Andy7 years ago2013-12-25 22:39:07 UTC 13 comments
Seasons Greetings and Happy Holiday to those of you that get them, yes I am still alive, yes I do look in from time to time. I got a message from one of the members looking for old maps and stuff that I might have had.
Sorry to say that all of my TWHL archive has gone even though I have scoured backups that date as far back as 1996 (yes, before some of you were born, don't rub it in). Sad really because the engine to run them are still alive and well because of sites like this and the modding community in general.
Anyway, all the best for the New Year..
Take Care,

Andy11 years ago2010-06-27 04:39:51 UTC 20 comments
Ok, so I stumbled over here due to a forum link from a very old site. Both TWHL and RUST were linked in my signature block.
RUST seems to have died or gone Wiki with no contributors.
TWHL seems to have expanded exponentially... well done all.

So the first thing that caught my eye was the Verc Archive. Long before Source Tool Kit there was Hammer, before Hammer there was Worldcraft and what a right royal pain that thing was. I still remember making my first room and banging a crowbar against a steel shelf.. How cool was that :)

Anyway since I am on a nostalgia trip, I had the great honour of speaking to a lot of the people listed on the Verc tutorials. A few of them work for Valve these days, others have (like me) dissappeared into mapping and design obscurity. The one thing common to all of them was their love of Half Life design and their ability to push the engine to it's limits.

Take Care all.

Andy11 years ago2009-12-25 19:16:57 UTC 4 comments
O/ good people of TWHL.
Hope you had a good Christmas and that everyone is looking forward to a happy and healthy New Year.

And yes, to those that left comments last year, I do remember you all. Some with fondness and others with omfg is that guy for real :)

For some bizarre reason people still send me emails about mapping which is great if I log in, not so great if I done..

Way back when I first got involved with Atom and TWHL the burning question was will this site support modding and mapping for years to come or will it be like so many others that sprung up and disappeared.

It is a testament to the professionalism and tenacity of those that followed Atoms lead that this site still exists and provides an archival base for the basic (and sometimes the downright impossible)concepts of Mod and Map making using the Half-Life engine.

So, pat yourselves on the back.

It make me proud to log in and see a thriving community...

Till next year,
All the very best.

Andy12 years ago2008-12-12 22:29:56 UTC 28 comments
This site just continues to amaze me...
I wish everyone all the best for the festive season.

Andy14 years ago2006-11-08 22:13:09 UTC 0 comments
I haven't opened Steam for about 3 months... sad isn't it :)
have about half a DoD:S map done, but since some recent changes I really don't feel like finishing it. By the look of the gaming community, DoD:S hasn't really taken off and a lot of Aussie clans have reverted back to DoD: original... weird really since it was so buggy and hackable that it wasn't funny anymore.

lesson to get from this...
Graphics are all well and good but if the majority of your customers can't play the game, then it just becomes a novelty.

Andy14 years ago2006-09-22 11:01:10 UTC 0 comments
So what have I been doing for the last 176 days?
Not mapping, no level design... nothing to do with Half Life mods at all.

I found an MMO that tweaked my bit's.

Andy15 years ago2006-03-28 11:58:08 UTC 0 comments
Source Mapping can be extremely rewarding and at the same time very frustrating.
I am putting together a small DoD:Source map for a local server based on one I did for them in DoD 1.6. Problem is I can't seem to find the original RMF's anywhere (Backup early and often) so I have to start from scratch.
A few things I have found about Source mapping that encourage me are the incredible amount of information available from the Hammer4 help function and the similarity of 4 to it's predecessor. The simple stuff is explained in great detail and while there a a few more tools in Hammer4, they seem to be intuitive.
Error listings are comprehensive and covered at various sites, common bug's are explained.

At the end of the day if you are having trouble with Source mapping I suggest you RTFM. (Read the manual)
Andy15 years ago2006-01-28 14:15:00 UTC 0 comments
So I finally got over to ModDB and checked my mail. G'Day Slay :)
While I was over there I saw a mod called 'The Noob Project' and thought it might be worth a look.

Here is the last post Dec 05:
Administrators can remove this MOD.
Its Dead because Half-Life fucled up on the computer and erased everything so we need to start from scratch.
I allready needed to start over 2 times and 3 is to much.
Ok, so I am sensing some frustration here?

Those of you thinking about creating a Mod and a Mod team may want to learn something from this.
I am not talking about backing things up... although you should, I am talking about mapping to your ability.

Here is there Help Wanted Post:
We are searching for a coder who wants to help us completing our MOD.
He need to put new weapons in game, general effects (particle system), etc...
He has to be a good person to talk to and has to make some fun while producing the MOD.
Interested???, send a email to or send a PM to me
What does that say to you?
To me it says complicated, indecisive and defies the Mod's title.

Here is the bit of advice in all of this:
Keep it simple.

The HL engine is incredibly flexible and usable, so why not use what is available.
Bringing a coder in to replace weapons and add effects is pointless if you are running a Noob Project.
Build simple.
People will download finished product even for HL1 if it looks Ok.

Oh, and keep going.
Andy15 years ago2005-12-24 17:40:09 UTC 0 comments
Merry whatever your faith..

I hate people who don't check their work and have just spent the best part of the morning trying to fix a large project.
What happened?
I bundled 148 custom maps into a single installer that covers every map on my clans server. The idea was to make all the server maps accessible for the clan members from a CD. Great idea and not really much work, had it finished in an hour or so and installed it on my machine as a test.
While I was there, I dropped into a clan war to see what was going on....

dod_donner is a classic war map.

IT IS NOT, nor has it ever had Large Javlin like rain sprites falling from the sky obscuring everything.

Someone thought it would be a great idea to piss about with Valves rain.spr and make their own... Nothing wrong with that and I think it should be encouraged. Just remember to name it anything but rain.spr....

While I am on a rant, if you release a map to the public remember to test it on a machine other than your own. This will highlight missing wad's, models and sounds prior to the big day.
Andy15 years ago2005-11-04 19:28:19 UTC 0 comments
Having cleaned out my Journal I figured I should put something in it. :)

Recent discussions around the community involve "Mod teams going Pro".
Good or Bad?

Bad as far as I am concerned.

Ages ago someone said that with the source engine we would be able to produce brilliant maps without much skill.
That is almost right, sure the eye candy is there, but a map needs to be playable and fun to be considered successful.
So I have to ask myself where all these brilliant maps are? And where are all the brilliant mods?

When I first found TWHL, I mapped for fun... I made rooms that had a metal shelf so I could bang my crowbar on it.. That was the joy of mapping.
Somewhere along the line I got far too involved in design and forgot about fun, I chased the 'look' rather than the play.
I have critisied peoples maps, and now am embarrased by my judgement, after all.. Who am I to judge?
I have written tutorials and articles, not just here at TWHL but in the wider community and none of them mention the most important aspect of Design...
Regardless of what it looks like, if the person playing it is having fun then you have created a great map.

Time to tell the Purists to FarrrkOfff. That includes me :confused:

So what has that got to do with the percieved professionalism of Mod teams?
If you have to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement before they let you in, then they are obvioulsy missing the point.
ALL the Non Valve mod's that have been successful were started by a bunch of guy's having fun. They built levels and got them out there to test them with the people that really mattered.. the players.
Your peers may judge your design work and call it crap, but if the punters are playing it and having fun, who gives a toss?

After scrapping GTLS, I decided to map for fun. I created a small DoD War map and got it on a server. Two weeks later I released the second version...that ironed out the really bad bugs that the players pointed out.
That map remained on the No 1 rated server in Australia for two months, was a permanent fixture in the rotation and proved a clan war favorite.
Why didn't I post it here?
It was crap :D poorly designed and lackluster...

So next time someone tells you your textures are badly aligned... ignore them, and let the players not the mappers, judge your work.
Andy15 years ago2005-10-20 02:00:45 UTC 0 comments
Three Years and one day ago I registered at TWHL.
Time has flown since the early days where there were 12 members. (and I think most of them were made up ;)

So what has happened?
Heaps.. new look, new administrators and heaps of new talent. Not to mention 2674 new members :-)

On the anniversary of my third year of involvement, I would like to take time to thank Atom for starting the site, Seventh, Rabid, and Ant for their continued dedication in keeping it going and a special thanks to my old mate SlayerA.

As for you lot.. Yeah, you lot.. the members, if it wasn't for you this site wouldn't be here..



No, thankyou! - Ant

Thank-you indeed! Glad you're still here and pleased with us :) - Alex
Andy18 years ago2002-10-18 20:00:00 UTC 94 comments
Live in Alligator Creek, Townsville, Australia.

Love mapping, building, testing and looking at new things.
Best mapping moment.... When I got 3 scientists to run away and jump through an exploding window. (Yeah I know its Sad :-) )
Actually, I made a pretty decent SPHL map that was huge. Shame I used all the well intentioned advice from other sites. So that has gone to the map bin.. Maybe one day I will revisit it.
Current interests include, re-writing .fgd's so they work as advertised (tf-fgd-15fr10 has my name on it) and fooling around with Mod's.
Am doing a bit of CS mapping and have a map running on a server.
Really enjoy fixing maps sent in by TWHL members, I love a challenge :-)