BMPD: Pre-Disaster Questionable Ethics


So I’m getting everything ready for an actual release of the new D and H maps, and everything is going wonderfully except that I cannot get my picture in the ‘bonus maps’ window to show up as anything other than empty black. The photo itself is as far as I can tell formatted properly, as when I rename it with the name of one of the “doorville” map pictures it replaces it just fine. My .bns file looks like this:

"Pre-Disaster Questionable Ethics" { "map" "pd_c2a4h" "comment" "Questionable Ethics as it was the morning before the Resonance Cascade." "image" "./pd_c2a4h.tga" "lock" "0" }


Had nothing better to do tonight so I figured I’d go ahead and release. I can fix the title image later.


There’s a lot of shadows missing though.

Looks unreal.


So I’ve been messing around with trying to design the pd_c2a4h tram platform for a little while now, and not getting much of anywhere.

I have been working here under the idea that the tram line serving the Biodome comes in from the left side of the complex (using Hammer directions here with the body of the Biodome being the ‘top’ and the exit road going down and to the left) and then turning upward to descend and hit other stations in the rest of the dome complex, with a possible additional pedestrian entrance near the bottom of the platform which could lead to the hydro plant or dm_bounce.

My initial design involved two tram platforms in a sort of ‘L’ shape with a central column making up the back of the ‘hallway’ we see looking in from the road area which could be a security office, and a balcony up above the top section which would connect both to the upper-level Biodome entrance and to another part of the complex entirely via a bridge running over the tracks:

However, try as I might I could not get the two platforms structured well around the security office in the center. Eventually I decided that there didn’t need to ever be a security office there (it’d make more sense up on the balcony somewhere to check people coming into the biodome by that route) but I still couldn’t get the two ‘L’ platforms to match up nicely and wound up scrapping the whole design. I still don’t really know how to proceed and was hoping someone here would have at least a start of an idea.


Here’s my idea with a ms paint top view


I feel that the geometry should be much more similar to Inbound/AM, as that plus QE and LC is what I feel to be the newest parts of black mesa. The green hallway leads to the biodome complex proper, and maybe connects with the purple hall along the way. (The question marks just mean it leads somewhere, but its not important where). To be honest, I don’t think there is a need for any security office, as one guard next to a passcode protected door should be ample enough. I added a rail line that heads to Apprehension/Oar to form the connection between Apprehension and RP/QE, so you can go through the maps with another train segment, instead of two drunk guards kidnapping you and throwing you into the trash compactor to complete the PD tour.


So I’ve settled on a basic design for the rail platform that’s kind of a synthesis of different aspects of various people’s ideas. Obviously it’s still super-WIP but I’m feeling really good about it:

BMPD: Pre-Disaster Apprehension

Just my opinion: I would change the layout of rails to pass-through instead of dead-end. Most rail platforms in BM were one-direction design, where train carts just passed through. If this was one of dead-end final stations, there should be more siding tracks for stacking carts.


I was particularly inspired by the Area 9 transit hub in Inbound, which does have dead-end rails:

The rail system came out a little larger and more complex than I was planning (it’s about half again the size of the platform), but I think I am going to run with that and make it an interchange for areas other than the Biodome as well, particularly between the northwest zone of Black Mesa (Residue Processing, Anomalous Materials) and the northeast (Apprehension, Gasworks). The turntable, then, serves not just to allow trains to pass between the two tracks feeding into QE without colliding but to change them onto the different exit tracks. I know that typical tram/subway line changes require people to physically get out and move from one car to another but Black Mesa’s don’t seem to, presumably as a security precaution to reduce the number of chances people have to wander into places they are not supposed to go.


Layout looks pretty good now, makes more sense compared to inbound screenshot. The junction rail should be at least in both directions.


In far future :slight_smile: , have you thought about connecting PD chapters together? For example by adding working BM Transit System between these areas, where could player take a train to another sector.


At the moment a working tram system is indeed planned. The player will be able to enter a tram, select a destination, and then the map will change to the corresponding other tram station. As the Complex is built out, it may be possible to actually show the rail trip between different areas.


Think I’ve got the tram platform itself just about sorted:

Next up is going to be the ceiling, which while I have the general design blocked out is currently looking a little low on detail:


Tram platform is getting perilously close to a finished first draft, but I still have no idea what to do with the other locked-off area of Questionable Ethics, namely this little door in the tunnel:

Ordinarily I’d make something like this a utility closet or maintenance area that doesn’t really go anywhere else, but there’s no proper way to get up to that balcony from the tunnel proper so instead it must lead from some other area of the complex. The question is, where?

The tram platform is completely on the other side of the tunnel, so I don’t think it connects to that- instead, this leads back around to the Biodome parking lot where there are no other entrances.

The presence of this radio tower beyond the rock wall suggests there is indeed something over there, but damned if I know what it is or what it connects to- I’ve put Residue Processing and Bounce on the opposite side of the road with the tram tunnel, and I don’t think anything from there runs underneath the road. I suppose it could lead to the hydro dam, but while there are additional buildings further on in that area there’s nothing up near the road or for that matter much on that side of the dam at all:

The somewhat interpretative map of BM that I am using makes the nearest other area of the complex gasworks, but that’s still a long way’s off and .RK’s more accurate map doesn’t really have anything there… what could this possibly be?


Assuming it is a hallway connecting to a different chapter, I wouldn’t worry about it. As there is no way to get up, you would be coming from another area. It doesn’t matter, though, as another location would require a whole other chapter being PD’ed. If its still part of sector E, my guess is that is would ether lead to c2a3a and c2a3b, or the biodomes and other labs seen in Opposing force (Crush Depth & Vicarious Reality). I’d just leave it alone for now and finish the biodome complex, though.


Yeah that makes sense. It might actually lead to either Residue Processing (which I am thinking includes Bounce and Undertow), or to the topside warehouse area explored in Opposing Force. Either way, neither of those are going to be developed for a while.


By any chance do you have the official .vmf’s of Apprehension? Because I remember the .vmf’s were in the game files, but the April update removed them, and every time I try decompiling, the map will run for awhile, before a fatal error emerges resetting everything.


I don’t have the official VMFs, but if I attempt to decompile the maps myself and get a working one I will make it available in this thread.


It leads to an abandoned employee lounge of course. Now it is just a storage facility for health kits, ammo, weapons of mass destruction and other easter egg sort of things that you cant get to unless you no clip.


I’ve been wondering, what would be the connection between this place (Advanced Research Lab) and the actual Biodome Complex from Opposing Force? It seems to me Crowbar Collective made a choice to designate the original lab from HL as part of Sector E’s Biodome from OF. Would the Biodome be an extension of the Advanced Lab? That could explain why it is not featured on maps yet, since it’s still being built.


My model for this area makes it one of the deepest in Black Mesa, with the QE labs being the top floor of a biological research sector that includes the Alien Quarantine Labs from Decay, the Biodome, and the Hydrofauna Studies Labs (in that order).