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    DM-AnataWa (Beta4)

    Game Type: DeathMatch (DM)/Team DM/ArenaMaster (AM)/TAM/Freon/...
    Level Name: DM-AnataWa
    Bot Support: Yes
    Teamplay: Yes
    New Textures: Yes (Sky Box (CG Textures))
    New Sounds: Yes
    Ideal Playercount: 4-12 DM / 6-16 Team DM

    The zipped file and screen shots:
    http://files.filefront.com/DM+AnataW.../fileinfo.html

    I spent a lot of time on bot support, to give the bots more choice.

    Tested with Masterful bots, and also with about 16 human players.
    Development so far has taken three months on/off.

    This is my second attempt at making a level. The first attempt was almost exclusively a learning experience.

    Gameplay Tips
    --------------

    - Jump into the crystal to trigger an explosion (takes time to recharge).
    Typically one could do an Impact Jump/Shield Jump + Double Jump to reach it.
    Nothing happens when it is recharging.
    - Shoot the small grate to make it open (it opens/closes quickly).
    It allows players to fall to the floor below. (I found no way to make bots understand this. They can deal with horizontal doors, but not "vertical doors"/trap doors, so it's a bit unfair to them.)

    hf!

    #2
    Just some quick observations from spectating a botmatch, so my comments are mainly about the looks of the map rather than gameplay:

    *You have some boxes floating.
    *You're using textures from several packages that don't necessarily look good together.
    *lighting needs some work, especially the open air sections. One section is extremely bright, the other is dark.
    *Always specify a music file (unless it's critical to the atmosphere of the map), even if you don't personally play with music on.
    *Try looking at your map as if you were trying to build it in real life.


    See how these small pillars are supporting the thin ceiling? And the massive obelisk in the middle? The obelisk would come crashing through in real life.




    Another pillar problem. A load-bearing support would never be placed in the middle of a ceiling. Things like this take away from the immersion of a map, because people instinctively sense that there is something wrong. The pillars can be easily fixed by lining them up vertically. You can add other static meshes if the pillars were placed in those locations for gameplay reasons.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by jefe View Post
      Just some quick observations from spectating a botmatch, so my comments are mainly about the looks of the map rather than gameplay:

      *You have some boxes floating.
      Yeah, I just had to throw them out all over the place to shield players.

      Originally posted by jefe View Post
      *You're using textures from several packages that don't necessarily look good together.
      I struggled quite a bit with finding the right textures, and I think I got it right, but I'm sure the lift areas could have used brick wall textures instead--at least, that's what's most obvious to me.

      Originally posted by jefe View Post
      *lighting needs some work, especially the open air sections. One section is extremely bright, the other is dark.
      In the open space--maybe that's due to the sunlight. I haven't used the Lighting view at all when going through it. I also faked sunlight using spotlights in the smaller areas where there's a sky, because it seemed too bright for the main open area, but that's also inconsitent.

      Originally posted by jefe View Post
      *Always specify a music file (unless it's critical to the atmosphere of the map), even if you don't personally play with music on.
      I haven't really considered music for this map at all. I've been listening to everything from psytrance to Irish folk music while making it, though. Maybe a blend of that will do.

      Originally posted by jefe View Post
      *Try looking at your map as if you were trying to build it in real life.
      I haven't been too focused on making it realistic architecturally. For example, CS like maps is not something I see working well with UT2004, because of the crazy long leaps and jumps that are possible, not to mention weapons. But the vertical dimension (load-bearing) is something I can't escape easily.

      Originally posted by jefe View Post

      See how these small pillars are supporting the thin ceiling? And the massive obelisk in the middle? The obelisk would come crashing through in real life.




      Another pillar problem. A load-bearing support would never be placed in the middle of a ceiling. Things like this take away from the immersion of a map, because people instinctively sense that there is something wrong. The pillars can be easily fixed by lining them up vertically. You can add other static meshes if the pillars were placed in those locations for gameplay reasons.
      I'm still a bit torn between making it a "real architecture" map, and making something that resembles real architecture at the expense of realism, because otherwise it would interrupt gameplay (too many pillars would block players, I think). Though, that last pillar example was particularly funny. I was aware of it at some point, but had completely forgotten about it. Anyway, I see where you're coming from, and I'll probably follow up on these issues. All good points. Thanks a lot for the feedback!

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by rejecht View Post
        I struggled quite a bit with finding the right textures, and I think I got it right, but I'm sure the lift areas could have used brick wall textures instead--at least, that's what's most obvious to me.
        You have to consider both colors and materials when picking textures. For example in the images I posted, the reddish pink of the tiles from the albatross package look odd next to the yellows and grays of the Egyptian bricks. The albatross textures are part of a Mediterranean look, and the floor tiles would have been made from clay and then fired and glazed. In contrast the Egyptian blocks would be chiseled stone. So those are a couple of reasons why they look odd together. Since it looks like you're going for the tech Egyptian look, just stick with those types of textures.


        Originally posted by rejecht View Post
        In the open space--maybe that's due to the sunlight. I haven't used the Lighting view at all when going through it. I also faked sunlight using spotlights in the smaller areas where there's a sky, because it seemed too bright for the main open area, but that's also inconsistent.
        Yeah, you might just want to delete all those lights and start over. If you have a fake backdrop in the outdoors sections, you could add a sunlight actor to the skybox, which would more consistently light the outdoors areas.

        Originally posted by rejecht View Post
        I haven't really considered music for this map at all. I've been listening to everything from psytrance to Irish folk music while making it, though. Maybe a blend of that will do.
        The simplest thing is to just set one of the default tunes in your level. UT99 tunes are also good, and quite a few have already been converted to ogg for other maps. But if you're interested in something different, I could probably find something that would fit.

        Originally posted by rejecht View Post
        I haven't been too focused on making it realistic architecturally. For example, CS like maps is not something I see working well with UT2004, because of the crazy long leaps and jumps that are possible, not to mention weapons. But the vertical dimension (load-bearing) is something I can't escape easily.

        I'm still a bit torn between making it a "real architecture" map, and making something that resembles real architecture at the expense of realism, because otherwise it would interrupt gameplay (too many pillars would block players, I think). Though, that last pillar example was particularly funny. I was aware of it at some point, but had completely forgotten about it. Anyway, I see where you're coming from, and I'll probably follow up on these issues. All good points. Thanks a lot for the feedback!
        Well you don't have to worry so much about making it realistic; very few maps are. You really just have to avoid making impossible, inconsistent and illogical archtecture. You can escape the constraints of real life archtecture a bit with the techno Egyptian theme. NP on the feedback.

        Comment


          #5
          Beta5

          OK, so I've basically changed up most textures, added torches (they eat oil, so I'm not sure I want them to make any sound, hehe) and other Egyptian themed materials. Some may be tentative for now, like using torches in the sphere hall.

          Incorporated an idea from another Egyptian themed map I was working on (now the new sphere hall).

          There are some transitional issues between the areas that will be looked at. It should be a lot more consistent in use of materials.

          The bottom lava pool area is a bit barren, perhaps.

          Still floating boxes.


          I think it turned out a lot better now, but there are some junctions I would like to try adding later.

          Screen Shots
          DM-AnataWa-Beta5b (2,9 MiB zipped)

          hf

          Comment


            #6
            Looking much, much better now. Still some improbable floors/ceilings, but much less obvious than before.

            Comment


              #7
              More weapons & ammo.

              Comment


                #8
                DM-AnataWa-Beta6

                + Music. Credits go to OCReMix.org. Artists bustatunez, The Orichalcon – "Rare Square (Countdown)".
                + Weapon and ammo placement.
                + Replaced lava with healing water. (Still not a clever place to find yourself in--at least in Freon--but at least you can make it down from the top quickly, and without losing health.)
                + New junction, more texture work.
                + Envmapped the sphere again.
                -- The sphere hall does come down to ~110 fps on my system (EN8500GT), but other than that, fps should be good.


                Beta6 Screen Shots
                DM-AnataWa-Beta6 (4,3 MiB zipped)...

                Comment


                  #9
                  DM-AnataWa-Beta7

                  View: Screen shots
                  Download: DM-AnataWa-Beta7 (4,4 MiB zipped)

                  It's playable. I hope there are mostly cosmetic changes left.. hehe

                  BTW: Is this a big map? At least, I don't think so, unless you have players willingly hiding, then that may make it big.



                  (UnrealScript) I've also written and adapted some custom code. See Triggers and DamageRadius. I use it to kill xPawn actors within the radius when the explosion goes off. It's simply triggered through a ScriptedTrigger actor. The DamageRadius trigger is specific to this purpose considering the hardcoded damage type, but it's easily adaptable. I did this instead of starting to design a new weapon class. In other words, the logic of the "damage inflictor" is now separated from the logic of the weapon (its visual effects for my purposes), which is generally a good design approach. Again, it will only affect xPawn actors and its derivaties, but that's also easy to modify. I did this to reduce any unnecessary function calls to TakeDamage. (The official explosion scripts are generalized, so they call TakeDamage on any visible actor within the radius.)

                  All you have to do now is spawn an emitter where you want the visual effects, and trigger DamageRadius to inflict a world of hurt (you select the radius, momentum, and max damage through the DamageRadius properties). That's the idea.

                  hf ^^

                  Comment


                    #10
                    you can shoot the crystal to make the ball thing explode.

                    plus there is no sign of it working again

                    you need to show that it can be triggerd again.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by TurdDrive View Post
                      you can shoot the crystal to make the ball thing explode.
                      You can? Intuitively, that shouldn't be possible, since the trigger is set to PlayerProxmity. May I ask how you managed to trigger it with a weapon? I've tried that myself without managing to fire off the event.

                      Originally posted by TurdDrive View Post
                      plus there is no sign of it working again

                      you need to show that it can be triggerd again.
                      Yeah, I was still thinking about that. I could:
                      a) let the more inquisitive players figure out there is a delay.
                      b) play a sound (requires proximity to learn about its status) or show a visual effect when it has been "recharged".

                      As it is now, there's a risk involved, since you don't know unless you kept track of triggering it, and was aware of the "recharge delay". I'm leaning towards some sort of cue, though. Dynamic lights can't be used, since they're an optional effect, and so are decals (ie, I've thought about switching them on/off). Maybe material switching. /end thinking out loud.

                      Thanks for trying it! Still, I'm puzzled by the trigger being set off by weapons, though. Or did you mean you wanted to be able to shoot it? In that case, weapon's fire such as stray flak would set it off sometimes..

                      Comment


                        #12
                        You can? Intuitively, that shouldn't be possible, since the trigger is set to PlayerProxmity. May I ask how you managed to trigger it with a weapon? I've tried that myself without managing to fire off the event.
                        i just shot it and saw the Leviathan effect.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          DM-AnataWa-Beta8

                          View: Screen Shots
                          Download: DM-AnataWa-Beta8 (4 MiB zipped)

                          [+] Made the level smaller. (Removed one section. One floor less; moved the lowest floor one floor up.)

                          [+] Visual feedback when the crystal can/can't be activated.

                          * The material sequence approach didn't work in netplay, of course, but I eventually found a way to make the corona move with the crystal, as I wanted. I had to make the mover a normal mover, though, as ClientMover wasn't triggerable in netplay.

                          [+] Several visual changes.

                          [-] Two areas haven't really been fleshed out yet.

                          [-] Yes, pillars, but they'd only get in the way. AnataWa is built using special material. err

                          [?] Still no idea how that crystal could trigger with weapon's fire, but I've now made the Trigger actor react to specific classes, to be sure.

                          BTW: When would one specifically choose the MAP-TDM as a post icon? Are there any special map adaptations that must be done in those cases?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            DM = TDM= Ect

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by TurdDrive View Post
                              DM = TDM= Ect
                              Yep. Hence my question.

                              There are spawning issues, though. Teams aren't necessarily spawned together when playing DM maps using the TDM gametype, so I think I partly answered my own question there. The other part is probably a specialization towards making a TDM biased map, I guess (though I'm not sure what those criteria are).

                              Comment

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