articles • The train station                               Released: September 2003


The old version of the train station. The old version of the train station. A comparison between a sketch and the final version. A comparison between a sketch and the final version. A comparison between a sketch and the final version.


When I started working on Times of Troubles I knew I wanted to have one map that took place in a huge train station. Long before Blue Shift showed us trains within the Black Mesa Research Facility, I tried to figure out how my train station should look like. After all this map was probably the one I spent the most time working on.
Below this article you can download all the source maps of Times of Troubles including the original version of the train station.

The early version

In the earlier version the train yard was supposed to be only one large area. It featured almost everything that's in the final version and some details that didn't make it in the end.

I wanted to have a big control room with these huge windows where the player could watch the whole area while not taking part in the action yet. One exit of this room was a catwalk at the left side of the train station. There, the player could get a high position while battleing his enemies.

As soon as I tested the map for the first time I had to face it that it was unplayable. The wide and open area was just too much for the old Half-Life 1 engine. This was the point where I decided to change the overall design.

The final version

For the final version I divided the original area into two areas, each with two train tracks. Through this I still had a relatively large area and a small section between the areas where the player could rest for a short time. A lot of the details were adopted while others, like the catwalk, had to be removed. I also did some sketches for the final version.
Check out the comparisons on the right.