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    #16
    Originally posted by Larry L View Post
    I hope the bases are huge skullz or something sick like that. Keep it up.
    Ooo he might have hit the mark

    You don't play in the valley itself, there are two bases located to either side of the valley and a bridge connecting them. The valley is just scenery.

    I might oneday revisit it and make a Warfare version with bases at either end of the valley, but as it is now I've taken care to use the atmospheric haze to my advantage, reducing detail dramatically further away from the play area to allow a lot more detail up close. Also, the terrain isn't very walk-friendly

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      #17
      Interesting... you said this was your first map? When you release this, I will never see the light of day again. lol

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        #18
        awesome screens! keep up the good work!

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          #19
          Originally posted by riftvalley View Post
          Interesting... you said this was your first map? When you release this, I will never see the light of day again. lol
          Yeah my first map but not the first thing I've done in 3D. I've been working in the 3D industry as a Lighting TD for a couple of years. I'm hoping that this map will be my ticket out of VFX and into games.

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            #20
            Looks seriously impressive so far - very much like something out of the Metroid Prime series. Can't wait to get a look at it all up close.

            About how long does it take to make the models and materials for this much custom content? I'm struggling through some Blender tutorials at the moment, and it seems like a huge amount of work to put together anything of a decent quality level.

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              #21
              It's a bit hard to say exactly. I'm already production experienced with standard 3D workflow stuff - modelling, uv mapping, rigging, lighting - so I definitely have an advantage. I'm not a brilliant texture artist, having done hardly any (in fact I've done more in this map than I've ever done previously), but I've made that particularly hard for myself by refusing to photosource, except in the case of very faint noisy textures used to break up base colors. Because I'm using this as a reel, I need to be hand painting all of my textures.

              The hardest thing imo is learning a good normal mapping workflow. Whether you use a package like zBrush or Mudbox, or whether you use something like Crazy Bump, or produce the normal maps from high resolution displacement maps, there's a lot of work that goes into even the smallest meshes for normal mapping, and getting it to look like high resolution geometry versus just a bland and generic bump map is tricky, and something which I have yet to master.

              In the end though (and this is my biased opinion, so take it or leave it) it all comes down to the lighting (color, contrast, etc.)

              Even the most basic geometry can look brilliant given a good understanding of color theory and good use of lighting. Conversely, the best meshes and textures in the world can look garbage with bad lighting/color.

              I would say that on average each mesh so far has taken me from a couple of hours to a full day. I've spent maybe 80 hours on it at this point - half just learning how to use the editor and trouble shooting, the other half making assets and positioning them, with about 5 hours for lighting and atmospherics tweaking. I've been especially pedantic about using low resolution meshes wherever possible, so a lot of time has been spent just tweaking each and every asset's position, rotation, scale, and detail level so that I am only ever using just as many resources as I need for it to look good. Now I have the environmental lighting at a point I'm happy with, I'll be using lighting groups to light the bases completely separately so they can be tweaked without affecting the environment.

              My standard workflow up until this point has been to build a mesh completely - all textures, LODs, normal maps, etc. - and bring it into the editor. Then I've manually positioned each mesh as carefully as possible to keep a good composition.

              Now I'm onto the base, however, I'm building the mesh first, play testing, and THEN doing the make-it-pretty stuff.

              The environment has been made easier here because the player is limited to a relatively small area, so it's not overly difficult to compose the environment to look good from within this area.

              And yeah, it does seem like a huge amount of work for even the tiniest quality result, but in the end it's all worth it imo. There's been many times I would have entirely scrapped this level if it wasn't for needing it for a reel, and now I'm so glad I didn't because getting some good feedback makes all the hard work worthwhile. The more you do it, too, the faster you'll get at it. Already I'm finding myself working about twice as fast on assets as I was when I began.

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                #22
                Well. /sigh

                Unfortunately three weeks ago my PC suffered a massive crash, with two simultaneously failed HDD's. As a result, I lost a lot of the new meshes I was building for this map, which is frustrating to say the least. Luckily, I'd backed up a few days before the crash, but I've only just got my heap of **** computer back (in much the same condition as I sent it in, thanks for that tech guys) and I'm in the process of rebuilding the lost assets.

                Hopefully an update of the central arena area (leaving only the base interiors - or interior, given that it will be symmetrical) will be ready by this weekend.

                Stupid computers

                EDIT: I also spent some time on custom ambient sounds and music, but since the crash I've read that the PS3 doesn't support custom sounds??? In which case, for now I'm leaving out the added sound content, but will probably (post beta) make a separate PC version with those sounds/music included.

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                  #23
                  Thats fine friend, cant wait to see this....any secret areas?, i Love secret areas LMFAO!

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                    #24
                    Glad you're still working on it. I'm really looking forward to getting a closer look at this one.

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                      #25
                      Unfortunately three weeks ago my PC suffered a massive crash
                      Ul mate. It's good to hear your still going ahead with this as you obviously have talent. Just make sure the gameplay lives up to the visuals in both nw and insta and you will be golden

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                        #26
                        Mate, this looks incredible - no doubt your hard work and all those hours will pay off! Wish i had that kind of knowledge to model and texture things, trying to learn maya at the moment but its slow progress. Im working on maps but would love one day to make my own content for them, though it does seem very complicated. The atmosphere looks great, kindof reminds me of an alien environment form unreal 2 but alot better looking.

                        Sucks about the crash, yes computers suck. Id better back up today!

                        Good luck with the rest of it dude.

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                          #27
                          Definitely continue with this though, it may seem like a gimmicky little silly concept but trust me that to us (a.k.a. the ones not staring at it for hours on end every week making the bloody thing) it's really cool.

                          Not the end of the world, not the greatest map since sliced brushes but just a cool little map

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                            #28
                            wow this is looks something Unreal !

                            why dont you make this Map for "Make Something Unreal Contest" ?

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                              #29
                              Originally posted by BuffyTheSlayer View Post
                              why dont you make this Map for "Make Something Unreal Contest" ?
                              Hehe I hope to I'll definitely enter it, but I expect my follow up map will be a lot better. I've made a lot of mistakes while learning the software that I won't make the second time around. Also, I haven't really focused on gameplay so much with this map. It's just about trying to make something pretty.

                              Originally posted by Kev_Boy
                              Definitely continue with this though, it may seem like a gimmicky little silly concept but trust me that to us (a.k.a. the ones not staring at it for hours on end every week making the bloody thing) it's really cool.

                              Not the end of the world, not the greatest map since sliced brushes but just a cool little map
                              Thanks I'm glad you think so!

                              Originally posted by Jonny
                              Mate, this looks incredible - no doubt your hard work and all those hours will pay off! Wish i had that kind of knowledge to model and texture things, trying to learn maya at the moment but its slow progress. Im working on maps but would love one day to make my own content for them, though it does seem very complicated. The atmosphere looks great, kindof reminds me of an alien environment form unreal 2 but alot better looking.

                              Sucks about the crash, yes computers suck. Id better back up today!

                              Good luck with the rest of it dude.
                              Thankyou! I'm still trying to get everything working well enough to be reliable for my 3D stuff. I have no idea what's wrong with my PC, but the guy at the shop reckons it's nothing hardware wise, which doesn't make any sense to me since it goes berko after a clean reformat/install

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