Seaholm Update: Interior details


Finally, after months I have a update with images.
This building is a massive open area with multiple levels and lots of windows. Because it is based on a real building I can't always change the geometry of the building to block visibility and speed up rendering in the game. So I have spent a lot of time optimizing the map. 
But now I am getting back into detailing the interior. When I first started this project I hadn't set foot inside the Seaholm Power Plant. All my reference images were what I could find online. Last year I was able to get permission to go inside and took hundreds of reference images and I was able to explore every room of the power plant. Reality is always stranger and different then what you imagine.
For those interested in photos of the real location I am uploading most of them to here:
Seaholm L4D2
Seaholm L4D2
Seaholm L4D2
One of the new items is a custom made overhead crane that matches the real world crane in the power plant.
The crane will be a key part of the finale. I also modified the original generator prop to make it three times longer.
Not visible in the images are lots of extra stairwells that I didn't originally know where there.
Seaholm L4D2
Seaholm L4D2
Seaholm L4D2
Seaholm L4D2
One thing that amazed me about the real location was the offices. The front half of the building has a tall ceiling, but when they built the offices they installed a drop ceiling with tons of space above it, sometimes that space had nothing more then plywood and a A/C duct. I have added this to the map, it will give more area for the infected to spawn and drop down on the players.
Seaholm Interior
Seaholm L4D2
Seaholm L4D2
Many of the textures and signs in the game are taken directly from the real world. For example the door that leads out to the crane is textured directly from the real door.
Seaholm L4D2
The underground areas will be next to get an overhaul.

Seaholm update: Machinery and rail bridge

Ok, break is over. Back to work.

Behind the Seaholm power plant are the steam release towers. Between the plant and the towers is some large machinery that does who knows what. But there are lots of beams, pipes, ladders and stairs that make for excelent fun in a game.

I have been putting it off as it requires a large mix of custom models, brush work, and textures. The images below are about 75% of the detail that will be in this area.






Click "Read the rest of this post" to so see the rail area


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World of Level Design, Winner: Storytelling Level Design Challenge



I hadn't posted this on my blog simply because the voting was supposed to be from World of Level Design members only.

World of Level Design posted a "Storytelling Level Design Challenge" in which you were supposed to design a game level in any game engine you wanted as long as the three provided screenshots told the following story:

Long shadows are cast down the street as light from the setting sun hits various objects dotted about the roadside. On one side of the road there sits a lonely bench, which was dedicated to someone long dead. The bench was positioned in front of a low-lying wall that has recently started crumbling. Unlike most buildings in the village, the railway station behind the wall no longer stands proud like it once did. It was forsaken and left to whittle away over the years after the roof collapsed. 

In contrast to the decay around the train station, the opposite side of the street has seen investment and as such the buildings have been re-born and impose the feeling that the rest of the village has entered a new age. 

Written by: Alex 'Smog' Shaw

I had only two weeks out of the four as I joined the challange late. But I was able to pull out the winning entry.

Continue reading “World of Level Design, Winner: Storytelling Level Design Challenge”

Seaholm update: Skybox

Ok, long time without an update, but that is because I was hard at work on the skybox. 

The Seaholm power plant is basically located on the edge of downtown Austin, and it surrounded by skyscrapers. 
Because they are so close I can't do the "cardboard cutout" style skybox that I used in Fan Feast. So all of these are 3D models located at the proper distance from the power plant. 
Since the map is based on a real location if any skyscrapers are missing or out of place some people may take notice. A few are yet to be added and are missing from the screenshots, such as the Frost Tower. Also none of them have textures yet. 

The other function of the skybox is to add reflections to water. This is quite a challenge as the skybox is 1/16th scale, so in the case of custom close-up models such as the bridge I have to compile a 1/16th scale model and get it located precisely in the skybox. You may note some tree missing from the reflections, I am still debating decompiling and rescaling those so they can reflect, but I think that may be overkill anyways. 


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Seaholm: KXAN News van

So I figured out a work flow that allows me to de-compile existing game props and modify or re-skin them.

I re-skinned the generic news van to that of one of my local news stations. I am hoping to use in the final map, but I have to get permission from the local TV station first.

Zombies ahead


I think it is fitting since Austin was the original location of the hacked zombie road signs, and KXAN was one of the first news outlets to report on it

Seaholm Power Plant: Office and power station.

Short update this weekend, there is more to come, but only a few "screenshot worthy" images.


In one of the satellite reference images I have for the power plant there is one of these cheap looking modular commercial buidlings stuck next to the plant. As this map is fairly open I need all the buildings I can get so I modeled this one using reference photos and a floor plan I found for a similar building.


Next to the power plant is a large power relay station. It will have quite a few custom models, but each will be kept fairly basic as they are going to basically be background scenery.


Seaholm Power Plant – Revived!

I started making a map of Seaholm Power plant one year ago. That project was interupted when I was asked to make a map for Fantastic Fest. However I am happy to say that work has resumed on this project.

The Seaholm Power Plant is a incredible 1950's art deco power plant located along the river in Austin, TX near down town. The power plant was a gas/steam turbine plant and ran all the way into the 1980's.

For the game I am reviving the plant from its current empty state. This will be a four map campaign for Left 4 Dead 2.

The following are screenshots of the Seaholm pump station and surrounding walking path along the river. This is the first map and current area I am working on.

If your interested in more screenshots, including interior shots, see my flickr gallery here:


Seaholm L4D2 - Pump station


Seaholm L4D2 - Outhouse


Seaholm L4D2 - Failed boat launch


Seaholm L4D2


Seaholm L4D2