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2 questions about that one amazing screenshot


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I'm type 2 as well. Memorable places don't have to have unique functions like bank or post office, they can have unique interior design like in actual suburban houses, which all have identical architecture.

I tried playing Need for Speed when a bunch of people were recommending it saying it's incredibly realistic in 2000. I frequently wished I could drive away from the track, but the game did not have enough realism and did not allow it.

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I agree, I know for myself I am a type 2 gamer :P I've always loved levels in games which bring me something new to aww over. For example Doom 3's hell map I thought was terrific! I remember loving the lost city in thief one, however after re-installing T1 and trying it, it's nothing like I remember :P I'm trying to preserve that memory of it so I can bring a similarly pleasing experience to TDM.

 

I also remember playing halflife 1 and thinking it was possible to get into the background image, which I thought was really cool at the time, however I was really disappointed to find out it was just an image :( .

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I'm type 2 as well. Memorable places don't have to have unique functions like bank or post office, they can have unique interior design like in actual suburban houses, which all have identical architecture.

I tried playing Need for Speed when a bunch of people were recommending it saying it's incredibly realistic in 2000. I frequently wished I could drive away from the track, but the game did not have enough realism and did not allow it.

I wouldn't call NFS realistic. :) It's quite cool to drive, and so far it is the best fun racer, but it also depends which one. I didn't like NFS 7 Underground, but Hot Pursuit is great. Seems that Most Wanted is also quite cool, but I haven't played it yet. Just looked into it, and the graphics looks quite nice.

 

If you want to have explorable area, you can play Trackmania. Usually the racing games only allow you to stay on the track with a little bit of leeway left and right. But in TM you get real maps. I was quite surprised about it, because I missed the line, and instead drove on, and I could drive around the whole island it was on. :)

Gerhard

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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

Another question I've been meaning to ask. Can you share your favorite shortcut keys and other efficiency secrets? Would you recommend switching from DoomEd to Radiant?

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I've only used DoomEd a couple times, but I was very proficient with the hammer editor and Worldcraft [it was formerly known as this]. The only two key's I've changed from the bindings are I and O which I use to copy and paste textures, everything else is default. I use 4 view, xy, xz, yz, 3d. Everything just takes some getting used to, figuring out how to copy things fast, work the mouse quickly and accurately, the more you use a program, like with anything, the better you become at it. Knowing what you are doing and setting out to accomplish before hand really speeds up the process too. I'd definitely recommend switching to Dark Radiant. The only missing feature, in my opinion is the final working 3d lighting. But I just test my lighting in-game and make adjustments since Doom3 compiles maps so fast. Eventually you can tell what a light will look like without even having to use the real time light viewer. It's also more stable than DoomEd, my DoomEd would always crash, and adding things like models is really easy.

 

If you really want to get a head start on a TDM map I'd definitely switch over to DR it's a great program :)

 

My favorite shortcut keys, I guess would have to be:

space bar = copy

I = copy texture + values

O = paste texture + values

V = vertex manipulation

esc = de-select

shift + click = select

t = texture viewer

s = texture manipulate

 

Other than that there isn't much you will need for the architectural aspect of mapping and their all pretty basic :)

 

DR also has a great tool for aligning texture called the texture tool, it's under view. I use this all the time when aligning texture which other-wise will not align, it's a fantastic tool to have.

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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.

That's a very good point. I recall first playing missions like the Bonehoard or Life of the Party. Now that I've seen them several times, know them inside out and have almost nine years of Thief experience under my belt (wow, has it really been that long? :blink: ), they seem much shorter than on the first encounter, when I was lost in the burrick tunnels and didn't dare to move lest these creepy things kill me.

 

So what a level needs isn't limitless choice; just the illusion of limitless choice. This is best achieved through complex non-linear level design with side-areas that are of variable difficulty to discover... so you may find two or three easier ones if you breeze through, more if you are committed to exporation, and rewarded with a few extras if you are really thorough and resourceful. LotP worked magnificiently in this regard; what with the inventor's attic or the sunburst device, for example. Finding that place without walkthroughs was just way too cool. (The other moral of my post: the mission would have been much less fun if it forced me to find all secrets, and disguised them behind those annoying mini-swithces.)

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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Well, the Radiant is simply awsome compared to other leveleditors in my oppinion. I have never experienced such a high workflow in any other tool. Also you learn very early how to build very clean bsp with it. I've never had a bsphole with the radiant. (As a comparison: I had my first bsp hole in T3ED after the end of the first week ;) )

 

Btw, if you guys want to check out fully explorable environment in a Racing game, go for flatout 1. :) Definitely THE number one game in that genre.

 

But back to topic. I guess I am a mixture of type 2 and 3. I really like good architecture and gfx in general, but what I love is beeing rewarded for clever mantling... :)

Edited by STiFU
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OK I installed Dark Radiant!

But back to topic. I guess I am a mixture of type 2 and 3. I really like good architecture and gfx in general, but what I love is beeing rewarded for clever mantling... :)

Yeah, I like noticing a slightly open window way up out of the way where it isn't obvious, then figuring out how to get up there. A little bit of loot or a purse on a table is sweeter when you snag it that way.

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jdude, I have to commend you on the quality of your work, one look at that street and you can tell right away this is going to be a very fine looking Thief level in TDM. :) I'm also impressed with the scale of the effort. Perhaps you would be the sort of level designer with the kind of skills and ability to design/create fairly fast that would be capable of modeling the city as we are discussing in this thread below. Who knows, maybe jdude will be the first level designer/FM author that will come at least fairly close to the dream of modeling The City in TDM at a high quality level. And thus, of course, attain legendary Thief fan status. hehe :)

 

http://forums.thedarkmod.com/index.php?showtopic=3470&st=0

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Who knows, maybe jdude will be the first level designer/FM author that will come at least fairly close to the dream of modeling The City in TDM at a high quality level.

 

Do the people discussing that 'dream' have any idea how long it would take to do something like that? It takes months--if you're fast--to create an average-sized, fully fleshed out level, which would represent what, less than 1% of the total city? You're talking about something that would take hundreds of months for one person to do, maybe only thirty or forty if you could get people to work together. :blink:

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For years I've thought that the appropriate approach would be to discuss and draw together either on a large sheet of paper or autocad the overall plan of the city, districts, city squares, housing subdivisions, theatre, library, etc, then sketch it out in the level, then divide into sections on which each person would work, then combine it all, with everything hopefully having gone smoothly.

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It would still be a seriously big mapping effort. And everyone's styles would be different - that's not a fatal problem necessarily but it's one you'd have to keep in mind. In any case it would be a massive logistical effort to coordinate.

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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And even if it was successful, what would you have in the end? How fun is it to walk down yet another street of market stalls and wooden crates? It's not like you can have hundreds of thousands of AI in your map.

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When I play a Thief mission, I really don't care to know that much about the surroundings. The more mystery, the better. If you try to lock down too much of the lore and the layout of the world, it becomes less mysterious. I think it's better to say...well, the City has this many districts...blah blah, and leave it wide open for people to flesh out in their individual missions. When I build a mission, I won't be following any rules. It will be a stand alone mission, set in some part of the city..yadda yadda. Leave it to the players imagination.

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I think it depends on the situation. Some times a hint of the expanse that lies beyond, like a teaser about where you are going, can be used to great dramatic effect. It's like the view you got of Angelwatch before you went inside. I could imagine the same thing if you got a teaser view of this mass expanse of city, buried in the mists, at night ... to actually heighten the mystery of it. There were places in Calendra's Leagacy, like the museum, where you could look out a window at the city and I thought that was pretty cool, just a tease view of the expanse.

 

But there are other cases, like NH, where I could imagine such a view having just the opposite effect and making the scene just look pedestrian, just another neighborhood (e.g., full-on, daylight shot). It just depends on how well the author does it ... could be hit or miss IMO.

 

That city screenshot reminds me of that one early screenshot in T3Ed, where someone was just stacking buildings on top of buildings ... and I remember thinking that was kind of cool.

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, different mappers haveing different styles, shouldn't be a problem ins omething like a city. It would be quite surprising if you would find any reasonably sized city that is completely consistent. After all, cities grows over time which means different aeras and styles lumped together.

Gerhard

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I think, different mappers haveing different styles, shouldn't be a problem ins omething like a city. It would be quite surprising if you would find any reasonably sized city that is completely consistent. After all, cities grows over time which means different aeras and styles lumped together.

 

I reckon it would be pretty awesome to create a huge city by means of teamwork. It would mean that each member of the team would bring his own style of design with him/her, making it possible to create different houses per quadrant of the city, creating a city that is ever growing in different areas as well as styles.

It would also mean that more houses were accessible and guaranteeing more randomness within the city furthermore progress would be faster as each quadrant can be quickly developed by the team.

 

Basically it would mean that the city is one large map to cover and explore, a real lifelike and breathing city, like the idea that was behind the city of thief 3.

 

I do acknowledge the dangers of team efforts though, there are differences in the level of knowledge of each team member, making the city only as good as the worst mapper. Furthermore there would be standard issues of teamwork such as bad communication etc. There would also be the danger that the player would have too many houses to enter, making the gameplay too much like the elder scrolls morrowwind, where one could be lost for days ...

 

Hence i would suggest that like the city in thief 3, the city would consist of houses that are just houses you can enter and rob (city cconnected missions) and that there are houses (especially in the rich neighbourhood) that are missions on its own.

 

Anyhow I would gladly help out if anyone weree to start a project like this.

 

Greetzzz

 

|M|adhatte|R|

"Curiouser and Curiouser" cried Alice!"
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Anyhow I would gladly help out if anyone weree to start a project like this.

Well, if you're serious about that one, you'd better start making yourself familiar with Doom/Dark Mod editing - you'll need considerable experience to contribute to such a team project or even pull off a single mission (which is true for any game engine I reckon). It's not rocket science (rather art), but it sure requires time to learn. (I'm probably stating the obvious here. ;))

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Well, if you're serious about that one, you'd better start making yourself familiar with Doom/Dark Mod editing - you'll need considerable experience to contribute to such a team project or even pull off a single mission (which is true for any game engine I reckon). It's not rocket science (rather art), but it sure requires time to learn. (I'm probably stating the obvious here. ;))

 

 

haha indeed i should, i will be graduating soon, so i will have more spare time on my hands :D

"Curiouser and Curiouser" cried Alice!"
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Haha, I thought I'd have a lot of spare time on my hands this summer, but apparently that's not the case :( .

 

@ Dunedain:

I'm glad to hear that people are looking forward to seeing my work :) The idea you present certainly is interesting, but I wouldn't attempt it unless I had a group of individuals to work with, as previously stated. I think with some easy guidelines, such as all buildings must be brushes this could be quite easily accomplished. Personally I'm starting to find the construction of large architecture rather borisom, but I love doing lighting and detail work, so I'd be willing to go through and add detail, perfect lighting and arrange the pieces into one large map.

 

However I don't know how popular such an effort would be. For instance, there is only so much you can expect from TDM in terms of gameplay. For example, as of now your main goals are loot and a couple items you can obtain. Eventually I think the player would find it boring going around in a giant city looking for the same items over and over. Another problem which arises is the loading time it would take to initialize the game. People on older machines would need to leave their computer running for an extremely long time, [probably 30 mins] to load such a giant map, thus it seems more practical to have a series of levels connected, as in Thief3, but larger sections as not to take away from the atmosphere.

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1 - it took me 7 minutes to load calendra's cistern, (which also prevented me from loading and forced oDDity's gameplay)

2 - whether it's boring going around a giant city is subjective. It could have been boring back in the days of TDP for some people, etc. Personally, I am not going for much standard gameplay elements because that does risk becoming boring, instead, the atmosphere is most important for me, and I hope my final product will allow the player to escape the surrounding world into an enthralling fantasy and relax without being forced a laundry list of things to do. More like a botanical garden beautiful culture park than Disneyland.

3 - construction of large architecture can become borisome, and my favourite approach is do a rough sketch, then walking along the street, add some door, window trims, roof elements, jut-ins, jut-outs, foundation. Then see a door, imagine something interesting behind it, and carve the hallway, etc. Then walk the hallway, imagine something, carve a door and a room behind it.

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