Mapping questions

MC

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Alright, once again I'm doing another map (I have a extremely bad habit of constantly starting new maps). This one is going to have a road in it and on both sides of the road are two block brushes that represent street curbs (to some extent).

Question 1

Brush: Obviously straight roads aren't really good looking since they lack realism in map that has rough/mountianous terrain. More to the point, how would you go about making the road curve?

Texture Alignment: Once I make the road curve, how do I get the textures to align in such a way that they curve with with road and look somewhat realistic?

Question 2

Entity: What exactly does a func_wall do? I haven't used func_wall in so long that I completely forgot what it does. (I figured I might as well ask this while I'm here).

Question 3

Texture Alignment: What would be the best X/Y Scale to set textures for say, Terrain?

Question 4

Tool: What purpose is there for the path tool? (I figured once again that I ask that while I'm here).

Question 5

Texture Alignment: In every map I've worked with, I haven't been able to change the "Align to face" or "Align to world" as both of them are checked, but I'm unable to uncheck them.

Question 6

Tool: What exactly is "cordon state" and "cordon bounds"? In all of my time mapping I never figured out what they were (Once again, might as well ask while I'm here).

Question 7

General: Where do any of you mappers out there get your map ideas from? Every map I've seen has a lot of creativity compared to mine, and I figured that there's a lot of concept that goes on pre-mapping. Usually when I put my ideas that I just come up with in my head to application, they always turn out much less than I imagined, which prevents me from ever finishing a map (I have never finished a map that I've worked on, ever).

Take note to all you new/veteran mappers, I've been mapping since Half-Life, and have expanded myself to map in tons of different games, and made hundreds of maps (none of them ever were finished) and I still have some of the most basic questions to ask.
 
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Quite a list you've got there. I'll try to answer them all briefly but fully.

1.) Create the road from multiple brushes to put the angle and curve into the road, then change the rotation of each texture so it looks like it fits. You may have to change the scaling of each face to get it to look right. You could also create a curved texture and map the geometry to that (as in modelling) but if you don't need an incredibly smooth curve, that may be more trouble than it's worth.

2.) A func_wall is just that, a wall. It's only real application is to make the brush not a world brush, but an entity, so then it has the benefits of being an entity (control over how it's rendered, reducing wpoly, not splintering brushes upon intersection, etc).

3.) It really depends on the textures you're using and the desired scale of the map.

4.) As far as I remember, the path tool is used for AI, guiding monsters through a map. I've never had to use it. Ever.

5.) You could recreate the brush if you have to change it, but all you really need to do is make sure the textures are properly aligned. A method for doing so is to select a face, then while it's selected, right click on another face. It copies the same texture settings to that face, and is pretty useful.

6.) Cordon bounds are used to define an area of your map you want walled off, and only that area will be compiled. It's meant to be used to track down areas, such as isolating a leak. You can get the same effect by just setting up temporary walls around an area in your map. It's another one of those things you'll never use, heh.

7.) From anything, really. I always try to think of one main feature for the map, and then think of related things to build around it. Random terrain may look good, but it's no fun to play on a map without any attractions. That's what I've found keeps me going on the maps I've finished. I've started a bunch I've never finished as well, and I bet we all have, but if you know it's got something unique, you'll want to finish it.
 

MC

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With the func_wall, do you tie every brush to it?
 
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Hells no. That dosent work to great. Just the problematic ones that cut up your maps to mutch ^^
 
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DragonDude said:
Quite a list you've got there. I'll try to answer them all briefly but fully.

1.) Create the road from multiple brushes to put the angle and curve into the road, then change the rotation of each texture so it looks like it fits. You may have to change the scaling of each face to get it to look right. You could also create a curved texture and map the geometry to that (as in modelling) but if you don't need an incredibly smooth curve, that may be more trouble than it's worth.

2.) A func_wall is just that, a wall. It's only real application is to make the brush not a world brush, but an entity, so then it has the benefits of being an entity (control over how it's rendered, reducing wpoly, not splintering brushes upon intersection, etc).

3.) It really depends on the textures you're using and the desired scale of the map.

4.) As far as I remember, the path tool is used for AI, guiding monsters through a map. I've never had to use it. Ever.

5.) You could recreate the brush if you have to change it, but all you really need to do is make sure the textures are properly aligned. A method for doing so is to select a face, then while it's selected, right click on another face. It copies the same texture settings to that face, and is pretty useful.

6.) Cordon bounds are used to define an area of your map you want walled off, and only that area will be compiled. It's meant to be used to track down areas, such as isolating a leak. You can get the same effect by just setting up temporary walls around an area in your map. It's another one of those things you'll never use, heh.

7.) From anything, really. I always try to think of one main feature for the map, and then think of related things to build around it. Random terrain may look good, but it's no fun to play on a map without any attractions. That's what I've found keeps me going on the maps I've finished. I've started a bunch I've never finished as well, and I bet we all have, but if you know it's got something unique, you'll want to finish it.

I agree with most of it, but don't make the road-curves out of brushes, try to make the curves in the textures, which means you'll have to create textures yourself, but the results look twice as good.
 

MC

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DragonDude said:
Quite a list you've got there. I'll try to answer them all briefly but fully.

1.) Create the road from multiple brushes to put the angle and curve into the road, then change the rotation of each texture so it looks like it fits. You may have to change the scaling of each face to get it to look right. You could also create a curved texture and map the geometry to that (as in modelling) but if you don't need an incredibly smooth curve, that may be more trouble than it's worth.

2.) A func_wall is just that, a wall. It's only real application is to make the brush not a world brush, but an entity, so then it has the benefits of being an entity (control over how it's rendered, reducing wpoly, not splintering brushes upon intersection, etc).

3.) It really depends on the textures you're using and the desired scale of the map.

4.) As far as I remember, the path tool is used for AI, guiding monsters through a map. I've never had to use it. Ever.

5.) You could recreate the brush if you have to change it, but all you really need to do is make sure the textures are properly aligned. A method for doing so is to select a face, then while it's selected, right click on another face. It copies the same texture settings to that face, and is pretty useful.

6.) Cordon bounds are used to define an area of your map you want walled off, and only that area will be compiled. It's meant to be used to track down areas, such as isolating a leak. You can get the same effect by just setting up temporary walls around an area in your map. It's another one of those things you'll never use, heh.

7.) From anything, really. I always try to think of one main feature for the map, and then think of related things to build around it. Random terrain may look good, but it's no fun to play on a map without any attractions. That's what I've found keeps me going on the maps I've finished. I've started a bunch I've never finished as well, and I bet we all have, but if you know it's got something unique, you'll want to finish it.
Thanks for the answers. #7, I'm finding myself going back to the my "weird combination type map" and adding a few small things since I feel that it's a map I want to finish. In reality I might not finish it, then again I might, like I said previously, I have an extremely bad habit of constantly starting new maps (which that, and the lack of creativity seem to have prevented me from ever finishing one, like I also said previously).

The only map I got really far in was a single-player map I was making for Half-Life 2, it had to have been the best map I've ever worked on. It was a map in which you (Gordon Freeman) are trapped in a small store with zombies infesting the streets (a city map). Sure that idea has been used more than once, but the strong points in that map was the mood it created. I had the lighting just right (both outside and inside the shop), I swear, I couldn't of got it any more perfect as it came really close to what I was shooting for. It wasn't a very dark map, but the lighting gave you the idea that the sun was setting. As soon as you break through the piece of wood (I made the door look like it was knocked down, and it lays inside the store, in it's place is a thin wooden board). Music kicks in, music I found from the movie Resident Evil, the main theme. I had the street set up with busted cars (the only kind that come with Half-life 2), flickering street lamps, mixed with the lighting... It just really made you think you were there.

Like with all of my maps though I ran into a very large list of errors and design flaws and it was too time consuming for me to fix each and every little thing. Unfortunately when I had to redo my computer, I completely forgot to back up my maps, so it got deleting along with the other (I think it was about) 60-70 other maps.

Grega said:
Hells no. That dosent work to great. Just the problematic ones that cut up your maps to mutch ^^
Alright.

Cold Steel said:
I agree with most of it, but don't make the road-curves out of brushes, try to make the curves in the textures, which means you'll have to create textures yourself, but the results look twice as good.
The custom textures are becoming an extreme pain, I'm not an artist, I'm terrible at designing textures (an understatement). Along with working with triangles to make terrain and such, I'm working on making textures (neither are coming along very well).
 

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