What do you hate the most about mapping?

This is a thread to vent about the little nooks and crannies of Hammer/Source that just bite your ass whilst you’re trying to map.

I’ll start with doors. Doorways. Both of these can go die in a fire. Doorways make me go offgrid and then when I compile and view the map, the door always takes a shitload of trickery to prevent it from looking weird in the lighting. Then there’s actually applying a doorway texture - this is where I ALWAYS fuck up. I don’t know what to do anymore.

Shamelessly stolen from Gamedev

Also slanted geometry such as roofs. It’s hard to get the angles right, and to get the right size.

I dislike it when I’m trying to make things symmetrical and a small oversight means I have to redo most of the area to correct it. And I get confused when I have vertices very close to or behind each other, although those are more my fault than anything else.

And you’re right, texture choices for things like doorways and windowsills are difficult.

The idiocities of hammer.

Prop shading. Why the hell do I place a prop and it looks fine and I place all the cubemaps, but when I run it in-game it looks like it’s being lit from outside! I tamper for hours with the lightmap scale and lighting origin, but it still looks like it’s half-sticking outside of the map. By the time I give up and delete the prop, at least 3 hours are gone.

Making interiors from exteriors. It just pisses me off how I try to apply a wallpaper texture to the other side of the brick texture, but something happens with the scaling and texture alignment and then I have to create a new brush for each interior wall so that it scales right. Then the interior walls don’t line up with the exterior walls on the grid and all of the brushes collide with eachother. Then I say “screw it” and destroy the interior, making the exterior a fake one.

great, now I’m mad.

Damnit, I just thought of another one!
When I’m making an exterior, the windows that I want to use aren’t props, they’re textures. So I tamper with the wall to get a window-sized space and I place a brush with the window texture in it, but the brick texture BEHIND the window is completely different than the one I’m using. So just to humor myself, I use the window texture as an overlay, and the brick texture is still there. The only REAL overlay windows with transparent backgrounds are ones that don’t fit the style at all.

Don’t get me started on displacement errors, I swear to god…

prop physics, static, etc. I wish I could just make anything a physics or static object.

Content from different games and engine versions.

prop_dynamic_override but knowing hammer there’s probably something sinful about it

causes lods of lag and more rendering processes than it needs

Displacements (depending on how OCD you are with them or how complex of an environment you are trying to make) and brushing stuff that isn’t axis aligned. Also that the “random yaw” checkbox doesn’t appear to work when placing ents, it could save me a lot of time I’ve spent placing foliage.

Fucking navigation meshes for L4D2

I swear to god, it’s next to impossible to figure out flow errors as they literally can mean anything’s wrong with the NAV.

How L4D2 has five or six different toilet models, but a huge lack of other, essential models.

how you can’t rescale meshes.
oh and the pipeline from a 3D software to in-engine.

I can’t remember how many times Hammer crashed on me just from rotating a prop in TF2. Good thing the more recent versions of Hammer are a little bit more stable.


all that copying and pasting, lining things up to fit PERFECT edge to edge, and all that “tie an entity” crap, so frustrating and it takes forever

I try to not compile at all but I want to look at my map every time I make a change and I just end up wasting a lot of time.

Holy shit, this.

random crashes

random crashes all the fucking time

Flickering decals in “Textured Shaded” mode.

I’m the opposite. There’s too much changes inbetween my compiles, so usually there’s a lot of shit that looks weird in each compile.