Half-Life : Alyx -  Blocktober

Hammer 2 : How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Source 2

For the Blocktober, I wanted to try to make a level on a new engine that I never used. I choose to use Source 2, because I knew how to use Source 1 and I wanted to see what’s new in this new iteration.

After a while. I wanted to list all new functionality which I think is useful for level designers and that I used during my process

Mesh editing

In Hammer 2 we can make mesh editing. We can extrude, fill, bevel. It’s easier for a level designer to make more detailed maps and give it to the artists to decorate it.

Furthermore, the arch tool or the rotate tool is easier to use, it faster to create curved room or archway with them.

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Arch tools

Mesh Tiles

Mesh tiles is a great tool to build a map quickly. I used it to quick prototype a good path with the catwalks and add details on the rooftop.

It works with a mesh that we extrude the face in a way to create a path. Each face is transformed into a detailed prop which can be adapted according to the size or length of the face.

We can also change the type of detailed props according to our needs (dead end, stair…).

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Basic mesh editing

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Tile mesh with a catwalks

Terrain

In source 2, the displacement tool has been improved and it’s much easier to sculpt terrains and caves.

We need a cube that will be or terrain. We slice faces thanks to mesh editing tools and apply subdivision to have a nice terrain to sculpt it.

If we need to increase the size of the terrain, we can extrude more faces to sculpt it. We can also extrude faces to make cliffs and holes.

sculpt.PNG

Terrain using only one mesh

Hotspot Material

With the mesh editing system Valve also provided a quick way to match texture with a mesh, thanks to the hotspot material.

We just need to model our mesh and apply the hotspot material. Each face will receive the textures by matching faces to predefined rectangles.

We can choose between a texture for each face or “merge” several faces for one hotspot material.

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A hotspot material is divide in rectangles, each rectangle is adapted for a face

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The metal rod and the ground use hotspot material

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An house only modelized in Hammer and textured with hotspot material

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