Which means it did necessitate a hotfix. Thankfully I should have found a very simple solution to both problems (those being the missing red pipe bottom and missing panels, both due to bad directories). With any luck all textures should work fine now.
Honestly, I’m really not sure what it is about that area. In Hammer everything checks out, but it still likes to act weird. The part where the ramp meets the water likes to just not draw at all. This is present in the stock maps too so this issue has been present even before I came along.
I might have a potential solution to the entire problem but it’s a long shot at best and I have little faith that it will actually solve the problem. We’ll see though.
I just did another quick run through with latest patch and for the most part its better but ill show you. Hopefully others may confirm this too.
The Red pipe from a distance still shows checkers but not by much. It seems that the engine is having trouble rendering it and is showing checkers with the complete texture at the same time. But once as you get close it, it begins to render fine.
The panel in the control now has a texture bit looks like its missing screens or something. Also NOT trying to be mean but I really hope your going to change that 2D pic of the track junction because it really seems low tec.
I’m getting this on my end too, so at the very least I’ll be able to confirm that it’s fixed before patching.
Well then… my easy method of fixing did not work. But unfortunately the only other way to fix this is to recompile the prop. And believe me, this particular prop has given me a LOT of trouble before. I’m in disposed for the rest of today due to homework, so it might be a while before I can actually get yet another hotfix in. It’s a shame too because I really want to get this problem overwith.
The 2D pic presents a particular problem. The short version is that I want to change it but I can’t. Not by myself anyways. I have zero artistic ability, and making art assets is a bit out of my range of skills.
That, and no alternatives immediately come to mind. How do you suggest it should operate?
^ School comes first. 'Corse if you procrastinate as much as I do, you’ll be fine. In all seriousness though, put off the project until you get what you need done and you’ll think you’ll have the time to do it.
I would just have it stay looking like texts control switch, just a plain looking panel. You stated in the readme that in the future you plan on putting lights on the panels to help the player out. I would also do the same to the switch board on the wall. There’s a red and green lights on each junction point why not light up the board as well?. As for the bell noise originating at the LED arrows, for you I would have it come from the control room itself for the sake of the letting the player know they’ve done something after hitting the lever.
You are correct in that I want to place lights on both the switchboard and control panels.
The one major issue though is that the lights on the control panels point the player to which one they should hit. It doesn’t so much tell them what happened as a result of hitting it. I figured this way the player could take a look at the map, find their junction, and then go “Oh! I pulled this lever and that switched the tracks at this location.” It wouldn’t require them to go back and read the map to see what’s been changed. I’m assuming most people won’t do that anyways.
One alternative I do think of now is instead of having a minimap on each of the consoles, I instead label them with the destination. Since the switchboard has corresponding labels on it now the player could read which switch they pulled, go back and look at the switchboard, and then trace their path back to the junction.
I will not be considering any solutions that break consistency.
And that’s kind-of what I have the bullsquid ambush for anyways. If it isn’t giving enough of a clue then I need to decrease the time between the switch being pulled and the squid portaling in, as it’s a bit long at the moment.
Anyways, the latest hot fix is up. If you haven’t found it yet, you can find it here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/q8ik53e37wgefxt/LoopMod.zipHopefully this is the last one. Please note that I had to package a new version of the maps because recompiling one of the props caused some of them to shift in the editor.
Strangely enough, it’s been very very easy so far just to send out patches. With the exception of recompiling the map altogether though, that still takes time. However, considering that in all likelyhood future patches will be strictly map updates, I think they will be less infrequent. Hopefully I’m not blurring the line between beta and release candidate already, haha.
I really did not think I would be able to fix this, because I hadn’t seen a single thing wrong with this section in Hammer. And then I saw that one of the brush faces (polygons usually being six sides, the top is a water face and the rest are nodraw), was flush with the ramp. So I extended the brush so that it clipped with the ramp. Since it’s water, that is excusable.
So apparently that little fix I had little faith in worked. I am very excited about this!
Here’s a short review list thingy that I said I was going to write up but then I didn’t
Keep getting strange cubemap (I think!) errors, usually after playing the map once and then playing it again. Unsure if this is a mod or map problem, but I very rarely get them normally while I’ve gotten them twice during testing.
This looks strange, the ragdoll is obviously trying to float up and hitting an invisible wall, definately more noticeable when you try to move it. Surely there’s another way? Maybe remove the water immediately around the ragdoll inside the box? (I don’t think that would be visible to the player)
Anyone else think this is a good idea? I’d surely like some corroboration on this.
Uh… I don’t know what’s causing that at all. Since cubemap data is supposed to be stored in the bsp, I’m positive there aren’t any files missing here. Maybe try reinstalling? I dunno.
It wouldn’t be visible yes, but it would affect physics just a bit. And there would be the slight possibility of setting grenades off underwater, and maybe even firing weapons!
What I think I might end up doing though is just go ahead and let this guy float. Reason for that is that the ragdolls in the electric pool also float, and I’m Mr. Consistency nut so I think it wouldn’t be too much of a loss.
Yup, done. Thanks!
I just… don’t know what causes that either. The only thing I could possibly think of is lack of hdr, which I know I didn’t compile any versions of the map in. I also don’t get this problem on my computer and I haven’t fiddled with that model file at all.
I think that means I need to make them react to the player entering the room. Shouldn’t be too hard though.
I’ll do you one better. The source engine has the capability of linking a map with it’s editor counterpart, so I can manipulate entities from the game itself. All I need to do is place a houndeye where I think it would have been (when it attacked the security guard and busted down the door as a result), have it attack me one so that it can properly alter the environment, then just use hammer_update entity to update the locations of all the physics props once they settle. I don’t even have to manually do it.
It would be better if I did it this way, because then I could then set the props to start asleep. It will improve the physics optimization at any rate.
Problem: There isn’t much in the way of sofas, there isn’t much in the way of chairs, and there isn’t much in the way of tables. Especially tables. The only redesign that comes to mind is using one of Text’s canteen tables (the likes of which you find in the cafeteria in A2), but I don’t know if that you be a feasible replacement.
That just means that, like pretty much every other section of rail in this map, is not sampling light realistically. Shouldn’t be anything more than placing an info_lighting.
I won’t change the lighting of the area itself because that would be messing with stock material, but I can at least do this I think.
EDIT: I actually had an idea that might possibly be neat. Instead of the player just happening upon the room in this state, when they enter the area (assuming from the pipe bridge room), the houndeyes teleport in as the player passes the window. The three houndeyes then proceed to blast the two guards hiding out in the room, in the process breaking down the door. The player then comes in and cleans up the houndeyes. The rest of the puzzle goes as normal.
I don’t know if it would fit in though.
There are numerous texture z-fighting issues in this area here. See attached pictures 3 and 4 below. The same applies to the rails on the far side of the raised tracks, here http://i.imgur.com/oWmTK3Z.jpg.
Sparks that originate within the security office pass through the wall into the tunnel. Text found a fix for this during his work on ST Uncut. It took me 43 minutes to find it (page 108, post #2159), but this is what he said at the time, “Fixed all sparks (hopefully) so they no longer clip through walls/the floor. Note to any mappers reading this: do not allow the origin of the env_spark to intersect anything, like with lights it seems to break them a bit and make them not calculate proper collision”. He was able to fix them all in ST Uncut, except for the arcing hand dryer that’s in the men’s bathroom.
I’m pretty sure there’s a sofa model used in Office Complex a few times, not sure about tables. If you don’t like that sofa, you could use one of the HL2 models (every HL2 model and texture works in BM, so don’t be afraid to use them if they fit). As for the weird errors with the chrome and stuff, I have no idea what’s up with that. The weird thing is the models work fine on every other map.
Also I might have just realised a possible continuity problem. The Security Office has 2 guards that were killed by Houndeye inside, right? The thing is, the Military already made their pass through this sector, there’s even military crates outside. So why are the Houndeye (and the Barnacles too for that matter) still there?
The thing is, if the Military came before the Houndeye, they would have killed the Guards. If they arrived after the Houndeye, they would have killed the Houndeye. But it looks like they just sorta walked in, set down some crates, and left without killing anything.
Concerning the sparks, they also need to be set to directional, and then their angles keyvalue needs to point at where you want them to spark. This seems to fix it completely.
Haven’t had the chance to check this out yet, but from the feedback and screenshots - good job! One thing I will say is that the screens on the control panels really don’t look very good at all. I’m not trying to be mean here, so don’t take it the wrong way. One potential way of high teching it up a bit could be to use a Hammer top down screenshot and then editing it in photoshop so it looks more like some kind of computer schematic. The Black Mesa devs did this at quite a few points during the story, especially on Questionable Ethics. It looks pretty good with a bit of editing. This is how I was planning to do it initially before I scrapped control panel monitors because I thought they’d be a bit too high tech.
When you have a nice overhead designed from Hammer (in vtf form, of course), you might want to have the section of the track that’s disabled outlined in red, and the section that’s enabled in green. You can have 2 textures for this, one for each track configuration. Then you can overlay it with a func_brush onto the control panels, and use env_texturetoggle to switch between the two when the button is pressed.
It’ll certainly improve that.
As for your chrome on the supports problem, it’s most likely because you didn’t build cubemaps, or haven’t placed them properly. Remember to do that. Like with lightmapping, cubemaps should generally exist in places of high light contrast, so if you move from light to dark to light, there needs to be a cubemap in the light area, one in the dark area, and one in the other light area.
I was wondering when you would be able to get in some feedback, I’ve actually been anxious to hear what you found.
See general z-fighting response
Will probably fix. I might shift one of them off by a unit or two since I can’t imagine any poster putter-upper is that perfect
Fixed the issue you detailed in pictures 3 and 4. As for your other remark, I am not sure where these issues are occurring, you’ll have to point them out better.
See general z-fighting response
That’s not a lighting problem. I just didn’t change that particular model to the correct skin. Fixed.
That is literally part of the pipe model and as such there’s nothing I can do.
I’ve slanted the cladding to the angle that it was in the bridge room, so that part is now consistent. Do note however that I will not be pulling out the wall cladding there as the bridge room has the same unpulled style with the room that is in it as well.
Fixed for the most part. See general z-fighting response.
See general z-fighting response
That is something I can’t do anything about. As far as Hammer tells me, both brushes are flush to each other within .005 of a hammer unit. That, and I’m fairly confident that they should be because they were always manipulated as one unit.
Hum, I’ll have to look out for that next time I compile. For now I’ve moved the spark out of the light model to see if that does anything. I’m assuming we’re talking about the one in the corner.
I was going to disregard this but truth be told the lighting for the blast door didn’t make sense. I had liked the eerie red glow that came from it but I couldn’t contrive an coincidence where any two lights near it were both out. So… consider this fixed.
See general z-fighting response
Uhm… I actually have no idea there. I know part of it is a TV blocking the way, but the other half? I simply have no clue about this one.
GOOD GOD I CAN’T BELIEVE I MISSED THAT ONE. Seriously, I have known about this particular error for sometime but hadn’t moved to fix it. I had no idea it was this bad. Fixed like a mother krrfer.
Don’t know why it’s doing that, but I intend to look into it.
It’s incorrect vertex lighting. It’s not necessarily my fault either, but I think I’m going to try and correct those.
For the Z-fighting instances, unfortunately there’s nothing I can do about them for two reasons.
One is that some of them are just as they appear in other maps. The rails at the blast doors are a perfect example of this. A z-fighting issue is probably inevitable.
Two is that some areas I need custom lengths, and unfortunately I have to compromise for this by clipping like models into like models. The only way around it would to change the dimensions of these areas, which would take a lot of time and effort for very little gain.
It is a HL2 mod after all. But thanks for the reminder~
Honestly though I wasn’t really all that happy with those sofa models either, so I really don’t think I’ll be placing a sofa there. Unless something magical happens and I change my mind~
You are right though, that’s definitely a continuity error. I had it set up that the aliens showed up and blasted the guards. I never really considered where the military came into the equation.
There’s an easy fix that should solve partially that problem though. Instead of a security guard being blasted out the door, it will be a marine. Then we’d have a better continuity.
Marine arrives on the scene, starts to set up camp > Heads into security office to do something in there, presumably to acquire track controls > Houndeyes teleport in and ambush the marine > Marine is overwhelmed and thrown out.
The question now is what happened to his buddies? I have to assume he’s working with a squad. I don’t think I’d be able to use the two marines in the pipe room for this either, as they’re an entire room away and there’s no way in heck they’d leave on of theirs alone during an alien invasion.
Also, the door would probably be open during the houndeye attack, so I’ll have to adjust for that when I optimize physics.
Thanks a bunch for the feedback~
That idea about using hammer as a schematics template sounds like a great idea. I actually agree that the texture work there is really under par, but it was the best I could do at the time. Not having to make a background from scratxh would make it much easier for me to jmprove the level of the minimap
I’ve made the control panels into models, actually, partially because they would act consistent with the stock ones next to them. So far though I’ve been using skins to control how they look. Which gets the same job done as the func_brush/env_texture toggle combo (which I do use for the switchboard), so it’s not really a big deal. I think all I really need to do is update the vtf files to have a new texture and I’m done.
I might do that in conjunction with labeling the consoles too. I’m going to cross that bridge when I get to it.
I do know for a fact though that I built the cubemaps, so it’s probably the placement. Portal 2 doesn’t really use a lot of reflective surfaces so I never had to bother with cubemaps all that much. Implementing them is still kinda new to me. But I’ll definitely keep that advice in mind as I edit this for a release candidate.
Quick idea… if the room with the track switches is supposed to be a security booth, use a camera conveniently placed on the wall to watch the track where you want it to swap. The one that gives a real-time feed, as like what was used in ST Uncut or Nova Prospekt in HL2. Players’ll prolly know then that the rail’s switched. Sound doesn’t HAVE to be used in this circumstance.
Thank you for your comment concerning your anxiousness in receiving my detailed feedback.
Follow-up to your reply concerning clarification for some of my feedback for OaR Loop Beta:
Issue #3 - What exactly do you mean by the term “Hrrrm”?
Issue #6 - Attached pictures 3 & 4 are just before the upside for the raised tracks above the water. The second instance I mentioned is just after the downside of the raised tracks above the water.
Issue #10 - Can the pipe be lowered slightly, in order to avoid the clipping issue?
Issue #18 - The sparks passing through the tunnel wall are from the arcing fluorescent light above the control panels in the security office.
Concerning issue #18, maybe have one of the other lights arcing, as it’s kind of distracting trying to study the control panels and having the sparks falling down onto/around the player. The sparks occur often and are plentiful.
Concerning issue #19, about adding tunnel lights at the darkened blast door, have one burnt out and one slowly flickering (not arcing). That will retain, somewhat, your design desire for an eerie red glow, there.
Also, I could be wrong on this point, but the picture graphic showing the change in track direction after you throw the switch is backwards. Standing at the control panels, your tram is traveling from left to right, but the picture graphic depicts/infers that your tram is traveling from right to left. Maybe I misread it.
Concerning texture z-fighting issues, it seems there’s a way to fix these without having to redesign whole areas. I’ve previously reported many instances (related to other mods), all of which (I think) were resolved. I don’t know how difficult it is, or if there’s a trick or technique to more easily address them.
I actually tried that in the past and ultimately there’s no place to put the feed. Black Mesa’s underground doesn’t have any flat screens. That, and there’s no real good place to put the security cameras either.
Didn’t finish my thought there. Honestly, I hate using nodraw for those purposes because invariably it causes strange shit like that. That’s what I’ve gotten in my experience anyways. I will have to look into it.
I wouldn’t so much have a problem with solving this if Black Mesa wasn’t so damn inconsistant with the tunnel lights. Half of them don’t even use the nodraw texture above them to simulate shadows.
I think you’re talking about the inclined tracks. Again it’s a custom length issue. And it’s also kindof how stock Black Mesa handled these rail inclines.
It can’t be lowered because then that would create a gap. Pipes only come in 64, 128, 256, and 512 sizes. And in attempting to fill that gap I’d encounter z-fighting issues, which I know you’d also not like.
Happily there is a version of these pipes without the support brackets, so I was able to replace the model. So this was able to be fixed completely after all!
Sound logic. I think I’ll have the light above the door arc instead, since it’s where the houndeye attacks the marine.
I could probably give that a shot.
I think you misread it. The minimaps correspond to the junctions as they appear on the switchboard, so their orientation remains the same.
There is a way, but involves learning Blender. Remember, making assets is not my strong suit. I might be able to edit the MDL files but at the same time I have no idea if it even works.
If I happen to fix this, don’t expect it until the Final. I have higher priorities than learning an entire program just so I can fix a small texture issue.
In other news, mapping is goings fairly. It’s not good, but it’s not bad either.
There’s a couple things of note that I really would like some feedback on. One is a design choice, and the other is scripting problems.
In the original half-life, as you went through the tunnels there would be some points where the area would shake and some debris would collapse from the ceiling. I assume that this would hint at the types of things going on outside. I’m not sure as to what it was but I would like to include something like this just before the pipe bridge room (as this happened there, and one other place that escapes me at the moment). I don’t know if it will require any brushes and if it does it will not be much but does this sound like something that should be added?
The bullsquid in the side room still does not want to cooperate. Right now I have a trigger in front of the door that tells the bullsquid to start a schedule. Since he is closed off, I have the schedule to run (Set state to COMBAT, Set Enemy go Goal Entity, Interruptability of DEATH, target entity is an info_target in front of the door. Now, the trigger also does one more thing; since I don’t want the bullsquid to attack the door forever, I have it set to kill the info_target after 3 seconds. This is meant to play out that when the player stands in front of the door, the bullsquid shoots at the door for a couple seconds, completely covers the window, and then stops shooting because he “can’t” see the player anymore. This doesn’t seem to be working right now.
Concerning adding in a tunnel shake and some falling debris from the collapsing ceiling, absolutely DO so, if you have the means to. It’s always beneficial to do all you can to deepen the immersion factor. It ties in perfectly with the wholly collapsed tunnels seen at the start of the level, and elsewhere within OaR.
Further clarification for the location of issue #6 - The texture z-fighting issues are on the level tracks just before the tracks incline. This was depicted in attached pictures 3 and 4. You stated that this instance has been fixed. The second instance occurs on the level tracks just after the tracks decline, here http://i.imgur.com/xcNw0wF.jpg. I hope this nails it down for ya’.
Regarding the uncooperative bullsquid, when was the last time you fed him/her? :lol:
A couple more issues I came across in another playthrough:
I’ll probably add tunnel shakes in two locations. Where they are depends on what I find when I play this section in the original Half Life next.
Oh, that spot. I’ve fixed that already.
I haz not fed the bullsquid. I are terribad pet owner? ;_;
Finally got around to that three hours ago, so that’s already fixed.
I’ve fixed this too. I did have reservations about putting the gun rack so close to the door though, since any joe that can walk in would have immediate access to the weaponry. However, I managed to solve this just now by flipping the pane so that when the door opens, the rack is on the other side of the door. Not that it opens during playtime, but it has to make logical sense.
EDIT: Already found a solution to the nodraw problem. Replace all of those with the “block light” texture. Really, that’s what the devs used the nodraw for, so why didn’t they just use this instead?