Archive for August, 2009

Argueing with myself.

August 22, 2009 Leave a comment

I find one of the hardest things to do in a map Is to actually Make the map. No, I dont mean creating brushes, setting up entities, placing props, and those things. I mean actualy setting up the layout of a map. If its not yet known Im a heavy Prefectionist when it comes to map making. If I am not happy with how to map came out ill can it and leave it for months on the shelf. This is ussualy due to some gameplay or balance part. or a techincal bug in a map that would be a pain to fix. My example for this is the most detailed map ive ever done, and its never seen the light of day. It was called ctf_streak for Team Fortress 2. The map is a small Alpine style map that is supposed to be like 2fort except more combat, therefore more combat hapening.

I had two main problems with the map. First was a gameplay issue the map allowed scouts to grab the intel jump across a chasim and be relitivaly in the clear at this point. This created a problem as if a team didnt have someone watching that route constantly a scout could eassily get away with the intel.

the second problem was graphical, I had planned that periotically a long train would run through the level(10 cars in length) thus cutting off the center route temporarily. The train works fine in the game area however the cars sharply turn downwards on their way down the mountian thus breaking the realistic effect of it.  I know its just a matter of getting the car’s settings right but I already had enough problems with it(getting them to sync up, extended use, clipping issues.) I think im better off ditching the entire idea this time…

Enough of my own work, There are three kinds of popular maps out there.

1)fun maps: maps that are fun to play on, abiet may not look that good or make much sense in any gameplay since. (the Orange x maps come to mind for this.)

2)the perfect maps: Maps that both look great with penty of cool stuff and are very fun to play on.

3)the “shiny” maps: Maps that look great, but are horrible to play on, gameplay doesnt work correctly or there penty of exploits.

My own personal opinion on the three is you always want to be as close as you can get to a perfect map but alway be on the side of fun. the worst thing is when your map becomes shiny where gameplay is overridden by the looks of a map. REMEMBER! this is game, its supposed to be fun, if the player wants to look at something cool they’ll go watch a movie.

A good example is the new videos in valve’s tf2 blog here you see that the first picture is just a bunch of block buildings with some generic props. They dont even have doors on spawns yet. It issnt till half way through the development process they decide to add more details to the map. and it goes from there.

However, unlike valve we dont have armies of beta testers that can test every nook and cranny of our maps. So we must be even more diligent on our maps, exspect that a player will try everything to break your map, and you must be ready with a clip feild an redundancy or some other defense agianst the exploit. Simmilary if you ever see a person doing an exploit on one of your maps you need to mark it down and make sure the next version blocks this exploit.

speaking of ctf_steak, I think ill try to fix it..

Categories: Hammer

Mapping in NeoTokyo

August 5, 2009 3 comments

For those of you Who don’t know what NeoTokyo is I Highly suggest heading over to their site at and download the mod.

NeoTokyo is a source mod game (meaning its free to anyone with a source game.) biased heavily on the Ghost in the Shell Anime. Its a very well polished and fun game.

And I’m making a map for it!

Its called Intrusion and is set on the busy streets of Tokyo.

I originally worked in Team fortress 2 sdk so its pretty similar however there are several “bugs” you gotta watch out for..

First is when you first load a map this happens(for me at least..)

3d bug when first loading a map.

3d bug when first loading a map.

the 3d screen is black…. Well its not black, a little looking in and I found that its actually really really far off from the map. This can be fixed by selecting anything in the map and centering the 3d view on it. (under View menu)

with that here it is!

In hammer Rendering of my map.

In hammer Rendering of my map.

Yeah Its hammer rendered, but I don’t have it lighted yet.

OK then a few problems Ive found with working in the neotokyo Sdk.

First many of models are very picky on what they can and can’t be (prop_static,dynamic,physics). This can cause some of your props to disappear when you go to test the map. So, Before you Run your map fully, Do a bsp test on it, (when running the map select normal for BSP and No For Vis and Rad) This will check all the props and if the model can be used by the prop entity. Although it seems it will only catch a part of them. Certian Models Say they can work with Dynamic and Disappear when Compiled. What I did was used Prop_Dynamic_override on them. That forces them into the Prop_dynamic. Just make sure to check What props can be used with what models in the model view. It will tell you in The Info tab of the model Browser. If Static is uncheked, The model may disappear when compiled.

Make sure to check what models can be used with what props.

Make sure to check what models can be used with what props.

While where on the model browser, Theres one model that Crashes Hammer for me. It’s “nt/props_office/fireext.mdl” SAVE BEFORE CLICKING ON THIS MODEL! It may crash your Hammer. If it does make a note and be careful browseing models.

Next, a bit of info on NT.
I dont know the exact collision dimensions of the NT classes but ive gotten a good estimate, For one For any normal “doorway” the space should be 40 units x80 units That should be a great fit for Recon and Assaults, Supports may need some guideing into the doorway with playercliped sides.

I needed 3 Clip feild to make this door smooth to enter.

I needed 3 Clip feilds to make this door smooth to enter.

Nottice the Clip feild on the bottom? Seems If the ceiling is too low the game wont allow the player to step up even if he can fit… strange but eassily fixed with a slope.

As for Needed entities Make sure you always have the “neo_game_config” and “neo_bloom_controller” On your map somewhere the game config is needed if you want to play capture the ghost on your map. the Bloom Controller is needed because the game defaults bloom to 1.0 (ie blinding sun).. an “Info_player_start” is good to have as well as it is used as the camera when you first enter the game.

As for setting up Capture the ghost Its not that hard if you know hammer. Just pick some spots for the ghost to drop and put “neo_ghostspawnpoint” at each one, the game will randomly pick a point each round. after that place “neo_ghost_retrieval_point” where you want the cap points to be. Since teams change sides each round Hammer works in attacker/defender Instead of  NSF/Jinrai such as the spawn points being “info_player_attacker” and “info_player_defender”

Now that you’ve gotten a bit of a crash core in NeoTokyo Mapping, If you want to make some maps yourself Heres the FDG I use, complete with Icons made by me.

10/25/09 UPDATE offical SDK is out no need for the unofficial one now. Link to the official one below.

Categories: Hammer, NeoTokyo

What I got so far..

August 2, 2009 Leave a comment

Soooo… Project Tac-com… Right now, I’m about 30% done with it…well that’s being generous I’m finishing up the Information on it. Something Ive been doing for a while.

For while now Ive had these awesome ideas for games, however no way of actually making the games. I hate coding and Im not that good at drawing. A few Months ago I found a program that would change that. Its called Construct, Its a open source Game development application. Its awesome, only prob is it works strictly in 2d, although there’s a bit of 3d in it its not enough to make an entire 3d world. Undetermined I dived head first into working with it.(by the way, check for more info on construct)

After a while of Fooling around with the buttons and knobs I decided to get to work on someone to show for it. I tried making two other games first, First a top/down shooter that takes place in a futuristic laboratory gone crazy. Next was a tetris like game that had to trying to stack objects of various shapes together without overfilling the grid. both Failed in their own way. Then I decided stop messing around and pulled something from my “gold” book. (a series of ideas i’ve been working on for years) What I got was Tac-Com.

The Concept
The Idea came about from Warhammer 40k, its a popular table top game that has you customize your own forces and battle them among friends, and the adaption of the game Called Dawn of war. This lead me to think can you convert a Tabletop game into a video game? not just some rts.(although everything relic makes is gold)  This is where tac-com started.

About it.
Tac-com is set in the future, (2400 or so)  Where Humanity has colonized several worlds, However Livable worlds are few and far apart. The Game will have 3 races, the United Earth Army(UEA), the Atlas Corp, and the republic of Carion. Each has their own way of fighting, and their own equipment.

gameplay will be a turn biased system that uses the mouse to navigate your forces on a game map. It will not be grid biased

Each race has 3 units of each type, Infantry, Vehicle, and Mech. Each unit has special abilities and weapons as well as stats unique to the unit. beyond this Each can be customized with equipment.

Each race has its own way to deploy units onto the battlefield, however each have a limited amount of space, the scale of the battle is determined by how many “drops” you get. a 1 drop mission would be very quick, while a 5 drop would drag on for a while. everything the unit can equip/change on their units costs points as well as the units. a player must make a team that its only so many points so they may fit into the drop vehicle.

Now that your caught up with the game idea. Where i am currently Is making the basic combat system as well as drawing(ugh.) all the units. Im doing direct top down to cut down on the number of sprites that i have to use, But its still going to be alot of work. 9 units +3 items +1 super unit = 13 units to draw per race… x 3 races = 39 units to draw. But im going to have to bite the bullet and draw them. I have finished with first unit.

Basic Infantry of UEA

Basic Infantry of UEA

Took my about 3-5 hours. the little guys surrounded by black squares are the units that are going to be in the game, the colored drawing is going to be on the hud when the unit is selected.


August 2, 2009 Leave a comment

Ok, I’m starting this blog for a few reasons…. 1)Because Source mapping is easy, but many little problems can make it hard. 2)I love video games but I really want to make games. 3)Im hoping to get some response to my games, other than throwing them out and hoping someone sees them.

Anyways, Hello, the names Zero Rogue, self appointed insane genius. Currently Im most known for My Mapping skills in Team Fortress 2 (forever now mentioned as TF2) However I hope that will change soon as I have many ideas for games and Its my hope I can get them out Into the public eye.

In this blog I’ll make comments about Source mapping, my game development, as well as other things.

For now Ive been working off/on on about 10 or so projects, The biggest being:

1)Project Tac-Com, A 2d turn baised top down strategy game.

2)Intrusion , a map for the New mod NeoTokyo.

3)various tf2 maps.

Right then, Time to take over the world….of gaming..

Categories: Uncategorized
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