Custom Content Without Contamination

Posted by on Apr 15, 2015 in Past Stories, Tutorials

Custom Content Without Contamination

While creating a level for almost any game, you are most likely going to use some custom content. The issue is that for Hammer and the game to read this content it must be placed inside of the game’s folder. This can lead to you have content others don’t have, or you contaminating your “pure” game files. In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive having different files from the server will result in a kick from the server and temporary ban. We want the best of both worlds – we want Hammer to see the content, and we want to play online. Follow this guide to set up Content Without Contamination. This was written with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in mind, but this does apply to all games that use custom content. This is really useful when you’re working with a team out of a cloud sync service. All members mount the same shared folder, and then have the same content. If you’re working on a single player game, or a mod that will ship VPKs this is not useful to you. This is only useful if you’re required to pack custom content into your BSP before shipping it. In this guide we’ll cover the system and practices I use to develop levels with my custom content. This includes: Organizing your content correctly. Mounting external content in Hammer. Automatically packing your level with all your custom content. Creating a project specific compile configuration. Sounds exciting? Because it is! Let’s get started. The first part is about getting the content into Hammer without getting the content into the game. Part 1 Move all your custom content into a dedicated “Project” folder somewhere on your computer. I suggest NOT keeping your level in sdk_content\maps. I HIGHLY SUGGEST keeping your project folder inside of a cloud storage folder such as: Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, or any other popular provider. Here is an example for one of my projects. I use this structure for every project I start. Dropbox Level Design Portal 2 Garry’s Mod  CSGO Facade Osaka  Silo Concepts (Concept content is stored in this folder) Doors Halls Stairs Rooms Controls Misc Raw Content (Raw, uncompiled content is store here) Maps (VMFs, VMX, PRT, LOG, Ect..) Materials (PSDs, PNGs, JPEGs used in material creation) Models (3Ds Max, Maya, QCs, along with any other model related files) Resource (Any resource files, E.G. your level’s mini-map) Sounds (Any RAW sound files that are being edited) Scripts (Scripts, Nut files, various manifest files) Content (All sub-folders store their respective content to be used inside the game. Typically they would be copied into your games folders, possibly overwriting game critical data.) Maps Materials Models Resource Scripts Sounds (Optional) I suggest that you then scrub your game install folder then verify your game’s cache. This is to ensure that you’ve returned your game back to its full default content. Browse to your game’s exe folder. In my case this is: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Counter-Strike Global Offensive...

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Creating Facade

Posted by on Oct 19, 2014 in Content, News, Past Stories

Creating Facade

Written by Maxwell Giddens Co-Creator along side Douglas “TopHATTwaffle” Hoogland of de_facade. When you look at the finished product of most things, it’s hard to imagine the many individual parts that made them what they are. Often many of the details that define something are ones that aren’t even visible in the final version. A lot of decisions went into the design of de_facade, and while we think we made most of them for pretty good reasons, several of the results aren’t even visible in the map today. There is a whole untold story of what happened to get it to where it is now. This is (hopefully) an easily digestible form of that very long story. Welcome to Facade (pronounced fuh-sahd, for anyone who hasn’t seen that word written before). As you adventure through our level, you may be thinking that it’s a remake, or is inspired by one of the existing maps in Counter Strike’s long history; this is not actually the case. The truth is this map was created in collaboration with players who have spent hundreds of hours playing and enjoying the game. With so much input from those players, it’s no accident that it feels so familiar. We hope you would agree that it fits in comfortably alongside the maps we all play so often. Building an Original Layout Since we began, Facade was played extensively in order to create a layout that directly reflects what long time time CS players are looking for. We created it with the goal of not only innovation, but also of understanding and meeting our players expectations. It was decided early in development to not grow too attached to any specific area of the map. Instead of investing time in building complex details, we adopted a “nothing is permanent” attitude in our playtests, and stuck to building only basic geometry. This decision paid off very early on by giving the final say to our players. Problem areas could be reworked to our players’ specifications without our personal preferences or pride getting in the way. This feedback loop would keep our ideas grounded, while keeping decisions for the sake of aesthetics out of the equation. It may seem like a no-brainer to not waste time on details early on, but it’s easy for an eager designer to fall into that trap when starting a new level. With this strategy in mind, we began to create an initial layout. We could spend a large portion of time trying to defend the laughable decisions that we made when constructing the original layout for Facade, but thankfully, we both learned quickly that the instincts of our playtesters consistently trumped even our best laid plans. While our testers’ feedback was our most valuable asset at this stage, making changes to areas we felt certain we had right involved a level of frustration which...

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Hammer Tutorial V2 Series #22 “Complete Sound Implementation”

Posted by on Aug 30, 2014 in Past Stories, Tutorials

Hammer Tutorial V2 Series #22 “Complete Sound Implementation”

Audacity: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/ Waveosaur: http://www.wavosaur.com/download.php TopHATTwaffle’s Written Sound Script Tutorial: http://www.tophattwaffle.com/creating-your-own-sound-scripts/ VDC Ambient_Generic: https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Ambient_generic VDC env_soundscape: https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Env_soundscape VDC Sound Scripts: https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Soundscript VDC Soundscapes:...

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