Basic mapping questions

PhannehPhanneh Join Date: 2003-10-29 Member: 22125Posts: 68Members, Constellation
This may sounds really dumb...
So, I've completely grey boxxed my map (a 5 tech/10 resource map). The problem I'm running into now is one of actually testing the map. How do you actually go about compiling and testing? I'm sure it's something I've overlooked, but I've searched all the tutorials I could find and don't really have an answer.

I remember with one of the maps in ns1 that in order to have a correct minimap there was a console command that needed to be done. How do we create minimaps in ns2?
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Comments

  • MendaspMendasp I touch maps in inappropriate places Valencia, Spain Join Date: 2002-07-05 Member: 884Posts: 3,919Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow, Community Dev Team
    edited March 2012
    There's no compiles, you simply drop the map in the maps folder and type map yourmapname in console and you're done.

    For the overview, in the NS2 directory you've got a program called "Overview.exe", you have to pass it two parameters, one is the map file and the other is "ns2" (your "mod" directory).

    For example: overview.exe D:\Maps\mymap.level ns2

    This will generate your minimap and put it in the correct folder automatically (maps\overviews).

    Also, to test you'll need a number of entities set up, like 2 tech points and at least a ready_room_start, and a ns2_gamerules. I think I didn't forget any.

    EDIT: You should take a look at this wiki entry (ns2_sample).
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • PhannehPhanneh Join Date: 2003-10-29 Member: 22125Posts: 68Members, Constellation
    Maybe I missed one of the entities, because I tried just straight dropping it with the other maps in the ns2 folder and it didn't work. I'll go double check my work.


    Thanks for the quick reply.
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  • hookeyedhookeyed Join Date: 2007-08-26 Member: 62011Posts: 201Members, Squad Five Blue
    I think you'll need to add in locations and minimap extents. Stretch the locations over the rooms and the minimap extents over everything except the readyroom. Also I think the Overview uses commander height information, so it'd be safe to throw one of those in each location.
    new ns2 map in progress - ns2_tengu
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  • PhannehPhanneh Join Date: 2003-10-29 Member: 22125Posts: 68Members, Constellation
    Yeah I figured out about the locations a little bit ago. I was going to test it until I found a room off the grid and I had to redo it. Damn thing looked like it was on the grid even when I was three clicks away from zooming past it in overhead view.
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  • PhannehPhanneh Join Date: 2003-10-29 Member: 22125Posts: 68Members, Constellation
    I got to the point of doing the overview. I haven't tried playing the map yet. But, the overview.exe is giving me errors that it couldn't load the map. I'm pretty sure I have the commands inputted right, or else I wouldn't even be able to start the exe.

    CODE
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\natural selection 2>overview.exe \
    ns2\maps\1.level c:\
    RenderDevice: ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series (8.17.10.1099)
    Couldn't load map "1.level"


    I moved the map to the same folder as the overview.exe so that it didn't need to navigate and have a problem.

    On a side note, when i started ns I didn't find my map on the menu. I added the entities listed here and also the pathing entity and the minimap entity. So, I'm a little confused.
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  • Soul_RiderSoul_Rider Mod Bean Join Date: 2004-06-19 Member: 29388Posts: 3,305Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue
    edited March 2012
    You didn't find the map, because the map wasn't in the maps folder, it was in the overviews folder. Move it back to the maps folder.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • MendaspMendasp I touch maps in inappropriate places Valencia, Spain Join Date: 2002-07-05 Member: 884Posts: 3,919Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow, Community Dev Team
    edited March 2012
    QUOTE (Phanneh @ Mar 7 2012, 09:52 AM) »
    I got to the point of doing the overview. I haven't tried playing the map yet. But, the overview.exe is giving me errors that it couldn't load the map. I'm pretty sure I have the commands inputted right, or else I wouldn't even be able to start the exe.

    CODE
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\natural selection 2>overview.exe \
    ns2\maps\1.level c:\
    RenderDevice: ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series (8.17.10.1099)
    Couldn't load map "1.level"


    I moved the map to the same folder as the overview.exe so that it didn't need to navigate and have a problem.

    On a side note, when i started ns I didn't find my map on the menu. I added the entities listed here and also the pathing entity and the minimap entity. So, I'm a little confused.

    The second parameter should have been "ns2", anyways, if you don't want to fiddle with the command line you can make a batch file with this in it:

    QUOTE
    @echo OFF

    SETLOCAL EnableExtensions

    FOR /F "tokens=2,*" %%i IN ('reg query "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Valve\Steam" /v "InstallPath" 2^>nul ^| Find /i "InstallPath" ') DO set SteamDirectory=%%j

    IF NOT DEFINED SteamDirectory (
    @echo trying 64 bit reg path

    FOR /F "tokens=2,*" %%i IN ('reg query "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Valve\Steam" /v "InstallPath" 2^>nul ^| Find /i "InstallPath"') DO set SteamDirectory=%%j
    )

    IF NOT EXIST "%SteamDirectory%" (
    @echo Error the Steam directory directory doesn't seem to exist
    PAUSE
    EXIT
    )

    set InstallPath=%SteamDirectory%\steamapps\common\Natural Selection 2
    set Level=%~1

    @echo NS2 install path is: %InstallPath%
    @echo Level: %Level%

    IF NOT EXIST "%InstallPath%" (
    @echo Error the Natural Selection 2 directory doesn't seem to exist
    PAUSE
    EXIT
    )

    start /d"%InstallPath%" .\overview.exe "%Level%" ns2

    EndLocal

    It's modified from fsfod's non-flash menu. Just drop your level file on the .bat file and it should generate it automatically.

    Also, to find your map in the menu it has to start with "ns2_" like "ns2_mymap", I think, not 100% sure, but worth a try.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • PhannehPhanneh Join Date: 2003-10-29 Member: 22125Posts: 68Members, Constellation
    So I redid the naming conventions: ns2_test.

    I had a copy in the maps folder and one in the main natural selection directory just in case I missed something.

    I tried again to create the overview and it still came back with the same error.

    I generated the bat and ran that and I came back with the same result. I wasn't really hopeful with the bat, since it was exactly what i was already doing.
    It started and opened a new cmd prompt, but it closed automatically, I'm not an ace at dos, so I don't know how to make it give a readout without closing.

    CODE
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\natural selection 2>overview.exe n
    s2_test.level ns2
    RenderDevice: ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series (8.17.10.1099)
    Couldn't load map "ns2_test.level"


    CODE
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\natural selection 2>overview.bat n
    s2_test.level
    trying 64 bit reg path
    NS2 install path is: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Natural Selec
    tion 2
    Level: ns2_test.level


    So at this point I'm wondering what the hell I broke.

    Thanks again guys.
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  • PhannehPhanneh Join Date: 2003-10-29 Member: 22125Posts: 68Members, Constellation
    Right after I reread your post, I saw that you said drag and drop it onto the batch file. I just did that and it worked, so thanks!
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  • MendaspMendasp I touch maps in inappropriate places Valencia, Spain Join Date: 2002-07-05 Member: 884Posts: 3,919Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow, Community Dev Team
    I'm glad that it worked. In case you wanted to know, the problem you were having with the method of introducing the command "by hand" is that the level isn't located there, so the command would've been "overview.exe ns2\maps\ns2_test.level ns2", but since the bat is simpler and it's actually working, you don't really need this now :)
  • PhannehPhanneh Join Date: 2003-10-29 Member: 22125Posts: 68Members, Constellation
    Well what was goofy was the fact that I did exactly what you just typed. So, I'm not sure what my problem was. But, at least the batch worked.

    Here's a screencap of the ingame map.

    image
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  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands, Hoogezand Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Posts: 11,447Forum Admins, Playtest Lead, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue mod
    edited March 2012
    I see three issues with the layout.

    • Bottom left tech_point is quite easy to camp with both exits next to each other (not sure about the scale)
    • The very long and straight hallway from the bottom right hive up to the top center resnode will make it possible for marines to snipe stuff from across the map almost. You have a few hallways with this issue, but that one really stands out.
    • I guess the tech_points themselves are too easy to attack from the room entrances from what I can see



    Other then that, it's an interesting design with those curvy hallways and all :)
    Post edited by Unknown User on

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  • PhannehPhanneh Join Date: 2003-10-29 Member: 22125Posts: 68Members, Constellation
    Thanks for the feedback. It always helps to get an idea.

    I was thinking the same thing about the hallways. I was trying to think of better ways to break up the areas, but I kind of constrained myself on the layout to a roof depiction of a star.

    That long hallway was coincidentally the first room I made, so it kind of got stuck in the middle. I think I'll combine those two rooms below where I took the screenshot and center it more toward the one with the res node in it. Or simply move the short hallway between the room marked as Greenhouse and the tech point and move it between the res node room and the Greenhouse.

    Good eye on that bottom left tech point. I actually didn't think about that. I'll move the bottom hallway to down toward the other side of the tech point.

    I'm concerned with the top middle resource point, but I'm not sure of a better way to break the space between the Entrance (Top left) tech point and the room marked as Keystone, which looks like a Keystone.

    I'll upload a copy of it if anyone wants to give me some first person feedback. It's mostly just grey boxxed with few actual textures or lights.
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  • PhannehPhanneh Join Date: 2003-10-29 Member: 22125Posts: 68Members, Constellation
    edited March 2012
    I decided to just reroute that a few hallways.

    I also moved a few of the nodes t be in more protected positions from ranged attacks. I did the same with the tech points.

    I also rerouted a lot of the paths to prohibit as many choke points. Right now the only room I'm moderately concerned about is "Server Room" which has 4 entrances to it, however one of the entrances is on a second floor and it seems like it might be a death trap for marines like central is in mineshaft.

    Let me know what you think.

    image
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • ScardyBobScardyBob ScardyBob Join Date: 2009-11-25 Member: 69528Posts: 4,983Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow mod
    So I don't know the size of your map, but something useful to do is to time how long it takes to run from technode to technode as marine. If one technode->technode takes significantly longer (or shorter) than the others, you might want to adjust the hallways to facilitate shorter or longer paths.

    Also, is this map intended to have random or fixed spawns?
  • PhannehPhanneh Join Date: 2003-10-29 Member: 22125Posts: 68Members, Constellation
    The mapping guidelines say to shoot for about 15-21 seconds between tech points. Should resources be roughly half that?

    I'm shooting for random spawns with the exception of the center tech point, where the last screen cap was taken. I've designed it with a variety of levels similar to the way summit is set up, vice how mineshaft is kind of a steady grade downward.

    I've significantly changed the hallways. Once I'm finished that with what I'm doing, I'll start a new thread to get some more additional feedback
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  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands, Hoogezand Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Posts: 11,447Forum Admins, Playtest Lead, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue mod
    An easy way to measure your resnode distance from techpoints could be to use cysts. I think it it in between 3-5 cysts. Depending on map size.

    Forum Admin "guardian of the magic cookiejar" Admin/Moderator I mostly use a flamethrower tank for disputes... Mostly

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  • ScardyBobScardyBob ScardyBob Join Date: 2009-11-25 Member: 69528Posts: 4,983Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow mod
    edited March 2012
    QUOTE (Kouji_San @ Mar 8 2012, 02:58 PM) »
    An easy way to measure your resnode distance from techpoints could be to use cysts. I think it it in between 3-5 cysts. Depending on map size.

    This.

    Imo, a good rule of thumb is to have at least two additional res nodes within 5 cysts of each tech node (this is how summit works).

    Also, if its random spawns, then hydroponics is going to be a terrible starting location. It has no in-room res node and only one 'close' expansion res node in keystone. Putting a res node in hydroponics and moving the res node from the unnamed room west of greenhouse into greenhouse would help a lot.

    Edit: Another good way to think about map balance in NS2 is to do thought experiments on 2nd hive locations. For example, say marines start in entrance and aliens in collection, how easy would it be for marines to attack a 2nd hive in control vs treatment vs hydroponics? If one location looks to be a much better location to drop a 2nd hive than all the others, the 2nd hive will always be dropped there and gameplay will become stale. Factors that affect the ability to attack/defend the 2nd hive include:
    - Distance from the marine start
    - The openness of the room (think flight control vs data core on summit)
    - The ease at which you can shoot the hive from the room entrances
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • PhannehPhanneh Join Date: 2003-10-29 Member: 22125Posts: 68Members, Constellation
    edited March 2012
    Here's a quick update on the progress. I'm working on routes from Entrance and from Treatment.

    I deleted the res node for hydroponics until I rethink where I want to place it and how I want to place the hive. I was also considering greenhouse as a better res node, but after the alteration I made, it appears that I should just add one additionally rather than move it.

    I started thinking about the situation of shooting a hive from the doorway after Kouji mentioned it. I think I've done a better job of 'hiding' them.

    Also a quick note: Most of these hallways now look long and dangerous, however they have a lot of gradient to them, so its much more difficult to do so.

    I also have yet to add vents, as I want to wait until I get a good layout before I add them in.

    image
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands, Hoogezand Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Posts: 11,447Forum Admins, Playtest Lead, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue mod
    edited March 2012
    Hmm, I guess you are missing the top middle half of the map in this one? Because if this is not the case, the map in your latest post has VERY serious issues right now :D

    - Greenhouse is a bottleneck, basically cutting the map in half
    - Treatment and Entrance have only one... ehm... Entrance :D (techpoint rooms should always have at least two entrances)
    - I'm concerned about siege issues between Treatment and Entrance
    - Being able to siege from the hallway top-left of Collection would probably also be a big issue

    I see a possibility for a door in those hallway "rounded rooms" to the right of Control
    Post edited by Unknown User on

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  • PhannehPhanneh Join Date: 2003-10-29 Member: 22125Posts: 68Members, Constellation
    edited March 2012
    I'm not sure how to improve the green house area, with the exception of making it an empty room and giving hydroponics and collection a shared res up the stairs from greenhouse. So, I would have to reroute the entrance of collection to that point, but I'm concerned that that might make it a very contested area with the speed each tech point can reach that area.

    I corrected the siege issues. I took an arc around the map to check everything and I had to move 3 out of 5 hives because of this reason. I'll have to rely on props to obscure the view of some of the hives.

    I rerouted a few hallways. I added a way to access those 2 rounded rooms with a node in each. I was considering removing one res node and a power node and making it so that one room had the res and the other had the power.

    I was working on making the hallways for entrance and treatment when I uploaded that image. Here's a better overview:


    image



    One last question: I'm running into problems with the commander view where objects seem to disappear. Is this because I have the view too high or is it something else?
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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