Zombie Survival - zs_caves

This will be my first decent map released. Basically, the miners (humans) were underground when a combine headcrab canister broke through the roof of one of the caves closer to the surface. Headcrabs blah blah blah you know the rest. Miners took up arms. Etc. This map is basically in playable state, but lacks a bit of detail. The other thing that concerns me is that it seems a bit small. I might have to add more areas if MP testing proves this so. (But no more caves, I hate displacements).

The problem I have right now is that the caves seem a bit empty - maybe I can make the ground a bit more bumpy or something - this is where I need you guys to give me ideas.

Enough with the yabber, here’s eye candy.

Human Spawn





Opposite of human spawn, through to the upper cave





The elevator shaft of the upper cave
(Pulling the lever shown in the following second screenshot releases the elevator shown in the following first screenshot, which falls and crushes anything below also making a big noise and alot of dust)




The cave opposite the zombie spawn



The ladder connecting the lower and upper cave


Zombie spawn



Cubemaps and soundscapes are present (I used hl2 ravenholm soundscapes), and spawns entities are places appropriately - the map is not noded though (I can do that though, if it’s useful for people).

Any suggestions or offers to test on a ZS server would be appreciated.

(Images fixed, I hate source’s weird screenshot numbering)

Wow, A new zombie survival map.
Looks good.

Looks a little bland, add some more props and dirty it up a bit more. But its good overall

Looks nice, but a little empty.

Props are always useful. Lets the humans barricade themselves into a location.

Also, add some supports in that central area. I think it should have collapsed in its present state! Could also use those supports as frames for new rooms, making the map seem a bit larger.

Looks like a hybrid of HL2EP2 and the first half of Penumbra Overture.

It’s kind of blocky, I think it could use quite a bit more scaffolding, and elevated walk ways and such.

Thanks for the feedback, it does look a bit blocky I agree. I was planning to fill up the caves with stuff anyway, I’ll add more support beams and stuff like Rastadogg suggested. Also there are plenty of props in the rooms for humans to barricade, but I’ll add a few more anyway.

Ok I added some walkways in the cave opposite the zombie spawn, and I also made the cave roof alot higher and… bumpier. It still looks a bit blocky, but it’s better than before.


The walkway on the left goes to a doorway in that building at the back. The middle section (seen in the water) falls out of the walkway when you go near it. I also added some more props and stuff in the other buildings, and added a timer that makes the whole map shake with sounds briefly every 2 minutes or so. Oh yea, and I made the elevator fall more realistic by adding a new sound effect and altering the timers.

Working on the other caves too, adding support beams and such. The upper cave is gonna be nice and full soon.

The supports for the cave look pretty wimpy.

Add some random, wonky supports and maybe a couple that fall when the player gets close.

Try to break up those wood walls with some horizontal beams. Also you should make the door frames and the window frames either be thicker or thinner than the wall.
The elevatorshafts also needs displacement walls.

Add a cave in, where the walls have broken under the pressure.

The wood texture on the buildings looked a little repetitive so I changed that a bit. I also populated the upper cave, and made it a bit more detailed. I’ll work on improving the supports and making them more wonky tomorrow, as well as displacements on the elevator shafts. Stuff still seems a bit blocky, so I guess I’ll add some more beams and stuff - I was hoping the lighting and displacements would draw the eye away from the blockyness. But then again, it is a mine…

Also, the lighting seems a bit boring - I’ve only used 2 colours, has anyone got any ideas for different light sources? Maybe I could use some of the c17 lamps and use white lights, or maybe some fire and orange lights.


Forgot I had more pictures:




What is in mines? Equipment, rubble, train tracks (For ore carts and such) and you need some supports, rock is pretty unstable when your digging through it. There is also mesh above the rock to prevent smaller chunks from falling on people.


Yeah, train tracks are good. Don’t know about the mesh, though, would need custom models for that.

Also, that hole in the ceiling looks kind of blocky. Might want to turn it into a displacement and ad some more displacements on top of it to give the idea that it bored through solid rock. (And to make it look less like the ceiling of the mine is less than one or two feet thick. I alwas got the impression that mines were deep underground. Otherwise this would be a strip-mine.

I added a train track going through from zombie spawn to the opposite cave, and added more supports in the upper cave (including one that hangs by a phys constraint). I also replaced the boring wood wall textures on some of the buildings with metal textures, I hope they look alright when compiled. I’ll work on making the supports more realistic, and displacementifying the elevator shaft next. As well as fixing up that hole in the roof of zombie spawn cave.

Use the fence texture as a displacement?

An overlay might work, I know they work over displacements because I’ve used one in the zombie spawn cave.