Tutorial: Detailing Maps Last edited 4 years ago2019-04-22 04:47:26 UTC

Tricks to improve your map

Here's a list of small tips you can consider to 'spice up' your map. (Not listed in order of importance.) Note that I don't explain how to do these things - they're just ideas for how you can improve your map.


Lighting up a room with a single (or some) light is, as you hopefully know, a horrible idea. Instead, use points of lights to give a more atmospheric feeling to the map.
No-effort lightingNo-effort lighting
Better lightingBetter lighting

Architectural details

You don't always have to add prefabs or small objects to detail your map. Here's some things you can do to make the brushwork more interesting.
90 degree corners90 degree corners
Rounded cornersRounded corners
Flat wallsFlat walls
Several-brushed wallsSeveral-brushed walls

Texture details

Often, in Half-Life's or third party textures, there's one basic texture and some extras that're different in some way - combining these will create a more detailed surface.
Uninteresting wallUninteresting wall
Texture detailed wallTexture detailed wall

The ceiling

Far too often, the ceiling is left blank and undetailed... I find this pretty boring. Myself, I'm quite bad at finding ways to actually spice up the ceilings, but here's an example of one way.
Boring ceilingBoring ceiling
Detailed ceilingDetailed ceiling

Ambient sounds

There're hundreds of good ambient sounds in Half-Life and even more on teh intarweb. Use them!

Tip 1: ambient_generics are quite buggy. Ticking Play and No toggle won't always do it. You might have to add a trigger_auto or cover the info_player_start in a trigger_once which activates it.

Tip 2: Making your own ambient sounds isn't as easy as it sounds. Read the tutorial.
User posted image

Sparks, sprites and whatnot

There're alot of entities designed to give some extra details to the map. Use env_ entities a lot, but wisely.


Commented 13 years ago2010-07-26 21:53:42 UTC Comment #100734
i have no idea how to make rounded corners, lawl
Commented 12 years ago2011-04-11 06:16:27 UTC Comment #100735
Commented 9 years ago2014-10-18 12:33:17 UTC Comment #100736
This tutorial would have been a lot better if you taught us how to do sparks, rounded corners, and everything else you said.
Commented 7 years ago2016-08-31 20:55:20 UTC Comment #100737
You should have taught us how to create sparks, or rounded corners. Nevertheless goot tut.
Commented 6 years ago2016-12-18 21:17:42 UTC Comment #100738
Yeah maybe for sparks if you are a newbie to level design, but rounded corners? Really? Just make a brush in the corner of your map and use the clipping tool.
Commented 2 years ago2021-07-28 22:03:02 UTC Comment #103628
I feel there should be more things added like how you can replicate the examples shown, and some more things like floor detailing, and whatever else can be thought up

You must log in to post a comment. You can login or register a new account.