Does this look like Black Mesa?

Hi, I’m currently making a mod, and one of my mappers have completed a map (almost completed actually), and someone says it didn’t look like Black Mesa, I beg to differ, but my opinion really doesn’t count. I’m asking the FP community what they think. http://www.moddb.com/mods/black-mesa-no-escaping/videos

The comments you got on moddb answers your question. Also i think you should change the textures, and improve the lights. The textures are bad and very repetitive.
And most mods have a storyline. i did not see any for of story from that video, but i know it is still to early to judge you on that.

also, when showing your map, running around shooting stuff steals the viewers attention from the map to you.

It’s a start. It needs improvement to look more like Black Mesa. There needs to be more variation in textures, and a little easier on the lighting. It’s quite bright and seems to follow one main color scheme. Also, I’d suggest some cubemaps and build them with “buildcubemaps” in the console to fix that strange reflection from the light models. I would also add some sort of frame to the grate in the ground. Overall, it needs more of a Black Mesa atmosphere: gray corridors, consoles on the walls, etc.
However, I like the room that has those consoles in it though, and the windows that view the room with the G-man. I also like how the brushwork does not consist of blocks. It’s good to have curved walls like that. Keep going at it. We all start somewhere.

This more or less sums up my thoughts about this.

May I also add why are you using combine metal/windows? It looks out of place in Black Mesa. Use older looking or normal metals and use clear or reinforced glass instead.

Got 39 seconds into the video and I noticed two things.
It looks like a generic bunker, I couldn’t tell the difference between that and any other bunker.
The windows have no frames, which bugs the shit out of me.

Thanks from me and the mapper who made this (it wasn’t me) You’re the only one who gave contructive critisism.

If that is a whole level you may need to rethink your mod and if that is what your final level will look like, you may need to rethink your choice for mapper.

First of all I have to agree with hawkeye hawk. Your video doesn’t show the map any justice whatsoever. Try more of a cinematic approach rather than a ‘shoot stuff’ approach.

Secondly, comments on ModDB are right. This map doesn’t look like what I remember from playing HL1. Try going for a more clean, facility look rather than what ever you have going on there.

If you don’t feel like redoing the style and layout of this ‘level’ all together, then here are some things to think about.

  1. I can understand placing pipes on the walls but they look out of place. For example at about 0:02 in the video you can see a pipe that comes out of the floor, turns to the wall, runs up the wall a ways, turns back out, runs up a bit more, and finally returns to the wall. This makes no sense. The only reason for this would be if there was ‘building’ in the way, which there isn’t.

  2. Whats up with the glass? It appears you have numerous small squares that individually break. Go shoot a real window and see what happens and make changes accordingly.

  3. func_dustmotes (aka the floating stuff under the lights). They add quality to a map when used correctly. In this poorly lit but generally bright setting there is no reason for these. If you have darker areas with incandescent lights versus florescent then you may have justification to use these.

  4. As mentioned in #3, the lighting is very poor. It is very plain and uniform in intensity. Try adding color or appearance to fix this up. You could also break up the lighting with shadows from detail props or additional brush work.

  5. Brush work is plain. Add curves, angles, and other bits here and there to break up large faces and fill in corners. I can’t really give you specifics to work off of but look on the internet for reference images, play Half-Life or any of the sequels, or just go outside and take note of real life architecture.

  6. Computer systems don’t often sit in a small, dark room by them selves, nor are they housed near the loading dock/storage area (this is what the level is supposed to be, right??). Black Mesa is not a lacking facility and things would be up kept very well. Therefore there would not be any drooping wires or exposed circuitry.

I could continue listing things that need work but before I invest anymore time into this write-up I would like to see some improvements.

To any experienced mappers reading this, please tell me if any of this is wrong so I can learn from this as well as the OP.

Some of the textures used are very wrong. For example, combine glass has been used. Black Mesa never was a combine facility. There should be a bit of trim around grate sections. The cables are very very thick, and seem to run out of power boxes with no reason. The lighting is off, even for a black mesa storage area. Also, the boxes are stacked up on carts…thing is, boxes should be scattered around generally if it is a storage area.

Would be better if you embedded the video on here along with some images, not just send us to moddb.

the lighting isn’t off, it’s a broken reception, not a storage area, the little area near the start is a storage area but not the middle of the map, really only one person gave constructive crtisism. :angry:

okay, since you are not happy with the comments you got on this i will write them in a different way. That way you might understand that we actually try to help you and most of us gave constructive criticism.

What i said, but in different words:

  • You should change the lights. They look dull and out of place, like it or not. Walk around in Half Life and see how they lighted the place.
  • Use different textures. The ones you use now do not look like Black Mesa + they are boring and repetitive. Again take a look in Half Life and see how they textured the place.

What covanantslayer117 said in different words:

  • Do not use combine textures in a replica of Black Mesa. They look out of place.

What Rubs10 said in different words:

  • Make the architecture look more like Black Mesa. Again take a look in Half Life and see how they build up the place.
  • Use window frames

What Ryan1271 said is pretty clear and you should read what he said.

IronPhoenix said:

  • Use different textures, combine textures + Black Mesa = wrong.
  • Make trims around grates (+ windows and doors)
  • Make the cables more realistic, not just randomly placed.
  • The lights IS of. Take a look at some tutorials or even other mappers work and see how it is done.

What sphinxa279 said:

  • Post some pictures in the thread, not just a link (even if the link leads to the pictures, you should post them here. A lot people do not bother to look at the link).

There you go. I hope that made things a bit clearer.

Bluer walls similar to the texture you find in “Questionable Ethics”, maybe that along with better lighting will get you a more Black Mesa-ish feeling to it.

It looks nothing like a reception. It looked more like a dingy storage area. A reception area would have seats, a desk, images on the walls. Even if it is an old one, the lights would not be that dark. Maybe a little greyer than white, a few flickers. Having that much pipework makes no sense in a reception area either, as all that stuff would be hidden behind the walls.

The breakable glass looks like you have used the “fake dmm glass” tutorial by that person we love to hate. Use the breakable glass texture with func_breakable_surf instead. And get rid of that combine glass.

If you are going to have a bit of a storage area and then a reception, make those lines more defined.

it should resembel BlackMesa more if you would use referance pictures.
or have hl1 open and see the thing in 3D!

but it doesnt SUCK either, so i think you can make something of it.

yours:

http://www.1337upload.net/files/j_lab_a_10002.jpg

theirs:

http://www.1337upload.net/files/vicariousreality3.jpg

I would say its a spot on match! :smug: