All right. Considering the response from the community (and by “the community” I mean @danielko- I appreciate your contribution, I just wish there were more of you), it looks like the next step in BMPD is sticking with Questionable Ethics and adding the rail station to Map H. So, that means it’s time to do something that, since most of QE has pre-existing maps, I have not had to do since the Office Complex days- plan.
Looking at the entrance to the rail system from inside of H map, it’s clear that we aren’t starting out with a whole lot to work with- just a single corridor heading downwards and away from the main body of H Map:
I guess I could
just build a random generic tram platform off of both ends of that t-junction, probably one with two suspended walkways like the ones from Sector C or something, but there’s actually two distinct elements of the way Questionable Ethics is set up that have been bothering me and that I think I can solve with just a little bit more effort here.
The first problem sticks out to me as a native of the Northern United States who is rather not at home in temperatures above around 70 degrees- why does the Biodome facility, which is part of the sealed, climate-controlled environment of the Black Mesa facility and probably shares at least some ventilation services therewith, have the only entrance through the semi-sealed, climate-controlled tram system cutting through the outdoor parking lot? My university does the same thing (providing no indoor personnel access between buildings that are physically connected to each other),and it’s always bothered me.
The second “problem” is really more just an Odd Thing: on the upper balcony in the lobby, there is this little stub of corridor that doesn’t really go anywhere:
It’s marked on the map, but according to the same source nothing at all connects to it.
it could just be a little area with vending machines or something, but…
I think this little corridor leads to a second facility entrance, connecting directly to the tram station.
To be sure, the facility map says nothing about this being a facility entrance, but then again it’s actually marked more than the official entrance we already know about:
And, while I certainly agree that the Biodome is a secure facility and shouldn’t have doors in and out scattered all over the place, I’d be sure to construct the entry with an airlock just like the one on the ground floor, so I don’t think security would be too impacted by its presence. I’m wondering if this is at all similar to what Danielko was talking about regarding a “secret vent [to] the rest of the biodome facility” up above?
Actually, in something of a reverse of the usual PD problem of being annoyingly constrained by pre-existing level geometry, the big stumbling block to implementing this plan is that I have no real idea what to do with all the distance between the lobby and the transit system entrance. Here’s how the area looks from the top- I’ve moved the sections we’re interested in to another map for clarity, which since both F and H maps share the same “origin” is pretty easy to do, and added the giant chasm from Inbound (the one containing the “Area 9 hub”) for scale:Vertically
, it’s not so bad- about one and a half stories, which makes sense because that’s what the player traverses to get between the two via existing routes. Most every tram stop we see in Inbound goes that deep already, and while the tram stops don’t really have much if any verticality to the sections people can actually walk
on I’m pretty sure I can handle it inside the corridors leading from
the platform- especially if I fudge the height difference a little.
The problem is that, horizontally, the roadside entrance and the balcony entrance are really nowhere near each other:
I’m… not 100% sure how to deal with this. I could make an ungodly massive tram station, one that puts the Area 9 Hub to shame and takes half an hour just to walk through… I could make a series of insanely long corridors, which would also take half an hour to walk through and be really kind of boring to boot… or I guess I could just completely disregard in-game geometry and hide a trigger_teleport in the secondary airlock that warps the player halfway across the map. I really don’t know.
On another note, I’m still not entirely sure what I want to do with the other end of the T-Junction we see- the one that doesn’t seem to go anywhere near the rest of Questionable Ethics. I was wondering if it might in fact connect to some part of the hydro-dam area, but now that I think about it I realize there’s another part of the facility that also studies alien biology and has that exact same wall texture:
However, I really don’t even want to think
about restoring anything to do with Apprehension yet. That whole entire chapter is just so unimaginably confusing.