2CP A/D map in the snowy night-time theme
I can only barely tell in the last shot. Map is lookin good though, fellas. Hope to play it soon!
The biggest change is high up, near the rooftops. I worked hard to keep them gloomy, I had these mental images of a dark skyline along the skybox, and obviously turning up the world lighting is going to reduce that effect.
I'm undecided if it's better or not. It also tends to wash out the lamps.
Mapping is so much easier when it's not making fiddly little tweaks.
I hear you. After all the little clipping tweaks we found with the recent test, I'm desperately trying to optimize that side pit further. A very large amount of it renders from the CP A cap area, all the way to the Blu spawn courtyard, trying to reduce as much as I can. I threw an Occluder over there as a test and it seems to be helping a fair bit, but not nearly enough.
If you're trying to fix point A framerate, perhaps we should delete MORE PROPS. :O
I think we're pretty balanced in other parts of the map, but A still seems to have a mountain of barrels floating around. On one hand, some Valve maps also suffer from barrel spam (hello gorge) so it's not a criminal offense, but on the other, eliminating them is a cheap way to save framerate.
Was the table saw in this cubby removed for a reason, or did someone fatfinger it?
I kind of liked it there, but won't put it back if someone was trying to eliminate prop spam. Now, that cubby seems too empty. Maybe we should wall that whole nook off?
That was me. Trying to save same frames for people. We can add it back though; it does look empty in there now that you bring it up.
I spent a couple hours last night experimenting with the lighting, trying to use it to aim players at the map objectives. One item of particular concern to me is that very few players use the right path to get from A to B. This hall seems like it should be the "main route" but from what I've seen, players almost always opt for the narrower hallways to the left.
But I'm not sure if I'm helping or hurting that cause.
Obviously the effort is pretty rough. I was going more for getting light (and light cones) in certain spots than getting it smoothly lit. But I can't decide if it's actually helping anything.
(you might also notice I moved some overlays around, trying to help with player direction)
I also tossed in a spotlight behind point A, trying to draw attention to the stairs back there.
I like what you did for the second image, with the stairs.
For the first shot, you have the overlay, and the light. While the lighting is pretty good, it feels kind of forced. And you have the overlay, which is above the plan of view of the player, And is "in the dark". That type of split (a T split) is kinda of tough to use just lighting to direct players.
What I would suggest is try to use light and overlays in conjunction. Have the overlay with the both way arrows (the one that points both left and right) and use the lighting to highlight THAT rather than just the path. That would be easier to make things more "natural" looking too.
Backing Fr0Z3n with this. Use the bothway arrow overlay and put it somewhere where players are looking. For example between those stairs or on the bottom of that window maybe on some woodplank so it would look left there. Or even put two arrows on top of both lights on the wall.
At the moment the spotlight is on top of left doorway and lighting the left doorway but it's pointing towards right. It should light more the right route if you are still going to use this spotlight like this. And like Fr0Z3n said, highlight the arrows.
Yeah I wasn't sure about that. In the current released beta, the arrow overlays are below the window.. which makes sense for most cases, but you can't see those overlays when the player is at the base of the stairs. The theory being, players will have already chosen their route by the time they climb the stars, making the lower overlays ineffective.
Shifting the overlays to the wall between the stairs, behind the yellow poles, is an interesting option. I think I'll run it past the other guys and give it a try.
And shuffle the lamps around a bit.
I like the spot pointing at the B gate in the last screenshot a lot.
I do feel the signage and lighting does look a bit forced, and I am pretty partial to the signs like we had them below the window, but that's not to say signs in front of the step would work in addition to the below the window ones.
The ones below the window could be the ones we had before, looking "official" and placed by red, whereas the signs on the steps behind the yellow poles could be the more tossed-up looking sign.
I see what you mean about players mostly going to the left, from A to B. I'm going to re-watch the latest demo to see what players do when they reach this area.
I have a few theories on why players go to the left more often, but I'm thinking of the main reasons is the the small health and ammo packs placed on the left path. This could be leading players that way. We could re-examine the placement of these packs.
Left is also safer, and provides long range classes a great view of point B. I don't have a problem with people ignoring the right path, the "main" path in Dustbowl 2 often gets ignored too and no one ever minds that, but it might be useful to make its availability more obvious.. it's probably the best route for an uber.
So I was dorking around with optimization last night and came across something that may be a non issue, but wanted to chat about anyways. I've noticed a problem that I've tried to illustrate with a handy image (that I've repurposed from earlier):
Basically, if a player stands at the green spot (and not just the green spot, it happens in other areas too, this is just the area I was focusing on), the area at the yellow zig-zag gets rendered. If it was just a few props it wouldn't be a big deal, but the rendered area goes all the way back to the skybox and this results in a lot of extra drawing the game has to do.
I marked the vis-blocking walls with the green lines.
I spent a while experimenting with hints and stuff and have been unable to completely fix it. I have been able to reduce the amount that gets drawn, but not completely eliminate it.. some of the background scenery still gets rendered. Part of the issue, I think, is that the buildings don't cover the full vertical distance of the map.. there's "air" over the roof that allows the engine to add the background areas to the PVS.
I'm just not sure what to do about it, or if we should even bother. On my system we're looking at a ~5 fps increase by eliminating that background stuff.. at what point does 5 fps become worth redesigning a building?
On the other hand, people keep complaining about framerate near point A, so maybe it is worth it? Heck if I know, which is why I post.
I think a lot of little things are going to help over there.
I'm not sure if you noticed the occluder I threw in along the edge of the pit, it was the best way I figured out from testing to eliminate some of the props in the pit when you aren't close enough to see them anyway.
Might be worth looking into trying something like that for that angle as well.
So funny, I was thinking of this exact issue today. Funny you brought it up. You basically did what I was planning to do.
I found a workaround using sky brushes, but I'm not sure how kosher a solution it is.
Creates some holes from certain perspectives, but from what I can find, it's only from angles beyond player clips.
Viaduct does that, in a way.
Actually, Viaduct's optimization is really interesting. It could help you.
I was mucking around with the skybox some more and noticed the brushes weren't aligned with major grid lines, and blindly started lining them back up.
Few minutes of that, I noticed I never seemed to run out of brushes that were misaligned. After about 30 minutes I realized the entire damn map is off by two units. hmy:
So either someone really hates grids, or the map got bumped at some point in the past.
I'm guessing it's not worth fixing, but it really sets off my OCD impulses. I'll give it another look tonight, maybe I can just select everything and adjust it back onto the grid.
But yeah, I think that happened when that whole side got rotated. It's not the whole map as far as I know, I think it's just part of it.
I could be wrong though. I didn't look into it that hard.
edit: that whole motherfuckin' map is off grid over 4 units.
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