Valve level designer returns to Twitter after lengthy absence to reveal he used a pot to add handles to an electrical box in Counter-Strike

Valve logo with a man with a steam valve for an eye.
(Image credit: Valve)

Magnar Jenssen is a level designer with serious pedigree, starting his career at Grin before stints at Starbreeze, Avalanche, and then from 2013 onwards working for Valve. This was an auspicious year for Counter Strike: Global Offensive, with the Winter Offensive update in December 2013 adding two new maps to the game, Cobblestone and Overpass.

Both maps have become fan favourites, although in Overpass' case it took a fair amount of tweaking, and one of Jenssen's first tasks at Valve was to work on Overpass details. Jenssen doesn't seem like much of a social media type, but for the first time in around 18 months he returned to Twitter to share a development deep dive on an element of the map's design. 

"Now that CS2 is released, I can finally offer a DEEP DIVE into the design process of Overpass way back in the day," writes Jenssen, who has the unbeatable handle UniqueName02.

"I needed some handles for this electrical thing, but being new at work I didn't want to bother anyone, so I used a pot. This concludes the design deep dive."

Now this is either the best game design deep dive ever or… you know what, it's the best. Sorry Fallout 3, your Metro Train actually being an arm piece was impressive, but the run is over. (Another good one comes from PCG's own Tyler Colp: "The statue at the start of Bioshock that everyone quotes is just a sized-up bust of Andrew Ryan from the end of the game that someone was supposed to remodel and forgot.") In all seriousness, this kind of resourcefulness is game development gold, and a reminder that the most beautiful and polished product is in fact always held together somewhere with duct tape and string.

Jenssen's tweet was sparked by the release of Counter-Strike 2 last week, which among its many improvements over CS:GO features a gorgeous rework of Overpass. It's something of a vindication for Valve that the transition from CS:GO to CS2 has, so far, been relatively smooth (even if it's plain weird that CS:GO just disappeared overnight). CS2 plays and looks like a dream, but just don't get too obsessed with the minor details of assets: that stuff will drive you potty.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."