Creating an energy ball launcher and catcher

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Introduction

The purpose of this tutorial is to illustrate how to create a single ball launcher and have a single ball catcher as its target. Both, the launcher and the catcher instructions will detail how the basic animations as well as the visual and sound effects work.

The Aperture Science High Energy Pellet Launcher

Launcher assembly.

The launcher is comprised of three entities:

The model used is:

  • models/props/combine_ball_launcher.mdl

To create the launcher:

1. Create a prop_dynamic entity (Shift+E) with a World Model set to "models/props/combine_ball_launcher.mdl" and the Name key of "ball_launcher".
2. Place the new entity where you want it in your map.
3. Create a point_energy_ball_launcher entity and set its name to "ball".
4. Place the new entity inside the dome of the "ball_launcher" model.
5. Create a new sqare brush 20 units or so on each side and 1 unit thick with the nodraw texture.
6. Turn this brush into a func_brush entity (Ctrl+T) and name it "ball_launcher_shield".
7. Place the "ball_launcher_shield" so that it is touching the black circular shield of the "ball_launcher model".
8. Open up the point_energy_ball_launcher properties and set these outputs:
My Output Target Entity Target Input Parameter Delay Only Once
Io11.png OnPostSpawnBall ball_launcher SetAnimation close 0.00 No
Io11.png OnPostSpawnBall ball_launcher_shield Disable <none> 0.00 No
Io11.png OnPostSpawnBall ball_launcher_shield Enable <none> 2.00 No
9. Adjust the keyvalues of point_energy_ball_launcher to set the desired Direction, Speed, Type, and Life of the ball.

The Aperture Science High Energy Pellet Launcher is now complete.

Note:If necessary, you can also place the point_energy_ball_launcher outside of the "ball_launcher" model and remove the "ball_launcher_shield" outputs.
Note:If you're not using a Trigger to fire the launcher you'll need to go into the "ball" entity, go to its flags page, and uncheck the "Start Inactive" flag. Now the ball will start firing as soon as the level is loaded.

The Aperture Science High Energy Pellet Target

Target assembly.

The target is comprised of eleven entities:

The models used are:

  • /models/props/combine_ball_catcher.mdl
  • /models/Effects/combineball.mdl

To create the catcher:

1. Create a prop_dynamic entity with a World Model key pointing to "models/props/combine_ball_catcher.mdl" and the Name set to "ball_trap".
2. Place the entity where you want it in your map.
Note:The model requires a hole of at least 32 units square and 8 units deep. Otherwise, when the model animates to its closed state, part of the model will be hidden in a wall.
3. Create a filter_combineball_type entity and name it "filter_ball".
4. Set the ball type for "filter_ball" to "Launched by point_combine_ball_launcher".
5. Create a cylinder brush with 8 faces, and size it to same the length and width, as the Dynamic prop. Texture it with the trigger texture to cover the opening of the "ball_trap" model.
6. Turn this brush into a trigger_multiple entity and name it "trigger_ball_trap", also set the filter_name to "filter_ball". Make sure to have the flags Physics Objects selected.
7. Create a prop_dynamic entity with a World Model of "models/Effects/combineball.mdl", set its Parent to "ball_trap" and Name it "ball_trap_ball". Also make sure to have Start Disabled set to "Yes".
8. Create a env_sprite entity, set its Sprite Name to "sprites/physring1.vmt", set its Parent to "ball_trap" and Name it "ball_trap_sprite". Make sure to have 'Render mode' set to Additive. Also, the 'Scale should be set to 1.5 'Size of Glow proxy' set to 0, and HDR Color Scale set to 1.0, yet all these values can be changed to your liking. Also be sure to have 'Render Fx' set to Distort.
9. Place both "ball_trap_ball" and "ball_trap_sprite" somewhere near the front of the "ball_trap" model.
10. Create a logic_relay entity and name it "relay_ball_trap_spawn".
11. Open up the logic_relay properties and set these outputs:
My Output Target Entity Target Input Parameter Delay Only Once
Io11.png OnSpawn ball_trap_ball SetParentAttachment ball_attachment 0.00 No
Io11.png OnSpawn ball_trap_sprite SetParentAttachment ball_attachment 0.00 No
12. Create a path_track entity and name it "path_ball_trap_01", set Next Stop Target to "path_ball_trap_02".
13. Place "path_ball_trap_01" 34 units from the base of "ball_trap" model and 18 Units High from the center of the base model.
14. Create a path_track entity and name it "path_ball_trap_02, set Next Stop Target to "path_ball_trap_01".
15. Place "path_ball_trap_02" 56 units away from the center of the original path_track. Make sure to have both even in a straight line, and matching up.
16. Create a brush with the nodraw texture. Its measurements should be 14x8x16, Length, Width Height.
17. Turn this brush into a func_tracktrain entity and name it "ball_trap_door".
18. The placing doesn't matter, so feel free to place it anywhere you like.
19. Open up the property window for "ball_trap_door" and set these keyvalues:
Property Name Value
First Stop Target path_ball_trap_01
Move Sound d3_citadel.podarm_move
Start Sound d3_citadel.podarm_move_start
Stop Sound d3_citadel.podarm_move_stop
Change Angles Never (Fixed Orientation)
Height Above Tracks 0
Also be sure to have these flags checked:
Property Name Value
No user Control Checked
Fixed Orientation Checked
20. Open up the property window for "path_ball_trap_02" and set this output:
My Output Target Entity Target Input Parameter Delay Only Once
Io11.png OnPass ball_trap_door SetSpeed 0 0.00 No
21. Create a point_spotlight entity (Shift+E) and name it "ball_trap_spotlight". You may also want to disable the Dynamic Light flag.
22. Set the Color for "ball_trap_spotlight" to "255 0 0", the Beam Length is normally the length of the room, and Beam Width somewhere between 20 and 40.
23. Create an ambient_generic entity and Name it "ball_trap_sound"
24. Set the Sound Name key for "ball_trap_sound" to "AlyxEMP.Charge". Set it's Source Entity Name to the Main Prop_dynamic.
25. Open the property window for "trigger_ball_trap" and set these outputs:
My Output Target Entity Target Input Parameter Delay Only Once
Io11.png OnStartTouch trigger_ball_trap Disable <none> 0.00 No
Io11.png OnStartTouch ball Disable <none> 0.00 No
Io11.png OnStartTouch  !activator Kill <none> 0.00 No
Io11.png OnStartTouch ball_trap_ball Enable <none> 0.00 No
Io11.png OnStartTouch ball_trap_sprite ToggleSprite <none> 0.00 No
Io11.png OnStartTouch ball_trap SetAnimation close 0.00 No
Io11.png OnStartTouch ball_trap_spotlight LightOff <none> 0.00 No
Io11.png OnStartTouch ball_trap_door SetSpeed .5 0.00 No
Io11.png OnStartTouch ball_trap_sound PlaySound <none> 0.00 No
Then under the Flags tab un-check "clients" and check everything else.

The Aperture Science High Energy Pellet Target is now complete.

Note:The "ball_trap_door" sounds are drowned out by the "ball_trap_sound", you may want to adjust the delay for the PlaySound.

The theory

Energy Pellet Launcher and Target at work.
These instructions illustrate the most basic use of the launcher and catchers. Theoretically you should be able to have one launcher and multiple catchers, or even catchers that reset themselves.

See also

External links

  • Example map Example map using this tutorial. VMF included.