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onykage
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« on: December 09, 2008, 12:30:59 am »

ok, because of the amount of information that will be in this tut Im going to have to bust it up into multiple sections.  I plan to cover the mapping process from the layout to the compile and final release.  This is going to take several days to complete, so Im going to do this as a nightly thing until its finished.  I will post stages of each day as I complete them.

So, we have ALOT to cover, so lets begin shall we.  I will make an attempt to recreate this tut later in a screen cast.



Part1: (the layout)

Im not going to go into explicit detail about this part because ive already explained it in another tut.
please see http://openarena.ws/board/index.php?topic=2507.0

So ive started on a basic layout.  With a layout you need to think strategy.  A good level designer will not only have architecture on the brain but a "flow layout" as well.  How will players be attracted from one room to the next.  To make this idea abit more complicated, how to attract bots to this same area?  For this tutorial, i didnt get real evolved with the entire layout process, I merely want to get the gears in your head turning around on their own so you can start building too.

So here are some shots







now take notice, its all "pink" (yours will probably be "blue".  I use the default/custom set of commons.).  Thats because its all entirely caulk.  This is Extremely important.  As i said in the other tut, this is important and for a very good reason.  I guess now is the best time to dive off on this grueling subject.

Look at the wall nearest you.  Can you see the other side?  What about if you walk around to the other side.  Can you see it?  How about the inside of that same wall?  Well, the game engine renders in alot of the same way, except one major difference.  In a render, just because you cant see it, does not mean it does not exist.  And if the engine can see it; it does exist, so it must be drawn.  This doesn't matter if you can see it or not in game.  SOOOO.  If we dont need to see it, then it doesnt need to be drawn, so we use caulk for everything the player will never need to see.  Caulk does not render.  It is Solid, but also completely invisible.

So with that process in mind, lets refer to this idea as visible faces from now on.

The idea of visible faces is to keep as much of the world that is unseen from being drawn by the engine as possible.  This is what causes low frame rates in maps.  This is also what people are looking at when they say that a map is very poorly brushed.

*tip
You should look in the preferences in Radiant and make sure to set the option that clipper tool uses caulk.

Now we are doing this to develop a good habit here.  Start ALL of your maps by using almost the entire common library.  Dont rush it, and why would you get in a big hurry anyway, your having fun, so take your time. =).

Some more pics.





I know what your thinking.  "WTH are you doing?".  Well for me when i design a level its what ever im feeling at that moment.  For this one, i decided lets do a Goth theme, and not just Goth but why not go turbo goth.  Complete with grated platforms.  Now I wanted the platforms to "actually have holes in them".  There are other ways to accomplish this idea, but this is one of the easier ways.

So We start with no-draw.  For the pool room, we have slime that will be underneath (that reminds me, the "Do Not Enter" is what I use a reminder to put a liquid or void there.  Because we are using only commons, and NO shaders, I need something to remind me later.

So, lets create the shader for the grated walkway.  Once the new grate shader is completed we'll start applying it to our grate.  Now for this example I created a very simplistic shader.  No image binding or use of detail shaders.  Just a plain old vanilla example.  I can do a shader tut later if needed.

Now when you apply the texture, you only need to apply to the side most visible to you.  You can do this by holding ctrl+shift and then middle clicking the area to be textured.  Again, im giving directions on this assuming you have read the 099 tut ive already posted.

Ok, more pictures.





And thats all the time I have for tonight.  Tomorrow I'll go over some extra details on adding details to our grates and then making them solid once again, so we can walk on them =).  Until then, I bid you good night, and keep practicing.

I have provided the files here.  If you would like to follow along more in depth.  The file pack will change each day as the sample map becomes more to life.

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Neon_Knight
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2008, 05:21:44 am »

Nice one, I've finished with the reading. ^^
I always start with caulk texture when I'm starting the map, BUT if the map I'm doing isn't a remake, (like galmevish or mckinleyish) I always start with a hand-drawing design which has some concept and layout about the map. Normally I make a 3-sheet 2D draw, (one per side: XY, XZ, YZ) or start with an idea used for maps for other game that wasn't released. (LavaArena) ATM I have 3 already-drawed maps which I haven't texturized nor completed.

You should do a clipping and hinting/clusterportal/areaportal tutorial. Tongue
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onykage
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2008, 10:00:59 am »

i will include hints, portals, and bot traffic at the conclusion of this tut.  Thats more of the advanced stage tho, so depending on how much time 101 takes I may make that part of 102.
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onykage
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2008, 11:39:16 pm »

Ok,

Day2!

Tonight we will take a brief stab at detail brushing.  Ive noticed over time that people tend to think that detail brushing is hard.  To be frank with you, its not, its all in your head.  Think of all the structure required to hold up a bridge.  Thats detail.  Yup its that simple.  Believe it or not, the simplest of things can make the best detail brushing.



Tonight we will have another look at those grates.  After I had a second look at them, I decided that they would not do, so my having to fix them kinda became tonight's lesson.

Lets start with more pics.



We need to start by adding some structure to these grates.  I did that by cutting out a (on grid setting 4) 1 unit bar all the way around the parameter of the grate.  Re-caulk and nodraw the entire area.  Then its time to put the textures back and re-align them.  Now I didnt take a picture of an example because of the number of screenshots i had for tonight, so I thought I could just explain this clear enough for you to understand what Im getting at.

As I cut the border on the grated walk ways, i created lots of little pieces.  This is actually a bad thing.  Its another long drawn out explanation I will get to later on.  As a general rule, its just a bad habit to use lots of small brushes.  If you gotta use smaller pieces convert them into a model.  SO, as I created all these little pieces, I removed the smallest ones and stretched others similar to them and made all large brushes.  This makes it much easier to texture later, and also if you have a problem, it makes it WAY easier to move and or take apart to find the problem without having to rebuild an entire area.  And again, as I said, it generally a bad idea anyway because the engine just doesnt like rendering all those little pieces.





Now, keep in mind we used a "non-solid" brush to make these grate walkways.  That means if you try to walk on them, you will just fall through it, because its not a solid object.  Now as I said last night, I want the player to have the ability to hit from the underside of the grate.  That means we need to clip players but not missiles or metal.  So, we use "Player Clip".  What i did here is just select all the brushes that are grates (non-solid) and then copy & paste (thats ctrl+c then ctrl+v) identical copies on top of the originals.  Now before we deselect the new brushes we need to change them to player clips.  So bring up the texture window (press "T") and click player clip.

*tip I will click caulk first, to make sure the area turns to pink and then click the clip shader.  If you do this right you will not be able to see the shader inside the brush, because they are perfect fits.





Another great detail brush is the ceiling.  Its easy, and really brings out the room when you walk in for the first time.  This is a 4x4 grid lattice.  Ideally, when you make a brush like this, you do not want any of the brushes to intersect.  This is because it will be a structure brush, and because of the visible faces idea I explained last night.  How ever for this tut, I was lazy and didnt do that.  More then likely when the finished sample map is completed, I will go back and remake this particular detail brush the correct way.





Now, we have all those holes, and we dont want players managing to escape the maps boundaries and getting trapped in never never land  (the void).  So, we need to clip this area out.  Again, we want all weapon fire to pass into the voided area but not players.  So we will again use player clips.

There are 2 different ways to occomplish this.

My way, which is more time consuming and just looks better.


the more common way


both methods work the exact same.  Because clips are not solids or visible to the player they have zero affect on the maps render time or the compile size.

At a close, for Day2.  Tomorrow Im going to finish the basic texturing of the map in its entirety,  Im also going to start on some lighting.  If all goes well, I should be ready for a -super 8 compile by Thursday night.

So,

I'll post more tomorrow.  Hope you learned something and keep on mapping.

PS.  Todays files are attached.  As I said last night, each night will have a different file so that newer members to openarena can download each day later and follow along at their own speed.

« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 11:41:06 pm by onykage » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2008, 04:29:06 am »

Potreste dirmi come creare delle rampe di lancio col GTKradiant?
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onykage
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« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2008, 05:31:59 pm »

Could you tell me how to build launch ramps with GTKradiant?

Certo, Ive stato pigro con finitura questo tut. Farò una breve passeggiata gettò con esso. che può essere qualcosa di abbastanza piccolo per uno screencast. Controlla più tardi questa sera.

Sure, Ive been lazy with finishing this tut.  I will do a quick walk threw with it.  that may be something small enough for a screencast.  Check back later tonight.

« Last Edit: December 12, 2008, 05:34:17 pm by onykage » Logged
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