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Another year has passed. So what? Not like I did anything interesting in 2011. Unless I did? OH YEAH, I did a lot of things, like going on trips, to parties, meeting new people, taking a ton of photos, drawing, but especially mapping. Now that I have a somewhat decent intro, I can start to talk about my mapping year.
2011 started off pretty well, with a mapping competition on PlanetPhillip.com, Rooftopville, where our goal was to create an interesting rooftop scenario, similar to Half-Life 2's where the player has run away from the combine.
When I joined in, the competition was nearing it's deadline, so I had to create a level(s) in just three weeks. This was the time when I learned to use scripted sequences and events. At first, it was difficult to tell Hammer exactly how I wanted my character to move in the world and how the action should develop, but my efforts were rewarded in the end. This was probably my first map that had proper gameplay elements.
The map was pretty well received, but the majority pointed out that it felt unfinished or not polished enough. Here is Phillip's comment, extracted directly from PlanetPhillip.com :
"Perhaps the best start of all the entries, this colour-corrected map starts with a bang! It was fairly short and did what it was supposed to do and that was make me play on the rooftops. The path was clear in each section, perhaps too clear, and some action was easy to avoid. The final battle was too plain and vanilla, and it was even possible to jump around the corner and get out the map.
All in all a good entry but not polished enough to win."
Afterwards, I took a long break from mapping, about three months. Somewhere in April, after the Valve ARG and Portal 2's release I was ready to get back into Hammer and resume work. I decided to improve and master the displacement technique. Over the next months I tried different things with displacements, gaining more and more experience.
By the end of June I was already planning to release a map and was working on several other projects. On 8th July I released a small gungame map for Counter-Strike: Source, fy_plybox, which was very well received by the community. As of now, it has 967 downloads and a rating of 9.61/10 (based on 13 ratings).
fy_plybox introduces a new and exciting environment for Valve's Counter-Strike: Source, featuring fast paced rounds that take place inside a warehouse specially designed for close quarter combat. The map has a uniqure feel to it and an extreme attention to detail, further enhancing the visual experience. On the other hand we have the gameplay experience, which can get very tense at moments when you're the only one left and knowing that your enemy could be right around the corner. Your victory is not only achieved by skill, but also by choosing the right weapon for this kind of combat and keeping yourself constantly moving.
As summer was nearing an end, a new mapping competition on PlanetPhillip.com was arising, gravitygunville. As the name suggests it, we were only allowed to use the gravity gun as a weapon/tool. This competition proved to be a bit difficult for me. I spent about two-three weeks working on several designs until I found one that pleased me, which was a simplistic, more abstract design.
Gravitygunville was a competition in which I really wanted to participate, not only because the grand prize was 100$, but because the maps were being judged by three professional level designers. I did not have any hopes of winning, but on 8th October I was surprised to find out that my entry was selected as the grand winner. One thing I regret is that I didn't make the level longer. I would have certainly loved to add a few more puzzles and possibly some action sequences.
After the competition was over I started working on two other maps for two different mods and I am still working on them even now. I decided put more effort and make sure that they will be part of my best maps. As you can see, they are far from done.
Right before the year could end, an event on Facepunch, entitled "The Two Week Mod", motivated me to contribute with a level for it. However, the level was never finished, but it certainly won me some experience.
It's been a truly great mapping year. I've learned so many new things, from layout designing to releasing a map. One thing is certain, making maps is really hard, but worth it in the end. There's nothing more rewarding than seeing other people enjoy something you've created. Even though I would have liked to show you all my projects I cannot, because I have simply lost track of some. Here are a few I found worth showing, but not talking about.
P.S: This is the second time I write this whole article from sctrach, because I accidentally closed the page after I had finished the first one. Better click "Save Blog" before something else happens.
Today I went through the old things I've collected from my father and grandfathers.
The photos are 30-50 years old. In the middle one you can spot my dad playing en electric guitar.
The medals date back to 1971,1972 and 1974. On the one from 1971 it reads "The 50th anniversary of the romanian communist party", the one from 1972 "25 years since the proclamation of the republic" and on the one from 1974 "30 years since romania was freed from the fascist domination".
The red book is french-romanian dictionary and it's about 60-70 years old. I currently use it for my french homework. On top of it there are some old theater binoculars, made in the URSS.
The camera is a vintage Zenit 3EHNT Camera, which was bought by my father, somewhere in 1980, when he was in Russia.
And the money dates back to 1940. That is all.
Check other photos out at God--of--war.deviantart.com
Today I finally uploaded my frag video. I recorded for a few days on the 2fort map, while playing with some friends. I got a total of 42 bat kills, including 3 death balls. It's not much, but I had more of them in demo format, but he TF2 update fucked them up.
Anyway, here it is:
What is color correction ?
Color correction is the concept of altering the color balance of an image to achieve a desired effect. It is primarily used to set an emotional tone or convey important information.
You can read more at the Valve wikipedia Developer.valvesoftware.com
Today I learned about color correction and how to use it in Source games. I won't tell you how to do that, but I will show you some comparison photos from Portal. The first picture doesen't use color correction, while the second one does.
Of course, you can use that feature to change the appearance of any map. You can make it black-white, purple, yellow etc, you can invert the colors, reduce them and many other options, but I chose to make it look darker, reduce the colors a bit and some other minor stuff.
Dudes and Dudets, from the creators of Portal: Prelude, I present you "I Hate Mountains". As soon as the campaign was released, me an my friends downloaded it and played through it on Expert/Advanced.
I have to say that it was a very good campaign, with a very nice setting and plot. Anyway, here are the videos:
NOTE* The "Let's play" contains mature conversations, professional gameplay and should be taken very seriously!
Thank you for watching and stay tunned for more videos and media!
Howdy, everyone! We got a new set of explosions ready for you to watch and this time we tripled, NO! quadrupled, maybe quintupled (or even more) the amount of explosions!
Don't forget to watch "The lighthouse explodes!" if you didn't see it already Moddb.com
Okay, enough chit-chat, let's watch those explosions!
Pitch Black Boom!
Kaboom! goes the train
Now, let's take a look "behind the scenes", where we experiment and learn from our failure.
Behind the scenes!
Filming: Blue Cheetah (me)
Igniters: Cheesezorz aka Mike; Ville aka John
Key binding specialist: Cheesezorz
Music used: Rob D - Clubbed to death
Commands for propane tank and gas canister:
BONUS! I uploaded a few photos for you guys.The image size is 1680x1050,file type "jpg".
I hope you enjoyed our explosions. Stay tuned for more videos!
With the occasion of updating Penumbra's moddb details, media etc I found one of Frictional Game's first games on the HPL engine. It's called Unbirth and it was never released, the game never managed to pass alpha stage. My friend Cheesezorz got motivated by it and decided to remake the game on the Source engine. I immediatly wanted to help, so I started filming the levels, which crash quite a lot. I managed to film all the levels, except some of the rooms. Regarding to the story, I think we must contact someone who worked on the game to ask him about it. So far, the original content is very usefull, especially the sounds and a few textures.
Here's what I managed to film:
The game can be found at Unbirth.frictionalgames.com
Yeah, I'm gonna do a walkthrough for the marine campaign on AvP. Gonna start filming as soon as it releases. The first parts of the walkthrough should be up on soon, so if you get stuck on a level or the demo didn't convince you to buy the game, just watch my videos. I'm sure it will be worth it, since they are all HD and the gameplay is as professional as it can be. You can find my other tutorials here Youtube.com , but so far there's only 1 tutorial (for Penumbra: Black Plague) and a playthrough for Nightmare House: The Remake.
Anyway, I also wrote a review on BWL about AvP and the demo release. You can read it down or visit the site Bwldevelopment.com
Well, I’m pretty much sure all of you know about SEGA’s upcoming Aliens vs Predator game, but in case you don’t, here’s a short review about the progress, the game and the demo release. The game is being made by the Rebellion team. Their first major successes were Alien Vs Predator on the Atari Jaguar in 1995 and Aliens Vs. Predator on PC in 1999, creating game innovations years ahead of their time. And as their name suggests, Rebellion’s approach to game production is focused primarily on cross-platform innovations and product quality.
It is Rebellion’s aim to produce innovative videogame products of the highest quality, to have solid links with comic, book and movie content to ultimately ensure that the final consumer experience is as exciting as possible. The game has been in development for about 2 years, the team concentrating on creating the ultimate AvP experience.
About the story, the action takes place on the planet BG-386, where the humans have established a colony. Apparently, they find an ancient Predator temple which was forgotten by the Predators and that’s what triggers the whole story. The humans find the aliens and capture them for tests, the predators find out about the temple and the marines are sent on the planet to clean up the mess. You can experience a distinctly new and thrilling first person gameplay as you survive, hunt and prey in the deadly jungles and swamps surrounding the damned colony of Freya’s Prospect.
Last week, on Thursday, February 04, the demo was released for AvP. So far, the demo supports a multiplayer deathmatch mode with 8 players. The code presented in the demo is not the final release and all the DirectX 11 features will be available in the full release. The first time I launched the demo and already I had problems, but wait! I wasn’t the only one who had them. The full game features the ability to browse for and create games but for the purposes of simplicity the demo was limited to matchmaking, so you had to wait from 5 minutes to even 10 minutes to manage to play online. Shortly after the demo was released Rebellion updated the demo and managed to fix that issue. They even apologized about it “We’re really sorry that this issue tainted a day in which we saw many people get hands on with AvP for the first time and we’re hugely gratified by the positive feedback to the game.”.
Overall, the demo was pretty good. It gives us a great example of every race’s abilities to kill it’s prey. The marine for example, his motion tracker can give the alien’s position very easily making the
vicious xenomorph an easy prey. The marine’s weapons are pretty much basic, he can equip himself with a pulse rifle, the smart gun, pistol, sniper rifle or a flame thrower. If you’re impressed by those then wait till you hear the Predator’s arsenal! Trip mines, pulse cannon, spear, “ninja disks”, deadly claws and vicious look; all of those are bound to give you a chill down your spine. But what about the alien? It’s quite simple and deadly, you are the weapon.
While you play as each race you see the game through different perspectives and you also have to come up with a completely new strategy. The Predator is based on stealth, he uses a cloaking device
to become invisible which gives him the element of surprise. The marine is like a beeping radar with a gun, while the alien is like a deadly sword waiting in the dark.
The demo really convinced me to buy the game and test all the multiplayer modes and the single player campaign and of course, to try the game with all it’s features which are guaranteed to bring a one of a kind AvP experience!
I also took the liberty to record some multiplayer matches. Enjoy!