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Garry's Mod
February 3, 2017

As the third entry in the trippy map series, Triphouse takes a drastic turn away from the usual formula of the first two maps. Instead of fairly uniform corridors interconnected at random, this map features much more prominent rooms, chambers, and otherwise open spaces. The typical smaller corridors are reserved just for connecting everything together. As a result, Triphouse feels much less claustrophobic and gives off a more relaxed and spacious atmosphere. It was the natural thing to do for the next step of the series' evolution, as there was only so much I could do with the tight corridors of the previous maps without simply repeating myself.

In addition to the more spacious environment, I made some other noticeable changes to the formula as well. My usual practice of using two complementary colors for each section was foregone in favor of more arbitrary color schemes over which I had more control. This meant I was free to use an almost infinite combination of any two (sometimes more) colors for a given section. Additionally, many surfaces feature more zany patterns and shapes like stripes, dots, stars, spirals, paisley, and even rainbow gradients. I think they give the map a distinctive silliness—an almost juvenile character—like something out of a daycare center. These patterns were done directly within the map's textures as opposed to using simple brush geometry as with the previous maps. I also used a brand new, higher definition plaster texture throughout the map in order to give myself more real estate to work with the different patterns. One of my favorite rooms is unique in that it uses a slightly different plaster texture and is almost entirely devoid of bright colors. Instead, some interesting lighting features, slanted architecture, and subtle color variations provide most of the room's visual intrigue. I've always referred to it as the "ice room" due to its cold, slightly blue hue.

This is also the first trippy map to make use of Source's displacements which offer more interesting geometry, like the various slopes and uneven ground you can find in some rooms. Pools of water and a functional elevator also make their first appearances in a trippy map here. Another key difference is the addition of portals that quickly get you from one point to another on the map. I did not plan on having these portals originally; they were really more of an afterthought. They came about quite far along in development after I realized that I had created a far too expansive layout for everything to be connected up reasonably. I was also quickly approaching the strict brush count limit of the Source engine. My solution was to implement the portals—essentially a way to cheat connectivity. Ultimately they are a consequence of not planning ahead. I think I was still thoroughly entrenched in that childlike wonder of just going with whatever my imagination conjured up in the moment. The spontaneity of the trippy maps is both their greatest strength and greatest weakness. Why bother with boring things like preplanning, right? It's a lot of fun making maps this way (despite the potential consequences), and I believe a good representation of that naivety shines through in Triphouse.

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