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Aspirin

Mission Objects Creation Automation

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Hi,

first of all I'm not an experienced dromeder-doomeder... However, I wonder about some automation mission creation system - some macro (prerecorded-preprogrammed), that automatically create any part of mission. Lets say I need a hallway - so I create hallway from basic parts and store it as "macro" with parameters (lenght, high, texture etc.). When I need another hallway I simply call this macro, enter parameters and system generates whole hallway itself. "Hallway macro" could be simple (hallway in THIS mission with fixed shape/form, texture, etc. and parameter is only lenght, wide, high) or could be complex (common hallway with many parameters: lenght, wide, high, used textures, use of columns Y/N, spacing of columns, dtto for windows, etc. whatever you want). Macros could be hierarchically nested e.g. lets have macro for column, for window, for hallway (hallway macro inside eventually call column/window macros). This way it's not necessary to construct every part of mission from scratch from basic objects. It's possible to create own library of complex objects and call them. I hope you understand my idea. Would it be possible with DarkMod ?

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In D3 you can IMO creat such templates just by creating a regular map, and then you import it into your existing map. So if you create a nice house, you can save it as a seperate map file and when you need it you can always import it back.


Gerhard

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Someone was also saying something about a randomizer, or that info is kept in text documents and a ranomizer could make many things quickly. It's in the Free Form Thief World thread http://forums.thedarkmod.com/index.php?showtopic=2657

 

If you made a hallway and looked at the text in the .map file, could you then make a program that would put the hallway with your settings into the file, then go into the editor and move it where you wanted?

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as spar said, its much easier to open your map and then import the hallway (it imports the lights, etc) and move it to desired. When you import, whatever you have importeedd is selectd

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You could wite such a program, sure, but that would not be in our interest, nor in our scope. It would just not look good and using templates just makes for similar maps, which is not really what we desire.


Gerhard

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I think I don't explain idea the right way. I don't want some "Power Point od level design" - I don't want simple stupid editor with a lot of prefabricated parts of rocks, houses, doors, crypts, halls, etc... that can be used to put these prefabricated parts together. This would really lead to terrible, similar, uniform looked maps.

My idea is about some scripting language or another tools for automating of editor operations. Not using of prepared parts ! Lets say I design a window (door, gate, ...) for my map using some architectonic style. And now I want to place the windows along wall of my cathedral. A cathedral is a building where all parts are in lines. So the automation is: I draw a line along cathedral wall and automation script put my prepared window alongside this line. I can use parameters like number of repeating the window, or choose to place windows regularly with the same distance and automation automatically place needed amount of windows.

I know it is complicated to develop such a tool. What function should it have, how to control it with mouse/keyboard, etc.... So maybe the most general way to solve it is a script language, that can invoke editor operation (so add brush, change size of brush, etc... simply ALL operations in editor). With the possibility to create procedures with parameters. I don't know whether the editor has any script a how it works if has.

 

So definitely no Power Point !!! :)

 

P.S.: Sorry for thread necromancy...

Edited by Aspirin

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As of now, DarkRadiant has no scripting engine built in, so this isn't possible with the current codebase. (edit: I'm not saying that it wouldn't be useful though.)

 

Also, I'm very sceptical that this would produce any optically pleasing results and the benefit for developing such a script would probably not pay off. You can easily copy & paste things in the editor right now, which won't take very much longer than setting up the script to do the stuff I want, including trial and error. Such scripted environments will probably look cheap and sit in the map crying out loud "Hey, look at me, I'm cloned and scripted!".

 

Finally, don't underestimate the complexity handling 3D geometry in an automated way. You can always look at the DarkRadiant codebase on sourceforge to see how complicated it can be to accomplish even simple operations. Sorry if I sound discouraging, but I'd rather see the time spent on improving the low-level editor tools and their usability than spending it on high-level editor scripting with little pay-off.

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Are you a coder? If yes, are you interested in helping out with DarkRadiant or the mod?

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Aspirin: Ditto wot they said. You're ideas are good Aspirin and I understand what you're saying. I've had one or two ideas along those lines but it seems there is so much variety of tasks in developing these missions that the widely flexible controls of Dark Radiant are probably the best general tools.

 

I've just been copying and pasting a series of windows and it's a matter of hitting space to clone then drag to the new position (shift-Alt drag keeps it in an exact line while dragging) But there are only three or four along that wall, then three or four different windows below. Then ditto inside. The on the opposite side,etc. By the time I configured a tool to feed out windows every N units along Z level, at XY coords, etc it would not be worth it. Might be worth it for 250 such windows but then the next job might be something quite different. I've just cloned an entire wing of my manor, carpets and all, and pasted it to form the basis another wing which I've now extended and modified. These general purpose Dark Radiant tools are immensely powerful. Textures and texture configuration can also be copied and pasted with a click. I also did a load of roof beams assemblies duplicated into 4 then copied and pasted them 4 at a time. It was fast enough that it wasn't worth doubling up to do more than that. But the first beam had to be custom made for the roof size and shape and that is what took the time.

 

Maybe there might be one or two tools suggested by your ideas that could be useful but the development time spent on them is probably best spent on the methods of cloning we have in DR. For example, I am considering now to rescale the texture of a lot of walls. Only those walls have that texture so the thought passed my mind to write a short program to read through the map file and change everything with that texture. But there are some other variations in my walls so it's not worth it for me but the program theoretically might have use. But how often? Too many other jobs to think about :)

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What Fidcal said. I edit levels for our games at work, and I've used a handfull of different level editors already, both 2D and 3D, and the only concept you need for repeating the same things throughout the level, is being able to copy "clusters" of things. So place a wall peice, then place a window peice next to it. Then copy them both and paste it next to each other. So now you have wall, window, wall window. Now copy all that again. Now you have 4 windows and walls alternating. Copy all that and paste again, now you have 8, 16, 32. It's very easy to populate a level with repeated things this way.

 

Also organic things too. Place about 5 or 10 trees haphazardly. Now copy and paste that cluster, but rotate it by some random amount. Do it again. Need to make a bigger forest? Paste 5 or 10 clusters randomly rotated, and start copying and pasting all that. See where this is going?

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Get the scale on one wall and just paste the texture on the others, can't take that long.

Yeah, I didn't tell the whole story. The difficulty is that there are angled buttresses and other stones that took quite a while to line up originally and just rescaling they are now completely wrong. I spent some time the other day adjusting one buttress. I can clone it somewhat but there are awkward sections. And angles cannot be the same scale as the adjacent vertical stone. One major problem is that some stone textures are too irregular so as they are slid along there is always one piece where you get a one inch wide stone! Slide it a bit further and another appears on another course that's a half inch sliver! :laugh: I daren't even think about the coping stone. Took a long while originally. I'm tempted to leave big scale. The player might never get to see them close anyway. Or will they?

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Sounds like you have some good experience making fine tuning work with complicated texturing situations, which might be helpful to have a wiki article about (or adding "advanced tips" to the texturing sections already there)


shadowdark50.gif keep50.gif

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Ok, I have not experience with level editing. It was only idea and as I see, it's not much usefull....

 

greebo: Unfortunately, I cannot code (no experience with programming). I'd like to start mapping. Is it possible to be betamapper even if I don't have any experience with level editing and no any similar work to show ?

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It is possible, but you will have to prove your ability to learn and get around with Doom 3/DarkRadiant/D3Ed. If you have talent, this won't be a problem.

 

Get the game, get the editor and show us what you can achieve with it. There are tons of tutorials to boot on Doom3world.org (also there is a sticky thread somewhere around here), so this should get you started.

 

Ah, and don't forget to check out our wiki: http://www.thirdfilms.com/darkwiki

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Ok, I have not experience with level editing. It was only idea and as I see, it's not much usefull....

 

greebo: Unfortunately, I cannot code (no experience with programming). I'd like to start mapping. Is it possible to be betamapper even if I don't have any experience with level editing and no any similar work to show ?

 

If you're looking to beta map, you should have some experience mapping already. We need our beta mappers to be able to use the tools somewhat adequately so they can give us feedback on the tools. Try playing with the Doom 3 editor for awhile, and then show us what you have accomplished. :)

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As of recently there is some AI stuff that became incompatible and throws up an error for D3 AI. We may want to handle that as a warning and let D3 AI do thier thing if it doesn't take a lot of extra work.

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What AI stuff is this? I was trying to be careful not to break any D3 AI when I was changing things around. So if D3 AI were recently broken in TDM, that's news to me...


My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.

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The error is a map crash, with:

Error: Missing 'AI_lastAlertPosSearched' field in script object 'monster_zombie'

Or whatever the D3 monster's script object is. You can see this if you try to load any map with D3 AI in it, e.g. test_ai3 has a D3 zombie in it.

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Oh, right. I guess that would do it... sigh. I'll put fixing that on my ever-growing to-do list.


My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.

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