Plans of Opposing Force Remake for Black Mesa

I’ve been a big fan of Black Mesa since 2013 and I literally wanted to make a mod for BMS on Steam, somewhat similar to @skyms2663s “Insecurity Mod” idea; I wanted to remake a Half-Life expansion in BMS.

However, there are few problems:
One, I don’t know how to make one. Two, can’t even script. Three, it’s a one-man stand (And I don’t expect someone to offer help since I’m still deciding if I will do it or not.) and Last, Dont even have the proper tools TO MAKE ONE.

But I’m really inspired to do this since I wanted to show my skills in level designing and probably in choreography and I want to show my talent.

BTW, Not a ripoff of @X RaYs Opposing Force Remake, I really plan this through and I didn’t know that he made one already and I don’t think I could join his team, due to busy schedules and problems but it’s worth the try.

Allow me to offer you some friendly advice, one modder to another. If you want to make a cool mod for a game, then you have to learn how to do it, and then ACTUALLY DO IT. With game design (and I could argue with any other form of art/entertainment), getting stuck in and actually doing it is not just the best way, it’s really the only way. Load up Hammer, and start making something. You can’t get by on just ideas, design plans and ambition. Everyone has those. Anyone can do that.

If you really have no idea how to make a mod, and if you can’t actually do any work in making your mod idea - well, how do you expect to make a mod? Coming on here and asking for help when you bring very little to the table is kind of pointless. You are tackling an unbelievably ambitious project that will require an extremely large and talented team to pull off correctly - and you don’t bring anything to the table, skill wise. Why would an artist, a level designer, a sound designer, or anyone else, choose to work with you? Why would the community get excited for this project over the 3 or 4 other Opposing Force remakes that are out there?

These may seem like harsh words, and I promise I’m not actually trying to discourage you; but I’m trying to be realistic here. I’m trying to encourage you in the right direction! I’m telling you this as someone who myself started out having no idea how to make games or mods, and eventually through my own work and elbow grease, ended up on the Black Mesa Team. The first step is to get stuck in, learn how to do it, and then do it. Me? I just loaded up Hammer and started making Surface Tension Uncut. Keith loaded up Hammer and started making his Blue Shift mod for BMS. That’s what got people excited! Prove to the community that your project is one to get excited about. Prove to other modders that you’re a person worth working with. Start small, start with these steps, and build up from there, and before you know it you’ve got an exciting and quality project! Coming on the BMS forums and saying “hey, I sort of have an idea here, but I don’t actually know how to do it, and I can’t actually make mods,” isn’t a particularly convincing pitch!

So what do you do instead? I would suggest learning how to make maps in Hammer for BMS. That’s a good start. Go make some cool stuff, and show it off to us. You can totally do it! We’ll be more than happy to give you feedback and encouragement along the way.

Always start small. Never go for a big game, as thing always take more time than one thinks.

Your post is kinda like a “I want to make the new Star Wars movie but I don’t know how to turn on the camera.” =/

Start working on it yourself, I have recently started experimenting in FL Studio because I want to animate and to have music in my animations, but the music that I find on the internet isn’t what I was hoping for so now I’m working on creating my own stuff. It won’t be a fast process but it’s better than just wishing and not doing anything.

I put this in the other Op4 thread, but in case you check this one first, you do have the tools - check your Black Mesa/bin directory for Hammer.
As for the knowledge required for source modding, the majority of it can be found at the VDC - everything but tutorials for photoshop and external modelling packages, and those can be found online with a quick google search.

If you want to learn how to make mods, don’t start by listing off problems - start by looking for solutions!

One caveat, though; Remaking Opposing Force is going to be very difficult without source code access, since it has new enemies and weapons that HL1 didn’t. I’m unsure of CC’s current stance on releasing the code once the game is finished, or if they can even legally do that under their license agreement with Valve, but you might want to start small, with some singleplayer or multiplayer maps for vanilla BM.

Good luck!

I also want to join the “start with something small first” boat. I’ll give you a personal example since it’s similar. Our team also had an idea: “Let’s remake Hazard Course for BMS!” Sounds simple enough, right? I mean, it’s just a training level, how hard could it be? Next thing you know, we’re in development for 3 years on a 30 minute mod, all because we bit off a lot more than we thought. Yeah, we were able to chew and swallow by the end, but at the beginning? Ohohoho, no. Even for something as simple as the Hazard Course, getting it to live up to our goals proved to be a much more complicated task than we’d thought. We were all decent level designers and modelers, but none of us had ever worked on something particularly complex and at length like that. We released HC in 2015, but could not have released anything near the quality we did when the project started. We could have pushed out a simple mappack and called it a day but nobody would have wanted that. We grew as developers, learned (and continue to learn) what to do and what not to do, and eventually put our something we were happy with. But that was after three years of focused improvement. We were close to running out of gas many times.

Now let’s look at Opposing Force. It is gigantic. Think about it, we had a team of 5 for HC, everyone had been working w/ Source for at least a couple years, and it was still quite a challenge for us. It was a 30 minute training chapter. Now let’s take Opposing Force and hover over 1 guy who’s never touched Source. Does that sound like a formula for success? No, you will absolutely crash and burn. I know it’s really frustrating and annoying to be told to hold off on your ambitious ideas for a long while, but trust me, if you want to succeed, it’s not a good idea to directly pursue it right now.

Depending on how you look at it, this might contrast Text’s advice above, but I don’t think you should jump right into your OF remake. Jump into something seemingly tiny and get to work. There’s some neat BM singleplayer maps floating around the Workshop. They’re not overly complex, but they’re absolutely cool, and I think trying to do something like that would help you get started. You’ll get to learn familiarity with the tools and engine, work on workflow, how to make your stuff fun, look pretty, etc, and you’ll start learning how hard it is to do some stuff. You’ll realize what you can’t do so easily, what you need to work on. You’ll realize how much more complicated even simple stuff can start to feel. Shadowing areas will start to feel a little more bright and you’ll know what you could focus on to improve. Plus having a few released maps will help a lot in getting people to help you once you start to think you’re ready to take on the big one. You’ll be able to let people know, “Hey, I’m for real, I’m not gonna be awful like every other OF remake.”

And as a side-note, it’s been mentioned before that there’s already a bunch of other OF for BM remakes, it’s gonna be harder to get everyone to believe you won’t suck. So you definitely don’t want to suck too much when you start. There’s a incarnation of an OF for BM remake floating around now, and that team is the perfect example of who you don’t want to be: They’re in over their heads, they’re not experienced enough to come to terms with it, so they keep restarting every time they realize a new obstacle, and they’re never gonna make progress if they go the way they have been. “We realized our team members were being lazy so we restarted.” “We realized we don’t have BM code so we restarted,” “We realized this was gonna be hard so we restarted.” And guess what? No one takes them seriously right now. Don’t do that. Cut your teeth, learn teamwork, learn how to do what you need to do. Learn what you can and can’t do with your tools and engine.

Thanks guys, I’ve already starting to learn Hammer and SDK 2013…

Finally, I learned how to use Hammer and I finally downloaded SDK 2013. Turns out SDK doesn’t work but there’s Hammer installed with BMS on the SteamApps folder.

Anyway, I was already starting in the map.

Looks nice mate, awesome progress!

Small tips and questions:

Drag out that manifest and kill it, it’s useless for you and only takes space.
Keep brush width for walls around 8-16, and height for floor and ceiling 16-32. You’ll thank me later when you don’t have to zoom in to select things.
Stay at grid size 16-32 for most things, only go smaller if you need to detailed stuff, you’ll thank me later. (You can use ALT + drag for moving props).

Why are you using window mode in hammer? Enlarge that shit!

Other than that, keep at it, it’s looking good.

You need to follow some basic principles of construction if you’re going to stand a chance of building a coherent map.

Build the basics of your map at 16 grid MINIMUM. Should be 32 for any major elements, mostly 128 for actual layout aspects. Walls should generally be 128/160 or 192 units high. The guides on the dev textures are specifically sized for a reason.

Basic Examples:

Bad vs Good

The left example (how you’re doing it) is bad. The right hand side is the correct way of building a basic room. Here are the problems with the left example: It doesn’t respect basic grid size of 16/32. It is 86 units long. It should be 128 units long (or 96 if you want something in between - POWERS OF 2!) At 86 units, modular props won’t fit properly into this without clipping and overlap somewhere. Textures (such as tiles, panels) won’t fit properly either, and will look sloppy. Artchitectural elements will have to adopt very odd spacing rules, or be uneven. Even lighting is harder to manage!

With the walls being 1 units thick, walls and doorways and windows are going to look extremely weird. It’s like the walls are made of paper. Additionally, they won’t block VIS. It’s a nightmare.

As per the right example - make walls (generally) 16 units thick minimum. 8 can suffice if you want an intentionally thick wall. Build them on the OUTSIDE EDGES of grid squares, not the inside (you’ll see this example better below). Where it is possible/practical (which I would estimate would usually be about 70% of a map’s walls), corner off the edges like you can see in my examples, so no brushes actually overlap. This also makes texturing much easier down the line.

Bad vs Good

The left example (which is how you’ve done it) is bad. The ceilings/floors overlap the walls. This means the texture won’t fit properly on the walls (assuming your walls are correctly sized), and it also means you can’t actually know how high your walls are from selecting the wall brush (as to find out the actual, practical height, you would need to subtract the thickness of the floor/ceilings). It also means the textures won’t align properly without fiddling. It’s also just sloppy and unnecessary. Build basic stuff on the outside edge of the grid rather than the inside. It’s better and much easier to work with.

Stick to powers of 2. Eg: 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, etc. If you want to make bits of the map more fine grained, use halfway points: 48, 96, 160, 386, etc.

This is very basic advice but if you build your maps’ foundations based on simple, basic principles of grid, working with the map becomes incredibly easy in the long run and it will save you a lot of tears and headaches. Trust this coming from a mapper who spent years transitioning from incredibly sloppy to incredibly tidy.

Guys, the map was deleted.

Maybe this kid around our neighboorhood who likes to annoy me could’ve deleted it to annoy me today.
My hard work was wasted. Well then, time to get to work

Put it on dropbox in the future.

isn’t a good place to store files, get a proper folder structure!

Again, because of certain issues about the maps were deleted PERMANENTLY.
I decided to do the maps again, I already did what you guys taught me and this was the new output.

I already made more cleaner walls and decided to curve the corners.

Use the arch tool if you want to make internally curved corners. And follow the same principles I described earlier. Your version is sloppy because again, it sits inside walls that extend beyond it, and it also isn’t properly curved because you seem to have done it by eye. You also appear to have overlapping and not properly aligned brushes, too.

Here’s a better way. It’s pretty easy once you know the steps. You have to use the arch tool.

Your goal here is to make a hollow cylinder, and cut a corner quadrant out from it to form the curved wall. Select around the corner of your walls with the arch tool. Generally speaking, use a square shape to get the best mileage out of the arch tool. It starts to do weird things if you try and do other stuff. In this example I’ve gone for a 128 x 128 square, meaning it will become a 64 x 64 curve once I’m done with it.

Press “enter” or “create object” to open the arch’s properties. Set the arch’s “wall width” to the thickness of your walls. In this example my walls are 32 units thick. Make sure the arc is 360. You could try and be clever here and set it to 90 (which is our eventual end goal), but the tool doesn’t play very nicely with non 360 degree arches, and you have to do SCARY MATH as well to get the values to all play together. Number of sides can be whatever you like - 16 is pretty much always sufficient except for really large curves. Try and stick to powers of 2 or halfway points (8, 16, 24, 32). Remember that the final number of sides of your corner will be this divided by 4. Then make the shape.

Use the clipping tool to cut the shape in half. Then clip that half to make it a quarter. Alternatively you can tick the “ignore groups” button at the top (it’s a little “ig” next to the grouping buttons), and then manually delete the pieces of the shape you don’t want to make a quadrant too.

Then just resize your walls, and you end up with the above result. I’ve made it sound very complex, but this can be achieved in about 15 seconds, and it’s completely grid friendly and tidy. And aligns properly.

Yeah, I think this is becoming from a dev log into a “get mentored by one of the devs of an actual game where’d you got the assets to make you own fangame” log, Amirite?

Anyways, I already had some plans for some of the stuff in the map, btw thanks for @Crypt and @TextFAMGUY1 for help.
I’ll be posting some of the plans and ideas I have in mind next time… :slight_smile:


Quoting this so you see it.

That you’re mapping in a small window and still has the manifest menu, triggers me.
And save it in the mapsrc folder in your bms folder or somewhere else that isn’t the documents folder, it’s like asking for it to be removed if you save shit there.

Wait, wait, wait…some kid randomly deletes your stuff?

How does that even happen?

Is the computer you use yours only, or do you share it?

If you do share it, why not create an account that you would use just for creating this mod and password protect it?

This kid likes to irritate me and does these to irritate me:

-Tries to delete Black Mesa shortcut.
-Deletes my works, especially if he saw me making it.
-Mimicking me all the time.

btw @LordDz, I already save it somewhere else, made some precautionary measures and starting on the maps AGAIN.

But is it not your own computer… ?
This kid, is he family?

Cuz it sounds like it’s just some random kid on the block which uses the same computer as you…

Founded in 2004, became one of the first online communities dedicated to Valve’s Source engine development. It is more famously known for the formation of Black Mesa: Source under the 'Leakfree Modification Team' handle in September 2004.