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Reactant - Map WIP

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You expect me to believe this is your first map? My first map was a box that crashed Halo if you looked at it for too long. One does not simply make a first map this good.


Psst if you didn't use custom scenery like the flag stands, teleporter shields, or premade Forerunner structures, you could go for the extra 5 ticket bonus for owing nobody else credit. I guess the background sound too but that's kinda important for the atmosphere.


Since you claim this is your first map, I'm going to just go ahead and point out things to improve.


I saw you put one of the wrong type of doors in a doorway, the whole level needs occlusion portaling (arguably more advanced skills are required for that, so it's understandable), a custom ground texture (easy if you have Photoshop), and maybe just a few more light sources. Don't be afraid to just throw some invisible planes in to only cast light. (Any shader that uses c10_inv.bitmap is usually for invisible lighting planes.) Make sure when you add your water plane that it's material also has the fog plane symbol, then in Sapien you assign a special water fog to the cluster properties. This makes the fog level with the water plane and when you shoot it, you get splash effects. Possibly add an effect emitter (.scenery) to the waterfall for water-spray. The way you added teleporters is interesting but I would stick to how it's usually done. The box structure around them is fairly useful to their operation.


The BSP has visible errors. Tons of nearly coplanar errors and some intersecting geometry. This leads to BSP holes and phantom geometry. I can see what looks to be phantom BSP inside the rocket launcher room. This is a fairly simple way of detecting phantoms. Once you find it ingame, go into Sapien and turn on collision_debug 1 and debug_collision_phantom_bsp 1. Point the camera so it's looking directly at the phantom BSP. You'll see a spinning cube on it. The information shown on the screen is telling you about the surface that's causing this error. While still looking at the phantom BSP, look for a surface Sapien put a red outline around. That is the surface you need to fix. 9/10 times the reason is the offending surface isn't 100.000000% flat. Easy fix. Usually.


Not to be overly negative, I do really enjoy H2 Waterworks for some reason, so I like the way this map feels for sure. The interiors of the structures are very cool and I'm digging the way the terrain makes nice cozy pockets of play area. You've already put 90% of the work into this, don't stop now.

Vuthakral likes this

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Posted (edited)

39 minutes ago, DSalimander said:

tons of feedback


Thank you for all the great feedback & advice, and yeah I'm aware of a ton of these problems. It's mostly from trying to make the round one deadline and not having the time to fix a lot of these problems (both due to my own procrastination and not lol)


A few things are already set, such as the water plane having the fog set as well (though I forgot about clusters, woops.), and the map does have a custom ground texture but it's really crap, 5-minute job over in substance painter just so I had a ground to work with.

I'm not really too big a stickler on being the 100% fully original on content for the contest, I'm looking what could make this map its best in the final product. Though you are correct on the teleporters, they were mostly just thrown in so I can worry about actual bsp work later on down the line. I had wanted to make the teleporters be part of a partly-exposed forerunner structure but did not have the time to model this in when my primary focus was the basic cavernous structure.


As for the doors, to be honest that's because I made a bad mistake early on and didn't size-check the doorframes I tore from b40's bsp, so those ones which are just about twice as large as they should be were already put into the map's geometry and I wasn't really feeling the mood to fix them, and I've decided later on down the line around when I work on the teleporter structures I'll remove these improper doors and replace them with the proper large doorframes.


Also yeah, there is a phantom BSP in the upper rocket room, but it's very small and, thankfully, is almost parallel to the floor, and very low to it so it won't get in the way of gameplay; maybe just bounce a grenade slightly off the ground in a small, single-story room where it may not make much of a difference. It's not high enough to crouch under for safety so I just let it go for now.


But yeah, a lot of these problems, as I've been trying to convey, are because of a mix of procrastination and running out of time, and as a result I had to cut some corners to get this version of the map out for round one. I'm pretty sure like 70% of the bsp work has been done in the past five days alone, as I spent time going back and forth working and considering ideas. You probably noticed pretty easily my use of the spike rock scenery in the under-path area, these will be replaced with actual bsp geometry later on.


Shotout to not calling me out for forgetting to apply a shader to the top of the side-path vehicle cave/part of the ceiling in the lower rocket room though lol

Also of course a huge shoutout to the people working on the refined tagset, this is the first time I've actually worked with the stock tags in years and I've gotta be honest the visual difference is night and day and I really love how faithful it is to recreating the OG xbox assets.


I do have a few more ideas for things I want to do/add, as well as a complete overhaul for that banshee spot/teleporter area by fleshing out an entire forerunner structure in the cliffside, limiting access to the play-space with locked doors.


Edit: Also yes, this is my first Halo Custom Edition map I've made my own BSP for. Not even testmaps or anything before this. I've spent an unhealthy amount of time in forge over on the console games, and have some rough experience messing with mapping tools for other games (namely hammer over in the Source engine, and admittedly a lot of time spent making buildings, structures, islands, and etc over in Roblox many years ago when I was a lot younger. 2008-2010ish).

Edited by Vuthakral
DSalimander likes this

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Out of the current MP maps released for the contest, this was actually my favorite to play. I quite enjoyed the flow of it, but definitely a lot of refinement needed for that BSP.

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Sourcefiles / tags released.


Contrary to my last post, I know. But here it goes: I'm done working on this map. I've left a full explanation in the README.html file in this 7z archive, but summary is that I've just honestly lost the inspiration to continue working on this map. I know some people told me they really liked the concept of the map and would have loved to see it in a more finished state. Unfortunately I will not be providing that. I will be providing my Maya scene, and my 3DS MAX scene for this project (as well as a .obj file if for some reason you can't open either of those) of my last progress I made on the map. There will also be information on things I had planned to do, in a summarized form, in the README.html file if anyone ever wants to try their hand at completing the map.


Download from:

Google Drive


Download includes:

- README.html

- reactant_pdb2.map

- 3ds & maya scenes, and an exported obj

- exported Halo CE textures used for UV'ing in Maya

- data & tags for reactant_pdb2

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