Houdini Maps, or "Months of work just disappeared!"

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by RevolutionTeam, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. RevolutionTeam

    RevolutionTeam L4: Comfortable Member

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    Hey, Everyone!

    I've been working on a Payload map, and I've run into a weird problem. So, here's an earlier version of the map.

    Screenshot (3).png
    Now, obviously, I wouldn't post this if I wasn't struggling with something...

    Specifically, after putting the Payload logic in place, I had to do something, so I closed Hammer. When I came back and started again, I was greeted by this:

    Screenshot (4).png

    That's right. The whole map deleted itself.

    Screenshot (5).png

    I have some files of it saved, so can I recover the map? Or do I have to start from scratch for the 3rd time?
     
  2. Da Spud Lord

    aa Da Spud Lord Occasionally I make maps

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    1. There should be a VMX file alongside the VMF. It functions as a backup of the VMF. Change the file extension to .VMF manually and try opening it.
    2. If you have any autosave files, change the extensions of those to VMF and try opening those.
    3. If all else fails, decompile the latest BSP. You'll lose everything after the last compile but it's better than starting from scratch.
     
  3. RevolutionTeam

    RevolutionTeam L4: Comfortable Member

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    Screenshot (6).png

    Ok, I discovered something that might help. When loading it through "Custom Maps" in TF2, it uses the recent verson.

    Can I extract this version from these files?


    Edit:

    After browsing my files and finding it, for some reason, it doesn't load.
     
  4. RevolutionTeam

    RevolutionTeam L4: Comfortable Member

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    Hold up. Ok, so... this is a shot of a section I added. It's fine... just kinda a "I'm a first time mapper" section.

    Screenshot (8).png

    BUT THIS WAS LOADED FROM THIS:

    Screenshot (9).png

    That's right. The map is there, but not being loaded in Hammer!
     
  5. Da Spud Lord

    aa Da Spud Lord Occasionally I make maps

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    Have you tried closing and restarting Hammer?
     
  6. RevolutionTeam

    RevolutionTeam L4: Comfortable Member

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    Yeah, I have. Nothing happened.
     
  7. ComradeRoffel

    ComradeRoffel L2: Junior Member

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    try using a decompiler so you can convert the .bsp back to a .vmf and open that one
     
  8. eljest

    aa eljest

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    is there anything there if you open the (supposedly empty) vmf's with a text editor?
     
  9. RevolutionTeam

    RevolutionTeam L4: Comfortable Member

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    Ok, let's kill two birds with one stone here.
    Yeah, I've used several decompilers, and... um... nothing.
    Well, I've read the compile logs, and the map shows... but not in the editor. Hmm.

    Also, I'm just giving up on this map. I'm going to start a new one.
     
  10. FloofCollie

    aa FloofCollie I really suck!

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    Did you use the decompilers on the .bsp file? Unless I'm misunderstanding, you still have the normal .bsp file, and it's just the .vmf that's gone, in which case the decompiler should produce a .vmf of the normal .bsp.

    Not the compile logs. In File Explorer, right click the .vmf and open it with Notepad.

    :(
    good luck on your next map!
     
  11. [Rx.] Christian Troy

    [Rx.] Christian Troy L5: Dapper Member

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    From your screenshot of Hammer where it says "VisGroups:", click on the "Auto" tab. Is there anything unchecked in there? If so, check off all empty boxes and see if anything comes back.
     
  12. [Rx.] Christian Troy

    [Rx.] Christian Troy L5: Dapper Member

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    You really might not want to do that. Sure set it aside for now if you are wanting to start another but, there is something there if you can get something out of a compile. It's just going to be a matter of figuring out how to get it all back.
     
  13. Dr. Orange

    Dr. Orange L6: Sharp Member

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    I'm pretty sure this is the result of a moderately common bug where if Hammer shuts down when it tries to save the map (as a result of a crash, blue screen, the computer shutting off etc.) the saved file will be overriden with NULL. Because this happens during the save operation, it will corrupt the vmx as well, removing that option.

    Now as previously mentioned, if you had already compiled the map before, you should be able to decompile it. Basicly, the VMF is the source file for your map which you can edit in Hammer. When you click run map you actually compile the map into a BSP file, which adds precomputed visibility and lighting information so the map can be run in-game. This is the file you have been able to load in the game. This file can be decompiled using a tool such as BSPSource, turning it back into a VMF, allthough some information might be lost since the decompile is not perfect, and some info is removed during the compile process.

    For the future, you should be looking to regularly back up your VMF files in case a corruption like this happens again. Just saving the current map file under a different file name (e.g. map_backup1, map_backup2 etc.) should be enough. If the map does get corrupted, you can then jump back to an earlier version of the map and continue from there.
     
  14. henke37

    aa henke37

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    I recommend learning about source control.
     
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