My snowy project (Black Mesa retail)


I started working on something that I´ve been planning for years now, actually since I played Half-Life when I was a kid: creating winter to Black Mesa desert. I´m from Finland so… yeah, I kinda love snow. Anyway, I know there´s already a mod called Winter Black Mesa and it´s really nice. But I´d like to try to take the immersion a little further, like adding snowfall, frosty soundscapes and such. In the future I will also modify skyboxes and lighting but first things first. I have a few questions about Hammer.

Here´s a liitle picture.

I tried to delete that foliage but just couldn´t find a way. Also, I´d love to add snowfall and fog to this scene. Here´s a little tutorial to add snowfall but I couldn´t find the weather effects from Hammer. Any help?

And if anyone has a suggestion, please, let me know!



Ground foliage props are defined in .vmf files in the corresponding .vtf files you are editing. The parameter “%detailtype” is responsible for their appearance. I’d say remove the line and see what you get.

Weather effects can be added with func_precipiation in the desired location in the map. Be aware that it MAY harm performances in lower settings. Note that you set the type to Snowfall not Snow - as it’s bugged. I used them in Episode 2 to simulate snowfall. Which… worked quite nicely, but I ended up removing them in the final release for various reasons. Not sure if the entity is available in Black Mesa. If not, please fix, Crowbar Collective.



Foliage: where can I find this parameter. Exactly, I mean. In Hammer?

Snowfall: I tried to create snowfall exactly like you described. But there´s no weather effects, none. I did a little googling on this subject and I got the impression that rain and snowfall and such can be added from other games but I couldn´t find specific introductions.



You don’t do it in Hammer. Source Engine handles the texture with two files : the texture files (vtf), and the materials file (vmf). Each vtf requires vmf to work properly. The VTF file contains the actual look, the imagery of the texture we are all familiar with. The VMF file, on the other hand, is a text file defining the properties of the texture. So, whether it’s a metal, wood, or desert, sand, etc, is all defined though VMF, not the VTF or hammer. For example, this is how VMF file looks.

It’s just a text file, rather than image. The baseTexture parameter assosiates the VMF with VTF (the actual image file). surfaceprop defines the surface property of this texture (in this case, concrete). The foliage is controlled with detailtype parameter. Do not confuse this with detail parameter, they are not related. (Just heads up, the detailtype parameter do not exist in this example I gave you) Simply remove this line and the game should stop spawning the details… that is, the VBSP has to load the materials file beforehand, so make sure that happens too.

You can access all the VMF files in “bms_materials_dir.vpk” located in bms folder.

As for func_precipiations, it’s possible that this brush entity is broken in Black Mesa. If so, we’ll have to wait for the fix, which I doubt if it’ll come anytime soon.



Thanks a bunch, I´ll look into it! Really shame about the brush-thing… :frowning: Well, all we can do is wait, I guess. Meanwhile, the skyboxes and lighting: If I change sky texture for the scene like in that picture for instance, turning it into cloudy sky, will it automatically change the lighting in that area? Where can I find properly compatible sky textures?



Sky textures are defined in the worldspawn. In Hammer, open the map, then in the menu tab, select Map > Map properties… You will see a new window popped up. The “SkyBox Texture Name” does exactly what it imply. For creating a custom skybox, visit this VDC link for more info.

As for the lighting, no, changing texture will not change lighting. You need something called light_environment in Hammer to do this. Now, usually Black Mesa maps have this entity already in by default, and attempting to have more than one of this can cause problems. So you need to edit the existing light_environment. To find it, access the hammer entity reports, then just search up for light_environment. Edit the “brightness” (this is the color of the sun) and the “ambient” (this is the color of the sky) accordingly, and remember that just like the usual light entity, fourth number represent the brightness.



This surely helps me start, thanks again!



Sorry, one more thing. Are you sure you didn´t mean VMT instead of VMF?



Oops! Sorry, I’m a mapper not a texture artist, so I mistaken for VMF and VMT! The file I was constantly talking about the foliage and stuff, is VMT (Valve Materials Type)[/size], not VMF, which is Map File.



You could edit the vtf if you want to make your own… the vmt calls the texture (ie the vtf) which is what hammer looks for . Alternatively or you could edit the detail_desert.vbsp file so it doesnt lay down any sprites at all. Hope this helps :stuck_out_tongue:



Sounds interesting. How do I disable those sprites?



Opinion-related question: what if, instead of deleting it, I´d edit the foliage-textures to look like they´re covered in frost?



I actually were thinking this from the start but thought it would be a too much work. Also it may not turn out as good as you think… you know, since they are 2D and all. I’d say go try it and see if it looks good or not first.



That´s probably true. Maybe it´s better to jsut leave them out instead of going through the trouble. Although, I still haven´t figured how to disable those sprites. I did what you told with those vmt´s and I also couldn´t find a way to edit detail_desert.vbsp.



That’s strange. Are you sure you did everything OK? Also, detail.vbsps are text files, so you can just open then in notepad and edit as you wish. BUT I am not certain if they can be loaded with VPKs (As you know, VPKs do not work with certain files - and this could be one of them). VMTs surely do load, and actually have used them to make sprites appear where they were not supposed to be by adding %detailtype in my mod. So removing them surely would do the reverse. Maybe the game is not loading the file for some reason?



Main problem that i see with this mod is that in Europe when its winter,
there’s probably one or two days that are clear and sunny, the rest of them are grey or white clouds.
So you would need to remove the newly added Sun Ray and you’ve would need to
re-render the outside maps to remove the direct sunlight.
That way it would look more like a frozen tundra, not a desert.

And why would you remove the grass texture?
I think it fits nicely in some areas, but it does depend on
how deep do you want the snow to be.
You could put up some kind of snow texture to be about 20 cm above the ground
so you can see enemies stomping through snow.

Also you need new sounds that will be played only on snow surfaces.
And you can have different types:


Snow Slush

For those two you could make sounds.

And don’t forget about ice cycles.



I´m pretty sure I did it right, deleted %detailtype from all the VMT´s that mentioned anything foliage-related. I also tried that same trick with mod-version. I´m surprised how complited this is… :smiley:

No, no, no, this mod is supposed give a seemingly believable impression of winter, not realistic. You know, thin layer of snow on the ground, new footstep-sounds, a little snowfall in the mist on some levels. The idea is to keep it strictly cosmetic and gameplay will remain intact. And godrays will also stay. Every once in a while there´s thick frostwork in the air and yet sun is shining quite bright and you can still distinguish clouds against blue sky. Not clearly but still visible. This isn´t common exactly but it´s not rare either, at least in Finland.

Let me descripe my plans a little:

  • IB will stay as it is, excluding the textures. I like the clear sky- lighting and it already seems like nice and clear frosty morning.

  • Surface visit in WGH will have snowfall and mist, and some mild pinkish evening sunlight.

  • In OAR I was thinking some slow and very subtle snowfall. There would also be some snow coming through the rocketsilo, too. My ultimate dream in this level would be northern lights in the sky but I have absolutely no idea how to implement this.

  • Starting level in RP: thick mist and thick snowfall.

  • Surface tension will stay as it is due to huge size of that section and weather-changes would be hard to out believably in it.

  • outside-scene in FAF: pretty much same as the surface visit in WGH.

Ice cycles? You probably mean icicles? No. I will add some frosty looking shit in every outside-textures that won´t appear in any inside-scene but that´s it, I want to keep this as an easy and fun pet project.

One thing I want to implement in this mod is steaming breath for npc´s in outside scenes.



Got bored so I Gimped a little Workshop-logo for this mod:

Cute, eh…? :smiley:



Not my flavor, but it looks nice.



Well I’m looking forward to see this mod appear.

But also with footsteps in the snow which disappear after a while and such!