Oasiz's Map Documentation
Oasiz's map documentation describes every map in the WC mappack, to varying extents. The project began on December 2008, and was finished (and subsequently released) on October 2011, at 2:07 AM. Although imperfect, it remains the only of its kind to be both complete and publically available, and is thus a valuable resource.
Why oh why?
Well I found that there isn't a really good index of maps for the WCMP (What I will use when referring 'World Craft MapPack') so I decided to do one.I constantly found myself searching for specific stuff in the packs and wanted to look on how they were done and how the shit rolled back in 2001-2003'.
There are a lot of short and not really that good descriptions in some maps since I want to focus on mostly what I spot during that 2-5 minutes (average revision check).
I recommend checking out the recommended maps since those sometimes contain stuff that I don't write down here. These maps usually are unique and interesting. Some of the maps are very close to compile ready with few fixes and most aren't.
Entities got obsoleted a lot during development. Stuff like 'static_prop' became 'prop_static' The hammer that comes with the leaked version refuses to show obsolete entities.
If you still want to see the models then do a batch conversion. I don't really want to list all the entities here since you will find you quickly which they are. So far what I've found out is that the maps seem to range from early 2001 to late 2003.
My hat is off to valve for basically making so much content and for clever reusage of various concepts in different areas, Browsing trough all this really answered all my questions.
I ever really had about the beta, Seeing the same area redesigned so many times over really tells on how many times they try different ideas out. They never really scrapped any of this stuff. They just took the best bits out from all the various designs they had and made what Half-life 2 is today.
I sure love the alternate more dystopic design that they had, but much of that is still present in the retail game, just way more transparent and not underlined.
List is done by oasiz (you can catch me on irc with that nickname on freenode, quakenet and ircnet)
This first started around in 2008 December end ended on January 2009 and I finally decided to start updating it again during 2009 December.See changes on the bottom of this file. If you find this useful then I politely ask to thank or drop me a note since I've spent at least ~140+ hours on documenting this shit (see changelog for dates). So getting any comments/feedback really makes this worthwhile.
I have to admit that I discovered the cordon tool pretty late on (Not a native english speaker as you might have already found out).
This isn't a big loss as most of the maps that are "cordoned" just focus on some specific changes that were done between versions of the same map.
- (Small) playable sequence = Usually an isolated scripted sequence that is seperate for prototyping or for easy debugging.
- Most are usually playable since the scripting works but after the sequence ends there is nowhere to advance.
- Things that fall in here might be tests like brush animation or other one-time gameplay quirks or puzzles.
- (Small) explorable area = An area that usually has very little to none gameplay elements, just the terrain and models with no script/AI/goal.
- Playable, but does not have any real goal. Most of the time just a 'zoo' type of map (a collage of world blocks/prefabs) Just recommended for curiosity.
- (Small) playable section = Can be an isolated small area for prototyping an new gameplay element or seperated for easy debugging.
- A solid (could also be a fully working) section that has AI/scripts/models mostly functional. Basic gameplay elements. A short segment for testing/demo'ing.
- E3 maps usually fall under this category as they are often very playable up to a certain point.
- Test = An individual prototype / test map created for that one specific object only.
Most are unplayable due to objects existing in void. Only contain very little content (such as one model)
- Looking trough these can usually be a waste of time, useful still if you want to see a puzzle/concept etc.. in it's most raw/simplest form.
- (Small) Playable map = Mostly finished map that is intended for normal gameplay, Most can be playable from start to finish.
- Content rich and some might be polished too. A good candidate for exploration.
- Things like the pre-compiled trainstation map that comes with the leaked hl2 fall under this category.
- Sketch = A Work in progress of a Playable map. Mostly finished concept but still missing some essential gameplay elements that would make it playable.
- Imagine a map without proper textures, enemies, scripts or structure. Maps might look solid but a lot is still under construction.
- Nonplayable prototype = Attempt of something new but never made it into ingame stages or it was corrupted.
- Could be stuff like prefabs in void or maps that simply wont load.
The descriptions are never very consistent since sometimes I feel really tired or I am half-asleep when writing them, but once you read more and explore
yourself then you will start to learn a lot of the common terminology I use. And also you will understand a bit more on how the maps were developed. For example: "Typical old-style prison design" will mean that it uses early depot-style prison design/architecture, then to see what it is like, search for older prison/depot maps (CTRL+F).
The thing with the maps is that valve repeated a lot of the stuff in a lot of the maps, there really isn't as much unique stuff as you might think in the end. Finding an cool house or concept in town maps (ravenholm) might exist in an completely another map in a virtually identical form. Usually these are the stuff used from the prefab maps. So far I recall finding the same exact bus approximately in ten different maps, and the submarine from wastelands goes over that. Loads of stuff ended up in the final version, you just never know how and where :)
Quick list on how stuff went roughly:
- Industrial C17 section -> This got adopted to some ravenholm architechture after it lost it's Quarry theme (Which was mostly just a town with duller textures and a more HL1 look)
- The "underworld"/sewers of C17 -> These maps made up the canals section and big parts of the underworld section near the end of the game. Biggest thing cut was the hydra.
- Quarry town -> Last ravenholm maps, also many remnants of the used (by puzzles) machinery exists, just non-functional. Fire trap puzzle? Still alive, just in a different place.
- Wastelands -> Almost completely well and alive in the coast maps, only thing that was changes was the large barren land and the fact that you didn't use a buggy.
- Most of the barren land can be replicated by simply removing the water completely and adding some rocks in there instead.
- Depot-prison -> Very much alive still, the approach is very similar to what they had in mind, only huge difference was the addition of water to make a coastline.
- Again, if this was dried up then it would resemble the old entry a lot more. They had an even older version of depot that was really small, but it very quickly evolved into a miniature version of the depot-prison seen later on. I have spotted the old depot map under /sawyer/ and nowhere else.
- Prison -> Ok, well the old prison was a lot shorter and different. But if you loosely explain both over a phone... suprise suprise. You almost come to the exact same design.
- Luxuries include: Antlion encounter in the bathroom, Multistory cellblocks, depot, underground sections and cafeteria etc.. Gunship bay was removed but they never found a version in these maps that worked out, you just operated a crane and that was it. Instead you got actual pods with prisons and access to the razor train chamber.
- a version in these maps that worked out, you just operated a crane and that was it. Instead you got actual pods with prisons and access to the razor train chamber.
And the main course, E3 maps.
- Docks -> This was just an old possible ravenholm entry. Since you enter from the canals, this was rendered useless. Some of this idea was recycled in the first coast maps.
- Lab -> Done for demonstration purposes. I think this was never supposed to have a real connection to the storyline.
- Traptown -> Ooh, this is a hard one! But wait. The combine were never supposed to be there, they were just added for the e3 demonstration. Evidence to this is that you can look trough the pre/post-e3 maps to see that the non-combine alternative was always there, see 'd1_town/e3/' maps for development. And everybody knows that most of this was faked.
- Hydra -> 90% of this made it in to the retail version. You can see this exact same section in the endgame.
- Streetwar -> Around 95% of this made, There were some hardcoded details in here for the E3 (Like enemies exploding more dramatically)
- Bugbait -> Simple, this was put together from the key prison events: the start->laundry->toilets. They never were intended to be actually played this way and glued got together for the E3 to keep it short and sweet.
- Seafloor -> Again, 95% of this survived. Almost the exact same sequence except that most of the depot entrace/wastelands remnants have been removed. Water has replaced the dry terrain.
- Strider -> This city section was a Potemkin, nothing outside of it was ever done. Strider combat is still very much alive in the final version, just in different areas.
The descriptions can be very short or even identical, I apologize. But sometimes I lose motivation to document 30+ test maps that are almost identical to each other. Also I discovered more about the actual game/engine development as I went on with the maps, so during the first 300 maps I have a bit different terminology/understanding of the game than around map 800~ and so on.
|/Aaron/ - /Jeff/|
All of the maps from the Aaron folder to the Jeff folder. Includes the root directory.
|/John/ - /Vert/|
All of the maps from the John folder to the Vert folder.
The changelog. Offers plenty of history as to this document.