Half-Life: Under Maintenance

Half-Life HL
Half-Life: Under Maintenance by Ogdred
Posted 1 week ago2019-09-03 01:49:56 UTC • Unfinished • Half-Life
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Name
Half-Life: Under Maintenance
By
Ogdred Ogdred
Type
Map
Engine
Goldsource
Game
Half-Life
Category
Unfinished
Included
BSP
Created
1 week ago2019-09-03 01:49:56 UTC
Updated
1 day ago2019-09-13 10:59:02 UTC
Views
223
Downloads
28
Comments
8
Download (892.89kb)

Hello peeps,

I am a new member of this here fine website and a new (and hopefully not short-lived) member of the GoldSource mapping community.
This here is my first attempt at a map. It started out as a single room which I wanted to decorate so I can get some practice with the JACK Hammer Editor but I kept adding to it and soon I gave into what was once a dream of mine, to create my own single-player campaign.

Now as much as I would like to brag about my mapping skills there is not much to brag about, due to lack of experience and the proper know-how I will make use of default Half-Life textures only and I have had to resort to original prefabs (although they have a certain charm, are far from perfect). Hopefully I will be able to pull through and complete this map/campaign, I would have this turn into another one of the countless mods/maps that get announced and never released. So far progress has been slow but steady, I started using the Hammer Editor this past Monday (the 26th) and I am happy with how much I have been able to do so far.

Do feel free to share your opinions and/or advice though, I very much need it.

(P.S: Please ignore the file name, it too is WIP)

8 Comments

Commented 1 week ago2019-09-03 02:00:43 UTC Comment #102244
Sadly Gifs are not supported so I will have to plot this here https://imgur.com/3DSEdas
Commented 1 week ago2019-09-03 16:49:58 UTC Comment #102245
Oh my, you've certainly improved after the Browning prefab on GB. :D
Welcome to TWHL and keep up the mapping work. ^^
Commented 1 week ago2019-09-03 17:01:33 UTC Comment #102246
@Admer456 Thank you for the warm welcome.
Commented 1 week ago2019-09-03 21:43:12 UTC Comment #102247
Well, I've got a bunch of things to suggest:
  1. Always name your maps so that it's clear what map it is and so that it won't possibly conflict with other maps in the player's maps folder;
  2. Never surround your whole map with a box, even during construction. Sometimes you, of course, may be working on a map that's a bunch of floating islands or a small floating station, but in most cases you should have only the geometry that you really need. Boxes around maps increase compile time and cause overdraw. Oh yeah, they also make HLVIS cry.
  3. You have very rich detail, but seem to have focused almost only on that. You should complete your map in the first place, detail comes later, so spend your energy on actually making the map and not sugaring it over and over. Also, maps with low detail often are better than many overdetailed ones. It doesn't mean that you always have to keep your maps' geo simple: add as much detail as your skill allows and as long as it doesn't take you away from finishing the map itself. As you get better, you'll be able to produce maps with even larger amounts of detail.
  4. Try to restrict yourself from overusing game_text to tell the player what to do - show what to do instead. It's much easier to direct the player's attention towards something if there's no unnecessary detail clutter around. For example let's take that one blue monitor in one of the rooms: the whole room is dark, and the only thing that stands out in all this darkness is the blue computer screen. Of course the player will think that it's something important and, most likely, usable.
  5. Try to establish consitensy. The first vent cap that the player has to break is broken by hitting the Use key. However, as you're crawling the vent you see another such vent cap on the left (if I recall correctly), but you can do nothing with it. And the third one breaks when you step on it, but not from hitting the Use key either. So it's not entirely clear how to actually break vent caps in your map, and which of them break. Mark breakable vent caps with a different texture or generally make them look different, and decide whether your vent caps break from touching them, Using them or smashing them with the crowbar or any other weapon. Same applies to doors (not in your map though, just in general). Sometimes some maps have a few doors that open by Using them and the rest are opened somehow else. Unless you have a very strong reason to break the rule, don't do that.
If I'm wrong at any of these points, correct me. It's 0:38 here and my brain is half-RIP.
And happy mapping!
Commented 1 week ago2019-09-03 23:42:01 UTC Comment #102248
@Windawz Yeah, I noticed that the box kills the compile time but I must have seams somewhere on the map and as a result not having the box means that the map will be in full-bright. I have tried fixing it many times but I can not find this seam.
Regarding game_text I agree and have already considered it's reduction or entire removal.
And as for consistency, I do acknowledge the issue however I am afraid that I am not entirely sure how to resolve it. My only hope would be to check-out other maps/mods and learn from them.

I do thank you for the feedback though, it is a well needed wake-up call I will try to make some improvements based on it for the next file upload.
Commented 1 week ago2019-09-04 13:26:23 UTC Comment #102249
And as for consistency, I do acknowledge the issue however I am afraid that I am not entirely sure how to resolve it.
Well, say we've got one crate that's pushable and breakable and another one which looks identical but is static. How will the player figure out which one to push or break? They'll try doing that to each one until they figure that out. But what if you have 10 crates in the room that all look the same? Let's imagine there's a vent in the room but you have to push a crate to it to get in, but the player will have to try all the 10 crates before they know which one to push. The solution is to make pushable/breakable crates distinguishable. You don't have to make all static/pushable crates in your mappack/mod look the same so that the player can make no mistake. You may have two pushable crates with different meshes, but they both should have at least some parts, for example, be of a color that will signify that these are interactive. So the player will establish that all crates that have this cue somewhere on them are pushable/breakable/whatever. BTW you're not limited to just color coding, use whatever you can come up with if you're sure it will work nicely.
Commented 5 days ago2019-09-09 07:29:07 UTC Comment #102262
"Yeah, I noticed that the box kills the compile time but I must have seams somewhere on the map and as a result not having the box means that the map will be in full-bright. I have tried fixing it many times but I can not find this seam."
It's not a seam. It's a leak. I got a tutorial on GameBanana, "How to fix those leaks", which covers some possible causes and solutions. I'll have to port it over to TWHL some day...
"And as for consistency, I do acknowledge the issue however I am afraid that I am not entirely sure how to resolve it."
Transparent vent with texture ABC -> breakable
Vent with black background, texture XYZ -> unbreakable, inaccessible.
Also, Deus Ex for example has all metal crates unbreakable, but slightly pushable, while all its wooden crates are pushable and breakable.
Commented 5 days ago2019-09-09 08:13:02 UTC Comment #102263
@Admer456 Yeah, after lots of hard work I was able to find and fix all leaks, it took me a good 2 hours to resolve that matter.

For consistency, I will try, hopefully I wont let anyone down.

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