A few beginner questions.

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by KnowHope, Apr 6, 2014.

  1. KnowHope

    KnowHope L1: Registered

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    So, I'm new to Hammer, though not entirely new to mapping. I've also sunk far too many hours into TF2, lol. However, I have a couple questions:

    1) I hear it's advisable to stick as close to a 64-unit grid as possible. Will flicking between grid sizes to position geometry have any negative effects? Or is it mostly just for ease and consistency?

    2) When connecting walls at corners, is it better to have the brushes literally touch corners and nothing else, or is it okay to just place them with their faces flat together (i.e. the whole base of a wall sitting on the floor)? Providing they never overlap, of course. A few tutorials I've seen chose the first method. I'm guessing it doesn't matter beyond texture alignment.

    3) I assume there isn't any in-editor indication of how many props and brushes is too much? Like, besides actually playing the map and recording your performance first-hand.

    4) How expensive is water in terms of performance?

    Thanks.
     
  2. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    1: That's not exactly a rule. It is common to do rough layout blocking at 64 units simply because you don't need a lot of granularity at that point, and work down from there as you need more detail to flesh out an area. Do keep grid-snap on though, and generally you won't go below 16 for walls, maybe 8 for wooden walls that you would see the thickness of.

    2: It doesn't really matter. They both influence things in different ways and make certain things easier or harder.

    3: No, but you should be able to just reference what other maps look like, rather than heeding a specific number.

    4: cheap water without realtime reflections (hydro's really shallow water at the one CP is this) is pretty tame. expensive water which has full world reflections is more costly, but still shouldn't be much of an issue (2fort and Well has it in major combat areas).
     
  3. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    The 64-unit grid thing is more for things like the outer walls of buildings.

    Also, TF2 doesn't actually have real-time reflections in its water, ever. Outside of "2fort_expensive", which isn't used in any official map, all of the water materials included in the game are cubemap-based. I assume this was done for aesthetic reasons rather than to improve performance; personally I modded my game to make them all use real-time reflections and never looked back.
     
  4. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    o_O really? I mean I've never stared at the water much but I've certainly looked at the material VMTs a lot... huh
     
  5. Lampenpam

    aa Lampenpam

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    are you sure? I think if you set in the options "mirror everything" instead of "mirror world" then a few maps like well actually have real time reflections... I could be wrong though. I should check it as soon I come across this map again.
     
  6. Snowbat

    Snowbat L4: Comfortable Member

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    1) I think the general rule is to never have any brushwork off grid. If brushwork for some reason gets off grid, see if doing Tools--> Snap selected to Grid does the trick

    2) I always make them connect with a full face. Always have done it this way, never caused any issues.

    3) There actually is a limit. I think if you compile, at a certain point towards the end it gives you an overview of how much percentage of a certain type of asset is filled. You have to go really crazy to get over this limit though... As for performance... it depends from PC to PC. Just observe other maps and see how much detailing is in them. Try not to go overboard, but don't make your map an empty boring space neither.

    4) Not an expert in this matter, but there are cheap water textures and expensive ones. What the others have said about this is probably quite accurate.
     
  7. Berry

    aa Berry spooky scary skeletons

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    Can I ask how you did this / what mod you used? I'd really like to have this considering I've got a mid-high end computer.
     
  8. KnowHope

    KnowHope L1: Registered

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    Thanks for the answers, guys. Will take note.

    Though, I have 2 more questions, if you don't mind:

    1) From browsing the board, it sounds like people are against using the Carve tool. Are there situations in which it's okay? I'm wondering what the standard method is for creating a simple doorway in a flat wall. I figured I could just carve out the rectangle I want and that's that. Should I not be doing it that way, then?

    2) Does every single wall that the player can't see NEED to be nodraw? Can I get away with some that aren't?

    Thanks.
     
  9. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    1: Two cuts with the clipping tool and resize the middle piece. That's how I do it. It isn't much more effort since to carve you'd need to make your carving block first.

    2: no, not really. Faces that face away from the player will never render (though will add minorly to filesize), and faces touching the void will be removed. However a common practice is to build out of dev textures, and after you are done retexturing with what you want, you can mass-replace all remaining (and thus not seen) devs with nodraw.
     
  10. KnowHope

    KnowHope L1: Registered

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    Ok, cool. Thanks.

    Oh, by the way, I'm using your Mapping Resource Pack (good stuff :D) and I have a quick question about the setup gate prefabs: do those grey blocks at the top and bottom fit into the wall and floor?
     
  11. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    yes
     
  12. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    I just extracted the material files and modified them. I was going to submit my version to TF2Mods just now, but I discovered that there's no suitable category for them. Does anyone know who runs that site?
     
  13. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    We do. Or at least it was pepper/nine who started it, not sure if someone else takes care of the day-to-day now. But the About page says it is still hosted on our servers.
     
  14. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    Well I mean who I should contact to request a new category for uploads.