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You might not agree with me, but in fan missions, for both Thief series and Darkmod, level design is often the weakest part. We mostly want to tell a story, build cool or "realistic" locations, and we think about populating these locations as we go. Not that I'm a good level designer, but all these years I've been collecting tutorials, books, and GDC PowerPoint presentations about level design, and I want to share a few of those with you. I paid for the books, so that would be illegal to share, but stuff from GDC is publicly available. Let's start with something absolutely essential. I believe every Thief/Darkmod level designer should be familiar with this: Randy Smith - Level building and stealth gameplay Now, this is a good piece on environmental storytelling. If you want to cut back on lengthy readables in your levels and leave more to players' interpretation, this is a must-read too: Harvey Smith & Mattias Worch – What Happened Here This is more like an annex to the first presentation, a bit more theory on how Thief systems work: Randy Smith - Design fundamentals of stealth gameplay in Thief I have more of those, but they're more about systems, or they focus on other games and level design in general. IMO those three documents are a solid piece of knowledge that should help you think more consciously about your levels and the whole design phase. Also, if you have any documents like that, especially on stealth games, and you can share it, it would be great
Thought it would be a good idea to collate a useful list for new and old mappers alike and this post will update as we go. Abandoned works: Any WIP projects that were abandoned by the original author - http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/12713-abandoned-works/Darkradiant & Darkmod shortcut settings: Some example settings for new mappers - http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/15152-darkradiant-and-darkmod-shortcut-folder-settings/Darkradiant howto, must knows, tips and faqs - http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/12558-usefull-important-editing-links/?do=findComment&comment=272581Info for Beginners: Newbie DarkRadiant Questions - http://forums.thedar...iant-questions/Dark Radient Must Know Basic Intro - http://wiki.thedarkm...now_Basic_IntroEditing Tips for Beginners - http://wiki.thedarkm...s_for_BeginnersEditing FAQ (Troubleshooting & How-To) - http://wiki.thedarkmod.com/index.php?title=Editing_FAQ_-_Troubleshooting_%26_How-ToSotha's excellent Mapping Tutorial series: http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/18680-lets-map-tdm-with-sotha-the-bakery-job/Springheel's New Mapper's Workshop: http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/18945-tdm-new-mappers-workshop/ Inspiration: Collection of screenshots and images people have found online - http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/11610-darkmod-inspiration-thread/Mapping Resources: List of Voice actors available for voice recording - http://modetwo.net/d...6-voice-actors/Lengthy collection of city reference pictures - http://modetwo.net/d...rence-pictures/Collection of texture resource sites - http://modetwo.net/d...ture-resources/Free Ambient Tracks - http://skeksisnetlabel.wordpress.com/2009/12/30/10-songs-for-free-download-vol-10-full-moon-over-noricum/Mapping Tools: 3 useful tools for texture creation - http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/18581-must-have-tools-for-the-descerning-mapper/Modular Building: What is Modular building - http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/14832-modular-building-techniques/Working example tutorial on modular building - http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/18680-lets-map-tdm-with-sotha-the-bakery-job/Springheels new modular models - http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/18683-using-springheels-205-modules/Some related mapper recipies -Easy Vaults - http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/14859-easy-vault-recipe/?hl=%2Beasy+%2BrecipeEasy Outdoors - http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/16159-easy-outdoors-recipe/?hl=%2Beasy+%2BrecipeEasy Caverns - http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/14469-quick-caverns-recipe/?hl=recipeEasy Alert Ai - http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/17157-easy-alert-ai-recipe/?hl=%2Beasy+%2BrecipeEasy Alert Ai Custom Behavour - http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/17160-easy-alert-ai-custom-behavior-recipe/?hl=recipeTutorials: Collection of video tutorials for DR - http://modetwo.net/d...in-darkradiant/Using Lighting and detail effectively: - http://forums.thedar...l-and-lighting/Voice Actors list: List of available voice actors - http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/12556-list-of-available-voice-actors/Usefull Console commands: A list of console commands for testing in-game - http://wiki.thedarkm...Useful_Controls
I decided to try DarkRadiant and followed the instructions word by word until i got to the "dmap compiling" part here: http://wiki.thedarkmod.com/index.php?title=A_-_Z_Beginner_Full_Guide_Start_Here!#Dmap:_Compiling_the_Mission The problem I was facing as a beginner is that the instructions were not enough, the path were mixed and shown forward and backward "\", "/" for folder structure. Then i tried to get smart from here http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/15152-darkradiant-and-darkmod-shortcut-folder-settings/ and still could not get the test to work, luckily, just in time this video came out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpkkE681TPo and i followed the steps EXACTLY as the video was explaining word by word and i managed to start my test mission, so i would like you to update the page "Dmap:_Compiling_the_Mission" http://wiki.thedarkmod.com/index.php?title=A_-_Z_Beginner_Full_Guide_Start_Here!#Dmap:_Compiling_the_Mission explanation for other newcomers how to do the first testrun of the level so they do not get frustrated like me I could see that i am not the first one to run into trouble at exactly this part of the A-Z guide, in my opinion this is the most important part, even if it sounds logical to the veteran dark radiant users out there anyhow, this is my first post in the forum so i just wanted to contribute this part as "feedback" so the A-Z can be improved at the right places for new users
I understand that we have wiki, but it isn't so full of needed info like forum. I think it should be thread "Tutorials" in Editing and Design, because time spent to find something is too much more that should be and asking for help every time isn't politely.. Today I have such questions: Where find tutorial for making frobable(openable) desks etc.? Where can be downloaded working properly plugins md5mesh and anim import\export for LW, and what version of LW should work with them? I want to make my chair moveable, what I have to add? Collision model or I can set up collision borders in editor and how it must be done if it is possible? If I decided to make bath with water (not know, but I want %) ), in what direction I should look to make it full of water with maybe flowing stream of water? I think that almost all answers on my questions should be founded in thread "Tutorials" , but it is absent for now... Wiki is good but it's simpler to make some tutor. topic than adding article to wiki...