Hey just introducing myself and my WIP

Discussion in 'WIP (Work in Progress)' started by RogueNZ, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. RogueNZ

    RogueNZ L1: Registered

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    Hey all my name is Brendan, i am 17 and live in New Zealand and have been having a great time playing team fortress the last few months. It is a great game but i feel lacks any decent maps, especially CTF ones. So i decided to make one myself, that me and my friends could play at lans and stuff or maybe get it on some custom map servers around the place if it turns out good enough.

    I had a pretty clear idea of what i wanted right from the beginning, an tropical island with a great big volcano stuck in the middle. I started with a few sketches and developed my ideas more before i got started. I began experimenting with sizes for the volcano and the thickness of the walls. It was hard as a i had to balance many factors such as the range of sentry guns, but also i wanted half of each teams base to stick out from the face of the volcano, but not to be too large that it looked unrealistic(you probably want catch my drift...). Hammer wasn't too hard to pick up the basics, but now do have a few questions ill ask after i show some screenshots:

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    I have fixed that error with the black strip on the wall, but i wonder why there is light seeping under the bridge onto the rock. I am pretty stoked with the way the sand turned out. The lighting is incredibly bright at the moment and i am not sure whether that is to do with a high light_env value or a leak. Now when i compile i get errors for leaks. I load the pointfile as thats what it said to do somewhere i was reading, and follow the line. It leads from the Info_player_teamspawn entity, flows around the side of the volcano for a bit and then shoots upwards out of the skybox. Any help there? Also, what i don't understand, is that a leak is caused by entities being exposed to the outside of the map right? So why cant we all just fix leaks by drawing a giant cube around the map, or come to think of it shouldn't the skybox stop any exposure? That may have been possible the most noob thing ever said but oh i cant figure it out myself.

    Also reflections, for example, when i am a sniper, my knife-weapon thingy and the scope on my rifle are purple. I take it this is a very simple fix?

    So what do you think of my map? Any other ideas? I am going to put a path that spirals around the side of the volcano right to the top, as an altenative route to the opposition base, and also have random openings through the volcano wall for people to shoot or drop through. Thanks for listening and and feedback will be very appreciated.
     
  2. MangyCarface

    aa MangyCarface Mapper

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    Rogue,

    Welcome to the forums.

    Your idea about surrounding the map with a skybox cube is not unheard of, it's just a very poor idea for performance. Try not to get into this habit.

    Speaking of performance, be careful adding a lot of spirals/rounded objects to your map. This severely impacts compile time and performance without the use of func_details. We have several good tutorials on this entity.

    The reflections you are having trouble with is due to cubemaps not being built in your map. These are entities named env_cubemap which you insert into your map at eye level in each new area or room. Once your map is compiled, you will have to type the following into console:

    sv_cheats 1
    mat_specular 0
    buildcubemaps
    (wait as they're built onscreen)
    disconnect
    Create server with your map again
    sv_cheats 1
    mat_reloadallmaterials

    Then your reflections will be proper.

    Your map looks good so far, keep up the work. Also, my current map happens to be set inside a volcano as well :p If you'd like to get smoke issuing out of it be sure to use env_smokestack, it looks perfect. My map's in my signature, if you like the lava effect I employed I'd be happy to show you what I did.

    As for your leak itself... very strange... Try using the cordon tool to narrow it down as the pointfile doesn't sound very helpful.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2008
  3. RogueNZ

    RogueNZ L1: Registered

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    Hey thanks for the reply. Your map looks great, ive gotten some great ideas from it already. Im not sure about having smoke billowing from the top, i think ill just have a slight steam or something rising off the surface of the lava. Thanks for the tip on reflections too, it would have taken me forever to work that out.

    I realised why it was leaking and fixed it - compile times rose from bout 5 mins to around an hour haha. I am now getting this annoying problem now though with vvis, in that it gets stuck for a few hours just before it finishes and im not sure if it is actually doing anything or not. I assume it is, but for the time being i've turned it off until i finish. My fps aren't too bad yet, but then again i havn't added any props or lights etc. Ive had numerous other problems, most of which i have over come i think but i still don't know what was causing them, but it seems stable now.

    updated pics:

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    Ive finished the bulk of the structural work now, ive just gotta do the pretty decorating + spawn rooms + the water + the skybox, which i'm dreading (water all the way to the horizon, i predict, will cause one hell of a headache). I havnt got a clue what the map will play like, its really way too small inside the buildings.

    Thanks again for looking, please share your thoughts as the feedback is very appreciated.
     
  4. R3dRuM

    R3dRuM L6: Sharp Member

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    Looking good, good design, i suggest you fix the HDR values, they look too unrealistic. And make them stairs look better, i know its only the beginning, but keep it up :D
     
  5. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    env_tonemap controller combined with a logic_auto setting the min exposure, max exposure and the bloomscale
    that would be: add supports and vary those goddamn textures!!! :p
     
  6. RogueNZ

    RogueNZ L1: Registered

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    Thanks for the tips, and yea still early days. Ive spiced the intel rooms up a little bit. Making this map has convinced me i shouldn't be an architect when i leave school, i just cant think of many good ways to detail these damn rooms. I am pounding my brain for answers on these ugly stairs too. New pics (sorry for wasting your bandwidth haha):

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    Last edited: Mar 22, 2008
  7. MangyCarface

    aa MangyCarface Mapper

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    I like the direction, but try splitting that meeting room into three separate areas. A meeting room with a vista like that looks great but it wouldn't simply have stairs leading into it. Make entrance rooms before the meeting area and this will split the room up for detail already. Also, I can almost guarantee that your horrible compiler times are caused by the mountain's shape. There's very little you can do to solve it... I did some cheats to help mine but in your case I don't think they'll work. Don't mean to be depressing mate, but that's probably the source of the compile time. Great progress since last screenshots, keep up teh good work! Also, for detail inspiration, check out the movie The Incredibles. The mountain base of Syndrome has a great tf2 look to it and good ideas for detailing areas.
     
  8. RogueNZ

    RogueNZ L1: Registered

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    Yea i think it might be. Ill try deleting it and compile to see if it is. If it is i don't think it is a big problem, as i dont plan on doing a full compile until ive completely finished. I think useing a giant spike, combined with my overactive use of the carve tool, was not a good idea.

    Im not sure about dividing the room up, theres not a lot of space in there in the first place. But i am getting some good ideas from playing as many custom maps aswell as valves maps. About your map too, i think its great, it has so much detail, but a little too bright as others have mentioned. How did you achieve that lava effect by the way? Does the lava have its own light?

    Ill check out the Incredibles too ;)
     
  9. Narkissus

    Narkissus L5: Dapper Member

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    The incredibles is such an awesome movie. It really does fit the TF2 feel very well.
     
  10. R3dRuM

    R3dRuM L6: Sharp Member

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    Make them like the outside stairs, but make them metal and and use a good looking trim texture for the vertical texture and metal \|/|\|/ flooring
     
  11. RogueNZ

    RogueNZ L1: Registered

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    OK i'm still going well, i've got the skybox and lighting sorted and its not too bright anymore, also i have water all the way to the horizon and with hardly and performance drop! Can anyone recommend a good water texture that i should use, im using the 2fort skybox texture which is all brown but i want blue.

    The main problem i think with how i've laid this out is that the intelligence room opens right onto the beach. This means that the opposing team can grab the intel and run i direct route back to there base around the beach, which is far too easy. I need help developing a solution to this. My ideas so far include:

    Making one-way doors that open only from the outside, or lock shut when the team picks up the intelligence. This will force the enemy to take an alternative route back up through the base and through the volcano, of which there is only one route which travels directly through the middle of the two spawn points.( i might carve a tunnel from the middle level room that opens out somewhere inside the volcano to give more options),

    Or i could move the spawn points onto the beach, which might make it harder for them to take the beach route,

    Or i could build barriers out of rocks sitting halfway around the island that will block all access except for say demomen and soldiers,

    Ill probably work through this myself but if you've got any suggestions please share them.

    I will hopefully finish off a few little details and hopefully post an early play testing version here in a week or two so you guys can have a look at what its like in-game. Thanks and i appreciate your help.
     
  12. MangyCarface

    aa MangyCarface Mapper

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    Thanks for the compliments, I solved that too bright issue.

    Well's water texture is the best for oceanic water as far as Valve textures go.

    Your one-way door suggestion sounds like the best solution.

    To make lava I texture a brush with a red texture and tie it to entity func_brush. Then I set its render mode to world space glow and its render color to a red. Finally I put orangish red lights above its surface evenly spaced. If you want to you can duplicate the lights and then set them to pulse in their render fx, however this greatly increases the load on the client.
     
  13. RogueNZ

    RogueNZ L1: Registered

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    Thanks i'm trying that out now, but i also want the lava to kill the player when the fall in it, any suggestions there?
     
  14. MangyCarface

    aa MangyCarface Mapper

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    Brush covered with trigger texture, tie to entity trigger_hurt
     
  15. RogueNZ

    RogueNZ L1: Registered

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    K ive got it to a stage were me and my friends can test it, but the damn map file is 45mb big which is bloody ridiculous. If anyone still wants to test it ill post the link, but bear in mind it is a very early version(I havn't even put doors in the respawn rooms) and it doesn't look that pretty yet either.
     
  16. MangyCarface

    aa MangyCarface Mapper

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    Your large filesize could be due to a couple of things:

    A. Too many cubemap entities
    B. Too many visleaves

    Reduce your visleaves by turning all brushes that don't block visibility into func_details.