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LifesBane[4C]
18th Mar 2000, 01:10 PM
I am going to be stepping into the Urban design field soon, and I have a couple questions. 1st off, where do the mappers of great urban maps get their ideas? Do thye work from ideas that just pop into their mind, or do they mainly map from real life places? Also, with Urban map, do you need to use the 2d shape editor a lot? I would think no, as Urban maps mainly do not have curves, which is what the 2d shape editor is primarily for. Or, should there be curves/usage of the 2d shape editor. If anyone can answer these questions, it would be greatly appreciated.
-LifesBane[4C]

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--==**LifesBane[4C]**==--
...life's falling away from me...

18th Mar 2000, 01:57 PM
Glad to hear you're coming to the real world /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif You chould check out a small tut I wrote on mapping for the real world here (http://www.planetunreal.com/realmaps/tips.htm) . We also have a ton of real world textures at the site, available for download and finally a ton of good real world maps. Just click on my sig to get there.

As for the 2D issue, the only thing I can say is how many curved surfaces do you see in real life? There are some, so feel free to use curved surfaces to enhance the real life feel of maps. Hope this helps...
CC




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18th Mar 2000, 01:57 PM
Glad to hear you're coming to the real world /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif You chould check out a small tut I wrote on mapping for the real world here (http://www.planetunreal.com/realmaps/tips.htm) . We also have a ton of real world textures at the site, available for download and finally a ton of good real world maps. Just click on my sig to get there.

As for the 2D issue, the only thing I can say is how many curved surfaces do you see in real life? There are some, so feel free to use curved surfaces to enhance the real life feel of maps. Hope this helps...
CC




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Paralax
18th Mar 2000, 08:59 PM
The second map I made (first realworld) has taught me much. If you have an idea...pulled out of you head, if you will...do not hesitate to get some pictures of similar areas (my approach for my next map). This will help you to maintain scale, realism, and the correct mix of textures. I'm just a newbie, but I think this is sound advice.

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That would be me...gettin' fragged.

Evil Joe
19th Mar 2000, 03:16 AM
Well there just aren't that many rl maps out there and of the ones out there only about 2% are even close to what they should be like. Basically you make like a real building. And the toughest part keep the poly count no higher then 200. Now take for instance DM-UtCargo... great looking map... 400 p-count on the deck of the ship = bad mapping (in terms of making a map for everyone out there) now my machine handles it fine but I'm packing alot of ram and hardware. Now I'm sure T-Ahlen when he makes AS-Panama will have a realistic boat with an acceptable p-count (at least I hope)... now not all of T-Ahlens maps are realistic either. For Rl we are going to see a merger between 3-d walkthroughs and fps maps. That is what I'm striving for in my maps (all with a p-count of at least less then 250, 200 if at all possible)

Now this is important over 250 might as well just be a walk through and might I sugest just using max or some other application. Take that map based on Dusk till Dawn. It looks great but it doesn't play so well. If it can't play what is the point. yeah some poeple on some high end machines can play it... but you might as well keep those maps to yourself. Not to knock the guys that map at 450 poly's I can run it and I enjoy them but you have to map for the average (well you don't have too but if you want to map for the community then map for the community; know what I mean?)

2-d shape editor, imports from max, however you can make the brushes make them. Textures are the key though. Right now we have a serious shortage of good textures for RL mapping. Don't let these other guys steer you wrong (not speaking of coffey or Paralaxx, decent advice there).

bastard_o
19th Mar 2000, 04:30 PM
Excellent advise NZero... sound.... if you mappers follow all the above we will see some cool playable maps very soon. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I can only add... do drawings, plan, plan plan the strategy of the level even before touching the editor, these things can't be rushed... I makes me laugh when people think they can knock out a good level of good size and quality in less than a week of evenings or less.

I have a full-time job so evenings and errrr early mornings is the only time available to me.

Sadly I must admit that each of my levels to date has taken well over two weeks of evenings....

Bastard'O

19th Mar 2000, 05:47 PM
You have to give Angelheart props though, he has said that DM-DuskToDawn was an attempt at getting as close to the movie as possible, and he made it, understanding that it wouldnt be playable for most people. I like it because there are a zillion textures in there that are great and we wouldnt have without it.

I agree that CargoUT is slow, but hes an author that doesnt compromise, makes what he wants, and I respect him for it. Hes also made some very fun, playable levels, like Matrixed, CTF-UrbanReality.

I agree if you do want to make PLAYABLE levels then you need to be in the 200 poly range, and I think thats what most people are going for not the'levels as works of art' that John goes for sometimes.
CC

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19th Mar 2000, 05:47 PM
You have to give Angelheart props though, he has said that DM-DuskToDawn was an attempt at getting as close to the movie as possible, and he made it, understanding that it wouldnt be playable for most people. I like it because there are a zillion textures in there that are great and we wouldnt have without it.

I agree that CargoUT is slow, but hes an author that doesnt compromise, makes what he wants, and I respect him for it. Hes also made some very fun, playable levels, like Matrixed, CTF-UrbanReality.

I agree if you do want to make PLAYABLE levels then you need to be in the 200 poly range, and I think thats what most people are going for not the'levels as works of art' that John goes for sometimes.
CC

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Evil Joe
19th Mar 2000, 09:01 PM
My intention was not to knock anybody I have high poly maps but I don't release them I call them my "personal collection" maps. For releases to the public though I try to go for 200 polies. Although I think for alot of RL maps 250 might be the max, since it sometimes is hard. I did not intend to insult anyone with my post I was just using T. Ahlen and the Dusk to Dawn map as good examples. All of T. Ahlen's maps (except twin towers) and Anglehearts two latest releases are still on my hardrive, which is about the best props I could give any mapper.

As for the RL scene.

All of my maps that I do fall into that catergory... I simply don't map in any other form. It doesn't interest me to do abstracts or spaceships. So I like to be vocal in the RL mapping community. I intend to release an inf based map called Cliffhouse here eventuality and another map based on a medival church.

RegularX
20th Mar 2000, 02:02 AM
Well, I cheated for my first map /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif. I recreated the office I work at. Once I get a windows box running again (don't even ask), I'll probably start on another one of a place I know fairly well (don't worry, folks, it ain't my apartment, I wouldn't subject anyone to DMing in my 1 bedroom pad ... or to see my mess /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif ).

So if I have to make a suggestion, it would be, if you're stuck: start thinking about the real world you spend all your non-UT time in /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif. What parts might make a fun map?

20th Mar 2000, 03:20 AM
Dont worry N50, I didnt think that you were knocking him down, he just takes a lot of flak for his maps sometimes (and at times rightfully so, others not) and I just wanted to point out that low poly's are not always his intention, thats all. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

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20th Mar 2000, 03:20 AM
Dont worry N50, I didnt think that you were knocking him down, he just takes a lot of flak for his maps sometimes (and at times rightfully so, others not) and I just wanted to point out that low poly's are not always his intention, thats all. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

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Chand
20th Mar 2000, 04:57 AM
Good comments... yup.

Unrelated note : I've been 'hired' by my friends here to make a map for our incoming INF lan party...so the bastards chose the local mall.

I've been there all day (from 12 to 6 at least) sketching the 3 level monster, special geometry, location of the shops, etc...

They can NEVER tell me I don't do research /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

But seriously, I noted today while sketching and it's not a novel concept by any means... but whenever your project 'copies' (so to speak) a real location, what you lose in originality you gain in gameplay... generally you don't have to worry about the flow of the map 'cos the structure you're copying has been 'flow-proofed' already by an architect or group of architects. The flow is almost guaranteed...at least geometry-wise... item placement is another story but hey, that's the talent of the mapper.

My $0.02

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This is your brain...
THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON INF... (bold /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif)

Evil Joe
21st Mar 2000, 08:16 AM
Hehe, I'm not a big fan of doing exact copies... I'm a civil engineering student with and emphasis in structures and I plan on getting a masters in architecture. I love architecture, and perhaps my great love of ued is that its so easy to visualize design in. Well that being said I like to develop my own forms of architecture and thus design my own buildings. Although architects do follow trends and tend to use themes used by past architects and even their contemporaries.

Oh and if you want to know what your maps should look like (although I wonder at the p-count http://dynamic.gamespy.com/~unreal/modcentral/html/sarcblink.gif ) check out the screen of Angelheart's map at Realmaps. Hats off.

[This message has been edited by Naughty5zero (edited 03-21-2000).]

@kuma
3rd Apr 2000, 12:07 AM
200 polys is still excessive. Try to stick to 170 polys / 250 nodes or below if you want the average user to be able to enjoy your maps. Use 'stat global' to measure you occlusion times (what the engine is drawing that isn't in view) - these should be kept at about 5-6 if possible. Anything over 10 is not on.

The most basic of 'real' maps make for easier low poly mapping because you don't need to put in lots of 1337 curved trim detail. It's mostly in the lighting & texturing.

However, if you wanna make something that plays like Tempest & looks like Decay then you're gonna need some mad skillz to keep the poly count under 170

hunchback
3rd Apr 2000, 12:37 AM
Heh, I remember how back when Unreal came out almost two years ago, a visible polygon count of 100 was considered the absolute maximum for any area where combat was going to take place. I actually haven't upgraded my computer (P2-300, Voodoo2, 128MB) at all since then and I assume that the same goes for a lot of other people, so I agree that a count of 200 polygons is definitely too much. I found the maps that came with the original Unreal to be nicer-looking than the majority of higher-polygon user-made levels that I've seen, so it's certainly possible to make something that looks nice without straining the user's computer. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

3rd Apr 2000, 01:46 AM
I think its more of an issue of balancing gameplay with poly count. A main problem is that stock UT maps, aside from not being realistic, dont have covering objects, boxes, rocks etc, so that automatically raises the p-count. A good INF map (for me) = good covering objects, much like real life. Its a hard balance thats for sure...
CC

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3rd Apr 2000, 01:46 AM
I think its more of an issue of balancing gameplay with poly count. A main problem is that stock UT maps, aside from not being realistic, dont have covering objects, boxes, rocks etc, so that automatically raises the p-count. A good INF map (for me) = good covering objects, much like real life. Its a hard balance thats for sure...
CC

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Evil Joe
3rd Apr 2000, 04:37 AM
from your system stats if you have trouble running a 200 poly map with average texture sizes and what not something major is wrong. Computers have changed alot in two years... 200 is not excessive and is extremely hard not to go near too. Don't even mention any of the packaged maps cause like cc said they aren't realistic in the least.

Seconly find one friggin map that is RL and any good for that matter that doesn't go above 170, good luck cuase I haven't found one yet.

Look at all of angelheart's maps they have p-counts that max at about 450 or sometimes higher.

The max polies is going to do nothing but go up over the years, get a life, or better yet a better computer if you want to keep up (I know it sucks but hey its the future!)

Lastly some good comments from @kuma although a little behind in the times. No 200 should be the new max. 100 is a joke, if you can't run over 100 you can't very well play the UT packaged maps so what are you talking about... they are maxed at 150. Straight from Epics mouth.

hunchback
3rd Apr 2000, 05:30 AM
Naughty5zero:

I only have problems with areas with 200 visible polygons when a couple of other players are fighting onscreen. Granted, I'm usually playing botmatches, so I'm not sure how much of that is just A.I. calculations. But, I see your point (and I'm about to upgrade to an Athlon in a few weeks).

I thought coffeycan was saying that the stock UT maps have _higher_ polygon counts because of their lack of realistic covering objects, though, not the other way around. I agree that to make a really detailed, realistic area, you need to put in a lot of small objects (or make a lot of custom textures), but I think mappers should still sacrifice detail in large, open areas for playability, and just go all-out in smaller rooms, where there won't be too many meshes onscreen.

I also agree that sticking to a maximum of 100 polys isn't possible all of the time, but it's a good thing to aim for, and I still think that 200 or higher is just too much for an area where there will be a lot of fighting.

Oh, and I haven't played any of angelheart's maps yet; I've heard they look really nice, but I'm too afraid of what they may do to my poor little computer. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Evil Joe
3rd Apr 2000, 07:48 AM
Well I think you are still missing the point. The point is to go for realism and playability. Somewhere between all those nice low poly aimless architecture maps you see so many of that play well and 3d walkthroughs. Angelheart puts out some very detailed maps which only a few poeple in the community with high-machines can play. But this is besides the point. a 100 p-count max -that is a map that does not have a single view above 100 poly's that the players can access- is totally unrealistic in this genre of level design. So just get off of it. Look at any RL map even the playable ones that look nifty like bastard 0'
s terrain and what not exceed 100 polies. Dude I've said it once but you didn't read obviously, that the Ut packaged maps go up to 150 so where in the hell are you getting 100 for the poly limit. I'm sorry if I'm coming off strong but for sake of all that's good wake the hell up. This isn't the old days of regular unreal and quake one. Be sensible.

Now it is understandable to make areas of low poly but anything that is rl and wide open is going to have some high p-count views, its just a fact of life. Cover causes high p-counts I agree but it is neccassary in a rl map. The thing is, is that the community has to set some limits to make maps playable. 100 p's is unrealistic as far as detail goes. 450 is unrealistic as far as playbility goes. It has to do with the average comp specs out there. Now an average machine can handle a max p-count of 200 end of friggin story! If you can't then your machine is below the current average. By a 200 max I mean that anywhere on the map that has player access the p-count does not exceed 200, I'm not talking about every view. I'm sick and tired of discussing this simple fact. Its pretty much already been accepted by the mapping community in general. Epic established a 150 poly limit on maps for UT, and advised SF to stick to no higher then 200. So there you go Epic sort of agrees on the 200 poly limited.

hunchback if you want 100 poly maps then rl maps are NOT for you.

hunchback
3rd Apr 2000, 02:48 PM
Calm down; I understood what you said the first time. I already said that I realize that a polycount of 100 isn't possible all of the time. I'm saying that if you're faced with a tradeoff between playability and realism, I think that playability is much more important. Difference of opinion, I guess. I'm going to leave it at that and back out of this argument; I don't think it's going to go anywhere new.

Regarding the copyright stuff in the other thread: Uh, did you even bother to read _anything_ about how copyright law works before shooting your mouth off? Try http://whatiscopyright.org/ , http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/circs/circ1.html , or any other site that you can find with a search for "copyright" on Yahoo. The U.S. Copyright Office says, "Copyright protection subsists from the time the work is created in fixed form. The copyright in the work of authorship _immediately_ becomes the property of the author who created the work." But I suppose you know better than them, right?

3rd Apr 2000, 07:15 PM
The one thing missing from this discussion is this: you can have an open area that is detailed and playable. The majority of mappers, honestly, are lazy (and ego driven, but thats just an aside) and do not want to make the changes necessary to make their levels runs at there best (both mapping and running Real Maps has shown me this). They dont put in blocking objetcts or spend time rearraging layout and objects to get better gameplay while not sacrificing detail and effect of the level. This is not a slight against all mappers, I too map and know the frustration, but in the end the more you give, the more you get. Just look at Bastard'O's Terrain maps, those didnt happen overnight, I cringe at the amount of time that it must have taken him to do the terra stuff, but its the smoothest running outdoor map that I have ever played for U or UT, hands down. Very little of mapping is the p-count itself, its the brain that puts the p-count to where it stands.

And I was saying that stock UT maps have lower p-counts becuase they do not have covering objects, which naturally raise the p-counts.
CC


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3rd Apr 2000, 07:15 PM
The one thing missing from this discussion is this: you can have an open area that is detailed and playable. The majority of mappers, honestly, are lazy (and ego driven, but thats just an aside) and do not want to make the changes necessary to make their levels runs at there best (both mapping and running Real Maps has shown me this). They dont put in blocking objetcts or spend time rearraging layout and objects to get better gameplay while not sacrificing detail and effect of the level. This is not a slight against all mappers, I too map and know the frustration, but in the end the more you give, the more you get. Just look at Bastard'O's Terrain maps, those didnt happen overnight, I cringe at the amount of time that it must have taken him to do the terra stuff, but its the smoothest running outdoor map that I have ever played for U or UT, hands down. Very little of mapping is the p-count itself, its the brain that puts the p-count to where it stands.

And I was saying that stock UT maps have lower p-counts becuase they do not have covering objects, which naturally raise the p-counts.
CC


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hunchback
3rd Apr 2000, 07:33 PM
Sorry coffeycan, misunderstood you on the "covering objects" thing; I was thinking you were also including "blocking objects" in that statement. Didn't mean to put words in your mouth there. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

TerOmen
4th Apr 2000, 12:00 PM
One of the best frame rate helpers are semisolids. Only adds can be semisolids though. And they can't have a subtraction going through them. Also semisolids are prone to glitching(and not blocking well) so they can only be used in a limited fashion. To make a brush semisolid just right click solidity-semisolid. They work best for stuff on the ceilings, pillars etc.

TerOmen

hunchback
4th Apr 2000, 02:03 PM
I'm curious about semisolids. I was reading some useful information about them written by Myscha the other day at http://www.unrealized.com/main/expert.html?id=921597334 and http://www.unrealized.com/main/expert.html?id=921604554 . In one of the tutorials, though, he says not to add any semi-solids at positions where they're touching solids, which makes them sort of worthless (I don't think many people make much geometry that's just floating in the air instead of being planted on the ground). Oh well. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Evil Joe
4th Apr 2000, 03:05 PM
semisolids are a God send. Whatever you can get away with making them do it as Wolf once told me, wise words very wise. I'm not going to even get into the floating issue. I have a friend who has taught me some very cool things envolving floating things that are almost completely necassary. I'll just leave it at that.

hunchback, yeah I agree but I think we probably only disagree -in the long run- in wording. I sort of mistook you I guess as to thinking that 100 should be the standard, max. Anways I agree and will drop it also. Also I mistook cc, I thought he meant like having a bunch of crates or whatever in an alley sort of deal, which would only raise the p-count not lower. And I agree mappers are just as bad as architects in the ego department (probably also in the lazy department as well) not that mappers and architects are bad poeple mind you /infopop/emoticons\icon_wink.gif. I try not to be either and very open minded.

As to getting high detail and playability to achieve realism... that is why my cliffhouse map STILL isn't out yet even in beta form *G*.

-Lost-
4th Apr 2000, 03:25 PM
i was always wondering about why semisolids cannot touch solids. the reason i use them is because they don't make bsp cuts, but if the decoration is floating, it won't make a bsp cut whether it is solid or semisolid, so...

hunchback
4th Apr 2000, 07:38 PM
Naughty5zero: Cool, I agreed with everything you said in that last message. Guess you're right, we didn't really disagree about that much after all. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

-Lost-: Good point about the semi-solids; I'll email Cliffyb or Tim about it right now to try to find out an answer. My knowledge of BSPs at this point doesn't go much beyond just knowing that they're used to divide areas into two separate regions to determine which polygons should be drawn, but I thought that brushes that are floating in the air can still create BSP cuts.

@kuma
4th Apr 2000, 08:02 PM
Of course semi-solids can touch/cut thru solids - otherwise there would be no point using them. Semi's shouldn't be cutting thru other semis (otherwise your BSP will still look a bit of a mess) but there's no problem having semis co-planar to solids.

bastard_o
5th Apr 2000, 12:49 AM
Hey hunchback please ask CliffyB the question I did last night about the lighting issue, I just want you to here it for yourself.

The question asked...

Do NON-Dynamic lights/Normal lightly/No effects at all like the standard light or spotLight (not SEARCH) have a significant fps and cpu cost compared to using just ambient zone light with NO standard lights at all.

Sorry to split a thread but you can see why.

Bastard'O