Remaking Maps from Heavy Rain

Hey everybody. Figured this would be the best place to ask this sort of question. I’m not particularly new to mapping, I know Hammer pretty much inside and out, but I decided to tackle the task of remaking maps from Heavy Rain on PS3.

This game’s got beautiful set design and I figure there’s a ton of props that already exist in Source (Just look at the filing cabinets, computers, lamps, they’ve all got their CS:S equivalents) so I figure remaking these scenes won’t be too hard, but my main issue is the brushwork and how everything’s positioned.

I’m sorta OCD with being spot-on with the original, so I’d like to make this as faithful as possible, sans the different props and textures.

By any other means, I’d just rip the map out of the game, place it in hammer and base the layout on that, but alas I can’t actually rip any models or textures from this game easily (I’ve spent a long time trying to figure that out with barely any luck, a few character textures but nothing really usable)

So my question is: What’s the best way of remaking this map, or any map in this game for that matter? People remake maps all the time, I could use some pointers or tips on what I should do to make this map as faithful to the original as I can from someone who’s done this sorta thing before.

Heavy Rain has a debug mode with a “Free Camera” option, which lets you move the camera around the sets. So I can get as many reference images as I want. I just don’t really know how to go about actually making it.

If you are as OCD about accuracy as I am, then ripping and using as base really is the only method. If ripping is not available, try using the props as size references.

I remember making a house and most of the inspiration came from the first level in that game.

If you have a freecam that makes it a lot easier. Most maps are made out of powers of 8 - 16, 64, 128, 256, 512, etc. Keep your grid snapped to that and it should look a lot better just by guesswork of how long/wide something is, rather than going by eye and ending up with weird values (242x733 or something). For starters, just by glancing at it I’d say those carpets are 64x512 units with a 128x128 space for desks. From there it’s easy, just branch out from that starting point.
Most useful single picture would probably be a birds eye view of the whole room. After that, get pictures of humans standing next to/near the props, then place an info_player_start in your map and use him as your guide. Height is super hard to tell with no reference.
Stick to the powers of 8, and trust your gut if it looks right in Hammer instead of comparing it to the source, and it’ll look better in the end. It’s just like sketching, one person sees an eye and tries to draw an eye, another draws the shapes & lines that make up the eye and it turns out better.