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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.