Oh that’s the crane you’re talking about. I wish we had feedback from the devs that designed this map
I don’t think they put a great deal of thought into how these maps fit into the surrounding area, because there was no need for them to do so.
I know this because there are an incredible number of areas where maps overlap or have weird gaps between them.
You know, as freakishly huge as Building Five is I am wondering if instead of an external parking lot, there might actually be a small one- or two-story parking garage inside of it. Going to have to run some size comparisons with the carpark in Surface Tension…
Fear not, Pre-Disaster Anomalous Materials is not abandoned and a bugfix will be released in a few days, but in the meantime I’ve been messing around with Gasworks and getting a feel for the map, and overall I’m pretty optimistic:
There are, however, two issues that I am still trying to straighten out.
The first is whether to turn the map’s skybox and outdoor lighting into daylight, or leave it as night. I think the map looks better at night and that is how it was originally intended to be seen, but at the same time the PD maps claim they are the morning before the Resonance Cascade and it seems weird to me to be going from maps like Inbound which are daylit to maps like Gasworks which are at night.
The other big question I am wrestling with is just what Gasworks (and to some degree the buildings around it, although those may just be unrelated) actually does (which is obviously important for things like documents and expanding areas). The multiplayer flavor text claims it was built to power early teleportation experiments, and then phased out presumably in favor of the hydro dam and the giant nuclear reactor in Lambda Core. However, the place was obviously still up and running at least in a limited capacity until relatively recently.
One theory that I have is that the big furnace system might have been repurposed to provide heat instead of electrical power. Contrary to what the calendars and tram announcement combine to imply New Mexico does in fact get pretty cold in the winter, and even tropical deserts like the Sahara get cold at night, so Black Mesa likely has extensive heating requirements. In large facilities like university campuses and military bases heating is typically provided to different buildings by way of steam that is warmed in a big central plant- the one a block from where I work that heats campus and the local hospital actually looks extremely similar to Gasworks. I was originally thinking that the building with the furnace near the hangar in Surface Tension might have served this purpose, but that might have some other function entirely such as refining aviation fuel on-site or something.
It is, however, equally possible that Gasworks itself has been converted into a fuel refinery of some sort (as there are other big refinery towers surrounding it in the skybox) or it is now used for purely scientific purposes as petroleum refining and power generation are ever-evolving fields that the US Department of Energy presumably has significant interest in.
What do you all think Gasworks actually does?
I’m leaning towards gasworks being a refinery simply because of the skybox details you mentioned. They look like the cokers and various equipment associated with refining oil products and the like. After a quick google it seems there are significant accumulations of bitumen in New Mexico if you want to have some irl reasoning.
Put together a basic daytime lighting setup for Gasworks and have… honestly kind of mixed feelings about it. It looks very distinctive and not like anything else in Black Mesa, I’ll say that. Does this look like the sort of direction people would want the surface sections of the map taken in?
I think the reason why it looks a little off is because of the fact that it still is, “a basic daytime lighting setup”. The comparative dark lighting, along with very little shadow doesn’t give off a good day look.
Turned up the brightness and it does indeed look substantially better, but the shadows lead to another problem. Ostensibly, the purpose of making Gasworks daylit is because all of the pre-disaster maps are occurring at roughly the same time. That, however, means that the sun will be at about the same angle in all of them- probably a pretty high one. And, unfortunately, that means a lot of the neat shadow design the BM devs worked into the map will no longer appear… Continuing to mess around…
It looks interesting, it somehow reminds me of one of those CSGO maps.
But the both lighting settings could use different approach. For ambient, have you tried to add slightly more blue tint to match skybox color or playing with -realskylight parameters? And for the sun light I would increase the intensity and slightly change tint to more yellow (maybe something like 255 250 220). There are not any distinct shadows from sun, and ambient light have grey tint, like from early morning time, before sunrise.
For other parts of map, are you planning any significant changes? Like lowering / removing water level in lower part of map, making the elevator functional or opening few areas that were not accessible.
I have every intention of making the elevator functional in the initial release of the map, along with adding a control system to arbitrarily alter the water level. My typical process is to release a restored version of the existing areas first and then subsequently add new ones, but they will indeed be added. Gasworks is already a very large map that will need a fair number of connecting areas added to it underground so I am not sure how much performance budget I’ll have available for opening up the buildings topside, but I am hoping to have at least one of the smaller ones be accessible.