Pre-Disaster: Unforeseen Consequences

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    • Pre-Disaster: Unforeseen Consequences

      Since getting into mapping perhaps a month ago, I've started work on getting Unforeseen Consequences to its Pre-Disaster state. I'm not making it how it would have been on the 'morning' of the incident, rather the day before, as there were system crashes and all sorts of problems on the morning of the incident.
      I've started working from the top labs of Sector B, seen immediately after Sector C, and am working my way down. Meanwhile, Admiral Sakai (the person who gave me this idea and has already done most of Office Complex here: BMPD: Pre-Disaster Maps ) will be starting from the end of UC at the Office Complex elevator and will be working his way up, until we meet.

      As of now, I've got half of c1a1c (the first map of UC that doesn't involve Sector C) to its pre-disaster state, though it's basic so far with little to no NPCs.
      I'm working on getting the playable area of the map to be converted into its working state, then afterwards I shall work on the corridors that you can't get to, behind doors etc. as Admiral Sakai has done in his Office Complex maps.

      As Admiral has said in his Office Complex post, the actbusy system is limiting and hard to get sorted right now, so the NPCs are pretty much doing one action until something might be fixed by the devs.

      Images (WIP):


      Display Spoiler


      The main hallway. Fits right in with Anom. Materials.


      I can't wait to start planning what's behind the door at the end here (the one where the zombie is burning and debris has fallen in the singleplayer chapter). More labs, and perhaps we could finally see the huge server coolant room... Oooh, could be another map.


      The science lab. I removed all frosted overlays, icy terrain and particle effects. Then I had to get all of the props rotated back to normal and brighten the lighting a little.


      Storage/maintenance room 1! I'm still not entirely happy with the lighting here, maybe it feels a little bland. Though, I suppose anything feels bland after walking out of the brightly-lit labs. Let me know what you guys think:


      The elevator - and it works! A moving two-stop elevator from the top (third) floor to the bottom (first). I neglected to make it a three-stop elevator and add on an entire floor, because, well. That's an entire floor - anything could be there. Though I'll still do a comprehensive diagram of Sector B hopefully, with what I think each floor and section means.


      Y'know how in Sector B there seems to be a lot of closed-off, small passages with a forklift coming out of it? I decided to expand on this a little bit in maintenance room #2 (once you get out of the elevator), and add in an unreachable section of storage beyond the passageway. I also moved the forklift and box back, as not everything might have been in the same place a day before the incident.


      The storage room looks quite nice when lit up:


      With brighter lights (and a larger falloff distance), these corridors looked like they were actually used. Though, with the textures used, they still look quite dark, they are more corridors to get to somewhere rather than work in. Also, I've removed the frost overlays on the windows and inside the rooms and moved the coolant 'vats' to be attached to their pipes again.


      So, what is the point of this area? It was in both Half-Life and Black Mesa with not much in the way of expansion or sense added to it. It's just a detour off the corridor with a little open room that has a vent and a few pipes (which would normally be in the ceiling anyway). There is a ladder, so perhaps this would have been a little storage area for the maintenance guy's stuff? He wouldn't keep it in the huge storage warehouse. Perhaps that's it:


      Though I have already brightened this area up a fair bit, it still looks unattractive and too 'maintenancey'. It's still part of the laboratories technically, and so I'll need to brighten it up and perhaps change the colour slightly to a more whitish tone than warm colours. I don't want to change the colour of lights too much though, as that wouldn't have been changed by the incident - only the brightness.


      Going through the map revealed an astounding amount of wall-plates lying next to the uncovered pipes. I simply won't believe that the resonance cascade caused the plates to fall off and lean on the wall perfectly like that. Though the BM devs might have just done it to break up monotony, perhaps this area was under heavy maintenance? With all the ladders lying around and various toolboxes etc. it could mean perhaps this area was under upgrading or simply fixing some problems in the pipes.



      As I've said, Admiral Sakai and I will be working on UC it seems, and hopefully many more chapters to come! Please give me feedback - plenty of feedback. Suggest what you think might be behind closed doors, or what some of those rooms are for, or what those exposed parts of walls are for. I will eventually conduct a review of Sector B and an overall layout. Stay tuned!

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

      1. You seem to be missing quite a number of images, which is a shame as I am quite interested in seeing the labs...
      2. I'm IMMENSELY glad you are expanding the area behind the freight doors, as I had no idea what to do with it and was just going to leave it sealed off.
      3. I was originally going to be expanding the upper floor substantially beyond the collapsed corridor with the flaming zombie, creating a whole suite of supercooled laser labs. However, I decided to abandon that due to time. If you ever feel like doing some original development, that would be a great place to do it.
      4. I remember messing around with the lighting in Map C as well- I thought warmer lighting make the ceilings look too yellow, but I'm increasingly dissatisfied with the current extremely blue version and the corridors beyond look too much like Office Complex... will post screens when I am not in class and can run the game.
      5. With all those doors that suggest "wear protective clothing", I'm wondering if there might be an HEV room tucked away in there somewhere...
      6. I still find myself occasionally wondering what the C map is actually for. Do you think there's labs of some kind somewhere in there? Chemical manufacturing equipment? Or do you think it's all just coolant tanks and pipes? I think it's weird that there's very few desktop computers or control panels.
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    • Ok, pictures are loading now. I think the storage room looks fine lighting-wise, and aside from a few misplaced/overturned physics props and dangling cables the labs look really good... I'm probably wrong about this, but wasn't there originally concrete parts to the ceiling in the oval "main" room?

      I still think the metal-walled areas look a bit too dim, or at least the second one does (the maintenance storage area looks better), and the only other thing I think is worth mentioning is that a few paper decals on the floors aren't terrible and help make it look less barren- there were some in AM, mostly around trash cans and lab workstations.
      Oh, yes, and I'm not a huge fan of having two of those server racks bracketing the fire extinguisher like that... are they like that in the stock map?
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      The post was edited 1 time, last by Admiral Sakai ().

    • Admiral Sakai wrote:

      1. You seem to be missing quite a number of images, which is a shame as I am quite interested in seeing the labs...
      2. I'm IMMENSELY glad you are expanding the area behind the freight doors, as I had no idea what to do with it and was just going to leave it sealed off.
      3. I was originally going to be expanding the upper floor substantially beyond the collapsed corridor with the flaming zombie, creating a whole suite of supercooled laser labs. However, I decided to abandon that due to time. If you ever feel like doing some original development, that would be a great place to do it.
      4. I remember messing around with the lighting in Map C as well- I thought warmer lighting make the ceilings look too yellow, but I'm increasingly dissatisfied with the current extremely blue version and the corridors beyond look too much like Office Complex... will post screens when I am not in class and can run the game.
      5. With all those doors that suggest "wear protective clothing", I'm wondering if there might be an HEV room tucked away in there somewhere...
      6. I still find myself occasionally wondering what the C map is actually for. Do you think there's labs of some kind somewhere in there? Chemical manufacturing equipment? Or do you think it's all just coolant tanks and pipes? I think it's weird that there's very few desktop computers or control panels.

      1. They loaded for you, all good.
      2. Yes, I thought there were so many areas in the UC maps that had forklifts with a blocked off passageway and I just had to try and figure out what's beyond them. I'll probably still keep it unreachable, as in, you can't get past the forklift, but at least it's good to see that the facility expands more and to see what's behind the door.
      3. Agreed - I know that the wikis say that Sector B has supercooled laser labs and a coolant reserve for air conditioning and for the computer servers. However, I'm not at all sure what a 'supercooled laser lab' would be - to me, 'supercooled' and 'laser' don't go well together. I'd be happy if you could share some plans about what you were going to do there and I could take a look.
      4. Yep, the blue looks really boring after a while, so I guess some warm colours in that room should still be kept, to give it more of a 'big' feeling.
      5. Exactly! And considering that there are HEV batteries scattered around the place and chargers, there must be. I reckon they'd use people with HEV suits to operate in the laser lab perhaps, and maybe in those really cold environments. I think that I may end up having a lot of stuff to put on the top floor behind that door, including a personnel area (lockers, with HEV room) and the laser labs, server room, so on.
      6. I'm still not sure what the whole map is for. It's hard with all the blocked off areas such as in the top floor, and the amount of lab doors that are locked. Surely there must be more labs, though probably in a different style to those on the top floor and in AM. I just find it odd that there are so many coolant tanks, and not much in the way of controls. However, who knows, the controls and labs could all be behind those doors. The map leads the player through a less-maintained area than a proper laboratory, so I think the controls are hidden away somewhere. I assume the coolant tanks and pipes all end up travelling through the entire facility! What we need to think is - what are all the uses for extremely cold air? Providing coolant for the entire facility's servers, experimenting with chemicals, storage for certain chemicals free of bacteria, air conditioning... anything else? I assume Sector B would be pumping out cooling for the entire facility, so that would explain why there are just so many coolant vats.

      Edit #1: It seems there are a lot of gauges for monitoring equipment throughout c1a1c, though not many actual consoles. Perhaps the whole area is more for monitoring, with the actual control labs and tech being behind those doors?
      Edit #2: Apparently in Half-Life the 'supercooled laser laboratory' is mentioned through the announcement system, in Anomalous Materials. Do you think the "Anomalous Materials" area extends into Sector B? Sector C is 'test labs and control facilities', Sector B is 'coolant reserve' but I think the Anomalous Materials is just an area of testing chemicals, theoretical physics and so on. Judging by some beakers I found in the lab on the top floor, and the whiteboard mentioning 'resonance' I think the labs on the top floor of Sector B could still be focused on Anomalous Materials, although partially.
      Edit #3: Well, according to the Black Mesa wiki:
      "The Coolant Reserve stores the industrial coolant used to maintain Black Mesa's thousands of computers and machines as well as the 'pleasant 68 degree' internal temperature. It is first seen by Gordon Freeman when he escapes from Sector C. The surface level of Sector B is now a Train Yard that is used to ship freight in and out of the facility over the New Mexico Railroad Line. This sector also contains the Area 2 Administration Offices." So, large pipes would transport cold air throughout the facility and through machines to keep them cool - perhaps the main server room for the entire facility is in Sector B.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by ArcHammer ().

    • 2. I'd worry about overusing forklifts per se as a means of blocking passages, but it's a good general idea. Perhaps include a few instances of just crates, etc.

      3. I had very few actual level-design plans, but in terms of what a supercooled laser would be... the big "thing" in laser research is changing the material that the laser core is made of, and supercooled materials often have unusual and interesting optical properties. Therefore, a supercooled laser lab would be one that worked on lasers with cores made of materials only stable at very low temperatures. This would explain the proximity to both the coolant reserves and Anomalous Materials labs. Isn't science awesome?

      4. Screenshots! The entry corridors look good with the very blue lighting... the main room, less so. The inner structures just look like Office Complex, and I wanted the glassed-off rooms to actually look colder but failed to make them that way.


      5. Putting the suit room on the top floor seems a LONG way from where the suit would actually be used, but then again AM is that way too.


      6. I have no idea where to actually put the control rooms, and actually no idea where the actual entrance to this place is... does everybody come down the elevator? Does the door beyond the security office lead to control room
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    • I think on the top floor there needs to be an elevator for personnel, as they can't use the maintenance elevator. That would mean quick access from the HEV room to the lower coolant rooms.
      Also, I like the idea for the laser lab. In AM, you see the lasers running along the corridor. Perhaps Sector B is where the lasers are 'created' so to speak, as there aren't any laser rooms in sector C. Sector B could be a lot more important to the facility than we thought.
      As I said at the start of this reply, science personnel can't use that maintenance elevator as its authorised personnel only and, let's face it, who walks through storage warehouses to get to their lab? I think there could easily be a personnel elevator going to the bottom floor hidden behind one of those locked doors - perhaps it could go to the main control room for that area if I were to create one.
      Your pictures look great, I'm going to have to try getting my lights like that - lighter blue, and brighter. I think my tonemap setting is a bit too low too, so that could be it.
      Also, make sure you take a look at the edits I did to the post you replied to - at the bottom of the post, I considered that the "anomalous materials" part could go into Sector B as the labs are very similar on the top level, they have beakers and etc for testing AND a whiteboard about 'resonance'
    • Oh, hey, didn't see the edits up top!

      I always thought the lasers in the AMS wing were produced by those machines with the big glass tubes, but I suppose they could really come from and go to anywhere.

      I do think a separate elevator for personnel would be the most logical way of getting down into the labs. Where do you think it's located? Beyond the security office was my first guess, but it really kind of looks like that office exists to lock and unlock the sliding glass doors with the "notice" notice, so I think whatever is back there in fact leads deeper into the complex (possibly to where the control room is, actually!). Sadly, there's nothing else there that looks even remotely like a "main door" most of the science personnel would come through, all the other doors are the small sliding kind...

      As for the AM labs, having them span multiple sectors would explain why the same architecture is found in the top levels of B and C... there's probably more than one materials lab, each working on a different project, so they could really spread out for a good ways. Also, this has little to do with anything, but in a previous chat MisterDigitalGuy suggested that the AMS room itself is in fact a heavily converted missile silo, and that makes a lot of sense to me.
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    • The funny thing is that the security checkpoint is a level 3 checkpoint in the level 4 area. I find it odd that level 4s who are already in that area have to go through a checkpoint to make sure they are above level 3, as they have access to all levels of the facility. But perhaps it's for people coming into the area from that sliding door, but it still wouldn't explain why It says it's a level 3 checkpoint as all of those labs are level 4 on the bottom floor. I still think the elevator must be beyond that door as its the only place that looks like an entrance - similar to the entrance to AM with the security room, though that had blast doors and everything.

      It would make sense to me that test lab c/33a was a missile silo, as the control room is blatantly similar to the one in blast pit - for launching rockets. As some rooms in AM have the "fifties" ceiling texture I can really see how all of those would have been for fuel, oxy and etc. Oh, and there's got to be a reason as to why there's a huge pit of darkness as the entrance to AM. Though that's going a bit off track!
    • About the Level 3 checkpoint, I think it's possible the security levels have to do not just with the levels of the facility people can access but also, in the context of checkpoints, the security level of the checkpoint itself- i.e. someone going through a Level 1 checkpoint just has to present ID, but Level 3 checkpoints require people to be searched or scanned or something. If that's the case, it would not be unusual to encounter checkpoints with lower levels scattered inside of higher-security areas, to perform less rigorous checks as people moved to and fro.

      And yeah, that checkpoint looks more and more like the entrance to the complex... possibly that "maintenance only" door leads to a connected security office that provides access the other way, and there are checkpoints on each side to make sure people leaving their jobs don't try to walk off with something expensive or dangerous that is kept down there.

      If so, I think the most logical place for a control room (and possibly HEV room as well) would be in the sort of triangular space formed by the entrance corridor and that blue-and-white corridor that leads out from the main freezer room- plenty of room in there, and it looks like it's accessible via more than one door.
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    • This triangular space you're talking about - where do you mean? I can't seem to find what you're describing, haha.
      Good point with the checkpoints. Just realised they said "Area 3" checkpoints, so yes, it doesn't correlate to levels or anything. I agree with you about the security room - one on either side for people coming in, or out of, the area. Possibly a lobby down that entrance corridor with the 'notice' sign (after the security checkpoint) and the personnel elevator up.
      Where do you think the tram stop is? The sector c line continues after the test labs and control facilities stop, going right, around a corner. However, since it's the sector C line, apparently, according to the wikis, only the sector b line goes to sector b. So the sector c line must end shortly after with a final stop, or perhaps it is just a dead end.
      So, the sector b line is apparently what Barney is riding at the start of Blue Shift, and if he continued beyond the checkpoint where he was re-routed to the sector C line, he would end up in sector b, obviously. So the tram line continuing from test labs and control facilities can't go to sector b.
      "If your intended destination is a high security area beyond sector C, you will need to return to the central transit hub in area 9 and board a high security train. "
      So perhaps it only continues if it's a high security train from area 9, in which it may go to sector D and beyond. Interesting to think about, I just wish there was a comprehensive diagram of the research facility with tram lines throughout, but they're not seen enough throughout the game to be able to piece it together.
    • Wellllll, during the brief period where I was working on MisterDigitalGuy's alpha mod, he did come across this...

      i.imgur.com/KZfsPDk.png

      Note the weird location of Sector B's stop...


      As for where the tram station is relative to the C map (and it would be in the C map, as I don't think those canals are an area in and of themselves so much as a subbasement that runs under most of the base), it's probably up the elevator, in or around the lab sections.
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    • Wow - where did he get this? If it's accurate, it will be very useful!
      So, which one is the anom. materials stop? Sector C 1? The sector b stop is quite far away, it seems. And yes, it's gotta be on the top floor of the C map as that's the main lab area, the most modern, and the most used. Any other floor would seem like a 'back alley' entrance!

      Also, just a quick question - have you found all the scripted sentences for scientists, security guards etc.? I looked in the . vpk directory file and found a sentences.txt, but it only had HEV sentences and assassin sentences.
    • I'd assume the AnoMat lab is C1, especially since there seem to be no other stops after the elevator...

      As for "scripted sentences", I'm not sure what you mean. If you're looking for the audio files, they are in bms_sound_vo_english.vpk/sound/vo... however, to actually play them you need scripted sequences, which have the same limitation as the character manifest when it comes to modding them. The default ones are in bms_misc.vpk/scenes, but if there is a way to add your own or change the ones that came with the game I do not know how to do it.
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    • So, going by the diagram you linked, the sector b line should be this line:


      It's the only other line that goes through the hub (which is weird, because it's a central transit hub and just has two lines going through it). Though the orientation is slightly different to the map, I suppose it curves around like it should - one side going to sector d, the other to sector b.




      But anyway - take a look at my, uh, fantastic diagram. As you can see, there's quite a bit of space to get to the tram stop. Though, I have a reason for it - the main entrance is on the far opposite side from what we enter from Sector C. Basically, what we're entering from Sector C is the very end of Sector B - the back of it. So, it spreads all the way to that stop (and a little bit more, to the 'power station'). It would be a big job to create enough hallways to eventually get there, so I may not be able to re-create it.

      Oh, and I'm thinking of creating a Google Docs document or something similar, so we can both add in what we know about this sector and all these images as a sort of 'dropbox' and discuss ideas through notes and messaging on there, rather than flood this post I think. It looks like Unforeseen Consequences will be one of the harder Pre-Disaster maps to make due to how limiting the player's view of the area is. There's a lot to imagine and fit in. Anyway, sound good?

      The post was edited 2 times, last by ArcHammer ().

    • Progress! I've been working on the 'entrance' area to the lowest floor (other than the canals) of Sector B - where the majority of UC takes place. Beyond that blocked off "Area 3 Checkpoint" door I've expanded with another security office (for people coming in, rather than going out) and a small lobby before a personnel elevator which I am yet to add.



      I'm not sure what to add in that last 'lobby' room, it seems too empty and doesn't serve a purpose. I might have to downsize it as there's not much reason for scientists to sit down there when they can go up the elevator and sit in the nice personnel facilities with a coffee break, like AM. I might also change the light colour to a warmer tone. Suggestions?
    • Just in general you can go ahead and add more of those popped-off panels with the pipes behind them- there's no reason for those to stop when we get to mod-made areas, and they'll help to break up the monotony of the white walls so long as you don't overuse them. You also don't seem to have added the small func_detail brushes that make the metal band along the bottom of the walls stick out- this might just be because this is a WIP map, but it's important to be as consistent as possible with the Black Mesa way of building areas. As you move geographically away from the stock level you can start making some changes to the aesthetic, for instance the concrete floor in the lobby, but I'll go into that in more detail on a room-by-room basis. I am of two minds about the lighting, as it is definitely not the way that I would have done it (I'd make
      it much less saturated) but this seems to be a bit more in congruence with the BM style of doing things. Try VERY SLIGHTLY messing with the brightness and color saturation, and maybe making the falloff a bit sharper. Also, your lights seem to be a bit higher up in their emplacements than the stock ones, not sure why that is.

      The first screenshot's "airlock" area looks really barren, but I do like the idea of there being one. Maybe cut another window in it for the security office (making it a security lock like the one at the start of Anomalous Materials), or add some sort of vents or sprayers to indicate that this is a decontamination or pressurization lock of some kind, maybe use those fan things from the AM security lock. Just in general I think this area needs a bit more love, but the concept is solid.

      The security office itself looks pretty good, no complaints, but the textures on the outer walls appear to be misaligned.

      Regarding the lobby area, I'm wondering if you should instead use a variant of the concrete design scheme from the storage room just after the maintenance elevator instead of the metal panels. Both of those areas are just after elevators and the storage room is pretty distinctive, so with fewer crates and shelves and things it might make a pretty good lobby and more importantly has a different floor design. Also, just in general the white-and-grey areas of the coolant reserve are very square in the sense of all the rooms conforming to those big metal panels (which are still misaligned here, I'm sorry but that just bothers me), but within the restriction of having every wall be quantized to the size of those panels the area actually has a fair amount of additional corners and stick-outy bits, as opposed to being just squares. Adding some protruding wall segments or diagonals might make the area feel less empty. Also, you know what's completely missing from the coolant reserves? Vending machines. Maybe add a few, along with a "no food or drink" notice over the exit.
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    • Once the 'base' was finished (as shown in the pictures before), I took in Admiral's feedback and added a few other things and I'm very happy with the results! Though some things still could be changed (alright, it's inevitable), the lobby looks more like a lobby now. And, the 'airlock' corridor looks less barren (though still being simplistic and clean).

      I've made the lobby lights slightly warmer, which means more inviting. I've added a working vending machine which also casts a nice orange light. I've moved a section of wall to reveal pipes as is a common practice throughout the lower levels. I've also moved the light fixtures down 2 units (I had moved them up accidentally), and added a Level 4 Security Clearance sign as scientists enter the security checkpoint for the lower levels. As well as that sign, I've added a few 'no eating or drinking' signs - in the airlock and in the entrance to the airlock (on the lobby's side). Also, vents in the airlock and wires running along the side wall, as seen in Anomalous Materials and various other airlock places.

      I aligned the textures to fit properly as metal plates, and added the metal 'stripes' coming out of the wall, as seen in the original map. And, I changed the flooring of the lobby to the same used in the storage room - good idea Admiral! It's actually a lab floor, used in various other places in the facility, and looks very nice in a lobby - especially with this warm lighting.

      Oh yeah, and the elevator door! Coming soon... the elevator! And then I'll have to start work on the top floor - what's behind that door? Admiral, it might be good if we both found a website where we can draw stuff, live. That way we can plan the top floor interactively and draw up and floor plan, if you're interested.


      Pictures: