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Beta Mapper Application / Critique my map


BEAR
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I've taken a crack at mapping for Doom3 several times, and each time I tend to learn a little bit more than the last, but my motivation hasn't held up that long previously. As nothing in D3 really peaks my interest, I decided to do some test maps to isolate a few ideas I had, and then move onto a real practice FM. My hope was to go through the processes that I would go through for a real mission, with all the elements therein, on a much much smaller scale. As such I tried to structure the process as much as you can a creative endevour. First I kicked the idea around my head until it seemed do-able, then I schetched it out on paper so I wasn't just working blindly, then I did everything in rough sections and then go back over here and there.

 

The map is pretty cliche, but I think it has the capability for a few interesting story elements (that are not in the least evident atm).

 

As I'm working with D3 and not TDM, textures were an issue, so rather than texture everything with textures that don't fit, I just left almost all of them one texture, with the exception of things that are hard to work with with a solid background. Even with that, I know from looking at the work done by others here that it is pretty sub-standard, but my hope is that I can continue refining it and eventually finish it, rather than being overly optimistic and taking on more than I can achieve.

 

Here are the screens I took (I took them in the editor because with just a single huge ambient light its really hard to see any contrast). The setting is a church and lighthouse surrounded by cliffs overlooking the ocean. I've made a test 3d skybox with a rocky shore and water (a custom water that someone made, Im interested to see if TDM liquid works better), and it will work, I just need to refine it (figuring out a POV for the camara is going to require some work). I've got it turned off because my skybox was too many poly's and made compiling take too long.

 

From balcony overlooking main hall (some arched windows would improve the look of this a lot but I wasn't sure if I would just end up redoing it when I see what materials are available).

http://img440.imageshack.us/img440/4194/balconybx3.jpg

 

This is from the ground floor of the tower/lighthouse/whatever looking strait up. I've got the most to do on this. I found it feels a lot better since I started trying to make structural elements but its way too huge and I know it, but I might leave it or I might totally redo it (with aluminiumhastes fancy spiral staircase tutorial). I plan on putting some form of elevator/pully system that can dangle and swing menacingly.

http://img440.imageshack.us/img440/1866/bo...ookingupnz4.jpg

 

This is the front door of the church. This is basically the beginning of the map as it is now, but I plan to have a path to walk up or something, not just start right there. You can barely see the main support beam that runs the full length of the building.

http://img440.imageshack.us/img440/7076/frontdoorah7.jpg

 

This is a shot of the back door of the church. You can see the structural elements I tried to add to it, which you can see more of on the inside. With more texturing it would be more obvious.

http://img162.imageshack.us/img162/5213/outside1gv0.jpg

 

This is a shot from the front of the opposite side, showing basically the same thing from another angle. You'll notice that I have more ground space on this side than the other, I plan on putting a graveyard there (once again, didn't feel it would be prudent to start making gravestones and fences from scratch until I see what I have to work with).

http://img211.imageshack.us/img211/7386/outside2ug1.jpg

 

This is on the same side, showing the outdoor enterance into the basement. You can see the inset windows that caused me conciderable trouble. I had initially wanted them to be set into the ground as well (as you'll see in many basements), but without being able to create a hole in the patch (read my thread in editors guild) it made things harder because I had already made the entire terrain section (an oversight on my part), but these feel like they work OK and I can imagine doing some interesting lighting with them at a later date.

http://img162.imageshack.us/img162/9734/ou...mentdoorkb6.jpg

 

This is looking from behind the pulpit back at the pews and balcony. It shows the rafters I added (which look odd now, I think they'll look better with texturing). I plan to have a vent to climb out eventually from a crawlspace above the balcony that will make one able to go all the way across (maybe into another crawlspace). In between each vertical support I plan big windows (possibly colored or stained glass, or maybe clear with a distortion effect). I could do them now but I would likely be redoing them eventually anyways.

http://img211.imageshack.us/img211/545/sid...cetohallos2.jpg

 

The ground is entirely made up of a lot of patch meshes. This was my first large-scale attempt at using them and it was not without mistakes, but I learned a lot while doing it. My plan is to have a fence around the entire edge, letting the player only get so close that they can see the rocks below (that are actually in the skybox) and not the edge of the map. Should take some trial and error but should be doable.

 

I have a good number of rooms that I didn't show (I might take some screens of them later), and I already have a plan for most of them, but they are unfurnished and pretty bland and as such, are probably not worth showing. If anyone cares to see them I can upload some pictures of them and some staircases.

 

In my mental plan, I don't see the need for much AI, or at least hostile AI. It mostly seems like an exploration map. It is quite small, but nobody is going to know what is exactly there and I have some tools in my mind to keep someone from blasting through (unless they just don't care), as well as things to read and do.

 

As far as being a beta-mapper, I know I'm not the most skilled but I'm not going anywhere. I think this mod is going to be great, and I find mapping more enjoyable the better I get. I'm going to make a serious effort to not loose focus and actually have something when I'm done, not just moving on when I get bored to something more interesting. This is a pretty amaturish effort but I've managed to keep on track and go right along with my plan, and I've learned a hell of a lot from it. Regardless of whether I get beta-mapper status, any feedback is welcome. I've been looking at it so long I might have gotten tunnel vision. My biggest worry is when I start adding lighting whether I totally kill the FPS, but I'll just deal with that when it comes.

Edited by BEAR
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Not bad not bad :) It's taken a good start. Texturing is terrible, but that's not your fault as D3 resources are incredibly limited for Thief style maps. I recommend you check out the textures in the textures/hell folder - there are wood textures there and some brick textures, so you can at least get it looking close to what you intend.

 

Lighting is the next step, and many mappers map differently, but I prefer to go room by room. It is better to first create empty rooms for all the places you want and then texture/detail them each, one by one.

 

 

I must say that that is some pretty decent brush and patch work though.

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As people were mentioning in the other thread, you should definitely download the Thief's Den alpha map. It comes with a lot of TDM assets--torch and loot models, textures, and even a couple AI--that you could use to make your map look a lot more medieval-ish.

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As people were mentioning in the other thread, you should definitely download the Thief's Den alpha map. It comes with a lot of TDM assets--torch and loot models, textures, and even a couple AI--that you could use to make your map look a lot more medieval-ish.

 

Thanks for the ideas guys, I will indeed do that. I've got thieves den downloaded but I just hadn't found the time to install it and try it out. I'll check out the hell directory too, I believe someone mentioned that to me before but I think I forgot about it.

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As people were mentioning in the other thread, you should definitely download the Thief's Den alpha map. It comes with a lot of TDM assets--torch and loot models, textures, and even a couple AI--that you could use to make your map look a lot more medieval-ish.

 

To snatch these assets, what exactly would be needed? I've played around with the file structures a little but I'd be just as likely to break things. I guess I would copy over the textures and materials folders, is there anything else I would need? Changes to config files or what not? I know all my textures and what not are currently in an archive, but I don't have to add them to the archive for them to work, right?

Edited by BEAR
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To snatch these assets, what exactly would be needed? I've played around with the file structures a little but I'd be just as likely to break things. I guess I would copy over the textures and materials folders, is there anything else I would need? Changes to config files or what not? I know all my textures and what not are currently in an archive, but I don't have to add them to the archive for them to work, right?

 

No no, just install the alpha as described on the wiki and run it as a mod. You don't need to move anything...it will work as is. Then you can actually create a working Dark Mod map with alpha level AI, and all the working weapons..etc.

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So I've got a problem. For some reason, (and I submitted a bug report for this), I cant create brushes in DR with my map. It only happens with this version of this map, it works fine with other maps. I can however do anything else, like clone brushes etc, so it might just be a little annoying but I can work with it.

 

Should I, however, prefer to stick with D3 editor for some things (like if I've got to create a lot of brushes and I cant do it with DR), how can I use the thiefs den materials? When I load my map up in D3 editor all the thiefs den textures are black, but DR seems to have access to the stock D3 textures.

 

I tried running my map in thiefs den but it wouldnt run, it compiled fine but wouldnt load. I can load it with D3 but half the textures are missing. Any ideas?

 

Since all I'm really doing now is building the architecture, I don't know if I really need to be running in the dark mod, if that creates extra problems (although it might not), I'm fine with running around in D3 for now if I can do that.

 

Thanks

Edited by BEAR
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  • 2 weeks later...

Shot from attic, I plan on having story items there (and crawling through vent across rafters to other attic)

http://img374.imageshack.us/img374/2668/atticng0.jpg

 

Basement. I need to put some rooms but it will have pipes/boiler/generator and what not.

http://img374.imageshack.us/img374/9969/basementab1.jpg

 

http://img374.imageshack.us/img374/7977/halldoorfp3.jpg

 

going to put some of those on the back wall of the building too, just finished them today so a little tweaking to go. Eventually they wont be lit windows.

http://img374.imageshack.us/img374/4333/insidewindowsad4.jpg

 

Front of building, will add some windows on the first floor too. Also need to figure a way to decorate the bricks, looking around at similar buildings to add complexity to the walls.

http://img374.imageshack.us/img374/7171/outsidefrontgs1.jpg

 

http://img297.imageshack.us/img297/1490/sidewindowsxg9.jpg

 

http://img399.imageshack.us/img399/4283/towerdownvg5.jpg

 

Still looks a little rough, especially without proper lighting but I'm trying to do it in layers and the layer I'm on is adding decoration (molding/doors/windows etc).

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Wow, that's a massive scale. I actually find it hard to evaluate because it seems so big the details are lost.

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Is there something you'd like to see closer up? Maybe add some AI models or something?

 

I suppose I could even upload it somewhere if you preferred to run around. I'm changing it all the time (while I have the summer half-off I'm working on it more), for example I've added the arched windows all around the tower and put square windows in the first and second floors of the church today and yesterday.

 

I've not done a lot of close detail work, and without proper lighting there is not much contrast I know. A fair number of things are just placeholders (as Slash mentioned the pews are just lame brushes, one of the first things I did just to give myself perspective).

 

Let me know how I might help give you a proper impression and I'll be glad to do it.

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It does look fairly good, and the best person to map is the person that wants to learn how to do it and actualy enjoy's it. some times i cant wait to come home from work at 10:30pm and jump on cause i thought of an idea that i think is amazing. some times i spend two hours working on the same part of the map. i hope you follow me on this, dont want to confuse but Lets say theres the Big Picture and the Little Picture. The big picture here is your church and all of your basic's. the little picture is the small details. heres a example..

 

http://img399.imageshack.us/img399/4283/towerdownvg5.jpg

 

in this picture you have a huge set of stairs. and each 13 or so stairs falls on to a square brush. but the stairs dont line up with that brush they are just falling on to the brush making that square peace and the stairs not flow well togeather, i see the big picture or what your trying to do here. and its great. but the little picture cant be there with out the big one. if you spent some time on thos stairs and made them flow and look like they rap around the massive cylender better and nicer then that is Better detail. that is the little picture.

another is the basement. its huge. thin width and tall higheth support beams along the top of the cyeling. but that really would just add more weight and cause it to callaps. the fell of realness is detail. a base ment that big should be separated in to a few sections or maybe where the builder priest's quarters are and storage, exc. but there needs to be some tall support beams down there to hold that up and make something that huge feel real a rich with detail.

 

Trust me, It can get frusterating mapping. exspecialy if your new to the editor. there is some great info floating around the forums. also this is being built out of Doom3 editor and radiant. Doom3 editing help can be just as helpful as our own for just the basics, brush work, patch work. entitys, and so on. its very simaler if your just building a building. and there are some great video's on D3 editing that can be of awsome help to someone new to D3. i learn new things everyday. i get frusterated but i never give up. i hate haveing to ask for help from these guys hear cause i know they have alot already going on. some times ill spend a hour, 2 hours. maybe a night on the same room.. i want my stuff to seem as real as it can get and as dark and middle evil, or as nice and pritty as i can get it. flow plays a big part to. everything has to flow!! you cant have a builder patroling down one hall and the city watch patroling down the next in the builder cathedral. just doesnt flow right. same with mapping.

 

this map is showing potential and even more so you as a newbe to D3 are showing great potention. this map looks nice but as horrizon seid its hard to make out the good detail in such large area's. maybe something smaller and more detailed is what is needed. it could be a midevil ice cream shop... as long as there is great detail there there is great mapping there ;) i see masive areas. the best advice i could give is start something else. smaller. maybe a mansion. not to big, just to test your self on, its closer courters which means detail is easier to notice with out entitys and models. ive abandond so many projects that i got complements on. i still have a massive mansion built that i havent opened in TDM mostly cause i never payed attention to detail, i just made a mansion. its hard to stop work on something and start over but i decided to when i came aboard and i was bumbed but that map wouldnt have made the kind of impresion that i wanted it to.

 

if you need help at all send me a PM on the forums or post a thread and ill do my best to help you. rate now im the newest BM and im just working on learning everything i can and seting the bar for my self really high so no matter what i deliver, it doesnt disapoint. my map may not be as nice as someone else's, or maybe it is.. or maybe i have less detail but my map design is nicer... as long as you put your heart in to it and dont say thats good enough till your really amazed you will supprise your self. Give a smaller building a crack, use thiefs den and i have already started some threads about lighting, where to find things like tourch's, how to set it up to work, adding no shadows. there is some good info on TD editing out in the I want to help section. give it a read threw, and let us no if you need some help and dont be afraid to ask. also check out the stick about DOOM3 editing walk threws. i made it a year or so ago and its still stickyd cause it really is a awsome place to start learning the cool little tricks.

 

BTW sorry for typos, I type to fast to correct my self sometimes. i usually try and edit it when i have time if there is alot miss typed. i hope i was some help.

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Thanks for the thoughtful post, I appreciate you taking the time to look at things (I cant say I've made enough of an attempt myself)

 

I know the tower is kind of meh, it was one of the first things I did in the map and never really liked how it worked but I was too lazy to redo it. As stated I might eventually scrap it and rebuild it, but with not lighting it really heavily you wouldnt really notice its flaws so much. (It looks better with windows too) The reason that I left the square landings was more structural, I wanted it to look like the stairs would stand so I added the bracing and what not in the way that I would if I were building them (well not entirely but partly), so thats why I did not cut them off to be more aesthetically pleasing. Also part of the story of my map is that the carpenters who made it were initially unskilled but learned a lot as they went :-)

 

10:30pm and jump on cause i thought of an idea that i think is amazing.

 

Haha, I've done that exact thing. The church design on the outside was bugging me because it didn't feel right so I changed the outside look considerably and I could hardly do anything else until I finished it because I was afraid the mental image I came up with would fade. Its just like programming for me, I'll be walking around spacing out and all the sudden realize something and have to run and write it down or do it before I forget. I came up with a cool little gimic to add story-wise (not that I'm there yet) and a funny conversation I could eventually add while just about to fall asleep, and I had to get up and write it down so I would find it in the morning and put in a txt file for later use. I do that kind of stuff with a lot of things I do, I also notice detail in my own place more now since Im trying to recreate it. Staring at corners and door frame molding. I've noticed that buildings have an absurd amount of decoration (or at least some). The amount of variance in the brickwork on the basilica nearby is incredible. My only hope would be to just copy or imitate that, I'll never be able to come up with something like that from scratch.

 

I also realize the basement needs more detail. I had pictured it not being quite so big in my initial sketches, so I'll have to come up with more stuff to put down there (was thinking coffins or something with the graveyard being right there, but I'll have to flesh out my story ideas more). I'll add to that soon as I realize I need more rooms in general.

 

I'm definitely not restarting or making something new, that is a big problem for me in general and I don't want to fall into that hole. My goal for this map is not just to say "hey look what I can do", its to actually start with a plan and an idea and progress in a reasonable manor and complete it. If its not good enough to get me a beta mapper position its not really a big deal because I'm really doing more for myself when it comes down to it. All beta mapper status would really do would be to give me access to more textures and more nice stuff to add to it while I work, instead I'll just use what I have and then eventually go back and redo some portions, its not a major setback. I'll continue to use DR and submit bug reports as I find them and offer feedback where I can.

 

I would post some new pictures but I think its becoming kind of redundant. I think part of my problem is that I think about the process differently. My favorite maps to play are real places that have all the aspects of a real place to explore. I like the go here and go there maps just fine, but making city streets and "fake" walls and backdrops doesn't really peak my interest, thats why I've approached this map like I have. Its probably going to mostly be lost when I light the place but I enjoy building things so this kind of emulates that except I can do a ton more, I think a lot of people would get addicted to this if they knew it was out there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, is it safe at this point to assume that my application is rejected, or perhaps more accurately, not accepted?

 

If so its not a big deal, I just prefer to not leave it hanging here. I've almost entirely changed the church outside since my last posted screenshots, but I've decided to medieval it up a good bit more on the inside with more arches and what not (with my ever expanding patch skill).

 

Could someone give me some kind of idea of what they would like to see when I get further a long so I'm not just posting screens constantly saying "is this good enough yet"?

 

I know lighting makes it look a lot better but I had kind of planned to do all the structural and decorating work first so I would feel like I was jumping the gun just because I wanted to see what it would look like and I've been trying to be more structured about things. I think I might be putting too much importance on lighting, I could light now and still see everything plainly in the editor so maybe that would be a good thing to aim for.

 

What I really want some carpet, my floors look so cold and uninviting.

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Here's our beta-mapper expectations...

 

What do we expect from Beta Mappers?

Beta Mappers are considered Dark Mod pioneers. Not only we hope to see some cool maps from them, which might finally be released along with The Dark Mod, we also expect them to assist us during the development and pave the way for future mappers. This includes reporting bugs, trying to figure out things, sharing their experience/tips and ideally writing tutorials for future users. Beta Mappers are encouraged to make heavy use of our custom DarkRadiant Editor and to push its limits. Beta Mappers can create whatever maps they wish, although it would be nice if they fit the Dark Mod Universe Setting (see Wiki). Maps that infringe copyright, however (by using the IP of another company, like Eidos) cannot be distributed by The Dark Mod. Therefore we ask that beta-mappers refrain from making any references to Eidos' IP (your protagonist cannot be called Garrett, for example).

 

The Dark Mod started in August 2004. An awful lot of time has passed since then, and much of it has been spent on discussing features, possible mapper requests, nitpicking about implementation details and of course laying the design foundations of the Mod. Our ToDo-Lists are full, new features are very unlikely to be added.

 

If you happen to be new to The Dark Mod, take your time and read a bit in the Design forum or search the ancient discussions, before storming in and suggest a new feature. Chances are high that your feature proposal has 1) already been discussed and is on the roadmap, 2) has been suspended because it's too much work for the first release, 3) been considered as cool but might negatively affect the gameplay balance.

 

Is that all agreeable?

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Bear you are not yet rejected, we're just taking it a bit slow, but you look like you're a good candidate so far (and will probably get accepted, so keep smilin') :)

shadowdark50.gif keep50.gif
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Here's our beta-mapper expectations...

Is that all agreeable?

 

Yep.

 

 

Bear you are not yet rejected, we're just taking it a bit slow, but you look like you're a good candidate so far (and will probably get accepted, so keep smilin') :)

 

Ah, cool. :)

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[edit] removed a lot of useless drivel [/edit]

 

Far from done (or good) but the outside feels a lot better than it used to. I think perhaps those square windows don't work anymore (if they ever did), so I might replace them with arched windows.

 

What does anyone think of the inside look? I'm wondering if the hewn/timberframe look works with the outside, or if I should scrap it and go for a more vaulted arch support look.

 

At the top of the tower (or the room at the top) I plan on putting a bell (obviously) and filling the windows with a slanted grate type thing (just haven't done it yet)

 

I like the new big side windows a lot more now, but you cant really see anything through them at the moment (and the glass texture doesn't align well atm but I don't plan on using it so I've not bothered forcing it to work)

 

The curved steps in front I liked but I realized when I finished them that I wished the top step was as wide as the whole door-frame but it was fairly easy to make them (now that I've discovered the magic of fixed subdivisions) so I might redo them later, but this worked as a good experiment.

post-342-1217049734_thumb.jpg

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