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Half-Life Rain

By Chris 'autolycus' Bokitch

(tutorial originally by Freon)

Introduction

Rain in Half-Life?" Yes! You've been all dreaming of it! This tutorial file explains how you can easily add rain in your levels.


You've gotta see this in the game for the full effect.

Setup

Step #1
Place the rain.spr file (available in rain.zip) in the valve\sprites directory.

Step #2
In your level you need 3 entities for each drip (so copy/paste these entilies in the area you want the rain to fall, and space them, more or less, depending the rain intensity):

  • place one env_beam entity anywhere in your level.
  • ...and two info_target entities, one for the start of the water drip and the other for where it ends (call them s1/e1, s2/e2,... or something like that). You may place them on the same vertical line if you want the rain to fall straight to the ground. But if you want to add a wind effect, move all the end entities several units away from the start entity in the top view of you editor.

Step #3
In the env_beam, you now need to...

  • specify the "Start Entity" (put s#) and the "Ending Entity" (e#).
  • Set the "Life" to 0.
  • Set the "Width of beam" between 16 and 32 (regarding how phat you want the drip to be).
  • Then in the "Sprite Name" section, enter "sprites/rain.spr".
  • Set the "texture scroll" to about -20 for a fast rain (You can slow down the rain or accelerate it but you always need a negative number).
  • To improve the rain quality in the "Flags" enable the "Start On" and "Shade Start" flags (the rain will shade on its top border).

notes

Below are a few tips for improving the rain effect.

  • As you can see in the sample level, rain is much better in outside places :).
  • In order to improve the rain feeling don't choose a hot sun-burned desert sky. You can specify which sky to use in the "Map properties". You may want a cloody sky so use "dusk" (the one in my level) or "night" or a strange alien sky.
  • You'd get a better effect if you use a "env_light" with a gray-blue light quiet dark.
  • Use also a "func_water" on a non-flat soil as in the sample level (it looks so cool in software!).
  • And at last put in the middle of you rain zone a ambient_generic using "ambience\*waterfall3.wav" (a cool rain sound from the valve pak).
  • Have a look on the the sample map.

Feel free to e-mail Freon if you have some issues. You can also modify the sprite, change it (blood rain, snow or whatever). And try everything you want with the env_beam to improve the rain fx.

Example

For a more concrete illustration, check out the example map linked below.