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Author Topic: Fan (of Death) remade for DM and domination  (Read 18960 times)
PigCell
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« on: December 10, 2010, 12:21:43 PM »

Edit: final version here http://openarena.ws/board/index.php?topic=4016.msg37101#msg37101

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Hi everyone! After a long time of not doing anything quake-related, I decided to come back to mapping. Last weekend I was a bit bored and remade fan.bsp as a kind of exercise for myself and to test the latest GtkRadiant. Here is the result (see attachments):

Changes:
- catwalk layout changed slightly (mostly upstairs)
- fan now weapon-clipped (you can rocketjump back off)
- 3 domination points added (one of them on the fan)
- small room added in teamplay only (I guess bots don't like that, though ... maybe hack the .aas?)
- minor item layout changes, mostly addition of YA and 50h at the top
- two sides have the lifts replaced by jumppad and staircase, respectively
- midsection also uses jumppads instead of triangular lifts (I have only 2 out of 4 in atm, leave or revert to 4?)
- railgun added in teamplay only (opposite of top domination point)

Lighting and botplay still need some fixing. Texturing is also debatable. What do you think so far?

I really want to tackle more serious maps, and maybe upload (and fix) some of my own old ones. Maybe one of you mappers even feels up to a teamwork challenge, I have an unfinished CTF map sitting around.

Question as an aside: What's the policy around here (apart from the GPL licensing of course) in terms of map remakes? I don't want to step on anyone's toes by going "look, I've improved x" while upsetting the original author, who might have had different plans.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 11:17:02 AM by PigCell » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2010, 01:04:31 PM »

- small room added in teamplay only
What?
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PigCell
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2010, 01:10:29 PM »

- small room added in teamplay only
What?

func_static provides a conditional wall, that is there in some game modes, but not in others. Bots generally don't like them. Some of the newer CPMA maps use them, but otherwise not many. Try the map in deathmatch, then in domination and see for yourself. Same goes for the railgun.
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Udi
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2010, 01:52:31 PM »

It's awesome, I think these changes will save the map from being moved to the attic, keep up the good work! We should test teamplay with humans, I don't know if the extra room is worth the AAS hacking effort.

The textures are cool, I like the contrast between the rusty, red ones and the blue sky and metal catwalks. Maybe you should use the same pattern on the 1st floor like all the other floors, all the same rusty brown textures make the 1st floor confusing, but the other floors are fine, the brown/red difference is enough. Also the fan could be either more red/bloody or more grey/blue/metalic, the light orange it has now is a bit mild or neutral, like it's not even dangerous.
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VortexHU
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2010, 03:45:37 PM »

Even with the same texturing, the map might look better with more lighting work (and less ambient lighting?). It might work as is if you use more radiosity bounces. The light from the sky texture (specifically, the light on the floor) is cool, but it's brighter than the sky itself, and there doesn't appear to be a reason for having a sharp shadow (no sun or moon), but that's a general gripe about that sky shader and not specific to your map.

I don't play DM much, so no comments on gameplay, just aesthetics. Smiley
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**HD
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2010, 07:10:55 AM »

nice improvements! i agree on the point 'textures are debatable'. There are some problems with your curves when using r_subdivisions 1 (screenshots included).
Map is a bit too open for elimination or tdm (you can see from nearly every place of the map any other), though domination could be fun on this map (never played domination).

Do you have any screenshots of your unfinished ctf map ?
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PigCell
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2010, 10:11:09 AM »

Maybe you should use the same pattern on the 1st floor like all the other floors, all the same rusty brown textures make the 1st floor confusing, but the other floors are fine, the brown/red difference is enough. Also the fan could be either more red/bloody or more grey/blue/metalic, the light orange it has now is a bit mild or neutral, like it's not even dangerous.
I agree, there needs to be some functional texturing that helps players orientate themselves on the ground floor. I tried colour-coding the arches but I don't think that's enough for the bottom area. As for the fan, it's an .md3 model, but I'll see what I can do.

The light from the sky texture (specifically, the light on the floor) is cool, but it's brighter than the sky itself,
Aye, I was lazy and didn't change that texture, yet. I'll think of something and replace it along with the other stuff.

There are some problems with your curves when using r_subdivisions 1 (screenshots included).
Cool! I didn't know that was possible. I'll investigate,  I think I have an idea of what's going on there.

Thanks everyone for the input, I'll keep you posted on the progress. The major unresolved issue remaining is the one fundamental flaw of the map: it's too open. **HD rightly pointed that out, too. I didn't want to change the gameplay too much right from the start, so I tried to stick close to the original. Things I've considered:
- narrowing the arches to the wings more, maybe even have them almost down to a doorway the width of the catwalk on the middle floor (remain open on top/bottom)
- have some more space behind the arch 'bottleneck' in each wing so there's some place to hide/spawn in peace/item space
- some more item changes
- teleporter bottom->top to make the top domination point less campable

I'll try and get a new version out soon so I can hopefully playtest some 2v2 domination on it (more players make no sense, the map is just too small).
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chaoticsoldier
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2010, 10:01:12 PM »

The major unresolved issue remaining is the one fundamental flaw of the map: it's too open. **HD rightly pointed that out, too. I didn't want to change the gameplay too much right from the start, so I tried to stick close to the original. Things I've considered:
- narrowing the arches to the wings more, maybe even have them almost down to a doorway the width of the catwalk on the middle floor (remain open on top/bottom)
- have some more space behind the arch 'bottleneck' in each wing so there's some place to hide/spawn in peace/item space
- some more item changes
- teleporter bottom->top to make the top domination point less campable

I don't know if it should be changed too much. Although I don't mind what you've done with it so far.
It was originally just a FFA map and its openness was part of the design, so I don't see it as a flaw.  Tweaking it just to make it compatible with other gametypes might change it too much.
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PigCell
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2010, 02:56:47 PM »

Updated version: pxlfan2.bsp

- fixed curve patches for custom r_subdivisions and also made them closer to a true circle (used a prism as reference)
- some redone textures and brushwork (if anyone has an idea for a more consistent texture set, do tell)
- MH moved behind lower jumppad screen (you can now walk around it)
- YA and 50H switched (new MH and old YA locations were right on top of one another)
- domination points now in order (top one on top of list etc.)
- some more light sources for more natural lighting (I have yet to replace the sky shader)
- slight vis tweaking by making the upper catwalks detail brushes and adding hint brushes (not done yet)

I left out the central pillar that's supposed to block some lines of sight for now... it felt clunky and not right. The fan model is also ever so slightly off centre, I think it's an issue with the model as its origin brush is bang on in the middle.

I hope I can find some guinea pigs for 2v2 domination testing. Of course you're free to FFA on it too, it shouldn't feel too different even with the new MH location. The quad still uses the rocketjump mechanism after all.

It was originally just a FFA map and its openness was part of the design, so I don't see it as a flaw.  
Are you the original author? I'd like to hear your thoughts and original intentions concerning gameplay. Obviously the map belongs more in the fun/casual category. At least item-wise I think both team modes and deathmatch can coexist with their own independent item layouts. Neither layout seems optimal yet, though.
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Moixie
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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2010, 03:07:04 PM »

Quote
small room added in teamplay only


strange punched
in Elimination/LMS my colloseum is unplayable because of the rail (camp camp camp)
but, can I do it in a specify gametype? saying which part of the map is played on that gametype or not?
I mean, it would be cool if only the sand party of the colloseum was playable on Elimination or LMS (I d concurse telporters and put a clip wall in the air...) there would have no camp anymore and it would really in the "Colloseum theme" (everybody on the sand like gladiators !)
but can I use it for a specify gametype or can we only do it for team/free ?

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Gig
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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2010, 04:10:15 PM »

PigCell, I think it could be nice to explain how to use these "conditional walls" ("gametype-related walls" or how they are named) here:
(DO NOT LINK) h t t p s : / / openarena . wikia . com/wiki/Mapping

If you may find some time to write there....
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chaoticsoldier
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« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2010, 05:13:01 AM »

It was originally just a FFA map and its openness was part of the design, so I don't see it as a flaw. 
Are you the original author? I'd like to hear your thoughts and original intentions concerning gameplay. Obviously the map belongs more in the fun/casual category. At least item-wise I think both team modes and deathmatch can coexist with their own independent item layouts. Neither layout seems optimal yet, though.
I didn't mean to give the wrong impression. I'm not the author, just a fan of the fan. Smiley   (I think either fromhell or dmn_clown made the map, but I'm not 100% sure)
I think your changes so far are really good. Grin   I just don't like the idea of closing it in too much or blocking lines of sight because the FFA gameplay won't be as fast, and as it is I think it's a fun FFA map.
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Graion Dilach
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« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2010, 05:26:58 AM »

I just did a test and I think I like this. Although everything looks confusingly similar, IMO.
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PigCell
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« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2010, 07:14:18 AM »

but can I use it for a specify gametype or can we only do it for team/free ?
I believe both should work, although I haven't tried the former yet. Some maps, especially some of the default id ones, make use of the two items in one spot for different gametypes. That way you can reuse key locations. As far as func_static is concerned, use with care. It a) screws with botplay and b) doesn't block vis, so whatever is behind it is still being rendered.

PigCell, I think it could be nice to explain how to use these "conditional walls"
I'll give it a shot, although I can't really add much to what the radiant manual already says about func_static. I do want to test whether the areaportal brush (usually for doors) works with it.

I'm not the author, just a fan of the fan. Smiley   
As am I. I hope I can add some teamplay to it without disrupting too much of the FAN-tastic FFA fun

I just did a test and I think I like this. Although everything looks confusingly similar, IMO.
Aye, the thinly spread CTF colour coding isn't really enough to help orientation. The problem is the supersymmetry of the original map meant you never needed to know which wing is which, as they were all identical. However, now the map does require something of an identifier or landmark. Adding weapon spawn markers might also help with the shaft/RL placement.

Again, thanks for the feedback. Any further ideas for themed textures, shaders, item placement and even structural changes are always welcome.
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PigCell
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« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2010, 12:17:39 PM »

Update (see attachments)

- lighting is getting there, but not quite ideal yet
- added an extra layout for 1v1; I know, it's not a tournament map, but people even play 1v1 on dm17 and I can't stop them. So the least I can do is remove the quad for them and replace it with MH (RA in old MH location)
- added some more subtle colour-coding, although I'm open to suggestions as whether to use something other than CTF textures for that (I might even add something like green/yellow/... for the remaining two (they're still white/rust)
- removed/changed some curve brushes, some really weren't necessary
- some more changes underneath, like proper caulking and detailing (compile times now down to under a minute)

Observations/to do:

- couldn't get areaportal to work properly
- clipped detail brushes, but for some reason GTK/OA treat them as solid anyway, this leads to one weird clipping issue: you can stand on these new shiny braces on the pillars supporting the bottom catwalks
- slight tweaks on jump pad curve brushes

Other than maybe some texture suggestions and details, I think I'm close to finishing this one. Then I can tackle some more serious maps.
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VortexHU
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« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2010, 01:43:56 PM »

- clipped detail brushes, but for some reason GTK/OA treat them as solid anyway, this leads to one weird clipping issue: you can stand on these new shiny braces on the pillars supporting the bottom catwalks
- slight tweaks on jump pad curve brushes

clip brushes r solid but invisible (so like caulk u can shoot thru). u should place clip brushes cylindrically about the pillars so to collision tests the surface (textured and clip brushes together) looks like just a cylinder. e.g., place clip brushes over the parts of the pillar w/o the braces and w/same radius as brace so whole pillar is brace's radius.
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PigCell
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« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2010, 01:59:26 PM »

clip brushes r solid but invisible (so like caulk u can shoot thru).

I know, sorry I was unclear with what I meant. The 'detail' brushes are solid too (which surprised me), not just the structural ones. That's why I clipped them not knowing they were solid anyway. Maybe there's some default flag that's different in q3map2 or so... I remember it being different back in the day. and yeah, I might have to clip the whole thing so as to include those 'braces' ... or maybe just the top part so you cannot stand on them any more.
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VortexHU
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« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2010, 02:20:05 PM »

yeah detail is just for bsp tree simplification regarding visibility calc (see this, e.g.).

u might try nodraw on the non-textured faces of the brace, that should make players fall thru them. o/w try a custom shader w/"surfaceparam nonsolid" maybe?
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« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2010, 03:33:08 PM »

Also about detail brushes:
They do reduce compile time and filesize but they often hurt performance ingame and they require you to caulk any surfaces that are completly hidden by them. For simple maps you might choose to skip detail brushes completly apart from brushes that must be seen through.

Patches follow the same rules.
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PigCell
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« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2010, 08:13:01 AM »

u might try nodraw on the non-textured faces of the brace, that should make players fall thru them.
Ah yes, thanks. That was what I used before, I just forgot about the good old nodraw trick. I'm not too keen on writing custom shaders just for that.

They do reduce compile time and filesize but they often hurt performance ingame and they require you to caulk any surfaces that are completly hidden by them.
I use them is for that very reason. The map is very unusual in that vis has no chance to have the catwalks successfully block any geometry. Yet it creates a ridiculous amount of portals. Since there's a substantial amount of curve patches in the catwalks anyway, I decided to use detail brushes for the rest. The structural hull of the map has been treated with some hint brushes to help the occlusion of geometry. It's just not very likely that the engine gets to skip a lot in what amounts to a one room map. I experimented a lot with r_showtris to see how far I can get with that.

Other observations:
Areaportal brushes definitely do not work with func_static. Apparently they are for doors, only. There is not that much of a benefit in this map, it's just that I wanted to try everything possible in the performance book to reacquaint myself fully with GTKradiant.

I also managed to get rid of some of the extensive botclipping. Partly due to the fact that the catwalks are clipped anyway, but also through replacing unnecessary curves.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2010, 08:27:37 AM by PigCell » Logged
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« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2010, 10:18:49 AM »

I've yet to try this (or anything else in this forum for the past few months for that matter), but


THANK YOU FOR REMAKING MY LEVEL
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PigCell
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« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2010, 09:31:54 PM »

Update:

- high-res textures (almost all default baseoa, one self-made shader plus images, some leftover evil8 - trying to replace those)
- cosmetic brushwork changes
- room indicators A and B for the wings which aren't red or blue
- major item pick-up locations now textured accordingly
- minor bouncepad and item location adjustments (and for some I managed to delete the fan sound... it's back now)

To do:

- fan.md3 with its off-centreness still annoys me ... either fix it with a separate origin brush or maybe someone can centre it within the .md3?
- optimise the bots some more
- levelshot along with the .arena file
- fix current hint brush layout (not optimal yet)

Maybe I can get it finished over Christmas... it's getting close to being done anyway.
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chaoticsoldier
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« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2010, 11:26:15 PM »

Oh yeah, I really enjoyed this. I was testing it for about an hour. Grin
It looks great and gameplay is awesome.

I don't know about those big As and Bs though, but they're harmless so I probably shouldn't complain. (I never had any trouble navigating the map tbh - one side's got stairs, the other's got a jump pad and I can tell exactly where I am in relation to those. Plus the red and blue colouring makes it even more obvious which way I'm facing.)

The only thing I found that felt wrong is the 4 elevators. Once they go up, if you stand under them they wont come down again unless you move away. I think they should come down on top of anyone who tries to hide under them.
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PigCell
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« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2010, 06:29:38 AM »

I don't know about those big As and Bs though
I don't know, either. I could try and fiddle with them a bit so they look less intrusive/better, make them smaller, or if people say they're really not necessary I'd just remove them again.

The only thing I found that felt wrong is the 4 elevators. Once they go up, if you stand under them they wont come down again unless you move away. I think they should come down on top of anyone who tries to hide under them.
Ah yes, that's easily fixed. Currently, the whole thing is botclipped, which means that if you stand under one of them it sees you as inside/on the platform and won't lower it. I just thought of it more like a feature. They are death traps otherwise... hmmm, death traps...

Also, the jumpads still need texture replacements. The current ones look so cut out with that narrow seam from a different clang floor, just doesn't feel right.
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PigCell
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« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2011, 12:52:35 PM »

Oh hey, I'm still alive. The map is pretty much done (see screenshot), too. However, I have a problem that keeps me from compiling the final version. For some reason the shaders with surfaceparm nonsolid do not work, that includes common/nodraw. This means that the nice jumpad shader I wrote causes you to stand on the solid floaty rings rather than touch the trigger_push as intended. I have no idea what went wrong. Oh, and qer_editorimage doesn't work, either. The rest is okay.

Edit:

Fixed it! Going to clean everything up, compile the botfiles and upload everything along with the map source.

Turns out my stubborn shader learning behaviour caused me to overlook the fact that qer_editorimage needs a .jpg texture - always. Somewhere in the q3map2 manual it wrongly claims it needs to be a .tga file. I could have just looked at how EVERY other shader does it, but noooo.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 08:53:17 AM by PigCell » Logged
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