Help! I Need Somebody

CrispyCrispy Jaded GD Join Date: 2004-08-22 Member: 30793Members, Constellation Posts: 3,225
edited July 2005 in Mapping Forum
not just anybody
Yes that's right I'm calling on all you NS Mappers for advice on sections of the Mapping Guidelines for Competitive Play that can be found in the Competitive Discussion forum, via my sig.

There are a few topic titles that I've thought of, but the specifics quite frankly escape me as I haven't been near a copy of Hammer in a matter of months and I'm finding it hard to even qualify myself as a mapper. But, regardless I'm trying to do my bit for the NS competitive scene in view of the impending invasion of the feared and fearful 'newbies'. I figure that a few of them might stick around and go competitive. I figure a few things, really. I figure that with better competitive maps, the old guard might stick around for seasons to come. I figure newbies will see promise in the competitive scene. I figure we can help make this happen.


So here's an extract of the bits I need help with. The sections are at the end of the text.

---

Tailoring Your Map for Competitive Play

Despite what you may have heard, the NS competitive scene is in a perpetual state of growth. This growth is perpetuated by a continuous influx of new players to the game, some of whom will later decide to take their game to the next level.

It's become so popular that there are teams from all over the globe, but typically they are polarised in two regions: Europe and the USA. But with this international fame arise problems for the competitive scene, the most notable of which is latency discrepancy. In a game as fast-paced as Natural Selection seconds count, but milliseconds count more. Milliseconds mean the difference between a Fade escaping with under 10% of his hit points or a Fade not escaping at all.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to close the gap between the home and away team? To make that latency gap not so prominant? To provide more stable matchplay? Enter the humble NS mapper. Exit r_speeds, stage left, followed by a bear.

---

Brushwork and Architectural Economics
Input from: Kouji San

Textures: Downsizing ftl
Input from: Lt. Gravity

Sound files: What's better left unsaid?

Particle Systems: The real res****s of NS
Post edited by Unknown User on

Comments

  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands, Hoogezand Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Posts: 15,780 Advanced user
    Brushwork and Architectural Economics

    >You can still make it look good, but making it look good using complex architecture will ultimately suck up those precious clipnodes. Not to mention that it sometimes snares a players movement. So the clip textured brushes should always be uses on pillars, support beams, pipes and anything else sucking up clipnodes. Just don't put them on the floor, since it will sink structures.
    First of all to guide the player his movement arround it when walking in a hallway, it should NOT snare the player. Secondly to cut down the overall clipnodes of the map, reducing the stress on the engine.

    >Vents should be tested for easy access from any direction. Some of the vent intakes in current official maps are a real pain in the butt to get into (probably already covered?)

    Guardian of the "magic cookiejar" AdminModerator

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  • CrispyCrispy Jaded GD Join Date: 2004-08-22 Member: 30793Members, Constellation Posts: 3,225
    QUOTE (Kouji San @ Jul 23 2005, 09:55 PM)
    Brushwork and Architectural Economics

    >You can still make it look good, but making it look good using complex architecture will ultimately suck up those precious clipnodes. Not to mention that it sometimes snares a players movement. So the clip textured brushes should always be uses on pillars, support beams, pipes and anything else sucking up clipnodes. Just don't put them on the floor, since it will sink structures.
    First of all to guide the player his movement arround it when walking in a hallway, it should NOT snare the player. Secondly to cut down the overall clipnodes of the map, reducing the stress on the engine.

    >Vents should be tested for easy access from any direction. Some of the vent intakes in current official maps are a real pain in the butt to get into (probably already covered?)

    Was that yet another snide remark at Mendasp, because the Sava vents in the Hive have been covered tounge.gif

    I'd left out the lip problems by accident, but now they're in. First post updated, but I won't be writing it all up until I've had enough input.
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands, Hoogezand Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Posts: 15,780 Advanced user
    Nah, you should know me that I don't do snide remarks or flames, sarcasm and irony sometimes slips trough though tounge.gif But It just came to mind cause theres a thread on ns_nancy right in the main mapping forum on the very same subject.

    Guardian of the "magic cookiejar" AdminModerator

    Existence Unknown

    Retired forum Admin, I mostly used a flamethrower tank for disputes... Mostly
    Retired EUPT Deputy | Moral Support | Squad 5 Blue
    102 1HP Skulk escapes and counting | Play the Latest Version of Booster Z-Frame
    YouTube NS2 Playlists: Unusual Selection | NS2 Stuff | NS2PT | NS2 Tuts

  • NaigelNaigel Join Date: 2003-07-23 Member: 18376Members, Constellation Posts: 651
    Erhm, I don't quite understand what this is all about... could you please explain a bit more tounge.gif
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  • NaigelNaigel Join Date: 2003-07-23 Member: 18376Members, Constellation Posts: 651
    edited July 2005
    -EDIT-

    Yay for forum slowness...
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  • CrispyCrispy Jaded GD Join Date: 2004-08-22 Member: 30793Members, Constellation Posts: 3,225
    Read the thread in my sig and you should understand. Or at least click on it and read the introduction...
  • ScytheScythe Join Date: 2002-01-25 Member: 46NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Constellation, Reinforced - Silver Posts: 4,371 mod
    /me got the beatles reference in the title of the thread

    biggrin-fix.gif

    --Scythe--
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  • Lt_GravityLt_Gravity Join Date: 2003-04-28 Member: 15909Members Posts: 1,594
    heavily depends on the mappers skills.
    fast running map? thats a map with the lowest entity count possible, the most simplyfied architecture... in short: its a boring map biggrin-fix.gif

    instead of working on concepts to "please" the competative community some people should think about giving feedback to EXISTING projects to fit the needs of most players.

    besides that to please most of the competative players is like building a car that hovers without flapping wink-fix.gif

    to this list of yours:
    is this meant to a "input from this people would be nice" or did we allready commented on it? *thinks* I really cant remember anything... must be the "last weekend aftershock" XD




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  • CrispyCrispy Jaded GD Join Date: 2004-08-22 Member: 30793Members, Constellation Posts: 3,225
    I asked you about it a while back and you wrote something up while you were in the office. You said that it wasn't much and that it was an incredibly busy day, that's probably why you don't remember.

    BTW, input doesn't neccessarily mean that the topic is no longer open to further input. Even if you can only think of one tiny thing, I may have forgotten to include it in my notes.
  • Lt_GravityLt_Gravity Join Date: 2003-04-28 Member: 15909Members Posts: 1,594
    QUOTE (Crispy @ Jul 27 2005, 05:02 AM)
    I asked you about it a while back and you wrote something up while you were in the office. You said that it wasn't much and that it was an incredibly busy day, that's probably why you don't remember.

    maybe you could mail me what I wrote to you, crispy, so I know if there might be something to add.

    different answers from different people to the same topic (architecture for example) might be terrible interesting, especially for beginners.

    Im able to add to the topics
    - brushwork (detail and r_speed improvements)
    - texture choice and usage
    - environment and atmospheric elements (thats my favourite wink-fix.gif)

    however, I CANT really comment on
    - gameplay and balance
    - competative improvements

    sad-fix.gif

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  • CrispyCrispy Jaded GD Join Date: 2004-08-22 Member: 30793Members, Constellation Posts: 3,225
    QUOTE (Lt Gravity @ Jul 28 2005, 01:21 AM)
    QUOTE (Crispy @ Jul 27 2005, 05:02 AM)
    I asked you about it a while back and you wrote something up while you were in the office. You said that it wasn't much and that it was an incredibly busy day, that's probably why you don't remember.

    maybe you could mail me what I wrote to you, crispy, so I know if there might be something to add.

    different answers from different people to the same topic (architecture for example) might be terrible interesting, especially for beginners.

    Im able to add to the topics
    - brushwork (detail and r_speed improvements)
    - texture choice and usage
    - environment and atmospheric elements (thats my favourite wink-fix.gif)

    however, I CANT really comment on
    - gameplay and balance
    - competative improvements

    sad-fix.gif

    Gameplay and balance is more a clan player's field of expertise, but here's what you posted about texture usage (I'll edit it out if you post a revised edition later on in this thread). Contrary to your beliefs, choosing your textures wisely can improve r_speeds and therefore lower the demand on a competitive player's system, in turn levelling the playing field just that tiny bit more.

    ---

    QUOTE
    in case anything I write beneath may sound little "self-absorbed":
    my mapping experience has its roots back in 1998 when hl was released
    sometimes the low r-speeds are a mistery to myself. but keep in mind that this is also connected to my compiler settings, I never compile with full settings, always the "normal" way. but I NEVER EVER experienced any problems with that.

    to understand the way Im am able to create good looking architecture combined with relatively low r_speeds I will have to explain the whole procedure.
    Im not one of those mappers thinking hours about a single location, more likely I drawn 2 or 3 dropdown plans with possible entrances, vents, height differences. any location I created has a purpose. to write down which elements would represent this purpose can be very helpful. I created a handful of guidelines myself to make mapping for hl easier to me:

    1. creating the basic architecture


    thats where all the basic work is done. most people just create a box to work on with. I dont like this method. the result tends to be a square or rectangle room. even in this state I try to bring some originality into the architecture. creating floor, walls, ceiling and some additional height/lenght differences, always keeping the scaling in the eye by placing temporary player starts. its very important to think about line of sight aswell because the best opportunity to prevent your map from "r_explode" is NOW. textures are roughly placed with scaling with 1 or even higher.

    2. breaking up the basics


    next step could be the more detailed texture placing. I dont want the map to look flat so I will break the walls up. placing textures is always a good start. you get ideas about how you can change your architecture.

    3. advanced texturing


    if you want to have the best possible result you should work with textures carefully. place ANY texture on visible surfaces manually. that consumes a lot of time but you will have less trouble and higher speeds later on. allways try to use 1:1 scaling for textures, ergo 1-1, 0.75-0.75, 0.5-0.5 with either world or surfaces definition (manipulating solids via vertex or clipping tool messes the textures dimensions up).

    4. kickass architecture


    everybody do like other looks on their maps, thats why there are so many of them  there is no specific hint I can give here. except on thing: think about what excites the player. what would you like to see in a map?

    question: why are your r_speeds so terible low?


    because I follow the guidelines abouve. clean architecture that fits the mesh, clearly defined standart measurements (units divisible with 2,4,6 or 8; 5 or ten VERY rarely!!!), architecture that fits the textures (not the other way round, you will run yourself in trouble), reasonable visblockers that look "natural" (not the ugly "S" routes used by many mappers to avoid high r_speeds) and sometimes I even use my brain

    I dont say everybody likes or has to like my work. its all a matter of taste smile-fix.gif 


    Mmm, tastes like strawberries!
  • Lt_GravityLt_Gravity Join Date: 2003-04-28 Member: 15909Members Posts: 1,594
    QUOTE (Crispy @ Jul 29 2005, 04:21 AM)
    Contrary to your beliefs, choosing your textures wisely can improve r_speeds and therefore lower the demand on a competitive player's system, in turn levelling the playing field just that tiny bit more.

    contrary to MY beliefs? shure, I didnt mentioned the scaling.... ok, you got me, I forgot it. maybe its because thats something I do automatically. thats one of the most important techniques.
    but texture scaling is something you can change easily later on. to change half of the map to fit the grid and brushes to use common xyz values is much more work to do.

    ...

    (I really forgot it... cant believe it...)

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