Creating Looped Automatic Portals

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Portal Level Creation


Skill Level

This tutorial expects you to have this amount of knowledge within the topic to follow along smoothly.

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This tutorial will show step-by-step instructions on how to create linked portals similar to the ones seen in Test Chamber 01, in which the blue portals are seen switching on and off in a specific order. Following along with this tutorial will require some knowledge of how to use logic and math entities.

Construction

Step 1: Portal Frame

The layout of the auto portal frames.

To start, select the Hammer entity.png entity tool, and create a prop_static for each portal you intend to have in your map. Set the model to "models/props/autoportal_frame/autoportal_frame.mdl" for each one. The models should be placed and arranged at the locations the portals themselves will be.

Step 2: Creating the Portals

Example of how the prop_portal should be positioned.

Next, create a prop_portal for each of your portals, one for your red portal, and then any additional ones for your blue portals. For the sake of this tutorial, we will be creating 3 blue portals.

These prop_portals need to be positioned in the center of each portal frame, similar to the screenshot provided. They will also need to be rotated to be facing outward from the wall.

Note.png Note:  Rotating a prop_portal will make the portal look like it is in the same position in the Hammer Editor, you will have to rely on which direction the origin (yellow line in 2D view) is facing.

Name your red portal “portal_red01”, and name the three blue portals “portal_blue01”, “portal_blue02”, and “portal_blue03”.

For the red portal, change its properties to the following settings:

Property Name Value
Start Activated Inactive
Portal Number 2

For the blue portals, change their properties to the following settings:

Property Name Value
Start Activated Inactive
Portal Number 1

Step 3: Creating the Logic Relays

Diagram of how the logic_relays will work.

In order to make our sequential auto portals work, we will be employing the use of several logic and math entities. The one we will begin with is logic_relay.

To start, we are going to want to create four logic_relay entities for our blue portals:

  • 2 relays for the first blue portal. The first relay will be used to initialize the portal opening/closing sequence, while the second relay will open the first portal after the last portal has fizzled.
  • 1 relay for each of the remaining portals in the sequence.

For first portal’s initial relay, name it “relay_blue01_int”, and give it the following I/O:

  My Output Target Entity Target Input Parameter Delay Only Once
Io11.png OnTrigger portal_blue01 SetActivatedState 1 0.00 No

For the remaining relays, you will want to add an additional I/O to fizzle the previous blue portal as well. Name these relays “relay_blue02”, “relay_blue03”, and “relay_blue04” respectively.

The I/Os for these should look like this:

relay_blue02

  My Output Target Entity Target Input Parameter Delay Only Once
Io11.png OnTrigger portal_blue02 SetActivatedState   0.00 No
Io11.png OnTrigger portal_blue01 Fizzle   0.00 No

relay_blue03

  My Output Target Entity Target Input Parameter Delay Only Once
Io11.png OnTrigger portal_blue03 SetActivatedState   0.00 No
Io11.png OnTrigger portal_blue02 Fizzle   0.00 No

relay_blue04

  My Output Target Entity Target Input Parameter Delay Only Once
Io11.png OnTrigger portal_blue01 SetActivatedState   0.00 No
Io11.png OnTrigger portal_blue03 Fizzle   0.00 No

Step 4: Create the Logic_Case Entity

The logic entities to be used.

Now that we have our relays set up, we can move onto adding the remaining logic entities we’ll need to make this work. The entities in question are:

The first one we’ll create is the logic_case. This entity will be responsible for triggering the relays on each portal. Create the logic_case entity, and give it the following parameters:

Property Name Value
Name portals_case
Case 01 1
Case 02 2
Case 03 3
Case 04 4

Next, you will need to give it the following I/Os:

  My Output Target Entity Target Input Parameter Delay Only Once
Io11.png OnCase01 relay_blue01_int Trigger   0.00 No
Io11.png OnCase02 relay_blue02 Trigger   0.00 No
Io11.png OnCase03 relay_blue03 Trigger   0.00 No
Io11.png OnCase04 relay_blue01 Trigger   0.00 No

Step 5: Create the Logic_Timer Entity

Next, we will make the logic_timer entity. Place one in your map, and give it the following parameters:

Property Name Value
Name portals_timer
Start Disabled Yes
Use Random Time No
Refire Interval 5

Then, give it the following I/O:

  My Output Target Entity Target Input Parameter Delay Only Once
Io12.png OnTimer portals_counter Add 1 0.00 No

Step 6: Create the Math_Counter Entity

Finally, we add a math_counter entity, which will allow our setup cycle through the portals every time it has a value added to it (via the logic_timer).

Place one in your map, and give it the following parameters:

Property Name Value
Name portals_counter
Start Disabled No
Initial Value 0
Minimum Legal Value 0
Maximum Legal Value 5

The reason we set the maximum value to five is to allow a looping point in the portal opening/closing sequence.

  • A value of 1 triggers the initial relay for the first blue portal.
  • A value of 2 triggers the relay for the second blue portal.
  • A value of 3 triggers the relay for the third blue portal.
  • A value of 4 trigger the second relay for the first blue portal.
  • Finally, value of 5 triggers a self-reset of the counter, with the reset value being set to 2.

To sum up, you will want to set the “Maximum Legal Value” to how many relays you have set up, +1 to act as a looping point. This sequence will be kept running thanks to our logic_timer entity.

Add the following I/Os to the math_counter entity:

  My Output Target Entity Target Input Parameter Delay Only Once
Io11.png OnHitMax !self SetValue 2 0.00 No
Io11.png OutValue portals_case InValue   0.00 No

Implementation

Assuming that you have your auto-portals in their places (and have their entities set up), you can now make a trigger the player will walk into to start the sequence.

Trigger the Auto-Portal Sequence

The trigger_once that is used to activate the red portal and logic_timer.

Create a brush textured with tools/toolstrigger, and press Ctrl+T to turn it into a brush entity. Change this entity into a trigger_once, and give it the following I/Os:

  My Output Target Entity Target Input Parameter Delay Only Once
Io11.png OnStartTouch portal_red01 SetActivatedState 1 0.00 No
Io11.png OnStartTouch portals_timer Enable   0.00 No

When the player walks into the trigger’s volume, it will activate the red portal first, then after 5 seconds, the blue portals will open and close in a looped sequence.

Fizzling the Auto-Portals

Normally when you go through a cleanser field in-game, the portals you places with fizzle out. However, because of the particular way these auto portals are set up, walking through a a cleanser will not fizzle them. Because of this, we will need to create a workaround solution.

Fizzling the red portal is no issue, it can easily be fizzled on it’s own with a trigger brush. However, the blue portals will be more complicated, as simply making them fizzle with the aforementioned trigger with cause all of them to fizzle, regardless of whether they are active or not. The timer that runs the loop will also continue running if there isn’t something to disable it. To tackle the blue portals, we’ll need to employ the use of relays and logic_branches..

The logic_branch and logic_relay used to manage the fizzling of a portal

To start, place a logic_branch near each of the blue portals you have placed down. Then, place an extra relay next to them as well. Name the branch entities "branch_blue01", "branch_blue02", and "branch_blue03". Name the new relays "relay_blue01_fizzle", "relay_blue02_fizzle", and "relay_blue03_fizzle".

  • We will use the branch entities as a means of either enabling or disabling an accompanying relay.

For each portal’s branch, leave them with their default parameters, and give each of them I/Os similar to this:

  My Output Target Entity Target Input Parameter Delay Only Once
Io11.png OnFalse relay_blue01_fizzle Disable   0.00 No
Io11.png OnTrue relay_blue01_fizzle Enable   0.00 No

For the relays themselves, change the following parameter:

Property Name Value
Start Disabled Yes

Then, add an I/O that looks similar to this to each of them:

  My Output Target Entity Target Input Parameter Delay Only Once
Io11.png OnTrigger portal_blue01 Fizzle   0.00 No

With this all set up, the you can now connect these relays to a trigger of your choosing. In this case, we’ll be connecting them to a trigger_portal_cleanser.

To learn how to make a portal cleanser, go to this page for more information.

Once you have created your portal cleanser, you’ll now be ready connect your relays and timer. To do this, insert the following I/Os into the trigger_portal_cleanser:

  My Output Target Entity Target Input Parameter Delay Only Once
Io11.png OnStartTouch portal_red01 Fizzle   0.00 Yes
Io11.png OnStartTouch relay_blue03_fizzle Trigger   0.00 Yes
Io11.png OnStartTouch relay_blue02_fizzle Trigger   0.00 Yes
Io11.png OnStartTouch relay_blue01_fizzle Trigger   0.00 Yes
Io11.png OnStartTouch portals_timer Disable   0.00 Yes

With this all added, your auto-portals should now fizzle out properly, depending on which ones are open and which ones are closed.

See Also