Map C’s reworking kind of just came together unexpectedly; I was messing around with it and changing an area here and an area there, and before I knew it the whole thing was done. I believe I’ve mentioned previously what I plan to do with Map A and will probably just get right along with that, but it is worth noting that while I got some requests to play around with Apprehension and the first map of Power Up what I actually ended up doing was expanding the relit rooms of c1a0a I created for the interior lighting thread into the rest of the map and making a “Pre-Disaster Anomalous Materials”. I quite like the way it looks, have unlocked some of the sealed labs, and if people show interest I may very well whip up some documents for it and release the thing to the public.
I surely want to play this!!! NOW!!!
My easily-distractable Pre-Disaster focus has turned once again towards Office Complex, and as I’ve been thinking over how I would try to expand Map A I’ve realized a lot of what I’m doing involves questions that can be more easily answered after expanding Map C. So that’ll be my next area of focus.
I already have a fairly good idea of how I want to set the area up, based on previous discussions here. The big question previously was where to place the tram platform since there seemed to be shipping and high-traffic personnel areas on both the south- and northeast ends of the map, but I’ve decided that Office Complex is important enough to merit two small tram platforms, one on each side with a walkway in between them (think similarly to Area 3 Security). Then however much of the rest of the area remains can be used as offices or for the incinerator or whatever.
On a side note I was seriously considering having the two corridors in C Map that go west instead terminate in this exposed office area from Inbound (which I had originally planned to have one level above). The doorways actually do line up almost personally, but unfortunately they’re facing the wrong way! So I don’t think this area will be explorable from pd_c1a2c and instead be part of the level above.
I have a reasonably good idea of what I want to do with most of the rest of the map, namely just filling in exec offices wherever space is left over from the tram station and other areas, but at the moment I am absolutely baffled as to what to do with the service area at the top of the map. Currently the big fan room takes up much of it, in fact blocking some doors, but I plan to move that back somewhat and have no idea what to put in the space it leaves; particularly behind those big double doors confusingly labeled both “exit” and “restricted”:
Okay, so I might have accidentally intentionally beat a guard up with a TV before stealing his gun and killing everyone in all three maps.
Anyway, I’m confused with the sketch up. What level is are all the boxes on? With them being on a top-down view with multiple floors to begin with, the boxes look more like they’re all on top, rather than at varying levels.
I think I can fix the TVs; some physics props seem capable of dealing damage when others cannot, but setting them to ‘debris’ usually solves that.
This is all for the lower level (Admin 2, with the cafeteria); I don’t plan to expand the upper very much seeing as it’s a whole other floor but only a single hallway is canonically designed.
It took me literally a week to make this stupid arch. It took about a day for me to come up with a way to actually make the brushwork- it’s a series of horizontal rings made with the ‘arch’ tool corresponding to the width and height of the brushes that make up the straight ‘tunnel’ arch section beside it (sort of like the steps of an amphitheater); then I could move one of the bottom edges of all of the brushes up to meet the top edge and form the appropriate slant. This actually worked really well once I got the hang of it, but after saving the map for the first time I realized that the geometry was very badly mangled by the planes-to-vertices roundoff error bug, making very obvious gaps.
I tried a couple of different scales and subsegmentation values to try to get around this, but nothing really worked.
“No problem”, I said, “Before I save it and mangle the geometry, I’ll just turn the arch into a model with Propper and just use that instead”. Turns out Propper doesn’t work in Black Mesa, and I spent a good long while trying to figure out why and then going through the rather convoluted process to get it working and re-make the arch geometry from scratch (copy-and-paste also falls prey to the roundoff error and my original arch got completely munged anyway) in a map that the SDK 2013 version of Hammer could load without crashing. Then I finally got the model made and discovered… that the model also had gaps in it because apparently Propper references the saved .vmf in order to make its model in the first place.
So what I ended up doing was taking the Propper-produced model and opening it in Blender (Propper does also save raw .smds of the models it makes so at least I didnt’t have to decompile the .mdl file) and merging the vertices there, then recompiling the thing with Crowbar and sticking it back in the game. So that’s a total of three external tools (four if you count the SDK 2013 version of Hammer) to make a single prop… which can only really be seen at a great distance from a catwalk further back up the tunnel in the actual map. But it was still a valuable learning experience… right?
Wow, that really had to be frustrating!
We learn more from our mistakes than our successes.
That vertices rounding issue has made me give up on more than one attempt at map-making. Good to see you found a workaround, even if it’s a pain.
Geometry for the southern half of Map A is finally nearing completion, although everything should be considered very much WIP. The lighting in particular is not representative of the final product; I am still on my old backup computer and the monitor on that has gotten so terrible that making reasonable lighting on it is impossible. Fortunately SOMETIME in the next few weeks I should be recovering my new computer from the manufacturer, so we will probably see a release of Map A around that time.
Particularly concerned about this last room here, since it kind of has a lot of different props of different styles in it and thus looks very chaotic.
I think there needs to be more labelingi in the different props room
Some of the lines need to be labelled and have arrows for flow direction
Hot DI Water
Waste Water non-potable
BIG PIPEs or ducts
CDA (compressed dry air)
just my 2 cents
Yeah that would be really helpful. I’m thinking also of redoing all the pipes in here with the white metal ones like are in the transformer room, but in the same basic shapes.
Thought of connecting my computer to my TV and playing Black Mesa on that, but that’s made the lighting even more confusing because the gamma values do not sync up and the color balance is weird and… it’s just a mess.
In positive news, though, the new Office Worker and Maintenance models are working wonderfully, although I am still unsure what to do with the female staff.
RE: The Arch
I know I’m rather late to the game - but I figure a bit of knowledge is always useful for the future. That arch can be made in 5 minutes with the torus tool and then playing with the vertex editor to snap the pieces onto the grid. Make it a 360 torus (in both ways - cross sectionally and from top/down) and then simply shear it with the clipping tool to make the half donut that you wanted here.
You could also displace it with subdivision instead. You can do kinda magical things with displacements, if you know how.
Also since working on Xen I’ve learned a bit more about the “rounding error” which happens on complex brushwork. It’s not a rounding error per se. It only happens when brushwork becomes concave. This most commonly happens on sloped+rounded surfaces. The fix is to do the surfaces with displacements or by triangulating the brushwork.
You were basically making this, right?
Basically, yeah. I’ll try that out once I get a few other things polished.
Hai, was going thru the office complex map today and thought I’ll post some oddities I found while just going around.
This Image I found that these screens seem to have interesting white lines along them. These screens are in the checkpoint area of the restricted space of map B.
This wall appears textureless only in Map A, in map B it is fine. I think people have pointed it out before but more awareness is better than none.
This image… idk what happened but these guards seemed have spawned randomly in each other, leading them to be, awkwardly close to each other.
Hope this helps with your development of Office complex!
Fixed locally, got my new computer back so there’s just a few tweaks to make and the map will be made public.
Awesome cannot wait for the public release, I’ll look thru and anything I find odd I’ll report it back here for you.
Think I’m close to getting my new monitor dialed in… it’s already a huge improvement over my old one in terms of the range of color, and I also don’t have to screw around with the gamma settings in between the game and the screenshots.
Fixed up the pipe room and am now really liking it.
the other new areas are looking pretty good as well.
I just need to finish up the geometry in that one tunnel, make a final pass to polish various stupid glitchy things…
… and we should be seeing the first half of the expanded c1a2a made public!
The expansion of the south end of Map A is now released, along with a general quality update. It wound up being almost entirely maintenance and logistical areas with no actual offices, but I intend to rectify that with the expanded north end of the map.
A few improvements on the technical side worth mentioning:
- The tunnel visible from the guard station shows the first use of Propper models in a PD map. I’m really starting to get the hang of creating brushwork, saving it as a Propper prop, and then manipulating it in Blender- these tunnel segments don’t really hold up to close inspection but I’m still learning.
- The construction and office worker models come from this mod but are just bundled in with my VPK. I’d’ve liked to have it so that Blooper’s mod was listed as a required item of OCPD and the models would just come from there, but the workshop package system does not seem to support this.
- This update also adds custom soundscapes, which actually do a lot to change the tone of the area from the very empty, still feeling of post-disaster Office Complex to a livelier one.
I’m having a lot of fun designing new areas here and Map A is really starting to come together for me, so look for a design post coming out soon to outline what I want to do with the north part of it. I’ve also got a hankering to do some more polishing of pd_c1a2b, though, and being notoriously distractable I’m not sure whether I’ll be releasing an update for that map or an expansion of Map A first. Or possibly I’ll lose interest in Office Complex entirely again and go back to Questionable Ethics or Gasworks or something, I really have no idea.