New at mapping need help on debugging (?)

Not sure if debugging is the right word but I’ve been mapping for about 2 weeks and now I’ve made something good enough I wanted to show to all my friends. Uploaded the map that I packed with pakrat and sent it to them.

While playing the map I’ve learned that it likes to randomly crash to desktop w/o error warnings. Nothing in console or anything.

Anyone know how to figure out what maybe doing this? When I run my map through HL2:EP2 game console it does not crash at all only when I run it through Gmod. The only custom items I’m using on this map are sounds (.WAV) that I have recorded through Audacity.


[editline]22nd October 2014[/editline]

This is map in question.

It looks like you’re using a bunch of styles lights, which should be avoided for multiple reasons. Styles lights are lights that are switchable or lights that flicker, pulse or do other effects.

  1. Styles lights don’t bounce. They’re basically a direct lighting source and you won’t get any ambient lighting. Any area that’s unlit will be an ugly black blotch, which you can see in your map.

  2. You can only have four styles lights hitting one brush face. Since static light counts as a style, you can really only have 3 styles on a face.

  3. They cause performance issues, especially on ATI/AMD video cards. It gets much worse if the lights switch rapidly or if you have many styles lights in the same PVS.

  4. They eat TONS of lightmap data. The more complex the effect is, the more lightmap data it will consume. An example would be is if you used all 26 steps (A-Z) of a styles light, it would create 27 lightmap pages on every surface it casted on (26 for the effect and 1 for the original face light.)

It also looks like your map may have a leak because the one static light that I can see (unless it’s also a styles light) isn’t bouncing at all, unless you specifically set it not to bounce.

It’s a cool looking map! Nice attention to sound and lighting. Although, GiGaBiTe is right, Source is really stingy with how you can get creative with lighting. It’s an issue I’ve been dealing with for a long time. Definitely requires many hours of trial and error to achieve the effects you want within the confines of the engine.

Definitely take a look at the above advice and see if it improves.

Thank you! I’mma take a look at the lighting asap!

If you must have flickering lights, light_dynamic is the lesser of two evils vs styles lights.

  1. While it doesn’t bounce, it doesn’t cause ugly black blotches and you can use static light to simulate ambient light (assuming it isn’t switchable.)

  2. You can have far more dynamic lights of different styles hitting a face (I think unlimited.) Your framerate will drop to nothing before you run out.

  3. They don’t eat lightmap data.

There are caveats though. Dynamic lights tend to bleed through walls depending on the brightness and they are expensive to render, especially on older/lower end machines. But they don’t cause the glitchy framerate issues like styles lights do on ATI/AMD cards.