Brian's Black Mesa Improvement Project: part 1

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  • Brian's Black Mesa Improvement Project: part 1

    Ok guys were are going to try something new. We have this nice developer update section that has never seen an update. That is going to change. Before we get into what I'm going to show let me lay some ground rules. This blog hopefully will be on going about every week to 2 weeks. What I am going to show is very recent stuff that is in game. It is ONLY to show what I am working on personally. Work is going on by other team members to make the MP maps and balance that game play, textures are being added and tweaked and lots of code work is being done. Please don't ask about that stuff. It won't be answered and will probably get the thread locked and the blog stopped. This is to talk about what I am doing and nothing else.

    My name is Brian and I've been on the team since 2004....from the beginning. I started off doing concept art (the apache and M1 drawings are mine and the artwork published in PC Gamer of ST was mine) and moved on to environmental textures (all the rock textures) and props textures (consoles to name a few). Now I basically do lots of things modeling, textures what ever needs doing. The last year or so of development I spent improving old models and textures plus finishing off things that got added. I redid all the military vehicle textures and remodeled some of them (m35, HUMVEE). And as crazy as it sounds I ran out of time. You wound think with a 10 year dev cycle that wouldn't have happened but it did. I got to redo most of what I wanted to do. But there was a lot left that I wanted to redo.
    That is where this comes in. I'm calling it Brian's Black Mesa Improvement Project or BBMIP. Since we now have a bit more time to tweak and polish the SP side this blog will serve as a preview of what to expect in the retail version (art wise). All the improvements will only be in the retail version.

    So since December I have completed 60+ models and they are in game. Most are to replace brush work allowing for more detail and AO to blend in that texture better. LDs started giving me things they wanted modeled and I found things I always wanted to change and it got a tad bit crazy.

    So this first image is basically what I did as a test to see how my idea would work. In case you can't tell there are 5 new models in "lab 2". The rest should show the progression through AM and the models that were added. The wall wires being the only prop that was just improved by adding more polys vs being redone from scratch. I hope you enjoy the images. Stay tuned for more.
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  • I thought I had deleted the MOD version.....but found it so here are the comparison shots.
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  • Joe chief wrote:

    Hey bkdale, I'm not sure if you're the one who can answer this but, in the retail version, thakns to the full use of the source engine, aside from adding more brushes, models, etc, in a map, which is what you're already doing, will some areas be slightly expanded or more areas will be compressed into a single map?

    Ok back to the rules I started with I'm only going to answer questions about my models. If you keep asking other questions not related to this thread we will probably not continue with these types of posts or I will just lock it after posting. Not trying to be a dick but I'm limiting the scope of this dev thread to my stuff so it doesn't get out of hand.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by bkdale86 ().

  • Swaggless wrote:

    Guys... the Urinals say DAL Systems on them. :D

    By the way, I love the new models, Brian! At first I couldn't tell the difference, but when I looked at the comparison, I was shocked!

    Yeah lots of the old stuff was quite bad. As to areas that had brushes that would be better as models you are correct. There is one example where it didn't work. In BP the elevator down from the top area was a prop. I textured it, it was in game for a long time but had lots of issues lighting etc so we removed it and made a propper version that is in currently. All my textures have DALsys on them.
  • Myth Alex wrote:

    Nice work, Brian! Cannot wait to see more improvement pics :)

    Sorry to ask this, but what does 'brush' / 'brushes' / 'brush work' mean? (I don't have modding knowledge) Thank you in advance.

    I know I'm not Brian, but this is what you're looking for:
    "A brush is a convex 3D shape created with Hammer's Block Tool. Brushes are used by level designers to define the shape of the world (which defines visibility) and to create brush entities. "

    Essentially textured building blocks that make up the levels. They are typically simple shapes, so models are used for more detailed ...details.
  • What he said. Typically for source brushes light/shadow much better than models but are very simple in comparison. Almost all of the environments in HL1 were brush based. An example of the lighting problems we ran into with models was in the QE lobby desk. I modeled and textured it but with the shadows rendered the way they are we had great shadows everywhere except the desk top. In the end we removed the counter top and just used the lower portion. Load up the model in hlmv and you will see.