Comments

Commented 1 week ago2020-05-20 10:26:36 UTC in journal: Me Too Comment #102724
Dimbeak's birthday journals are generally on (or around) the 30th of July. :P

So legitimately, congratz. :D
Commented 1 month ago2020-04-29 07:25:27 UTC in vault item: Base Attack (a.k.a HECU House) Comment #102694
Ah, OK. That ending didn't trigger for me for some reason. I walked right up to barney and actually had him follow me back outside... Haha.
Commented 1 month ago2020-04-28 20:07:31 UTC in vault item: Base Attack (a.k.a HECU House) Comment #102692
7.2/10
Architecture — 7
Texturing — 8
Ambience — 7
Lighting — 6
Gameplay — 8

This is a really solid little gruntfest map pack, it has to be said. I loved how it started out with the player largely having the upper hand, with the first handful of grunts being caught unawares. This is the best way to handle gruntfest maps while your loadout is a little light. Too often you see the player taking on large squads with only a crowbar and pistol. As the maps progress you start to take on larger and larger squads in more open areas, with smaller groups appearing in claustrophobic hallways towards the end. I played on hard and for the most part I was sitting around 25 HP and 20 armour. This meant that later engagements had to be approached carefully and executed flawlessly in order to survive. Finally, the map doesn't appear to end. I found barney but from that point was given no sign as to whether I needed to backtrack or the map simply ended there? In the end, I just closed the game. If there is a genuine end point to the map, it needs to be signposted better.

The architecture throughout is basic, but in a classic sense that fits the Half-Life theme really well. There are only a few parts where the brushwork is a little obscure, making it hard to discern what a particular object is supposed to be. There are a few instances of what I assume a prefabs that have been flipped and don't behave correctly.
  • A vending machine full of cockroaches that appeared to pull me towards it where I assume it was intended to push the roaches out.
  • A toilet with a flush handle that rotates in the wrong direction, away from the cistern...
  • Another vending machine where the buttons jump outwards towards the player when pressed.
Texturing as again fairly basic which fits the bill nicely given the simplicity of a lot of the environments. It also has a few of the same pitfalls, with one object in particular that looked like a glass block in the back of a truck which was supposedly made of meat??? No idea what that was meant to be.

Ambience is good throughout with plenty of ambient noise in the background and no area comes to mind that was completely silent. One odd moment concerns a mortally wounded guard near the prison sells who simply and calmly says he had a long night and is going to wait where he is, only to die moments later...

Lighting is probably the lowest scoring factor in the pack for me. The outdoor sections are fine, with the start of the map being dimly lit and brightening up as the sun rises in the later maps, but the interiors lack variety, often using a sickly yellow light and nothing else. This looks terrible in my opinion. For the interior spaces in future, consider putting smaller coloured highlights up towards the ceilings, under grates in the floor or in shadowy corners just to add a little variation in the colours on display.
This comment was made on an article that has been deleted.
Commented 1 month ago2020-04-07 20:46:38 UTC in journal: My grandfather died Comment #102650
Damn, I'm sorry to hear that.
Commented 1 month ago2020-04-04 10:05:42 UTC in journal: I modded my robovac Comment #102634
@JeffMOD, my wife is in the same boat. Her job is considered essential so she's got an official letter she needs to carry on her, in case she gets stopped. Meanwhile I'm stuck in the house with the kids.
Commented 1 month ago2020-04-03 08:14:28 UTC in journal: I modded my robovac Comment #102624
What projects are you guys getting up to whilst isolating?
I'm working on a mod at the moment. Started it a little bit before the isolation kicked in though.
Commented 2 months ago2020-03-20 18:03:41 UTC in vault item: Underlab Comment #102598
This might work for a quick 1-on-1, but the fact is that it is simply far too linear for a multiplayer map. It's really just a series of empty hallways that lead to dead ends. This might work for a quick (very quick in this case) singleplayer romp, but not for multiplayer. Take a look at the official maps, or some of the ones uploaded here. Multiplayer maps should contain loops and branching paths. Players need to be unpredictable in deathmatch in order to have the edge, and as such the map needs to give them options. Alternate paths to the same locations, choke points and larger open arenas.

I understand that this is only a practice map, but you should also learn from the criticism that goes with it. :D
Commented 2 months ago2020-03-20 12:57:18 UTC in journal: Coronavirus Comment #102593
Working from home for the foreseeable future, with the office closed and everyone else doing the same. Jude had his last day at nursery yesterday and Ivory-Rose is at school until 3pm (2 hours from time of writing), then she's out.

The figure floating around is 12 weeks, which didn't seem so bad at first until I checked the calendar and realised that takes us to the middle of June!

Scoffed at all the people panic buying/stockpiling early on, but now of course there is nothing left for sensible people. Wife has had to run out to the supermarket first thing while I setup my desk for work each morning. The only way we can get what we need is to be the first in and head straight for the item in question.
Commented 3 months ago2020-02-29 14:16:53 UTC in vault item: Yet Another Half-Life Adventure 2 Comment #102561
Pretty solid map and quite lengthy for a single map. I played on hard and wasn't particularly struggling for health or ammo, so the challenge was fair. There were some really cool ideas and for the most part I'd say that the maps looked fine. Maybe lacking finer details to help create a sense of a lived in place/work environment, but nothing that looked terrible either! :D

I've made some notes below on things I spotted throughout, to either watch for in future or to patch in this release if you feel like it. :P
User posted image
This glass is FAR too opaque. You want to use texture for the rendermode and a really low renderFX value like 50 or 75.
User posted image
Missing faces on this armchair. I'm not sure which editor/compile tools you used, but I'm guessing they're not up to date. This can also be avoided by making the item into a func_rot_button and have them rotate as soon as the level loads, rather than rotating them in the editor.
User posted image
User posted image
This bin is made of glass... :P
User posted image
This just looks a little off. There are better ways of doing this kind of sloped hallway by skewing the textures, rather than trying to rotate the texture to fit. Also, the scientist could do with being tilted ever so slightly, his left leg is floating off the ground here.
User posted image
Not sure why this appears the way it does. Again, I have to assume you're using outdated compile tools as this should not have any issues compiling these days. :P
User posted image
More complex brushwork that has been rotated. Update your tools or use a func_rot_button entity to rotate this. There is also a very obvious invisible wall here. Try to avoid that.
User posted image
This would be a great oppurtunity for the player to see the valve that would shut off the steam blocking their path, but again, the glass is WAY too opaque to see into the dark room beyond.
User posted image
Grrr. I know this is only a headcrab, but its waiting right at the bottom of a vent drop, causing unavoidable damage to the player. If a player on hard only had 5 hitpoints here, the map would be unwinnable from this point. Give the player a chance to react, move the crab further away. :)
User posted image
Why exactly does this open the door? I could understand blowing the door open, but it's a sliding door... Just a little odd.
User posted image
Now this I actually REALLY like. The room itself doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but that's common in Valve's own maps. I don't think I've seen this kind of challenge in a map before and it was a really nice addition.
User posted image
At last but not least, these controllers don't move... at all. They need info_node_air entities in order to move around this space. Without them moving around, there is very little challenge here.
This comment was made on an article that has been deleted.
Commented 3 months ago2020-02-13 15:34:31 UTC in vault item: Boombox Comment #102537
Hard "Yoink" on this one. Thanks.
Commented 3 months ago2020-02-08 20:58:46 UTC in vault item: TWHL Cubicles Comment #102533
@SourceSkyBoxer, the mod has custom coding so that you can switching between maps with a key press. This no longer appears to work. Best thing to do is to remove the DLLs and just launch the maps from the console.
Commented 4 months ago2020-01-24 23:35:05 UTC in vault item: Carbaseus Comment #102524
Uploaded the copy I had directly to TWHL so that this gem doesn't disappear again.
Commented 5 months ago2019-12-29 20:17:57 UTC in journal: What do you know? Comment #102483
And here I thought I was the oldest regular at TWHL... I'm probably not even close, considering how little I know about most of the regulars nowadays...
Commented 5 months ago2019-12-28 10:45:38 UTC in journal: What do you know? Comment #102475
It's a cryptic journal... December is the 12th month of the year.

Happy 36th Birthday?
Commented 6 months ago2019-11-28 20:58:38 UTC in journal: Stream Announcements! Comment #102457
I will likely miss the start of The Whole Map Vault since it starts at 10pm and that's when my missus now gets home from work on Friday. I will likely catch all of the sorting out of the arseholes or whatever.
Commented 6 months ago2019-11-28 14:45:01 UTC in journal: Much more important than a birthday journal Comment #102454
Why are people still saying "Happy Birthday" though? :\
Commented 6 months ago2019-11-07 20:24:15 UTC in poll: Video Games November 2019 Comment #102428
I originally thought "Hmmm, Red Dead on PC." until I realised:
A) It's not coming to Steam until December and
B) I'm not likely to even get it until the price comes down

So yeah, nothing I guess. Bit of a bummer really.
Commented 6 months ago2019-11-01 14:34:43 UTC in journal: ...just personal things....mixed with some fiction Comment #102413
Modding is, like anything else, something that you get better at with practice. Hell, you can see my early attempts at Half-Life mapping right here on the site. I look back at some of those maps now and cringe.

Now, I am by no means as talented as a LOT of modders out there, but I am comfortable where I am. One thing that has certainly opened my eyes is working on The Core. Working closely with another mapper (Archie) has taught me a number of tips and tricks that I now apply as second nature when working on something new. The downside of this is that you go back and update older maps based on what you learn and you get stuck in a loop until you learn to just cut and run.

Bottom line is, you're not a failure until you give up. Keep trying, upload what you build and listen to the feedback. Some of it will seem harsh but unless people are just trolling, you will be able to take something useful from every bit of feedback, positive or negative.
Commented 7 months ago2019-10-21 09:30:49 UTC in journal: What a time to be alive... Comment #102362
Thanks... motherfucker?
Commented 7 months ago2019-10-20 00:03:27 UTC in journal: What a time to be alive... Comment #102356
:lol:
Commented 7 months ago2019-10-19 20:09:25 UTC in journal: What a time to be alive... Comment #102354
It was neither. I was sat at my desk, trying to think of a birthday journal. I guess my brain just operates in shower/shit mode at all times.
Commented 7 months ago2019-10-17 23:27:59 UTC in poll: Best Vowel Comment #102334
When in doubt, remember the song: "Anything U can do I can do better. I can do anything better than U."
Commented 7 months ago2019-10-08 13:48:35 UTC in journal: Need to leave Comment #102316
So please stay out of my way you apes.
Commented 7 months ago2019-10-07 13:50:58 UTC in journal: Need to leave Comment #102308
I'm trying to get my head around how you perceive things as that's obviously a huge contributing factor.

What you need to understand is that depending on what you're working on, a lot of the time it's going to be very niche. Something that interests you might not interest a lot of other people.

Goldsource or Source mods on PC are fairly common and much easier for the average player to install and play for example, and as such tend to be popular.

Some of the things I've seen you pitching, such as ports to Nintendo DS or modding for Xbox and such is going to be extremely limiting in terms of audience. Both systems are very outdated, meaning fewer and fewer people are even going to be using them, not to mention people looking to play ported games from 10 or 20 years ago. Hell, this website is dedicated to custom projects of varying scope for a range of Goldsource and Source titles, and in all the many many MANY years that I've been here, I've never seen anybody even consider making mods for consoles besides yourself.
Commented 7 months ago2019-10-04 18:57:15 UTC in journal: I now have... Comment #102288
Congrats! She's gorgeous. Brave little one too. My two cats spent the first night behind our washing machine.

May you have many happy years together and may she appear in all your maps from now on. :3
Commented 8 months ago2019-09-24 13:10:11 UTC in vault item: dm_Apprehension Comment #102281
Honestly I wouldn't have removed the upper metal walkway. Height variation adds a lot to gameplay. With it stands, this is a pretty simple crate map.

Working on a HLDM map based on the singleplayer campaign is a great way to do things, but expand on the area, don't remove stuff. ;)
Commented 8 months ago2019-09-09 13:31:55 UTC in vault item: Open The Door... Comment #102265
Spent about 45 minutes in the map yesterday evening. Got down to 29. I shall attempt to complete this tonight. I get a feeling I will start to lose my temper with it when I start getting down to single digits.

Fun idea though. Really quite a simple concept that I've not seen before.
Commented 8 months ago2019-09-08 00:11:54 UTC in journal: Was cleaning my room Comment #102258
I enjoy how this alien grunt gets both a retail and a concept model for the hivehand. Dual wielding like a bee-ast.
Commented 8 months ago2019-09-07 22:48:45 UTC in vault item: Blue Paradise Comment #102257
Recovered the map from FPS Banana and added the file here.
Commented 8 months ago2019-08-31 18:23:54 UTC in vault item: dm_eightball Comment #102236
This is a really nice looking map. Tricky to say how it would play having only run around it alone, but damn does it look good. Seems to be nicely clipped as well, so as not to have players getting blocked by the small details during the frantic gameplay of HLDM. This could easily work as a small single player experience as well, with a few access restrictions thrown in here and there.

The lighting is nice and varied throughout and the only area where I struggled to see much was the cave area. but given that the lights in this area can be turned off completely I assume this was the point.

Finally, there are some nice little secrets which give the player access to the more powerful weapons. Every time I thought I had been clever and broken the map I was proven wrong and instead rewarded with a new toy. Very well done.
Commented 9 months ago2019-08-29 08:35:50 UTC in journal: Just one of those days I guess Comment #102224
Happy... 24th?

I'm basing this purely on "the most powerful handgun in the world" according to Dirty Harry, the .44 Magnum. Or at least a six shooter of some description.
Commented 9 months ago2019-08-17 16:47:55 UTC in journal: Brain Surgery 2 Comment #102221
All the best to you both. I hope this last month wont drag for either of you. It's the waiting that's often the worst part.
Commented 10 months ago2019-07-28 02:15:42 UTC in journal: It's the thing Comment #102175
It's a TWHL journal and it's obscure... Happy Birthday?
Commented 10 months ago2019-07-18 12:58:33 UTC in vault item: de_splinter2 Comment #102169
I remember this map. It's OK.
Commented 10 months ago2019-07-11 12:32:50 UTC in journal: What to do in London this summer? Comment #102158
From the three phone calls I received that night along with video messages I can confirm that:
A) Drinks were drunk.
B) Merriment was had.
C) Dicks were kicked.
Commented 10 months ago2019-07-11 12:30:44 UTC in journal: My princess, Ivory-Rose - UPDATED July 11th Comment #102157
Many thanks for the kind response. :D
Commented 10 months ago2019-07-08 13:54:40 UTC in journal: Strictly speaking, this is two minutes too late. Comment #102149
Happy leaving via mum's vagina anniversary.
Commented 11 months ago2019-06-29 00:20:13 UTC in journal: What to do in London this summer? Comment #102128
Meh, just kick him in the dick.
Commented 11 months ago2019-06-26 14:11:13 UTC in journal: What to do in London this summer? Comment #102123
I spent a day at the British Museum, and when I left I seriously considered going back the day after. So much to look at!
Yeah, we've stolen a lot of shit over the centuries.
Commented 11 months ago2019-06-24 14:45:25 UTC in journal: My princess, Ivory-Rose - UPDATED July 11th Comment #102120
Pinging a link to my wife now, see if she can grab it on her Kindle.
Commented 11 months ago2019-06-22 17:32:56 UTC in journal: My princess, Ivory-Rose - UPDATED July 11th Comment #102116
Hahaha!
Commented 11 months ago2019-06-22 07:37:07 UTC in journal: My princess, Ivory-Rose - UPDATED July 11th Comment #102112
Thanks Satch. She gets that from me. I am also a beautiful princess.

As for people thrown by her age, trust me, I'm as shocked as you and I was there.

Hell, my son is nearly 18 months already...
Commented 11 months ago2019-06-21 14:09:28 UTC in journal: My princess, Ivory-Rose - UPDATED July 11th Comment #102106
Penguinboy! Get in here! I need a way to add a 'like' to Satchmo's response, stat!
Commented 11 months ago2019-06-20 21:23:12 UTC in journal: My princess, Ivory-Rose - UPDATED July 11th Comment #102103
Thanks for the responses guys. We're not concerned about Ivory being on the Autistic Spectrum. It's not something that can be "fixed" as such. She's not broken, she's just Autistic. It's already clear that when she wants something, she will fight for it. While at the moment that means tantrums and screaming, when she's older I'm certain it will become passion and drive.

The primary school that she's got a placement with is actually my old school, and we know they have a fantastic reputation for learning support. In fact, Ivory's key person at nursery has said today that she thinks Ivory would actually benefit going to school as normal. Early days yet, and there are a lot of meetings and assessments still to come, but overall we're staying positive. :)

@Bruce: No hate here, but Ivory is actually long done with her vaccinations. Next one isn't until she's between 12 and 13. Personally, that's not something I would be willing to do. Again, I'm not concerned that Ivory is on the spectrum and I much prefer that over her being vulnerable against measles, polio or rubella. :|
Commented 11 months ago2019-06-20 16:28:46 UTC in journal: My princess, Ivory-Rose - UPDATED July 11th Comment #102098
It wasn't sudden by any means, no. She was always slow to start speaking. She didn't even babble very much when she was younger. Not like her younger brother now who doesn't stop babbling.

We just figured she was quiet, until we saw her together with her cousin (2 week age difference)

He was attempting to talk in sentences while she resorted to pointing, grunting and saying only one or two words.
Commented 11 months ago2019-06-02 16:15:20 UTC in vault item: Cycler Sample Maps (Unused Content) Comment #102042
zombiegibs.mdl actually does appear in the game, in the Office Complex freezer.
Commented 1 year ago2019-05-27 14:27:44 UTC in journal: Giant Dump Comment #102012
Always good to have a vent. Sorry to hear about everything that's going on, but every cloud has a silver lining as they say. Best of luck to Lyssa! Strange that you should mention being diagnosed with autism. We're pretty sure that's what is coming with our daughter...

Happy to hear you're still working on SMJ, and I'd be more than willing to help out with the story anyway I can. I have no professional writing experience, but I certainly enjoy it.
Commented 1 year ago2019-05-19 17:58:10 UTC in vault item: The_Tube2019 Comment #101997
I just checked this out. Having not played the original before and only experiencing this version running around on my own, the improvements seem minimal at first. However, I cannot deny that some of the more major changes are a definite improvement. The 2019 map is more open, which would allow for some interesting firefights. There are also far fewer item and weapon pick ups in dead ends which were a big no-no in the original. The texture changes mean that you can differentiate the various sections more easily and the clip and illusionary brushes for doorways and signs respectively mean that you aren't getting snagged while long jumping around the corridors.

Would love to try this out on the server some time.