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Puzzle Creator Tech Info, Hacks, and Laughs

SpAM_CAN wrote:
Hang on a second folks... the maps are still built in VBSP, VVIS and VRAD, right? Well how does it compile them on Mac systems...? Have they ported the compilers or just been lazy and used some kind of WINE wrapper?

I don't think the compile tools were ever an issue, it's the Hammer GUI editor itself that has Windows dependencies.

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Please please please post anything you find. Would love for some cool custom

Szieve wrote:
Seems as if the devtest.p2c file is the basic building block of the pti base map...

I thought the same thing, although for me editing the file had no effect, unless I just did something stupid like save it under a new name.

spongylover123 wrote:
HMW wrote:
Looks like it's not that hard to change the puzzle maker to include custom testing elements!
Check out this file:
steamappscommonportal 2portal2_dlc2scriptseditoritems.txt

It's a keyvalues-formatted file that defines the behaviour of all of the stuff you can add in the editor. Model name, positioning rules, location on the parts list, names of instances to insert into the VMF, it's all there.

The only thing you can't do (as far as I can tell) is add more rows or columns to the parts list. But that's no huge deal, as you can free up 10 slots by removing redundant entries[...]

I've only just started messing with this file so I don't fully understand it yet, but it looks very promising!

Yes, but all the elements are hard coded into the client's base, so I don't know how you'll be able to edit the panel without some form of adjustment to the code.

The elements are hard coded eh? What does the "hard coding" do that this file doesn't? I'm gonna try some edits too tonight.

When I was looking through I noticed alot of information about how the items attach to voxels. That might be difficult to figure out how to use with custom instances. Hopefully we can get stuff in there. I'll document this structure soon, one interesting thing is that it lists the .3ds files as the in-editor models...there is also a props_map_editor folder in the vpk's with traditional .mdl files.

I do my science from scratch.
msleeper wrote:
SpAM_CAN wrote:
Hang on a second folks... the maps are still built in VBSP, VVIS and VRAD, right? Well how does it compile them on Mac systems...? Have they ported the compilers or just been lazy and used some kind of WINE wrapper?

I don't think the compile tools were ever an issue, it's the Hammer GUI editor itself that has Windows dependencies.

Pretty much this. The compile tools are just command-line applications that don't - to the best of my knowledge - really leverage any significant Windows-specific resources. Hammer itself is written using MFC, which is essentially a C++ wrapper over the Windows API (essentially, it is a precursor to the .Net Framework); I think it has some other Windows specific dependancies outside of MFC as well, but I haven't really investigated.

HMW wrote:
Looks like it's not that hard to change the puzzle maker to include custom testing elements!
Check out this file:
steamappscommonportal 2portal2_dlc2scriptseditoritems.txt

It's a keyvalues-formatted file that defines the behaviour of all of the stuff you can add in the editor. Model name, positioning rules, location on the parts list, names of instances to insert into the VMF, it's all there.

The only thing you can't do (as far as I can tell) is add more rows or columns to the parts list. But that's no huge deal, as you can free up 10 slots by removing redundant entries for the different buttons, cubes, fizzlers and gels. (And some things wouldn't even need their own slot. LP's death-fizzler, for example, could just be an extra option on the normal fizzler.)

I've only just started messing with this file so I don't fully understand it yet, but it looks very promising!

YOU ROCK!!!

I created a map with the puzzle creator then decompiled it and opened it in hammer. While yes, the textures and objects can be edited to some degree, don't even consider it possible to work with the triggers or I/O operations as every operation is run through several logic gates and proxies and its just overall a real shitstorm that nobody in their right mind would want to try and deal with. Its no wonder puzzle creator maps perform so poorly. There are so many textures being rendered that are unused by the maps and so many triggers and proxies that literally use the most roundabout way possible to perform even the most simple operations. In conjunction with hammer, the puzzle creator can be useful for prototyping ideas and maybe just setting up the general textural layout, but even with that theres more crap to clean out than really makes it worth it....

... Why would you decompile it? The puzzle creator gives you a raw VMF to work with.

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Has anyone encountered a way to overcome the limit on the number of items you can place in a level yet? Lighting bigger and more complex levels is a pain in the butt with the limit they have placed on the number of items

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msleeper wrote:
... Why would you decompile it? The puzzle creator gives you a raw VMF to work with.

because I'm kind of an idiot xD

So my puzzle had a massive bug in a water hazard. It seems if you have another water hazard directly below (less than 4096 units down) the trigger_hurts merge with each other.. Nice bug to have considering the limited space you can work with.
Anyway i fixed it up in the preview.vmf in hammer. Now how would i go about inserting the edited vmf back into portal to compile?
Because if i were to override the existing preview file it will be again overriden by the p2c file portal uses to store the map in-game.

Just hit F9 in Hammer with your map open. (Same as in the puzzle creator.)
It will show a small window where you can set some options for compiling. Enable the "HDR" option and leave the others at their defaults. (To keep it simple. You can mess with the other options later if you want.)
Then click "OK" to compile and run your map.

On an entirely unrelated note: I've spent some time with the editoritems.txt file and found out a lot more about it.

Edit 13 May 2012: Yesterday I typed some rather depressing bit of text here about not being able to save user-created elements in a p2c. Turns out to be not true. Further info forthcoming.

Sendificate series: Sendificate | A Beam Too Far | Airtime | 302
Other Portal 2 maps: Medusa Glare
Portal 1 maps: Try Anything Twice | Manic Mechanic