Stairs generating application — any interest?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Zhan, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. Zhan

    Zhan L5: Dapper Member

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    I had an idea for an interesting programming project that might possibly be useful to mappers here, tell me if you have any suggestions or interest in the project.

    When I was turning all of the dev-textured ramps into textured stairs in my 72 hour contest map, I ended up constructing similar but differently proportioned staircases in many areas of the map, and was wondering if there would be a convenient way to streamline or automate the process of making stairs. A "stair library", something like Boojum's prop library or Ace's environment gallery, was my first idea, but I don't think this would give you enough options and flexibility when if you needed stairs of a certain construction or unorthodox height, etc.

    A better idea would be to have a GUI application, either a Windows desktop application or a website, with which you could set certain parameters for a staircase, such as dimensions, type of stair construction, and texturing, and then generate a VMF containing a staircase according to the parameters.

    Perhaps the UI might look something like this: (excuse my crappy handwriting)

    [​IMG]

    Would anybody be interested in a program or website that does this? Would you find it useful/use it for detailing your own maps if the program worked well? What would be some features you would want to have?
     
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    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  2. Ravidge

    aa Ravidge Grand Vizier

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    I think you're going to overcomplicate something that is very simple already.

    Making a staircase is a matter of shift dragging one/multiple steps. Changing the length/height of the stairs (if you've moved or copied them to another area) is just more shift drag and maybe some vertex edit.
     
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  3. Zhan

    Zhan L5: Dapper Member

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    yyler said something very similar in chat, and your point and his make a lot of sense to me in that the program probably isn't necessary. Probably, the whole process of generating a new vmf to copy/paste out of is not streamlined enough to make it much faster in most cases. Thanks for your input!
     
  4. Leminnes

    aa Leminnes

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    Whether or not it's necessary, I'd use it. :p
     
  5. TMP

    aa TMP Abuser of Site Rules

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    I doubt it, I don't really need a program to do something that paste special can do for me already.
     
  6. Omnomnick

    Omnomnick L6: Sharp Member

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    It's a good concept, I'd probably use it, even if it isn't necessary.
     
  7. Leminnes

    aa Leminnes

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    I mean, I spend a fair amount of the making nice looking stairs. I can't give you a set time, but it's like, I dunno, 2-3 minutes (and it is really a pain to make the siding sometimes.) If this program could do it faster than that, I'd use it. Would it even be that hard to make? If not, make it. Who cares if it's not necessary?
     
  8. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    You should make it open the VMF you're working on, find a template brush (simple 6 sided brush) with a texture no one ever-ever uses, and then resave the same VMF so you cut out all of the opening the new vmf and simply close/reopen the one you're working on.

    Also, use pictures to illustrate the different styles rather than just words.

    I'd use this if it did a nice job, I was actually working on something similar before I came home, a random building generator. Though I hit snags cause C++ is a terribad language.
     
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  9. Xi.Cynx

    aa Xi.Cynx Former Alias: †Blade†

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    I would definitely use this, cause there is always the possibility to "expand" the making of stairs as well, possibly helping people make curved stairs or even other types of objects as well that the sdk cannot do. You could expect a downloads from me sir if this was made.
     
  10. MangyCarface

    aa MangyCarface Mapper

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    the worst part of making stairs is randomizing their top and sides so that they don't line up or repet oddly
     
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  11. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    I assume "trim" refers to rails on the sides? Sounds useful to me! Be sure to also have it auto-generate the playerclipping, at least. Pity there's no way to integrate something like this right into Hammer. BRB, adding "add-on capability" to my wishlist for Hammer features.

    Some of the official maps just repeat the same four alignments for the fronts, I think, and I never noticed it until I deliberately looked to get an idea of how random they were.
     
  12. Zhan

    Zhan L5: Dapper Member

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    Okay, then, sounds like there's enough interest that I'll give it a shot. Who knows, it may still be useful to mappers who are already very quick with making stairs.

    YM that's a fantastic idea, I think I'll try implementing that.
     
  13. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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  14. Leminnes

    aa Leminnes

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    Use the one Booj uses for the floors on his Model Library. Don't THINK anyone uses that.
     
  15. Zhan

    Zhan L5: Dapper Member

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    Does anyone actually ever use the signs/stairs_red texture? It looks pretty ugly and I don't think I've ever seen it in a map before.

    For the templating thing, though, you'd have to have some way of specifying which side faces forward or backward or something, so it'd probably be texture a rectangular brush in skip except for one face which is a texture no one ever uses.
     
  16. Xi.Cynx

    aa Xi.Cynx Former Alias: †Blade†

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    I've never used that texture before, honestly didn't even know it existed. Lol
     
  17. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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  18. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    cp_2skyscraper uses those signs, but I've never seen it anywhere else. Plus it's, what, an overlay? Any overlay texture should work since they're all invalid textures for brushes I think.
     
  19. Xi.Cynx

    aa Xi.Cynx Former Alias: †Blade†

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    Either that or he could install a skin with the program that he has made up so that way for sure he knows no one else would have used it. :) Can't be that hard when the program is first ran it looks for that materials directory and places an archived texture in there for itself to use. But then again I am no programmer so to me that actually seems quite hard. Lol
     
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  20. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    If you can't find some obscure hl2 texture no one would ever use, just make it an extra input. "My template uses:" -textbox- "material"
     
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