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Can you use me as beta mapper?


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#1 Jesps

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 08:45 AM

I've been around here for a while mapping with Thief's Den assets, and later Saint Lucia assets. Some of the work I have done can be seen in this tread:
http://forums.thedar...?showtopic=7443
I belive in the project and I have the time to help out. I also have the endurance to keep at it. I wont just "download the goods and disappear".
So my question is can I become a betamapper?

I have also made a small map to show some of the things I can do in the editor:
http://rapidshare.co...345868/ship.map
http://rapidshare.com/files/193409862/ship2.map
http://rapidshare.co...17066/ship3.map
http://rapidshare.com/files/271601954/ship4.map (most recent version)
The story: You have been smuggled onboard an Inventors' guild ship to steal Pandora's Box for a collector, and replace it with a fake one.
If the framerate drops to much in the outdoor area, try closing the doors. That helped for me.

Also also :) I have one released Thief 2 mission on my conscience:
http://www.southquar..._Dor_AmalP1.zip

Edited by Jesps, 26 August 2009 - 01:12 AM.


#2 greebo

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 09:03 AM

Neat! I'll be sure to give it a go when I get home.

#3 Flanders

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 09:45 AM

You have the endurance indeed, you're around here and mapping longer than me. I'll gladly take a look at your map, checking out the stuff other people make with DR is always exciting :) .

#4 Baal

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 09:46 AM

That looks very good. :)

But performance is very bad on my system (inside the ship, where my old hardware should be sufficient). The problem seems to be that there is a lot of detail that doesn't need to be worldspawn brushes and should be converted to func_static. The wooden beams on the hull, for example, result in a lot of triangles and don't need to cast a shadow ("noshadows" on a func_static).

There are also some lights with a very big light radius that extend way beyond the small area they affect (I'm not sure how bad this is for performance but I can't think of another reason for the lag).

Regarding the beta mapper status: I'm not a team member but I think the fact that you released a mission for Thief doesn't hurt your chances. :)

#5 SneaksieDave

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 09:49 AM

Just took a look at this in the editor, so I can't comment on how it runs in game (though it makes the editor choke a bit), but it's very impressive! Gorgeous.

#6 greebo

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 09:50 AM

There are also some lights with a very big light radius that extend way beyond the small area they affect (I'm not sure how bad this is for performance but I can't think of another reason for the lag).

Large shadowcasting lights are the number one FPS killer.

#7 Jesps

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 09:58 AM

Large shadowcasting lights are the number one FPS killer.


So a big light will reduce framerate, even if it is in a small room?

#8 Baal

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 10:06 AM

So a big light will reduce framerate, even if it is in a small room?

The shadow volume it casts has to be computed for all architecture contained in its radius (or at least everything that is reachable through visportals, if I understand this correctly). And that's very CPU intensive.

#9 greebo

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 10:08 AM

So a big light will reduce framerate, even if it is in a small room?

Yes, especially when it's a shadowcasting one. Even worse would be a moving one.

All the shadowcasting polygons in range need to be inspected to calculate the silhouette and the actual shadow volume. My advice is to make lights as small as reasonably possible and/or to move them around cleverly. Most of the time you will be surprised about the visual similarity - making a light smaller does not necessarily hurt the atmosphere, often quite the opposite.

#10 SneaksieDave

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 10:13 AM

Is it established whether or not surrounding such areas/rooms with shadow textures will improve performance, not just by simplifying the geometry (as with a model's shadow mesh) but by actually reducing how far the lights reach (and thus must be computed)?

#11 HappyCheeze

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 10:38 AM

I just played through your map. Very nice!

Did Oblivion inspire this? :rolleyes:

The atmosphere was great. I never doubted that I was on a ship. Than I got on the deck I was like "Oh! Its an airship!" Sweet! I've been wanting to make/play an airship map for TDM.

The lighting was the only quirk I had with it. The lights were big like Greebo said, and most of them weren't extinguishable. So I'd go into a room, hear a guard coming and I'd freak out trying to find some tiny shadow to hide in. Prehaps you could split up your lighting into more lights with smaller radii, and maybe an extinguisable here and there. I know its flying through the sky and torches could be a problem, so maybe you could have more unextinguishable lights on deck where there would be more wind, and more torches below deck. OR you could have electrical lights and put buttons to switch them on/off.

Are you still working on this map? I climbed the ropes to the top of the blimp, walked around and fell through the other hole and died. If you plan on adding more, prehaps you could put some special restrictions like "Don't kill or knock out the captain, hes the one that flies this thing".
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#12 Flanders

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 11:22 AM

Awesome mission!
Spoiler


Too bad performance is not so good. Try the methods mentioned here to improve performance, making lots of brushes a func_static, setting noshadows to 1 on lights and func_statics. You don't have to cut on details, but maybe you can decrease the tesselation on some of the patches and decrease the number of steps on the platform under
Spoiler


edit: spoiler

#13 Jesps

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 11:25 AM

@Baal: I've changed a lot of the brushes to func_static with noshadows on. Hope it will run a bit better now. Did the same to the ropes outside.
I also reduced the radii of some of the lights.

Link: http://rapidshare.co...09862/ship2.map

@HappyCheeze: Yes Oblivion was a source of inspiration. So was the ship on the main page. But mainly it was because I had build an airship earlier that was just too small for any interior. An the I wanted a proper one. :)

These are the old airship:
Attached File  Airship1.jpg   14.06KB   46 downloads
Attached File  Airship2.jpg   12.87KB   45 downloads

#14 SneaksieDave

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 11:28 AM

Suggested last objective:

Find a parachute. ;)

#15 Springheel

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 12:27 PM

Spoiler


Yes, that would have been a very cool thing to realize *while playing the map*. Maybe some spoiler tags next time? <_<
TDM Missions:   A Score to Settle   *   A Reputation to Uphold   *   A New Job   *    A Matter of Hours
 
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#16 Baal

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 01:05 PM

@Baal: I've changed a lot of the brushes to func_static with noshadows on. Hope it will run a bit better now. Did the same to the ropes outside.
I also reduced the radii of some of the lights.

Unfortunately that didn't help much. In the starting area, for example, I have very high framerates (40-60 FPS) but as soon as I activate the lantern it drops to 10 or less FPS (even when I deleted most of the objects in this room). Does anybody know why that is?

#17 Jesps

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 01:23 PM

I see what you mean. Outside I get a significant drop in FPS. From around 30 to 19. Can all of that be due to the fact that it is a shadowcasting moving light?

#18 Baal

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 01:37 PM

I never had such a huge drop in performance with the lantern before so I don't know why it's so bad inside.
Outside may be a different problem. Setting up visportals efficiently is difficult in open areas. You can check visportals with the commands "r_showportals", "r_usescissors" and "r_showtris". Do you know how these work?

#19 Jesps

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 01:41 PM

You can check visportals with the commands "r_showportals", "r_usescissors" and "r_showtris". Do you know how these work?


Only r_showportals
The others I've never heard about :blush:

#20 Baal

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 01:45 PM

Here is some info about these commands.

#21 Jesps

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 02:17 PM

Thanks Baal. Those commands taught me something valuable. That there was a hole between the outside and the room with the barrels. It is sealed now.

#22 Baal

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 02:39 PM

This can happen when you convert brushes to func_statics because they don't seal.
And another thing: you can convert the beams together with their small top parts to a single object (or even all of the beams of a room).

#23 Flanders

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 03:16 PM

It could be that there are more 'holes' between the interior and exterior. A good way to find them is to make the visportals that connect the inside and outside solids, throw away your sky brushes and all entities in your map and then try to dmap. As Baal said func_statics (or entities in general) don't seal against the void even if they are made out of brushes.

Also, the stars in the map flicker really fast, take a look at your skybox cause it can be a source of bad performance. And perhaps you can change the bottom part of the sky brushes to caulk. Caulk will make it pitch black just as it is now, but it means less sky texture. Not sure if that helps, but it wouldn't do any harm either.

#24 Baal

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 03:37 PM

Performance: Essential Must-Knows

This tutorial describes a method to find internal leaks out of visportal areas (similar to what Flanders wrote).

Does anybody else have the problem I described? The starting room is sealed and the visportals work. But moving lightsources like the lantern totally kill performance on my system (from ~60 down to ~10 FPS when I activate it or move the candle there).

#25 Jesps

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 03:51 PM

I did something like that. It found it by sealing the doors and then creating a pipe connecting the room with the woid creating a leak.
I have also put caulk on some faces that are hidden behind patches, that is generally a good idea, right?
In game it gives some more FPS than the original, but still slowes down when I turn the lantern on. It is only outside it is a problem, however.
As an extra bonus it compiles A LOT faster!

This is the map as it is now.
http://rapidshare.co...17066/ship3.map

As for sky I used the skybox from Saint Lucia, twinkle_stars and deleted the clouds.

I also have some screenshots if you like:
http://i91.photobuck...20Mod/Ship5.jpg
http://i91.photobuck...20Mod/Ship4.jpg
http://i91.photobuck...20Mod/Ship3.jpg
http://i91.photobuck...20Mod/Ship2.jpg
http://i91.photobuck...20Mod/Ship1.jpg




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