Commented 2 days ago2023-12-06 20:37:10 UTC in journal: #7365 Comment #105706
You're 35 now. Nuts.
Commented 1 week ago2023-11-26 10:44:29 UTC in journal: So I drink coffee now... Comment #105659
Yeah, decaff is a good shout. I drink coffee throughout the workday and then switch to decaff in the evening. That way I still get the yummy hot drink but I don't have any trouble sleeping.
Commented 1 week ago2023-11-26 02:25:47 UTC in journal: So I drink coffee now... Comment #105657
First: That opening paragraph needn't be there... Why mention the other site at all?

Second: You say "last night" you drank two coffees? Here's a crazy idea. Don't drink coffee at night before trying to go to sleep.
Commented 4 weeks ago2023-11-09 14:12:50 UTC in journal: 2 Years of me being on the site Comment #105631
Merry Twosday
Commented 1 month ago2023-10-22 13:56:52 UTC in journal: One of those journals... Comment #105600
Haha, I don't even REMEMBER being 22 years old...
Commented 2 months ago2023-09-10 21:25:35 UTC in vault item: Jamie's all-in-one Zombie Model HD! Comment #105555
Wait, that's illegal. I'm calling the Half-Life police.
Commented 3 months ago2023-09-05 23:36:12 UTC in vault item: Contact Established Comment #105529
A very nice little map pack. Short, sweet and channelling the feeling of the early map packs of the 2000s. I love the little details dotted throughout, though there are spots where things look a little bare. The cafeteria for example, with only a single table and no seating.

Combat encounters throughout are pretty nice and we fight quite a large selection of enemies from Half-Life's roster, including the alien grunts in the later sections.

It would be nice to see some more verticality as you have already said yourself, but it was nice to see some sections where you could catch the enemies by surprise, or the occasional spot where areas were repopulated with enemies for return trips. I will say that playing on medium, I didn't find it particularly challenging. I was practically tripping over health kits that I didn't need and I had plenty of suit power meaning if I ever did get hit the damage was negligible. Giving some enemies like the HECU more room to manoeuvrer and to get around the player and flank them, or perhaps just increasing the enemy count in some places would do wonders to upscale the difficulty a little.
Commented 3 months ago2023-08-31 12:11:09 UTC in vault item: Lab Hunt Comment #105521
Not a bad little map this one. It starts with you meeting Barney in a side room and then you have to lead him through the labs. You'll find yourself navigating vents and leaping over lasers in order to help him get through. The map even reloads if you get him killed and ends when you reach your goal. Something I'm used to not seeing in early mapping attempts.

If I had to criticise anything I would say the looks are a little bland and the layout makes little sense in-universe. The player starts in a dead end hallway with no form of entrance behind them. A tank busts through a wall, having been seemingly parked in an otherwise inaccessible room. Also, there are some spots like Barney's room where there is no node graph, so you have to carefully guide him through the doorway.

Appearance wise, I'd put more effort into giving the rooms an in-universe purpose, as well as experimenting with some height variation for combat/exploration, and some different lighting in places. Definite improvement here though. Nice work.
Commented 3 months ago2023-08-24 08:37:22 UTC in vault item: Authentic First-Person Weapons Comment #105504
A lot of these are great but the glock and the MP5 look a little off in game. They're missing the trick Valve used to counter the fisheye lens effect in Half-Life, making the barrel end of the model larger. As it stands the barrel of the MP5 and Glock in this pack look a little small in game. The 357 and Shotgun are perfect examples of what I mean. They look great.
Commented 3 months ago2023-08-22 20:26:28 UTC in vault item: Flow Control Comment #105503
This was not a request from TWHL staff. The user reposted their link on the Discord server stating:
I made it sfw. It is now milk.
Commented 3 months ago2023-08-21 21:17:04 UTC in vault item: Flow Control Comment #105498
Incredibly basic in every regard. Levels are blocky and lack any detailing, lighting almost appears fullbright in certain spots for some reason. Combat throughout is unchallenging, I took zero damage during my playthrough. The mod essentially boils down to running down empty hallways to push a button, then running all the way back to push another button. I figured it was going to be a comedy themed mod but... there's nothing of any value here, unless words like "fuck" and "semen" make you laugh.

Couple of things to note:
1. Don't include your config.cfg with your mod release. Your control and video settings are not my control and video settings.
2. It is also possible to softlock the entire thing if you pick up the HEV and don't immediately run for the elevator in map1.
Commented 5 months ago2023-07-07 21:28:29 UTC in journal: There's Cones Comment #105388
Well, it's a fairly featureless, low resolution screenshot of what I think is a Source engine level. What else are we supposed to be getting from this?
Commented 5 months ago2023-06-29 10:15:38 UTC in journal: There's Cones Comment #105381
It's these insightful journal entries full of deep, contemplative narratives that keep me coming back to this site every other day.
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This comment was made on an article that has been deleted.
This comment was made on an article that has been deleted.
Commented 5 months ago2023-06-14 09:10:56 UTC in journal: Thinking about Nihilanth comp Comment #105350
Who's reviewing TWGL!? They really ought to get their act together! Sheesh.

Having said that, I am SO into this idea. I've never read up on the monster_nihilanth before to see what is involved in making it function properly, but I reckon you could get some freakin amazing and complex setups to make a really awesome bossfight.
Commented 6 months ago2023-06-06 14:16:42 UTC in journal: I have just had the most surprisingly amazing experience Comment #105339
Yeah, your images appear to be restricted. You can just paste copied images directly into your journal and they'll upload to TWHL.

As for the game, I like to play something slower and more relaxing from time to time. I've got a long running Stardew Valley game which I fire up on nights when I want to unwind.
Commented 6 months ago2023-05-27 08:23:18 UTC in journal: First journal entry Comment #105295
Hey! I've seen you often around the Discord server but I had no idea you were what we'd call a TWHL Veteran. We joined around 18 months apart. That's crazy.

It's great to see a backstory with a lot of positive change towards the end. I can relate to a lot of what's here, mostly about the lack of contributions to the site and a long running inability to start and then finish something. In my case I'm fairly certain I have undiagnosed ADHD, but trying to get that diagnosis as a 36 year old in the UK is proving something of a challenge.

In any case, it's good to have you hear and I look forward to hearing more about your ongoing mapping projects :)
Commented 6 months ago2023-05-23 16:49:41 UTC in journal: I really like someone, how the fuck do I take that somewhere? Comment #105285
It's easier said than done, I know, but it really is a case of "Just ask them." I was super nervous when I asked my wife out and... well, I just went ahead and did it one day in the most awkward way possible, but it obviously worked out.
Commented 6 months ago2023-05-20 20:43:37 UTC in journal: I am so fucking frustrated right now Comment #105272
Hoo boy. The number of times I did that very same thing back when I was regularly recording playthroughs for mod reviews.
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Commented 6 months ago2023-05-18 12:57:01 UTC in journal: I played Quake for the first time today Comment #105269
I definitely didn't find it too challenging. I played through the entire demo on Easy
I think you might be on to something there, chief. :)

I'm old enough to have played the shareware and full release of Quake back when it was released and back then it really was top tier stuff. I too played it on Easy back then, while also using cheats because I mainly enjoyed messing around with my friends.

I've only recently (around 2020) gone back and played through those classic FPS games like Doom 1 & 2, Quake 1 and even Half-Life. This time however I played each of them on harder difficulties and had a much better time with it.

As with Half-Life, Quake has a very active mapping/modding community so it's worth getting the full game if you're into that. There's a back catalogue of over 25 years of custom content available to play :D
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This comment was made on an article that has been deleted.
Commented 7 months ago2023-04-30 00:53:39 UTC in journal: Progress on my WIP Map #1 Comment #105228
Hard to say why it wouldn't retrigger if you hit the button again without seeing the actual map file unfortunately. Something or multiple things must be set to either play once or to be killed after being triggered. It depends on which part of it doesn't work the second time you press the button.
Commented 7 months ago2023-04-17 20:51:24 UTC in journal: Long Story of how I gain the ability to make a GoldSource map. Comment #105207
Pretty bold to jump right into working on a mod with a team. However, I do believe that is one of the best ways to work on a project. Having people around who can immediately test your map and give feedback is incredibly useful, not to mention inspiring.

I worked solo on maps for years and either cancelled most of the things I started or only released very short maps, beatable within 10-15 minutes. With The Core however, I stuck with it for long enough to get another mapper, Archie to join the project. Same goes for the TWHL Tower mods. Working with a team really is the only way I can maintain focus on a project, as well as releasing something that lasts longer than a lunch break.
Commented 7 months ago2023-04-15 19:57:16 UTC in vault item: Prefab Pack For your map Comment #105204
Would you care to add more details? The screenshot isn't great, nor is the description. What prefabs are contained in this download?
Commented 8 months ago2023-03-21 15:50:12 UTC in journal: What Winning a Map of the Month Award When I Was 14 Taught Me Comment #105181
I wouldn't trust this Urby guy. The Core still isn't done 11 years later and I think what he was feeling in the video was "release-envy" since he'd never released anything worthy of Map of the Month himself. Screw that guy. I don't know him. Never heard of him even. Nope.

It's good to see you around again. I had hoped that my review wouldn't taken too seriously. I had a real thing for Zero Punctuation at the time and that caused me to emulate Yahtzee Crowshaw's style of exaggerating the negatives in a map/mod but not as well written or funny...

If it's any consolation, that review got the YouTube Poop treatment a year or so later:
Commented 9 months ago2023-03-04 15:45:37 UTC in journal: What's The Scariest Things Happen to Your Windows/Mac/Linux System? Comment #105157
I had a graphics intensive game lock up for me multiple times one night as I was just settling down for the weekend. Out of frustration, I powered off the system at the wall and went to bed. The next morning, I attempted to power up my PC only to be greeted by a system recovery message, followed by a corrupted data warning which resulted in the system recovery getting stuck in a loop. I'd blown my Windows 7 installation away somehow.

I spent a good portion of my weekend reinstalling Windows and all my drivers just to get my PC back in a functional state.
Commented 9 months ago2023-02-12 15:08:24 UTC in journal: Science Team Comment #105097
"Science team? You think he was responsible? Sabotage maybe?"
Commented 10 months ago2023-02-06 23:23:17 UTC in vault item: Testing Map Comment #105092
Just so you know, your upload only contains the .map file and not a playable .bsp

As for the texture stretching, either you're mapping with UV lock enabled or your using the "Fit" button all the time. Both of these are best avoided.
Commented 10 months ago2023-01-30 20:03:30 UTC in vault item: Die-Way 2 demo2.0 Comment #105038
Definitely a challenging map but with a handful of issues which make it a little unfair at times. In the starting area, there appears to be an issue with some of your entities, such as the doors and the lit of the crate. For some reason, from certain angles these are blocking the player's bullets, meaning you can empty your entire stock of magnum ammo into the grunt outside and hit nothing but the air in front of him.

Also, the grunt fights in the office, even in the office are wholly unfair to the player. The mounted gun at the end of the hall cannot be stopped, even if you kill the grunt shooting it. This combined with the tight spaces and enemies at every possible angle mean that this is a near impossible gauntlet which took me multiple attempts. I love a challenging grunt fight, but the issue here is the small space and vast amounts of clutter which turn it into an exercise in slowly peaking around corners and chipping away at whoever you see first before you can move on to the next target.

On the level design front, try to make use of func_detail for the various objects and vehicles around the map. This will prevent your brushwork getting carved up like so, and save you some compiling headaches down the road:
User posted image
Commented 10 months ago2023-01-29 23:27:57 UTC in journal: GoldSRC + Godot = ??? (continued) Comment #105036
I think we might be in the presence of a modern day John Carmack here. This sounds like incredible progress man, and certainly something I'm going to be keeping an eye on. I've been fortunate enough to work within the indie games industry for the last couple of years, but to be able to make something of my own from the ground up is enticing to say the least. Just need to get my neurodivergent brain in line so that I can actually knuckle down and put the work in.
Commented 10 months ago2023-01-29 15:21:31 UTC in vault item: Confined spaces level transitions Comment #105032
Your third map does not include a trigger_changelevel back to the second. Even if you do not intend for the player to go back to the previous map, you must include the trigger to go there. Make it use only and keep it out of the way somewhere.
Commented 10 months ago2023-01-18 02:54:15 UTC in journal: Little thoughts. Comment #105005
I totally understand the first point, feeling like mapping takes a looong time, even to do basic rooms. I often struggle with this as well. In fact, it's something I've been dwelling on more recently, in regards to work and my level design side job. Even when I'm working on a map, which I thoroughly enjoy doing, my focus isn't quite 100% or I find ways to procrastinate.

I've been working with Hammer / JACK for 20+ years and TrenchBroom (for work) for around 2 years and I'm pretty familiar with the ins and outs of the software. Still, things seem to take me much longer than other people in the modding community or working on the same project at work.

I've since reached out to my GP about possible undiagnosed ADHD and I'm awaiting a response from a consultant.

This could be a possible explanation and might even be a factor with your second point: Retaining the information that you're taking in while playing official maps for inspiration.

I am more accepting of blockouts these days since I HAVE to do them for work. I can appreciate that it's difficult to get a feel for the map while working with a blockout since I felt the same way initially and I just couldn't make it work. Now however, I think I will be blocking out all of my future levels. Blockouts mean that you can nail down the basic layout and gameplay for your map, and can make adjustments very quickly.

In the past I would just make areas look as nice as possible and then shoehorn gameplay into them, often having to move around a lot of small details where the gameplay demanded it. So my maps looked nice but played poorly. The one exception to this was Bridge the Gap, which I blocked out until I was happy with the gameplay, then textured and lit. The outcome was... a pretty ugly map that played OK. Then I made Bridge the Gap 2.0 based on the first map and put in more effort detailing. So I think blockouts can be tricky to get to grips with at first, but once you realise their true purpose (super basic gameplay focused template which can be quickly edited and compiled) they really do help.
Commented 10 months ago2023-01-14 19:35:32 UTC in vault item: Gemerald Comment #105001
First of all, I'm sure that this is referencing a franchise that I am not familiar with so I can't really comment on that side of things. I'm going into this totally blind.

From the perspective of a Half-Life mod and as a map pack, this is a strange one with some room for improvement. A series of incredibly short maps, some which feature action and some which do not. There is very little plot to guide the player, but basically when the action kicks off the mod is a grunt fest. On the hardest difficulty there isn't a lot of health for the player. I was stuck with 6HP for the last couple of fights (which included assassins) which quickly devolved into corner peaking, shotgun blasting tedium.

From a mapping point of view, there are a lot of little niggles throughout that make it obvious that the grid was either disabled or set really low in the editor. There are a ton of single unit gaps or lips on brushes which you can sometimes get snagged on as well as causing some ugly lighting issues.

Overall I would say this one is an oddity, maybe worth checking out but with a number of issues that can cause frustration.
Commented 10 months ago2023-01-14 11:48:32 UTC in vault item: Dev pack Comment #104999
I have my own set of dev textures which I prefer to use, but the hand drawn graphics representing the entities are great. :D
Commented 11 months ago2023-01-07 16:54:29 UTC in vault item: Outbreak Comment #104989
I can't judge the map too harshly as you said yourself that it is unfinished. However, what is there is pretty nicely detailed and textured. The major issue is the gameplay. Fighting zombies with a crowbar, especially on Hard is not really entertaining. On top of that, when I eventually found the pistol, I was forced into an unskippable cutscene and was killed by zombies. I assume this was the end of the map.

One small note, the plants in the park area block player movement... That's annoying. :P
Commented 11 months ago2023-01-03 19:43:21 UTC in vault item: Memes.WAD Comment #104975
7 random images really, rather than memes. I assume you don't get a lot of free time.
Commented 11 months ago2023-01-01 22:16:32 UTC in vault item: A bunch of old and unfinished maps. Comment #104971
Checked them all out. It reminds of the various test maps I made when I first started mapping. Back then I never had access to the Internet and TWHL certainly didn't exist, but a part of me wishes I had held on to some of my earlier test maps.

Though these maps are largely unfinished and in some cases a little pointless, it is fun to explore your early mapping days. Thanks for the upload. :D
Commented 11 months ago2022-12-30 23:48:03 UTC in vault item: Abandoned School of Monsters Comment #104966
Having now played the map with the missing models now included in the download, I have to say it still seems a little broken in places. The skybox in the screenshots doesn't appear to have been included either which means the map is dimly lit while occurring in broad daylight.
User posted image
The first map simply consists of an exterior with a loading screen once you approach the front door. What's inside is fairly basic. Almost entirely pitch black rooms some of which have a few headcrabs or headcrab zombies inside between very chunky furniture. You can find a magnum on the second floor, along with a crowbar which I never used. It's also possible to climb back outside via the window in the magnum room.
User posted image
There are a number of custom textures used, but a lot of them are fairly blurry, like the lockers in the entrance and what I think are medicine cabinets in the nurses office?
User posted image
There does appear to be a secret passage up to the roof where you can find a radio, but otherwise this map doesn't appear to have an ending.

Certainly not a bad map for a first attempt, but there's a lot of mistakes with the upload and there isn't a whole lot of challenge on offer.
Commented 11 months ago2022-12-29 22:21:06 UTC in vault item: Abandoned School of Monsters Comment #104963
Your map will not run, it is missing essential model files:
User posted image
Commented 11 months ago2022-12-29 22:17:06 UTC in journal: What are your goals for this 2023 Comment #104962
Out of my control
  • Get official diagnosis of ADHD
  • Get medication for the above (if applicable)
Possibly within my control
  • Improve my commitment and focus to all of my various responsibilities based on the above (ADHD meds or therapy)
  • Decide whether to stick with and dedicate myself to Web SysAdmin or seek employment in Game Dev which I would prefer but have no background in
Definitely within my control
  • Ship my first commercial game. (Phantom Fury, baby!)
  • Put a considerable dent in Half-Life: The Core. Hopefully release the damn thing but who knows
  • Actually do some hiking, which I enjoy
Not important but would be nice
  • Play Starfield
Commented 11 months ago2022-12-28 15:25:55 UTC in journal: Atmo Prototype Demo Comment #104954
Cool looking prototype. Congratulations.

Are you intending to keep working on this and release it to some extent down the line? Somewhere like Steam or
Commented 11 months ago2022-12-25 10:37:26 UTC in news: Competition - The Whole Goop Life Comment #104947
That sounds neat. I see no reason to back out on that idea. Go for it I say.
Commented 11 months ago2022-12-22 22:20:06 UTC in news: Competition - The Whole Goop Life Comment #104943
Yup, as it says in the full brief: "Create a map or a series of maps in which the luminescent sludge plays a prominent role. An obstacle to be overcome or a deadly environmental weapon to be used."

Perhaps it could start out as a massive hindrance to the player until they grab an HEV suit and then it's harmless and they can get past a lake of the stuff to exit the level. Maybe the player has no weapons but they can deal with grunts or headcrabs by flushing toxic waste into an area to attract bullsquids. It can be used for decorative purposes as well, but I would say definitely try to factor it into the gameplay.
Commented 11 months ago2022-12-22 20:45:41 UTC in vault item: Bloody Christmas Comment #104942
Quite surprising to see a release that looks this good pop up out of nowhere. Nice job. Playing on hard as you suggest definitely IS a challenge. In fact, starting you off against shotgun grunts and grenadiers I would say is downright evil. :P

However, I would say that you have missed a couple of tricks in regards to the Christmas theming for this mini-mod. You've got the plates of cookies lying around, yeah? I would have made these the health kits. Likewise there are gift-wrapped boxes everywhere which you cannot bust open to get much needed items, especially at the start.

Otherwise, a fairly challenging gruntfest and a nice little surprise release just before Christmas.
Commented 11 months ago2022-12-14 01:40:23 UTC in news: Competition - The Whole Goop Life Comment #104928
Would a script count as programming? (I wanna use a custom .cfg of my own + some other stuff)
So long as you don't edit any base game files (use a mini-mod if you must) but by coding I mean nothing that is going to alter the way the game plays or the ways that entities work. Just remember that I will be judging the maps and their use of toxic waste and other such slimes.
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