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I have returned to bring you a lot of content on 'The Canals.'

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The Canals: 'Weekly' Update

Today's Date: January 22, 2017

Week 8 of development


Needless to say, but I’m going to say it anyway, it has been a lot more than a week since my week five update. In fact, the break from updates has lasted longer than the period of me actually updating, just five days short of being two months ago. I apologize for the wait, and hopefully the sheer amount of content in the following update will make up for it. This is certainly a large update, especially compared to those that I was posting weekly, but you won't be seeing all of it on this webpage. I rather enjoy these gaps in time, as they give me a larger amount of content to choose from to show you all. From now on, updates may be pushed back to being every two or so weeks. They will remain on Sunday around 5PM (except for this one, which I was over-excited for) eastern time, though, for those who care about scheduling. So here you are, a large update with lots of information regarding ‘The Canals.’

First and foremost, I have some news that may bother you all. I’m scrapping the two maps I have been working on before. But don’t worry! I’m scraping them, not deleting them. I will be taking the pieces of them that I liked and moving them over into newer levels so that the early stuff wasn’t all a waste of time. The reason I’m doing this is because the other maps I’ve worked on don’t look or play as nicely as I want them to. That and the layouts haven’t been all that great, then it’s all topped off with some of them being buggy and basically unfixable due to lazy errors. There is a considerable amount of these maps that I consider keep-able, so those won’t be wasted, but transformed into the new style.

On that note, you can see images of all of the rooms I’ve removed by going to the DreamGear Productions homepage linked below.

Moddb.com

New Style

Alright, now that we have that out of the way, I will show you all a set of ‘before and after’ type images again. This time I will be comparing images that you have previously seen with the versions with improved lighting and such. This is the type of improved lighting you can expect to see from now on in this mod. This is partially due to my change of style. I’m basically no longer trying to match the feel of Half-Life 2, but trying to find my own style. One of these days I’ll make a mod that isn’t set in the Half-Life universe and we will really see something unique then!

Before One

After One

New Map

Following those images are some shot of my newest map. As you can probably tell, this map has much more atmosphere captured by the lighting as well as much more detailed geometry. This comes with the help of a new member for DreamGear Productions! He has certainly helped with some of the little issue I’ve been having with lighting bugs and things of that nature.

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20170122131006 1

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Some other things to note are all the little watermarks on my images, so that’s pretty neat, huh? I’ve also changed the story to be a little more humorous, I suppose you could say. I also feel as if this story is less ambitious, which is good considering my lack of a full team and the like. This story can be told without custom voice acting, is a lot of what I mean here. Also, I’m intending for an original ost for The Canals, so stay tuned for that. I can promise that it will be awesome if everything works itself out. Hopefully I will have three or so completely original songs for you all, which is very exciting.

Again, I can’t stress enough that here is a lot of alpha imagery of my maps on the DreamGear Productions homepage, so please check that out. Feedback on that stuff will definitely help my work in the future; that means you will get to play a better mod overall.

On a side note, I was on my Steam profile when I noticed I had recently passed a huge milestone. It isn’t really relevant to the mod or anything, but 1,000 hours of working in the Hammer Editor is quite the achievement, I think.

Capture 1

Thank you all for your continued patience of this extremely extended break, I hope this update was worth it for all of you. I'm off to spend the rest of my day in source, off to 2,000 hours.

Thank you,

Reeze The Vampire

Comments
Astraxis

I agree, the new lighting definitely adds a sense of depth to the levels; the ones in HL2 were... lacking, to say the least. Don't feel pressured to pump out updates if there's not too much to show, we'll certainly stick around!

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ReezeTheVampire Author
ReezeTheVampire

I agree. Though Half-Life 2 still had great lighting, they tended to aim more for play ability and visibility than atmosphere, despite what their incredible engine was capable of. I will do a much better job of pacing myself in the future to make sure I'm never too stressed about updates, but also keeping everyone informed with the process.

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notaclevername
notaclevername

I know that the models emit light, but you can also make some with light entities to make the areas more visible. I really like the last screen, shows talent in bigger open areas.

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ReezeTheVampire Author
ReezeTheVampire

I'd like to keep much of this mod rather dark, as it is supposed to have some horror undertones. I think the less-visible passageways really help keep that atmosphere. You will see some later maps that I have planned will be very dark and cramped. However, as the mod progresses it will slowly become more action-oriented and will open and brighten up a little bit. I don't really understand how a larger space shows more talent than a smaller one, I believe both require the same amount of talent to get right. Though, don't worry, much of this mod will take place in large spaces. I agree that the last image is certainly the strong point of what I have shown so far. Thank you for the feedback.

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Mr.Walrus
Mr.Walrus

One can see a significant improvement in the lighting quality in the images posted above. Additionally, the architecture is looking really good- I quite like the design of the structure in the final image. Awesome work, and congratulations on 1,000 hours of source!

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ReezeTheVampire Author
ReezeTheVampire

Thank you. I have been really working lately at improving...well...everything about my work. I have been spending a lot more time trying to create interesting, but believable, geometry and architecture. My lights are now made of a whole lot more than just 'light_spot' entities and a static prop. Now they have a prop, sprite, multiple lights, block lights, and dust motes. I've also upped the amount of detail you can see in the map; this includes a better use of decals, brushes, textures, and props of course. In the future, once this mod is complete, I plan to make a mod that has a very different, much more unique and ever cartoony look to it. For now, though, I'm doing everything I can to make a realistic environment.

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Mr.Walrus
Mr.Walrus

I think that's an excellent idea- before moving on to a more stylish and even cartoony environment, it seems like a good idea to work on making areas look very realistic to build a sturdy foundation. I can certainly tell that you've upped your game with lights- they look really sexy in the images. I also like the fact that you're adding detail without it starting to look crowded, a good balance. Can't wait to see how your mapping continues to evolve, onward and upward!

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