short episode 2 map escape from teleporter malfunction
Hazard Trip is a short Episode 2 map by Robert "Spas12" Cardona. You play as Gordon Freeman escaping from an altered location just after the teleporter malfuction. Enjoy diverse and intense combat in a challenging environment.
Thanks for playing.
Congratulations on this release; a well-made single player campaign that was enjoyable to play.
The gameplay was gratifying: tense yet not frustrating. There was a good balance between having tough enemies especially groups of combines that flank you or flash you with grenades while being very accurate but as the same time, outsmarting them is very possible and rewarding even when playing on hard difficulty such as I do. The pacing was also spot on with intense fighting sequences interweaved with quiet moments of scavenging, button pushing, puzzle solving and the occasional startling from a lurking zombie/zombine. Well done.
As I mentioned, the enemies were challenging especially the combines and the hunters and one would need to use several tactics/weapons to outsmart and beat them.
I quite liked the sniper area and there is nothing more rewarding than dodging the sniper bullet then lobbing a grenade into the window sending the sniper to his dangling demise.
The attention to details across the map is quite pleasing and everything feels in its place, further contributing to the overall gameplay and visuals.
I enjoyed the lighting variation between sharp blue indoors and fuzzy yellow outdoors, making each area recognizable and keeping the player visually alert. The pitch dark spots here and there added to the tension of stumbling into a lurking zombie.
You did quite a nice job optimizing the map with nodraw, func_detail, areaportals and occluders but some areas were dropping in frame rate (mainly areas outside player spawn and toxic waste area). The console was outputting: ”too many vertex format changes in frame, whole world not rendered” which implies that the engine was experiencing overhead leading to parts of the world not rendering and fps dropping. The highest bars in the budget panel (+showbudget) came from world rendering and static props.
Many things can be done to remedy this issue and increase fps both locally and globally and I’ll share them with you in the hope of helping you out to further tighten the map’s experience.
Your hint system needs reviewing as many visleaves were unnecessary tall going from ground to skybox level; this means that these visleaves will render practically the whole map while you are standing in one of them wasting very precious resources along the way. Other visleaves were needlessly large covering wide areas or poking across corners into the next street. You need to implement horizontal hints as well as corner hints to divide your visleaves to smaller sizes that cannot see into great distances in the map.
Another thing to do is to implement an aggressive prop fade distance on all trivial static props (such as shrubs, gutter pipers, chimneys, small power outlets, etc.) to free up some overhead and prevent excess rendering.
The last thing to do is to add some more areaportals in strategic places. In addition to the ones you placed, you need to add couple more in places you forgot about: the building with sentry gun, the tunnels between hunter arena and toxic waste station. Depending on how you built your skybox, you could also have a big areaportal to separate these 2 mentioned areas above the tunnel geometry.
A very nicely crafted single player map that is both visually pleasing and challenging gameplay-wise.
Keep up the quality work and best of luck in your projects.