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A introductory history of CSS

29 July 2011 No Comment

Any online gamer worth their salt with know what Half Life and Counterstrike is. Not just the old engine, but the new source engine. The titles are a landmark of online gaming and game servers.

CSS in the dawn of online gaming

Counter Strike rolled off the development line way back in June 1999 as a mod to Half Life. But was not until November 2000 that Valve retailed the game. The game had 19 beta releases until version 1 was made available. Even then there were 7 major updates to the game, one of the biggest and most talked about with the update from 1.5 to 1.6.

Introducing STEAM servers

Many people still argue the 1.6 update spoiled Counter Strike. Hardcore players still play 1.5, even though WON has been long dead. Some would say they just dont want to buy a legal copy of the game. 1.6 opened a whole new world of modding- maps, models, sounds etc. Still now, there is a large group developing maps and mods for Counterstrike game servers. This shows exactly how popular Counter Strike Source gameserver renting still remain.

Counterstrike Conditions Zero servers were released shortly after in 2004. The game was essentially a facelift that allowed you to run bots single player. This was a modified version of the Quake II engine it didnt do very well selling only 2.9 million copies from December 2009 as opposed to 4.2 million during the same period.

Introducing source game servers

In 2004 Valve released Half Life 2, with this, we were introduced to Counter-Strike Source, commonly known as CSS. This version now had the same level of graphics of other games for its age and so was making older PCs struggle to run the game. The release of Half Life E1 also brought an update the the source engine, back in June 2006. You needed a pretty decent PC to run CSS. When they did many did not really look back, some people still prefer 1.6 to this day after playing CSS for many years. Like 1.6, CSS maintained the ability to change the game content with mods and maps etc.

Cheaters, hackers and CSS servers

All three versions of Counter Strike have been plagued with issues of cheaters and hackers on Counterstrike Source game servers. VAC or Valve Anticheat is a good option, although its not foolproof. Which is Steam Bans works well- an organisation that works on submissions from clan server admins. By far the best deterrent has to be a good server admin on the clan server itself. One problem though is having admins on the servers 24/7. Which is why we have recently seen a lot of scripts that automatically kick and ban hackers.

As of the time of writing there is still little word on the future of Half Life and Counter Strike. The market is becoming increasingly competitive with the likes of EAs Battlefield series of games and Activision with the Call of Duty games.

We will have to wait and see what Valve do!

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