BMPD: Pre-Disaster Office Complex

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
Bigger lines
Hot DI Water
DI Water
Sulfuric Acid
Hydrofluoric Acid
Waste Water non-potable
Acid Waste

BIG PIPEs or ducts
Heat Exhaust
Hazardous Waste

Smaller Lines
CDA (compressed dry air)
Breathing 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!

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Fixed locally, got my new computer back so there’s just a few tweaks to make and the map will be made public.

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Awesome :smiley: 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!

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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.

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Enjoying the Map A update, decided to go through the whole of the office complex to find any oddities. There’s 1 I found in map A and a few in map C, map B is good, and I love the attention to detail. however, I wanted to say the more industrial areas of Map A are really different but none the less fun to look around and take screenshots of, for referencing material. Needless to say thank you for your hard work.
Anyway, here’s the bugs and oddities I found.
Map A:

The elevator doors on the back seem to have lost texturing and now have white framing, this is only on the inside texture, the one outside of the door opening and closing cannot be seen, however its very notables when the door opens at the very beginning.
Map C:
I don’t know what this random stuff is doing but, its surely interesting, also there’s a panel missing in the wall.
Ok so when I first looked at the door I thought the glass was missing too, but in matter of fact the glass isn’t missing. its weirdly connected to the door you have to open in order to gain access to the freezer door. causing a random glass pane to float in mid air, I only really noticed that the glass pane was connected to the wrong door after opening and closing the cafeteria door a couple of times, and watched the pane go thru the wall and into the cafeteria.

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I already have some idea of how exactly I want to set up the north end of Map A, or at least what I want to have in it.

pd_c1a2a is actually split into two parts- the service area with the crates and the turret and the little electrical room up above with the windows is physically separated from the rest of the complex and connected through hidden trigger_teleports in the maintenance hallways:

This is because, when I wanted to connect the windowed electrical room to the ‘package receiving’ room near the south end of the map, I realized that doing so directly/physically would result in a hallway that was 1) stupidly long, seeing as it crosses pretty much the entire distance of the level, and 2) directly in collision with the elevated ceiling area in the ‘trapdoor’ corridor. So instead I cheated.

Doing so, however, also opened up significantly more space to build out the north end of the level since the stairwell and turret room are no longer in the way… provided that I remain conscious of the level’s two-part nature and don’t try to connect areas on one side to areas on the other without the aid of a trigger_teleport. (This also means that if the level somehow grows massively large I can split it into two and simply turn the trigger_teleports into trigger_changelevels). For convenience’s sake, I’ll call the majority of the map “Section 1” and the area with the turret warehouse and the stairwell “Section 2”.

I am pretty sure that these three doors will lead into a sort of parking area for employee vehicles and also some direct unloading of freight. I don’t think it’s the only one in Office Complex (in fact I think there are two, the other one on the unseen top level in addition to the freight-only dropoff area in c1a2c; the road running through the bottom of the revolver room in fact belongs to the lower canals at that stage) so it doesn’t need to be super-large. I’m pretty sure the entirety of it will be physically located in Section 2.

These doors obviously lead to bathrooms. The filling out of those bathrooms is somewhat complicated by the presence of the office right behind the women’s, but I could make one or both of them in a sort of ‘L’ shape around that office if I need the extra space. I doubt I will, though, because this is not a particularly large section of the facility and it doesn’t have a lot of major personnel amenities that would merit a significantly larger bathroom allotment. Really, the administration staff should consider themselves lucky they even have two on every floor- in the building where I work the bathrooms alternate mens’-women’s-men’s-women’s on every level except for the entrance.

This door with the exit sign will lead, I think, to the lion’s share of the new offices in Map A. This area is large and fairly unconstrained so I am not certain exactly how it will look other than that I’d like for there to be an (inaccessible (for the time being…)) stairwell connecting to the lower canals at the end of it, possibly a second reception desk of some kind, the door to the second elevator, and some kind of maintenance door connecting to the fan room you access via duct in the original post-disaster level.

You all thought I’d forgotten about the fan room, didn’t you?

Finally, this door will connect the trafficked office area to the stairwell, since I always thought it was damned odd that the only ways through there by default were down a freight elevator or through a door marked ‘maintenance personnel only’.

The big decision I am currently facing is how to connect the stairwell door, the parking lot, and the new large office area together. I’d prefer to have the stairwell, the parking garage, and the elevator open up into a sort of mini-lobby or an entrance corridor like the one near the level start, but this is somewhat complicated by the issue of height.

You will recall from previous posts that (with a few exceptions such as bridges) I am not a fan of areas where the route through them during normal operations involves a stairway going up immediately followed by one going back down or vice versa. However, the parking garage is at a higher level than the stairway door and the office areas on either side of it. To make matters more complicated, the floor of the parking garage (i.e. the same level as the ledge the elevator in the turret room goes to) is just a bit lower than the ceiling height of the office sections, so I can’t actually put a lobby or anything else directly underneath it.

One option would be to put the lobby in Section 1, ‘faking’ that it is underneath the parking area, and then have two trigger_teleports leading from it to the area immediately under the stairwell, and to the parking area proper. The problem with that is that the trigger_teleports need some very twisty level geometry in their immediate proximity in order to limit the area the player can see (since everything in the player’s view must be duplicated on each side of the teleport to disguise its presence, and there are things like NPCs that have to be excluded from that area because they don’t take kindly to doubling up) and this kind of geometry would make the ‘lobby’ a lot less lobbylike.

Another option would be to have only one trigger_teleport and to have a section of the ‘lobby’ be in Section 2, positioned so that it is out of direct collision with the parking garage and with a single trigger_teleport leading to the section “under” the garage. The problem is, this doesn’t give me a lot of space to work in the necessary teleport geometry either.

I am currently leaning towards the second option, but still don’t really know what I want this back area to look like… and am reluctant to commit to an idea for that geometry because I worry it will make it hard to work with the parking garage interface.

An IRL friend has pointed out to me that there is in fact a second, ready-made teleport-hiding location in the north end of Map A- specifically, this section of broad hallway with the green exit sign, from which neither the door in the stairwell (and anything beyond it) nor the doorway in the turret room (and the parking garage beyond it) are visible.

This means that I do not, in fact, need a trigger_teleport between the office area and the stairway- the two areas can just connect physically in Section 1. Furthermore, the office area leading up to the parking garage doesn’t have to share Section 2 with the parking garage and can instead safely go ‘under’ it (i.e. in a completely different part of the map where it doesn’t collide). I’d still need a trigger_teleport to go between the parking garage and the office section, but I think that could be accommodated much more easily, especially since the parking garage is on a higher level and visibility is going to inherently be limited between it and the offices.

To put it another way, I have that second trigger_teleport I didn’t know how to include, and it is in fact located in the stairwell where I don’t have to worry about it.

Late reply here but looking back at the older pictures, I can see the lighting looks more natural. You should switch back to it - currently the OC looks much too bright, even for pre disaster. Just a suggestion.