The Counter-Strike Team, often abbreviated as the CS Team, was the name used by the developers of Counter-Strike during development on the title. As the name suggests, it was not a company but a group of people. The core team consisted of just Minh Le and Jess Cliffe, though various level designers and texture artists that contributed to the development of Counter-Strike were also considered as part of the team.
Even after Counter-Strike was acquired by Valve Software, the name was kept in use and various game documents credit the game releases to the CS Team.
Development on Counter-Strike was originally started single-handedly by Minh Le. Jess Cliffe was a previous internet acquaintance of Le as they had both been involved with a mod called Action Quake 2. Le was part of the mod development team and Cliffe was part of a map website for the mod. During a casual IRC chat, Le mentioned that he was working on an independent mod with a counter-terrorism theme to Jess Cliffe. Cliffe liked the theme of the mod and offered to create a website for the mod, which is how the core of the original Counter-Strike Team was formed. Le and Cliffe spoke a lot via the internet, but the two would not meet up in person until 2003.
As neither Cliffe nor Le had much experience in level design, various outside people were brought in to contribute maps for the game. While these people were officially considered part of the team, accounts by the designers themselves indicate that they had relatively little involvement with the actual core team except for the occasional feedback on their level design. The level designers listed as part of the team rotated mostly based on which maps were present in the current release of the game.
Texture artists were also brought in from the outside. While some artists worked in close cooperation with a specific level designer like Jaison Green with Glen Cooper, Chris Ashton was the go-to guy for most level designers that needed textures for the maps they were designing for Counter-Strike.
Minh Le and Jess Cliffe also sought outside help for the Linux port of the server binaries. The main man behind the Linux server port, Leon Hartwig, was also eventually employed by Valve and continued working on the game once it had been acquired by Valve.
Even after Valve Software acquired the rights to the Counter-Strike title and Minh Le and Jess Cliffe were offered jobs by Valve, the Counter-Strike Team name was kept for the development team and future releases of the title credited the game to the CS Team in the manual and/or readme.
As future titles in the Counter-Strike series were developed as standard retail video game titles without the involvement of various hobbyist volunteers, the Counter-Strike Team could be considered to have been disbanded when development on the original Counter-Strike was finished.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 CS-Nation - Counter-Strike: Year 1. Archived from the original on 2000-08-15.
- ↑ Counter-strike.dk - Interviews - Gooseman aka Minh Le. Archived from the original on 2000-12-13.
- ↑ PCGamesN | The making of: Counter-Strike
- ↑ Gamasutra - Interview with Minh Le
- ↑ Counter-Strike: www.counter-strike.net - [The CS Team]. Archived from the original on 2000-06-13.
- ↑ STOMPED - Counter-Strike Map Interviews, Part 2: Dave "DaveJ" Johnson. Archived from the original on 2001-04-16.
- ↑ STOMPED - Counter-Strike Map Interviews, Part 3: Matt "Pantera" Szymanski. Archived from the original on 2001-03-03.
- ↑ STOMPED - Counter-Strike Map Interviews, Part 1: Mike "Cadaver" Rosser. Archived from the original on 2001-02-10.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 The official Counter-Strike web site - The CS Team. Archived from the original on 2002-10-03.
- ↑ B-F Total Gaming Network - GlenC Interview. Archived from the original on 2002-06-19.
- ↑ Counter-strike.dk - Interviews - Macman. Archived from the original on 2000-11-21.
- ↑ The official Counter-Strike web site - /me erm.. yeah. Archived from the original on 2000-12-14.
- ↑ CS-Nation - more 1.4 bits. Archived from the original on 2002-06-05.