Spiral Staircase needs serious help

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by medd, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. medd

    medd L2: Junior Member

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    Hey all.

    First problem: I'm attempting to build a spiral staircase. I searched the internet and all I found was a valve site that showed a method with the arch brush. So I followed the steps and poof!... I got my stairs. I was thinking of ways to enclose the stairs, and this was my idea. I took the arch brush, made the size 8 units bigger on the X and Y planes, and, using the exact same parameters (save the height add), I made an arch to surround the stairs.

    Here's a picture of the staircase, with the stairs selected:
    [​IMG]

    It almost works perfectly, but the enclosure doesn't quite match the stairs. The next two pictures are of the staircase with the enclosure selected, and a 2D top view of how the enclosure doesn't quite line up:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'm perfectly prepared to scrap the whole thing. I'm looking for suggestions, advice, whatever!

    Second problem: Above the stairs I'm trying to build a floor. My idea would probably work (although it was very tediously done) if the rest of the staircase had worked. For this, I'm just wondering if anyone has any better ideas, or whatever :D

    And the picture:

    [​IMG]

    Thanks in advance for any help!!
     
  2. ChronoTriggerFan

    ChronoTriggerFan L7: Fancy Member

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    Whenever using the arch or cylinder, you should move all the verts to the grid. This will not only solve your problem with the alignment, but will make it more compile friendly.
     
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  3. medd

    medd L2: Junior Member

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    The verts for each individual side (or step in this case)? I made the stairs 192x192 (X and Y), and after I hit enter, they weren't those coordinates anymore, so I dragged them to fit that size again. I did the same with the enclosure. The enclosure is sitting at 208x208 to allow for the extra 8 units on each side.

    Everything was done by the grid, it just got distorted after actually making the stairs. If that makes sense.

    EDIT: Alright. I just did some more experimenting with the spirals, and at least figured out my grid problem. My original staircase had 25 stairs, which I had done something because I had had no idea how it would look or how long I wanted it to be. Regardless, building arches with an odd number of sides = bad. Lesson learned.

    I will retry my enclosure idea with a new grid staircase, and see if that works. Other ideas for an enclosure are still welcome :)

    I'm also still curious if anyone has a solution or some other idea for building the floor at the top and around the stair case.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2009
  4. Apom

    Apom L6: Sharp Member

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    Instead of doing exact mathematics (I did that too when I started :p), be brutal. Keep the 192x192 and 208x208 figures, but make the enclosing cylinder 16 units thick, so that the stairs are actually embedded into it (thus fixing gap problems). Your size-not-fitting issue is probably because you miscalculated the inner radius (otherwise I'd say it's because you didn't do a full circle, but apparently you did).

    Also, you shouldn't use an universally gray grid. Mix it up with orange at least, your screenshots will be much more readable and it will help you too.

    Gameplay advice: spiral staircases don't fit TF2 very well. You should avoid them. Try to throw a couple of regular straight staircases here.

    On another note, Chrono is right about grid snapping, although it's not that important for brushes that won't block visibility (I'm assuming you func_detail the whole thing). Still useful to gain a bit of time on lighting computations (maybe BSP size too), but not as criticial as for the big square brushes that should define all areas.
     
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  5. medd

    medd L2: Junior Member

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    Thanks for the info. Is it not a problem when the enclosure and stair brushes are overlapping? If not, then is this just because they are func_detail? Or does it not matter for any brushes?

    Is there any particular reason for no spiral staircases? Do they cause problems, or do just not fit into the general scheme of TF2? (The area is going to be spytech themed, so I thought a spiral stair case would work. Also, it's essentially in a spawn area).
     
  6. Apom

    Apom L6: Sharp Member

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    Overlapping faces are a problem and should absoluely be avoided (they can cause visual glitches if the textures don't exactly match, and they will cost compile and/or rendering time).

    In this case, the stair brushes themselves should stop around the middle of the case, so no face overlapping issue. In the worst case, you will have a very small performance cost (read "unnoticeable") because you will draw faces a bit larger than you'd need to - but that's not even guaraneed, as VBSP could chop them anyways.


    It's not a visual theme issue, rather a gameplay issue. TF2 plays best in "predictable" environments (square corridors, no fancy prop climbing, etc.), and the combination of rotation + elevation change isn't good in that respect. Also, spiral staircases tend to provide excessive ascensional speed when used on the shortest edge.

    It may be less of a problem in a spawn room where you're guaranteed not to meet enemies, though.
     
  7. Vander

    Vander L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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  8. AntonJ3000

    AntonJ3000 I am inactive and make horrible maps

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    Awesome, I want my Forest Temple twisted corridor now, just wonder if it's walkable as the original.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2009