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Everything posted by RJFerret

  1. *nods, there is one trick (afaik only done in one mission) where you could have one of the towers wrapped up in caulk and give it faked screenshot views down from there (or no views down/high railing/windows). Another option is build a fake miniature duplicate city for the skybox. Visleaf = the area between/divided by visportals Hear, hear! (I'm currently doing exactly that, despite my back and forth street design though, there's a surprise long diagonal view that opens up seven visportals, one of which wraps around the other side of a building, causing most of the map to be rendered. *sigh The smaller "tubes" you can design, which turn and are offset, the happier you'll be. However those "tubes" can be high up in the sky.
  2. Aw man, spoil my joke by seriously asking! It's not actually implausible. The "sky" would be lower than you imagine, and caulk. The towers would be func_static props with parts of them in the visleafs of the viewer, so they would render despite the rest of their area not. The performance would be worst at the pic's camera view, as all the visportals would be open. However if the player was on one side, the entire other side wouldn't be rendered. (Don't consider the higher level roofs accessible/climbable--there's be no performance hope then as all exterior visportals would be open.) The key is to interrupt the line of sight as much as possible, which obviously is the exact opposite of the intent of the photographer.
  3. OK, I'll look at it. Just don't ask me to visportal it! ;p
  4. Rather a necro post, I am apparently half a year late to this party, just stumbled across the game yesterday and had oodles of luck today...
  5. Drats, I was hoping there was a dummy readable template that gave a briefing wysiwyg in the editor I was ignorant of.
  6. How would you apply the readable editor to the briefing? Anyways, I removed the extraneous \s from the ends of the lines, and the briefing properly showed up on both pages Digi.
  7. And is your map file in the correct directory/folder? I had similar results once dropping it in the wrong spot.
  8. Heh, Iowa IS the corn belt. The only way you're avoiding high fructose corn syrup is if you bake, own a juicer, and don't imbibe any of the stimulants grad students use to get through the long haul. ;-)
  9. Graduate program, or grad program for short. Graduation would refer to the ceremony/act of having graduated. The US is WAY too big to generalize, Iowa wouldn't be my pick personally, be prepared for storms, cold winters (about five months with below freezing temperatures) and tornadoes in spring/summer. Don't know if you expect to be getting a car, but realize most Americans drive automatics instead of manual transmissions, we just had a send off party for a friend returning home to France, and she had a heckuva' time selling her manual car before leaving.
  10. You'll be a few hours from an ex-girlfriend of mine (she's in the Upper Peninsula of MI). You'll be 16 hours from me.
  11. The outline I came up with for this is more "Halloween" than "horror", but no matter, they both encompass each other. Personally I won't build at the pace I did last winter however, so two-three months plus a month for beta testing won't make the end of July, or even August. ;-) We're already halfway through June! I'd rather enjoy the mapping process, than feel pressured by a deadline (it's already enough work, without feeling like work).
  12. Testing takes far longer than you'd imagine. Some may give quick feedback, others will say they can test...expecting to play on a weekend, but end up busy that weekend. I know it's thrilling and you want it out as soon as possible, but budget far longer than you might expect. This isn't even accounting for inevitable changes.
  13. Actually there's two ways to go for Flow, you hit optimal Flow when the balance between challenge and reward are equal. TV watching has poor Flow because there's little challenge but lots of "reward". Things where you have to work to hard for little benefit have bad Flow too. Video games tend to be self leveling if they are open enough. Other elements that encourage effective Flow would be player options. People achieve optimal fun when they choose and feel in control of their destiny. FMs that are too linear, where the player can't do what they want, but have to do only what the designer set up fail that. One of the hardest parts I've found with FMs is the discovery element. Sometimes players get caught finding that last bit of loot. Meanwhile, the reward is simply completion/continuation. Worse, FMs where there's little clue where to find a critical lever that prohibits advancement. The reward is minimal, but you have to go out of the game, search forum threads, potentially load the FM into DR, all sorts of effort for next to no reward. Other things critical to FMs would be clear Objectives. If the player isn't understanding what to do to progress, it fails. To a lesser degree, this is why folks sometimes clamor for maps, as being too confused where to go breaks the immersion too. Understanding Flow, what makes things fun, is invaluable to game design. You see the best game companies capitalize on it, and that's how addictive experiences are created. I've linked the Wikipedia article in so many forums I know the title name by heart now, heh. PS: In the quality of life department, appreciating the measures of "fun", increased my pleasure in activities, and altered how I invested my free time.
  14. I tend to copy/paste things with the attributes already set, so like baseboard trim, I'll make nonsolid and turn off shadows, then copy/paste that piece around the room and throughout. Not only is it less work, but it reduces human error. Those who use a modular building style do the same, but with complete wall/trim assemblies of a specific size, and just copy more times.
  15. If you put a spawnarg on a worldspawn brush, you'll see it on EVERY worldspawn brush. Worldspawn is kind of "one thing", it doesn't have individual attributes like entities. I know tutorials don't explain the difference very well, it was a learning curve for me too. PS: Func_stats also have a neat trick for roof lines, as they'll render in front of caulk sky, so you can poke up above that way (if this makes sense).
  16. Yes, avoid overlapping lights when possible. Two lights overlapping isn't a problem for most peoples' systems though. However, three overlaps starts to show lower performance for many. Four overlapping tends to show slower FPS for most, which we try to avoid. If you haven't read this wiki page, Performance: Essential Must-Knows, you'll wish to! There are commands to evaluate the results of your lights and whatnot. PS: A key advantage of converting things to func_static is to enable noshadows to avoid shadow calculations and make them non-solid to avoid physics calculations.
  17. A mapper could set up food that way, but most provide health potions for that purpose instead.
  18. Pfft, I can build sloppy slow too. ;p
  19. Egg Salad? Mmms... Yes, definitely Egg Salad! I'm the opposite, if it's Halloween themed, I might join the party, but if it's open, I'll just continue doing what I was doing anyway and won't aim for this time-frame (as much to have a new release available post-contest as anything else). In my mind half the purpose of contests is to stimulate new content, not what we are already working on, and artistically get to see different artist's interpretations of a theme. If the "contest" is just "do what you were going to do, and release within these dates regardless", then...?
  20. I find it easier to do the reverse sometimes. I'll wall off a section and test it, blocking visportals/walls/etc. No problem then? I slide the wall back a bit, test. Keep going. If the problem doesn't reveal itself until my artificial blockade is slid all the way off, start from the other side, or perpendicularly, as the internal leak is likely in the corner of that far wall. I've found multiple leaks in others' maps that way. However if you didn't get a pointfile generated with it mapped separately, there might not be a leak but another issue perhaps? I'd double-check that first, as I once spent time trying to track down a leak that didn't exist in my first map, having needed another location separator on a visportal or something like that instead.
  21. OK now I will sound critical. :-) Indiscriminately placing dirt decals on the wall doesn't help. Where would smudges and dirt be? At corners by entryways where people put their greasy hands on the wall. Soot by candles. Near floors. In corners where spiderweb collect dust. It's not what you pictured, which more like graffiti vandalism than dirt. I once showed two versions of the same picture of a woman to some teenage boys, asking which they found more alluring. They all chose the exact same image. None could tell me why. The difference? The amount of color on her lips. That's why I described dirt decals like make-up previously. It needs to enhance, not obscure; it should blend in, not stand out. The viewer's eye isn't drawn to the eye-liner and eye-shadow, but to her eyes. In your case, you are drawing the viewer's eyes to the wrong element. You are right, it looks worse than the untreated version. But the naked version looks plastic, clean, not like a lived in shack; rather like a mannequin instead of living person. Imagine instead a dirt decal that darkens the bottom of the wall, turning clear toward the top, that would add a lot of dimension. Just like adding furnishings to a room, add decals to each wall, floor, and maybe ceiling. The version you picked could work for a floor (or ceiling if more transparent). PS: Unlike others, I do decals while I'm there too.
  22. I had that problem and successfully edited out the dupes from that file, carefully maintaining mission stats. Hopefully you didn't delete it entirelly, but hung on to a copy in another folder, or just renamed it for testing.
  23. Have you seen http://wiki.thedarkmod.com/index.php?title=How_to_pack_your_Mission ? If not, you'll want to go through that process, then copy the .pk4 to your FMS folder as Springs was referring to, so the game installs it to play, as first your beta testers, then others shall.
  24. This already exists within the context of campaigns. The mapper stipulates what carries forward, and what may be spent is based on what's earned.
  25. It can be if the layout didn't consider it to begin with. But streets are just hallways--the only difference is the ceiling is sky. This is why so many missions have zig-zagging streets and you turn lots of corners, it's not just to have spots for the player to hide, it's also so visportals may close. The size of the map doesn't really impact it, where the sounds travel does. There's a not-too-big map out there that's little more than a U-shaped layout with a building in the middle. I don't know if there are internal leaks or visportal issue, but it has major sound issues, such that an AI closes a door somewhere out of sight, yet it sounds like it's right next to you.
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