Ah yes, the lesser known Shakira single.
The first value is the name of the map texture to apply the detail texture to, you need to rename this to the exact name of the texture you used in your map, eg, if you used the texture 'C1A0_LABW2' in your map you need to name it exactly that, it is not case sensitive and don't use the commas.
Also note that the maximum texture size is 512x512 (1024x256 and 2048x128 also work, so the actual limit is probably something like '262144 pixels').
I also feel that this map needs a clear landmark to make it more memorable and to prevent all sides from looking too similar. Maybe a radar tower or some other man-made structure, something distinct.
Happy resonance cascade birthday!
This is giving me some ideas for improving MESS, a compile tool I made a while ago. Automating and speeding up the level-design process is an important reason why I made tools like MESS and WadMaker (and SpriteMaker, soon), and I'm thinking about making a 'smart' compile script that only runs csg with -onlyents if it does not detect any brushwork or lighting changes since the last compile.
WadMaker, a command-line wad-making tool that I made, can turn 32-bit images into decal textures if the output wad name is 'decals.wad'. It'll use their alpha channel to create the decal, and the average color of the image to set the decal color. To add textures to decals.wad, first drag decals.wad onto WadMaker.exe - this will extract all decal textures and store them as png files in a 'decals_extracted' folder. Rename the folder to 'decals', add your own images, then drag the folder onto WadMaker.exe - this will update decals.wad with your new images.
What I like about the outer wall is how you chose a distinctive color to mark the boundaries of the playable area. But it's too thick for sheet metal, and there's an invisible wall above it. Putting barbed wire on top of it would make it clear to players that they can't jump across.
I'm not sure about the underground hallway. It's a bit too disconnected from the rest of the map, and with a charger, infinite ammunition and only 2 entrances that offer no cover, it's probably an overpowered camping spot. If only other players could flood that room to discourage such behavior...
The fenced area next to the crane is a bit confusing to navigate - it's a bit of a dead-end and the 'exit' isn't easy to spot due to the low contrast between fences and the dark wall behind it. The nearby shed is also a bit too dark for my taste, especially because the wall behind it is also dark, so players silhouettes won't stand out against it either. The ladder to the top of the crane isn't clearly visible and it doesn't extend all the way to the bottom, so it doesn't look climbable. The crane base is also hard to get onto, as you can only crouch-jump onto it from a few specific places. Either make the platform visibly unreachable, or make it reachable from everywhere. The platform and its sides also disappear when you look at it from certain angles (because it's a single brush, and its faces are one-sided). It also looks like you could crouch underneath it. Maybe make it darker and put some concrete underneath it, to make it more visibly inaccessible.
Finally, about the 3D skybox, I'm a bit worried about an oil refinery being located in the middle of a residential area. It would be more believable to have residential buildings on one side of the junkyard, and some factories on the other side, with a refinery further away in the background.
So... that nuclear sign in The Core Decay's logo... getting 3DRealms' attention was the plan all along, right? ^_^
I'm not really a CS player, but it looks like all those extra nooks and crannies will result in more cautious and campy gameplay. I think the rooftops will play a bigger role in the HLDM version, where the longjump and gauss make them more accessible. The hidden weapons in both versions are a fun touch.
As far as performance goes, r_speeds range from 2K wpoly's to 5-6K in certain areas, but it runs fine on my (fairly new) system.
My only 'complaints' would be that the exact boundaries of the playable area are sometimes unclear (invisible walls), especially in the _se and HLDM versions, and that the crispness of the shadows in the 3D skybox doesn't match the more blurry shadows in the rest of the map. And in the HLDM version, a lot of the pickups are off the beaten path, often requiring several crouch-jumps, which might hinder the gameplay flow and will probably also make the map harder for new players. On the other hand, even the strongest weapons can be found in multiple places, and with all the connections between areas action should never be too far away, so it looks like a fun map to play in.
I agree that, in its current form, it's not really suitable for DM. The layout is too linear and the doors, narrow doorways and various protrusions hinder fast movement. If you want to make a 'proper' DM map, I'd suggest creating a 'blockout' level that focuses entirely on layout and gameplay. Keeping it visually simple allows you to make gameplay tweaks more easily. Once you're satisfied with the gameplay, start decorating it, using this map as a style guide.
As for optimizations, maybe you know some (or all) of this already, but just in case, here are some of the things that you can do:
gl_wireframe 1console command to look for areas with lots of face splitting (typically near rounded shapes), and see if you can reduce that with a func_detail or some other trick
gl_wireframe 2to see which areas are visible at any given moment, and adjust the layout to ensure that not too much it visible from any given position (maps often use U-bends in corridors to block visibility between areas)
Thanks! She's 2.5, old enough to talk all day long, do jigsaw puzzles and make abstract art. It's a joy.
But... how old do you expect you will become if you felt the need for leading zeroes?
What do you mean, 'you're off by a factor of [RECORD SEPARATOR]'?
monster_ospreythat targets a
path_corner(which needs to be part of a cyclic route of path_corners), and at least one
Now I wonder whether I'll have the same 'problem' with my daughter 10 years from now, heh.
zhlt_usemodelalso ensures that the 'template' entity whose sprite or model is used will be put before the entities that use it, so the map won't crash because the sprite or model hasn't been loaded yet. If you use
modelinstead you'd have to be careful to create the sprite/model entity first.
Warm welcome: I like how the gameplay mechanics were communicated through visual clues (red lasers + red glow on turrets, orange pipes).
Pest control: The cubicles combat area setup was nice, with vorts being able to flank the player. Standard HL gameplay but nicely done.
Phantom lab: Visually very nice, good use of available space, also good use of satchels/tripmines. I wasn't expecting a hidden item search and found the G-man sequences a bit too long, and the intro was weird, but a great map nonetheless.
The tomb: Fun introduction and great atmosphere, especially the 'artifact grab' and the cheesy 'ending'. Instakill traps were a bit frustrating, but still a fun map.
Cargo specimen #798: Interesting monster use. It wasn't always very clear how to proceed though. The start and end 'sequences' were a fun touch.
Food court: Finally, after all these years, Gordon gets to eat something besides medkits and morphine...
Half-Pint: Fantastic! Manages to be both predictable and surprising at the same time. Definitely one of the highlights of this mappack.
Memories: These kind of maps aren't really my cup of tea.
Orange corp: Nice visuals and 'storytelling' that builds up suspense before the final 'discovery'.
Tele office: Visually more basic, but the combat and especially the 'finale' were actually quite fun.
Training course: Refreshingly different in style. Combat was maybe a bit too though but it was never dull.
Smash & grab: Very well done. Visually appealing, distinct mechanics that were clearly explained, and not too easy either.
Saviour?: Good sense of place and level of detail. Interesting use of windows and layout, so the player can see the AI taking initiative, which makes them look smart.
Xen garden: 1/10 would never relax here again. 'domesticated' headcrabs, yeah right... But seriously, this one looked very pretty.
Apartments: I don't like horror maps so I skipped this one.
Not much of a turnabout: That's a cool little detective story. Very nice!
Headley & Crabb: Not bad visually, but not the most interesting combat-wise. I'm not sure why Barney was hostile?
Darkwoods penitentiary: Not really my style, but I'm glad I stuck around to see the ending.
Flippant: An interesting idea, but enemies were rather difficult to hit (due to a hitbox issue?) and combat was too hard overall for my taste.
Von Braun: This floor felt like a different game altogether. Very well done. The hint system was a good idea, given how little 'room' there was to introduce the different gameplay mechanics.
Cupid's queue: A bit rough around the edges, with some rooms not making much sense. I did like how it gave you a glimpse of the secret cd.
Trial by fire: More horror, so another skip for me.
Hard inferno: Nice idea about exploration versus direct confrontation. Ending was pretty frantic.
Repechage: Visually very pleasing, interesting gameplay mechanics, chock-full of secrets, but above all, great fun to play. One of my favorite maps in this mappack.
All foyered up: Visually very nice (chrome tv effect!), but the final room felt a bit too cramped for a grande finale.
Cenodrome XL: I'm not sure whether I'd be able to beat this without cheating, but it's an interesting idea for sure. The connection with Repechage is a nice touch.
What's with all these weird comments on decade-old journal entries?
I especially like how the first grunt encounter was redesigned. You can now sneak up on a grunt, only the be caught by surprise by grenade-launching grunt on the other side. Gave an interesting dynamic to that fight. The area also looks more like a real functional place than v1.
Some of the other enemies felt a bit dumb though, just passively waiting around a corner until you show up. It would've been nice if the grunts in the control room had acknowledged your presence in the bridge room somehow - a 'Freeman!' shout, a gesture, one or two grunts running around. The fan obstacle setup was better in v1, because the obstacle was visible before the solution was. In v2, I first pushed the button, then found the vent, and wasn't entirely sure what that button had done.
But other than those minor issues, it's an enjoyable map and it shows good attention to detail. I like how you create ladders - much better than the standard single-brush approach. Also, '86 was a good year indeed! Now I wonder whether there are any other easter eggs to be found...
VISPORTALEXITseems similar in purpose to HL's
SKYtexture, with anything outside a
VISAREAbasically ending up as part of a 3D skybox. As for portals, can't you derive those automatically from where two
VISPORTALbrushes are touching or intersecting? That would simplify the level-design process somewhat.
Oh, I just found out why brushes are called brushes: Carmack felt that CSG was like painting with a geometry brush. I never thought about it like that.
But did they really choose planes to save on storage space? If that's the case then why didn't they store them as a normal + offset? I think they used planes because it more naturally fits the CSG and BSP processes.
That means your biography is 20 years out of date, so you must've written it 16 years before joining. That... makes total sense. Yeah. Bricks don't lie!
I just finished integrating the scripting system and implementing transformation of template contents based on the scale and angles of a macro_insert entity. Here are 9 instances of a recursive template, each with a random direction and scaling factor:
One thing I noticed was that the detailed nature of the map and the gameplay made me expect the environment to be much more interactive than it was. I think it would really add to the map if those lockers and file cabinets could be opened, and if those soda-machines would actually work.
There were two rats that felt a bit unfair: The cupboard doesn't look like it has doors, they're difficult to open (they don't react to the use key, and can only be touched by crouching), and almost nothing else of that scale is interactive. The two destructible vent grates in the machine room look solid, but all other solid grates are indestructible.
But all in all, a good-looking map with unique and enjoyable gameplay.
I wish I knew about this when I picked a nickname all those years ago, but oh well. That's what happens when your first name starts with a P and English isn't your native language. Fun fact: the place where I live used to be part of a separate kingdom, hundreds of years ago, and it still has its own anthem. The most popular parody on that anthem (the only version I can remember) is - indeed - about having to pee. So there's a connection after all, huh.
Plush shotgun shells? Those pack quite a punch. Either way, nice headcrab there. And wow, your son is growing up fast.
Also, the following sentence seems self-contradicting: Exact same name... but not case-sensitive? I'd say it is case-sensitive. Commas? '' are single quotation marks.
- divide the article into various paragraphs, as currently it's a big wall of text
- add a few example images to spice it up, text only is rather dry
- use bold or italic when emphasizing something, all-caps is regarded as shouting and makes the article look less professional (not that we're striving for a very formal style, but hey)
- I think it'd be cool if you did provide a working example map
JeffMOD, imageshack is a well-known site for uploading images to for free. I'd say links to it can be trusted.
Bytheway, snarkpit.net is worth 330K.
Your game starts looking nice bytheway. I assume the tank is fully controllable by now?
Oh, I forgot to mention that, but you can embed files into your map, including navigation files. Pakrat is a great tool for that, with it's auto-scan mode.
I think my youngest brother will enjoy this map, as it's small and to the point, immediate action. I do think hlife_hotdog has a good point about spawning in the basement: it does give the CT's somewhat of a disadvantage, but since they also spawn top-side now and then, it's probably not a big issue. Adds some variety.
Visually, the map was pretty good. Atmospheric, but not too dark. I do think some finer brushwork and texturing (alignment on the well, tall building using bump-mapped and unbump-mapped version of a texture) here and there would be good. However, it's just a small layer of extra polish that lacks here, and all in all, it's a pretty nice map. Good job.