Having seen such positive reactions to the squarehouse HL2 model I had a peek at Virtools (http://www.virtools.com/). These guys specialise in 3D realtime and VR solutions - some of which look very good indeed. The Shader Head Demo (http://www.virtools.com/applications/technology-effects.asp) is fun and beautiful. Many of the effects we do see in our favourite game engines, but this is a nice application and shows off where this tech can be without all the mayhem and adrenaline.
[project images/screenshots from the virtools site]
More people got to experience the squarehouse model again today. Poor SW got all motion sick and we had to have her turn away while I moved to new areas for her to experience (see). This is another little issue that we may have to allow for going forward. The value of the model though is considerable even in its relatively rough state and there is enthusiasm for taking the model forward and seeing how 'complete' we can get it.
Some of the many things just itching to be done: fix up design to show changes; add exterior and roundhouse; add schematic workshop equipment; get office props etc into the hammer model; fix lighting; revisit wall and surface textures; create operable doors; create dyanmic and switchable lights; add NPCs; get server running.
Another parallel project/extension will be to see just how much detail/beuaty we can get into the model - can it rival rendered flythroughs??
Hammer map optimisation
A super guide to optimising maps in HL2 (http://www.student.ru.nl/rvanhoorn/optimization.php). There is lots of important info in here on func_detail, visleafs and more - essential reading.