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

Interactivity & Lots of entities

Map Vault > Unfinished Stuff

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By Neme6 (See more)
28th January, 2012

Half-Life
1.79MB - MAP, BSP
669 views
160 downloads
4 comments

Last edited: Never

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Well, here you have a little experiment I did for HL. I wanted to start a serious map, but instead of the usual stuff, I intended to add an awesome level of detail when it comes to entities and interactivity. Of course, this obsessive approach made me waste hours with just a single room until everything fitted like I wanted, so I stopped with little more than a couple of rooms. Not to mention that I'd had hit the entity limit for the game before even having 5 minutes of gameplay. Let this be a lesson for you all.

In my map, I wanted almost every object to be useable/breakable/moveable, or even two of them at a time. But not only that, I used additional entities to ensure it all happened in a realistic way.

There are a lot of func_breakable and func_pushable entities. Filing cabinets can be used, ashtrays can be moved, and both can be destroyed. Doors must be used to open, and be warned that this system sometimes goes wrong and traps you in a room. Lights can be turned on or off, and destroyed (and this, of course, makes the lightning look bad).

The two features of the map I like most are: a func_door_rotating with a glass window (I was told in a tutorial that this could not be done in vanilla HL, so of course I had to make it); and a generator that controls the lights of the map (and that you can destroy, of course). Sadly, when you turn it off, it does not save the current state of the lights, so they stay off by default when the power is restored. I had some ideas about how to achieve this, but...

So, I encourage you to load the "map" (it has no story or even end, it is very small, it's not optimized, etc), try everything that comes to your mind, go berserk with your crowbar, and come back to write harsh reviews telling how much it sucks.

Comments

avatar 2muchvideogames says: 28th January 2012, 19:05 PM
Map is sufficiently detailed, but since you want lots of criticism, here you go:

- Each office room seems way to similar, other than posters. I know you're using stock prefabs for each one, but it would be better to make your own prefabs.
- Doors seem to be useable to open one time only. Always get stuck in a room.
- After laptops get blown up, the blue lighting is still there

That said, the usage of this many entities makes the map more interactive, but if you were to go back to vanilla and play the office complex chapter, you'd notice that there is ample interactivity with breakables there too. Notice how valve used different gibs than just 'wood' and 'metal'. There's gibbed books, gibbed wet floor signs, and gibbed computer parts, to name a few. But, honestly, it was really fun to go around the office swinging a lightsaber and blowing up everything, heh heh.
avatar Captain Terror says: 28th January 2012, 19:32 PM
A superb first map if that's what you mean by "first" for the title!

Loved the interactivity and saturation of detail. The door flying off the hinges from the explosion, and the file cabinet doors were my fav. I didn't investigate every room so i probably missed some more neat stuff tho.

prefabs
I agree that using the stock prefabs is a big minus, since everyone has seen them a million times, and they are not well made. make your own, or download models.

world scale
Your scale is a little weird in places. try to make sure everything is the right size in-game by compiling and walking around, makeing sure the proportions are correct. also, make sure the player can move around freely without getting stuck on things or trapped.

texture scales
Lower your texture scales a bit in some cases, and your lightmaps will look way better. To play it safe: scale everything close up to the player at 1.00, 2-3.00 for things far away, and never go lower than .50 as a general rule(going too low will make your compile time last forever or crash, especaiilly a low texture scale on a big brush).

texture lighting
Try using texture lights, with lights.rad or info_texlights. They give you a lot of flexibilty to adjust lighting levels, and look better than pointlights.
avatar JeffMOD says: 28th January 2012, 23:26 PM
This is a pretty nice experiment. I can see a lot of things that would be fairly easy to do in Spirit, but are quite hard to do in vanilla Half-life. Just how many env_renders did you use?

I have to agree about the default prefabs being a bit old, but still worth going through once or twice to see all the work you did with interactivity and destructibility. I broke everything. What do I win?
avatar Neme6 says: 29th January 2012, 10:51 AM
2muchvideogames: yep, it's true I used a lot of prefabs. My intention was to work with the interactivity stuff, I'm a terrible artist.

I warned you about the doors! Though they work 70-80% for me. I intended to fix them using the same "tactic" I used for the emergency exit door. You didn't have any problems with that one, had you?

Mmm the laptop light... I think I left it like that because there were already too many dynamic lights.

Captain Terror: did the door taste well? :P

Are you talking about the man-sized laptops, or the T-Rex sized beds? Hehe.

Now that you mention it, I used one or two texture lights. I forgot to include the lights.rad, but they weren't important anyway. Maybe in the ducts...

JeffMOD: I think I only used env_renders for the flying door. But the amount of multimanagers, multisources and relays drove me crazy. Have you tried opening the .map and looking the generator room? If I ever have to do that again, I'll go on a killing spree. Improving it would surely reach the entity limit.

You played my map like it was intended to! That is, breaking everything like a crowbar-wielding maniac. Sure you didn't miss anything? You won a lollipop: http://bit.ly/A9poiD

Thanks for the comments, and keep 'em coming! Feel free to use the emergency door or the generator in your maps if you want to.
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