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Melan

Fiasco at Fauchard Street

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Can't quote the quote for some reason. Anyway, the use of multiple 'same' objects next to each other is a perfect example of why/when to use seed. Why not take a few minutes and tie them together into one entity to save draw calls?

Thanks for the suggestion! I have not studied SEED's possibilities yet, but if it is simple to do, I will. How can I combine entities with it? The wiki has an entry for it, but it is not completed yet.


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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This entry seems to have more detail than the one you've posted...

 

http://modetwo.net/d...tching_entities

Edited by nbohr1more

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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nbohr1more: Thanks, I'll look into it!

 

Shadowhide: The map has not been optimised yet - for example, I haven't added func_portals to force distant visportals to close sooner, and there are two rather important portals that do not even work yet.


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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Cool.

 

Since Springheel's Optimizing Maps thread, I recently added entries to the performance wiki so you might see some new stuff there ;) :

 

http://modetwo.net/d...tial_Must-Knows

 

(Though Bikerdude ought to write his own "Performance magic" wiki... )

 

Edit:

 

I presume any crazy-obsessive optimizing wont be par for course with a speed-build process though...

 

Also, gaddang those are some gorgeous screens...! :wub:

Edited by nbohr1more

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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All right, I'll take a look at them.

 

This is it for today. Tomorrow is a workday, so I'll start in the evening - which slows things down to about 1/3 the current pace, but after all, in only two days, I've built the majority of the terrain and made progress in other areas as well. Well, until then! :)


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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Springheel: I logged my starting and finishing times:

1.5 hours on Friday (Not counting mining my maps for suitable prefab material and writing material files for new textures.)

4+3.5+3.5 = 11 hours on Saturday.

4+5+2.5 = 11.5 hours on Sunday.

That's... drumroll... 24 hours net! :blush: (So far.)

 

In comparison, Prowler of the Dark (Thief 1, screenshots here), which was another speedbuild, was made in net 4 days at roughly the same pace, but it was also a smaller mission and obviously less detailed. I will post a more detailed report once I am finished, but what makes it so much easier in TDM is the availability of prefabs and fairly sophisticated models, and the ability to rapidly build, clone, move and rotate fine detail. Dromed had multibrushes, but they were by and large not very helpful unless used with the most basic shapes. Plus cutting apart brushes to get what you precisely need without fine measurements is very helpful as well.

 

[edit]Also, it has to be noted that my regular maps take longer in part because of the time invested into building the prefabs which saw use here from scratch (and other combo items which didn't, as well as custom textures). This is also a map where I let images emerge as they will; on other occasions, I can spend hours trying to get the small details in an area down perfectly.

Edited by Melan

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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hey melan!

 

wtf, all those screenshots/building-progress after 24h only? ohmy.gif

 

really looks like a pretty example for what may be possible within a short peroid of time! my editing sessions always feel like spending 24 hours to simply construct a piece of paper or a waterglass... sad.gif

 

 

 

 

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(Though Bikerdude ought to write his own "Performance magic" wiki... )

Ha, I appreciate the nod. But all of the stuff I have done and do I would have though is in the wiki..?

 

@Melan, what I could do for the purposes of this speed build is do like you have done, (a blow-by-blow) on how to optomize for perf. Assuming your not gonna do that yer self.

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That's... drumroll... 24 hours net!

 

Heh, that amount of free time takes about two weeks for me. :)

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Usually, it does for me too.


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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I was itching to see some ingame screenies. Impressive.

 

Do you have the ambient light in place, by the way? Darkness is really dark in you screenies.


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Yes; it is a fairly dark level, though, so it is set at a low level.


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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Evening, taffers! Time to start on the evening's work - first, fixing a few bugs; then, some of the smaller interiors and trying to see how SEED works.

Edited by Melan

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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Thanks for the suggestion! I have not studied SEED's possibilities yet, but if it is simple to do, I will. How can I combine entities with it? The wiki has an entry for it, but it is not completed yet.

 

Oops, :blush: I am gonna finish that article in a minute.

 

Also, I am here to answer any SEED related questions. Plus I'd like you to use the "location zone" system for ambient lighting and music, and am here to answer any questions in that area, too.


"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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Taking a short half-hour break, here are two steps of progress (in addition to some minor work):

 

post-2023-130255017316_thumb.jpg

A room interior. You may notice there are a lot of objects. While a bit contrary to the objectives of the speedbuild, taking the time for object placement is time well spent: little touches in the general atmosphere of squalor like a a gambler's tool and bottles of drink, a pair of discarded shoes on a rag (the "carpet" was part of the prefab, I just retextured it with a sackcloth texture) and a casually hanging piece of cloth make the player wonder about the inhabitants of the level and what they are doing in it - even if the gambler will not be present, and the rest of the AIs will just be walking about.

Tip: Always rotate objects laying around and not specifically placed by a very rigorous and methodical person. Disorder is natural! And 5-15 degrees are almost always enough.

 

post-2023-13025504268_thumb.jpg

While on a mission to clone some lantern glare particles for various light sources (the blue box; it only had to be placed once, and the rest is copy/paste), I took a decal patch from elsewhere and applied it to a wall. Now there is a row of tattered pamphlets here, and an awning over them that had once protected the reader from the rain - but no more. This is a fairly poor part of town, or at least signs of wealth are contrasted with the marks of hard living and deterioriation.

Edited by Melan

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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No, it is def. not a seasonal mission. Well, it is about thieving season, but all seasons are thieving season, sooooo... ;)


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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Oh well,

 

The press-angle of a "battle of the titans" between two speed-built missions was pretty compelling.

 

I'll have to stir-up a Sotha vs Carnage rivalry :laugh:

 

...


Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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Wrapping up for today with another locale completed:

 

post-2023-130255857136_thumb.jpgpost-2023-130255859123_thumb.jpg

A before and after shot of the small store leading to the garden and Lendermann's backdoor. I decided to go for a fairly austere little place, but not too shabby since it is in a fairly nice-looking building. The previous image with the pamphlets game me the idea -- it would be a print store, selling books, pamphlets and even a few rare illuminated manuscripts. The precious items are under the windows and lit up (presumably so passersby can see them even at night), and there is also a sort of bulletin board with reference prints. The shop has a simple fin-de-siècle air reinforced by the herringbone floor and the absence of too much equipment - after all, this is a decent, well-kept workshop, not like those other places around here.


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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Evening, taffers!

 

Although I have been looking at the mission since about 19:00, I have forgotten to write, I seemed to have run into a serious bug of some sort:

post-2023-130263316172_thumb.jpgpost-2023-130263323815_thumb.jpg

  • first, the ambient light level was impossibly high (see comparison shots above)
  • second, the game froze whenever I crossed a specific visportal - although only if AI was in my pursuit.

Tracking down the source of the error was frustrating to say the least. When a game crashes, you might get an error log. When it freezes, though - you may not have anything to go by (fortunately I could at least go back to Windows). Trying to delete various bits from the level - visportals that may have been involved, entities that could have been corrupting the FM - did not produce results. Finally, I found something: a lot of lights throughout the mission have changed their light textures to lights/ambientlight2. At this moment, I still don't know what caused the problem (any ideas? I'm using DR 5.0) - but I can at least try to do something about it. Since the last save of mine where the lights were normal is from Sunday evening, I'll try to manually revert all lights to a type that is sure to work. If that does not solve the problem, there will be time for a demonstration of some partial level recovery techniques.

Tip: The lessons are clear. Save often, using different file names. Test regularly to see if something is off.


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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Progress report: the ambient light problem has been sorted, and things appear to be back to normal in that department. However, the second problem, of freezing at a certain visportal when the AI is actively pursuing the player (although not when under notarget), remains - and seems to have been around for a time. Therefore, I will look into what could be causing it -- and appreciate suggestions from other posters who might know the answer as well.

 

[edit]The problem apparently precedes visportaling the mission. Here is what happens:

  • Being pursued by an alert guard, you run down a street.
  • Rounding a corner, the mission freezes.
  • It is possible that the activation of some guards in further parts of the mission is responsible, and the freeze occurs as they come running.

Will experiment more.

Edited by Melan

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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Progress report: and it seems the crisis has finally been averted - at least the bug is not reproduced anymore, no matter how I try. :ph34r: But let's start with the first one.

 

So, for whatever reason, my lights reverted to lights/ambientlight2. Full disclosure: I don't know why it happened. It has not happened before. It might have been an editor glitch, or maybe I did something stupid. Anyway, here is how I fixed it relatively fast:

 

post-2023-130263828846_thumb.jpg

DarkRadiant offers a wide variety of light textures. These are essentially "masks" applied to normal lights, which are rectangular by default, and hence really ugly. By applying a mask, the light can become round and less strong towards the edges; it can flicker; it can produce an X-ray effect; it can be a strobe, project the outline of a window, and a lot more things. Many textures are actually Doom 3 defaults, and not very useful for TDM (the aforementioned X-ray will probably not see much use). I'd say 60-80% of lights in a level use lights/biground1 (a round patch of light) or lights/biground_candleflicker (the same as above, but with a flickering candle effect). Other favourites, at least in a city mission, include lights/biground1_streetlamp_4fold, lights/tdm_lanternlight, lights/paintinglight (this is for spotlights, a downwards beam) and sometimes a few more esoteric ones. It is relatively easy to convert lights fast by first selecting the light texture you'd like to apply, selecting multiple lights of the same type, and applying the same light texture to them at once. Then, to make sure you "eliminate" fixed lights, you hit "h" for "hide" to remove them from editor view (unhide takes a "H").

 

post-2023-130263886734_thumb.jpg

Now about the second bug. This is actually something I should have detected and squashed on day one. But since I was always running around under the effects of notarget, which makes the player undetectable, the AI weren't reacting to me or moving at all. Which is fine: they are, at this stage, basically fancy measuring sticks to make sure I get my architectural proportions right. Here is where things got wrong: I ran down the street from the north (blue arrow), with a guard on my tail. I rounded the corner, and when I got to the orange cross, the game froze.

 

I suspected the problem might be visportal-related: there are VPs located at the dashed yellow lines, and the crash happened by one. This was logical thinking, but also wrong. I eventually, after much head-scratching, confirmed it by going back to successively older versions - and the level still crashed before VPs even existed in the mission.

 

This is how got it: it would be something different - something to do with AI navigation. AI only hear you from a distance, and come at you when in hearing range. So, when one is close, he passes terrain that's somehow wrong, and divides by zero or something. This is when I recalled that very-very early, when I was roughing out the slopes on the main street, I was having problems with two brushes coming at each other imperfectly - with a small edge I was too lazy to fix, although I knew it was not right that way. Well, here was the danger, lurking unseen and waiting to strike. Fortunately, it was eventually easy to remedy: I applied a small ramp textured with monsterclip (stuff the AI pathfinding considers solid - they will walk around it, walk over it, they will be stopped by a wall of it, but they still see through it) to the problem spot, and the AI walked over it without apparent problems.

post-2023-130263964831_thumb.jpg

 

Crisis averted! Although I wasted most of an evening finding the respective culprits, these things come with the trade: the only person who does not experience bugs or commlit simple design mistakes is the one who does not build. And as demonstrated, most bugs have, in fact, a fix. -_- (Coincidentally, Prowler of the Dark, my other speedbuild, also had a very nasty bug that cropped up in the last moment, and took a day's testing to fix - and it was a totally dumb thing too -- forgetting that some Thief Gold assets do not appear in Thief: The Dark Project.)

 

With that said, since I've only got ca. one and a half hour left from the day, I'll do something not too time-consuming: readables.

Edited by Melan

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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post-2023-130264561066_thumb.jpg

Finishing for today - first, a couple of readables. These are not mission-critical, but lend the places you visit some character and depth as advertisements and notes posted on walls. Fortunately, TDM's powerful WYSIWYG text editor can handle them much better than 1.0, when you still had to write unwieldy and complicated code. My source for the base texts was The Old Bailey Online, a digitalised archive of London's central criminal court with materials from 1674 to 1913. In addition to judicial reports, they have a lot of advertisements, proclamations and other texts, presumably printed on the same broadsides as the Ordinary's Account, a report apparently so popular reading material that it had to warn the public about illicit imitators. Of course, the TDM universe is not exactly London, only kinda-sorta-London, and an anachronistic mixture of several dialects and ages, which means the sources still needed some work to be hammered into shape.

 

post-2023-130264605947_thumb.jpg

Some basic dirt decals. Decalsare wonderfully effective to make textures look even more variable, and they are very ligt on resource use, being flat, one-sided, non-solid texture patches. In addition to dirt (which come in varieties such as dripping slime, grime corners, stains, bloody handprints and more), there are other varieties such as cobwebs and even distant buildings for your backgrounds. In this mission, I will only place a few here and there and not worry about griming up everything. Builders are divided on whether they use them all that much or not - Sotha, for example, tends to build relatively clean, while Fidcal's mission have impeccably applied grime almost everywhere where possible. I am somewhere in the middle.

 

So much for today. Regrettably, this was not a very productive occasion, since the bugs occupied my attention for a while - but at least, we seem to be back on track. So, tomorrow, I hope to continue with a back garden; then, we will see.


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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