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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.

 

Lol, sorry. I want to do a sprawling, open Thieves Highway mission someday, and this is an intimidating consideration.

 

So the taller stuff would be "for show", more or less. Like you say, if they were climbable, it would be all over. I understood...most of the rest of your explanation. Visleaf is a term I haven't encountered yet, though.

 

Either way, I think the takeaway here is, I shouldn't put myself through this kind of torture, and should plan on lots of breakages in LoS. :)

Edited by Digi

"Fancy burricks are afraid of dogs, if they encounter each other the dog barks and the burricks poop." - Thief: Deadly Shadows Game Designer

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A Hungarian firm specializing in digital 3D reconstructions of historical buildings and landscapes. Lots of images of old Hungarian castles and chateaus with many details and design ideas based on rea

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You could build something like this scene if you

  • kept to simple shapes (it is not terribly complex as it is - rectangles, a few wedges and arches here and there),
  • did not overdetail things (using trim textures creatively instead of more performance-costly geometry),
  • and limited the action to the lower rooftops.

Part of me wants to prove it, but ATM I'm happy to get my current FM ready before I have to focus on other things. But look at In Remembrance of Him for an example of how you could do something similar. The look and feel is spot on, and there is one particular area which is rather close to this picture, although it is just distant eye candy you can't actually interact with.

Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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So the taller stuff would be "for show", more or less. Like you say, if they were climbable, it would be all over. I understood...most of the rest of your explanation. Visleaf is a term I haven't encountered yet, though.

 

*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

 

Either way, I think the takeaway here is, I shouldn't put myself through this kind of torture, and should plan on lots of breakages in LoS. :)

 

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.

"The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out."

- Baron Thomas Babington Macauley

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Once I finish my FM (I should be asking for beta testers this weekend!), I'm not mapping anything for quite a while, but to date I've only played about nine TDM missions. I'm going to knock out a lot more of them, and will be looking for inspiration and/or examples of work I can emulate. Know, for example, how to display visportals in-game will help immensely when I'm analyzing certain bits of map.

 

But thanks for indulging my question.

Edited by Digi

"Fancy burricks are afraid of dogs, if they encounter each other the dog barks and the burricks poop." - Thief: Deadly Shadows Game Designer

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I tested the shown inspiration scene with a skybox technique I've been cooking in my mind for a while.

 

It is shown schematically below:

hNuXu2i.jpg

 

1) First build everything in DR. Build the objects that would go into the skybox normally, but outside the play area.

2) Then select all the stuff that is supposed to go into the skybox and cut them off with the clipper. Make a nodraw brush that is placed over the player start position.

3) Export the skybox stuff + the nodraw playerstart brush (I call it "Player Anchor") as an ase model. The Anchor is used to perfectly align the skybox camera with the player start.

4) Move the real wordspawn skybox stuff elsewhere and place a skybox brush ceiling at the cut off point.

5) Import the skybox model. Give it spawnarg "rotation 0.0625 0 0 0 0.0625 0 0 0 0.0625" This reduces it to skybox model scale to 1/16.

6) Put it into your skybox model into your skybox room. Align the skybox camera with the Player Anchor brush. Set the skybox cam to "type 1" so it follows the player.

7) dmap and test.

 

As you see, this is very powerful method as you can build freely outside the play area, and then get the stuff into your skybox. However, the skybox model does not like being scaled to 1/16, and it is illuminated weirdly but the skybox light. It looks like the light does not illuminate all the parts normally. Does someone know how to scale models OR worldspawn so that the model would react to light properly? If this was solved, this method would enable people to build vast outside areas with minimal effort.

 

Of course, you cannot access the outside area, but you can't have it all, now can ye? :P

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Here is the scene how it should be:

TZmOzkC.jpg

 

I simply used the exported skybox ASE model as a... well, a model.. and rebuilt the skybox model by hand using real brushes.

 

Looks good now.

 

If the model scaling is impossible to do, then one could maybe export a framework that shows how the skybox world should link with the play area, and then build the skybox items into the skybox itself.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Concept: proven. B)

 

With a couple of well-placed trims and models, it would be looking quite good, and that's very-very far from anything that would produce serious performance trouble.

Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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Home Again uses this method, but doesn't turn the skybox buildings into models. All light volumes in the skybox are scaled down 1/16th, models of wall lights are 1/16th, and new chimney smoke and lighting 'dust' are designed to look good at 1/16th scale.

 

If you look at HA in DR, you'll find two cubes, one to the west of the main area and one to the west of the skybox. The second is 1/16th the size of the first. If you were to select everything in the skybox, including the cube, and scale it up by 16, then sync the (now larger) cube with the first cube, the rest of the (now larger) skybox buildings would fit perfectly around the main body of the map.

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Cool!

 

But, I don't understand... How did you match the skybox items with the real world. Since you have the Anchor cubes in the skybox and the real world, that implies you first built the skybox geometry into the real world scale. How did you scale the skybox stuff down? Or if you built the skybox stuff by hand into the skybox, how did you know what goes where?

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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I built a border around the real map, sort of a swath of territory where I would expect to see buildings. I created the anchor cube way outside the border. Then I duped and scaled down the border and anchor, moved them into my skybox, and expanded the skybox to fit around the border. The skybox anchor doesn't need to be inside the box.

 

Then I created regular-size buildings w/o detail, scaled them down, and placed them into the skybox border. By seeing where they showed up in the mission, I could determine which parts of the border couldn't be seen when playing, and I didn't bother placing buildings into those areas. If you look at the skybox, you'll see large sections w/o buildings.

 

I went around the skybox border, placing different buildings, until I returned back to the start building. Each building is a func_static, which made it easy to dup, move elsewhere, and change textures to create a new building if I wanted to. As I progressed around the border, I deleted the border sections, because I no longer needed them.

 

Then I added scaled-down wall lamps, lights, effects, and chimney smoke.

 

The anchors are nice in that you can get a precise alignment of your skybox buildings with your map buildings.

 

I have a habit of moving my player start all over the map as I build it, so I didn't use that as an anchor. I did 'mark' the spot in the map that matched the camera placement in the skybox, so I could always return the player start to its home. Anytime I tested with the player away from his real spot, I set the camera to type 0 so the sky wouldn't try to follow me around.

 

Another thing to watch out for is if you ever find the game freezing while testing, see if the "little you" in the skybox has moved outside the skybox. You have to make sure that the skybox is large enough to accommodate the movement of "little you". Otherwise, when he moves outside the skybox, the game is trying to paint everything.

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Sounds like a very cool technique...is it described on the wiki somewhere already?

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http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/15033-draft-for-following-skybox-wiki/

 

There have been a few other forum posts about it. The last tip about avoiding freezing was new to me though.

"The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out."

- Baron Thomas Babington Macauley

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I've been remiss in updating that draft wiki. I wrote that as I was beginning the HA skybox, and some of my methods changed as I went along and learned more.

 

I'll try to finish it and wikify it.

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DvfQ8Co.jpg

 

Yum.

 

PvDVv0v.jpg

Edited by Digi

"Fancy burricks are afraid of dogs, if they encounter each other the dog barks and the burricks poop." - Thief: Deadly Shadows Game Designer

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So rather than search for individual images, I went to the source of a lot of inspirational images:

http://imgur.com/r/architecture

 

Tons of images with the potential to inspire ideas for TDM.

"Fancy burricks are afraid of dogs, if they encounter each other the dog barks and the burricks poop." - Thief: Deadly Shadows Game Designer

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Indeed. Ironically, a lot of real architecture is unrealistic as hell, and would be pointed and laughed at by any serious computer game fan. :blush:

 

There is a building near the place I work that looks just like someone's failed Dromed project.

Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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There is a building near the place I work that looks just like someone's failed Dromed project.

 

Howsabout a cell phone picture? I'd love to see it?

 

In my country most of the buildings are ugly 70s bunkers or 2000 steel-and-glass-and-redbrick.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Unfortunately (well, not really :)), I am 250 km from my home right now, working from a pleasant terrace overlooking the Danube, so can't take any. Sorry!

Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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Know, for example, how to display visportals in-game will help immensely when I'm analyzing certain bits of map.

 

Two ways you can do this, either bring down the console and type r_showportals 1 (0 to turn it back off), or do what I did, which was place this line in darkmod.cfg

 

bind "]" "toggle r_showportals 0 1"

 

pressing it once turns portals on, pressing it again turns them back off, and it's only ever one button press.

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Two ways you can do this, either bring down the console and type r_showportals 1 (0 to turn it back off), or do what I did, which was place this line in darkmod.cfg

 

bind "]" "toggle r_showportals 0 1"

 

pressing it once turns portals on, pressing it again turns them back off, and it's only ever one button press.

 

Thanks, but I was saying I did know how to do that, so it will help me when I'm breaking down maps that are similar to what I might want to do.

 

The toggle trick is cool though; I may use it. Thanks.

Edited by Digi

"Fancy burricks are afraid of dogs, if they encounter each other the dog barks and the burricks poop." - Thief: Deadly Shadows Game Designer

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Want to make a broadside decal based on this pamphlet:

L0020235_zpsf9447dda.jpg

:wub:

Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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