Portal Mapping FAQ

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This is a general FAQ dealing with common questions about Portal mapping. This article includes easy fix questions and important information that is very useful to know, but does not warrant their own individual tutorials. This FAQ was originally written for ThinkingWithPortals.com, and has been assimilated into the Valve Developer Community wiki.

How do you make a map exit out when it has completed?

Create a point_client_command entity (which will execute console commands as if the player typed them in himself), and set it to give the command "disconnect". This will drop the player from the map back to the menu when the entity is fired. You might also want to add an env_fade so the player knows the map is ending.

What are common particle system IDs for things like poison water fog and the fizzler effect?

Poison water particle system is water_mist_256, and the fizzler particle system is portal_cleanser.

Why aren't my sprites showing up?

The "Sprite Name" requires a .spr extension on the end of the sprite name.

How do I let people place portals on concrete next to metal surfaces?

Any place where a concrete surface is flush with a metal surface, create a func_portal_bumper brush entity 32 units wide next to the concrete and over the metal.

How do I start the player with the portal gun?

Place a weapon_portalgun entity that is touching your info_player_start. Be sure to make sure the Portal 1 and Portal 2 settings are set to whatever you desire.

How large of an area does the fizzler particle system cover, width and height?

The fizzler particle field is 256 units wide, 128 units high. However when using several of them together, placing them 128 units apart will give the best effect since the particles fade out near the edges.

My elevator doors open, but I can't get out / get in.

You need to create an additional Output that will DisableCollision for your elevator door model. The collision for the model does not change even though it appears different, so you have to manually do this.

What textures and scale settings do I use for recessed lighting?

The texture is lights/light_recessedcool002, and using a lightmap scale of 8 works in most instances. Using the overlay decals/overlay_light_gradient on the wall against the recessed lighting will also add to the effect.

What are default settings for the poison water's trigger_hurt?

Damage = 100, Damage Type = CHEMICAL, Damage Model = Normal, Zero Damage Force = YES

Is it possible to make Portals on a moving surface?

No. It is hard coded into the Portal game that they cannot be placed on any moving surface, whatsoever. When placed on a surface that moves they will be instantly destroyed, much like you see in the single player game.

Why won't my func_portal_cleanser fire the OnDissolveBox output?

The OnDissolveBox output is only fired if the box that you are attempting to detect is named box. This is extremely limiting I know, and I can't for the life of me figure out why Valve would do it this way, but if you desperately need the OnDissolveBox output, you must name your cubes as box.

When making a challenge version of my map, how do I make the stats be displayed at the end?

At the end of your map, instead of putting a normal elevator prop_dynamic or prop_physics, you need to use the entity prop_portal_stats_display.

How can I create a brush that blocks the player and objects but allows me to shoot a portal through it, like the fences in Test 16?

If you are using a grate texture then this will be automatic. If you are using a different texture or the grate texture you are trying to use is not automatic, then you will need two brushes - one which will be your actuall wall that is a func_brush set to Non-Solid, and another world brush textured completely with the tools/toolsclip texture, which will block the player and all objects but not projectiles.

What does BTS stand for?

Behind The Scenes. It refers to the style of gameplay in the Portal single player after Chamber 18.

I can't find a model for the modular platform shafts! How do I make them?

The modular platform shafts are not models, they are cylindrical func_door brushes parented to one another, and triggered in succession usually with a logic_relay entity. Exactly how to setup such things is beyond the scope of this FAQ, but check out the portal mapping sites and ask questions there.

How do you hide the ASHPD and crosshairs to take a screenshot?

In console, r_drawviewmodel 0 will hide the Portal gun, and crosshair 0 will hide the crosshair. To undo, repeat the commands with "1" in place of "0".

The command impulse 100 will also hide the portalgun, but with a "putting away" animation which is smoother, and perhaps better suited for machinima.

I'm using an elevator prefab, and when I finish one map and the next one loads, the elevator has disappeared! How do I fix this?

The game is keeping information about the position of the elevator stored in memory. To fix this, all you need to do is ungroup your elevator prefab on every affected level, and make the "Global Entity Name" keyvalue blank on the elevator body and doors.

See also

External Links