Unsure how to finish my map

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Bevo, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. Bevo

    Bevo L1: Registered

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    Hey all,

    I've been building a jump map for the last 6 weeks or so with the help of one of my friends. I've finished all the geometry, texturing, and lighting.

    I'm not really sure I want to do very much detailing, as the game type really prioritizes functionality over aesthetics. I just have a simple theme with basics lights. The map already weighs in at 17mb and it's not very large to boot. I may be able to be convinced to detail it lightly, maybe this is where your opinions come in.

    Past detailing, what's left to do? I want to push this map into final soon, and would appreciate a little guidance so I don't accidentally release something unfinished.

    Thanks,

    Bevo
     
  2. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    That's tiny. No reason you should stop yourself. However, being a jump map I imagine there are lots of large surfaces? You would probably be able to significantly increase the size of the lightmaps and chop that way down, if you are wanting to keep it tiny. (then you can add more fancy stuff :p)
     
  3. Bevo

    Bevo L1: Registered

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    17mb is quite large in the realm of jump maps. I want to keep the number fairly small as it's a "new player" jump map and I don't want them to be put off by the download size. I may make the lightmaps bigger though, good idea.

    Do you think spending time detailing would be worth it in this case? Since the map is geared towards new players, it's very short when played through by experienced jumpers (~3 minutes tops). Also, aside from a few stacks of hay on the ground, I'm not quite sure what to detail with. My map is very.... blocky, because that tends to be how I think.

    Sidenote: Do you have any good ideas of teleport models? I use those cute little plastic frogs to take you "back", and a red soldier model to take you to the next section, but there's a few intermediary teleports that I need models for and I don't really know what to use. (The map is called jump_beef and is farm/wood themed)
     
  4. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    It would be nice to see a jump map that was well detailed, but that kinda misses the point of jump maps. Plus, anyone with the creativity and skill to produce an aesthetically pleasing map usually takes on a more serious project than a jump map. Also, you're dealing with a lot of large surface areas (tall and long walls) which may not match too well with the generally small props at hand, and layout designs. It's possible, but you'd have to scratch your head a little bit more than i imagine you feel like doing for this project. It all depends on what you're happy with really.

    Of course you'll have more options regarding (interesting) visual cue's for your players.

    When you're talking ~20mb, players probably wouldn't really be that bothered by it (as Booj said) considering a lot of well detailed maps stand between 70 and 100. If people sit through that for a map they are or are not certain of quality wise, then downloading a ~20mb jump map that they intend to use for a specific purpose isn't going to be too much of an issue, considering.

    So as long as your map is optimised with areaportals, and maybe hints, depending on your layout designs (jump maps lack significant detail and will obviously run a lot easier for some systems anyway) you should be fine. I mean we are talking about a map mode with low, if not none existant standards, here.

    If you're that interested in detailing you might consider moving up the level design ladder to producing a more significant map for the community. KoTH is a good place to start (no one plays arena).
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
  5. Bevo

    Bevo L1: Registered

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    It's not very optimized, I mean it's my first map, the first thing I've done in hammer. I have no idea what you mean by areaportals tbh. There are some linear sections where you can see a few jumps at once, but nothing major, because the amount of geometry is very small. I've had many people run through my map and I haven't heard a peep about how it runs.

    Each jump has a hint with a text output on how to complete the jump.

    My concern is reception - if my map gets some decent reception, I'd probably consider making another map, which was more difficult and probably prettier. If I get "ugly, boring" and bad reviews, well, there's little incentive to do it again.

    Are there any specific things I need to do before releasing it? I know I have to build cubemaps somehow. I've done some minor things like change the round timer and adding a spectator camera.
     
  6. TheTurnip

    TheTurnip L2: Junior Member

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    For an excellent guide to areaportals, see this page.

    That site appears (to my fairly n00b-ish eyes) to be a good resource for optimization in general.
     
  7. l3eeron

    l3eeron L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    THIS is how I learned to optimize. I've read all those pages about 100 times!


    edit: I forgot to reply to the original post.

    A map is finished when the author is happy. If you're trying to adhere to the "unwritten laws" of mapping, I would say the only thing it HAS to do is perform well (ie people get good FPS at all times). Which probably means you will need to learn to use areaportals. The problem is, if you didn't plan your layout to incluse the use of areaportals, you will most likely be redesigning the whole map, it snow-balls real fast!

    Other than that, I would say it's all preference as to how much detail etc...
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  8. Mr.Blob

    Mr.Blob L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    Maybe if you add some pictures we could help you out with some style based detailing. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  9. Bevo

    Bevo L1: Registered

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    Well, I think it runs just fine. It's very very basic. I think i'll just skip on the detailing since it's a basic map with a focus towards playability and not aesthetics.

    I'm having trouble building cubemaps, though. Every time I try to change the mat_hdr_level it will either tell me I'm not in a local game, or cannot save in a multiplayer game. SV_lan 1 and sv_cheats 1 don't help, either. I used -both and -final parameters in the light build in vrad.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Leminnes

    aa Leminnes

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    when I build cubemaps, I do it in a rather simple way, although it seems everyone else's is more complicated (I got mine from valve dev wiki):

    Code:
    mat_specular 0
    buildcubemaps
    mat_specular 1
    disconnect
    sv_cheats 1
    mat_reloadallmaterials
    sv_cheats 0
    I'm unsure if I'm doing something wrong, but it works just fine for me. I think it might be because I'm not building them for HDR, but I don't really see the point of doing that on maps in progress. As VDC says:

     
  11. Dark

    Dark L4: Comfortable Member

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    just in case no one has said anything yet be sure that stuff is func_d'd because of the nature of jump maps i am lead to belive it is just a skybox tube with a tport brush on the bottom, so almost everything should probably b func'd
     
  12. Bevo

    Bevo L1: Registered

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    Right... the problem is I want to build them for a release (as I'm forgoing details), and it seems I'm unable to change the HDR mode at all. Any ideas on how to fix that?
     
  13. Bevo

    Bevo L1: Registered

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    Why should I make everything a function? That would make stuff leak and be a terrible mess... is there something I'm missing? :huh:
     
  14. TMP

    aa TMP Abuser of Site Rules

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    Actually I don't think he's making any sense either. The fact is there's nothing that really is a detail thing, which means you shouldn't really func_detail it as probably everything blocks vis or cuts it up in a good way.

    Its very strange that sv_lan 1 is doing nothing for it. Perhaps you can send it to someone later and they can compile it for you? I can't, but I figure someone wouldn't mind.
     
  15. Bevo

    Bevo L1: Registered

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    Okay, I'll try that.

    The bugger weighs in at 33mb with the final and both parameters in the compiler. How would I go about increasing the size of the lightmaps on every face? Seems like a terribly long process if I were to do it manually, one by one..

    edit: I sent it to my friend so he could build the cubemaps, he followed one of those sequences and sent it back to me, but nothing seems to have changed. :|
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  16. absurdistof

    aa absurdistof

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  17. Bevo

    Bevo L1: Registered

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    The map is made with the intent of teaching new players how to rocket jump correctly, therefore it's completely necessary, "done a thousand times before" or not.

    Also cownaetion is the one who has been helping me map... he's gone strangely AWOL in the last week so I look towards you, tf2maps.net.
     
  18. Bevo

    Bevo L1: Registered

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    Bump? Still having issues building cubemaps. I won't be on my PC for at least another week but if anyone has advice I'd appreciate it.