How do you use dev textures well?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by zahndah, Sep 13, 2015.

  1. zahndah

    aa zahndah professional letter

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    Hello, I'm Zahndah. You may remember me from such maps as:
    THE ORANGE, IT BURNS MY EYES!
    and,
    wow, this should probably be dev textured.

    I have no idea how to use dev textures without the map looking Very ugly. Can anyone lead me to a good tutorial or give me some pointers on how to use them well?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Bull

    Bull L4: Comfortable Member

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    Hmm well define very ugly first. Because everyone uses dev textures and I think they all kind of look the same, it's more the brushwork that makes it work / not work.

    I mostly use grey dev textures for floors and the orange larger ones for the walls. I'm talking about these:

    [​IMG]

    However, I think all maps look kind of ugly with the dev textures; once you get the gameplay down I'd switch over to the real textures ASAP!
     
  3. Berry

    aa Berry Sharing is caring, and I don't care

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    Personally, I think the best way to do it is to keep it clean and easy on the eyes. Make sure everything is aligned nicely so it looks neat, and stick to the grey reflectivity devs (I like to use 40%, but everyone has their preferences). Don't be afraid to use some actual textures, such as metal roofs and dirt on the ground (which I think adds a LOT of visual appeal to a map) and if you're struggling for showing what area is for what team then some wall trims in team devs look nice too.
     
  4. UKCS-Alias

    aa UKCS-Alias Mann vs Machine... or... Mapper vs Meta?

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    Initialy i went for orange aswel, but it hurts many peoples eyes. And thats why i changed it to the following:
    For walls i use reflectivity 40. For floors i use the normal grey texture similar to that screenshot above. for ceilings i take the ligher grey variant. It can give a very dull color scheme but it hurts eyes less than the orange ones.
    What i have seen someone else do before is to ues the floor texture as team indication aswel. so inside the red base he uses the red texture as floor. And that looks neat for a dev map.
     
  5. Muddy

    Server Staff Muddy Muddy

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    I only use orange textures to mark areas of interest (e.g. the capture point in sd_tricia). Everything else is either the reflectivity textures or the dark grey dev texture.
     
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  6. saph

    aa saph crossword blues

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    I like to keep it simple, but clear. I align all my textures (otherwise I'll go nuts). The grey reflective textures are good for an area where either side can capture/hold that area. I usually make the walls light than the floors. I like to use the red and blue textures to keep it clear to which side is which. If you do displacements, maybe add a blend texture (make sure your align doesn't mess it up). I like having contrast and clarity when in Alpha, it helps nail down the gameplay.

    40% is great, but for floors I usually use a grid or 20%.

    Edit: Look at Hedgerow's (by bisquit) dev textures. Both sides are clearly marked and everything contrasts with another part.
     
  7. Hyperion

    aa Hyperion L16: Grid Member

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    I'm using dark gray for everything, then I use big square red and blue for mainly their buildings and then orange for mid buildings, like this [​IMG](lazy screenshot)
     
  8. hutty

    aa hutty

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    I don't normally use dev textures, but when I do, I use reflectivity 60.
     
  9. worMatty

    aa worMatty Repacking Evangelist

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    Here are my observations about dev textures:

    Bad stuff
    • Orange can be ugly when used a lot. Saving it for objective stuff is a good idea, as Mudpie said.
    • Walls composed entirely of red and blue dev textures can make it hard to see those colour player models, sometimes. You should avoid using them excessively as backdrop in play spaces.
    • Making sure Texture Locking :texlock: is disabled when you block out your map or create a new brush can be beneficial in the long run. Texture locking locks the alignment and orientation of textures on your faces along with your brushes as you move them, so you end up with textures that are misaligned with those on neighbouring brushwork. If you disable it, then the textures will always stay aligned with the world regardless of how you move your brush. This is good because you can use the 'Wall 128x128' dev textures to judge height and distance when you play test the map if they are all aligned with each other, and it makes it much easier to texture the map during beta if you work to a major grid size of 128 or 64.
    • When the higher density grid-type dev textures are used on large surfaces like walls and floors instead of the Wall 128 type they can be visually noisy and therefore confusing. Their high density is best used on small things, such as door frames, cover objects or platforms where you want to draw the player's eye to help guide them to the objective, giving them confirmation they are going the right way.
    • Compiling in HDR during alpha when your map is composed mostly of dev textures can cause patches of uncomfortable bright light and bloom, because of the rough temporary lighting you employ. Rather than spend time working on a tonemap controller, it's more efficient to just compile alpha in LDR, and it provides a smaller map file size.
    Good stuff
    • By all means use 'normal' textures occasionally to give a sense of theme and context in some areas where you feel the player needs it to understand something. Keep it simple, as the object is to do as little texturing and detailing work as possible in this stage.
    • Team-coloured dev textures can be used for accenting to aid player orientation in the world. This could take the form of colouring only certain building faces, or colouring inaccessible background brushes, or trim, or brushes surrounding/leading to objectives.
    • The reflectivity textures aren't anything special, they are just different shades of grey. Lighter materials reflect/bounce more light on to neighbouring brushes whereas dark materials bounce less light, just like in real life. When you block your map out during alpha you need to make sure that areas are well-lit, so players can't hide in darkness and their team colour can be easily recognised. Sticking with something like 40% or 50% gives you the flexibility to go up or down if you need to and also provides a good balance of light bouncing when you set up your light entities, that can carry you through beta without having to alter much lighting, before you perform your 'light pass' later on to make it all pretty.
    Note that dev textures aren't pretty but the point of testing a map is to see how it plays, not to judge it on looks. If anyone says "Eurgh I don't like the textures," they are missing the point (unless you used orange everywhere and compiled in HDR without a tonemap controller, in which case they are justified). After a while a play tester shouldn't even mentally acknowledge dev textures.

    Also a note on dev textures and nodraw during alpha, from another thread:
    This new forum software is cooooool.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
  10. KubeKing

    Server Staff KubeKing dan's birthday was fun

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    I would say that adding some 'normal' textures to your first alpha shouldn't do any harm. I, personally, am an over-texturer, but I think adding just a pinch of atmosphere to your map early on can help when doing your first texture pass. Just keep the geometry simple.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
  11. MegapiemanPHD

    aa MegapiemanPHD Doctorate in Deliciousness

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    What I tend to do is use different dev textures for different surfaces. Lightest for ceiling, darker for floor, darker for walls, and darkest for supports/details. using the same texture for everything can make things blend together. When it comes to team colors, you can use them for the walls in team areas. You usually want to avoid Orange dev textures as it can bother people's eyes.
     
  12. Idolon

    aa Idolon the worst admin

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    I disagree. Visual issues in an alpha are always going to be distracting, because they just get in the way of the ideas you want to get across. While a player really shouldn't be leaving feedback on detailing in an alpha, they shouldn't feel the need to either.
     
  13. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    My main suggestion is to not use orange and not use anything too bright. I use 30 for walls and 10 for floors usually. And red and blue obviously for team areas. Please just don't use orange textures, and that goes for anyone. They're just completely hideous.
     
  14. RaVaGe

    aa RaVaGe

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Orange textures are cool when you know how to use them :D
     
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  15. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    Yeah true. Now release a new map, Ravage. Thanks.
     
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  16. saph

    aa saph crossword blues

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    Dev textures really come down to a preference. Clarity and contrast are key, but don't worry too much about them. Don't overuse bright colors like orange. They're moreso placeholders for early map playtesting.
     
  17. Sergis

    aa Sergis L666: ])oo]v[

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    funny how supposedly development textures are effectively their own theme
     
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