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Detailing Maps

Page: [1]

Tutorials > Half-Life > Intermediate > Detailing Maps


By ZombieLoffe (More from this user)
14th April, 2006
star star star star star (4 votes)

Detailing Maps

Tricks to improve your map

Here's a list of small tips you can consider to 'spice up' your map. (Not listed in order of importance.) Note that I don't explain how to do these things - they're just ideas for how you can improve your map.


Lighting up a room with a single (or some) light is, as you hopefully know, a horrible idea. Instead, use points of lights to give a more atmospheric feeling to the map.

Tutorial Image

Tutorial Image Better lighting

Architectural details

You don't always have to add prefabs or small objects to detail your map. Here's some things you can do to make the brushwork more interesting.

Tutorial Image

Tutorial Image Rounded corners

Tutorial Image

Tutorial Image Several-brushed walls

Texture details

Often, in Half-Life's or third party textures, there's one basic texture and some extras that're different in some way - combining these will create a more detailed surface.

Tutorial Image

Tutorial Image Texture detailed wall

The ceiling

Far too often, the ceiling is left blank and undetailed... I find this pretty boring. Myself, I'm quite bad at finding ways to actually spice up the ceilings, but here's an example of one way.

Tutorial Image

Tutorial Image Detailed ceiling

Ambient sounds

There're hundreds of good ambient sounds in Half-Life and even more on teh intarweb. Use them!

Tip 1: ambient_generics are quite buggy. Ticking Play and No toggle won't always do it. You might have to add a trigger_auto or cover the info_player_start in a trigger_once which activates it.

Tip 2: Making your own ambient sounds isn't as easy as it sounds. Read the tutorial.

Tutorial Image

Sparks, sprites and whatnot

There're alot of entities designed to give some extra details to the map. Use env_ entities a lot, but wisely.

Tutorial Image Sparky


avatar Dimbeak says: 26th July 2010, 14:53 PM
i have no idea how to make rounded corners, lawl
avatar MNM says: star star star star star 10th April 2011, 23:16 PM
avatar Spreen says: star star star 18th October 2014, 05:33 AM
This tutorial would have been a lot better if you taught us how to do sparks, rounded corners, and everything else you said.
avatar Invader4000 says: star star star star 31st August 2016, 13:55 PM
You should have taught us how to create sparks, or rounded corners. Nevertheless goot tut.
avatar Cd5ssmffan says: star star star star star 18th December 2016, 13:17 PM
Yeah maybe for sparks if you are a newbie to level design, but rounded corners? Really? Just make a brush in the corner of your map and use the clipping tool.
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