I would like some constructive critisism on my first map

So using this tutorial on the Valve dev wiki, http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Getting_Started , I decided to start making a source map for the first time. This is my absolute first attempt at making a map, so I would like some constructive criticism
Video of it: http://www.xfire.com/video/21edef/

I have no idea what it’s supposed to be. I’m just making what comes to mind.
It is not just a box, and it is not fullbright.

I also would like some questions answered whil I’m making this thread.
How do I do displacments for my tunnel?
Is it possibly to carve a hole in a brush to add something like a door?

Thanks for input.

Not bad, in fact that’s about 500 times better than most peoples first maps. Just keep adding onto it whatever pops into your brain, that’s what I go off most of the time.

Thank you.

Way to dark. It looks blocky, and the few lights that are there are terribly saturated. (Even for alarm light standards.)

But, like Adrowallalalalijefjin or whatever said, far better then most first maps.

I’m probably going to scrap the dark scene and put in normal lights and forget the coloring until I can do a proper room. But thanks.

Very linear (obviously), very flat, no discernable light sources, and very badly lit.

I recommend you experiment with displacements- its essentially how you make terrain, it could greatly help break up those large flat areas you have. Also maybe block up the tunnel and force the player to go into some warehouse style offices in order to find a button to open the doors.

would break up the constant flat progress of running more or less in a straight line.

Maybe have some windows or skylights opening into the warehouse, a nice night skybox with blue env_light would do well with a darker, more color saturated environment you seem to be going with.

That’s all I got for now.

How to do displacements?

Click on the texture tool, click on one face, switch to the displacement tab-> create-> set a power 1 is the most basic, 4 (the highest) is for more detailed displacements.

Go to paint geometry, self explanatory. Occasionally smooth the displacement by clicking on the smooth option of paint geometry, but make sure the spacial box is not clicked.

Keep doing that until it looks the way you want it.
Also, displacements aren’t really brushes so you still have to seal up your map, otherwise it will treat the displacement like a leak.

Additionally, it is best to break up one brush into smaller displacements for a better end result. Do not forget to sew displacements together after you are done editing.

This is done by selecting the displacements you want to sew, and clicking ‘sew’ in the displacement tab.

Oh I found a tut on displacements.
Now what about cutting out a hole in a brush?

And what do you mean it isn’t treated like a brush?


Oh I see. It deletes the non-displaced sides. How do I fix this then?

You don’t.

You just seal up the map where the displacement is. Preferably with a nodraw brush.

What do you mean by cutting a hole in a brush? Do you mean creating a circular or arched doorway, or do you mean how do you make a tunnel?

Tunnels are made with displacements. To cut a ‘hole’ in a brush use the clip tool.

NEVER use carve.

Im not kidding.
There is no “right” or “optimised” way to carve.
Oh BTW hollow is the same thing as carve
Just use clip.

How do I use the clip tool?
I was fiddling around with it and I really couldn’t get it to work.


Oh wait I think I got it

I assume you know what the clip tool icon looks like?

Well select the brush you want to cut, select clip.

SHIFT+X will present you with three modes.

All you need to know is that whatever is red, will be deleted. When both sides are white, both brushes are kept.

Thanks for the info so far. I cut out a doorway for my hallway.

No problem.

Don’t forget to make sure the door is to scale with the player, just place a player spawn to compare the sizes.

Take a look at

They are both great sites to learn the basic.

How would I go about making a realistic transition from ballast\dirt to grass. Would I need to cut the brush into sections to add separate textures?

No, use the alpha paint tool, most textures are made up of multiple parts. It works in a similar manner to the paint geometry tool.

Not bad for first.

Great to know I’m off to a great start. Thanks guys.