[WiP] cp_cathedrals

Discussion in 'WIP (Work in Progress)' started by Apom, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. Apom

    Apom L6: Sharp Member

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    Helllo veryone :)

    So, as the name of the map suggests it, this map includes cathedrals. Two of them, actually (one BLU and one RED), and because this is TF2, the cathedrals have been built in a desert filled with half-burrowed containers and water contaminated by toxic waste.

    The map, which is my first serious attempt at mapping, is a granary-style CP (no setup time though), five capture points total. So far, it is playable and should be relatively balanced. There are a few things that are "unusual" by official TF2 maps standards - the toxic water pit (it's on the side and you never have to go there, as it is mostly an alternative route for scouts), a jump ramp to allow people to go blast those annoying snipers (I dislike elevators and ladders), and some breakable benches in the main cathedral halls. Although those mechanics are somewhat unusual, I attempted, and hopefully succeeeded ;), to give them a visual TF2 feel.

    Things that are lacking are a 3D skybox, so that the cathedrals don't look flat-topped, and a specific atmosphere in the main cathedral hall. Unfortunately, my XSI installation produces glitches when I try to export textures, so I have a couple of custom props that I can't use :( Apparently, this is a known problem, but Softimage doesn't care about fixing it.

    So here are the screenshots. Let's start with the central point, the one in the desert. Here you can see what I meant wit "lack of a 3D skybox" :D.
    [​IMG]

    The intermediary points are in the entrance of the cathedrals (here is the BLU side). I like to call it "the relic hall", because of the weapons on display. I used env_embers in the glass cubes to make it look somewhat mysterious, but it's not really visible on the screens.
    [​IMG]

    The final point is the cathedral's shrine. This is part of the great hall that I was alking of earlier, although this angle show the good part.
    [​IMG]

    Here is the toxic water pit. I'm not sure about the fumes' color yet, so I left it white for now.
    [​IMG]

    Finally, here is the jump ramp. Snipers have a fairly good angle from the top of the concrete platform, but if they are too good and block a team's movement, one can use tunnels (you can see the exit at the bottom right of the screen) and then the jump ran to throw a couple of rockets at them. The air intake makes noise and it is rotating, so with the arrow on top of that it's fairly obvious what's going to happen when you jump there.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    General geometry is quite good, but the cliffs are very uninspired.

    might want to add some chimneys or towers in your 3dskybox above your "cathedrals" and perhaps include some spytech?
     
  3. Apom

    Apom L6: Sharp Member

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    Hi grazr, thanks for your comments ;)

    They are indeed. I'm not sure how to make them better. I must admit that I'm not very good with the whole displacement thing (it took me forever to make a more realistic ground shape around the burrowed containers, for instance).

    I think I'll start with non-flat roofs first. I'd rather not have any spytech, so that the skyline is only made of cathedral towers or the like - no rockets, radars etc. I'm probably going to change the skybox texture though (the Badlands one was good because my cliffs were initially low and most TF2 skyboxes blinded me with HDR, but later I raised the cliffs and now there are too much shadows for my liking).

    I'll think about the chimneys once I have the roof itself, they sound like a good idea, but I'll have to see if I can find some that don't look too technological. Or maybe absurdly technological. The cathedral scheme (rather than usual early XXth century industrial scheme) makes it difficult to find suitable props in good TF2 style!
     
  4. nossie

    nossie L3: Member

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    you could do something like 2fort where the further into the 'base' the more spytech it looks?

    looks good otherwise
     
  5. Apom

    Apom L6: Sharp Member

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    So far, the respawns are in spytech style, but I doubt I'll do any more than that. I prefer the opposite idea (missiles and nuclear waste outside, you come in through sewers or by jumping on a concrete platform, and then inside it's really a cathedral). Unusual structure for a TF2 map, I know :p

    Also, here's what the roofs should look like (only the towers are skyboxed, I couldn't make a proper transition between the walls and the roof when I skyboxed it). The new sky texture is a bit too bright, I'm going to test a few others.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Nineaxis

    aa Nineaxis Quack Doctor

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    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  7. Apom

    Apom L6: Sharp Member

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    Well, you made my day Nineaxis. Thanks a lot.
     
  8. Randdalf

    aa Randdalf

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    Although they look good, don't use the containers model too often, they're repetetive, and to be honest a bit lazy. You should try and develop a theme for the outdoors of your map. For example, that area could be turned into a small train signal changing station, or perhaps an extension of the cathedral.
     
  9. Apom

    Apom L6: Sharp Member

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    Those models are really good for cutting up open spaces, and I figured that next to the crashed toxic waste train, they would fit the "abandonned junkyard" theme pretty well once burrowed in various positions. I'm not sure if it shows on the screenshots, but this burrowing thing really gives a different in-game feeling from, say, Granary, where they are just piled on top of each other in a clean manner. It reduces the impression of repetitiveness too.

    Of course, I'm not saying that as an excuse to pretend that I'm not lazy, because I am :closedeyes:
     
  10. Apom

    Apom L6: Sharp Member

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    Here's some new stuff! I added some cloister-type side alleys (they were already side alleys, but quite interestless). They provide an alternative way between the intermediary and final point for those who want to avoid the main hall. The architecture is much more favorable to heavies/pyros than the main hall, as the pillars should provide relative protection against rockets and grenades, while severely hindering scout movement.

    [​IMG]

    Soldiers and Demos, however, can take advantage of their jumping abilities to get to higher ground (you can't go anywhere from there, but it can give you a slight edge in combat).

    [​IMG]

    The brightness is much closer to what I want to achieve for the indoor areas, you can easily see the difference with the main hall. It's skylit, but only through relatively small openings, which I think is fit for such an environment.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Reeftrigger

    Reeftrigger L1: Registered

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    I would lighten up those alleys a bit, though that's probably just me...

    Oh, Is everything mirrored or just the layout?
    (EX: 2fort layout same, different details/skybox)
    I ask this because in the last "side alley" screen shot I see the same tower on the blu cathedral...
     
  12. tenaciousg

    tenaciousg L1: Registered

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    hey man i noticed your toxic water and i was thinking if you just put a light fog over it, preferably green, then it might look better. oh and also strech the texture scale on the water. your brushwork looks great btw.
     
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  13. Apom

    Apom L6: Sharp Member

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    @Reeftrigger:

    The darkest area (in the background of screens 1/2) is actually lightened by a spot. For some reason, player lighting there was perfect but the brushes were all dark. I slightly moved my entities around (prop, spot and volumetric light), apparently there was some kind of bad interaction between them, it's fixed now. I'll post a screenshot once I have a compiled version (I'm patching my Witcher game now, so I've got 0 CPU power left for Hammer :p).

    As for the alleys around the grass spots themselves, nothing is decided yet. My initial idea was that as long as the players are distinguishable without trouble, I wouldn't add artificial light to the sky light, because I found the relative darkness adequate for this kind of environment. This is certainly not a final decision, though, and I could very well end up adding light just to make the ground more visible.

    And yes, the brushwork (including details) is entirely mirrored, although textures/props/overlays are different. Maybe I'll change that later (make the BLU tower square instead of cylindrical, perhaps?). It's not a priority, though.


    @TenaciousGenocide:

    That fog idea is absolutely genius. I'm smacking my head asking myself why Ididn't think of it earlier :D So much easier than the fumes! I'll give it a try as soon as possible. I'll try stretching the water texture too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2008
  14. Apom

    Apom L6: Sharp Member

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    I couldn't find a way to put nice-looking volumetric fog (in env_fogcontroller style) at a specific location in the map, so I used a smoke volume, here's what it looks like:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Gadget

    aa Gadget

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    looks quite nice but I guess it will let your framerate drop, doesn't it? How big is the impact on the performance?
     
  16. Apom

    Apom L6: Sharp Member

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    I don't think so, these are big sprites but it's only scaling, and they aren't numerous (you could probably count them by hand :D). I'd say between 150 and 250 sprites. The fumes I had before were env_smokestacks that surely had 30 sprites each, and there were seven of them, so I don't think it will be any slower.

    If I notice a performance problem on the full map, I'll be sure to reduce their density (of course on this cordoned compile there was no problem).
     
  17. Apom

    Apom L6: Sharp Member

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    I've almost finished reshaping the main hall. I've added a crypt (at least I assume you could call it that way) which I'm fairly happy with, the ambience essentially revolves around waterworks.

    [​IMG]

    I've also made a window frame model more suitable for a cathedral than the spytech or industrial ones :woot: I'm not entirely sure where I will use it yet, but it shouldn't be too hard to find some nice place to fit it.

    [​IMG]

    I expect to post a fresh beta version soon, I probably won't change anything big until then but need to replicate the changes from RED to BLU.
     
  18. Apom

    Apom L6: Sharp Member

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    I have a full compile running right now and will be uploading the map as soon as I'm sure there are no serious bugs. I finally decided to finish the main hall before uploading (the lighting is uninspired, but that's for another time), so while the compile is happening, here's what it looks like:

    [​IMG]

    The scout body is here for, erm, scale purposes ^^
     
  19. Apom

    Apom L6: Sharp Member

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    Okay, some fresh news (this thread is somewhat turning into a monologue :laugh: ). I encountered a few unexpected issues. A few glitches here and there (bad textures etc.), and some serious performance problems which had me regrettably remove a couple of shaders that turned out to be more expensive than I feared.

    I ran across a more serious problem with the sky above the cloisters. This sky is actually an "impossible" sky - there are physical objects above the top (namely the roofs you see from outside), as well as on the side (namely the trainyard). There's a skybox brush in between, so it's not an issue - as long as these objects aren't rendered (since the skybox is always rendered at infinite distance, no matter where the skybox brushes are). This worked perfectly during cordoned tests, but catastrophically failed on the whole map. So well, I had to optimize visleafs, something I had planned to do at some point anyways - just not right now.

    I just finished the job. As you can see in the attached picture, there's more than just a couple of hint/skip brushes... Hopefully, this will fix the rendering issue, as well as increase overall FPS - and compile time :p

    I'll have this baby compile once I'm done watching House. Barring any new unforeseen issue, that means I should be uploading it in a couple of hours. Stay tuned :thumbup1:
     
  20. tenaciousg

    tenaciousg L1: Registered

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    hey man that looks great! if performance is an issue that's why i said a light fog yellow/green color would work they both feel like "toxic" colors to me.. i was wondering if you're not in the steam group yet join up! come in the chat if you have the time. :)

    http://steamcommunity.com/groups/TF2Mappers

    also, one note on the brick walls you got going there, try scaling just one wall and see how it looks with bigger bricks and i hope you're using a hell of alot of func_detail in there lol.