Having trouble with flat/blocky terrain? No more!
Now, I know a lot of people have problems recreating terrain as seen in newer games. GoldSrc is old, and ain't that friendly with harsh geometry, especially when it comes to terrain. Also, unlike Source, its building program, VHE 3.4/5, ain't got the tools for such complex shapes, so everything has to be done manually. But the processes are long and exhausting, and in common cases, leave you unsatisfied with the result, either in the aspect of looks or functionality. There are programs like Sledge or Jackhammer which are better and have more functions but still are missing this option, or even TerrainGenerator by nemesis, but it's a functionality horror.
This tutorial is not my own in the core. I have read a page a few years back where this kind of technique was posted, and I started developing it in my own way. Let me show you how.
First step and the most important one!: Open Hammer dummy, and create a large block. (your dimensions, but try not too thin) :P
After that, cut the block into the shape of [Tagliatelle](http://www.blablablarchitecture.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/PastaShapes.jpg) pasta (middle size, no. #6).
Now, after that has been done, grab a line, and shift its side as you wish (up, down) on the x/z window by clicking twice on the piece.
Now, as you shift, move the next block to its height and continue till you have shifted all of them as to your liking. Pay attention to the size of the grid, the smaller the shift, the better/realistic it looks. Ill be using the standard for better vision this time around, but the size is always up to you. Place a player on top and use him as a measure if you must (NOTE: you can always scale the brushwork after your done).
Ill multiply it, since I started quite small, and Ill shift the pasted part a 180 degrees.
Now goes the horizontal cut. Cut all of the long bars you made into cubes.
After that, start shifting as before, except on the y/z window.
Here is what I got.
Now, there you go. This one of mine can be a mountain with a river going down.
Note: Don't worry about errors, there cannot be any. If there are, you haven't been paying attention/following my instructions!
So, are we done? Not even in spitting distance.
After you made this, You can edit it as you like. Mine is a mountain, now lets make it a bit smaller since you got the main part at this point.
Now, I didn't have any grass texture present, but this will do. Also, I null textured everything that won't be seen by the player, it's a must.
And a note about texturing. When finished building, select everything (textured) and put their scales and shifts to the same numbers. Also, if some textures/block sides look strange, try shifting them from world to face in the tex. editor, or select the properly textured plane with tex. edit, and holding alt key, right click on the plane that isn't, and it should bring them in harmony.
Also, as I said, your blocks can be any dimension, long short, but you must keep them in line with the others. You will see it in the previous screen.
And there is more.
If you want even smaller details, cut the blocks crosswise, so you get triangle shapes on top and bottom of the brush, and vertex manipulate them as you like, but if your not careful, this can lead to errors, so check regularly if there are some (alt+p) if you haven't mastered yourself in that area.
Also, you will probably need to do this if you want its ends to flow/blend seamlessly into the rest of the ground/map if the rest is flat or in different levels of height, and you wont need this if you place it as a prop somewhere out of map bounds, but hide the bottom so players don't see it.
This technique can be used for almost everything. From snow, to ground, cliffs and mountains, rocks, even walls. You will need to experiment a little, but eventually you'll get the hang of it.
Also, do not fear the w\_polys, there aren't plenty of 'em, believe me :)
I hope I have helped, and that this will be used to create many more excellent maps for this old engine.
If you want demonstrations of this technique being used, here are a few of my maps (and a collaborative work) in which I incorporated this.
A lot of the exteriors of the map [de\_midnight\_mission](http://cs.gamebanana.com/maps/176297), snow, and 3d sky [de\_primus\_nix\_final](http://cs.gamebanana.com/maps/184424), The mountain seen when exiting the ct spawn/site "A" [de\_sunset\_mission](http://cs.gamebanana.com/maps/175128) and the same mountain originally made for [csde_skyfall](http://cs.gamebanana.com/maps/171252).
And, in the end, the rest is up to you.