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gm_flatwater2009 is a simple map made specifically for small boat and airplane contraptions, but it can be used for other things as well. It features a somewhat shallow but large pool (about same size as flatgrass), and a concrete building station complete with boat building platforms.

This was probably the most difficult map to create. Why? I knew nothing about optimization. It took making the entire map a func_detail just to compile it. I have restarted this map several times. It took about five or six months (on and off) to finally get this map to work. I had to cut down several ideas for the map as well. It went through several name changes, including “gm_construct_flatwater” and “gm_waterconstruct.”

Alas, I finally was able to finish it, with a compile time of about 9 1/2 hours. I fully compiled it a LOT too, probably ten times. Ten times may not sound like a lot, but since each compile lasted around 10 hours, it was quite annoying.

As always, the early designs started on paper. I have recovered the original plans for the map in my desk drawer, and I have decided to share it with the world (click to enlarge):

As you can see, the original designs called for a runway and a “flood room.” I honestly forget why the runway was removed, I think it was because it didn’t really fit with the water theme. The flooding room was an underwater room that when the player pressed a button, it would flood the room with water. It had glass walls as well. I imagined this would look cool, especially from the outside. It then linked to an [unfloodable] underwater build area. Unfortunately, it caused a LOT of problems with the Source engine, and making the water into six different blocks prevented the map from compiling, so I had to scrap the idea.

Here’s a detailed schematic of the flood room/underwater build area (again, click to enlarge):

However, I was able to make my dream a reality. It wasn’t very popular map at first, maybe at one or two thousand downloads. Then, for some reason, about 60 days after being released it was featured on the front page. This helps a LOT with popularity. After being featured, it was posted about on! You can see that post here (in addition, the map was also used in images for the post about high quality view model skins).

You can download the map here, but keep in mind that it was not optimized very well, so you need a decent computer. It does not require any certain Source game.

(please note that the download count is not correct)

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