Play Testing

What kind of levels will you test?


Competitively we only will test DE/CS levels. Special arrangements can be made if you have a different / non-competitive level.

Requirements for Level testing


Verify your level qualifies for play testing.

  1. Current layout must be fully completed to the fullest for the test. Submitting a level with 1 bomb site is a no go.
  2. The layout has been self tested and you have preformed refinements to the layout.
  3. Level must display a decent amount of time invested into it. If we suspect that a submitted layout is “low effort” it will be denied.
  4. Make sure your level actually has an aesthetic that is properly displayed in the level. This does not mean the level must be detailed, dev textures are alright. For instance, if you’re building a castle level. We should be able to tell that it’s a castle from the aesthetic you’ve built in the level.
  5. Remember that you’re asking 9+ other people to spend about 2 hours of their time on your level.

Make sure the level is created inside of Hammer, and has all the required content to be tested properly.

  1. NAV Mesh generated and packed.
  2. At least 16 spawns for each team.
  3. No boosts out of the level.
  4. Proper lighting with good visibility.
  5. Working radar overview with paths clearly marked.
  6. All custom content packed into the BSP file.
  7. Make sure to test the level yourself. Failure to do so will result in a block from further testing.
  8. Level has no FPS issues.
  9. Your level is clipped properly. Stairs, walls, any thing(s) that players may get stuck on.

Upload level and join communication channels.

  1. Upload Level to Workshop.
  2. Join CSGO Testing Grounds Steam group. (Link below)
  3. Join the Discord Chat. (Link below) This is used for some scheduling and discussion pre/post playtest.

Example state that a level should be in before submitting


How does testing work


Casual Testing

Casual testing is done on a server without a cap for players. Teams are balanced to a “best effort.” Anyone is welcome to play in this test, and there is no punishment for leave this test early. The creator is allowed to play in this test.

A typical timeline for casual playtest would be:

  • Test is announced in discord about 1 hour before start time.
  • Level is loaded onto server about 15 minutes before start time. Creator is expected to join the server at this time.
  • Server connection information and test starting announcement posted in discord at start time.
  • Players finish joining and run around level for about 5 minutes.
  • Test officially starts about 5-10 minutes after the start time.
  • 1 full game is played, with half time, first to 16 round wins.
  • Players join a voice channel inside Discord and provide feedback with the level creator in a civil manner. If there was a competitive test for this level, the casual players feedback will be given once the competitive feedback is complete. Players who are short on time are encouraged to leave their feedback in chat instead of vocal.
  • Test is over. GO TV Demo available upon request.
  • Total approximate time: 90 minutes.

Competitive, 5v5, Testing

To have a competitive test scheduled, you must have had a previous casual test completed. This is to ensure quality testing in a competitive setting. More moderation is required to run these, as a result the requirements are more strict.

Competitive testing is done on a 10 slot server, with additional slots for spectating. Players are picked by moderators based on skill, and are more balanced then casual. A casual test is run in tandem with the competitive test to allow extra players to participate in testing. The creator is not allowed to play, only spectate this test.

  • Test is announced in discord about 1 hour before start time.
  • Level is loaded onto server about 15 minutes before start time. Creator is expected to join the server at this time.
  • Server connection information and test starting announcement posted in discord at start time.
  • Players join the level and are allowed to run around the level to fully learn the layout.
  • Test will start no later than 20 minutes after the scheduled start time. Players are “ready” up to start the game early. This is to ensure that players are comfortable with the level before testing.
  • 1 full game is played, with half time, first to 16 round wins.
  • Players join a voice channel inside Discord and provide feedback with the level creator in a civil manner. If the creator is playing in the casual game, and the competitive is entering feedback, the creator is asked to leave the game and join discord for feedback. 
  • Test is over. GO TV Demo available upon request.
  • Total approximate time: 120 minutes.

Rules during a test – rules subject to change any time


  1. If a level has issues before a test that would prevent a proper test, it will be canceled.
  2. What a playtest moderator / admin says is law.
  3. Respect all players.
  4. Tests may be canceled at a moderator’s discretion, with a reason stated and announcement posted.
  5. If players determine that a level will get no additional feedback from continued testing, a test may be ended early and move to the feedback phase. For instance if 8 rounds in, there is a glaring issue that would otherwise invalidate feedback, it’s better to save people’s time and end the test early.
  6. If a map exploit is found during a test, please alert a moderator. Once discovered the exploit must not be used for the remaining of the match.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What happens if I, the creator, leave a test early without notice?
A:
You will be blocked from any further testing.

Q: How often can I test/re-test my level?
A: You can submit for re-testing every 2 weeks.

Q: I need to cancel my test, how do I do that?
A: Please contact a moderator or TopHATTwaffle to cancel your test. Please let us know as soon as possible. For the quickest response use discord private message. If you’re unable to use discord please respond to the last email reply for scheduling the test.

Q: My level had missing content or a bug that I did not know about until the level was loaded onto the testing server. What happens now?
A:
Ultimately you as the creator are responsible for making sure all content is packed into the level and bugs are fixed. The test will be canceled and you will have to reschedule after 2 weeks have past. Moderators/Admins are more than happy to load your level before your test beings to allow for bug checking. Please take the time to verify your workshop version before hand, but you can use this as an additional check if you need.

Q: I clearly scheduled my test on a day that was open, but it was denied anyways.
A:
There are more details inside the email response with the deny reason. Since tests are manually screened and scheduled based on moderator availability they are left in a queue until schedules are known. If a level was submitted before your level on the same date, that level is scheduled over your’s. It’s a first come first serve basis.

Q: Will I get a demo from my playtest?
A:
Demo files are recorded for all playtests. They are uploaded to http://demos.tophattwaffle.com and can be downloaded any time. If your test’s demo is not there, please ask a moderator to get it uploaded quicker.

Q: Something happened and I need to leave a test early.
A:
Please alert a moderator of your reason for leaving. Assuming this issue was unforeseen, there will be no blow back to further testing of your level. You will be allowed to re-schedule after 2 weeks. Depending on how far along the test is will determine if the test is ended or finished.

Q: Can I contribute in some way to the playtesting system?
A: 
Of course. There are a few ways you can help. Feel free to look ahead in the schedule and pre-test levels to help the creators. Everyone is always happy to have bugs / issues found before the test so they can be fixed. If you want to know other ways to help, feel free to ask someone in Discord how you’re able to contribute.

Q: Can I donate to the testing system?
A:
Yes. We pay for servers and would love to have any donations to help offset that cost. You can donate here!

Links


Join the CSGO Testing Grounds Groups Steam group here!

During a play test we use the /r/SourceEngine Discord chat to communicate.

Join the /r/SourceEngine Discord Chat Here.

The calendar is shown in Central Time! Please convert your local time to CT!

Remember: Tests are required to be scheduled at least 48 hours in advance.
Meaning if you want to test on a Saturday, you must submit no later than Thursday.

Click here to view current Central Time.

By clicking the “Google Calendar+” button, you can add the calendar to your Google Calendar and time-zones will be auto converted to your time-zone.

* indicates required field

Please upload a few images of the level to imgur. This will be used for verification purposes. Please make the first image in the album a radar overview.

Playtests are limited to 1 a day. Please check the schedule using the calendar above! Allow 48 hours before your desired time.

:

Please Note: Playtests are run in CT time zone. Please only submit time in CT time zone.

You are required to have at least 16 spawns per team.

Please make sure workshop item is set to public, and provide full link.


Please provide the date previous test of this level (if any). This is required if you selected "competitive" for test type.