View Full Version : Level Development - Cooler

24th February 2007, 09:02
I'll try once again, attempt to be more detailed in my ramblings and show you more pics, etc, etc. For starters I introduce to you the initial concepts and ideas (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y177/boxy1/cooler_concept.jpg) for HEX_Cooler. Have fun trying to read my scawls and notes.

This is honestly just about all I ever draw for levels, no graph paper, no A3 drawings. The top has notes and small images of ideas for architecture, how broken stuff should look, little things I liked and intend to throw in there. Then the objectives I intend to do are listed after that followed by the smallest map layout design you will ever probably see.

Now I'm already two days down the line and a couple of rooms up and built, but that just means I can keep ahead of you guys in terms of news. I'll try to keep this up to date as I fly through the development, but I'm kind of hoping to nail this level in about the same time as Decay (which was pretty damn quick I think). As the shots come along be sure to throw in your two cents and ideas that you think may or may not work, I may work them into it. For now I will leave you to glance over my spidery-esque scribbles...

24th February 2007, 09:24
Good god. How the hell can you develop a map from that :P.

24th February 2007, 09:24
how quickly can the separate teams hook up? it would suck to be all on your own for a long time...
or it implies controlled spawning...

24th February 2007, 09:52
I plan the teams to be seperated for no more than 20-30 secs. Just a nice change at the start rather than you all being huddled together. Yeah, long term seperation would be rubbish.

24th February 2007, 10:00
OOOOooOO Loveley:D

24th February 2007, 18:11
Heh. You can make a map on less.

From 1000 clues that you have been playing thief way too much...

#121 While playing AD&D you are asked to make a map of the cave system you just entered. At the heart of the cave (and after collecting the loot) your companions ask for the map in an effort to find the way out again. You produce only a piece of paper with a large circle drawn on it, it's labeled: CAVE. After receiving several threatening glares you reply in complete innocence, "What?"


24th February 2007, 18:39
Odd... Boxy always struck me as a graph paper man. Hell, I even used graph paper to plan the Abandoned remake. Funny, the things you learn.

Anyway, concept looks sound. Can't wait to see the finished map in 6 days :D

Dark Soul
24th February 2007, 21:24
Am i the only one that doesn't draw his map out before he starts mapping:confused:?

The layout looks grate,and i like the idea of the Iris not all spawning in the same spot.

24th February 2007, 21:34
Much smaller than sigma...

24th February 2007, 23:34
Im really curious to play sigma. Have no idea what the layout is like atm.

27th February 2007, 02:48
Need more informations! ;)

27th February 2007, 03:04
Knowing The Box, we won't get new screens until everything is basically done ;)

27th February 2007, 03:43
I'll just translate the poorly-scanned block of text, because I can.
Square brackets (parentheses, to the brits) indicate unrecognizeable or extrapolated guesses.

(Boxy's capitalization ethic is blasphemous. I've made no attempt here to emulate it.)

Start Seperated (sic), but can see each other. [Cow] style. One lower? Basement? One from broken roof
Water scene, electrified water trap? (Switch-able) Holes in roof are decay. Flares.
BSP generator boxes. Tall curved arches like [stedmpbkfr], wide corridors? Pipes like [yad] in basement areas?

Fenced off [stops] bust bent fence

Tall arches? [GT] sides fenced? Bust cone slab outside windows

Bluelight [mirouvsy]

[Braces] missing from [window].

Snow [thin] window high up in basement, look out to walkways

Players above/below each other. Again seeing but no contact.
IRIS tag for dogtag locations.

Seperate [tyres].Fence one goes [hxy] one [sog] low

Security time [lock] doors.

Walkway one across [too], one underneath.

Start seperated. One security, one prison block . Go through to prison block B - OBJ done
Plant dem pack around (.3-5?) OBJ done. Collect dog tags (IRIS tags)(Not mandatory)
Blow doors. Proceed to exercise yard.for extraction. Extract.

27th February 2007, 03:52
"GOW style"

Not "Cow style"

As in Gears of War, I bet... though for a second, "God of War" was what I was thinking. But, that'd be stupid.

"Tall arches AT sides fenced?" not "GT"

"hxy" = High "sog" = goes

27th February 2007, 04:29
But Cow-style is so much more fun. =P

27th February 2007, 05:07
...lets not dwell on that statement.

27th February 2007, 16:59
Jesus Demented! I honestly didn't think someone would go out of their way to translate the shite I wrote in there. Nice attempt. I havent posted any pics yet as I haven't got much done over the weekend and this week is a 'normal paid work' week so it won't progress in leaps and bounds but I'll chuck up the first days work (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y177/boxy1/cooler1.jpg) for you (again Hammer shot for now I'm afraid). There's a whole floor below that you can't see but nevermind. This was Thursay, or Friday, I can't remember....

27th February 2007, 20:39
I suddenly have memories of that prison map that got binned...

28th February 2007, 06:55
There's a small danger that I found the old knackered vmf and may be borrowing designs/ideas/bits'o'bsp from it to make Cooler that little bit quicker. All maps get revisited at some point, just look at Manor (remain dead forever, you rubbish piece of trash) being reborn, Phoenix style, into Decay.

28th February 2007, 15:58
..such ANGER.

28th February 2007, 16:43
/Set to simmer

Right, in my quest to give you more to gawp at (although this has got to be the most boring shot ever) here is Day Two's shot (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y177/boxy1/cooler2.jpg). Again, there are sections of the map that you can't see but I can only do so many pics at a time otherwise I'll never get the damn thing done! This corridor is the connecting piece between Sub Block C and Block B for Team B. The sharp eyed may see the grilles in the distance on the floor(under the playerclips) which will hopefully let Team B see Team A on their separate route through the start of the level.

It's not secret I'm a Gears fan and I loved how, when the players got seperated in co-op, that they could still SEE each other most of the time. I want to capture this same feel at the start of Cooler and little features like this and the fenced off section at the start of the Sub Prison Block should achieve this. Gives a 'so close yet so far' feel to the teams. :)

The shot also shows the humble beginings of the C Block Showers, where the two teams will meet up before progressing to the main objective of this level. I'm trying to not use HL2 textures (although they are the most useful!) here otherwise you lot will slapped straight back to Nova Prospekt when you in there and I DON'T want that! I hope this is enough insight for now, I need to get on kids...

2nd March 2007, 17:53
Wow, I'm really pleased at the feedback I'm getting.

Anyways, for now I'll crash on. Although Ive been at normal work this week and so my time has been limited for working on this I got some of the shower room done last night and so thought I'd share it with you. The smarter amongst you will spot references to film but either way the basic shape is coming along. The first team will come out from the far top balcony area, the second team will enter into here from behind the 'viewer' via the smashed hole seen in Day Two's shot.

As I stated before, I only intended to keep the IRIS spereated for a short time. The quick 617 may be able to pounce to one team before they meet up and thus take on a potentially smaller easier group.

Come get your pics kicks (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y177/boxy1/cooler3.jpg).

2nd March 2007, 18:19
Hmm, I found some Gates to Oblivion.
At least the second one is definatly a door to Oblivion

2nd March 2007, 19:02
...looks like the shower area from Black (the asylum level), what with the overwatch area. Of course, THAT could have been a reference to something else in the first place.

2nd March 2007, 19:05
...looks like the shower area from Black (the asylum level), what with the overwatch area. Of course, THAT could have been a reference to something else in the first place.

It was, it most definitely was. Same reference in fact, as far as I know...

2nd March 2007, 20:50
/slap Boxy
Overdone reference, no cookie for you!

But well constructed.

The rest looks much like Nova Prospekt. Particularly the multi-leveled areas with arched ceilings and the same cell block bars and windows and hallway dividers. It's not the textures you have to be wary of, but the architecture!

2nd March 2007, 22:55
You're talking about a PRISON, man. There is only so much you can get out of a prison! :P

Anyways, that room looks like it'll be a blast to be the hidden in. Will the hidden be able to reach there in time to cause some hell?

2nd March 2007, 23:14
Player spawns are no longer the green gordon I see...

2nd March 2007, 23:48
hmm all it needs now is a corpse_ragdoll entity and i can delete my custom.fgd...

3rd March 2007, 01:36
we don't provide corpse_ragdolls as they can be fed off - the only time one was present in our fgd was during work on the tutorial maps.

3rd March 2007, 05:33
Of course, that isn't going to stop any serious mapper from sneaking a corpse_ragdoll in.... >=D
Then again, a serious mapper wouldn't bother....

(Look, IRIS, it's your evil twins!)

3rd March 2007, 10:39
i suppose. i used it on a retextured iris (irgs) model who where playing guards in the facility before the shit in the fan. there was only 1 corpse which could be accessed and it was only accessible after quite a bit of work on the hidden's part or if the iris team screwed up and opened up a room without taking other precautions first.

5th March 2007, 20:38
First full day at the level and I'm pleased with how shes turning out. Bear in mind the usual; its nowhere near finished yet, this is only preliminary lighting to give me a feel for the atmosphere, etc. I want to give a bright day but inside its very dark and grimy still. This is only the shower room updated, but there is more done than this, I just only do one pic a day (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y177/boxy1/cooler4.jpg) at the mo.:)

Tomorrow I'll start on the second main combat arena and hopefully the whole thing will be basically fleshed out in a detail-less way for playtesting by the weekend, but we shall see. The red lighting you see are flares. I'm using these as a marker system to guide players through the level (although it isnt hard to be honest anyways). Comments and crit as ever please kiddies...

5th March 2007, 20:47
I know this:eek:

O and really awsome by the way

5th March 2007, 20:49
The radius of those center showers look awkward compared to the size of the "shower wall" under them. There's a shower head basically pointing in an area that'd technically be walkway area...

Or, I'm insane.

5th March 2007, 22:24
No, you're right Iso. The only dry place in the showers would be in the shower niches.

5th March 2007, 23:06
You realise it is a shower, the world has done it job.:)

I have to work with what I have and not make it look like ANOTHER HL2 prison level. I decided to live with it as is. Comments noted but I doubt I'm changing that bit. And technically its Alacatraz, not The Rock (although that is also a nickname for Alcatraz isn't it).

5th March 2007, 23:53
The Rock was a nickname given by soldiers when it was used as a fort, apparently.

(That shower always struck me as being a bit rich for a prison, but who cares! The important thing is that it looks good.)

5th March 2007, 23:58
it's turning out very nicely... can't wait.

6th March 2007, 00:29
Very nice indeed.

The lighting looks great.

6th March 2007, 15:24
Well I'm referring to the movie "the rock" wich is situated on alcatraz with sean connery and Nicolas Cage.
In that movie the entry point is the showers, and they look precicly like this one wich is awsome and logical as its based on that.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=100akjKiJbM


6th March 2007, 19:37
I never saw The Rock. I have an indescribable fear of Michael Bay (which makes Transformers a very love/hate deal).

7th March 2007, 00:07
I'm liking the way the showers are setup.

There is a nice upper area, to jump down from.
And yuou can jump up and over the showers, while hidden to mess with the iris.
but you can also hit your head on the shower parts, if you don't pounce correctly.

I'm liking it so far.
Maybe add a puddle of water in the shower area?

8th March 2007, 16:55
Have moved onto the main combat arena of the level, Prison Block C. This is much larger than the shower room and allows for more combat. However, the IRIS team will also have to be planting demo packs as they go along and then be moving onto the extraction point as well, so its not just an out and out fight (otherwise it might as well be a HDN level).

There are some nice little features in here such as throw switches to open and shut cell door sets. These can be used for easy access to other parts of the prison block, but a clever 617 can also use it to trap/kill any unalert IRIS team members. All will become clear when you play it. Once again, the shot doesn't show everything thats going on in the level and all the little tweaks I've made elsewhere but I can only grab so much in one pic and I figured you would all want to see something new, not something re-hashed.

Obviously an area this size doesnt appear in one day so im afraid we are back to a Hammer shot (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y177/boxy1/cooler5.jpg) for today...

8th March 2007, 20:13
Now I am really reminded of the Asylum level in Black. Not that it's a bad thing... those were the best areas of that whole game.

14th March 2007, 20:44
Mmm... 6 days have passed. Whats-a cooking boxy? :)

14th March 2007, 20:51
We did a playtest of Cooler such as it is over the weekend, and have some ideas that Boxy's working on for that. He's apparently pretty busy with other stuff this week, however.

14th March 2007, 21:38
Yeah - he's at work full time this week, so progress won't always be worth putting up a shot of.

14th March 2007, 23:09
Totally understandable. :)

Yay for cancelled classes! Nay for not knowing how much extra work ill have to do till next week! :o

20th March 2007, 10:24
Should have posted this yesterday but got caught up. After testing last week we found that the IRIS team get back together too quickly and I needed to find a way to keep them seperated just a little bit longer. Today's shot (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y177/boxy1/cooler6.jpg) shows part of the sewer system attached to the prison that one half of the team have to make their way through to reach Block E. The hole on the right leads through to Block E's shower room, for those that know the level. Today I hope to be finishing off this section and getting the other teams extension done.

20th March 2007, 12:11
are you going to merge it with hdn_sewers at all? i don't mean a complete merge but a blocked path of some kinda through which you can see into sewers (and vice-versa).

which would place the cooler facility just next-next-door, or probably round the corner from train depot... hmm probably not the most strategic of locations but still not entirely impossible given stereotypically inept council planning commissions. personally i think it would be great to get that kind of continuity though a series of maps so it's more apparent that he's escaped from a singular location and everywhere he can get to on foot is relative nearby.

20th March 2007, 15:31
are you going to merge it with hdn_sewers at all? i don't mean a complete merge but a blocked path of some kinda through which you can see into sewers (and vice-versa).

Why the man has quoted this as if it is a future event I know not...

20th March 2007, 18:03
is that a "yes" or a "keep your ruddy trap shut and stop slashing all my bags"?

20th March 2007, 18:51
Design continuity rules.

20th March 2007, 19:08
i don't know if this legal but i am combining sewers with traindepot

20th March 2007, 19:13
i don't know if this legal but i am combining sewers with traindepot

I think it would be better if you pm'ed boxy:

"Would you mind if I combined sewers and traindepot?"

Personally I think its not that great of an idea, 1 because the map will be much too big, 2 because unless you modify them, they'll only have 1 tiny connecting hallway.

20th March 2007, 19:15
as in decompile, copy, paste and recompile? because that'll go down a treat i'm sure.

plus that's way too big of a map really...

20th March 2007, 20:44
The maps are already connected, so why bother? :P

2nd April 2007, 18:40
Been awhile, have had a lot on recently and as such development took a back seat but we are back now and I plan to finish it this week.

The sewer system is gone (shock horror) and this maintenance section (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y177/boxy1/cooler7.jpg) replaces it. The shot isn't really that helpful in giving you much idea of how I plan the scene to turn out, but its better than nowt. One team will work through the scene, the other will go around it.

Believe me, it will all makes sense when its done...

3rd April 2007, 00:19
Awesome, can't wait to give it a spin!

3rd April 2007, 16:04
Working on trying to get it all done, layout wise, by Friday so we can hammer it at the weekend my son but I keep getting dragged into detailing so we shall see how we go. The maintenance area has details and a slight re-gig but to be honest you cant really tell how much has happended to day in this one shot (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y177/boxy1/cooler8.jpg).

Just wait, it will all pan out nice I hope...

3rd April 2007, 18:14
Just to clarify, is this a reworking of the one IRIS spawn?

3rd April 2007, 20:26
The sewer system is gone (shock horror) and this maintenance section (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y177/boxy1/cooler7.jpg) replaces it.

Pay Attention Star...

3rd April 2007, 21:09
no... no interfacing with sewers then? :(

oh well... i'm looking forward to the weekend already.

3rd April 2007, 23:16
Yeah, that earlier statement would have helped me more if I knew where in the world cooler was supposed to have a sewers system. I've run all around the build I have and have been unable to find any sewer like areas, its just a big prison...

4th April 2007, 08:44
You never got a build that had the sewers, I created it in one day and wasn't happy with it so have binned it. All that remains if it's existance is this (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y177/boxy1/cooler6.jpg). It hurts to do but sometimes it's for the best...

Subface Normal
10th April 2007, 22:30
I vote for the idea of connecting them... Origin connects to Traindepot, Which connects to sewers, which connects to cooler, which connects to executive, which connects to highrise, which connects to a random UT2 map, which connects to sigma, which connects to the infinite void in hammer, which connects to harrison ford and the millenium falcon... mmm... lightspeed

10th April 2007, 23:56
origin connecting to traindepot? how'd you work that out? if anything it's sub-executive.

they don't all have to connect. origin-exec-highrise is a vaguely logical trio. 'depot-sewers-cooler or perhaps stalkers-'depot-sewers since cooler has moved elsewhere and it's less "wth where they thinking" to have a storage area near a rail station than a prison.

if cooler's outdoors is make cold and snowy then it could be tied in with sigma. though i gather that map has raised some ire for whatever reason... don't ask me where decay fits in...

11th April 2007, 01:08
origin-exec-highrise is a vaguely logical trio.

If you ignore that they all have different environments. Unless that was changed in b5. (You'd think I should know already. Damn 'puter.)

Subface Normal
11th April 2007, 03:48
Okay, i figured that by the end of the list you'd realize that i'm just pulling random shit out of my ass... come on dude, UT2 map? Millenium falcon? WTF?! those arent in hidden YET...

11th April 2007, 09:05
because i actually like the idea of tying some of them together somehow so i configured my brain to think you just had some fun at the end of your post by going off on a random tangent.

Subface Normal
17th April 2007, 14:19
I actually like the idea of doing it too. I'm actually creating a sort of water treatment plant map on my spare time (actually, i was working on it. balimaur takes up all of my time now) and i figured i was going to tie into sewers some how... alteast with architecture in a connecting part where the hidden spawns

17th April 2007, 14:59
Two things.

I like the map. It's looking, for want of a straighter word, delightful.
Point two: I like your handwriting. Especially the P's and the D's. Nice curve to those.


28th April 2007, 02:07
hey guys, i just wanted to say i really dont like those windows in the shower block. they are like chirch windows... maybe if you change it to a more roof window? or... a basement window, like set high with slanty walls around it. Those windows look just hideous right now. but the rest of it LOVE

16th May 2007, 09:06
Point noted, but they are prison bars set into them and theres not much I can do to change that shape, plus I don't find the shape all that offensive. Anyways, been quiet in here for a while and I've been marching on.

The level is all but done bar a few details. I've had to stop until the code has had a few tweaks and fixes for various problems the SDK has at the moment but I thought I'd post the shots to show you some of the locations you will be running through.

Bear in mind they are reduced in size and quality and whilst they do reflect something like the final product, this is NOT a finished level. Post any thoughts you have.

Cooler Shot 1 (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y177/boxy1/cooler0.jpg) \ Cooler Shot 2 (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y177/boxy1/cooler1-1.jpg) \ Cooler Shot 3 (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y177/boxy1/cooler2-1.jpg) \ Cooler Shot 4 (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y177/boxy1/cooler3-1.jpg) \ Cooler Shot 5 (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y177/boxy1/cooler4-1.jpg) \ Cooler Shot 6 (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y177/boxy1/cooler5-1.jpg) \ Cooler Shot 7 (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y177/boxy1/cooler6-1.jpg)

16th May 2007, 10:42
Looks so profeesional and detailed.
I especially love your lighting.


Can't wait to have a walk in it;)

31st May 2007, 17:27
WOW.... this map has a great atmosphere... the pics look really nice, the HDR is also really well done! Wanna play on it... :)