A Physics with Astrophysics graduate and level designer specializing in the Source engine. You can contact me here or by yelling really loud.

Drop the device in the Aperture Science Equipment Recovery Annex

I’m pretty much done with mapping for Team Fortress 2, I’ve had a great time working with it and have seen some amazing maps come out of the community around me. Now though, I’m turning back towards Portal. Single player mapping is an entirely different beast to multiplayer. It’s something I really enjoy and what I started with, Glad to be back.

I feel like I learn so much more about the engine when working with multiplayer, every time you want something to happen, you need to find a new entity to do exactly what you want. Sometimes the entity you try out doesn’t do what you want it to, and you don’t end up using it, but you had to learn how it works anyway, which I love. There isn’t really much entity work to be done for most multiplayer games, you set up the gamemode stuff, flags or control points etc and that’s about it. I still employ the usual rough out then revisit adding detail method, but I couldn’t resist prettying up a small section already, this is for the Thinking with Portals contest running this month:

The First portal sub-chamber of 'The Reveal' 2d

(As usual, in red/cyan and amber/blue)

An interesting find when using my new favourite entity: func_instance, is that the ! special target names like !activator have the target name fixup applied to them, as well as normal target names, which prevents them from working. Unfortunately there are plenty of cases where you need to use these ! target names, so you either have to collapse your instance and remove the fixup or not use instances in the first place.

I’ve also had a chance to paint a skybox for this project, not something you’d commonly assosiate with Portal, but there we go. I’ve been using Skypaint which lets you pick a view, open it in Photoshop, paint it without any of the usual cubemap distortion and then send it straight back to skypaint. You need to make sure you use a higher resolution than you want your final map since it’s resampling isn’t perfect, but who produces source images at the same resolution as their final product anyway? It may be old, but it does exactly what it says on the tin and I know that some of Valve’s artists have used (and probably still do) it for their skyboxes.

As I realise I’ve yet to post this here, if you’re on Twitter, you can follow me, I’ve added the link to the subscribe options on the side too.

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