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Author Topic: The 10 mapping commandments [Preliminary]  (Read 1577 times)
Neon_Knight
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« on: September 13, 2016, 07:55:56 am »

I had this idea and did it in 10 minutes some time ago. I've already posted it in lvlworld, and I already had a bit of feedback about it. Here it goes:

#1: Thou shalt ALWAYS use common/caulk for new brushes: It saves time by you only needing to texture the sides of the brush you want instead of going back and caulking all the sides of the brushes that are not going to be visible within your map. - PaN61
#2: Thou shalt NOT use brushes where thou shalt be using patches: If you are looking to create smooth curves then patches are the most efficient way to go about this. (Though, you'll still need to encase the patch from the void by caulked structural brushes to stop HOM effects and the likes showing up.) - PaN61
#3: Thou shalt ALWAYS mapmodel thy highly complex decorative brushes: If the "model" is complicated and cannot be easily created via brushes then use models. No second thoughts. - PaN61
#4: Thou shalt NOT make a map composed by mostly of structural brushes: The only brushes which must be kept marked as Structural are those which seal the map from the void and those which are meant to block VIS. Everything else must be made detail.
#5: Thou shalt NOT use the CSG Subtract tool: CSG Subtract could create undesirable results so it's not recommended. Better to just manually brush things out. - PaN61
#6: Thou shalt NOT abuse the CSG Hollow tool: CSG Hollow can have its uses, but in the end manually creating a hollow box with a few smart clips would be a far better options, as well as it being slightly better for optimization purposes. Not to mention that it will look a lot cleaner too. So it can be used, nothing wrong with it, but manually done is a superior option. - PaN61
#7: Thou shalt ALWAYS use the brush clipper and vertex editing tools: Though use the brush clipper tool when you need to use it. - PaN61
#8: Thou shalt NOT abuse of doors and areaportals in thy map: Same can be applicable to Hint Brushing. Used mainly for VIS stage optimization in creating clever portals so that the whole map (or large portion of a map) that you can't see does not get rendered. Like Hint Brushing, incorrect use of this can produce worse results instead of better results. - PaN61
#9: Thou shalt ALWAYS include an .aas file with thy map: Generally speaking yes, unless there are issues with limitations such as maps being overly complex thus resulting in errors when trying to compile an .aas file for the specific map. (- PaN61) Besides, not everyone will play your map online. At this point and with BSPC doing the job for you, there's NO excuse. (- me Smiley ) And for complex maps there's already a way to workaround. (- czghost)
#10: If thy map has areas reachable only by trickjumping, thou shalt ALWAYS give a good reason (powerup or holdable) of why that area should be navigated. Weapons 3-8, ammo, armor and health (with the exception of Megahealth) may be easily reachable/escapable, but this ESPECIALLY counts for game objectives such as flags, obelisks and Domination points, which MUST be easily reachable/escapable by bots and humans alike, PERIOD.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2016, 05:31:44 pm by Neon_Knight » Logged


"Level Designers are 1 part architect, 1 part artist, 1 part game designer, and 1 part beta tester!" Cliff Bleszinski
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Gig
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2016, 09:14:09 am »

#4: Thou shalt NOT make a map composed by mostly of structural brushes: Change all brushes that don't seal the map from the void to detail brushes. Structural brush only those that make up the perimeter of your map. This one is more so used for VIS stage optimization (by minimizing the amount of portal areas). - PaN61
Isn't this a bit excessive? Do I recall wrong, or in that way you cannot have VIS optimization at all? I mean, if you make structural only the outer perimeter of your map, how can the compiler take advantage of the walls which divide a room from another one to prevent the game from rendering (almost?) the whole map at once (potentially extreme overdraw)?
Quote
#9: Thou shalt ALWAYS include an .aas file with thy map: Generally speaking yes, unless there are issues with limitations such as maps being overly complex thus resulting in errors when trying to compile an .ass file for the specific map. (- PaN61) Besides, not everyone will play your map offline. At this point and with BSPC doing the job for you, there's NO excuse. (- me Smiley ) And for complex maps there's already a way to workaround. (- czghost)
Maybe he meant "not everyone will play your map ONLINE" instead? And the final "workaround" bit is not clear...
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 02:55:17 pm by Gig » Logged

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Neon_Knight
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Cakes 49
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Trickster God.


« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2016, 12:13:33 pm »

Yep, I reckon #4 in that way is a bit excessive. Nowadays I use structural brushes to control VIS on the way you say (corridors used to block VIS). Open areas are indeed a bit hard to optimize.

About #9, well, the workaround is mentioned in the linked thread (basically: create an extremely simplified version of the map, culling everything except the playable area, then use BSPC to attach the resultant aas to the map). And about my own part, you're right, I don't know why I wrote offline. Fixed.
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sago007
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2016, 12:26:33 pm »

#4 is edited now but I still think it is a bit excessive. A map usually consist of a few large brushes and more small brushes. As a general rule I would make the large brushes structural because if they can block my view they should also block VIS. Technically structural brushes always block the void because they contain void inside (can be seen by the HOM effect if using a transparent texture on a structural brush).

I don't get #10 either. Why do I need a to give the player a good reason to perform the trick? The player can choose not to. I find that the most interesting trick jumps are usually the ones the map author didn't plan.
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Gig
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2016, 02:59:31 pm »

In 9. there is a small typo: .ass instead of .aas.
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I never want to be aggressive, offensive or ironic with my posts. If you find something offending in my posts, read them again searching for a different mood there. If you still see something bad with them, please ask me infos. I can be wrong at times, but I never want to upset anyone.
Neon_Knight
In the year 3000
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Cakes 49
Posts: 3653


Trickster God.


« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2016, 11:21:10 am »

About #10 my problem is that it has to do mostly with game objectives, which, IMHO, should be easily available to everyone, and after them the basics (weapons 3-8, armor, health -except Mega- and ammo). Everything else could be put on those places. pxlfan is an example of where NOT to place a game objective (a Domination point) as it causes problems. It's like putting a CTF flag in a platform which you can only reach by using a well-timed rocket jump plus a plasma climb. That's bad map design AFAIC.

EDIT: Also about #4, the problem are the small brushes being made structural, as is the case of decorative brushes, as I ranted some time ago.

EDIT 2: Rewrote #4 and #10.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2016, 11:28:26 am by Neon_Knight » Logged


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sago007
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2016, 01:20:52 pm »

I misunderstood #10. I agree that game objectives must always be reachable without tricks and by humans and bots alike. I think I would say that you should NEVER place a game objective in an area that can ONLY be reached by trickjumping.
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Gig
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2016, 03:04:06 pm »

#4: Thou shalt NOT make a map composed by mostly of structural brushes: Change the brushes that aren't meant to block VIS and those which seal the map from the void to detail brushes. Structural brush only those that are actually meant to block VIS. Minimize the amount of portals.
Now, it looks like it says that what seals from the void should be detail. While it's not.
Is it possible to specify the kind of portals in the last sentence?

Quote
#10: If thy map has areas reachable only by trickjumping, thou shalt ALWAYS give a good reason (powerup or holdable) of why that area should be navigated. Weapons 3-8, ammo, armor and health (with the exception of Megahealth) may be easily reachable, but this ESPECIALLY counts for game objectives such as flags, obelisks and Domination points, which MUST be easily reachable by bots and humans alike, PERIOD.
Since it talks about two different things, maybe introducing the second part with "on the other hand..." or similar?
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I never want to be aggressive, offensive or ironic with my posts. If you find something offending in my posts, read them again searching for a different mood there. If you still see something bad with them, please ask me infos. I can be wrong at times, but I never want to upset anyone.
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