Loulimi5 months ago2022-02-24 16:13:58 UTC 6 comments
I turned 34 on the 31st (2 days ago)!
Oh, and apparently, my maths teacher missed 3 fingers...
I somehow convinced myself it would be fun to integrate some of the principles I learned in Software Development back in my mapping methodology (assuming it even existed back then).

For this reason, I made use of the brief period of free time I had between quitting my first job and starting my second one to do just that. (Please don’t comment on my use of free time, I know I’m not doing great.)

First of all, I adopted and adapted the Scrum methodology to Goldsource mapping. I first established a constantly growing list of features to implement and other to-do’s on Google Sheet (the product backlog) with their estimated effort (or story points, as Scrum calls them). I set the Sprint duration to one week. This meant that every week, I would first have to decide on a list of items to try to implement during this limited amount of time, implement them, and make the whole map look like somewhat "devilerable" product by the end of the week and test it (with other players, since it is for Sven Co-op). I also had an idea of how much I achieved by looking at the sum of the story points.

I also tried to use Continuous Integration for my map. I actually don’t think what I did really qualifies as CI, but I’m pretty sure this is as far as anyone will ever go to add CI to a Goldsource mapping project anyway. This first meant using Git (which is already extremely useful, even if not doing CI or Scrum). I included the executables the map relied upon for compiling in the repository (Resgen, the VHLT…), and made a script for compiling the map!
Now making this script was tricky but worth it. Choosing Batch wasn’t the best choice I could have made, but it does the trick. My script takes the map name as the first parameter, and the profile mode as the second (dev or prod). In prod mode, it compiles with higher VHLT parameters but, more importantly, it removes all the entities that start with _dev from the map file. These entities, when they are not removed (i.e. in dev mode), make the map easier to test and debug by removing certain doors, NPCs, turrets (damn turrets!), and giving me more weapons for instance.
The map file can be generated automatically using HLFix, and all the custom resources the map relies upon are automacillay copied in the build directory thanks to ResGen.
Thanks to this script, I can not only create a clean, redistribuable copy of my map whenever I want to (without fearing to forget files or include obsolete ones since the build folder is cleaned before each run), but I can also test my map using Travis! This means everytime I back up my work online (push it to Github), Travis can run the script and check that all is compiling well. Admittedly I don’t do this very often since it’s kinda useless to test the compilation process on a remote server and I don’t want to spam Travis too much.
And now, thanks to WadMaker, I could even go further and just store the original JPG files (or maybe even XCF files) in the repository and create the WAD on the fly in the script.

All in all, having a script streamline the compilation process makes things really much easier. Everything is included in the folder and I just need to move it to the game folder, or share it, which is really useful when testing regularly with other players. Having a dev mode also solved a problem I had whenever I started mapping. (Forgetting temporary dev entities in the final map, or on the opposite sitting through playing the map in its entirety just to test one room.) And for course, not having to run Hammer to build the map can also be convenient too.
I found that Scrum fit somewhat nicely the mapping process, although I’m not sure it always does since mapping is sometimes an erratic and unpredictible process. Having to test my map regularly was really useful too, first of all by making me find a way to easily make a redistribuable copy of the current version of my map, and also by allowing me to detect problems with my map early, be they gameplay or technical problems. I was thus able to review early the direction I wanted to take with my map and correct technical issues before it was too difficult to change things. This included wpolys too high, the map being too big because of its textures, or a puzzle that was too difficult…

If this script interests anyone, I’ll share it. :) What about you guys, do you also use similar methods or not at all?
Loulimi4 years ago2018-05-02 23:59:51 UTC 8 comments
Finally finished with my BSc!!! :D (Well, apart from a demo that I need to give tomorrow.)

Time for me to log back in to and see how's everyone doing.

Is the Core finally released??? Is TWHL v4 finally ready??? (My computer is still displaying the old version but I guess that's a cache problem... right?)
Loulimi4 years ago2017-10-23 13:53:51 UTC 2 comments

Sorry for not having been very active recently, university doesn't leave me a lot of time these days.
Could I just ask you to complete this form about video steaming services, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime? That would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you :)
Loulimi5 years ago2017-06-05 23:07:50 UTC 6 comments
I'm about to start working on a new map.
I was wondering: do you follow a particular methodology when creating the map? Like: layout first, then texture, then lighting, or a bit of everything with iterative improvements?
I personally used to go with the room-by-room approach (completely finishing a room, then going to the next), which I now think is a terrible idea.
Loulimi5 years ago2017-04-23 17:37:20 UTC 17 comments
Turns out a pretty face and a lot of advertising is enough to win an election, no need to have an electoral program!
Loulimi5 years ago2016-11-06 20:36:43 UTC 4 comments
Striker was quite recently talking about dreams within dreams ( and I just experienced a quite interesting one.
I feel like I dreamt a lot. I made a few spooky nightmares, some more spooky than others.
Anyway, at one point, I decided to wake up as I needed to go to the toilets. But my room was completely dark, and as I stood up, I got nervous and tried to find the switch. I found it, flipped it, but it just wouldn't work. I panicked a little bit and decided to exit my room. The rest of the flat was equally dark, except maybe the kitchen. I heard someone in it, probably a flatmate. However, as I just walked past my door, I fell to the ground. I then desperately tried to stand up, but I just couldn't move. My heart started beating extremely fast, I got paralysed, and there were other feelings of the same kind I just can't put words on. I then heard the person who was in the kitchen getting closer to me until I could see their feet. I think that person was saying something but it was getting harder and harder to listen to them to the point where I couldn't simply hear anything.
And then, I woke up again, this time for real, I hope. I've got to admit though, this is pretty scary to wake up from a scary nightmare in the exact same room where your dream was taking place, it's like I'm living in the exact same place where I died a few minutes ago.
Loulimi5 years ago2016-10-24 14:55:57 UTC 0 comments
I've still got to make some research on the already existing treaties, economics and everything to make sure I actually understand what's happening instead of just repeating what Greenpeace are saying, but the TTIP treaty they describe is simply terrible:
Now I'm not saying anything new and I know people are talking about it for a certain time now, but I haven't seen it being discussed here on this very website.

Has anyone some thoughts about it? Discuss!

Personally, two things come to my mind.
First of all, companies do have a lot of power. I'm not only stating the obvious, but I think all those rich and powerful people are not desperate for more money and power. They only set out such plans and remove obstacles to it because that's not that hard to them. That's only mere calculation. The fact they can, apparently so easily, is frightening. I wouldn't say it's surprising though. Consider an oligarchy of rich, intelligent individuals who share the same goals and whose HIDDEN wealth's sum total is estimated to 21 trillion dollar (estimation dated from 2012). How many Microsoft can you buy with that? How many armies? That's still an estimation which might also include other kind of people, but that still makes the point.
I wonder what is their prime motivation, if it's money or power. I've heard when Stalin died his shoes were holed. I think he didn't care for wealth but for power instead, and I think I belong to the same kind of person...
Another not that surprising point is that medias and people don't seem to care that much, even though according to poles 80% are against or not in favour of the treaty. It's not hard at all to find information about the treaty from reliable sources, yet all that's in the news and the conversations is Trump whose chances of winning have always be known to be low and represent far less of a danger than the treaty, Brexit (at least in the UK, but I guess that makes sense :P ), and ISIS. I guess that's the way it works. As long as nothing notable happens, nobody's talking about it. Still, the only political figure denouncing the treaty I've heard of is one of the far-right leaders. If that remains true, that's enough for me to vote for them.
Loulimi5 years ago2016-08-23 19:01:46 UTC 3 comments
I'm disappointed by myself. For months I expressed no interest at all for the upcoming Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, considering there is plenty of reasons to think it won't fit my tastes. Yet I just bought it day 1 of its release, although most of the time the only computer I've got is barely powerful enough to run Human Revolution.
I'm not even sure the computer I got for the time being will be powerful enough for it!
The excitation of getting a game day one and all the advertisement for it just made me buy it. I'm a mere defenseless victim of the consumer society.
Let's pray for a miracle and hope I won't be disappointed by it.
Loulimi6 years ago2016-04-22 08:31:49 UTC 11 comments
We have to deal with complex entity systems quite often in Goldsource. Until recently, I used to start working on them directly in Hammer without any preparation beforehand.
However, as a computing student, we've been taught Oriented Programming and the analysis and design process. Basically, it's about finding requirements for a software and designing the code before actually starting coding it. Naturally, I wondered: why not try the same for Goldsource entities systems? I always struggled to make complex entity systems and the method I used to use makes the system a real pain to build, to understand and to maintain, so it sound like a good idea.
So here it is, I tried to design the entity system of an elevator using the software Visual Paradigm with an object diagram. Each type of entity is a class and each entity is an object. Targets are represented with dotted arrows.!28411&authkey=!AN3aD6RykHcT_i8&v=3&ithint=photo%2cjpg
Classy, isn't it? The only problem is: for some unknown reasons, it doesn't work… -_- But I'm working on it!
Loulimi6 years ago2016-02-24 10:08:38 UTC 3 comments
Might be my optimistic fan feeling, but despite what I used to hear a lot a few years ago, it looks like Goldsource modding is absolutely not dying, but alive and well instead.
I've for long thought that the only reason other people and I were sticking with this engine was the laziness to move on something new/nostalgia/die-hard fanaticism and that we were a slowly disappearing niche of irrational fans refusing to realize that moving to a more recent engine can only be better.
Now I think it's utterly wrong: to stick with Goldsource is a reasonable choice in its own right. The time tested graphical aspect and gameplay are enjoyed by many people, some of them just discovered the engine recently. Modding is far more simple than with some other recent engines.
The community is active: Sledge, Jackhammer, Xash, Cry of Fear, Paranoia 2 are relatively recent projects. Not to mention mods currently being developed.
And it isn't simply an active community of die-hard fans. Goldsource gets a fairly decent media coverage: Half-Rats has been featured in a British media, Sven Co-op got a large media coverage and an unprecedented number of players for its 5.0 release, Goldsource mods frequently get featured in ModDB and RTSL awards…