Sort of New guy. Sort of New Guy Questions.

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Stink Horse, May 14, 2010.

  1. Stink Horse

    Stink Horse L2: Junior Member

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    Hi there. This is the second time I've attempted getting my feet wet with map development and I was wondering about a couple of things before I threw myself back into it. Any answers to these questions would be super helpful!

    1. Hammer Alternatives - The Hammer editor has been around for over a decade now and it was showing it's age in terms of usability the last time I grappled with it. I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this one, but thought I'd ask anyway.

    2. Grid Frustration - I work very hard to build my levels as accurately to the grid as possible. I understand why this is important for both ease of level development, texturing, modularity, etc. So why is it that so many of the level model objects are just ever so slightly OFF the grid, or require such special handling to make them fit? I'm assuming I was doing something wrong, or at least I really hope I am.

    3. The Tyranny of Scale - How do you plot out your maps? I often find my attempts to make the world to a correct scale creates locations that are too tight and corridors that are too thin. However when I try and correct this I end up with locations that are simply too big. How is this avoided from the get go? Are there easy player model props to work with that allows for size checks before you go any further on construction?

    4. Sniper Wars - How much of a concern is this? I'm an old school TF player and I've always lamented the pointless duels snipers would lock themselves into. Is this only my concern? Should I work hard to prevent sniper decks from seeing one another or should I simply let the map evolve without trying to force the issue?

    Anyway thanks for any tips you might have for me.
    Back to doodling map layouts.
     
  2. Lancey

    aa Lancey Currently On: ?????

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    1 - Hammer is the best editor for Source. There's not much else to say about that.

    2 - It's very difficult to create models that are exactly on grid. It's not like you can implement hammer's grid into whatever software you're using.

    3 - I typically use other maps for reference. But don't ask me about this one, I copied Gorge and still ended up overscaled. It's also a good idea to use player models to compare what you can and can't see and how they fit into the area.

    4 - Sightlines are tough. You usually don't end up with sniper wars that often (unless it's something like 2fort where the battlements are right across from each other) so you don't often have to worry about that, but you should keep in mind that not all classes are effective from a mile away. Cover is recommended in large areas.
     
  3. Stink Horse

    Stink Horse L2: Junior Member

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    All of that was pretty much what I was expecting in the way of answers. Oh well.

    In regards to the multiplayer models for height checks, are they mixed in with all the standard mdl files, ie accessible in Hammer without any extra work or have people made stationary downloadable versions of the characters?
     
  4. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    Yes they are.

    About point 2... most of those little fiddley sizes don't need to be worried about. Something 1 unit bigger or offset or whatnot sorta goes with TF2's haphazardly built facade to hide the important stuff. About the only time I can think of I've really had to deal with it is the height of some of the doorframes required me to drop off grid to make the wall above. Everything else (including payload tracks not lining up) is acceptable to be crooked.
     
  5. Stink Horse

    Stink Horse L2: Junior Member

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    That makes sense now that I think about it.

    So new question:

    5. Work Flow - How do you guys start a map, Past the brain storming phase that is. What do you build first/second/third? When you you duplicate the map for the other team. How often do you dupe. Is there an easier way than a massive copy/paste/rotate? When should you start texturing?

    I have a tendency to leap right in and start throwing in mdls, is that good or bad? Also I just started reading this: Optimization Intro

    I'm worried about what else I might not know. Is there a comprehensive Starter tutorial/best practices guide out there or is it all piece-meal?
     
  6. Seba

    aa Seba DR. BIG FUCKER, PHD

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    There's no specific answer to your fifth question. I usually build whatever came into my mind first (like Advection's last point) and then build from that. Some people start with spawns, points, etc; it's all a matter of preference. As for texturing, that varies even more than building techniques. I prefer to keep textures and major detailing until beta, but some people just start out a1's with basic wood/metal/concrete/etc textures.

    P.S.
    I don't think there's anything better for creating the other half of the map than copypasta rotation.
     
  7. Grim Tuesday

    aa Grim Tuesday

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    The multiplayer models are availible as info_player_teamspawn. If you have ABS library installed, a model of the engineer will appear, and it is also used for spawning players in the actual game.
     
  8. Lancey

    aa Lancey Currently On: ?????

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    Though the info_player_teamspawn entities that ABS's pack includes are useful for scaling, it's better to use the actual player models. Comparing the sizes of battlements to a heavy doesn't make as much sense as, say, a sniper.
     
  9. Grim Tuesday

    aa Grim Tuesday

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    Although thats true, I use the engineer from ABS just to get a sense of scale, and put my camera at his eyes, and look around.
     
  10. Stink Horse

    Stink Horse L2: Junior Member

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    ABS installed and... HOLY MOTHER LOAD. Thanks guys! This is going to help a TON!
     
  11. Micnax

    aa Micnax I maek map

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    We should petition for it to be included with the SDK as default :rolleyes:
     
  12. Passerby

    Passerby L2: Junior Member

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    couldn't hurt and iv seen a few things that hit sdk or tf2 updates that originated here over the last few months.
     
  13. Geal

    Geal L4: Comfortable Member

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  14. Pooluke41

    Pooluke41 L5: Dapper Member

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    Sorted.
     
  15. Vincent

    aa Vincent 🔨 Grandmaster Lizard Wizard Jedi 🔨

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    Why petition?
    Just ask.
     
  16. Stink Horse

    Stink Horse L2: Junior Member

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    It does in fact seem like an excellent idea, either request or petition.
     
  17. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    I would be terribly disappointed in anyone who made a petition for such a thing. (I hate petitions, they are obnoxious)
     
  18. Boylee

    aa Boylee pew pew pew

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    How about if we just wrote Valve a nice email asking them if they'd kindly consider including it in their SDK? :mellow:
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2010