Originally Posted by Adzm
Ah I see, I understand how long maps can take to create since I have only fiddled around with the very basics such as prop_static and lighting, and the half life prefabs don't seem to work for me despite owning the games.
I never thought it was possible to transfer prefabs and that is a good idea for working together to create maps. A question I have though is that was does func_instance actually do? Is it a tool that allows you to fit certain pieces of a map together? Sorry if its already been pointed out, still don't quite understand it.
Think of a func_instance as a sub-map. It's a VMF that gets included at the position and rotation you specify. So if you wanted to work on a building that was angled which is tough in Hammer, you could build it in a separate file and on axis, on grid, then in the main map, add it as a func_instance, then move/rotate it.
You can also collapse it into the main map when you're ready.
I'm using them constantly in my project, hundred+ at least in my current map, they are good for all sorts of things. For instance, in my map I have around 5 types of streetlights, I have a instance for each that include the model/lighting/sprites, etc. These get placed in my main map.
Now if I decided I want to modify the lighting in my map, say change the falloff or add a halo, instead of editing tons of entities, I can just edit the 5 instances and I'm done.
Or if I make a temp mockup of a model I'll need to make at some point, say a barrier that will be used a lot, I'll make it with func_detail, then later when I make the real model, i just edit the one file and it's fixed everywhere.
Though it's not all good. They have a few bugs. The most common is if you actually collapse them into your main map, they often get positioned wrong. Like the Yaw will be inverted etc. But to be fair you don't have to collapse them