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So, what are you working on right now?

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The big thing you'll wanna look at is what lights you can get away with turning into fast lights (without shadow casting). That and maybe vis portaling between the buildings where appropriate. Looking at that angle straight down the canal, you'd be able to get away with it from the angle cutoff. The LOD system may not be a bad thing to use in your instance. I haven't been forced to yet but in a pinch you can LOD the shadow casters out (just setting noshadows via distance params) to swing every bit of shadow performance back into a workable state. Turning casters off completely where you can get away with it is even better yet.


You need a model? Epi does you a model.



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That looks excellent for a first project! Good luck!


Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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Still looking for beta testers in this thread.

I can't believe that the map has grown yet more, with all these fascinating scenes that weren't there before . Last time I've seen it I think it was at 60000 brushes & patches and 8500 entities? It'd be my pleasure to take a look at how the mission has evolved, just that now's not such a good time for me to get immersed into a large TDM project.

 

 

I'm wondering how your story is doing, in the sense of whether the briefing, readables, conversations are all implemented?

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Story and playstyle starts now like standard Thief mission (city section is extended), no confusing flashbacks and more threats. Still thinking about some "why" and "how" though.

 

 

Interesting to hear how that's developed. There are lot of areas in this map, so it'll be a big step towards completion to tie them all together through the story. Not only towards completion, but also towards beta-testing. I understand you've had the map up for a while asking for input on various aspects, which is justified for a complex mission like this one, but beta-testing will work much better when everything is in a release-ready state.

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I wonder why the framerate is so low, the geometry doesn't seem complicated.

 

My fault that I didn't kept scale on my mind doing this hilly street - you almost can't see that but there is another arch across the street and machinery at the end. There are a lot of details in a straight line - basic mistake I didn't learn from.

 

 

 

Interesting to hear how that's developed. There are lot of areas in this map, so it'll be a big step towards completion to tie them all together through the story. Not only towards completion, but also towards beta-testing. I understand you've had the map up for a while asking for input on various aspects, which is justified for a complex mission like this one, but beta-testing will work much better when everything is in a release-ready state.

 

All transitions are in place and much better explained now than before (the palace is now a city section, an arctic site is the first destination of the main ship) - the only thing I'm struggling are final events, its hard to explain without spoilers.


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My fault that I didn't kept scale on my mind doing this hilly street - you almost can't see that but there is another arch across the street and machinery at the end. There are a lot of details in a straight line - basic mistake I didn't learn from.

 

Have you tried using LOD system, at least its hide_distance option? Configuring proper LOD sure is time-consuming, but it helps a lot. AFAIR, you can even hide lights this way.

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The shots look good - they have character and are nicely lit.

 

Also, 34 FPS is fine. Don't worry too much about it.


Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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Also, 34 FPS is fine. Don't worry too much about it.

 

Nope. Unless you run TDM on a 6-year old laptop, this is not fine and never will be. It means the engine is struggling with something. It's also much better to strive for target FPS (so 60, with vsync on) all through your mapping / production process. If you leave it for later, the situation will only get worse, as you'll always run into other problems and won't have time for everything.

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Permit me the insolence, but I have shipped seven TDM maps (one a large team effort, three cooperations, not counting four large missions languishing in development hell), and played several others. All of that on my now 3-years-old laptop, or my downright ancient desktop PC. I believe I know what I am speaking about.

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Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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It's a kind of an argument, when you kept making the same spelling or grammar mistake for 10 years, and when someone's calling you on it, you boast on how long you have been writing. The mistake is still a mistake, even if made for 10 years without anyone pointing it out. In this case, all the world of both amateur and professional level design is against what you say.

 

Or, to frame it in another way, it's kind of like making a 4k movie and display it on old 10" CRT. You're not respecting your own work. In this case you also don't respect the players. And you prove that you haven't mastered your craft well enough.

Edited by Judith

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I am content to remain a walking, talking mediocrity. However, my approach has still resulted in a bunch of released, playable missions, flawed as they may be, and that's seven more than yours. Happy to be outclassed by people who can do it better (why not? A good mission is a good mission!), but they have to show more than a few nice models and tech demos to qualify.

 

So, bring out those missions, even if they are imperfect!


Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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I made two TDS missions, although the first one I made was downright terrible, as often first missions are ;) That said, you can indulge yourself in a typical TTLG self-congratulatory fashion, but I don't see why we should pass this toxic atidude to new authors. There's no reason they should be discouraged from making decent things and being technically proficient. And you know, actually learning level desing-related stuff that's really helping them in the long run.

Edited by Judith

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New authors should accept that their creations will not be perfect. They may have worse than optimal performance, they may not have the best visuals out there, or they may have other design issues. That's fine; accept it and move on. Enforcing an unrealistic "technical proficiency" threshold is precisely the toxic behaviour you ascribe to others, and it is a good way to make sure good missions get lost in a cycle of endless revisions.

 

Not to mention the specific FPS threshold is entirely arbitrary. A mission that runs at 34 FPS is a mission that runs well enough for people who are in it for the gaming instead of the technological dickwaving (which, granted, describes some of the online "level design" community). Complaining about a mission running at 50 FPS, however, is plain nonsense by any standard.

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Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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None of our creations is perfect, ever, and that's fine :)

 

But, making sensible assumptions and learning about the tech and the tools first is exactly what people do before jumping to anything. It's what both pros and amateurs do, and it's exaclty what I was doing before I started making anything more complex in DR. It's not unrealistic, and it's not some arkane knowledge. TDM engine has all the measuring tools needed for that, and you have learning material on that freely available on the Internet, whather it's TDM wiki, mod wiki, or level design sites or youtube channels. Nothing is stopping you from finding them, except for your own attitude of course.

 

And what is most important, it's good both for you and your players in the long run. For you, because if you maintain constant high fps, minor problems won't matter that much. You have a script that brings performance by 5 FPS, and you can't find what it is? Not a huge problem, if everything else works fine. When you have the same scene running in 15 fps, that is a huge problem. What will you do, delete lights, cut your art or other content to compensate, or just leave it like that? You know well how hard it is to cut content you spend so much time on making. If you leave it like that, players will be frustrated. You release something, ask for their precious free time to play it, and then you waste it with technical problems that could be avoided entirely.

 

Again, stuff like that is not some unachievable goal. These days it's the norm, and there's no use fighting it. (Why would anyone want to anyway?) Learning and practising these things will only lead to you being a better mapper.

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I will say this about melans missions, the reason they are so good is exactly because they are imperfect.

 

And regarding people playing missions on old hardware, its horses for courses. A lot players are playing tdm on old kit and are happy doing so. we try to cater for then as much as we can but conversely we do atempt to draw the line below a certain hardware point.

 

Having a counter productive discussion about it helps no one.

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I'm all about mutual tolerance on topics like this. Some people by personality are fastidious perfectionists that craft the rare jewel and some are grunt work horses that churn out content, or maybe there's a spectrum between those two, and both attitudes come out in the character of their FMs, and (this is the important point) it's good that both styles of FM are coming out. It would be a drag to have one type and not the other. Players also have different moods to play different styles of FMs. So my take is to always encourage FM diversity at even this basic kind of level, which in this case amounts to saying you both have a point in your own way and still it's ok to build according to your personality, as long as the FMs are basically passing beta-testing.

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What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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I agree about the question of art style, fortunately DR allows for different methods of world building, from the old-school all-brushes approach to the usual "bsp blockout -> all static mesh" workflow.

 

What I disagree though is on dismissing technical aspects of your work as irrelevant, especially with that kind of "Trust me, I'm an expert, 35 FPS is fine" attitude. Now that's counterproductive. Also, it would be laughed off on virtually every other gaming, modding or dev forum in the world, and the OP would be asked not so politely to go away in any general direction ;)

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