CS:GO Weapon Finish Contest

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The CS:GO team and Polycount would like to invite you to participate in the this CS:GO weapon finish contest.   Make a new finish for a CS:GO weapon that is themed in 70's and 80's sci-fi. Below you will find the information to get started.




  • This is a weapon finish contest for the CS:GO Steam Workshop.

  • The contest starts on Monday, May 2nd 2016 and the deadline is May 29th 2016 @ 11:59PM EST (GMT – 4)  [ 4 weeks ] 

  • The winners will be announced the week after the contest concludes. The Top 2  finishes will be included in a CS:GO weapon case that will come out at a later date. As with other weapon finishes included in a weapon's case, the winners will receive a share of the proceeds generated.

  • Valve has currently shipped over 90 weapon finish submissions made by the community, with each finish earning over $40,000 on average.

  • For the CS:GO Weapon Finish Contest, participants will create a fully original weapon finish.

  • You are allowed to submit as many times as you can in the time allotted.




In this section you will find creation guidelines specific to the contest.  General weapon finish guidelines can be found the Making a Weapon finish section below.

  • Weapon finishes must be in the theme of 70's and 80's Sci-fi.
Weapon finishes must be for the following weapons.  The designs should be appropriate to the rarity of the weapon ( more info on the rarity tiers in the Making a Weapon Finish section ).

Covert: AK-47


Classified: M4A4

Restricted: AWP



Mil-Spec :Desert Eagle, PP-Bizon, MP9




  • While it is fine to use reference for inspiration your finish cannot contain elements from copyrighted works, reference to other IP’s, or make use of any images or material that you do not own.

  • You must submit new work for the contest, and not re-use assets you may have previously created.

  • All the artists that contributed to the finish must be part of the Steam Workshop entry. Please pay special attention to the submitting guideline noted below! Physical prizes will be given to the person who submitted it to the workshop, and it will be their responsibility to divide the prizes amongst contributors.

  • You must register on Steam and Polycount to enter this contest.

  • You must create and maintain a Work-In-Progress (WIP) thread at Polycount for your entry in the CS:GO forum.

  • All submissions to the Steam Workshop for this contest must be final.  Use your WIP thread on Polycount to show your work-in-progress.



Tips for Contributors

  • Submit only high quality designs that were made by you. The entirety of the submission must be your creation; no clip art. It must be original content and if the work is the result of collaboration then every contributor must be listed in the contributor revenue share. The designs that you submit must be of high quality in execution.

  • Vary the techniques, themes and finish types, and try to experiment with new ones.When putting together cases items that vary in technique. Technique is the type of artwork that is used. Graphic patterns and hand painted designs are examples of different techniques. If you are making finishes for a particular weapon you may want to make one with a technique that is under-represented, or hasn't been attempted yet.

  • Certain types of finishes are also underrepresented in the workshop. In particular finishes that allow for flexibility in the way a pattern is applied to a weapon. These offer players a chance to get a unique version of a weapon finish.

  • How do I design for a specific tier? Weapons with bright colors and designs that perfectly complement a weapon’s geometry end up in the upper tiers. Weapons with more subdued colors and/or more randomization in the pattern application end up in the lower tiers. Each weapon case contains a range of rarities.


Examples of high tier weapons ( Covert and Classified )

Examples of lower tier weapons ( Restricted and Mil-Spec)




  • Since these are assets for a game,the best way to present them would be to use the workbench to get screenshots of your finish on the actual weapon.

  • Presentation Shot: This image must contain at least 2 angles of your item(s). Post effects from 3d software or 2d programs like Photoshop are NOT allowed in this image. The only adjustments allowed are: Brightness/Contrast, Levels, Sharpness, and Hue/Saturation.

  • Texture Sheet: This image should contain your textures laid out in the weapons UV layout.

  • Concept/Reference Sheet: Any concept art, preliminary sketches, reference images, etc.



To upload your design to the CS:GO workshop

  • Launch CS:GO

  • Open the console

  • type 'workshop_publish' and press enter.


Other Workshop requirements

  • The title of your submission through the Workshop must include the tag ‘PC-CSGO’. If this is absent your entry will not be considered for contest! This is an example of the format needed: 

         PC-CSGO | YourSkinName

  • Your submission should include the link to your Polycount Forum thread for this contest. Please add this to the box where you supply a description of your item or skin.

  • Via the Workshop Steam page, you elect the Steam accounts of the people you teamed up with for your entry and will apportion them the appropriate % of royalty they will receive from your winning entries earnings. This is not changeable afterwards. Make sure all involved knows what they are potentially receiving ahead of time. Your revenue share must be finalized.




  • The Valve CS:GO team will decide the ‘Top 8’ winners. The winners will be chosen based on the originality and artistic execution of their designs as-well as how well the finish fits with the the predetermined weapon rarity tier.

  • Top 2 Weapon Finishes will be including in a CS:GO weapon case that will come out at a later date. As with other weapon finishes included in a weapon's case, the winners will receive a share of the proceeds generated from the case.

  • Valve has shipped over 90 weapon submissions made by the CS:GO community with each finish earning over $40,000 on average.

  • Top 8 finishes will receive a Valve Swag bag.

Work In Progress (WIP)

An artist uploads images and text periodically as they work on a new piece of art. They ask viewers for critique: commentary on what is working well versus what needs improvement. The artist uses this feedback to improve their artwork, and post the next in-progress image. This is repeated until the work is finished.

This is a long-standing tradition here on the Polycount Forums. Community feedback and artistic improvement are at the core of what Polycount is all about.

Constructive Criticism

Please see Information About Polycount & New Member Introductions for guidelines on how to give good feedback. 

Honest critique can be difficult for new artists to listen to; people intuitively prefer praise over criticism. However it is constructive criticism that helps you grow as an artist and get better at your craft. You need other eyeballs on your work to see your art from a fresh perspective.

A common critique strategy that works well is to post a "shit sandwich". This means to start with something you like about their WIP, followed by the meat of your comment (your constructive critiques), and finishing up with a compliment. This helps cushion the impact of your feedback on their ego.

In time, artists grow thicker skins and actually seek out direct feedback alone, because that's where the meat is, and they can take it without affecting their emotional state.

It is ultimately up to the artist to pick and choose which criticism they agree with, versus which they do not.

When you post your next work-in-progress image, it helps to type a bit of information about what you did and why you did it, along with what remains to be done. This helps the viewers to know what feedback might be the most constructive for you.

At the end of this process you have a finished piece to be proud of, you have grown as an artist, and you have contributed to a social community. You can take the things you've learned and apply them to your next piece.

No Submissions Here

This thread is for information, asking questions, and receiving answers. Please do not promote your skins here. If you post links to your skins here, your posts will be removed. Thank you, and rock on!

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