Hi, I'm Ember and I wanna talk about Source SDK and Hammer for a bit.

This year (2020) I got most of the way through making a CSGO wingman map (minus detailing) and started my first ever Black Mesa Source map. Starting both of these mapping projects didn't come without some apprehension of course.

I've got a really mixed bag of memories with these tools, it's hard to know how to always feel about map making for Source games. I've spent far too many sessions in the SDK just totally unable to step away, trapped in the tiny details, taking breaks only when I felt completely exhausted after hours of sitting and staring. Even waiting for the compiler to complete wouldn't cue me into what I was putting myself through. Every time I've considered starting a new map I have to weigh it with how bad my addiction will get again.

Thankfully, I've gone through 2 new maps without getting too lost in the sauce. Sure I know the tools well know, but maybe more importantly is that I think I've successfully used these past 2 maps as benchmarks to see if I've really gotten over my high school self's constant desire to prove my abilities as an artist. Perhaps back then it was only fair I felt these tools owed me something tangible when I'd spent literally over 1000 cumulative (many unlogged) hours in Hammer. Even in my first few hours of using Hammer I felt like any amount of confidence meant I had to show something for that confidence. Complete confidence in myself meant I had to produce the perfect map, despite never having released a map or having the courage to ask anyone else test it.

So, I'm glad I've avoided that feeling. I've managed to pull my time management and break-taking abilities into play with these maps so developing them have never felt like I've gone off the deep-end, it's always felt positive and constructive to work on both of them. Sure, I've since abandoned the CSGO map but I could pick it up again someday in the future if I want to get back into CSGO. Sure that seems really unlikely because I still don't totally enjoy playing the game competitively/for wins anymore, but perhaps I wanna finish it just to try the detailing stage of an actually playable, tested CSGO map. Meanwhile, the Black Mesa map I'm really interested in just because it's all so new, so it's fun to hold myself to fewer standards of gameplay, but to think about all that I'd learned from going through Robert Yang's level with me series as background footnotes, rather than strict guidelines to misguide my lack of experience. So far it's been going really well and I'm looking forward to eventually sharing some screenshots of it here.

I'm also glad that I've since so far found several friends who own Black Mesa, one of which has already tested my map so far. It's been incredibly helpful and far more compelling than the multiplayer mapmaking process that asked me to invite 1 or maybe 9 extra people just to get a good idea of how the map plays. Thank u friens for help. =u=

Will post map screenshots as they happen. ;)