Half Life 1 (Series) Getting a feel for the editor

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Half Life 1 (Series) Getting a feel for the editor

Postby zzSleeper » Thu Mar 06, 2003 3:31 pm

NOTE: This was written for the original Half-Life 1, so this may not apply to mod when using the Valves Source Game Engine(Havock game Engine) Use with caution!-Edited Zolop

A problem i had, and still have to a degree is getting a feel for the editor. Not making stuff, but making stuff that works.

Here are a couple of important things to note that i've found:

1. Scale
- The default grid size is 64x64. Marines are about 128 tall. Skulks probably around 64 or so. The textures are a good way to measure against a fixed reference. Switches and general marine viewing area should probably be about 64 off the ground (bottom edge), which also happens to be jump/crouch height.
[Edited] I'm not too sure about the heights anymore. It could just as easily be marine height of about 70 and skulks around 32, i'll have to test it out some more first.
- The first 2 maps i made were horribly out of scale, hopefully this'll help ppl form making the same mistakes.

2. Size
- The half life engine can't handle big areas or lots of polys. For this reason the engine encourages making series of smaller more detailed rooms than larger ones with any detail. The map compiler will simply balk if an area is too large.

3. Leaks
- Make sure to read up on this in the built in help. Best way to solve it is prevent it.


Feel free to add your own too.
Last edited by zzSleeper on Fri Mar 07, 2003 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Imperator » Fri Mar 07, 2003 2:12 pm

Theme: Try to keep a working theme and keep it consistent. As i have heard in some forums. You cant just have rusty drippy walls and rooms while the next room through that rusted out door is a perfectly clean-room that you would see at Intel ;). Also, tend to have a general feel to your map, is it cramped and in close, or is it wide open hallways with LOTS of vents. Give people a certain theme, and of course throw in a few spicey variations to make them suprised to find it there, but make it a pleasant suprise, not a room painted with barneys head on the walls.. thats just wrong ;). Keep texture themes + colors of lighting generally the same, but not so much that they make the entire map look the same.


Detail: One thing that REALLY looks good in NS maps, is grates over floors filled with pipes and flickering computer screems, also hallways/vents that have grating over them and red lights underneath, makes it feel spooky ;).


Functionality: I am a picky map maker, as i am in everything else... if that texture isnt aligned right, or that door is too big i will notice it. Im not a perfectionist, cuz if im in a lazy mood ill just leave it ;) hehehe. But ive seen so many maps with SPRAWLING hallways, rooms and the like. but if you think about it, could these things actually be functional ships/bases/labs. Make your map with a sense of realism to it, since a ship wont sprawl all over the place, it might in certain areas (in the bulkier areas of the hull) but most of the time it will be longer than it is wider. *shrugs* Just an idea ;)



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Postby [OldF]Komodo » Fri Mar 07, 2003 4:33 pm

maps in HL (just like Quake/UT/etc) are defined using a BSP (Binary Space Partitioning) Tree.. basically it's a means of dividing up the world so that the rendering engine can ignore polygons (or groups thereof) that aren't visible. so ideally, maps should be designed with (segregated) rooms and hallways.. you don't always want one room to be visible from another, it's best to have a hallway connect the two (at least for performance issues).. Avoid open spaces (esp. outdoor scenes) like the plague..
then again, the HL engine is old-ish so even an inefficient map should run ok on today's hardware. Also - I'm not sure how you're creating your meshes, but (in case you're using a 3d editor) - boolean mesh operations are best suited to designing levels for this kind of engine.
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Postby Niteowl » Mon Mar 10, 2003 9:43 am

*stares blankly at Komodo's 1337 game coding skillz*
*drools slightly out of side of mouth*
*eyes glaze*

:D
God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of his own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.
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Re: Getting a feel for the editor.

Postby Guest » Sun Aug 01, 2004 1:54 pm

zzSleeper wrote:Marines are about 128 tall. Skulks probably around 64 or so.
[Edited] I'm not too sure about the heights anymore. It could just as easily be marine height of about 70 and skulks around 32, i'll have to test it out some more first.


A marine/fade is 72 units high, 32 units wide and 32 units in lengh.
A skulk/gorge/lerk/crouching marine/crouching lerk is 32 units high, 32 units wide and 36 units in lengh.
A onos is 108 units high, 64 units wide and 64 units in lengh.

[OldF]Komodo wrote:then again, the HL engine is old-ish so even an inefficient map should run ok on today's hardware. Also - I'm not sure how you're creating your meshes, but (in case you're using a 3d editor) - boolean mesh operations are best suited to designing levels for this kind of engine.


R_speeds are the number of visible world polygons (includes entity polygones but not a model's, those are e_polys). Basicly for a co_ map r_speeds should be below 800 and for a ns map a max of 800 with the map running a ~500/600 in most areas. To show these figues type "r_speeds 1" and "developer 2" in your console.

HL does really support boolean operation. Its all about building a brush(box) one at a time, editing it in the right shape and going on the next to create your world architecture.

hope this helps.

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Postby Pappy » Sun Aug 01, 2004 7:06 pm

Ummm, what the hell did he just say? :rolleyes:
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Postby Niteowl » Tue Aug 03, 2004 7:45 am

that was one MYSTERIOUS CODER!! :shock:
God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of his own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.
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