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Slower than I'd like, because I'm not sure if I want a (small) city area or just plopping you in a mansion's front yard. I do have an objective in mind (vandalizing a stained glass window), but I'm not sure how feasible that is.

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Because in mystery novels, the first suspect is almost certainly never the murderer. No matter how much unmovable evidence there is, it will all be smashed in pieces by the wrath of the remaining number of pages of the story.

 

-"The Evil Spirit of the Zushi Clan" from Virtual Carnal Pleasure by Yamada Fuutarou

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Welcome to the New Mappers Workshop!   This is a communal workshop for new mappers who have never made a TDM mission before. Each week or two I will make a tutorial video and help to guide everyone t

So, Lesson 1 is all about creating realistic goals. This is meant to be a ten week workshop, so we're going to be creating fairly small missions. I really want us to create goals that are achievable

To show a bit of my own progress, these are two pictures of the room I made for the last assignment, taken from two opposing corners of the room:   https://www.dropbox.com/s/smthcgzsc9rwnji/PoR1_2017-

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I was thinking of having a street (or perhaps a thieves highway) with a few points of interest - accessible office of a guardhouse; or the garret room of a minor character.

 

The main objective will be in the house of a well-to-do merchant - not quite a mansion. So I'm thinking going over a high wall to a garden/yard, a biggish house, and a cellar area. Access points above and below.

 

Once in the house the thief will see there's more to the job than meets the eye...

 

That should be achievable, though you'll have to be careful with the city and house area...if both are rather large, that will take more than ten weeks to do. As long as you can keep it to 15 rooms you should be fine.

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Slower than I'd like, because I'm not sure if I want a (small) city area or just plopping you in a mansion's front yard. I do have an objective in mind (vandalizing a stained glass window), but I'm not sure how feasible that is.

 

That's a creative idea. There is such a thing as breakable glass, so while it would probably require a custom solution to accomplish, I could help you do it.

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Interesting. I always assumed that modern engines (and I still consider the Doom 3/TDM engine to incorporate at least some modern tech designs) have the ability to automatically cull blocked geometry from rendering. Of course they would never render anything outside of the players FOV, but I always thought that it should have been obvious to the engine that if a wall is in the player's way, then there's no reason to render anything beyond it. I don't know the exact technical term for this (something-occlusion-something?), but I guess I'm just surprised visportals are a thing.

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Nice. Visleafs of goodness. Will keep them in mind when designing. In the interim, can you define what a "brush" is? You say a visleaf is created by brushes and visportals, but I'm not quite sure what a brush is. I will Wiki and/or Google it, but thought it might be good for you to offer your definition in this thread here. I think I kind've know, but want to be sure...

Thanks!

Edited by Darkness_Falls
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A brush is any prism you make by clicking and dragging in DR. It's definitely not an intuitive name.

 

Models, patches, and entities are examples of things that are not brushes.

 

 

post-9-0-36054500-1498446759_thumb.jpg

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I think, you could also say each entity of the classname "worldspawn" is a brush (Springheel, please correct me, if I am wrong). So you can check if an entity is a brush or not by selecting it in DR and look at the classname in the entity inspector.

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I always thought that it should have been obvious to the engine that if a wall is in the player's way, then there's no reason to render anything beyond it.

And how does the engine know there is a wall? And if there is a wall, how does the engine know that it isn't blocked by another wall, so it could be ignored? Of course you can let the engine calculate all of this, but the more informations you provide beforehand the less work will be left to the engine. Don't forget that if you are aiming for a 60 FPS framerate you only have around 16 ms to complete the render (in addition to do the ai, input, sound, gui etc... stuff). ;)

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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And how does the engine know there is a wall? And if there is a wall, how does the engine know that it isn't blocked by another wall, so it could be ignored?

Ray casting?

 

I'm fine with the idea that if you provide more info to the engine about how the map is constructed, then the engine will be able to work more efficiently. It just seems primitive that engines can't work this particular problem out in an efficient, automated way (at least Doom 3 era). Knowing my luck I'll define a visportal/visleaf so badly that the engine will never render the room at all and I'll just see infinity. :)

Edited by Atomica
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Knowing my luck I'll define a visportal/visleaf so badly that the engine will never render the room at all and I'll just see infinity. :)

There is one way that this can actually happen. When you make a door and the visportal is not hidden in the door, but touches the surface, the visportal gets closed by closing the door and the closed visportal is visible. But as long as you follow Springheel's instructions, this will most likely not happen (at least I think taht this will also be covered later on). If you just build portals (without any fancy stuff around it), there is no way to close a visportal.

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Ray casting?

 

[...] It just seems primitive that engines can't work this particular problem out in an efficient

That isn't a matter of primitive vs modern or how good the engine is. It is a matter of mathematical complexity. Specific algorithms take a specific amount of time, and ray-casting is definetely not one of the fast ones. The guys who where designing the idTech 4 engines thought that it would make sense to rely on the mapper concerning optimization, simple because humen can solve some problems much easier then any algorithm can. A computer can't see, so it can hardly judge on whether something should be visible or not. We do this on an everyday basis, so it appears easy to us, but it isn't.

 

Not all engines are working that way. Some are using different approaches. But if you go through the list of recently published AAA titles you will find a fair amount of games that were suffering performance issues after release, although they had a lot of time, money and well experienced programmers/game designers working on them. This alone should tell you that this is not an easy to solve task. ;)

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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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Heh, modern engines still suck at this. They contract out to middleware companies like Umbra: http://umbra3d.com/ for culling solutions.

 

Umbra process:

 

1) Convert geometry into multiple Voxel LOD levels

2) Compare lowest LOD for occlusion

3) Cull fully occluded geometry by voxel (cull whatever is in the occluded cubes)

4) If not fully occluded compare next lowest LOD levels for occlusion

5) Repeat 3 and 4 until the highest detail level is reached

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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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===========================================================

"Taking Back What's Yours"

A heist carefully planned for month goes awry when a competing professional thief beats our hero to the prize: an ancient sceptre. Incensed, our hero sets out to take back the loot, and tracks its location through the dark alleys of the City to the home of a humble scribe, whose scribal business is a useful front for laundering stolen goods. All our hero needs to do is break in, grab the sceptre and vanish into the night - after raiding the scribe's coffers, naturally.

 

The player begins in the narrow alley-garden of a craftsman's suburban home, before making his way into the house via the front door or a hidden back entrance. After a exploring the first floor and finding whatever loot is there, the player must make their way into the cellar and finish the raid by grabbing the sceptre before escaping.

 

 

Upon investigating the cellar, it will be clear that the chest containing the sceptre has already been moved. Investigating the scribe's ledger will reveal a list of potential clients that are in collusion with the scribe.

 

===========================================================

 

I have set out to create a very limited FM with only a few rooms. The idea is to have a small but high-detail environment with a compelling plot, which sets the stage for a potential sequel (assuming I have time to devote to later projects).

 

I have spent a while working on this concept, but I am sure there are things that can be improved, or that I have over looked. Your comments are most welcome.

 

Floor plans and overview in the imgur album. Please excuse the staircase, but drawing 90-degree stairs in isometric is not easy!

Be aware that all files contain spoilers as well.

 

http://imgur.com/gallery/Wnayn

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Sounds like a very manageable project. Lots of detail in those sketches. One thing to be careful of is allowing enough space for AI to navigate around in any area where they could conceivably chase the player, but we'll talk more about that.

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I'm starting to think that a Requiem-style mission might take a little longer than I thought. :)

Hehe, it took 10 months :-). I had a 2 year old and a full time job at the same time though, not sure I'd recommend it but it's possible.

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But you should walk having internal dignity. Be a wonderful person who can dance pleasantly to the rhythm of the universe.

-Sun Myung Moon

 

My work blog: gfleisher.blogspot.com

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SH, will there be a week (or the majority of a week) dedicated to sketching out/designing rooms and regions in much more detail, or is that something we should need to start now? (Sorry if I'm jumping ahead, but just wanted to make sure. I know there's no penalty for getting ahead, and will try to at times, but I don't want to swamp myself if that design-work is scheduled to happen the same week as getting a bunch of things into DarkRadiant, for instance. By me asking, it's also a way for me to gauge how much I should take the videos at face value. For now, I plan to take them at face value and just go along the journey they take me on, at the pace they dictate; and if I don't do any extra-curricular work or don't think outside the box, I will be fine.)

 

Please excuse the staircase, but drawing 90-degree stairs in isometric is not easy!

 

They're rickety stairs, as indicated; what do you expect them to look like?? ;-) hehe PS: Good start to things, DoubleOhZero!

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It might be worthwhile to add the second video to the op, too, as all the other videos to come, so they are all in one spot and easely accessible (probably in spoilers, though, so the post don't gets too long).

 

I've also watched your videos (skipped through the first one but watched the second completely). Good work. I have some additions to the second video, if you don't mind :)

 

 

 

  • It wasn't really the topic of the video but as you talked about visportals in terms of performance I noticed that the floor of your example map was splitted up very heavely. It might be worth noting (maybe in another video) that worldspawn brushes and patches splits up each other, the same does visportals. Turning worldspawn into func_static will avoid the fs interacting with other fs or worldspawn in that way, but the func_static itself will have this issue with the parts it consists of, too. Due to this it is sometimes helpful to export func_static as models, especially when reused. This splitting especially occours when building "the old way", where almost everything is created out of patches and brushes. Also big planes are bad for performance.
  • You've said that each visportal belonging to the visleaf the player is currently in and which is in his field of view is automatically open. This is not exact. The visportal is only open if the side of the current visleaf is facing the player.
  • Visportals are neccessarey for proper sound propagation, both towards the player and the ai. In some of your sketches the visportals weren't placed with that in mind. I know they are only for illustration and that you know about the sound system, but as this videos are aimed at newbies they may get a wrong idea of how to position the visportals.
  • Adding tons of visportals isn't neccessarely the best strategy in terms of performance. I say this because you've mentioned that smaller visleafs are generally better. While this is true in general it implies that adding more visportals will generally help, which is not true.

Overall it is a very technical theme and you've tried to put it down to the basics, successfully as I may add. So I hope you are fine with these additions.

 

 

 

Keep up the good work.

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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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Share on other sites

SH, will there be a week (or the majority of a week) dedicated to sketching out/designing rooms and regions in much more detail, or is that something we should need to start now? (Sorry if I'm jumping ahead, but just wanted to make sure. I know there's no penalty for getting ahead, and will try to at times, but I don't want to swamp myself if that design-work is scheduled to happen the same week as getting a bunch of things into DarkRadiant, for instance. By me asking, it's also a way for me to gauge how much I should take the videos at face value. For now, I plan to take them at face value and just go along the journey they take me on, at the pace they dictate; and if I don't do any extra-curricular work or don't think outside the box, I will be fine.)

 

The next lesson is going to start by talking about sketching out the main region of your map, but there's not going to be much instructional stuff about it. I would say feel free to start working on that now. Everyone has different preferences for how detailed they like their planning sketches to be. Just keep in mind the room limit when sketching out rooms, especially for the mansion area, which could easily get out of control.

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