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Modular Building Techniques

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This probably is better suited here:

 

Here's a link I just found that explains building modular architecture in a very concise way, with pictures:

 

http://tone3d.blogspot.ca/p/dishonored-environment-breakdown-i-will.html

 

f2.PNG

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Nice.


FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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I pinned this thread for reasons that will become clear when we release TDM 2.05 :ph34r:

 

In the meantime, after finishing DeusEx:MD - I would like to put in a request for vent prefabs. Said prefab's should be around 48*48 units in size as this is the smallest hole the player can crawl through as vents by their nature should be claustrophobic etc -

  • one of more openable wall vent grate/cover in func_static,.lwo or .ase
  • one of more openable floor/ceiling vent grate/cover in func_static,.lwo or .ase
  • several vent tunnel sections in func_static,.lwo or .ase
  • All tunnel section should use subdued, fatigued, rusty, stained metals. Additionally use of dirt decals and cobwebs welcome.
  • The wall/floor & ceiling items should be both metal and wood, so metal for a workshorp, basement, underground setting. And wood for manors, apartments, dwelling etc.

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Modular is obviously the best way. Back when I was doing level design in Quake 3, everyone was talking about Modular design then, but at the

time it never really worked all that well.


I have an eclectic YouTube channel making videos on a variety of games. Come and have look here:

https://www.youtube.com/c/NeonsStyleHD

 

Dark Mod Missions: Briarwood Manor - available here or in game

http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/18980-fan-mission-briarwood-manor-by-neonsstyle-first-mission-6082017-update-16/

 

 

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Modular building requires a lot of prethinking and planning. So it is only suitable for bigger attempts. Also it is a very different way of building a mission compared to the kind of way most mappers are used to.


FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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It doesn't require any more planning than normal if you're using premade modules. Something mappers will soon be able to do.

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The planning referred to creating the modules yourself. Sure, if you already have them, it's no big deal. :)


FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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Yes, making them is definitely time intensive...no argument from me there!

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But as soon as the modules are there, it is very beginner friendly. So, this might help to get a couple of newbies to realize a map, who have shied away from the effort so far.

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I pinned this thread for reasons that will become clear when we release TDM 2.05 :ph34r:

 

In the meantime, after finishing DeusEx:MD - I would like to put in a request for vent prefabs. Said prefab's should be around 48*48 units in size as this is the smallest hole the player can crawl through as vents by their nature should be claustrophobic etc -

  • one of more openable wall vent grate/cover in func_static,.lwo or .ase
  • one of more openable floor/ceiling vent grate/cover in func_static,.lwo or .ase
  • several vent tunnel sections in func_static,.lwo or .ase
  • All tunnel section should use subdued, fatigued, rusty, stained metals. Additionally use of dirt decals and cobwebs welcome.
  • The wall/floor & ceiling items should be both metal and wood, so metal for a workshorp, basement, underground setting. And wood for manors, apartments, dwelling etc.

 

 

Something like this?

 

 

 

UIzo2p2.jpg

khZEja7.jpg

 

 

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Yeah! thats the idea, but it might be better to make them out of patches(no back faces, less mapping). Also the sections are small enough that you just need to remember to make the texture either 1:1 or 2:1 etc etc.

 

Think of adding details like pipework or inspection holes/panels and the like, this can be made non-solid but will need to be small enough so as the player clips thought it they dont clip/see through it.

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Should probably mention that as I was testing these, I tried stringing a bunch of the sections (converted into individual func_statics) together, and a bunch of the ones at the end became non-solid. I had to merge them all into one big func_static in order to get them to work properly. Is this a bug, or a quirk of the engine I'm not aware of?

 

Also will mention that the dimensions of the working duct are 56 height x 56 width, and at the connecting brackets are 55x55. Any smaller and player pathing becomes borked (not being able to nicely enter the duct without mantling or jumping, even from a flat surface; not being able to get out without mantling or jumping; getting stuck on brackets; etc.).

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@Bikerdude Is this looking about right so far?

 

 

 

9a7SBS9.jpg

psyPGoQ.jpg

 

 

 

Connecting brackets are still brushes, but actual duct sections are all patches now. These are just base duct sections and connectors, nothing fancy yet.

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The top view reminds me of Tetris :)

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FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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Sorry for the lack of updates on the duct sections; been a bit busy, but here's what I have now:

 

 

 

 

ugHOyEW.jpg

PwOEafH.jpg

ysnQkkL.jpg

 

 

 

 

All of these should snap together seamlessly with Grid4, and I think they just about cover all the base section shapes I could think of people wanting (sans a couple of extra connecting bits I want to make for maximum customization of how sections hook up). Any suggestions/requests for additional shapes? I'm also interested in hearing what kind of detail work people would like to see, and how they'd like it implemented.

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@Aosys

I've been using your duct modules, but still find a lot to head scratch about. Is there a video tutorial?

They would be so much more helpful to me for if the outside was opaque. Is the earlier version of the modules (all brushes) still available? Or would it be easy for you to do double-faced patches? (If so, I could enumerate which ones I need at the moment.)

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One problem I saw with the duct prefabs that contain lights, is that the light unfortunately penetrates the patches but not the brush edging... the latter cast shadows. (This would not be a problem with all-brush ductwork, but I imagine there are other solutions as well.)

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I think I had problems with players being able to traverse the ducts with the brush versions, which is why I switched to patches. I'm also not certain I even have the brush versions anymore. Light shining through them definitely is an issue, and one I hadn't noticed before, whoops!

I think double-sided patches would require new versions of the metal textures (I believe there's a keyword you can add to the material file that does this?). Using this would be much nicer than using very thin brushes, as everything could align exactly to grid. I'm not certain this would solve the light problem though, I'd have to do some testing.

One possible solution might be to create "shell" modules that would fit over the existing interior modules, though I'd have to figure out the sizing and how they'd all connect. I did a brief test with one of the straight sections, though, and it seems to work like a charm, including blocking interior lights. I might work on creating sleeves for the rest of the modular pieces (which would also be a nice excuse for me to get back into mapping, heh).

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5 hours ago, Aosys said:

(I believe there's a keyword you can add to the material file that does this?).

twosided

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FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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On thinking about this further, the light-penetrating the current modules is probably not a real problem, given that these modules assume the mapper will provide their own shell (architectural enclosure).

From my perspective, for an alternative set with external skins, an implementation with two-sided, light-blocking patches would be much preferable to shell modules, that would require additional mapper attention to matching and alignment. (Shells for some of your S-shaped could be challenge for you to make too.)

As for my immediate needs, external skins for these would help:

- single horizontal duct

- horizontal right-angle connector

- complex generator unit

I've also tried the closed 3-unit fan (which as you know as a fan model at one end, a different fan texture at the other), but it is unsatisfactory. Due to the integral (non-removable) grate over the only entrance, in the side of the central duct, you can't really poke your head in to see the fans at either end... so what's the point?

A variant that might be useful would be a 1x unit with fan model and light... A shelled version could have an exterior end-cap texture suggesting the fan within; or maybe spinning fan blades would cast a rotating shadow through a transparent end-cap grill.  (I'll try cobbling such up with the existing assets.)

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I was able to assemble a satisfactory 1x fan unit (except for outer skin); I replaced the stock fan+motor with a separate stock motor & scaled-up fan, that better fills the duct.

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Regarding light through the 2-sided surface, in the wiki Material_Files entry...
 

Quote

 

twosided - the surface will be duplicated and flipped, this causes it to be rendered twice. Useful for half-transparent things that should be visible from both sides. Normally surfaces are only visible from the front side (see note below)

...

Note:

twoSided Draw the front and back. Implies no-shadows, because the shadow volume would be coplanar with the surface, giving depth fighting

Use a nodraw surface with forceShadows to address this.

 

This is a bit cryptic. Maybe it's saying you should create a second not-quite-coplanar patch with nodraw surface and forceShadows?

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Typically modules don't have to cast accurate shadows from behind, because the mapper is going to have to use worldspawn to seal them.  If there are issues with light, the sealing geometry can be made out of something that casts shadows.  I eventually stopped adding backs to my model modules for that reason.

 

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