So after my brand new PC finally arrived, I was overjoyed to find that - with an Nvidia card as opposed to the ATI card I had in my old rig - I could once again map for Goldsource.
This was a truly terrible idea.
I got right into it, creating a .wad of custom textures, gathering reference images and then mapping to my heart's content for several days. What I produced was something I was genuinely happy with. It looked a hell of a lot better than any of the stuff I'd made in Goldsource before I stopped mapping for it 3 years ago and it was going to be used in Urby's mod The Core.
Unfortunately I then had the bloody nerve to compile the damn thing and I was immediately reminded why I had fallen in love with the Source engine. Goldsource is just so distressingly limiting. There is no room to be creative. If you want a large, expansive area like the one I mapped, you have to sacrifice so much in terms of detailing. First of all I got the MAX MAP PATCHES error or some crap along those lines. Something to do with the way the engine calculates lighting on faces. Apparently a fairly detailed, large expansive grand hall with multiple skylights and textures scaled to (what I believe to be an extremely reasonable) 0.75 is too much for the engine to cope with. I eventually got it to compile by using the -sparse RAD compile option with The Mighty Atom's Compilator 3 only to find that many of the faces of not even particularly complex brushes are missing.
This was particularly perplexing when I noticed that a lot of the smallest details were rendering just fine.I then noticed that from the lowest point in the map, a massive hole appears as if the sky is ripping through the world. At first I thought the max viewable distance was too low, but it's not. It's just another glorious VIS error, despite the fact I am compiling with full VIS.
The fact of the matter is - Goldsource is dead to me. It's incredibly difficult for me to find inspiration to continue working on this project when I'm hitting engine limitations at every turn. Source has spoiled me and Goldsource just isn't a viable option anymore.