April 2016 General Chat

1st April 2016

Drip, drip, drop, little April showers….(Video)

What do you have planned for this month?

Play the latest THC16 mapping challenge: Check
Eat Healthily (see below for the exception): Check
Exercise regularly: Check
Use the car less: Check
Do your homework earlier than the day before you have to hand it in: Check
Be nice to people, even rude idiots: Check
Watch all the RTSL streams or VODs: Check
Eat pizza once a week: Check
Play and review plenty of SP maps and mods: Double Check
and finally,
Do something for another person with no thought of getting thanked for it: Check

So, that’s your April organized.

Tell me about your dreams. Am I in them?

This Month’s Sci-Fi Movie

In June 2014, I started to use a poster from a classic Sci-Fi move as the background for the post image.

This month it is from The Queen of Outer Space (1958).
American astronauts are drawn by a mysterious force to the planet Venus, which they find to be inhabited only by beautiful women and their despotic queen.

MAN!, why couldn’t I land on Venus?


  1. GreenPepper

    I plan to continue mapping for this month (or next month since it actually isn’t quite April yet here). I dreamed last night of a society contained within a giant indestructible cardboard box. Most of the people living there were either in old cottages, decrepit trailers or worn-down wooden shacks. There were no clouds or sun, but the light was a warm ambience – seemingly with no source. Roads were gravel, grass was yellow, trash was everywhere. I remember running upwards into the air to escape from three aggressive dogs in the dream. I heard loud music from neighbours, their homes were covered in graffiti, needles were all over their lawns, tattooed smokers sat outside drinking beer and yelling profanity. Overall, the place looked like some kind of weird stereotypical trailer park.

    I rarely dream of real people, but when I do, it is usually of my parents or former elementary peers.

    1. That’s really interesting! Hope you can make some sort of map out of it.

  2. OJJ

    These past few days i’ve been having a look at some decompiled valve maps to help better understand how to do architecture in the Source engine and accidentally stumbled on some pieces of geometry that remains from the HL2 beta, for example if you look inside the building Barney runs out of before he gives you the crowbar there’s doorways, rooms and ramps that are never seen or utilized in the final retail game. It’s pretty interesting that Valve didn’t just outright remove the unused areas in the final game but instead just put nodraw textures all over them.

    1. Yeah, there’s a lot to be learnt from Valve maps.

    2. I love that, even 12 years after the game was released and after countless years of messing with it, we’re still finding new details about it. Just goes to show how much of an undertaking it was.

      By the way, another fun little beta remnant I once spotted: in the scene in Nova Prospekt where you see Dr. Mossman talking to Dr. Breen, if you noclip to that area you’ll find that they actually used an image of beta Breen there. I’d spotted that image in the files before but always thought it was just a leftover, when it’s actually used in-game!

    3. I knew about the remnants in the first level – the catwalk that crosses over the train that Freeman arrives on leads to a bunch of mysterious, empty rooms and hallways. I didn’t know about the door behind Barney. It’s pretty interesting that they didn’t remove this stuff.

      I have all the maps decompiled for when I need to see how Valve did something. They are a very useful way to learn how different things work.

  3. Zekiran

    I’ve been sick. :/ Let me just say: lingering illnesses suck, and should be dealt with promptly. Also, stress triggers some of them, so… keeping your stress, anxiety, and any other depression-related items in check is a really good idea overall.

    I’m looking forward to playing whatever comes my way here, and honestly I should get back on FO4 because I haven’t touched in in months (after 200 hours, can you really blame me?) and see about these new updates. I can’t wait for the Nick one, but by god we better be able to romance that old bucket of bolts or someone’s head’s gonna roll.

    1. Sorry to hear you haven’t been well. I hope you start to feel better now that spring is here.

    2. I was happy that one of the recent patches made Home Plate actually useful. It was meant to be a home for the player in Diamond City with an easy Fast Travel point directly to it. And since it’s in the dead center of the map, it’s a very convenient location for a base compared to how Sanctuary is tucked away in the far northwest. But you couldn’t build workbenches inside and the ones outside were inexplicably not linked to the one inside. Really dumb. The patch fixed it so you can build workbenches inside your house, so because that’s an absolutely safe location, I moved all my stuff there.

      Turns out Bethesda found a way to screw this up though. You can’t link your house with the supply network for some arbitrary reason. And you can’t send your companions to live at your house. I just don’t understand what the heck Bethesda is thinking most of the time. If you’re going to fix it, fix it right!

  4. April first. I usually like to do a mock update for The Core, but I’ve been very focused on actually getting it finished that I’ve not had time.

    My baby girl is now one year old. It’s been a crazy twelve months.

    Other than that, I intend to get back into doing video playthroughs of shorter mods. Between being ill, losing my voice and the aforementioned core work and baby birthday… Yeah, time is a luxury…

    1. Imagine your wife said to you, our baby’s a boy! The whole of last year was April Fool on you.

    2. AI

      Happy birthday to your little one!!! My Daughter will be 44 this year, and my Son will be 46 this month! Me, I don’t celebrate mine any more! (haha)

  5. Still swamped with work but things have been smoothing out as I get used to the new rhythm and start finishing my first projects. March ended up being a very hectic but overall extremely good month!

    On the other hand, I’ve been working on my old comic series, The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage, but work slowed to a crawl these past few weeks. I had been aiming for a March 25 release date, but midway through March I was only 13% done and I haven’t made much progress since, sadly. I’m admittedly a bit frustrated because it’s been over a year and a half since the last one!

    In any case, I don’t plan on promoting it much since I was once accused of being a self-promoter (when in fact I hadn’t even done said thing). Just wanna do it for the satisfaction of getting it done and for the few people who like it already, don’t really care if it falls into obscurity. That said, if Phillip’s fine with it, I may drop a link here once it’s done and if people are interested, since I do like this community.

    1. That said, if Phillip’s fine with it, I may drop a link here once it’s done

      Of course I am fine with it and I look forward to it too.

  6. You’re only in my wet dreams Phillip.

    1. I’m not sure whether I should be disgusted or honoured.

  7. Philip, what’s the story behind all the competitions being named “something”-ville? The ville part always reminds me of a 90’ies american suburb, and the game names look really odd in my steam list.

    Still working on my second map! Some may remember my first map, released early march (Revelation), I’m hoping that this one will be more solid and enjoyable. I’m reaching a point where I need to decide to STOP building more areas, and then just focus on the large whole I have already made – and then go back into everything I have created, and adjust lights, create details, geometry and all that jazz, as well as making sure the gameplay is solid as rock. I’m getting a ton of help from Confused Travolta, who’s been really excellent and patient with me with through the last couple weeks – huge thanks to him for helping me out.

    Really looking forward to an eventual release!

    1. Back when I first started the then called Mapping Competitions (now challenges), I was looking for a suffix that I could use to make then easy to recognize. At the time FarmVille was very popular and I thought that I could borrow the association and also “ville” now can be used to represent a situation so that also seemed to work.

      Big thanks from me to Confused Travolta too.

      1. Well, I just help where I can help (I don’t know many things myself) ^^
        Source can be very confusing (that word fits here very well) in some areas (very important areas, like optimization or adding your own content, for example), and that can stop people from making maps and just give up.
        And I don’t want that because I know Source is very good for beginners, and people who just want make maps and not entire new games.
        Once you understand those “chokepoints of mapping” you have a clear road in front of you… at least until the next problem 🙂

  8. RossBondReturns

    Beginning to record my blind gameplay of ADR1FT and MIASMATA not to mention Episode 3 of Life is Strange. Eventually I’ll get around to uploading to my channel…eventually.

    Also downloaded the Game on the House from Origin…Medal of Honor Pacific Assault…and will be doing a LP of Mirrors Edge. So I’m not playing around at all.


  9. Check out these images of doors from around the world.

    Modders need to be architects, town planners and have a whole host of other skills.

  10. Still enjoying making my HL2 mod, Singularity Collapse. The main problem is building the streets and getting each apartment block, office or industrial building to look right.
    Also have been replaying Portal and Portal 2. It’s been a while since I’ve played them so I’m having a blast again (Just finished my HL1/HL2+EP marathon so I guess it’s now a Valve marathon).

    1. Marathons are fun. I’m planning a ModMarathon stream, although it might turn into a GameMarathon instead.

      1. Do it! A Valve Game marathon would be a joy to watch, and maybe we could all talk about the design of each level while we’re at it! (20 hours later) But you get the point. Discussing the game’s levels with others in the twitch chat could be pretty useful and people could pick up on a few tips for their own mods, like me.

  11. I just completed the new “Hyper Light Drifter”. Such an amazing game. I fell in love.

  12. I’ve been working on my new mod called RISE and I’m having so much fun. Finding new gameplay still in Half Life 2 that’s just so satisfying.

    Doing the best work I’ve ever done…

    1. That’s great news. Can’t wait to play it.

  13. Holy Headcrabs. If I had watched this just before going to bed, I would definitely had a nightmare.

    Slow Wave from andy kennedy on Vimeo.

    The first part would be so very cool to see in a game or mod, don’t you think?

  14. Philip no!
    You used an episode 2 image for the episode 1 heading in the game marathon banner. Hehe.
    Can’t wait.

  15. I’ve just recently deleted a good chunk of my map that was well and playable, solely because i absolutely hated working on it.

    It started with me just despising small details and the gameplay’s feel in the area, but I quickly found myself closing hammer moments after opening it to just leave the frustrating area and do something else. I couldn’t for the life of me get my shit together and work on it.

    So I deleted it. I deleted about 4 or 5 hours of work, and I feel so much better. I feel so much more free, and most importantly, I feel like working on my map again.

    I don’t know what happened, but it was an interesting psychological phenomenon.

    Has anyone else experienced that before? Having to create something that is just so tedious and headache-inducing that you just can’t?

    1. Zekiran

      Not as a modder, but as a writer of fiction, yes. I don’t tend to just rip out or delete things – I did dedicate however long to any given portion of whatever I’ve been writing. But I will set them aside, look at what portion needed to go a different direction, and start from that point again.

      Sometimes I’ll revisit the stuff I yanked out, and say “that turn of phrase worked, but just not there. I’ll put it in later” or “this character doesn’t need to say that, but I know who should”. I’ve got a file for my Repurposed fic, that has bunches of notes, scrapped scenes, and dialog that didn’t for one reason or another make it into the final version of whatever chapter I’d been on. But I do re-use things, in any project.

      I think the thing I went back to after the longest time, has actually been faintly related to Repurposed, in that it was a pencil sketch of a guy from the Matrixfans forum, that I’d never finished, but was *absolutely freaking perfect* for Keenan, my Gman. I finished him up and finally colored it. I just never had the patience or desire to have finished most of those until that point.

      I guess I’m a bit of an odd bird for artistic purposes though, in that I don’t *think* I’ve ever hated anything I’ve done – with one exception, and that too is sitting in wait for a new location for it to appear in its unfinished story. I started over after nearly 60 pages of writing, because it just was not where it needed to lead.

      Thank the technology gods for *word processing*. I used to use a typewriter.

    2. Much like Zerikan, not as a modder, but otherwise yes. Heck, in my own long-lasting hobby of making comics with Garry’s Mod, I’ve scrapped ten times more comics than I’ve actually finished.

      Funnily enough, with my most successful one, The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage, it happened right at the start and was quite drastic. I began the comic in 2011, but the editing — that is, the work of assembling the screenshots in a comic book-esque layout — was coming off so badly that I just stopped making it altogether.
      I didn’t pick it back up until a year later, when the re-release of a classic HL2 comic called Apostasy spurred me to pick it back up. I remade the pages altogether using the same screenshots and, well, the rest is history.

      So yeah, I think that happens with everyone. Sometimes the healthier thing is to start again from scratch.

  16. Hi All, I’m back from London. I had a fantastic time. Went to the Sky Garden, St. Pauls, British Museum, British Library, Royal Opera House for a ballet, the Emirates Cable car and a little bit of shopping.

    Getting ready to start posting again.

  17. Does the new image changing banner at the top of the page have a technical name?
    anyway I love it!
    Nice Touch Phillip.

    1. It’s called a slider. It’s been there since the new theme.

  18. Leaving source for Unreal and Creation engine.

    Trying to get TF2 maps working with source makes me cry ;_;
    Call me when HL3 is out!

        1. Sorry lads, but I opened the editor and did not have to wait half a year to test for minor problems in a map. That alone sells it to me xD

          1. Yeah, I fully understand. Until the release of the one known as “Between 2 and 4”, Source SP modding is struggling.

    1. So long, and thanks for all the fish!

  19. Does anybody live near Frisco Texas, USA, that could help me out with a logistical problem regarding prizes for The Hammer Cup?

    1. Zekiran

      I live in San Diego California, which is nowhere near texas (by about 1900 miles) but if it’s something that needs to be routed or shipped I have a usa address and could readdress/redeliver something.

      1. That’s very kind of you, thank you. I think I have it sorted out now, but I’ll bear you in mind for another time.

        Just to let you know that this and the duplicate were both in the TRASH folder for some unknown reason. Nothing to do with you – it’s just started happening recently.

        1. Zekiran

          Yeah I don’t know what it was either – neither post even showed the old “you can’t post here” message I used to get. But perhaps coincedentally, I also noticed that the Firefox “read mode” icon had started showing up on that page (and not others, it crept in page by page) and I disposed of that crap once I found out how to do it. I don’t know whether it’ll let me post again, lol!!

          But always know you have my email and I’m certainly happy to do west-coast reception. 😀

  20. One of those silly cooking hacks videos:

    Made me laugh.

  21. I have just found the next game mechanic for either a new mod or HL3. What do you think:

    1. oh so thats the place where all the exploding barrels are made

  22. I’ll be back to review more mods soon. I’m currently working on a project (not an HL mod but I’ll get there eventually). Sorry for disappearing for a while.

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