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Newbie DarkRadiant Questions


demagogue
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9 hours ago, Dragofer said:

 If you want the AI to stop immediately it would involve teleporting the path_corner to an inaccessible location, as I recall it. 

 

 

Does that mean that you could move a path_corner around during the game by binding it to movers and they would still work?

I tried someting like that but it did not work. :(

Edited by JackFarmer
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9 hours ago, Dragofer said:

This is something I used for a custom AI script in an early alternate version of Down by the Riverside (Tales of the Riverside), which you can find [url=http://forums.thedarkmod.com/index.php?/topic/18402-fan-mission-down-by-the-riverside-by-dragofer-20160925/&do=findComment&comment=407828]here[/url].

The script is able to make an AI stop patrolling upon reaching its next path node. If you want the AI to stop immediately it would involve teleporting the path_corner to an inaccessible location, as I recall it.

(I was aware of the StopMove event but in my experience it only caused the AI to twitch while carrying on with its patrol. Might be good for a free-roaming AI like a zombie though?)

 

Good ideas, thanks. I was trying to stop the patrol as a work-around for a glitch (bug?) that I am seeing. Here's the scenario: I have an AI on patrol that I want to temporarily 'hide', then eventually return. The hide() method doesn't seem to work - he's still there, you just don't see him. So (at Event A) I use setOrigin() to move him to a blue room. At a certain point (Event B), I call setOrigin() again to return him to the world. This works fine, if the AI was not on a patrol. But, if the AI was on a path/patrol, sometimes he'll hang out in the blue room for a short time (20 seconds?), and then he'll suddenly disappear and show up somewhere else in the map (usually with falling damage). 

This problem doesn't always happen, but it only happens when the AI is on a path. So my assumption is that the path code gets confused after the setOrigin, and sometimes tries to move the dude incorrectly. I was just trying to avoid this problem by cancelling the patrol just before moving him.

I'm actually rethinking this entire scenario, to destroy() the AI instead of moving him (at Event A), and then recreating a duplicate AI at Event B.

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8 minutes ago, joebarnin said:

Good ideas, thanks. I was trying to stop the patrol as a work-around for a glitch (bug?) that I am seeing. Here's the scenario: I have an AI on patrol that I want to temporarily 'hide', then eventually return. The hide() method doesn't seem to work - he's still there, you just don't see him. So (at Event A) I use setOrigin() to move him to a blue room. At a certain point (Event B), I call setOrigin() again to return him to the world. This works fine, if the AI was not on a patrol. But, if the AI was on a path/patrol, sometimes he'll hang out in the blue room for a short time (20 seconds?), and then he'll suddenly disappear and show up somewhere else in the map (usually with falling damage). 

This problem doesn't always happen, but it only happens when the AI is on a path. So my assumption is that the path code gets confused after the setOrigin, and sometimes tries to move the dude incorrectly. I was just trying to avoid this problem by cancelling the patrol just before moving him.

I'm actually rethinking this entire scenario, to destroy() the AI instead of moving him (at Event A), and then recreating a duplicate AI at Event B.

I've never tried set origin, but you could just trigger-teleport him.  I used that method in A New Job--there's an AI in a blue room that gets teleported to the player's location for a final cutscene.  I also used it in A Score to Settle to spawn in extra guards for the alarm.  The only thing I'm unsure of is whether he would re-acquire his original patrol after teleporting back.  I think so, but it's been a long time now.

 

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2 hours ago, JackFarmer said:

Does that mean that you could move a path_corner around during the game by binding it to movers and they would still work?

I tried someting like that but it did not work. :(

This was leading up to Halloween in 2015 so details are fuzzy, but IIRC an AI will start patrolling if it's assigned a target after having had none. So I had to clear all the AI's targets and then add an inaccessible path_corner node as a target. There were almost certainly more steps involved, it was all very fumbly and I settled for a simpler solution.

I consulted with grayman at the time to find out that there's no clean way to stop an AI patrol. I'll put that into the bugtracker.

Edit: bugtracker (bugs.thedarkmod.com) still seems offline.

Edited by Dragofer
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I have problems with patrolling guard. It's a relatively simple looped path set up here, and AAS viewer shows plenty of space to navigate.

Clipboard02.thumb.jpg.35cc146b6e18389fa1a96bd3a85947d5.jpg

 

And for some reason, guard chooses the most weird ways to go around those pillars:

 

Edited by peter_spy
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Lowering the tolerance only affects AI movement when it's close to the path_corner. It won't fix this problem.

Unfortunately, the problem is very deep in the path finding. For large AAS areas, the game calculates inexact times for crossing those areas. Since path finding is all about finding the fastest way from A to B, a wonky path with lower crossing times will win out over an obviously straighter path with higher crossing times.

This isn't something to worry about until the rooms have been completely dressed. By adding furniture and other objects, and monster-clipping them, the larger AAS areas get broken up, and the crossing times become more accurate.

If there's a particular path you want the AI to follow to get from A to B, try inserting a C between them so he's forced to walk a more acceptable path.

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Final adjustment for HHVF.

I have set several guards to cast no shadows, but there are still certain parts of the body/gear casting shadows. I anticipate that's because these items are def attached. Is there a way to remove theses shadows as well?

shadows.jpg.2d1990fb7ce687bd4151d835802b6edb.jpg

Edited by JackFarmer
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Yes, you would have to make your own copy of the def_attached entity, add noshadows to it, and change the AI entity to use that entity instead.  You'll need to do that for heads and weapons, at a minimum, and occasionally pauldrons and helmets as well. 

 

Ooc, why would you want AI to not cast shadows?

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9 minutes ago, Springheel said:

Ooc, why would you want AI to not cast shadows?

I thought this would increase performance ?

The guards in question patrol mostly outside the building (I think I have sent you the map earlier and you have seen the overall layout of the mission).

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It would be more efficient to make the lights themselves not cast shadows, if that is necessary.

 

AI already use simplified shadowmeshes and LOD, so you're not likely to gain a whole lot of extra performance, and the visual impact of guards not casting shadows is high--they look like they're floating, for starters, and the player doesn't get to use an oncoming shadow to judge when the AI is coming around a corner.

 

 

 

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There are lots of little tricks you can use too. It's lights overlapping a surface that has the performance hit. So you can tweak the light boxes just so they don't overlap. Or you can have a large overlapping light with shadows turned off, and then sneak in smaller shadowcasting lights to make a few key shadows. (There's a whole wiki page on performance optimizations and tweaks too that every mapper should know about.)

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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To be more precise, overlapped shadow-casting lights are the problem. More than two of these overlapping can be a pain on older hardware. What you can do, and that works very well for non-extinguishable or "ambient" lighting, is to have one "key light" that cast shadows, and several other noshadow "fill lights", e.g. to mimic light bouncing off surfaces.

Modern games go even further and use noshadow lights to guide player's eye to certain spots, or to add some artistic touch. Often they don't even have a light source (they're not diegetic), so they look a bit unrealistic, but surprisingly, that rarely feels jarring or out of place, at least in a more or less finished environment. If you need examples, take a look at e.g. Skyrim or Dark Souls series.

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I've played a lot of Thief Gold and Thief 2 fan missions. I've also played a lot of The Dark Mod missions and now I'm trying to build my own mission in DarkRadiant.

I have followed tutorials on how to use the architecture modules in DarkRadiant, but when I'm mapping my own missions so far I'm doing my own low polygon architecture with my own brushes. I do this for a couple of reasons. I find them easy and quick to make, edit, fully customize into anything imaginable and always snap perfectly to my grids. Also, I find it easier to discover how TG and T2 fan mission architecture is done by playing and looking around in these missions. The Dark Mod missions all look beautiful, but I find it difficult to discover how it's made, replicating it and making it my own.

As a result, my mission architecture looks more like something you'd expect to see in a TG or T2 fan mission, with the bumpy textures, lights, shadows and particles from the Dark Mod engine. I don't mind. But if any of my missions end up becoming interesting enough gameplay-wise, is this bad? Must I use the modules everywhere eventually to keep graphics to the expected Dark Mod high standards?

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Quote

Must I use the modules everywhere eventually to keep graphics to the expected Dark Mod high standards?

Nope.

Feel free to choose aesthetics you feel most comfortable with. If you want to focus purely on showing your level design skills, that's a good reason for skipping the eye candy.

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I mean some people on TTLG are fanatical about the retro TG style. So you'd probably even have fans if you brought that style to TDM. In fact, I think some of those types might be the most resistant to playing TDM because they might feel it's not authentic enough or true to the TG/T2 FM roots. So you might even help soften them up for the switch. ?

To your larger point though, I learned mapping originally from T2 levels also, and it's definitely a change of paradigm when I started learning how TDM maps work. You can learn so much looking through some existing TDM maps though, and there are a few great tutorials, like how to set up lines of sight. Some ideas from T2 also don't translate well... Like T2 portalization does the visportal business automatically, whereas we have to thinking about it & do it ourselves, and that affects how you set up lines of sight. And we have to think more carefully about the lighting since it's real time & has a performance hit. Well there's a lot of little things like that.

The most important thing is just that you stay motivated. If your favored style of building makes you productive and you feel good about it, IMO that trumps every thing else. Better you get a map out that you feel good about than trying to take on too much, losing motivation, and never get anything released at all. Do what works for you. 

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 personally would love to see some retro style maps. As the others have said, just keep mapping, and don’t be afraid to ask for help, this community is full of geniuses.

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As my father used to say, "A grenade a day, keeps the enemy at bay!"

My one FM so far: Paying the Bills: 0 - Moving Day

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Take a look at Kingsal's superb Volta series. These are sort of a bridge between T1 style and TDM aesthetics.

3 hours ago, demagogue said:

I mean some people on TTLG are fanatical about the retro TG style. So you'd probably even have fans if you brought that style to TDM. In fact, I think some of those types might be the most resistant to playing TDM because they might feel it's not authentic enough or true to the TG/T2 FM roots. So you might even help soften them up for the switch.

Thief section on TTLG is rather conservative, they'll never lean towards TDM simply because it's not Thief 1/2 ;)

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Thank you, peter_spy, demagogue and Jedi_Wannabe. That's very motivating. I'll keep on mapping this way then, it's the most productive and fun way for me for now.

TDM is Thief 4 to me, I really like it. Especially the way the player moves and the always reliable mantling and shadows. Those real shadows cuts down on me relying on the lightgem and finding hiding places by trial and error like in TG/T2. I think I don't even really need the lightgem in TDM.

The TG/T2 community has more mission diversity and mission types, but I'm sure TDM will catch up and beat it in popularity at some point. That TTLG Thief FM Mission Type List is inspirational for gameplay ideas.

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The key word is fun, otherwise what’s the point? 

Playing missions from different authors you can tell after a few FMs, folks develop their own style, atmosphere, brand of mapping. You are finding your groove, so just dig it! You’ll carve out a niche for yourself, and I can’t wait to see what kind of retro madness your mind comes up with.

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As my father used to say, "A grenade a day, keeps the enemy at bay!"

My one FM so far: Paying the Bills: 0 - Moving Day

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I've got an invisible/disappearing texture happening on a staircase. The stairs themselves are prefab but the bricks around it were just brushes with some cloning and resizing. Everything looks OK in DR but in game it definitely does not.

In the last screenshot I can actually walk through the wall and behind all the white brick. The yellow is sealing geometry beneath the ground.

Does the issue lie in the copy and paste of the brushes or shaders, or something else entirely? I might just rebuild each piece from scratch and see where that gets me.

textureglitch1_2.jpg

textureglitch2_2.jpg

PtB0_2019-07-30_08.01.45_2.jpg

PtB0_2019-07-30_08.02.51_2.jpg

As my father used to say, "A grenade a day, keeps the enemy at bay!"

My one FM so far: Paying the Bills: 0 - Moving Day

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Delete and recreate.

Also try making them func_static, then try turning that into a model.

If that doesn't work, and the architecture allows, try placing a 0.125-off patch over the affected surface, like a band-aid.

This happens more frequently than one would think, and there's no known single solution (that I can remember).

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Ah, thanks fellas I’ll just rebuild it from scratch. It was popping up elsewhere too. I had to shrink the screens to fit them all in one post but that’s moot now.  I’ll remember that band-aid trick.

Thanks again!

Edited by Jedi_Wannabe

As my father used to say, "A grenade a day, keeps the enemy at bay!"

My one FM so far: Paying the Bills: 0 - Moving Day

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