Category talk:Level Design

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Development workflow

Could I ask that someone knowledgeable add some information on how multiple people can work together on the same map (form a technical point of view) eg if I were editing code as part of a team, we'd have source control which would allow us to merge changes on checkin. Is this possible with VTF files or is it only possible for a single person to work on a given level at any one time? What workflow do Valve employ? Thanks Basiclife 00:24, 22 January 2013 (PST)

Setting up Hammer

After downloading the sourcesdk through steam, I attempted to use hammer, and when I double-clicked on it, it brought up a window w/ several tabs and forms to fill. The window's title is: Configure Hammer, and I must not have done something right (I hit cancel because I wasn't expecting to see this window and frankly didn't know what to put in the blanks.) because after going through a tutorial (http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Your_First_Map) I began to notice that I don't have all the options that this tutorial says I should. One example is that I don't have a dev devwall filter for textures. Has anyone else encountered something similar to this and can you help me? --Raiden 11:32, 18 Jun 2008 (CST)

Have you launched the game you're trying to map for recently? --TomEdwards 13:15, 18 Jun 2008 (PDT)

Reorganizing the Level Design page

I'd like to reorganize the layout of this page, I think the current layout is a bit too cluttered and may be confusing for the new user to navigate. I've seen a lot of the questions on the help pages here and in the Steam forums about topics already covered here on the VDC. I know part of this may likely be due to ignorance or plain laziness, but another part is due to users simply being unable to find what they are looking for. I've had trouble finding articles myself and there have been several duplicate articles created for this reason as well.

My proposals:

  1. (complete) remove the "Half-Life 2", "TF2" titles that link to the general game info pages, these can be linked to from within the design page of the game (ie: This page lists mapping articles which are specific to Left 4 Dead)
  2. (complete) pull all the mapping articles from here that only apply to 1 or 2 specific games and instead place them in the level design pages for those games. It doesn't make sense to leave these articles listed on the main page as they don't help users who don't own those specific games.
  3. (complete) remove the "intermediate / difficult" classifications and instead relocate these links into more specific subsections (eg: lighting, sound, environment, etc).
  4. (complete) De-link (orphan) the "Abstract Mapping" section and relocate the useful information from there into the subtopics mentioned above. As it is now, most of the links in that section simply redirect other pages, if not to the same pages. Very few of them actually contain useful content themselves and I see no reason to leave the section listed as it is.

I've already done a rough mock-up for my redesign idea for those interested. Anyways, other ideas and suggestions are welcome. --brandished 01:13, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

CleanUp\Reorganize:
Well, as it's been close to a month and there have been no replies to my proposal, I'm guessing either no one has any problems with my suggestions or they have been completely overlooked. To make sure the later isn't true, I've placed a notice on the level design page. If no one brings up any objections or other options to my suggestions within the next week, I'll go ahead and start restructuring the category along the guidelines I listed above. --brandished 02:30, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
I never noticed this... But I'd agree with you to go ahead. I was looking at that mockup page on the recent edits page and thought it looked much better, I didn't check what it was for though. But you've always done good edits on the VDC, so you have my vote :) --DannyS 03:28, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Heh, you caught me in the middle of an edit. I would have put a notice up earlier, but I wasn't to happy with how the initial mockup looked, so I've been messing around with that page the past few weeks to find something a bit more structured. I still want to make a few more changes to it, but I think it's mostly workable. --brandished 03:59, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Since I did not see any objections or other ideas, I've gone ahead and carried out my restructuring idea. I changed a few things not in my original list above:
  • I moved a lot of the design theory articles off the front page. While some of them might not necessarily been intended to be games specific, they heavily utilized examples that only someone who had played a specific game would be familiar with. It's not that I don't think they don't belong on the front page, it's just they way they are currently written limits their usefulness to specific games.
  • Although I removed the Abstract Mapping section from the main page and the Abstract Mapping header from most of the non-redundant sub-pages in it, I decided against completely orphaning it as many foreign language pages are using the content which I cannot easily fix.
On another note, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch is currently grouped in with Half-Life 2 Level Creation, but it really should have it's own page as most of the articles in the Half-Life 2 Level Creation page are not applicable to the game (eg: Dynamic assaults, Nodegraph construction, etc). --brandished 01:19, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm removing some articles related to general texture \ model creation as well. I don't think these really belong in the level design section. I can see something like linking an article on how to create skyboxes to Skybox (2D) making sense, but listing them directly under general level design doesn't. Another exception would be for game specific stuff, like level overviews for CSS/DODS and Maplist Thumbnails for TF2, but I think general material creation articles should stay in the material creation section. --brandished 23:34, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
Looks good man, this is what I tried earlier and failed at :D. Otherwise it feels nice and homely. I'm glad that it worked out with all the changes made to VDC along side.--Gear 04:53, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I looked over your earlier design when I was gathering ideas for the new layout. I still think this page needs some more work, but at least now there should be less digging trying to find the specific articles. --brandished 23:34, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
hi guys. im new to this wiki editing thing as well as to source so forgive me for not doing this comment properly. well basically that same inexperience , i thought, might help give a unique perspective to this page as im currently trying to learn from scratch how to level design through this wiki. the page is definitely easier to understand now. it was wierd having the links to the invidiual game level design pages in such an akward place before. however i do suggest the following:
  • changing the title "game specific articles" to "game specific level design."
  • i also feel that some sort of connection has to be made right after "making your first map" and the game specific articles [game specific level design] perhaps some text below the title of game specific... saying something like "Below are game specific game level design articles that we recommend to be started after building your first map.
  • if im not mistaken there is advanced lighting??? so that should either be added to the lighting list or all should be removed leaving one link to a lighting page with sub-links to basic, intermediate, advanced.
  • 2d vs 3d skyboxes. i still dont understand when to use what and this "main level deisgn page" doesn't suggest either. should there be a link to one skybox page with a general description + differences between them , then links to each? or should that whole thing just be here in the level design page with skybox getting its own sub-category after getting started?
--azar 09:23, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
its seems that there is also an intermediate design page Level Design. i feel taht there should be some sort of direct link from this "main" or "basic" level design page to provide a smooth road map for learning for a new person. any suggestions on how this should be integrated? its not obvious if a person should continue to it after the whole "getting started category" or after the "game specific level design" or in parallel with game specific [and how do we show that? perhaps text in parentheses saying "to be followed in parallel with game specific" ]. the intermediate page itself says it should be started right after "your first map." im not sure if thats best as it would jsut make the time before you getting your hands dirty in the specific game type you want to create too long. anyone agree/disagree? suggestions? --azar 09:53, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Welcome to the VDC. I agree, the level design page could still use some reworking. As for skyboxes, a 2D skybox is just brushes textured with the skybox texture used for bringing in the sky textures, a 3D skybox is used to create the illusion of a world outside the playable portion of the map. I'm not sure about the intermediate design pages, although they do have a significant amount of content, the section as a whole was never really finished, I believe this was why it wasn't linked. It could still probably be linked over, but possibly with a disclaimer stating the above. If you unsure about editing the WiKi, be sure to check out the Help:Editing section. Also, feel free to ask questions if there is something you aren't certain about, although it may be awhile before you get a response. --brandished 17:00, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Adding articles

AI section? you know, for NPCs assaults etc. (or a link to it)

trains? shouldn't they be connecting areas

MLSTRM 15:50, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

"Player_Start"

Ok, i've made a few "simple" mods and now im trying to get serious. But, two problems keep occurring, 1; I can't find a way to make the Player start with a certain apparatus, like weapons and the HEV suit (i am modding Half Life 2) and secondly; i can't figure out how to make the player's current apparatus "roll over" into the next level once they change... Any help would be highly appreciated,

P.S i didn't know which category this topic would go under; so i just put it under Level Design in General.

Thank you.

Decompiling

I think there should be a link to the decompiling article on this page somewhere. It is related, and it should be made more obvious so people read the ethics on it. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Lancelot (talkcontribs).

(Two years later) It is here. —Mattshu 06:42, 30 September 2011 (PDT)

Removal of Source mod level creation link?

Anyone know why the link to all the Source mods level creation page was removed? I'm thinking it needs to be added back - Wazanator

Clipping Gaps.

Anyone know how to fix the gaps in the ground along where it was clipped? Slits.png I've tried manually lining them up until they're aligned but it's taking forever, there has to be a quicker way.

When something like this happened to me, the easiest way was to quickly Undo (Ctrl+Z) it before I made any more edits. It's better to just delete the brush and create a new one if you can't undo it.Mattshu 06:40, 30 September 2011 (PDT)
On second thought, that doesn't help at all. If your displacement looks like this, try sewing it. If that doesn't work, then the displacements aren't lining up correctly. Resize it and try again. —Mattshu 00:43, 22 January 2013 (PST)