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.
Welcome back to another entry within this series. Let’s just jump right into it. As with any form of game development, we would need documentation to keep track of concepts, current work in progress, what is needed, etc. At the moment, you already created a piece of documentation - the papermap. This will help you envision your project and give you a reference for how you want your map to look like in the end. However, we need more. Now, we have to create the design document: This document is one of the most important things that you would have for your map. It outlines the theme of the map, the assets that the map will use, and an idea on how the map will be completed. Due to the flexibility of the design document and the project at hand, you can say that you can not fully complete a design document. However, to get a document that is useful for development, you should flesh out the following pieces of it.
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.