Welcome to our latest progress report on Combine Insurrection!
Mapping Progress Report February/March 2014
Over the past month and a half I have been working on fleshing out some more of the Combine mothership maps and trying to find some creative ways of using my declaration of only using texture-based lighting. I have also been working to rework the directory system after some feedback from the previous update and also due to my own want to make it a little less, shall we say, overt. I really wanted to stuff six maps into this update but I was only able to get five either done or changed enough to warrant a spot in the update.
So let's start in familiar territory with decks 8,7, and 6.
Here you can see that I have replaced the monstrosity with something a bit more Combine-like. In addition the crystals are arranged in an order similar to the location of each room they represent in relation to each other. Some of them (namely the green ones) still do not stand out enough either due to the color of the lighting or because they are still stuck too far into the wall.
The area in the second image I do not think has been show before in the screens; it has been in the videos though (or will be in the dev 9 videos). This area used to be a very small hallway towards the bottom section of the map. It now has a little more dimension to it and adds a little variety to the map instead of having everything be flat. You can see a crystal to the right as well. The hallway struts were also altered to include a rounded it at the bottom near the sides.
One thing I am attempting to do is to make the ways in which each deck is lit different from each other while retaining some similarity. Here we can see how deck 7 has changed. The hallway struts deeply resemble the structure from deck 8 (shown above) but also have their own flare to them. I also began toying around with how the rooms were going to be lit. The right image shows an early idea I had towards this end. The theme I had created there is carried over into many other decks as well. This was also the first deck where I started toying with coloring the light cast by the textures instead of having a dead white light.
Here you can see deck 6. I have changed how the lighting will be done and instead of cylinders that have portions textured with a light casting texture we have a double-helix spiral kind of thing. I will need to create a new light texture for these as right now they are using white01 (which has a light cast value of 100). The image on the right shows an area I wanted to light better but ran out of time to do so. This will be an area where Combine soldiers are being trained on the use of one of the White Matter Weapons.
Now we enter the realm of new maps. I have two, decks 9 and 5. Let's go sequentially:
Deck 5 needs some work with the lighting, probably will require another duplicated light texture. On this deck I wanted to go with something completely different from the others but that still retained some of the ideas that I have had about doing this style of lighting. Here you can see two empty rooms. The one on the left will be a security check point while the one on the right will be a research lab.
Deck 9 was my testing playground this time around. I worked on several interesting ideas I had for how I could light things differently and I also established a new theme that will be followed with all of the decks from here out; as we go lower in deck numbers the brightness of the deck is lowered, brighter as we go higher. To that end I made several new whitexxx light texture copies and attempted to create a lighting scheme that would light things up but not make things bright. This was the result. I am also toying with using colored lighting in specific rooms to indicate the type of room you are in, in addition to the directory crystals. On the right you can see an example with a security area lit with a redish light texture.
I also have a bonus image from deck 9 that I shows off the lighting elements a bit more directly:
SRC Update #9
A lot of the time during the first third of the development time used for CI went into Source SDK 2013. I finally learned that the code has been out for a while but that for whatever reason Valve no longer wants to use Source SDK to provide an easy means of obtaining the code. So I went to GitHub and downloaded the code at the end of February and proceeded to build the code and then add our custom code back in.
For the most part everything went smoothly. Zeeky's ironsights code does not work as intended with the new base_viewmodel code though and I had to copy in an older version of one of the functions to get the code to work properly; so far I have not noticed any ill effects from doing so. Another problem I ran into was that DX9/11 are currently bugged and some textures do not show properly. I do not know if this has been fixed yet but I had not attempted to update the code.
Developer's VLog 9th Edition
Finally here are the two VLog videos:
Well that is all I have for this update. I am hoping to get the same level of work done during the next development cycle. Thanks for following the mod.