Dev textures and why you should NOT use them.

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by The Political Gamer, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. The Political Gamer

    aa The Political Gamer

    Messages:
    4,468
    Positive Ratings:
    1,704
    The dev texture, a simple texture that can be used on any structure. This tool is used by many mappers as way to show that it will be textured later. However, this may come as a shock to some. dev textures are a waste of time and can bring a map down from its full potential! I know this may sound crazy to some but its true!

    For all of my maps up to my secret CTF map I am working on I have used dev textures. Then Acegikmo suggested that I try not using them and only work in normal textures. To my surprise it was not all that hard and best off all the map looked a lot more like a beta or even RC without much effort. In the long run this will speed up the mapping processes and eliminate the step of switching from dev to normal later in the maps development. This also has another benefit.

    With normal textures the map looks closer to completion and communities are more likely to try it out. If you want more proof that this works open up any valve map or watch the dev videos and you will clearly see that even thought valve uses them they use them sparingly and are quick to get rid of them.

    With all that being said the point I am trying to get across its that dev textures are useless and a waste of time that holds back maps. Now if you want to keep using the bye all means do so I won't stop you. But I do ask for you to try it at least once and you too may see that the pros far outweigh the cons when it comes to dev vs. normal textures.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
  2. Icarus

    aa Icarus

    Messages:
    2,246
    Positive Ratings:
    1,182
    Everyone has their own mapping styles. No one method is universally better for everyone. Some might work better with this, some won't.

    IIRC, the TF2 team's two mappers styles differ. One works with mostly dev textures, the other mostly detail textures.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
  3. ANova

    ANova L7: Fancy Member

    Messages:
    415
    Positive Ratings:
    132
    Agreed with Icarus
     
  4. Lord Ned

    Lord Ned L7: Fancy Member

    Messages:
    421
    Positive Ratings:
    174
    When you use normal textures your 'gameplay' feedback usually becomes 'this texture is unaligned'.

    No thanks.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  5. The Political Gamer

    aa The Political Gamer

    Messages:
    4,468
    Positive Ratings:
    1,704
    alt+rightclick ;) works like a charm
     
  6. Lord Ned

    Lord Ned L7: Fancy Member

    Messages:
    421
    Positive Ratings:
    174
    Have fun wasting your time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
  7. Sgt.Sausage

    Sgt.Sausage L7: Fancy Member

    Messages:
    420
    Positive Ratings:
    103
    I agree, though i am not a mapper (yet) so my opinion isnt based off experience, but if you are willing to in beta make layout changes and redo textures, (its alot of work and definitely easier with dev textures) why not. If you have the time i say go for it. Look at cashworks, in beta and rc eerorine made some big layout changes so he had to redo lots of textures as annoying as it may have been.

    I myself have a hard time giving an honest opinion of maps in alpha. I am to distracted by the textures it gives me a bad feeling of the map. For me the biggest example was vector. Oh god in the first few alphas i hated it, for no reason too. But once the textures, landmarks, and the layout of the map made sense with the detailing i enjoyed it 10 times more.

    It may be more work, (according to TPG not that much more) but i would give it a try.
     
  8. owly-oop

    aa owly-oop im birb

    Messages:
    817
    Positive Ratings:
    1,176
    Dev textures take up less memory (128v128 textures vs 1024x1024 with normal maps and maybe specs too), so it's quicker to compile, and quicker to make

    Detail textures are PURELY cosmetic, and as matt said people would comment on the visuals more rather than gameplay, which is the whole purpose of alpha maps
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
  9. TMP

    aa TMP Abuser of Site Rules

    Messages:
    948
    Positive Ratings:
    554
    But visuals are a piece of the gameplay, are they not?

    Can certain detailing nods adjust your attention towards certain areas? Can the colors add in a subtle hint of where you are, rather than a glaring "RED SIDE" "BLUE SIDE" "NO SIDE"?

    There are some things that details in alphas can do to lend to gameplay that most people never think of.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  10. Sgt.Sausage

    Sgt.Sausage L7: Fancy Member

    Messages:
    420
    Positive Ratings:
    103
    Well there is that, i say mappers to what you like and what you think works for you.

    @TPG you should t say DONT USE THEM THEY ARE A WASTE OF TIME.

    They might not be the best choice or as necessarily, but lots of people like them
     
  11. owly-oop

    aa owly-oop im birb

    Messages:
    817
    Positive Ratings:
    1,176
    It should be up to the beta to use visuals to tell what territory someone is in.

    Which is why there are red and blue dev textures :)
     
  12. The Political Gamer

    aa The Political Gamer

    Messages:
    4,468
    Positive Ratings:
    1,704
    Not necessarily, RED and BLU has a high contrast and if you can pull it off it will not be hard to see what is RED and what is BLU.

    And if anyone is thinking I am being a bit harsh I never said you had to but just to try it out and see if you like it or not.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  13. Ravidge

    aa Ravidge Grand Vizier

    Messages:
    1,544
    Positive Ratings:
    2,518
    I use dev textures because I don't want to spend time texturing something that I might end up deleting. Simple as that.
    'Texturing' is such a simple word, the work it involves is not always that simple. cutting up brushes to remove seams or fitting the top part of a brick wall texture with the bottom one... it's a lot of work that doesn't need to be done just yet.

    I also quite like the looks of the reflective dev textures :)

    For Enigma I don't even have a theme yet, so there is one more reason to dev it out. actually, in this case devs are the only thing keeping the map moving forward instead of being stuck in idea phase. So it's the opposite of holding it back ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
  14. TMP

    aa TMP Abuser of Site Rules

    Messages:
    948
    Positive Ratings:
    554
    Well using visuals to tell someone what territory they are in is VITAL to gameplay! They end up getting comprehension and the balance ends up being right, telling what needs to be done with the gameplay, whereas if everything is extreme (Those RED and BLU textures are incredibly extreme and only say "HEY THIS IS BLUE AREA" and not necessarily "This is Blu's Second Point, outside going towards a neutral area") it ends up being harder for people to generally comprehend areas and thus have the error of saying "MAP IS TOO COMPLICATED" and other stuff.

    EDIT: FYI I'm just taking a side of the argument for argumentative sake. I personally use a mix.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  15. lana

    aa lana Currently On: ?????

    Messages:
    3,077
    Positive Ratings:
    1,389
    Saying "HEY THIS IS THE BLUE AREA" isn't much worse than "HEY THIS SHED IS BLUE"
     
  16. Dr. Spud

    aa Dr. Spud Grossly Incandescent

    Messages:
    879
    Positive Ratings:
    830
    I like that dev textures shout "this isn't detailed yet," as opposed to normal textures on flat buildings that people might mistake for bad detailing.

    The only real problem is that when building a map in dev textures, it can be hard to get a point of reference to scale things properly. But it's not that big a deal.
     
  17. SPHinx

    SPHinx L2: Junior Member

    Messages:
    81
    Positive Ratings:
    24
    For what it's worth, I try to only use dev textures in the very beginning of planning out a map---just placing the initial walls or structures. If I build up too much geometry with them, I find that I get bored with my own creation and then bogged down in the thought of having to go back and texture everything.

    So I agree with TPG about not using them (much), if for the slightly different reason that I find it a more enjoyable experience to map when the world I'm building begins to look like the TF2 world and not the abstract in-development world.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  18. lana

    aa lana Currently On: ?????

    Messages:
    3,077
    Positive Ratings:
    1,389
    How can it be difficult to tell the scale when the walls all scream 128 at you?
     
  19. Dr. Spud

    aa Dr. Spud Grossly Incandescent

    Messages:
    879
    Positive Ratings:
    830
    A number is less useful to me than the way a textured object looks. I mean, I don't care how many units something is if it just doesn't feel right.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  20. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

    Messages:
    5,436
    Positive Ratings:
    3,768
    the difference in the amount of effert is a little more than negligible. Using dev is a way to chuck out a layout and get it tested ASAP. Even if it is by a day or two.

    I found myself cubemapping my entire map ready for the next alpha, when i could have just put 1 in. The only reason it got so far along in development was because of the contest hogging the gamedays, i could have had another alpha out by now otherwise. But the point is, it all adds up.

    dev textures are A1, does the layout work? Yes, texture, no, rework it. Even flicking through searching for wood and nature and metal textures takes time that could have seen your map tested and had you improving on your maps gameplay issues.

    I say this from experience, my first 2 maps were well textured without DEV from the start, and i wasted a lot of time searching for appropriate textures and alligning them that could have seen me resolving issues that came further down the road for me.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009