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BadDog's Documentation project

Discussion in 'Mapping' started by tarquin, Jan 16, 2002.

  1. tarquin

    tarquin design is flawed

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    Summary of post for the MTV generation:
    Really really cool project, expanding BadDog's excellent idea.
    Need as many of the BuF-Ed gang on board as possible!
    Read on, all will be revealed!


    First of all, hats off to BadDog for taking on such an ambitious project.
    I don't want to be a harbinger of doom... but I do foresee certain problems that are not unsurmountable, but a drain of time.

    I've actually been pondering for some time the following facts:
    1. The are tutorials scattered all over the web
    2. There are at least two UEd helpfiles out there
    3. a lot of the information in tutorials of documentation contradicts information in other documents
    4. there's also a lot of overlap
    5. a lot of the stuff out there applies only to UnrealI but isn't clearly marked as such

    It sounds like you're well on the way to getting your material in... that's #1 sorted. Are you pulling in the material from the existing helpfiles?
    You then have a problem: you either edit & crunch together tutorials that overlap, or you throw them all in. The first is a LOT of work, and the end result may be patchy, hard to read and bruise the egos of the writers. The second will result in a very bloated file that will be hard to navigate & find useful information in.

    Now as I said I am not trying to cast doom on the project.
    And like I also said, I've been pondering an idea for some time.

    Many months ago, when trying to get information on some UT actor or other, I started thinking: why not bring ALL tutes that are out there into ONE giant umbrella site, where they could be categorized. Ideally, it would bring the authors on board, and they could gradually re-edit the material to make it more of a coherent whole.
    And since most tutorial authors are mappers, they could all get subsites to host their own maps.
    I haven't brought it up till now, basically because I wasn't sure it would be possible, & I haven't felt like taking on such a huge project.
    Two things have happened since: the first is BadDog's announcement, showing that I'm not the only lunatic with impossibly idealistic plans :)
    Second, is something I stumbled on a couple of days ago:
    http://www.wikipedia.com/
    and more importantly:
    http://www.wikipedia.com/wiki/What_is_a_wiki

    Now if we brought all the stuff together on a server using a wiki, we could all gradually shake it down into a coherent whole -- which THEN could be released as a compiled helpfile.

    This could be chaotic at first... but it would be fun, and I think the end result could be something to be very proud of.
    More important than that:
    The new Unreal engine is coming this year. There is going to be a whole heap of new stuff to deal with. (prefabs, skeletal animation, behaviour scripts, terrain... to name a few).

    We are once again going to be faced with patchy information (and MISinformation) dotted all over the place.
    With the U1/UT project as a practice run, we'd be ready to pool knowledge when Unreal2 is released.

    Well, that's about it, for those of you still reading :)
    I kinda thought a name like the Academy of something, or United Unreal doodad would be neat...
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2002
  2. Techno JF

    Techno JF He Who Has Powerful Words

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    This is a very good solution to the problem at hand. In such a case, I think I would be glad to jump on board. I'm also thinking about something else: what if this database was also expanded to give info on other important topics, like coding, skinning, and creating voice packs? (And perhaps even acting as a server admin?)

    However, I'm like Tarquin on this issue. It's a gargantuan project already, and I would be hesitant to explore it unless I knew that it would get a sufficient following.

    Also, I have a basic index of mapping topics to go through (it's on a scratch sheet of paper beside me). Before undertaking such a project, we might want to have a comprehensive list of the topics we'll be covering.
     
  3. tarquin

    tarquin design is flawed

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    Full documentation of the UT UnrealScript class tree should definitely be a goal. In fact, anything related to UT and the Unreal engine.
     
  4. tarquin

    tarquin design is flawed

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    "succint and cogent" -- That is a big compliment. Thank you. :)

    NFG, if you've read up on how a Wiki works, you'll know that your editing skills will be needed!
    ( http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?WhyWikiWorks has more explanations of how it works but the server seems down.)
    I think one of the biggest tasks will be compacting similar texts & classifying.
     
  5. Techno JF

    Techno JF He Who Has Powerful Words

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    Wow, and it looks like either Rojazz or Sparky decided to sticky this thread. This will make things easier to work with.

    Tell you what. I'm trying to make out an index of subjects that need to be covered with tutorials or other such information. I'll post back here when I have it completed to the best of my abilities.
     
  6. Techno JF

    Techno JF He Who Has Powerful Words

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    Okay, maybe this will be good for a start. I compiled a list of general topics for reference. Would someone interested in this project give me some feedback on this index?
     
  7. Brood_of_Evil

    Brood_of_Evil Selene's martyr

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    This is such a great idea!!! If you guys need help with anything, just ask, I'll be honored to help ya with this great project!
     
  8. Machismo

    Machismo Up The Irons

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    great idea! TechnoArcher seems to have covered most if not all the topics u need. movers are taken care of by lodes tutorials and so are lights. maybe we could pool in help in the other areas ??
     
  9. BadDog

    BadDog bStrange=True

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    a small update

    well, first off... hehe

    thanks to Techno for providing a list (and I think I have damn near all of them covered :) )

    second, my helpfile is also covering :

    texture, prefab, 3dsmax, Qool (ick), scripting, mod authoring, skins, movie animation and much much more.


    As for overlapping material, I am itemizing the contents by topic and each tutorial has the author's name in the title....therefore if you like tutorials by Lode, you can search by his name, if you want tutorials by Milleninum... by Techno JF.... etc.

    The lighting category currently has probably 12 tutorials (and I'm still finding more) and while I have seen several different views and techniques, I have seen no blatent misinformation.

    As for unreal1 editing, the tuts generally still apply and some people , believe it or not, still use UED1

    Looks like I will have close to 300 pages particularly if I include the bios on the authors...which i think is only fair maybe even listing their accomplishments, mods and maps...

    The helpfile will be on a webpage and available for download as well :)

    I'm not saying you shouldn't go ahead with your project as well, but clarifying the nature of my own.

    I love when people pull together to get things accomplished.
    At least 30% of the sites I have been to have dead links and missing tutorials so archiving them is essential to the preservation of knowledge

    oh yeah and NGFuzz... I'll send you a list of the tuts I have in a day or 2 and you send me any I'm missing OK?
     
  10. BadDog

    BadDog bStrange=True

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    to clarify

    importing prefabs from Qool (1 page... can't imagine why....but why not be fair...I'm including use tutorials for other 3rd party software such as 3ds max photoshop etc.)


    Just wanted to clarify that..... I hate Quake, it's engine and it's editing structure as much if not more than the next guy ;)

    Ok I'm getting pissy about quake now...hehe
    No Qool tutorial !! Damnit that would just be sick and wrong :p
     
  11. BadDog

    BadDog bStrange=True

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    btw...

    tarquin...

    I would love to put your pages/brushes/tutorials in the guide as they are mentioned in a couple tutorials all of your links etc would be intact and usable directly from the helpfile

    i sent an email but haven't heard back...
    so...

    can I use em? please :)
     
  12. tarquin

    tarquin design is flawed

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    Re: btw...

    sure, you can include them.

    I was kinda thinking the projects could merge to give the best of both worlds: a full helpfile available to download in the near future, & at the same time we get to work on something that will eventually read like a comprehensive manual.
    For example, Lode's lighting tute is a superb piece of work (which I frequently refer to), but it overlaps three purposes:

    • Introduction to lighting
    • Property reference for all the light subclasses
    • How to achieve special effects

    IMHO these would be better off seperated out into different documents -- cross-linked, naturally :)
     
  13. Techno JF

    Techno JF He Who Has Powerful Words

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    Thanks for the heads-up on the index I provided. I tried to start with the basics and then work my way through to the others. I even did some extensive browsing of the actor class tree to try to fill it in. AFAIK, the Coding section is rather sparse, there's always room for more stuff in the Advanced Effects section, the Gameplay section could use info on how to run an Unreal or UT server, and the first topic in the AI section should be "Automatic Turrets," not "Automic Turrets."

    Oh yeah, BadDog. Check this out. I wanted to do a bit of work with images, so I exported a few from UnrealEd, and I converted them into masked .gif's in Microsoft Photo Editor. I also finished a fourth tutorial; this one is about the RoundRobin actor. Again, it's for my own project too, so adjust these tutorials as you see fit (i.e. the broken link to a tutorial on Counters, etc.).

    One last thing. If you're going to go the whole nine yards, I advise that you also put in tutorials for tracking music and building .umx's. A link to ModPlug Tracker would also be good, if you'd like one someplace more accessible than my MusicEvent tutorial.
     
  14. BadDog

    BadDog bStrange=True

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    SWEET :)

    In a day or 2 (maybe even this afternoon.... Ihave been getting like 3 hours ofsleep so its hard to tell) but I am going to publishthe current contents tree to see what you guys think and to see ifanyone knows what I'm missing(besides sleep hehe :) )
     
  15. BadDog

    BadDog bStrange=True

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    Right on Bud :)

    thats the spirit =)

    actually there are a couple things i dont have here..... to be helpful, i am going to post a list of: what I have, what I have permission to use, what i need permission to use, and who all i need to track down.

    But that will be later..... hehe I'm finishin up a set of tuts

    so far, i have compiled 135 pages under 15 topics for level design alone....haven't even started the script, modeling, 3rd party stuff, skins..... and it's 17mb lol.....when this is done, i'm gonna have to put it on disk for peeps that want it LOL

    it will be about 50mb +/- and i figure i can crush it to 35 if i use winace
     
  16. TaoPaiPai

    TaoPaiPai Commisaire Van Loc

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    If I was to be the bad guy, I would remind everybody of the wonderful projects that moved our fine assembly in the course of time... and that went nowhere..
    I particularly remember several people with a lot of motivation talking about a website that would have been created to gather all the creations ( maps/scripts) of the forum members (and it's more than ever required..) we even had a webmaster and the site was to be launched 'in a matter of days...'
    Ah...The impetuosity of youth...
    That's a pity because I've seen a lot of interesting material on these pages.:hmm:
     
  17. tarquin

    tarquin design is flawed

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    you currently have Londo Mollari as your avatar... can we all say together 'bad guy' ...? :D

    Danm good point though. We've all seen many projects fail or just fizzle out. I think this could be different because once it's set up it doesn't need huge amounts of work -- it can progress in small steps, with immediately visible results.

    DexterII has very kindly given me space at www.imahosting.com.
    The only problem is (are you listening, NFG?):

    I am a TOTAL N00B when it comes to servers, PHP, & all that jazz. Total, drivelling, pleasehelpmeImacluelessm0-noob.
    I'm going to tinker with my system tomorrow to get an idea of what I'm trying to do. I've installed Apache (no, it's not running while I'm online), next step is to install PHP and then the Wiki on that.

    Any help would be very much appreciated. :D :D :D

    Once the Wiki is running, anytime anyone feels motivated to dig for nuggets of information on the forums & comes up with gold (this means you, NFG!), the info can be entered into the Wiki system.
     
  18. BadDog

    BadDog bStrange=True

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    TaoPaiPai...

    I don't know about youth as I haven't touched base with anything that even felt like youth in nearly 2 decades, but I assure you my project will be released.

    As for otherprojects that failed, I assume they didn't get much help coordinating them or implementing them and this is not the case with mine, as I have had good responses from nearly all the authors that i have rounded up.

    Since you are concerned and seem to have the wherewithall to imply that youth, as opposed to ....ummm...*ponders a minute*... presumably your aged wisdom... cannot follow through; I would be grateful if you would take some time to round up some of the better tutorials/explanations (links will be fine ;) ) to show how 'all us grown-ups' are pulling together on this one....

    as it stands, I already have more tutorials compiled than any other site/database/compiled html file in existance (unless you count planetunreal as a whole and all the tutorials contained within the individule sites) This will be released; and judging from the many fine tutorials I have read (seems to be my biggest hurdle, reading the tutorials I had not previously encountered) will be a work of both knowledge and quality complete with author's bio's and accomplishments.

    I will post a pic of the expanded contents if you post some links for me here, in other words, 'you show me yours and I'll show ya mine ;)'

    and seriously, I consider this knowledgebase my payback/thanks to the fine people who took the time and effort to write the tutorials that have helped the unreal mapping community prosper and grow and that made it possible for me to try my hand at mapping.
     
  19. Techno JF

    Techno JF He Who Has Powerful Words

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    You can count on my help too. Right now, I'm trying to make a major contribution to the PlanetUnreal Forums (even though we are officially detached from them), but I'll still pitch into this project in any way I can. For example, I'm thinking of writing another tutorial, this one being on the uses of the StochasticTrigger.
     
  20. TaoPaiPai

    TaoPaiPai Commisaire Van Loc

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    Re: TaoPaiPai...

    No problemo,it's already done.Just make a forum search with 'taopaipai' in the user field :D



    BTW could anybody revive this project:
    http://forums.beyondunreal.com/showthread.php?threadid=74612

    That would be great,we need that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2002

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