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Revision as of 11:09, 15 January 2008 by Ricotez (talk | contribs)
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Umm, so, yeah, this is me. Only just got started on working with the Source SDK so I'm about the noobiest you'll find them. The first time I tried to create a sliding door it moved backwards instead of upwards :-P.

My first and current project, as far as you can call it a project, has the name SkyLabs. Its original idea was to create a series of bonus maps for Portal, but by now I've decided I'll turn it into a mod instead of a series of maps. There are two problems with that so far:

-The Orange Box Source engine code isn't yet avaible via Source SDK

-I'm almost out of HDD space

So my best guess is you'll hear again about it in a few years :-P.

UPDATE 4 December 2007

Okay, so maybe I was thinking too dark when I said the next time you'll hear of my mod is in a few years. I've found a solution (for the time being) for both issues: 1. I've simply copied all files of Portal into the SourceMods folder, renamed and edited them. 2: I've cleared a few gigabytes of space on my harddisk.

Next to that, the first map for my first project has great potential. It starts to look nicer already, even though it's still very spartanic. I now have to hope I don't lose my enthousiasm for this project.

Remember: the mod is in a very (veeery) early stage now. I have no idea how it will turn out, only very basic ideas of what it has to become, and I know I've only supplied very little information here. I'm not begging, not even asking for help, but if you want to apply, you're, of course, welcome.

UPDATE 8 December 2007

I've created a page on the Developer Community with more information about the mod:

UPDATE 9 December 2007

The first issue with the mod appeared: how do I get the code of the Portal Gun? A solution will have to be found, and if it doesn't, I will skip the gun completely. Different from Portal, SkyLabs won't be built around one gameplay element, so skipping it shouldn't give too much trouble.

UPDATE 10 December 2007

Ah, frikkin'...? Seems like the name City 44 is in use already, namely by Adam Foster in his planned next chapter for the MINERVA-mod. Well, that means I will have to change the number. Maybe City 54 or something...
EDIT: City 34

UPDATE 12 December 2007

I've started programming. Among other things, I've tried to add a third person camera using a tutorial on this wiki. So far the cam is working... but you don't see a player model when in third person. I haven't yet found a solution for that...

If I manage to get a working player model, I might actually consider putting a third person cam in the SkyLabs mod.

UPDATE 17 December 2007

Have been busy with the background story of SkyLabs. The website for it will be online soon. Don't expect something spectacular, since that website is actually a project I have to make for school, so large portions of it are in Dutch, my first language. Don't worry, I will make the SkyLabs-part English.

Next to that, I've been busy making concept art. I'm not the world greatest artist, but I got quite a nice sketch of what the Plasma Annihilator will have to look like later. Will see if I can scan it and put it on the website...

And last but not least, I made up some fake physics to companion thé device. No, not the Plasma Annihilator, not the Gravity Gun or anything else. I mean the device that makes these things work. What device? You might find out if this mod ever makes it to beta.

Hint: it's formula looks like this: E = |E|

Remember that this is fake physics, the guys at SkyLabs discribe the effect of The Device in that way.

UPDATE 18 December 2007

It's really amazing, the huge number of things you can do with the Hammer tool. And it's so bad that I don't know how. So, to be sure that my first SkyLabs-maps won't dissapoint, I am instead now creating testing maps, in which I try out the many features of Hammer and Half-Life. For example, I am now creating a factory block somewhere on the perimeter of City 34. Maybe I'll launch it as some kind of demo once it's finished... tough it's storyline will tie in with that of SkyLabs, it does not take place in the floating HQ, and you do not play SL's protagonist, Lucy. Who you will play is an issue I still have to fight out with Sailek... It will either be a former salesman of SkyLabs, or a former Security Agent. Anyway, the dude (yes, he's a male) has been in Cryosleep for some time (like Lucy) and (like Lucy) suffers from amnesia. That's about all the information I can give you now.

Oh, yeah, he will get an HEV-suit.

It will be blue.

Not sure if he will also get a Gravity Gun.

Great chance on that, tough.

No, the Gravity Gun won't be blue.

UPDATE 20 December 2007

Forget everything you knew about City 34. Why? Because it won't be called City 34 anymore. That's right, I'm gonna change the number again, not sure what it will be yet. Maybe 36?

Next to that, I can honestly say the test map I'm creating starts to look really nice (except for a few problems with some displacements). I'm really starting to get the hang of Hammer.

UPDATE 22 December 2007

I've been having quite some problems lately: I'm trying to create a Team Fortress 2 map with rideable mine cars. There have been some issues:

Problem: The mine car model's space is too small for a player to enter

Solution: I've set the model to non-solid, and created a number of invisible walls around it with more space in between.


Problem: When spawned, the func_tracktrain and its children (thus the mine car model and the walls) are rotated 270 degrees

Solution: Rotating the func and its children 90 degrees in Hammer before compiling


Problem: When taking turns, the player blocks the train and thus is killed.

Solution 1: Creating 4 X trigger_push in front of the walls to push the player away


Solution 2: Creating solely trigger_push instead of invisible walls


Solution 3: Making the curves more smooth


Solution 4: Creating a damage filter



And there it stops. I can't disable the player taking damage inside the car when it's taking turns without disabling the whole blocking damage dealing, and that would spoil the whole idea. I think the damage filter is the best solution, tough I can't find the type of damage a func_tracktrain deals. Does anyone know? I tried CRUSH, but it didn't work

UPDATE 24 December 2007

Well, for a start: Merry Christmas Everyone!

Next I want to say I've found a temporary solution for the Minecar-issue: no curves on the ridable parts. So far I think the map will become a CTF-map, maybe ctf_minecar or something...

Expect it to become something special!

Not too buggy!

I hope! After all, I am still a noob with Hammer...

EDIT: Maybe it's a good idea to announce I will release the raw VMF-file of the map once it's completed. I'm pretty sure there are people who are curious how I created this map, and to save your time with decompiling (you're gonna do that anyway, don't you?), I will simply release it. That way you can see for yourself how I created those ridable cars. It isn't really hard, only tricky. Oh, but I must ask you to not simply steal my ideas. If you want the VMF-files (once the map is complete, of course), you only have to contact me on [email protected] .

But the map isn't complete yet (far from), so please don't ask for it now.

EDIT 2: I've uploaded the full SkyLabs logo image! Somehow, the copyright template I tried to use doesn't work, but it should be obvious I tried to use the GNU Free Documentation License. I'm not sure if I'm just allowed to use this licence, but as far as I could see on the Wikipedia Image Copyright documentations, I am.

Here's the image:

SkyLabs Logo Full.png

pretty nice, isn't it?

UPDATE 31 December 2007

I have been enjoying my christmas vacation for some time, and have spent only little time behind my desk, and no time at all messing with Hammer. So that's why there was no news from me for a whole week.

And it's 2008 coming up! I wonder what it brings, perhaps more information about HL2: Episode Three? Or the Orange Box-version of the Source engine via the SDK? Well, we can only wait and see... They've been launching fireworks outside my window the entire day already. If they don't watch out, they won't have even a single flare left once it's midnight...

Of course, the fact that I have been away doesn't mean I haven't tought about SkyLabs. I've been thinking if it was a good idea to announce it in such an early state. Then again it's something I really want to do, and I am gonna do. I'm a total noob with programming and the Hammer, I admit that. But don't think that means I can't create a modification. When I work with Hammer longer, I will gain more experience, as will I if I try to program in Source. And I will make sure SkyLabs will be something special, something completely different.

There are 3 kinds of people in the universe: those that never get a great idea, those that get a great idea once in their lives and become famous with it and those that get one great idea after another, but can never quite focus on one before the next shows up. Tough they may not be all great, I am of the third kind. I keep getting idea after idea, but by the time I want to focus on one idea, I get another one and I forget the first. As a matter of fact, I've been busy with SkyLabs for quite some longer than I would normally. Maybe that's a good sign; maybe not. We will see what the new year puts forth.

Happy 2008 everyone! Make it a year of great mods, maps and other Source things!

UPDATE 05 January 2007


What will it bring?

Some artwork, that's for sure. I've been designing, thinking, writing...

Did you know the SkyLabs personnel like to give nicknames to everything? For example the Heavy Plasma Particle Accelerator, which is dubbed the Plasma Annihilator.

But enough of that, I've got some great news for you. For my school I have to create a project, a website. Though it has to follow certain rules, we're free to use it for whatever we intend, and of course I've decided to use it for SkyLabs. Since I live in the Netherlands, large portions of the site are in Dutch. But the SkyLabs parts are written in English.

Already I want to warn you: since English is not my first language, I often misplace words, grammar, spelling and all such things. You might have already noticed this. Still, I am doing my best to ensure everything remains readable, and, when possible, is also written in proper English. Feel free to warn me if some of my writing is malicious, in that case I will correct it as soon as possible (but please no hoaxes, I'm not stupid, you know).

I'm not a HTML- or CSS-master, so it might look a bit basic. Then again I'm already getting the hang of both languages, so it won't look too basic. And expect it to be updated every now and then, when I learn something new about webdesign, or I've made more progress on the mod.

You will find a link to my website as soon as I'm finished.

UPDATE 11 January 2007

Great news: at school, we started with programming in Javascript yesterday. Tough it is nothing compared to C++, it does have some similliarities with it, as have most programming languages. And you must imagine that, a few months ago, I didn't understand CSS at all, whilst now, I use it for every page of my website.

Once I can program in Javascript, it will hopefully become easier for me to learn C++. Already I find it easier to read and understand the language than I used to the first time I saw it.

...I'm at school now, so I can't write a whole essay about it. But I have to finish my website soon, because it will get rated by my teacher. That's some more good news, I guess...

UPDATE 12 January 2007

Over the past few weeks, Sailek and I found out we have different talents with the Hammertool: Sailek is very well capable of creating an area, of giving it that feel, as you might understand, but can't even let a door move by pushing a button. On the other hand, I have created moving doors, trains and what all not, but I don't really invest time in the visual side of a map, making my levels look... slightly boring. So today, we decided the following: Sailek creates the map, I get them working. Should work out just fine. I mean, it's really amazing to see what Sailek can already create, with only a few weeks of experience with Hammer. And my doors work absolutely fine... with the exception of that first one, which moved backwards the first time and sidewards the second...

UPDATE 15 January 2007

I have made a decision today, and that is to not make any false promises. Many, if not all, of the special features of SkyLabs (new weapons and such) are still pipe dreams for the moment. Oh, of course I'll try to add some of them at some point, but you'll hear which and when once I'm up to that.

In the mean time, I am getting swallowed by homework...