Box dropper

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Portal Level Creation

This tutorial will show step-by-step how to create the box dropper, or vital aparatus vent, seen throughout the Portal test chambers. The box droppers can be used to give the player a new weighted storage cube whenever their previous one is destroyed.


Construction

Step 1

Create two prop_dynamic entities using the entity tool. Set the first one's model to models/props/box_dropper.mdl. Set the second prop_dynamic entity's model to models/props/box_dropper_cover.mdl and set its name to box_dropper_model_cover. Align the two entities so they are in the same place where the dropper should be in the map.

Step 2

Use the arch tool to create a 128l*128w*16h arch above the prop_dynamic entities with the following settings:

Wall width: 24
Number of Sides: 8
Arc: 360
Start Angle: 0
Add Height: 0

Next use the vertex manipulation tool to move the corners of the arch so it resembles a rectangle with a hole in the middle. After that, texture the inner rim of the arch with metal/metalwall61f. Texture the underside of the arch with concrete/concrete_modular_ceiling001a.


Step 3

Create a shaft using brushes above the dropper. The inner dimensions of the shaft should be 128w*128l. The height of the shaft should be around 256 units. Split the sides of the shaft in two 128 units from the top. Texture the lower sides of the shaft walls with metal/metalwall_bts_006a and texture the top sides of the walls with metal/metalwall_bts_006b_gradient. Finally, texture the ceiling of the shaft with lights/light_orange001.

Step 4

Create a small 128w*128l*112h room above the dropper shaft with nodraw textured brushes. Next, create a prop_physics entity in the middle of this room. Set the prop_physics entity's model to models/props/metal_box.mdl and set its name to box. Give it the following outputs:

  My Output > Target Entity Target Input Parameter Delay Only Once
Io21.png OnOutOfWorld  !activator Kill   0.00 No
Io12.png OnOutOfWorld logic_drop_box Trigger   0.00 Yes


Next create a point_template in the middle of the box entity. Set its name to box_template and set its first template to box. Now create an env_entity_maker somewhere near the top of the shaft of the dropper. Set its name to entity_box_maker and set its Point_template to spawn to box_template.


Create a filter_activator_name entity somewhere in the map. Set its name to filter_boxes and set its Filter Name to box.

Step 5

Create a 96w*96l*4h nodraw textured brush just below the lid of the dropper. Tie this brush to a func_brush entity. Set its name to stop_tube_plugging and set its Start Disabled keyvalue to Yes.


Next create a 128w*128l*128h trigger textured brush around the box dropper models. Tie this brush to a trigger_multiple and set its name to trigger_box_dropper_clear, set its Start Disabled keyvalue to Yes and set its Filter Name to "filter_boxes". Go to its flags and make sure the Physics Objects flag is checked and the Client flag is unchecked. Now give it the following outputs:

  My Output > Target Entity Target Input Parameter Delay Only Once
Io11.png OnEndTouch entity_box_maker ForceSpawn   0.00 No
Io11.png OnEndTouch box_dropper_model_cover SetAnimation close 0.00 No
Io11.png OnEndTouch stop_tube_plugging Enable   0.00 No
Io21.png OnEndTouch  !self Disable   0.00 No
Io11.png OnEndTouch stop_tube_plugging Disable   2.00 No
Io21.png OnTrigger  !activator Wake   0.00 No


Step 6

Create a logic_relay and set its name to logic_drop_box. Give it the following outputs:

  My Output > Target Entity Target Input Parameter Delay Only Once
Io11.png OnTrigger box_dropper_model_cover SetAnimation open 0.00 No
Io11.png OnTrigger stop_tube_plugging Disable   0.00 No
Io11.png OnTrigger trigger_box_dropper_clear Enable   0.00 No

Step 7

Create brushes and use the clipping tool to shape them like depicted in the picture below. Tie all of these brushes to a func_detail entity.


The dropper is now finished and ready to be implemented into a map.

Implementation

Step 1

Place the dropper in the ceiling above where the box should drop.

Step 2

Set up a trigger to send the Trigger input to the logic_drop_box entity. This can be done in numerous ways, such as using a logic_auto to make the box drop at the start of the map, a trigger_once to have the box drop when the player enters the room, or a trigger_look to make the box drop when the player is looking at the dropper.

Step 3

If there are fizzlers or goo in the map, the box must be set up to respawn if it can be lost. For fizzlers, add a OnDissolveBox output that triggers logic_drop_box to the trigger_portal_cleanser entity.


To make the box respawn if it's lost in goo, create a trigger_multiple within the goo volume with its filter set to filter_boxes, the Physics Objects flag set, and with the following outputs:

  My Output > Target Entity Target Input Parameter Delay Only Once
Io21.png OnStartTouch  !activator Kill   0.00 No
Io11.png OnStartTouch logic_drop_box Trigger   0.00 No

See Also