A considerable amount of work goes into developing a game. Artists paint beautiful worlds, writers craft elaborate stories, and programmers construct complex game mechanics, but none of these by themselves make a game ‘good’. All of those things will contribute to a game’s overall quality, but above all else, you’ll need to create a good gameplay loop.
Hi! Happy New Years to all those who are reading! This blog was supposed to have been released last year, but I needed more time to flesh things out a bit. Too long, Didn't Read: I’m a bit late! I digress; today we will be learning about creating a new project and the engines tools. The tools section will be split between two blogs, so keep an eye out for part 2.
For my Advanced Level Design class, I decided that I would create a map for one of my favorite games - Portal 2. I have played the game multiple times, struggling through all of the main story’s puzzles and the community-made puzzles that can be found in the Steam Workshop. I wanted to see what developing these maps were like, so I jumped right into the Hammer editor and got myself started. It was a long and rather exhausting process, but I believe that learning about how maps within Team Fortress, Portal, and Left 4 Dead are made is a fun skill to have, as it would allow me and other people to join Source modding communities and create cool content that would keep these old games alive. So today, I am going to tell you the process that you need to go through to create a decent looking map and some tips about using the Hammer editor. Keep in mind, I am going to talk about Hammer from the perspective of developing a map for Portal 2, but most of the content within this post should be usable across all Source games.
Designing video games can be a difficult challenge. You may need to plan out exactly what the player will do while figuring out how to challenge them and keep them interested. You’ll need to design puzzles, enemies or other obstacles to keep the game fresh. Some designers spend hours just ensuring that the enemies will behave in the expected way to provide a consistent player experience. All of this time and effort results in a game where every aspect feels very intentionally planned out and meticulously designed, which can be a very good thing. But what if you could just let your game design itself? Rather than design every single thing in your game, let the systems take over and play themselves, making way for emergent gameplay.