So Gasworks is coming along very nicely. I’ve got most of the actual remodelling of the place done and am now just adding in ent-logic, sounds, and NPCs. Which there are a lot of (particularly button-operated doors… holy hell the button-operated doors!), but I figure it’s still not too early to start thinking about how to add new areas:
Gasworks is already a large map as it currently stands, and it’s placed into a much, much larger collection of skybox buildings. There is, quite simply, no way we’re going to be able to explore all of it, so I’d like to confine myself to adding small one-room areas and interconnections between areas and not adding whole other wings like some of the Office Complex maps.
Looking at the topside of the facility, small buildings like “C”, “H”, and “G” might get expanded but even though a fair number of doors in this big “tower” area lead to it the giant “building B” probably will not unless some other map is determined to be inside of it, in which case I will just restore that one as well and connect the two maps.
I also don’t think we’ll be able to walk the big flat area and get to the buildings father away, either- partially just because the map would take forever to compile, and partially because who wants to walk literally several miles along a featureless road to get to a new area?
If there was something ready to go in one of those other buildings, I think I’d just have some security vans that go out to them through a level transition.
I’m just gonna come right out and say that one of these isolated industrial islands near the edge of the facility would make for a pretty good standalone singleplayer escape or evac map, though.
One thing I concluded early on is that Gasworks is very probably in the same general part of the BMRF as the latter parts of Apprehension, since both are older industrial areas with some pretty damn similar design motifs and both also have an unusual “twisted and piled” terrain style with a lot of mesas and no other visible Surface-Tension-style brick buildings which doesn’t really appear in any other topside maps.
I was initially considering exploiting this fact and putting the cold-storage and/or hangar sections of Apprehension right next to Gasworks, below or inside of Building B, possibly with that door in the Gasworks underlevels connecting to this very similar one in Apprehension’s C Map:
However, if the areas really were right next to each other, the big smokestacks of the Gasworks facility would probably be visible from the Apprehension hangar. Typically I don’t hold to precise Euclidean geometry in my conception of the wider design of Black Mesa (in fact I can’t because a lot of the canonical maps already have warps, gaps, and overlaps in them) but really the hangar is in that curvey, canyony, mountainous terrain while Gasworks has a very sizable area of extremely flat desert between it and the mountains. So I don’t think anything that doesn’t explicitly share the Gasworks skybox can actually be said to be next to it, and I will probably have it connect to the Apprehension hangar area with a car that goes through one of these tunnels into the mountains and have that connect through some skippable roadways to the hangar parking lot. I highly doubt that the Black Mesa Tram System comes out to what very much looks to be the northeastern(??) edge of the Facility, and even if it does it would probably end up in one of the big buildings that already aren’t being expanded.
Taking a look at Gasworks itself (finally!), I can kind of split the facility up into multiple ‘layers’ by height, and it turned out to be surprisingly tractable. Here, red is buildings, blue is vertical structures, green doors are big garage doors and yellow doors are just swing doors. Dashed lines are for doors with a “maintenance” or “confined space” sign next to them, since it is unlikely that large or routinely-trafficked areas of the complex are behind them:
It immediately jumps out to me how many of the locked doors in the upper areas are either underneath Building G or on their way to Building H- specifically, 1 and 2 seem to go to other parts of G and 3 and 4 seem to be pointing at G. This is particularly helpful since I like the idea of all of the apparently isolated buildings in this complex being connected somewhere, presumably through underground passages, and also because G has that big elevator right under it. Thus, I am beginning to conceptualize Building G as a primary control or logistics building that goes some significant depth underground and has a connection through Door 3 and Door 4 to Building H.
It is then easy to link the central control hut to this setup, since the ladder that disappears below the first floor of it comes out very close to Door 5. Building out some other logistics and control areas to make these connections ‘stick’ should not be difficult.
This also helps figure out what should be located behind Doors 1, 2, 6, and 7: they are part of Building G, and should be both thematically related to it and roughly confined to its footprint.
Door 8 has a ‘maintenance personnel only’ warning on it and is physically constrained in where it can really go by the other corridors around it so I think it’s just a manual override or service section for the control room.
Door 9 is small, and doesn’t really have a corresponding topside building anywhere near it, or any other structures on that level, really, so I think it too goes to something small.
Door 10 is a bit more of a puzzle because it is on the other end of the map with the unseen Building B- does it perhaps connect the tunnel complex to a tunnel complex under that building? Initially one would expect there to be other connections on the higher levels if that was the case, but the G-H-A connecting tunnels don’t interact with anything on the south end of the map until the lower levels either… Ultimately, though, I think it ends up being a question of “do I put something minor here or leave it locked?”.
On the lower levels things get hazier, as there is more activity on the south end of the map and it doesn’t line up quite as well with itself or any external feature.
It is, I suppose, possible that Door 11 connects to Door 14 on the ‘shore’ area, but I doubt it as they are a long way off and Door 14 has a ‘confined space, do not enter’ warning on it. Instead, I’ll wager that there is some kind of pump room or water quality lab or something behind both Door 13 and Door 12, and the primary access to the ‘shore’ is through that after getting off of the ‘main’ elevator.
Somehow, 14, 15, or 16 should connect to Door 18 in the very bottom-most section of the facility, but I really have zero idea how.
While the southern, deeper end of the map is still a bit of a mess, I feel confident enough to start building out the topside Building G / H connections and related areas… except for one problem. I have no idea what Building G is actually for.
H is easy to figure out- it’s the only one in this industrial complex with a whole bunch of electrical doodaddery on top, so it must be related to power distribution or power storage or whatever. Given that Gasworks was originally established to power the early teleportation experiments there might be generators in there, or it might just be a transformer substation or some kind of big battery/capacitor bank to handle the massive sudden surges the teleport labs presumably produced. But G is a mystery.
It has that big heavy main elevator in it, and is right next to the outdoor freight yard and has what appears to be access to the cab of the freight yard crane on its roof, which would imply that it’s some kind of storage building, but it seems awfully small for storage especially when compared to the massive Building B. In the lower levels it has some kind of control room connected to it, but it also has that large pipe running into Building H and that weird conveyor belt seemingly going into it… What could possibly be inside this place?