User:The junk./(L4D) Scavenger Progess

From Valve Developer Community
Jump to: navigation, search

This is a user project page. Please do not edit it. If you want to discuss this project, you can do so on the project talk page.

Quick Look

  • Name: (Unofficially called 'Scavenger')
  • Game Mode: Scavenger
  • Status (rough estimates): Project currently on hold as I work on other projects and art studies.
Project Aspect Completion (%)
Construction 30
Texturing 30
Entities 0
Polish 0
  • Poster (proposal):


This is a map for a new game type, called Scavenger. I'm holding off on the details until it is more formed, but there are a couple of things I hope to accomplish with it.

  • Help further SketchUp support for Source level modding. For this mod, whatever can be done in SketchUp, is. This isn't a backlash against Hammer; After all, I kind of like Hammer. However, I am efficient (like a lot of people) using SketchUp and, for me, it has a very new and shiny quality to it. Did I mention Ruby API support for SketchUp plugins, hmmm???
  • Provide another level of scale for mappers. Survival and Campaign maps are great, but in terms of size there seems to be something missing. This mod hopes to address this issue and give people another reason to make mid-to-large sized maps.
  • Learn more about game development/modding through Source interaction.
  • Extend Left 4 Dead.


I am relatively new to mapping/modding/and what not; However, I do come with the Swift Learner, Comprehension, Educated, and Bloody Mess perks. Hopefully, that'll do it.

I like to keep a fair amount of flexibility when designing, for those cases when something is "worlds better" or an easier solution is "just as good". Of course, one has to pay particular attention as to whether that is actually true. Regardless, you could say my development style is "design by direction" rather than "design by definition". Critical aspects of the design, of course, still need to be fleshed out. Another counter-example would be "touching parts". If two or more different parts of the design are in contact with one another, then that contact needs to be controlled. The standard way to do this is by defining the parts exactly. This solves the problem "by definition". I will restrict the design in this way when appropriate, but for the most part I focus on giving the project, at all times, a definite state of being, or direction. In other words, my project needs to know exactly what it is and/or what it is trying to do at all times. The key being that this knowledge is not constant in time.


I liked the movie poster I did and I am a little anxious to make more head-way towards something playable. There are, at least, two ways I can go about things (right now, I'm biased towards the second). First, I can continue with the original idea of compacting the skeleton blocks I have and taking a surround from the district mock-up. With the game play I am aiming for in this mod, this would have to be a temporary job; Something to show people that the mod is working and to maybe gather support. The second option is to take the mock-up, then punch out some holes and/or rearrange some buildings to accommodate the project scenes. The result also leads to something working (hopefully) and could be used to gather support. I feel that the difference is in how things would grow. In the latter case, blocks may simply be replaced. In the former case, attention needs to be given to how to extend the map boundary, including the surround and adjacent playable areas. This, coupled with the fact that I have compiled, played, and liked the feel of the mock-up, makes me lean towards option 2.

June 5, 2009:

Below is a SketchUp shot of the project. The church and autoshop have been tested to be exportable to Hammer, without error. The three other district blocks are the result of a recent blitz I did. They haven't been tested in Hammer, yet; However, I am pretty anal about my SketchUp brush work. There are miscellaneous "SketchUp only" models present in the photos that obviously do not export into Hammer, as is. They are artifacts from reference work, via the 3D Warehouse, that I kept as conceptual guides.

The translucent red region is the the scope of this mod. I am considering swapping blocks Q and R with P and reducing the scope to then exclude blocks P, M, and J. The playable area would then be completely surrounded by background buildings and I would almost be ready to move on to other areas of the mod.


It seems reasonable to do a damage pass over the whole district, rather than the individual lots. That way, damage can propagate to surrounding areas more easily. So, I started work on the district as a whole. I've resized several objects and textured the streets, sidewalks, and curbs. Here are a few shots of the work:


Below is a little history and a gallery of sketching out the individual lots.

June 7, 2009:

The Church.

I've been messing around with textures, SketchUp, and Hammer over the past couple of days and here are the results.

This is far enough to warrant a freezing of the state. On a next iteration, the plan is to incorporate damage into the geometry for some, hopefully, interesting results. I am taking this approach instead of modeling damage into the geometry from the beginning for a number of reasons. For example, I might like to see this church in a DoD:S map :).

June 9, 2009:

The Apartments.

Below is a first texture pass over the apartments, with a few additions to the geometry. I had to battle the compiler a little with this scene, which is a good learning experience.

I have been including objects intended to be models as world brushes as a first order look of the scene. Creating models from these various structures has it's own reserved workspace in the project. The railings had to be removed to save the compiler from eating itself, despite giving them a func_detail. The lawn is a little blocky and will be fixed on a detail pass (as will texture alignment). I'm not sure if clutter will reduce the open feel of the apartment complex walkway, so it's size will probably be reduced.

June 10, 2009:

The Gas Station.

Below is a first texture pass over the apartments, with a few additions to the geometry.

June 18, 2009:

The Auto Shop.

I've been making a few plug-ins for SketchUp, which is pretty fun. So far, I have a first person navigator, a boolean operator (union, intersection, and difference), and a locator for the centroid of a face (or center of mass for several faces). Good stuff.

June 19, 2009:

The Park.

The first-pass of the park brought up some issues with the terrain. Do I try to find (or make) some easy support for creating uneven ground in SketchUp or make use of Hammer's capability? I need to investigate the issue more and, until then, the park is sitting pretty flat. This question also came up with the church lot. Aside from this, the portable barricade walls look a little too thick to be "portable".

Here are a few shots of how things look in SketchUp.

Here are a few shots of how things look in game.

Development Space

// TODO:

  • Fix-up prop buildings and do a first-pass texturing.
  • Determine an efficient work flow for creating static .mdl models. So far, this consists of exporting an .smd from SketchUp (this gives the reference and animation components), importing the file into XSI Mod Tool, creating/exporting a physics component, and then compiling at the terminal.
  • Begin incorporating damaged geometry or make appropriate modifications.
  • Add clutter.
  • Further investigate modifying game logic.
  • Finish the mod?


I use SketchUp's 3D Warehouse for a lot of my references and, in scenes like the apartments and gas station, the models are based almost entirely from other people's work (with rebrushing and minor amendments on my part). The gas station benches, for example, only required the closing of a couple of faces to be importable into Hammer. I was pretty impressed. I think an open sharing environment would be a nice feature and good facilitator for a mod community, as long as people are responsible about such things. I am a firm believer in attribution, so here is a list of credits. I want to emphasize that it is not my intent to step on anyone's toes. If someone has a problem with a piece of work that they created and that I used, let me know on the talk page for this project and I will address the issue.

  • <untitled> - Unanonymous
    • Used as reference material for the district mock-up / street layout.
  • "Gothic Graveyard #46" - dndopman (credits Bruce Hirst)
    • Reference material for tombstone props. These only appear in the SketchUp shots, since I may use Left 4 Dead's tombstone models.
  • "A gas station." - S
    • The gas station scene is based largely off of this work. The benches are taken almost directly from it, as well.
  • "Urban Unit - Climaco Cardenas" - Metrika Inc.
    • The apartments scene is based off of this work.
  • "Military barracks (Nissen / Quonset Hut) building" - IDW
    • The military quick-deployment barracks in the park are based off of this work.
  • "Rue St. Rustique, March 1922" - Atget, Eugènew, 1857-1927.
    • Source material for the Dead In The Streets poster.