Mapping Advice Request

Hi, I’m new to mapping and have just started to play around with Hammer. I’m about half-way through a large sized city map and have come across a few things I could use some advice on.

Firstly, my map features an uptown area that features several large skyscrapers, Imagine a T shape with the skyscrapers at the top of the T with buildings getting smaller towards the base. I’m starting to look at lighting this area. My problem is that I can’t find a way to realistically light this area, I can get some basic sunlight working but due to the height of some of the buildings, most of this area remains drowned in shadow. Any advice on this would be appreciated.

My second question is this; I’m looking for a way to add “talking” npcs to my map, think branching dialogue. Any advice on how I could achieve this? I don’t know the best way to go about it… can it be done through Hammer with entities? Or should I go through lua, coding them into a gamemode?

I’ve got another question to add guys, say I wanted to add a cell shaded effect to a server, map, players, props and items. Is this posible? Any ideas how I could acheive this?

Thanks in advance.

As long as you let light bounce and have a high ambient setting on your light_environment, it should light up the streets below just fine.

for the lighting, streetlights, barrel fires, car headlights.

for your second problem, id say you need lua.

Right about the first thing, wrong about the second thing (unless he wants a derma menu opened)
I say faceposer/scripted events is the thing you need for that.

Okay, thanks so far guys. I’m getting there with the lighting, any more ideas regarding my ‘talking’ npcs?

For the light, maybe add some lamps around.

For the actors, look for choreo scene on the valve developer wiki. I’m not sure about it but it should be what you are searching for.


I meant this


And I think you can make scenes with the valve face poser tool.

I’m going to assume that it’s a daytime map and using street lights and car headlights would be a bad idea.