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Atmosphere in your map (Part 1 - Horror) - A Tutorial for Counter-Strike 1.6

Part one of a bunch of tutorials on setting atmosphere

Forward ======== Before I get started, I want to just make clear a few things about the tutorial. Firstly, it's got nothing to do with using Hammer, or any of it's functions. These techniques could be used anywhere, but since I map for GoldSrc, I decided to put this here. Also, I'm not a professional mapper, I just love doing it and these are a bunch of tips I've picked up over the months of mapping. The tutorial is classed as "Intermediate", because you should have a solid grounding of Hammer and it's tools and level design in general. Anyway, onto the tutorial - sit back and enjoy the read! (Weird pun there) Setting the atmosphere in your maps - Part 1, the Horror Theme ============================================================== So you want to make a horror map/mod huh? Well, over the months of making maps, and years of playing horror games I can say a few things about how to give your maps a horror vibe. The example here isn't exactly the best out there, but it should be enough to describe what I am explaining. First of all, take a look at this screen shot of a small hall-way that I made -- ![](http://files.gamebanana.com/img/ss/tuts/541bf0dab1965.jpg "") It seems pretty creepy to say the least, and in my opinion. There are 3 things that I think define this: (1) Something disturbing ======================= Well what's disturbing in that screenshot? Yes it's that damned red door isn't it? It's too tall! No, you can see it's the dead man lying in a massive pool of blood. If that wasn't there, you couldn't exactly call the scene that creepy. Obviously, you don't need to have blood and gore around every corner, but it's this that makes people start to feel uneasy. Other things that work are brutally damaged objects and creepy messages directed to the player "writing in blood on the wall saying: it's coming..." (2) The lighting ================ This is an important one, maybe even more important than the first point. You'd be surprised, but lighting really affects people's mood. It's all to do with how much light enters the retina, and what color it registers as. There's a reason why restaurants have yellow low-lit candles and hospitals have bright neon white lights. In the above scene, the light is a very pale blue, and does not illuminate past the shelving much at all, meaning it's not bright either. The colour blue, brings a sense of coldness and the paleness brings hostility. The darkness surrounding the light brings a great sense of unease as a human's primary sense is their eyes. Just to show a comparison, look at this scene -- ![](http://files.gamebanana.com/img/ss/tuts/541c53ce2ed06.jpg "") Which looks scarier? It's to do with the lights!! (And the dead dude) The yellow lights make the hallway look almost warm and calm in this scene. (3) Ambiance! ============= This is another critical factor. Honestly I don't know why I'm ordering this stuff, everything I'm talking about is **equally** important to create a good horror environment. Ambient sound effects really add to the feel of the map. Having sudden and un-predictable sounds, like electric sparks, and faint humming to bring a sense of loneliness are really effective. You can't see from the screen shot, but the light flickers, and creates loud sparks. Lights around it also have an electric humming sound coming from them. To conclude, try to think about these 3 features when creating a horror map. They aren't even hard to pull-off. All you have to do is get some blood decals here and there and some bodies, keep your lights faint and pale, and get some ambient sound effects in there! Also remember these points: - People are more afraid of what they can't see than what they can. - We also hate un-predictability. Flickering lights; random noises; Brilliant! - What we see and hear defines our mood. Yellow lights and slow songs make us feel calm. On the other hand, white lights with loud sparks flying out of them make us feel anxious and on-edge. - The feeling of being trapped. Use this to your advantage in your level design. Take a look at this image -- ![](http://files.gamebanana.com/img/ss/tuts/541c53cb9ebce.jpg "") The long and narrow hallway brings a feeling of claustrophobia, which leads to entrapment. The opposite works quite nicely too. Think about a dark and murky forest with white fog reducing visibility to 40 feet. You don't know what can be out there, or when it will (if it decides to) ambush you. Finally, you can download the .rmf of this scene [here](http://files.gamebanana.com/bitpit/light_tutorial.rmf "here") so you can get a feel for the ambiance. That's all for now folks! Hope you enjoyed reading, and got a better understanding of how horror themed environments work. Next part, I'll be talking about a laboratory or "techy" environment. _-The Glockster_
  • Herrgott avatar
    Herrgott Joined 10y ago
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    4y
    And 2nd part? :(
    Semper fidelis
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    Emily Vasquez Joined 8y ago
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    7y
    > **Posted by Glock18** > > > **Posted by ReimuHakureiShrine** > > > > > **Posted by Glock18** > > > > > > > **Posted by ReimuHakureiShrine** > > > > > > > > Is that an Afraid of Monsters map? > > > > > > No, I made it... lol. I do like that game though! It's so hard though, I'm stuck :( You play it?? > > > > It's pretty easy on normal. > > I mean the puzzles. Some of the stuff, i recommend using LPs to help.
    What's up fuckeeeeeeeeeeeers?
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    7y
    > **Posted by ReimuHakureiShrine** > > > **Posted by Glock18** > > > > > **Posted by ReimuHakureiShrine** > > > > > > Is that an Afraid of Monsters map? > > > > No, I made it... lol. I do like that game though! It's so hard though, I'm stuck :( You play it?? > > It's pretty easy on normal. I mean the puzzles.
    Need a mapper? PM me!
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    Emily Vasquez Joined 8y ago
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    7y
    > **Posted by Glock18** > > > **Posted by ReimuHakureiShrine** > > > > Is that an Afraid of Monsters map? > > No, I made it... lol. I do like that game though! It's so hard though, I'm stuck :( You play it?? It's pretty easy on normal.
    What's up fuckeeeeeeeeeeeers?
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    Glock18 username pic Joined 8y ago
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    7y
    > **Posted by ReimuHakureiShrine** > > Is that an Afraid of Monsters map? No, I made it... lol. I do like that game though! It's so hard though, I'm stuck :( You play it??
    Need a mapper? PM me!
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    Emily Vasquez Joined 8y ago
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    7y
    Is that an Afraid of Monsters map?
    What's up fuckeeeeeeeeeeeers?
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    7y
    Thanks man! I may be moving onto Source soon, but I have to buy CSS then. Source is kinda the place to be mapping at. I'm using GoldSrc atm cos im a fag. Mate im drunk as fuck, was drinkin with my colleagues. How you doin?
    Need a mapper? PM me!
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    7y
    Quite well written tutorial to say the least. Very useful for newbie mappers in the Counter-Strike scene for those who wish to learn how to map for oldschool games. That's pretty much all I can say right now. Good tutorial! :)
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