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The Portal Mapping FAQ Thread

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The Portal Mapping FAQ Thread

Postby p0rtalplayer » Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:08 am

What's Hammer and how do I get it?
Hammer is Valve's level creation tool packaged with all source engine games. For portal 1, you access it through the Source SDK which can be downloaded in the tools tab of your steam library. It's a complex tool that often misbehaves, so it can take a while to get used to. For some basic information to get you started, check out our wiki and the official Valve Developer's Wiki.

How do I make custom content?
There's a few different kinds of custom content.
Textures, the basic image/material combinations applied everywhere in the world, are created using VTFEdit. More information about that can be found here.
Models are any highly detailed discreet object, optionally with animation and physics. Valve has official plugins for Maya to export to Source's SMD format, which can be found in a download of the source filmmaker. There also exist plugins for other professional modelling environments to export to SMD. For more information, go here
Particles are small sprites or, rarely, models that move and sometimes interact with themselves or the environment. They are used when you need a lot of small, moving things, such as when a portal hits the wall and fails. More information about creating these can be found here

Use this thread to post your questions about Portal 1 mapping or to answer previously posted questions. The OP will be periodically updated with questions/answers.
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Re: The Portal Mapping FAQ Thread

Postby Kopeke » Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:48 pm

This might not consern mapping, but I still require some help; I'd like to add a custom particle effect to my map. I already created it and learned that you need to add it's name to the particle_manifest text file. My question is; can I implement my particle using an external file? I don't want to edit the particle_manifest in case it overwrites other people's. :|
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Re: The Portal Mapping FAQ Thread

Postby p0rtalplayer » Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:19 pm

Kopeke wrote:This might not consern mapping, but I still require some help; I'd like to add a custom particle effect to my map. I already created it and learned that you need to add it's name to the particle_manifest text file. My question is; can I implement my particle using an external file? I don't want to edit the particle_manifest in case it overwrites other people's. :|


The source engine does technically support per-map manifest files, however as the Valve Developer Wiki puts it:
The per-map manifest options may not work in Portal, Ep2, or old OB mods.


You might be able to rig up something using a batch file to edit it. I'm most likely going to be using custom particles as well so I will post my solution when I come up with one.
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Re: The Portal Mapping FAQ Thread

Postby Kopeke » Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:37 pm

p0rtalplayer wrote:
Kopeke wrote:This might not consern mapping, but I still require some help; I'd like to add a custom particle effect to my map. I already created it and learned that you need to add it's name to the particle_manifest text file. My question is; can I implement my particle using an external file? I don't want to edit the particle_manifest in case it overwrites other people's. :|


The source engine does technically support per-map manifest files, however as the Valve Developer Wiki puts it:
The per-map manifest options may not work in Portal, Ep2, or old OB mods.


You might be able to rig up something using a batch file to edit it. I'm most likely going to be using custom particles as well so I will post my solution when I come up with one.


Thanks mate, I might try to batch alternative or wait for you to come out with a clear solution.
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Re: The Portal Mapping FAQ Thread

Postby HugoBDesigner » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:15 pm

I have some questions about the contest.
1st: I'm using custom textures that aren't mine, but all them were edited. I've, also, put credits (in this case, I exported some textures from Google/Trimble SketchUp 8). I need to do the textures all by myself or just edit them is good enough?
2nd: I'm planing to do 2 or 3 maps. So, I need to upload 3 bsp files or I need to compile them in 1 bsp someway?
3rd: I'm using a decal from one of reepblue's map. I've put credits, but will I need to remove him?
4th: My map will use some props from HL2, but I'll separate them, so the player will no longer need to download Source SDK base or anything else. Can I use HL2 props or only Portal or custom props?
5th: About the prizes, will the winner chose only one game up to U$30,00 or can choose, for example, 2 games of U$15,00?
Anyway, thanks for helping, sorry for the bad English and sorry if some of this questions were already solved.
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Re: The Portal Mapping FAQ Thread

Postby vanSulli » Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:37 pm

Hey! Its cool to see someone entering.
HugoBDesigner wrote: 1st: I'm using custom textures that aren't mine, but all them were edited. I've, also, put credits (in this case, I exported some textures from Google/Trimble SketchUp 8). I need to do the textures all by myself or just edit them is good enough?

If you have permission to use the textures, you can use them, but to be judged as custom content they need to be made by you or one of your team members from scratch.
HugoBDesigner wrote: 2nd: I'm planing to do 2 or 3 maps. So, I need to upload 3 bsp files or I need to compile them in 1 bsp someway?

You can use 3 seperate bsp files in a zipped folder or equivalent.
HugoBDesigner wrote: 3rd: I'm using a decal from one of reepblue's map. I've put credits, but will I need to remove him?

You need to have permission from any artist when using their content; if he gives the okay, you can use it, but it still won't count towards custom content.
HugoBDesigner wrote: 4th: My map will use some props from HL2, but I'll separate them, so the player will no longer need to download Source SDK base or anything else. Can I use HL2 props or only Portal or custom props?
Assuming you're making a Portal map, you can use props from the Source SDK Base (including HL2), Portal, and props you make yourself.
HugoBDesigner wrote: 5th: About the prizes, will the winner chose only one game up to U$30,00 or can choose, for example, 2 games of U$15,00?

You could definitely get two games that add up to $30 instead of one.

Looking forward to seeing your entry.
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Re: The Portal Mapping FAQ Thread

Postby reepblue » Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:14 pm

HugoBDesigner wrote:3rd: I'm using a decal from one of reepblue's map. I've put credits, but will I need to remove him?


Which decal?

Again glad to see more people are joining! (:D)
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Re: The Portal Mapping FAQ Thread

Postby p0rtalplayer » Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:14 am

Content rules are going to be a little slack, because there's no way we can track down where every texture ever comes from. Mostly the rule is to discourage obvious usage of stock textures and the like.

You can only enter once, but you can have up to 3 BSPs in the uploaded file. For best chances I would recommend they be thematically linked, as they will be judged as a whole.

As for the prize, my original intention was to only allow a single item, however, I may reconsider that before the contest ends.

Thanks for participating, and best of luck!
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Re: The Portal Mapping FAQ Thread

Postby Kizzycocoa » Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:58 am

p0rtalplayer wrote:You can only enter once, but you can have up to 3 BSPs in the uploaded file. For best chances I would recommend they be thematically linked, as they will be judged as a whole.

Not fair :(
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Re: The Portal Mapping FAQ Thread

Postby reepblue » Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:10 am

p0rtalplayer wrote:Content rules are going to be a little slack, because there's no way we can track down where every texture ever comes from. Mostly the rule is to discourage obvious usage of stock textures and the like.

You can only enter once, but you can have up to 3 BSPs in the uploaded file. For best chances I would recommend they be thematically linked, as they will be judged as a whole.

As for the prize, my original intention was to only allow a single item, however, I may reconsider that before the contest ends.

Thanks for participating, and best of luck!


Some people like to have blank slates on certain ideas. Keep it how it is. :/
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