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So, what are you working on right now?


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10 minutes ago, Dragofer said:

I don't think you can compress env images as .dds, it hasn't worked for me in the past.

Too bad - it would have saved 70MB.  

I think I read something about "only .tga for env files" way back when.  When reading-and-doing, so following along and integrating, I tend to remember, but when I just read a tutorial and I'm not immediately doing, I tend to forget.  Then it becomes a total mess and I have a cold beer.

Edited by geegee
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43 minutes ago, Dragofer said:

One thing to consider is that your figure of 1.7 GB is probably in its uncompressed state, which isn't how you're going to distribute the mission, so I'd look at how much it weighs as a .zip.

ah, with the *_ed.jpg files deleted, the compressed size is 445MB.  Painter's Wife is 174MB.  I can see several ways to reduce size now, after this discussion, so I'll see how it goes.  But the comments have been negative and I doubt I can reach an outcome satisfying the TDM community, so ... it's like seeing the finish line of a marathon and WHACK, a blackjack to the back of the head

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2 hours ago, geegee said:

But the comments have been negative and I doubt I can reach an outcome satisfying the TDM community, so ... it's like seeing the finish line of a marathon and WHACK, a blackjack to the back of the head

I don't think it's negative - you did post a large figure for your first FM's size, which inevitably triggered comments on why it might be so big and how to reduce it. Everyone has their own way of delivering such remarks. 

445 MBs compressed is on the large end, but we've had several FMs that were in that size range for whatever reason (long videos, many custom assets). I think as long as you devote some attention and effort to the matter, then such a file size won't be a problem.

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4 hours ago, geegee said:

the compressed size is 445MB.  Painter's Wife is 174MB.  

I don’t recall what it was originally exactly but I am pretty sure TPW actually launched with a larger archive and then optimized the .pk4 in a subsequent patch. I can only speak for myself, but a 500mb zip file is at least not going to discourage me from downloading and playing you mission - in fact I am looking forward to it!

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6 hours ago, Dragofer said:

I myself have made detailed ships (as seen in Perilous Refuge), quite a few furniture pieces (of which most are in core assets) as well as the stagecoach and lamp models back in 2016

Wow you made that stage coach in DR!? That’s pretty next level - all those models are awesome! The lamp models are a personal favorites too.

I couldn’t pull off anything near that, but I really enjoy “modeling” with patches and brushes in the editor as I like working within the scene and retaining flexibility for as long as possible. You can bafflingly get dragged for this in certain segments of the internet that are quite certain this is “doing it wrong” and that you should be making your relatively low poly meshes in external software (or even make your whole scene in another piece of software) which is certainly also a valid way of working that clearly works for lots of people. 

I just think it’s a really cool and mapper friendly aspect of DR that it let’s you combine or amend existing assets, as well as yes make completely new ones, so easily and entirely from within the editor.

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Making relatively low poly meshes in DR and exporting them into ASE/LWO models is fine, as Dragofer explains. Making fine detailed meshes with brushes and patches and copying them around repeatedly without ever exporting them as models is going to cause problems.

If they are exported to models the geometry only needs to be stored once. If they are copied around, every single copy has its own set of brushes and patches, which is probably the reason Geegee has ended up with a .proc file four times the size of The Painters Wife.

Fortunately, if this is the cause of the problem it should be easy to fix. Just find the duplicated models, and replace them with a single LWO or ASE func_static (exported from DR if this is how you want to make it), then make sure the original brushes and patches are deleted. You can then duplicate the func_static as much as you like without increasing the size of the map file.

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@OrbWeaver 

Yes, that's what I figured from the discussion.  Copy/pasting around a func_static creates multiple un_precalculatable individuals whereas copying a model around creates multiple instances of what TDM pre-calculates to be one individual.

So I've spent the last few editing hours creating models of the statics.   I don't know how to include a light and emitter in a light fixture model, so the models are just of the func_statics, so I use a sensible iterative naming formula to create a S/R trio of the grouped model/light/emitter.  Now I can copy/paste that around, deleting the old func_statics as I go.  That's going to take awhile, for sure.

I doubt I can whittle it down to anything like Painter's Wife size.  Even if technically possible, which I doubt, Painter's Wife is a collaborative effort made by seasoned veterans combining many specialized skills.  How could I possibly produce something that rivals the optimization of that?  That's an impossible dream.

Thanks for staying with this discussion, OrbWeaver.  I appreciate it.

I

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17 minutes ago, geegee said:

I don't know how to include a light and emitter in a light fixture model, so the models are just of the func_statics, so I use a sensible iterative naming formula to create a S/R trio of the grouped model/light/emitter.  Now I can copy/paste that around, deleting the old func_statics as I go.  That's going to take awhile, for sure.

You'd be better off setting them up as entities — that's what entities are for after all, creating interactable objects with whatever sub-models and entities/lights/emitters are needed to make them work. You could look at some of the existing entities (within the def virtual folder of the core assets) and use that as a template. Once you've done this, you can just right-click, Create Entity and choose your new lamp to place one in the mission.

Another option is to export them as prefabs, which you can then import using DR's menu wherever you like. This is probably easier to set up than creating a custom entity, but it will be slightly heavier on the map file (because each prefab will have its own copy of the light+emitter combo, which all need to be saved into the .map file). However entities by themselves do not require massive amounts of data, so this is still a workable solution.

17 minutes ago, geegee said:

I doubt I can whittle it down to anything like Painter's Wife size.  Even if technically possible, which I doubt, Painter's Wife is a collaborative effort made by seasoned veterans combining many specialized skills.  How could I possibly produce something that rivals the optimization of that?  That's an impossible dream.

That wasn't really the point of the comparison. TPW is one of the largest maps ever, and wasn't particularly well optimised at release (although its second version was considerably improved). The vast majority of maps are considerably smaller, especially first releases by new mappers which tend to be less ambitious than large team projects.

Releasing something larger than TPW isn't necessarily broken and it doesn't mean that people won't play the mission. But if your map isn't actually designed to be huge (e.g. a massive outdoor city area with numerous playable houses), and it still results in a package which is much larger than the current largest mission(s), this does suggest that there is some problem which optimisation or data storage which might cause other issues when people try to play it.

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I wouldn't be surprised if most of the heaviest FMs have plenty of potential for being trimmed down to a smaller archive size. Mappers who've been around for a while tend to have ever growing suites of their own custom assets which they drop in at the start of each of their WIPs, and I doubt everyone goes through them at the end of the mapping process to check which ones aren't used or have meanwhile been added to core assets. This is probably especially true in FMs that contain hundreds of custom assets, since they can only be checked by hand at present.

In any case, we're fortunate to have considerable reserves both in storage space and bandwidth for FMs, so I don't think there's a real need for mappers to go out of their way to trim down their FMs (like we did with TPW, which was in a way treated as a challenge). Low-hanging fruit should in my opinion still be plucked, and as Orbweaver says, abnormal file sizes can be indicators of underlying problems that should be addressed.

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On 12/14/2021 at 8:06 AM, OrbWeaver said:

if your map isn't actually designed to be huge (e.g. a massive outdoor city area with numerous playable houses), and it still results in a package which is much larger...

The map was designed to tell a story and I think it succeeds.  The playable area is large, perhaps comparable to that of Hidden Hands: The Lost Citadel, and like HHTLC has several visually distinct areas.  

After converting 17 func_static light fixtures to models, and replacing about 70 func_statics in my map, the .proc file was reduced from 201MB to 188MB so a saving of 13.  Zipped, the size went down from 24.6MB to 23.4MB for a saving of a measly 1.2MB.  There's more that I can convert and for that I'm going to take your advice and study entity def's, and convert them into entities.  I doubt these changes will have much of an impact on this map, but for my next FM it'll help produce a tighter and more optimized structure.  

By the way, I use nurb curves a lot in my map.  Perhaps that also goes into the .proc size.

eta:  now down to 161MB, a cut of 40MB.  This is going well and I've learned a new trick!

I noticed a small drop in fps in some areas, most to shrug off but one in an area where the drop put the map into the red (it was already too close).  But I slept on it and woke with a visportaling answer (which had eluded me 'till now), making for a significant increase in fps in that whole sector.  Yippee!

Edited by geegee
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello and happy new year everyone!

I want to add a combination lock and have tried the entity 'atdm:combination_lock'. According to the "help text" in DR it should be no more to it than just add the target.

Alas I get this error message at game startup:

"Script object 'numberwheel' not found on entity 'idMover_atdm:numberwheel_980'."

I've seen this combination lock used in a working mission and when I check that mission in DR I can see the author has done exactly as I...

 

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@DeTeEffI suppose the problem is that the core assets don't include the scripts that are required for that numberwheel entity. Missions that have numberwheels have their own copy of the script in the FM's script folder. The Black Mage is one such mission.

It's probably too late to add those scripts to the core assets, unless maybe all FMs use a version of the script file that has inclusion guards at the start and end.

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Video cutscenes in "Away 0: Stolen Heart" have had a problem of not being replayable. This was reported to the bug tracker along with a test map. Thanks, @stgatilov, for diagnosing the problem and providing a corrected .gui file. The fix will be incorporated into an eventual Away 0 maintenance update. Of more general interest, the example GUI file shown in "Full-Screen Video Cutscenes" has been corrected, and the surrounding text redone as "3 Techniques".

Other wiki-work:

- In "Path Nodes", there's a new section about switching paths immediately, using stopPatrol.
- In "Conversations", section "How to Get AI to Patrol after Finishing a Conversation" is a rewrite with old and new material.
- There's a new topic: "Conversation Looping".

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On 1/5/2022 at 5:16 AM, Dragofer said:

It's probably too late to add those scripts to the core assets, unless maybe all FMs use a version of the script file that has inclusion guards at the start and end.

It is not too late if someone is brave enough to update all corresponding missions.
But it has to be done during beta phase.

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The scripts under discussion here are presumably for the 3-wheel combination lock and its use by the safe prefab with the sliding bar. Those are:

tdm_numberwheel.script

tdm_numberwheel_lock.script

There's also the 4-wheel combination lock paired with 2 rows of push buttons and typically a lever. Probably the original script code for this was the numberwheel_lock() function in the main script of Broad Roads (broads) . I found that kinda buggy and had to extensively rewrite it for Away 0 as "numberwheel_lock_vault_custom.script". But that rewrite would need to be generalized to make it suitable for core; it currently contains stuff specific to my FM. If there was demand for it, I would be willing to attempt that generalization, but only if someone was then willing to "update all corresponding missions".

Edited by Geep
correct script name
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Hey everyone. hope your new year is off to a good start.

lately I've been taking a break from mapping and trying to learn some Blender... nothing complicated, simple stuff like bottles, boxes, etc. I followed a tutorial on youtube and made this. I put one of the wine bottle textures on it.

bottle.jpg.25303350d01a304b3a1ea187f296a49c.jpg

then I tried to import it into TDM. surprisingly the scale was just right. Only problem is that I don't actually know how to apply a texture to it.

bottle2.jpg.bbb4824582679d309fa69e2efba138ad.jpg

Am I supposed to export it as an .ase or .lwo? If I export it as .ase I can then open the file in wordpad and try to mess around with the following definitions which I assume have something to do with the texture

*MAP_NAME "...."

*BITMAP "\\base\..."

I'm not sure what these control though. Are they supposed to point to a texture file in the darkmod folder?

 

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1 hour ago, RedNoodles said:

Am I supposed to export it as an .ase or .lwo? If I export it as .ase I can then open the file in wordpad and try to mess around with the following definitions which I assume have something to do with the texture

*MAP_NAME "...."

*BITMAP "\\base\..."

I'm not sure what these control though. Are they supposed to point to a texture file in the darkmod folder?

It is supposed to point to the material name (which might be different from the texture name).  In this case, I think you want "wbottle01":

image.thumb.png.1288750dc985e661887aedbfdaee5577.png

Instead of hacking the exported file, you can also name your material in Blender the same as the TDM material, and it will be exported correctly.  The only time this causes a problem is if the TDM material name is too long for Blender to handle (it has a 64-character limit IIRC).

 

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