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Everything posted by Melan

  1. Typically from a visual idea that emerges in my head, or the fragment of a story, some vague idea. I often do architectural concept sketches. For example, Penny Dreadful 2 came from this sketch: My first Thief mission was made to plan, and only changed slightly. The second and third were almost completely improvised. The last was built around sketched architectural elements, but the goals and structure of the mission changed significantly. And I have a bunch of sketches and maps for missions that haven't been realised (yet). There are similar patterns in TDM: PD1 and Return to the City were fully improvised, PD2 and PD3 built around concepts, while Fauchard Street and The Rats Triumphant were speed builds with precise objectives and relatively little organic development due to time constraints. I have tried multiple building styles, including prefab-heavy missions and others. They have their respective draws and problems. For PD3, I am shying away from too many prefab elements, since I want it to have a very handcrafted, non-repetitive look that's mostly BSP-based. In most missions, I build scene by scene (although I often return to older scenes), and don't really enjoy the stepwise approach of doing a level task by task. I like to exploit opportunities that crop up during the building process, and use them to build new areas. If there is a place that looks like a fun location to climb up, why not make it possible? I procrastinate a whole lot, or set a project aside for a long time. Not a great solution, but that's it. There is also a time when I start to lose interest in a project, which is a sign telling me to wrap it up and release it. This is also why I'm reluctant to do mission updates. Gameplay trumps realism, story, and really every other concern. Mood is also very important. Light and sound contribute much to mood. I'm all for testing the mission as much as possible, with a lot of different approaches - stealthy, ghosting, violent, no equipment use or lot of equipment use, and so on. It makes the mission smoother, and it is a good source of new ideas. I am against obscure secret switches, since they can really break the flow of a mission. Generally, core objectives should not be too hard or too obscure - but they are fun to leave as extras. Learn to avoid invisible walls, excessive linearity, and other restrictive trappings of modern gaming. Enable, and don't constrain the player. Think in terms of alternate solutions to gameplay challenges. Allow yourself to be surprised. Performance-related problems, due to being over-ambitious. Fortunately, Bikerdude has helped me overcome most of them. Maybe. Not as holy writ, but as design tips, sure.
  2. Different project, although PD3 is also coming along now with Bikerdude's help. Shadowhide's map is excellent, a really impressive city mission. It has mostly been Bikerdude and Baal working on it, but I have also made contributions (and will make more when we wrap up PD3).
  3. Thanks for the suggestions! fre:ac was just the right, simple tool for conversion. Now how about something that can do something a little more complex - cutting a few seconds off of a sound?
  4. I would like to add new ambient sounds to my mission. I have most of the source files, and would like to convert them to TDM's preferred format. Is there a free and easy to use program to do it in a batch?
  5. Ah, okay. It was always that way, so it must have been intentional.
  6. Thanks for your comment, Tarhiel! That is a well thought out interpretation. Not entirely identical with mine, but you are on a good track.
  7. Any maps to recommend where I could study how others use sound_loss on info_locationseparators?

    1. Show previous comments  7 more
    2. Melan


      Thank you, grayman!

    3. Melan


      Interesting, quite high sound loss values there.

    4. SteveL


      NB there's a bug with sound loss that causes sound card pops in a complex enough map. It'll be fixed soon in 2.04

  8. This was an enjoyable mission, with a generous amount of content for the two weeks of work spent on it (although I assume a lot of extra effort went into actually making the modules you ended up using). The construction would be just a little bit "samey", which is an inherent consequence of modular building, but this is neatly counterbalanced by the imaginative and varied way the rooms are stocked, and how they are linked to the main story. It all comes together well. The only place where modularity becomes an issue is in the corridors (granted, the inn theme makes it challenging to introduce variety). There is also a room right at the start that doesn't have a proper exit - spooky! The gameplay is surprisingly straightforward after getting used to the more demanding puzzles in Quinn Co. I expected the hidden room to be something genuinely devilishly well hidden behind layers of security and mechanical shenanigans, and, well, it isn't. Not a fault, just odd in comparison. But really, two weeks? A lot of good content for that kind of building time.
  9. Awesomeific! I already know where some of these can find a home in my mission.
  10. Epifire: splendid! I would be real happy to be able to use some of them in Penny Dreadful 3. Could you perhaps upload an archive containing all the files in these folders? Otherwise, only a Mediafire Pro account will let people download them in bulk (as opposed to a file-by-file basis).
  11. They also want to unload a bunch of unskippable ads on their users. They see the money in social media, and want a piece of that pie. It is an economic bubble that makes formerly (mostly) honest manufacturers go crazy, and abandon the goal of making good products in lieu of engaging in dodgy financial schemes, ultimately damaging their core competencies. It is shaping up to be a new dotcom collapse, except bigger and nastier. As for the customers, this cartoon sums it up: (Okay, pretty ironic posting it on the TDM forums. )
  12. It is one specific area, fortunately, and I'll try a few tricks before bothering you. The area is not func_portalled yet, which can make a significant difference The rest of the mission uses a much more conservative building approach.
  13. Monitors differ, so you should rely more on the monitor calibration room in the Training Mission than any specific value. Personally, I believe people build their levels a bit brighter than optimal. My missions use an ambient of 0.06 (PD2, PD3), or even 0.05 (Fauchard Street, PD1 - the lower crypt level has 0.02!). Only Return to the City used 0.08.
  14. I promised there'd be no more preview images of Penny Dreadful 3... but I also expected to release it in early 2016. Due to getting hit with the Work Stick, that obviously didn't happen, and it is only in the last days that I could return to mapping. So, here is another screenie (oddly, they never do justice to what you can see in the game): Now at 13297 brushes, 5381 patches and 4623 entities, and only a few more areas need to be built. Will still need optimalisation (I've got scenes with 6000+ drawcalls) and a whole lot of pre-release work.
  15. BRB, making TDM levels great again. (hopefully)

    1. Show previous comments  3 more
    2. demagogue


      Let's deport all the revenant and zombie terrorists while we're at it!

    3. grayman


      And you know who's going to pay for The Wall? We're going to make the Evil Overlord pay for The Wall. It'll be the biggest wall, because I only build great walls. Great walls. It'll keep out everything. Nothing will get through. And the Evil Overlord will pay for it!


    4. stumpy


      seems a bit odd...if the evil overlord has to build it wont they undermine it by putting tunnels under it. Or you could just invest in some boats and come around the ends.

  16. Nothing involved, just the fact that surfaces in TDM should all have a material (stone, wood, etc.) associated with them for footstep sounds, rope attachment, and so on. Don't ask me for the technical details, though.
  17. One possibility the crashes may happen is if you have too little memory, particularly as your maps get large. However, they will still work all right (at least they have always worked for me). Just wait for the crash, or a few minutes, and reload.
  18. Epifire: that looks mighty fine! It has been discussed that static mesh-based building methods would deliver the highest graphical fidelity, but you are the first to try it on a larger scale. Good luck! When you are creating your textures, don't forget that you will have to break them down into pieces depending on material type. (Alternatively, do an extra editing pass with nodrawsolid textures.
  19. @Bikerdude: Got and installed the 2.04pre2 version. Will see if the behaviour persists. At least I am back at work. Hopefully this will be a reasonably straight line to the finish.
  20. I am running v2.01. What does that mean? Unfortunately, can't upload/download things until the 16th. As I wrote elsewhere, Win10 downloaded itself on my laptop, and blew through my monthly DL limit. Thanks, Microsoft!
  21. The mission is getting fairly big. Spent around two hours walking around it looking for bugs and seeing if the gameplay was up to par. Still, it is not an impossibly large project. It has taken about six months total so far (over a one and a half year period). I may know a thing or two, but there are still elementary tasks which elude me. This thread is just fine for the purpose! .)
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