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A gaming and technology blog by TWHL admins Penguinboy and Ant. A music blog by TWHL users Ant and Hugh.

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avatar ciba43 18th June 2014, 18:54 PM

I had some free time, so I decided that it is time for another journal. This journal is just me thinking about my life. I am happy, because I finished 9th grade. I already signed up to a middle school. I really don't know how it will be. I got very high marks this year. My exam marks were just HUGE. I got max score in English. Strangely, I didn't even learn at the end of the year. think that the hardest exam is history. BUT, it isn't just world history(which I know perfectly), but my country's history(which I don't know too well.) In the end I got about 80% in my history exam. Phew. Math wasn't hard at all. It was very easy. I got about 90% in my math exam.

Another thing I was thinking about
Or 'Why I like Goldsource more than Source'.

Source is a lot newer than Goldsource.
Source is a lot better than Goldsource.
Source has larger limitations than Goldsource.
... The list goes on.

Goldsource is used in Half-Life 1, which was mostly underground lab oriented. Source, on the other hand, is outdoor oriented. Source can be used for indoors, but in my opinion, goldsource wins source on that. I like mapping, designing rooms. I really like it. But, when it comes to outdoor areas, it freaks me. Honestly, I just don't know how to fill 'holes'. In indoor areas, I get inspiration. I can desing indoor, but I just can't make outdoor areas. I find myself placing useless objects that look bad. But when it comes to indoor areas, I can make great maps. As I said, outdoor freaks me.
Thats why I like goldsource better than source. Whatever the add in the next Source upgrade, I will still like goldsource more than source. Of course I try to learn - how to properly make those outdoor areas. I want to make outdoor, but my imagination seems to be limited to indoor only.

I got that Source SDK base working. I am using it with Source SDK 2006. I am not planning to download any newer releases of it(except SDK 2007). I am not sure if I ever learn to make those outdoor areas properly. Usually when I make them, they are quite lagging even in Source. But I am advancing. I decompile hl2 maps to learn geometry from them. I really hope that someday I will be able to make those outside areas :)

Wow, that was a long journal. I hope you liked reading it. Post comments if you want it, but remeber - this is just me thinking. :D


avatar Tetsu0 says: 18th June 2014, 19:44 PM
Congrats on your grades! Do you get to pick a certain are of study now?

As far as the transition; Source is indeed intimidating when you first look at it.
What I've learned though, is that any new tool is intimidating. I've used the UDK, Unreal 4, Stencyl, Unity... I always came back to Source because it was more familiar; It was my home - my comfortable place. The same thing happened when I was first making my foray into Source from GoldSource. The I/O system confused me, I couldn't get models working the way I wanted to, I couldn't light a scene to save my life. Even before then, when I came from the Age of Empires and StarCraft campaign editors... 3D freaked me out - it really took me a while to get used to.

What I did was make a single map dedicated to a single skill. If I wanted to learn displacements, I made a displacement only map. If i wanted to play with lights, sprites, and shadows, I made a few lighting maps (one for indoor, indoor/outdoor, outdoor only). Practice makes perfect, just like school. Think of it as exploratory study; we're your professors, 'grading' your work and your progress.
All in all, keep at it and don't give up!

Source is fantastic for indoor and outdoor areas the same. As far as filling large outdoor areas, just take a peek outside and examine what certain parts of nature looks like.
1) Even the flat parts aren't 100% flat - toss in some rolling hills
2) Scatter some random trees and rocks around. Source has a decent selection of trees and rock models for use with prop_static. If you need a large rock, make a displacement.
3) Water is easy (so long as your map is leak-free) and it looks beautiful
4) env_sun and light_environment's "sun scatter angle" can do wonders to outdoor (even indoor) shadows.

Don't be afraid to try new things! If you need any source help, you can always ask me.
avatar Captain Terror says: 18th June 2014, 21:04 PM
^ Wise words!

I miss GS too, and absolutely prefer the "look/feel" any day. Plus, i was very happy with an engine you could rely 100% on brushwork and still make an amazing map. Also texlights!(light your whole map in 20 minutes? np!)

I DO NOT miss the weird ass bugs and errors, and object budget limitations.. Visleaf saw into leaf errors, invalid solids, random compile crashes, etc.

With brush/entity/resources 10-times that of GoldSrc, an Input/Output system that makes complex entity setups a breeze, not to mention some substantial tool improvements and new ones(Overlays, displacements and 3D skybox, just for starters!), and a substantial reduction compile times(for properly optimized maps), it's REALLY hard to move back once you've tasted Source SDK ;)
avatar ciba43 says: 19th June 2014, 11:19 AM
I already made some practice maps. I like Source. 3D doesn't freak me out, it's just that vast landscape that needs to be filled. I just loose all of my ideas on those parts. I am trying, but every time I just end up with massive city scene, that is lagging. One of the first things that I actually learned to use in Source was displacements. They are just WOW. I remember, that in GS I needed to create most of ground, cliffs by hand or by an external program. I have some 3D skybox basics from Xash3D. I still need some practice with I/O system. As I said, I am not planning to install newer SDKs because I want to get used to basics.

I also have a question: I tried to place some cubemaps. In a blank map I created a living room and placed 1 cubemap in the middle. It lagged. Not much, but more than in any HL2 map. The room had only basic props and basic textures. It only had 1 room. If I am correct, then cubemaps give an HD effect to textures. So my question: What the hell is a cubemap and how to properly use it? Valve dev wikis doesn't explain anything.

PS. If I am correct, then texlights do work in Source. It took me ages to find that lights.rad file, but I found it :D
Now valve needs to bring in Prop lights :D
avatar Tetsu0 says: 19th June 2014, 12:15 PM
Questions about that room. (1) Was it leak-free / sealed? (2) did you run the command line "buildcubemaps" after you're in game? (the buildcubemaps command maps the reflections of a room around the central location of a given cubemap)
(3) what are your computer specs?

Also, if you own any Source engine game, all the dev tools are in the common/bin folder. There's no need for the SDK launcher anymore.

Cubemaps really don't give an HD effect per-se; they just map reflections on materials with normal/bump maps. if you put a shiny wall in a map without a cubemap, it'll reflect the skybox. Put a cubemap in front of it, and it'll reflect everything the cubemap can 'see'.

After sending the 'buildcubemap' command, you'll see the screen flash, displaying up, down, left, right, forward, and backward from each cubemap's perspective. These are the reflection maps. Source uses these reflection maps to properly display reflections.

Every room and every corridor should get a cubemap. If you're in an open area, it's best to space them out 'about' 1024 units apart as to not stress the system (each map has its own circumstances, of course). If you know your player is to remain mostly on the ground, place the cubemap 64 units off the ground. Else, place the cubemaps at eye level. And remember, they're useless without building them in-game.
avatar ciba43 says: 19th June 2014, 15:50 PM
1. It is leak-free and completely sealed.
2. I did run buildcubemaps from console. It properly built them too.
3. Not newest computer in the world, but I can play hl2 levels at high graphics with no lags.(EP1 too, but EP2 lags on low.)

CPU. AMD64 currently overclocked to about 1700mhz (1,7ghz)
RAM: 1gb
HDD: 2 80gb hard disk drives.

I placed them at eye level. So, I guess I should stick with basics. I will try to get my skill to a level, where I will have need of these. Currently - I got some levels, which I made to practice Source entities. Thanks for all the good explanation. When I downloaded the SDK, I went to valves wiki for info. I totally forgot about TWHL.
avatar Tetsu0 says: 19th June 2014, 20:08 PM
Your computer isn't exactly suited for source. That could be a reason. Plus Episode 2 runs on the 2007 engine. Which is why you're probably lagging. Min specs should have a 3GHz + processor (or at least a dual core) and a half-way decent graphics card.
avatar ciba43 says: 20th June 2014, 11:56 AM
Thats why I use HL2 content only :D

I am planning to upgrade my computer, but I don't know when. Besides, I like HL2 and EP1.
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