Help a noobie out

02-25-2006, 12:33 PM
Hey guys. Im new to mapping, and I love to do this stuff now. I need some help however.

Here is the BSP for what I am talking about:

And, I think this should work, the map file: (If you need the other files, let me know.

First off, I need feedback on some of these things:

1- House design
2- House textures
3- Road/sidewalk/grass
4- The garden design

And I need help with these things:

1- Lighting. I want to make a night map here with the light comming from the lamposts. However, I want it to be enough that you can see. I set the lamposts to 800 or 1200 and it still only lights up whats next to it.
2- Skybox. I want to use a starry sky. I looked up how to change it, but it only explained how to change it to one of the other skyboxes included in the sdk.
3- Some of my props arent showing up. Specifically the flowerpots. I set them to prop-static and some more to prop_detail, but neither shows.
4- Railings for fences. I cant find them in the props with the exception of the donner one.

And since this is only a test map so I can learn to do things, ignore the following:

1- The fact that the map just ends and nothing to stop you.
2- The lack of a 3D skybox

Any recommendations would be nice, such as how to design better houses or a better layout for that garden.

I was going to do screenshots, but they screened as targas and I dont have time to convert them all before work. Hopefully the bsp and vmf arent too much of a hassle. Thanks guys,


PS: If you need the other 3 files Hammer generated, they are here:

02-25-2006, 01:19 PM
ok first: 1- House design

Very bad design. Hammer does not like to see brush going inside other brush. Here is what I mean:

In this past image, the brush selected was removed in the next images.

This brush is going right trought 2 other brush, not a good thing. You could do this wall in one rectangle brush then cut it out for the roof part.

Also texture on that same wall is a texture that have a bottom where its darker. I would try something else to not end up with a dark line on the side because the texture repeat itself.

So as a rule make sur you 45 degree roof do not cut the wall, inside texture that will never be seen should have the NoDraw texture on it for better performance. Like inside the houses.

Same for some of your side walk, they go inside other sidewalk they need to finish side by side, not one into the other. This is a must performance wise to learn to make bush just touch, no go inside the other.

I would make grass and street all displacement and play with it to make it omore realistic.

Overall I think the map will be too small to be playable, really Not sure how many players you want in it.

Hope this help you.

otF yetihw
02-25-2006, 06:33 PM
3- Some of my props arent showing up. Specifically the flowerpots. I set them to prop-static and some more to prop_detail, but neither shows.

This is because the small objects like flowepots are generally physics objects which you can interact with, and as such they must be set to prop_physics_multiplayer

otF yetihw
02-25-2006, 06:54 PM
Had a quick look at your vmf

As coolhand mentioned already, brushes clipping each other is a very bad thing:

In that pic you have used 2 block brushes which are intersecting.

When making paths like this you should make them into func_details. Read up on them as they are extremely useful for optimising your map. Also this is another example of brushes intersecting.

Things like this should also be converted to func_details. The brushes that make up this flower bed, except for the displacement, can be converted to func_details as they don't block vis.

I would recommend reading this before starting a full map:

otherwise you will run into lots of problems later on.

Also look at these:

02-25-2006, 11:15 PM
Thanks guys, thats helpful. I really had no idea that there was a problem with brushes going through one another. I just assumed it was OK as long as the one showing was slightly outward of the other. I assume a quick fix would be to use Tools > Carve? I believe that will cut out any other brushes touching it?

I will read through those links tomorrow after work. As well, this map is just to test some things out, this isnt meant to be a playable map. Im just learning how to do some things and how designs work, how to make things, etc.

Now, one other important thing, I cant find any tutorials on lighting that are of any great use to a complete noob. Same with custom skybox, and env_sun, etc. I am experimenting myself to see if I can get it, but I can only get so far on my own.

02-26-2006, 05:24 AM
For that brush problem you dont need to carve. On the path just move the one brush back until it butts up against the other.

Ol' Noodle Head
02-26-2006, 04:02 PM
Now, one other important thing, I cant find any tutorials on lighting that are of any great use to a complete noob. Same with custom skybox, and env_sun, etc. I am experimenting myself to see if I can get it, but I can only get so far on my own.
I heartily agree. Some nice tutorialist needs to take up this task. I think I might post something on Appalachian Killing Grounds (

(Fuzzy Donkey had a really good one posted on, but it disappeared...hmm just when I needed it too)

03-02-2006, 10:29 PM
Take 2 guys, tell me if im getting better:

I cant get the flags to work, which ill look up a tutorial on later, and I havent set any lights yet. Im looking for feedback on house design.

I cant figure out how to make dispacement roofs without the edges comming off the seams. Any help?

03-03-2006, 12:38 PM
Select the whole brush when making a displacement, not just a single face.

otF yetihw
03-03-2006, 01:25 PM
Not really. If youre making a displacement to get that rough edge effect on walls then you can make the entire brush a displacement but if youre talking about ground displacement which is the most common type you want to select just the top surface with the texture application tool and turn that into a displacement.

The map is not currently sealed and will therefore leak. If you look at the skybox side at the bottom of the top view viewport you will see a hole at the bottom leaking into the void.

What you want to do is cover the entire underside of the map with a brush with the nodraw texture applied to all sides, and then build everything like you have done on top of that, rather than making the roads the bottom of the map as displacements dont seal a map (I assume). Best way to see how this is done is to decompile an official map and take a look.

Once that is done, all of those paved areas you have around the house can also be made into displacements (top face only). The brushes you have seperating the road from the pavement can be made into func_details by pressing ctrl+t (shortcut for tie to entity). *EDIT* My mistake, I didnt look properly youve already turned them into func_details :D Also I shall mention this before it becomes a headache for you: make sure all displacements that are connecting to each other are the same width and height, depending on which sides are connecting, as if they are not you will not be able to use the sew tool. You can also sew them when one is exactly half the width of another.

On the roofs of the houses you still have brushes which are overlapping. Also read up / look at official maps to see how to make displacement roofs.

I compiled it to look at the log, and the following errors occured:

static prop outside of map: is the big tree and the walls around it I assume, this error will go when you create a nodraw brush beneath the map.

***leaked***: as I explained earlier, seal the skybox. Seal it to the nodraw brush beneath the map.

Cant load skybox texture: Use a DOD skybox texture, all of which can be found here:
(at the bottom)

Hope this is all helpful. Sorry if its a bit much to digest but best to dive right in.

03-03-2006, 03:35 PM
See, I understand all that, but i'm having problems. Whenever I do 1 face displacement, it pops off the ground at the edges, leaving visible seams. Any way around this?

03-03-2006, 05:01 PM
This can seem difficult dyzlexic.

Just make sure that everything is on the same grid size.

Also if you have one displacement that is next to another displacement, try to make sure the original brush shape of both displacements is the same and the displacement power is the same, you can then "sew" them together.

displacements leaving visible seams is a pain. I guess a lot of mappers just overlap them.

03-07-2006, 05:13 AM
I've got some seams in displacement joins (not very noticeable) but am thinking of placing prop_statics with a suitable model to help hide them, if I can't get rid of them.

Hope this Idea helps you.

03-07-2006, 05:51 AM
If you create a displacement from 1 face it 'destroys' the other faces of the solid. So you need to make sure the face you want is in the position you want.

03-07-2006, 05:58 AM
If I remember right, you can just select the displacement with the normal selection (not material selection) and move it anywhere you want, if thats what you mean.

03-10-2006, 08:36 AM
I am also working on porting a map -- I noticed that Hammer will import an .rmf file, so there is no need to convert to .map before?

Also, when you run the "chekc for problems" function, what does the fix button do? Does it just delete the entity or update it to the source version?

Thanks for the help!

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