what it is.

What are the main Game Design changes that have been made to CS: GO?

One of the cool things with Counter-Strike is it’s been around for so long, that there’s a lot of feedback we can get about what works and what doesn’t work. So we’ve taken a look at 1.6, we’ve taken a look at Counter-Strike: Source, we’ve kind of taken the best of both worlds and we think we’ve created the best version of Counter-Strike.

Which modes will be available in the upcoming game?

We’re going to have the classic bomb planting and hostage and rescue, and were also going to have – again looking back to the community, they had worked on gun game – and so we’re incorporating gun game directly into what we call ‘Arsenal modes.’  We have two of those modes; one is Demolition and that’s about bomb planting and team based Gun Game. And then we also have Arms Race which is the classic Gun Game where every kill you get, you get a new gun and then eventually you get to the knife round.

How difficult has  it been to bring what’s fundamentally a PC game onto consoles?

We don’t really ever look at games that way. As a company, as gamers ourselves, we play on too many different platforms just to think of a game being that anymore. I mean, I play Left4Dead on console as much as I play it on PC, so you know, I think we’ve become accustomed to that.

It’s been fun watching people jump down here and say ‘Oh man, I can’t believe you don’t have keyboard and mouse here,’ and then they play on the PS3 and go ‘Oh yeah, that works pretty well.’

It’s had a good reaction from the hardcore Counter-Strike fans then?

Yeah, actually what’s really funny is at PAX back in Seattle, we were showing it on the 360 and we had a pro-gaming website come in really dissing that we had it on the 360. And they sat down and ran over everybody and they loved it.

Is there a mode for players who might be new to Counter-Strike, but don’t want to get run over by veteran players?

Well actually in all of our modes we’re going to make sure that doesn’t happen, but we have the Social Mode which you’re seeing here. You get all the weapons, there’s no friendly fire, all talk is on and it’s a place to have fun with your friends and you’re talking about your girlfriend’s or what you’re talking about on TV while you’re playing the game.

But also there’s also a skill based mode which is all about the skill based matchmaking, so that’ll always make sure you’re having a competitive game without getting owned by someone who’s been playing for  ten years and is tonnes better than you – they’re going to be playing against different people than you will.

You’re giving out beta keys here, how important is that phase in the development of a game?

It’s really important to us because we’re going to let that drive the release date, because we’re really looking to get the feedback from the community over the changes we’ve made. We’ve brought over some stuff that was good from Counter-Strike: Source and we’ve brought over some stuff that was good from 1.6, so it’s going to be interesting to see how the communities react.

Already we’ve got some positive feedback from some of the pros, but we’re telling the communities it’s not going to be either, it’s going to be something new so let’s play it, let’s give feedback and let’s go from there.

Valve Software has a reputation for hiring modders, is modding therefore a good way for a budding game developer to get noticed?

It’s a really good way for someone to get noticed because it shows that you’re able. Normally modders have to work as a team and that’s important, and they also have to be able to finish something and that’s really important. So those two things together are a really good way to demonstrate that you’re ready to work in the industry.

What other advice would you give to someone looking to work in the games industry?

Make sure you’re doing something.  Do whatever you’re doing, like we (at Valve) weren’t necessarily writing for games when Gabe (Newell) tapped us, but do whatever you do as well as you can and with a view as to what your eventual goal will be.

Anything else you’d like to add about CS: GO?

We’re going to have the beta starting in October, check it out. We think it’s the best version of Counter-Strike there is, and you can help us make it the best version.

Thanks for your time.

The CS:GO beta begins in October, with a Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC released scheduled for early 2012.

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