Custom Mapping Tools

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Custom Mapping Tools

Postby DeathByNukes on Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:13 am

Hi Interlopers! I've been modifying Valve's tools for a project of mine and I'm not certain if they're something that many others would have a use for. Interested in getting some feedback.

Fixed sphere and arch tools:
Image
Image

Valve's brush tools are all designed to round the points of the solids they make onto the grid. This causes spheres to break and sometimes messes with arches too. The sphere screenshot is demonstrating that Hammer isn't marking the sphere as an invalid solid like it usually would. I modified the 2003 leaked Hammer source code to do this. Sadly that version doesn't include the torus tool. It's probably of dubious legality to release this even without the source code but maybe I could drop some prefabs. It's probably a popular argument that models should be used for this kind of thing but in my case I need it for something models can't do.

Non-solid visibility blocker:
Image
Image
I made a texture that can be used exactly the same way as the hint texture but it also blocks compiled visibility. It doesn't change brushes placed inside of it and some faces of the brush can be covered by the hint or skip textures to make them not block vis. This is done with a custom BSP compiler. It can properly seal areas.

Why:
I made these for optimizing Garry's Mod Spacebuild maps, which consist of many nonsolid spheres that one can travel into, revealing mini levels inside them. I will be putting a sphere of the vis blocker texture around them. The special hint-like behavior of them is essential here, as it is very hard to make a hollow sphere that doesn't glitch out and develop leaks. Yes, I am fully aware of how "bad" it is to make a sphere that's not an entity. :)

Download:
There's no download yet! These things are not necessarily complete, fully tested, or release-worthy. Posting here to see if people are interested in a release.
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Re: Custom Mapping Tools

Postby LordDz on Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:49 pm

Can't you do this with blocks and use the vertex tool to create less corners?
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Re: Custom Mapping Tools

Postby DeathByNukes on Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:54 pm

Huh? Are you talking about manually making spheres?
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Re: Custom Mapping Tools

Postby Terr on Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:55 am

Perhaps the best approach would be to create an independent tool which--given parameters--writes a very simple VMF containing the resulting brushes. Authors can then copy the result into their map.
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Re: Custom Mapping Tools

Postby DeathByNukes on Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:05 am

For something like that it'd probably be easier to start out from scratch. I actually wouldn't mind releasing a fork of Hammer. (exe only, no source code) I assume if Valve didn't like it they could send a C&D and I'd comply. I asked them about it in an email but they never reply to those.
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Re: Custom Mapping Tools

Postby Gambini on Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:48 am

It should be time people can start tinkering with Hammer. It is sooo dated, it looks and works almost exactly like the Worldcraft 1.5 i have tried... 16 years ago?

If you write a good disclaimer nobody should complain about what you do. Probably it would not be a good idea to let it make its way to the VDC for example but as long as you keep it somewhat "private", i doubt it would carry any kind of problem.
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Re: Custom Mapping Tools

Postby MrTwoVideoCards on Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:14 am

Gambini wrote:It should be time people can start tinkering with Hammer. It is sooo dated, it looks and works almost exactly like the Worldcraft 1.5 i have tried... 16 years ago?

If you write a good disclaimer nobody should complain about what you do. Probably it would not be a good idea to let it make its way to the VDC for example but as long as you keep it somewhat "private", i doubt it would carry any kind of problem.


Keeping things private is really the wrong way to go. But i'm going out on a limb here and saying you're using the hl2 beta code leak in order to modify WORLDCRAFT, not Hammer. Which btw is well, illegal. To be honest I am not sure valve might really care, or take action on it, but either way I'm totally for making a better Hammer.

Just not sure how risky it would be though,you know?
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Re: Custom Mapping Tools

Postby Gambini on Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:38 am

Considering how open and negotiable Valve seems to be: They do nothing to stop the mods based on the leaked version, they do nothing to stop people borrowing assets from one Source game to other, etc. I dare to say that if they ever (and that´s a big ever) notice about this. They will smile and realize it has been made by people that buys their games and make them legendary (extending their lifespan with tons of mods) and will either ignore it or send a friendly warning or, maybe, realize about how modders are in great need of improvements and therefore make something better of Hammer themselves.

I swear if i had the most minimal idea of how to do this kind of stuff I would have already made a lot of changes. I would release it putting some kind of restriction (like that garry mod site that requires you to enter your steam account so they can check if you own the game) so it doesn´t get spreaded all over the internet.

In any case, if you Deathbynukes end up in jail by this, here at Interlopers we promise to send you cigarettes every often. :P
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Re: Custom Mapping Tools

Postby DeathByNukes on Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:24 am

If I ever did make it work well it's probably possible to make it require steam and source sdk ownership. But honestly I don't think I have the time to do much improvement work. Currently it's not able to load FGD files and it has a small grid size. I wouldn't trust it to open and save my actual levels correctly. It's just a way to make some things to be imported into legit hammer at the moment. (tl;dr: this isn't a Hammer replacement)

By the way, has anyone ever gotten an explanation out of them about why they don't release Hammer source code like they do the compile tools? That would pretty much be the best thing that could possibly happen to the sdk.
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Re: Custom Mapping Tools

Postby Black_Stormy on Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:58 pm

I think they only release that stuff to people who licence the engine.
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Re: Custom Mapping Tools

Postby ScarT on Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:32 pm

Valve will come after you for touching the source code. I'm the project lead of Missing Information (and programmer for team GabeN). We were told back in the days that they would be okay with us using the assets from the leak, as long as we didn't touch the code.

As for your build of Hammer. I doubt it supports anything but version 35/36 models, which can't be loaded in retail (and retail models can't be loaded in the leak).

Valve have never said anything regarding releasing their code for Hammer. However, recreating Hammer wouldn't be too hard.
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Re: Custom Mapping Tools

Postby DeathByNukes on Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:56 pm

For your mod, could they have been worried that you would release a standalone mod that didn't require the purchase of a source game? Why else would you "touch the code" other than for reference on the changes?
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Re: Custom Mapping Tools

Postby LordDz on Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:11 pm

The easiest way to find out would probably be to send them an email.
If they think it's ok then no harm is done, otherwise just use it for yourself and don't release it?
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Re: Custom Mapping Tools

Postby ScarT on Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:33 pm

DeathByNukes wrote:For your mod, could they have been worried that you would release a standalone mod that didn't require the purchase of a source game? Why else would you "touch the code" other than for reference on the changes?

No. Honestly I can't remember the details (this was in 2006). If you ask them about the source code, they'll just direct you to the SDK instead.

I know Valve will shut down your Steam account for touching the code.
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Re: Custom Mapping Tools

Postby Gary on Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:51 pm

ScarT wrote:I know Valve will shut down your Steam account for touching the code.


There must be something in there they really don't want us touching.
Have a question related to modding or something I posted? Something that needs staff attention? I haven't been active lately, but feel free to PM me or message me on Steam(link below)

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