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2 questions about that one amazing screenshot


Ratty

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newbitmapimagepa9.jpg

 

http://img513.imageshack.us/my.php?image=n...mapimagepa9.jpg

 

1. How practical would it be to do an entire map with that kind of attention to detail? Within, say, the lifetime of the universe?

 

2. How much of this scene was contructed using a 3D modelling program? Is this done the Unreal way, i.e., brushes only used to map out a space with all the details supplied using 3D models? What parts of that scene are brushes and what parts are objects?

 

If this is the kind of visual quality people expect with TDM maps then I'm in big trouble and I might as well give up now.

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I second that, we're all in trouble <_<

 

I think most of that is brushwork, but I know the barrel is an obj.

 

Honestly I don't think that is even the best screenshot that could've been taken of that level.

 

I'm just starting to mess with the editor, in some aspects I think it's going to be easier than Dromed. Other aspects I'm still wrestling with. But I've only been doing it for about 2 days, Hard to remember but I think it took me at least that long to get anything done in Dromed too.

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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How practical would it be to do an entire map with that kind of attention to detail? Within, say, the lifetime of the universe?

 

That's part of a pretty complete map already, with that level of detail throughout. Jdude is the author.

 

How much of this scene was contructed using a 3D modelling program?

 

Virtually none, as far as I can see. Other than the props, of course, like the barrel, torches, etc.

 

The map has been updated since that shot, so they'll be new screens appearing soon. :)

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:D I'm so glad you like it :)

 

1) It's very practical if you know what your doing, such as you know the shortcut keys. I plan on doing my entire map in that much or more detail, I want you to have to look really hard to find everything. :)

 

2) Everything you see except for the torch, barrels, lanterns and the cart are brushwork. The doom3 engine is AMAZING! I cannot believe people haven't been making grand architectural projects with it, I absolutely love working with it.

 

I have no idea if this is the level of detail people are looking for, but it is what I want to bring to people.

 

Also Dark Radiant / Doom3 editor are much easier than DromEd in my opinion when it comes to detailing a world.

 

I didn't know this picture was *leaked* :o . I will leave any new pictures up to The Darkmod team to take and place in the gallery.

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The doom3 engine is AMAZING! I cannot believe people haven't been making grand architectural projects with it, I absolutely love working with it.

 

This is probably one thing that excites me more than anything about working with TDM.

You guys should still be patting yourselves on the back for making the right decision on that.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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It frustrates me to hear about how horrible people think the engine is actually. I think these people haven't actually attempted to work with the engine and to see the possibilities of it and their just basing their opinions off of what they've heard. You often hear comments of "it's to dark, to shiny, lights lag" But all these things can be changed! That's the beauty of the D3 engine, not to mention an almost unlimited texture size capability.

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That's the paradox that the engine itself isn't really seen as much as the assets it is rendering.

I do sometimes think some of the textures tend to the plastic-y look, I guess because of the specular, and hope that they can be made to look a little duller and more natural. But I'm not too worried about it. It still looks good, and I think that can be worked out, too.

 

IMO there was not much to choose. :)

 

I should have said, rather than the choice, cheering your good fortune that the D3 Engine became available for you to use when it did, and is what it is. Not to anyone's great credit for such an easy choice, so much as just good timing.

Edited by demagogue

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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I think the trick to the specular on natural stuff is to just use VERY little of it. I found that you almost have to use some just to make the bumps on normal maps show, but if you get the specular down to 0.05-0.085 range it can look very good on cloth, ect...

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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I should have said, rather than the choice, cheering your good fortune that the D3 Engine became available for you to use when it did, and is what it is. Not to anyone's great credit for such an easy choice, so much as just good timing.

 

Even if there were othe engines aorund at that time, the choice would still have been easy for various reasons. :) After all, there were some engines coming out at that time, and we evaluated them.

Gerhard

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Yeah that screen looks nice. :) But didn't you forget to say, that the curved support beams are static meshes too? If would be sick if you can build stuff like that all of BSP. Good work definitely! I think there is a normal map missing on the brick texture on the right though. Or it needs some tweaking, 'cause it looks way too flat...

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It's hard to tell with just a still screenshot (and I really can't be bothered to fire up the map just to check this :)) but I think there is a normal map on there - it's just that the camera is rather close, so the illusion of depth generated by the normal map is somewhat diminished. They could perhaps do with deepening a little, I dunno. But if we're nitpicking on this small scale then you know he's done something right! :P

 

There are "shadows" on it, so if there isn't a normal map on there, then it has baked-in shadows in the diffuse map, and that's very much not a good thing. :) But I'm pretty sure there is a normal map. It's a rare TDM texture that wouldn't have one.

My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.
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The beams can be made from models, or brushes, or patches; whatever you want. Using patches is probably the desired approach from a mapping perspective, for ease and efficiency. Make no mistake, there's very little you cannot do with patches; this ain't no TDS, where anything beyond a cube needs to be a model.

 

The texture on the right does indeed have a very poor normal map and is one of the ones badly in need of fixing.

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yeah hehe. TDS is a bitch! :) I trashed my map after half a year of work... ;) So models are the Radiant's "static mesh" equivalent and I think I also once saw how those patches work. Kinda like splines, right? Anyway, aside from the normal map that texture is looking really good and it will probably look amazing with a proper normalmap. So let's hope to get to see an updated version of the screen. :D

Edited by STiFU
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That pic wasn't supposed to make it out here though keep that in mind.

 

Well, I put it up on the website in the beta-mapper section, so it wasn't exactly "leaked".

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Another question, jdude! How much of your city will be enterable and explorable? A lot of people have imagined in the past, that were Dromed and the Dark Engine capable of it, people would make huge cities and you could go into every building and every room, stealing loot or whatever. No more fake doors! I think most people realize that just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Even if it were possible to do, a city like that to explore would simply be too much. It would be distracting and boring rather than fun.

 

So what's your take on the issue and how are you realizing it with your city?

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Well I agree that being able to not get into anywhere is boring, being able to get into everywhere is also boring :P I think players would get annoyed if they could enter every single building and have to search all over the place for a insignificant amount of loot, but at the same time, I think they want to feel like they can explore the inners of these buildings even for the small amount of loot. I think there is a balance which the mapper must understand.

 

In the picture posted, there are three enterable buildings, one is just a room, the other 2 feature about 4-6 rooms each. I never copy and paste a room from one building to the next because I know people hate feeling like all the buildings are the same.

 

Within the city right now there are about 8 enterable buildings each [except that one] consisting of several rooms and each having it's own unique feeling. Because of performance limitations I cannot make specific buildings enterable, but I don't think the player will care much at all, as the city is already vast, and you only have to enter 2 of the 8 buildings, so 6 are available and optional for the player to explore. I must remind you aswell that the map itself is still a work in progress, and I hope to have 10 enter able buildings in each city area, which will mean that there will be roughly 20 enterable buildings and only 3-5 of which you need to enter. However I don't want to give out TOO much information because that would ruin it for the first time you play it :)

 

There is also several optional paths you may take, such as underground [which leads off into almost a map of it's own] or on ledges and roof tops.

 

I think what made thief cool when I first played it was the idea of finding hidden paths or ledges to get around AI which didn't seem like you should be able to go on. I want the player to realize that there is ALWAYS an option on how to get somewhere. There is only one part in the level where you don't have more than one alternate route.

 

 

At the moment, if I was to give a rough percentage of how much of the city is explorable, and how much has to be explored, I'd say to finish the main objective you have to explore about 20% of the level, and that means that 80% is available for the player to explore. This doesn't mean that it will be like oblivion where you can get past really fast if you do the main objective, because you will likely still have to find your way around and end up exploring :)

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Wow that really sounds amazing!!! I agree though that too much is as bad as too less. I think the first part of "Life of the Party" was kinda nice yet, but there could have been a little more explorable stuff. Let's see how your Mission will feel like. I can't wait for it!! :) Also it is always nice if you have to use the roadsigns for orientation in city maps. I'd love to see those in your map... :)

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Wow that really sounds amazing!!! I agree though that too much is as bad as too less. I think the first part of "Life of the Party" was kinda nice yet, but there could have been a little more explorable stuff. Let's see how your Mission will feel like. I can't wait for it!! :) Also it is always nice if you have to use the roadsigns for orientation in city maps. I'd love to see those in your map... :)

LotP could have benefited from even more explorable areas, but maybe that's my recollection clouded by playing that level about a million times. When you think about it, I guess it had a pretty good amount of different places to go. I think there may be a design trap, in that if you make a really really large, detailed space mostly for the purposes of atmosphere and realism, users may have different expectations than the designer about what the point of the mission is. LotP had a good amount of diversions for the size of the level. Tracing the Courier had very few. It was mostly a shell of a city. I always wished there was more to explore after the courier part was done. But that wasn't the point of the mission, but it had to be that large and detailed for atmosphere and realism. Ditto Assassins.

 

What I do think most definitely, is that diversions should be interesting. I was just playing a new FM just a little while ago but actually quit from boredom. And I don't do that often. Most of the buildings were enterable but there wasn't any point to them except to get some loot. I will dare to name names here, since it's just us, but one very beloved FM maker actually has a couple of stinkers under her belt. For all of the gorgeous architecture and loving attention to detail she is famous for, there were one or two missions that were just so BORING. One building after another, get in, find loot, go on to the next building. Before I'm pummeled I'll add her other missions were fabulous. But even the mighty must fall on occasion.

 

So I guess each enterable building or other diversion should be unique in its own right. It should have a memorable challenge, unique configurations of lighting and guards, cameras, whatever. Going in and getting a little loot is NOT memorable. A weapons shop is good, cause weapons are good. A bank is good cause there's lots of loot in a bank plus real opportunities for stealth puzzles--loud floor, alarms, guards. A post office might be good--maybe you go in to intercept a letter. There are lots of opportunities to make the enterable buildings you do decide to make something special and interesting. They should make you catch your breath and say Whew, that was something! when you leave.

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I agree with most of what you said. There are areas of my map which are completely different from what you would expect. The environment changed drastically, which makes it funner to explore. However there are three different types of players:

 

1) The player who be happy to go straight for the objective.

2) The player who will be happy finding different and creative environments.

3) The meticulous player who will be happy exploring everything to get a perfect score.

 

The buildings cater to the 3rd player mostly, and a bit to the 2nd player. It would be unreasonable to put traps or magic type things in every building. However within each building I have placed notes to help draw the player into the game, and in a couple buildings are hidden areas. I hope by doing this the player will learn about the plot/sub plot of the mission and be encouraged to explore more. The buildings aren't vast and I'm sure that you will enjoy exploring them, the problem with a game like Thief is that once you've seen the same textures and loot and props a million times before, it takes away from the game.

 

The first player will end up having to explore anyways, but I am making sure that the mission isn't to short for that type of player. Hopefully it will take that kind of player 2-4 hours to finish the level completely, depending on their intelligence ;)

 

The second player will probably like the level the best, as I am planning an extremely vast array of environments and creations. Even though the mission takes place in a city, half of that city is 'plagued'

by a strange force ;) It's sure to make for some memorable environments!

 

I completely understand what you mean by un-fun just running in and getting loot. However enterable buildings play a small role in the level, they probably consist of... 15% of the content I hope to include. Remember this map will be huge :D It's already nearing 10,000 brushes alone and I hope to make it 5x bigger.

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I guess I'm more the type 2 player. :) Never cared for getting all the loot, but I like to see some nice environments. :)

I played "Need For Speed 6 Hot Pursuit 2", and there are some nice scenes, so I just drove to the beach and looked. :)

Gerhard

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