ns_metaphor Map Project - Revised

ZerotechZerotech Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24583Members, Constellation
edited June 2010 in Mapping Forum
<b>Metaphor Project Status</b> - ns_meta Re-Build WIP1 (Incomplete)
<b>Current Map Progress</b> - <b><!--coloro:#FF6600--><span style="color:#FF6600"><!--/coloro-->20%%<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b>

<b><!--coloro:#000099--><span style="color:#000099"><!--/coloro-->Marine Start Position<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b>
o Monitoring Station (Bottom-Left)

<b><!--coloro:#FF6600--><span style="color:#FF6600"><!--/coloro-->Alien Hive Locations<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b>
o Nuclear Reactor (Top-Left)
o Manufacturing Room (Top-Right)
o Chemical Facility (Bottom-Right)

<b><!--coloro:#FFFF00--><span style="color:#FFFF00"><!--/coloro-->Rooms Added (As of Date Thurs. 16-08-09)<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b>
o Monitoring Station (Marine Start)
o Southern Access Corridor
o Polographic Displacement Room
o Acid Pool
o Northern Access Corridor - Lower
o West Junction
o Northern Access Corridor - Upper
o Arc Bridge (In Development)
o Chemical Facility - Hive (90% Complete)
o Nuclear Reactor - Hive

Formerly ns_warehouse
1st Map Development thread - <a href="http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/index.php?s=2492921771085433856&showtopic=70112&hl=" target="_blank">ns_warehouse old thread here</a>
Meta Early Development Thread - <a href="http://www.unknownworlds.com/ns/forums/index.php?showtopic=98640" target="_blank">ns_meta old thread here</a>

Really this is the third attempt to develop a playable ns-style map based on the old warehouse concept. Well as the saying goes, 3 Strikes and you're out sort of thing.

<b><u>Overview of the map project</u></b>
The development had begun years ago back when I was novice at using the map editor and the addons that supported the map creation tools. I have made a decision to deliver something unique in a way that will benefit everyone.

Overall the project is going to be big, I had established some plans as well as conducting the maps that are available, most follow the standard formats (ie. 2 entrance conventions on Marine Start Locations and Alien Hives), I have decided to take a new route and approach by delivering some interesting features that I will add towards my map creation.

The concept is simple really, make an ns-related map and play it like the rest is that it?

Well the answer is YES, but in a way will enhance the quality in a way that will almost change the way how people will interact.

I have begun some analysis that at least 90% of ns maps have followed the ns mapping standards and conventions, but most lack some form of variety that is a missing ingredient that would have otherwise added some replay value.

This map however will add a new course to how the game would be played.

To demonstrate the map's quality and replay value i have begun planning and designed a visual representation what the map is going to look like.

Old Version of Map's Layout (Nov. 2006) - <a href="http://img156.imageshack.us/my.php?image=nswarehouseww1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/4619/nswarehouseww1.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

New Version of Map's Layout (Aug. 2009) - <a href="http://img12.imageshack.us/i/nsmetaphor.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/4149/nsmetaphor.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

i have begun implementing some of the rooms as a demonstration of what the map is going to look like and how it will shape up to the likes of veil, tanith, eclipse and the likes.

<a href="http://img15.imageshack.us/i/sac30000.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/2231/sac30000.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img22.imageshack.us/i/sac30001.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/331/sac30001.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img11.imageshack.us/i/sac30002.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/2606/sac30002.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img12.imageshack.us/i/sac30003.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/1626/sac30003.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

I will update this thread whenever it is applicable. Your feedback is appreciated.


  • kickerkicker Join Date: 2007-09-22 Member: 62397Members, Constellation
    looks good ..cant wait to play ns2 ...ähm ..ur map :>
  • ZerotechZerotech Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24583Members, Constellation
    Some progress is made with the map development.

    Southern Access corridor is close to completion, next room will be developed will be the Polographic Displacement Room.

    <a href="http://img36.imageshack.us/i/sac50000.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img36.imageshack.us/img36/9931/sac50000.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img198.imageshack.us/i/sac50001.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/8269/sac50001.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    Some more images to keep the wpoly count low.

    <a href="http://img31.imageshack.us/i/sac50002.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/4134/sac50002.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img31.imageshack.us/i/sac50003.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/4374/sac50003.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>
  • SekerSeker Join Date: 2007-03-06 Member: 60259Members
    Well let's see how this turns out.

    Btw what is with number-7 ? :/
  • ZerotechZerotech Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24583Members, Constellation
    edited August 2009
    I'm not sure about the situation with Number-7, all I know it was a NS Map site. i haven't been to the site in ages so it wouldn't suprise me if the site is closed. There are other sites that also hosts ns related maps.

    Anyways, I've begun implementing the Polographic Displacement Room, the layout is just about done but just needs cosmetic work onto it.

    <a href="http://img269.imageshack.us/i/polo20000.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/6919/polo20000.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img16.imageshack.us/i/polo40000.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/9631/polo40000.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img31.imageshack.us/i/polo40001.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/8904/polo40001.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>
  • GiGaBiTeGiGaBiTe Join Date: 2003-10-07 Member: 21489Members
    Those ramps could use some rails and some detail on the walls, it looks kind of plain.
  • ZerotechZerotech Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24583Members, Constellation
    I'll start working on improving the visuals of the Southern Access Corridor, right now I'm just adding the cosmetic layout of the Polographic Displacement Room, check it out. Does the room look familar in any way?

    <a href="http://img36.imageshack.us/i/polo50000.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img36.imageshack.us/img36/1143/polo50000.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img4.imageshack.us/i/polo50002.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/9261/polo50002.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img4.imageshack.us/i/polo50003.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/1828/polo50003.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>
  • GiGaBiTeGiGaBiTe Join Date: 2003-10-07 Member: 21489Members
    It looks like the holo room from ns_hera. I never liked hera that much, they changed it too many times and ruined it. Find some other way to light the room, those squished lights look bad.
  • ZerotechZerotech Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24583Members, Constellation
    When I had a look at the Polograpic room, the mixture of different lights doesn't seem to blend too well, unless the colours I chose were of a similar kind ie. Yellow/Orange.

    I will need to address the lighting issue, for gameplay, I feel I also need to raise the height of the room as well for the entrances going right which will lead straight to the Acid Pool.

    Here I've just improved the look of Southern Access Corridor, all of the rails included are not the final design stage, I may need to adjust some of the height issues to work out a suitable balance and the placement of the support beams for the railings.

    I'm also well aware some of the floors of the rooms look a bit edgy and they don't seem to synchronize too well but just remember it's just a prelimiary stage.

    In the meantime I've brushed up Southern Access Corridor to look well enough for gameplay but I still need to fix those ugly edgy placements so the rooms look fully sync'ed.

    <a href="http://img16.imageshack.us/i/polo60000.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/3954/polo60000.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img188.imageshack.us/i/polo60001.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img188.imageshack.us/img188/2937/polo60001.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img19.imageshack.us/i/polo60002.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/3682/polo60002.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>
  • GiGaBiTeGiGaBiTe Join Date: 2003-10-07 Member: 21489Members
    I know those are just placeholder rails, but I'd recommend using a single brush with a rail texture. Those rails look really out of place, and using multiple brushes like that eats away at the compile limits. The only other beef I have with the map is it's a tad claustrophobic.
  • ZerotechZerotech Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24583Members, Constellation
    edited August 2009
    While I'm shifting the tasks between the two rooms, I like to progress to the next stage of the room which is the Acid Pool, before that I need to finalize the appearance of the rooms I need to get the lighting contrast right.

    After experimenting with the lighting this is what I come up with in regards to the Polographic Room.

    <a href="http://img11.imageshack.us/i/polo70002.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/3135/polo70002.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img23.imageshack.us/i/polo70003.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/8987/polo70003.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img4.imageshack.us/i/polo70004.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/9157/polo70004.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img15.imageshack.us/i/polo70005.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/9464/polo70005.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    I feel I could enhance the lighting further by blending some shades of yellow or orange to give this room a kickstart feeling.

    In addition to the lighting, I can also implement some cosmetic changes by installing screens to resemble the hera look, I have yet to find the right sprite to add on the isolated pillar situated in the middle of the room which would look quite sharp.

    <b>EDIT:</b> Ok I had a very good look, and decided to brush a bit of orange to blend it with the red contrast lighting and it believe it or not it turns out much better than I expected, not to mention I've spiced up the appearance of that pillar in the middle and added a rotating grid sphere to complement the layout of the room.

    <a href="http://img19.imageshack.us/i/polo70006.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/6422/polo70006.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <b>UPDATE:</b> Acid Pool room has been designed but not finalised. I could start off building the Chemical Facility Hive which I can but I wont because I know I have the map capacity to do it. Instead I like to focus now on map connectivity starting next with the Northern Access Corridor right through to the Arc Bridge that connects to the upper section from the Marine Start Location to the Nuclear Reactor.

    Meanwhile some images i can provide with the addition of the Acid Pool layout.

    Old Version of Acid Pool -
    <a href="http://img225.imageshack.us/my.php?image=nsmeta10011pz7.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/543/nsmeta10011pz7.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a><a href="http://img225.imageshack.us/my.php?image=nsmeta10012po5.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/4864/nsmeta10012po5.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    New Version of Acid Pool -
    <a href="http://img132.imageshack.us/i/acid50000.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/563/acid50000.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img132.imageshack.us/i/acid50001.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/6926/acid50001.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img34.imageshack.us/i/acid50002.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img34.imageshack.us/img34/4325/acid50002.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>
  • ZerotechZerotech Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24583Members, Constellation
    edited August 2009
    Progress has been going slow lately, I've decided to speed up the design process by implementing the rooms layout and work on the textures/lighting afterwards.

    I don't like the idea of spending days of completing one room with no tangible benefits, so I've decided to take an iterated approach and design the room's layout before I improve on the rooms cosmetic appearance.

    So far I've begun implementing the lower section of the Northern Access Corridor and will work upto the end of the Arc Bridge.

    <a href="http://img17.imageshack.us/i/nac10000.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/68/nac10000.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img197.imageshack.us/i/nac10001.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/6506/nac10001.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img5.imageshack.us/i/nac10002.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/3816/nac10002.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    Ok I've sped up the development a bit by implementing just the room layout starting from West Junction then the upper level of North Access Corridor. The longest room so far to be developed would be the Arc Bridge.

    There will be a twist in the bridge room where the room can work for you or against you sort of thing. I won't reveal the details until I finalise map's design. According to the pictures of the Arc Bridge I feel the width is too narrow, I may consider widening it up a bit.

    <a href="http://img195.imageshack.us/i/arc20000.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/5868/arc20000.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img24.imageshack.us/i/arc20001.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/7921/arc20001.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img32.imageshack.us/i/arc20002.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/3404/arc20002.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img24.imageshack.us/i/arc20003.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/2316/arc20003.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>
  • ZerotechZerotech Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24583Members, Constellation
    Improvements have been made regarding the Arc Bridge, I have extended the width of the bridge as well as adding some cosmetic appearance of it. The lights however maybe an issue I need to work with.

    <a href="http://img29.imageshack.us/i/arc30000.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/75/arc30000.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img21.imageshack.us/i/arc30001.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/9862/arc30001.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img269.imageshack.us/i/arc30002.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/6694/arc30002.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue
    edited August 2009
    The only problem I see with your lighting is that it lacks contrast, everything has the same kind of color haze. Good lighting is of course in the eye of the beholder, but I think you could introduce some brighter highlighted areas. A good trick is to highlight areas of interest, while darkening (read: not blacking out :D) the areas around it.

    And keep in mind that areas that need light, operational areas where people do their work (workstations, machinery stuff etc...) usually need a nice bright and white lighting effect (unless they are broken by the Khaara of course)

    This way you will have a lot more contrast and it will make your lighting give the map a much nicer look and atmosphere. It's not needed to add loads of colors, but adding a dash of bright blue or white can make all the difference.

    Lighting is not just lighting up a room, it is a game between shadow and light. Get that combo correct and it will look sexy :D

    A few nice examples of lighting are at your fingertips in the <a href="http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=97624" target="_blank">The Post Your Screenshots Thread</a>
  • ZerotechZerotech Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24583Members, Constellation
    edited August 2009
    I'm aware that the lighting has become an issue. Whilst I've sen parts of the thread most of the pics are heavily modified to give that polished feeling. Personally it does not tell you about the map in terms of actual gameplay.

    i could provide some images that can be compared with and without photoshop and you can spot the difference.

    Arc Bridge edited with Adobe Photoshop
    <a href="http://img38.imageshack.us/i/arc40000.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img38.imageshack.us/img38/4898/arc40000.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    Arc Bridge Unmodified
    <a href="http://img30.imageshack.us/i/arc40000a.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/3640/arc40000a.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    The problem in regards to the pictures thread that they are often polished too greatly and actual gameplay doesn't translate it very well. The images I provide are generally non-biased and does not present any polished feeling. I understand people polish their images in terms of representation but that doesn't translate it in terms of the actual product delivery.

    What you see is what you get right?

    Generally speaking YES but..

    No if the pics become too heavily polished and people tend to rely on it too much just to deliver the prduct which in my opinion is misleading.

    If people want to provide pictures to their maps/models that's fine but I only criticize if the products they deliver match or not. In mapping it generally does not provide any polished feelings (unless you have a high-end graphics card) even with the cutting-edge technology it will still provide some level of flaws.

    in regards to the lighting issue, people have raised it and I am dealing with it, that would mean my progress of the development of the room would stall. Since the case is urgent, I'll prioritize the issue and improve the lighting aspects.

    Here I've fiddled with the lighting and this is what I've come up with.

    <a href="http://img233.imageshack.us/i/arc40000.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/4898/arc40000.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue
    edited August 2009
    Of course gameplay is the core element of a good map, but most of those images in that thread and other map development threads are actually representative of how the actual maps look like. The only thing done to the screenshots, is add the ingame gamma setting.

    The gamma ramp setting is removed from screenshots and can only be fixed by using a levels layer with setting from the mapping faq. So in terms of post processing of the images, the levels layer is perfectly legal and will indeed make the screenshot look like it would actually look like ingame.

    Now in terms of polishing, that is something every mapper does differently:<!--sizeo:1--><span style="font-size:8pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><ul><li>create a layout -> build and polish areas -> complete the layout -> betatest <-> redesign based on feedback -> final release</li><li>build a lowpoly map (layout) -> betatest the areas -> redesign based on feedback <-> polish areas -> final release</li><li>build and polish areas -> when you got some areas done start working on a layout <-> redesign based on feedback -> final release</li><li>decompile a map you've lost the source -> get a team together ->rebuild the map -> final release</li><li>start a map -> do not release/finish (most maps end up like this :P )</li></ul><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->Where and when you polish doesn't really matter, heck "orange" maps are the proof that none polished maps can be popular as well :D

    That last screenshot looks indeed a bit better then what it was before, but I don't want to influence your development style. Go right ahead and polish when you're satisfied with the layout and gameflow etc... To each his own :)
  • ZerotechZerotech Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24583Members, Constellation
    edited August 2009
    Since people have asked me to address the lighting issue, I midas well detail the room layout while I'm at it. So far the development of new rooms will have to be postponed.

    I'm in the process of detailing the Arc Bridge, cycling through the right textures that would fit the room is a tedious process. I've deployed the textures what I think would be suitable for the room itself. I must remember not to create the walls, floors etc.. too one dimensional ie. using one texture type to represent a wall.

    <a href="http://img34.imageshack.us/i/arc60000.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img34.imageshack.us/img34/2314/arc60000.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img5.imageshack.us/i/arc60001.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/5985/arc60001.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img12.imageshack.us/i/arc60002.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/4086/arc60002.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    EDIT: I'm starting to improve on the appearance of the Arc Bridge, it's close to completion. Just need to deal with one part of the wall and the ceiling. But I'm a bit concerned with the wpoly count, some areas of the room are close to the 800 wpoly limit. Just the room layout the wpoly count was low until I detailed it to ns-mapping standards, the wpoly count just skyrocketed.

    <a href="http://img17.imageshack.us/i/arc80000.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/3523/arc80000.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img190.imageshack.us/i/arc80001.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/8319/arc80001.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img6.imageshack.us/i/arc80002.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/6529/arc80002.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img6.imageshack.us/i/arc80003.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/4992/arc80003.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img6.imageshack.us/i/arc80004.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/8836/arc80004.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>
  • ZerotechZerotech Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24583Members, Constellation
    edited June 2010
    It's been months since I've touched the VHE tools or gone back into mapping. The delay is caused by my study time.

    I have begun to assess the current status of the map and have determined that some rooms need to be redesigned in order for playability.

    To begin with i have redesigned the Marine Starting room again, the Monitoring Station.

    <a href="http://img203.imageshack.us/i/nsmetamstart0000.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img203.imageshack.us/img203/3600/nsmetamstart0000.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img257.imageshack.us/i/nsmetamstart0001.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img257.imageshack.us/img257/328/nsmetamstart0001.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img248.imageshack.us/i/nsmetamstart0002.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/9375/nsmetamstart0002.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img638.imageshack.us/i/nsmetamstart0003.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img638.imageshack.us/img638/2271/nsmetamstart0003.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://img35.imageshack.us/i/nsmetamstart0004.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/2869/nsmetamstart0004.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img203.imageshack.us/i/nsmetamstart0005.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img203.imageshack.us/img203/4272/nsmetamstart0005.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img291.imageshack.us/i/nsmetamstart0006.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/5968/nsmetamstart0006.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>
  • GISPGISP Battle Gorge Denmark Join Date: 2004-03-20 Member: 27460Members, Playtest Lead, Forum Moderators, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Onos, WC 2013 - Gold, Subnautica Playtester, Forum staff
    Why dont you make a NS2 map?
  • ZerotechZerotech Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24583Members, Constellation
    I haven't learned the skills enough to make an ns2 map, I don't also have the ns dev mod that allows me to make an ns2 map either. I feel since ns1 maps are still in production I midas well focus on getting it right before I consider migrating to develop any maps that use the hl2 engine.

    In the meantime I've begin making the Chemical Hive but the textures and lighting as far it goes needs some work.

    <a href="http://img341.imageshack.us/i/chemhive0001.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/4622/chemhive0001.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img688.imageshack.us/i/chemhive0002.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img688.imageshack.us/img688/4883/chemhive0002.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img15.imageshack.us/i/chemhive0003.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/4954/chemhive0003.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img217.imageshack.us/i/chemhive0004.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/6774/chemhive0004.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>
  • ZerotechZerotech Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24583Members, Constellation
    edited June 2010
    Perhaps the lighting of the Chemical hive needs a bit of touching up, so I've begun experimenting with it.

    <a href="http://img576.imageshack.us/i/nsmetachemhive0000.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img576.imageshack.us/img576/5401/nsmetachemhive0000.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img22.imageshack.us/i/nsmetachemhive0001.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/3072/nsmetachemhive0001.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img684.imageshack.us/i/nsmetachemhive0002.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/2363/nsmetachemhive0002.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    Some download attachments for the map if you are interested in seeing it.

    Meta Marine Start: <a href="http://www.mediafire.com/?glomwinlynj" target="_blank">http://www.mediafire.com/?glomwinlynj</a>
    Meta Chemical Hive: <a href="http://www.mediafire.com/?1yedwa1zzzy" target="_blank">http://www.mediafire.com/?1yedwa1zzzy</a>
  • ZerotechZerotech Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24583Members, Constellation
    edited June 2010
    Working on the hive further with some nice touching up with the room layout.

    <a href="http://img337.imageshack.us/i/nsmetachemhive0000.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img337.imageshack.us/img337/5401/nsmetachemhive0000.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img704.imageshack.us/i/nsmetachemhive0001.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img704.imageshack.us/img704/3072/nsmetachemhive0001.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img508.imageshack.us/i/nsmetachemhive0002.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img508.imageshack.us/img508/2363/nsmetachemhive0002.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img339.imageshack.us/i/nsmetachemhive0003.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/1351/nsmetachemhive0003.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    EDIT: Doesn't this room remind you of ns_eclipse as the resemblemce of it?
  • ZerotechZerotech Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24583Members, Constellation
    Refining the Chemical Facility Hive to give it a more vibrant feeling to it.

    <a href="http://img203.imageshack.us/i/nsmetachemhive0004.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img203.imageshack.us/img203/9840/nsmetachemhive0004.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://img819.imageshack.us/i/nsmetachemhive0005.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img819.imageshack.us/img819/5592/nsmetachemhive0005.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://img444.imageshack.us/i/nsmetachemhive0006.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img444.imageshack.us/img444/297/nsmetachemhive0006.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://img33.imageshack.us/i/nsmetachemhive0007.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/3470/nsmetachemhive0007.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    Once I've finalised the appearence of the Chemical facility Hive, I will need to address some of the rooms even if it means a re-design of the rooms. In a sense I'm working backwards (creating the Hive first then connect to the Marine Spawn instead of the other way around).
  • ZerotechZerotech Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24583Members, Constellation
    edited June 2010
    Heres the update of the Chemical Facility Hive. Looks much better than before with a few infestations just to give it that awe feeling.

    <a href="http://img294.imageshack.us/i/nsmetachemhive20000.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img294.imageshack.us/img294/846/nsmetachemhive20000.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://img85.imageshack.us/i/nsmetachemhive20001.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/8045/nsmetachemhive20001.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://img153.imageshack.us/i/nsmetachemhive20002.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/2507/nsmetachemhive20002.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://img180.imageshack.us/i/nsmetachemhive20003.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img180.imageshack.us/img180/8821/nsmetachemhive20003.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    I probably going to fix up the ceiling just to give it a nice appearence and I'm basically done with the completion of the hive.

    Download the map here: WIP1 - <a href="http://www.mediafire.com/?mmj1etmy4yj" target="_blank">http://www.mediafire.com/?mmj1etmy4yj</a>
  • ZerotechZerotech Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24583Members, Constellation
    I've begun some advancements to the map, Nuclear Reactor hive is in development.

    <a href="http://img10.imageshack.us/i/nreactorhive0000.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/4250/nreactorhive0000.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://img62.imageshack.us/i/nreactorhive0001.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/2928/nreactorhive0001.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://img411.imageshack.us/i/nreactorhive0002.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/6071/nreactorhive0002.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://img704.imageshack.us/i/nreactorhive0003.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img704.imageshack.us/img704/378/nreactorhive0003.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://img684.imageshack.us/i/nreactorhive0004.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/4770/nreactorhive0004.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    Although it's not finished yet, I feel it could add a bit of spark, not necessarily shine to it.
  • Soylent_greenSoylent_green Join Date: 2002-12-20 Member: 11220Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    I think your lighting really needs fixing; here's what I'd do:

    Light_spot is awesome; play with and learn when and where it looks good. In particular it is good for high-contrast lighting. It's free!(no w_polies, no entities or memory unless it's a dynamic or named light; just ever so slightly longer compile times). Look at how it is used in the official maps.

    Don't use bounce higher than 1; it looks really bland. The default value for coring is very high in some of the ZHLT compile tools; I always set it to some small value(e.g. -coring 0.01) just in case. If the edge of a spot_light looks hard and ragged even when you try to make it bit soft coring is probably to blame.

    I love contrast, but I don't like whole rooms with fully saturated colours. Main lighting should be fairly low saturation(whitish, but not pure white; things like 255 192 128 for orange-white or 128 255 192 for aquamarine-white). Computer screens, vents and various accent lights look good in very saturated, pure colours; they can be bright or weak, but they should be fairly localized. Leave some darker nooks and crannies, but don't make anything pitch black.

    Adjust the contrast so that your screen shots look approximately like they do in game, or people will say your lighting looks bland no matter what you do. If you're not sure what gamma ramp you'd like to use, play with setgamma ingame. Bare in mind that NS's gamma ramp doesn't work well for many players in Vista; most of those affected probably have some graphics card preset they've made for NS by now corresponding to something like gamma ~1.5 regardless of what you set. This is unfortunate, but this bug is not going to get fixed at this stage.
  • ZerotechZerotech Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24583Members, Constellation
    edited June 2010
    I do agree that the lighting does look a bit plain, the gamma setting I'm using right now is 3.0 so to speak. I've been fiddling with the lights.rad file to find the right combination for the lighting. Although light_spot entity is good but I have to ensure I use it in moderation rather than execessive (got to bear in mind there's an entity limit count).

    So far apart from the Nuclear Reactor Hive which is almost in completion but just got to fix a few stuck issues as well as fixing up the ceiling. I've also modififed the Arc Bridge room to give it a more vibrant feeling but the downside is that as I detailed the room the wpoly just went out of control with 900 wpoly which I don't find acceptable (according to ns mapping standards they require 800 or less).

    Speaking of which I'll provide you some screenies just to keep you posted.

    EDIT: Screenshots of current progress

    <a href="http://img19.imageshack.us/i/nsmetanorthcorridor0000.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/3535/nsmetanorthcorridor0000.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img820.imageshack.us/i/nsmetanorthcorridor0001.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img820.imageshack.us/img820/6413/nsmetanorthcorridor0001.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img204.imageshack.us/i/nsmetanorthcorridor0002.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/5204/nsmetanorthcorridor0002.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img3.imageshack.us/i/nsmetanorthcorridor0005.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/745/nsmetanorthcorridor0005.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>
    <a href="http://img203.imageshack.us/i/nsmetanorthcorridor0006.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img203.imageshack.us/img203/6892/nsmetanorthcorridor0006.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img20.imageshack.us/i/nsmetanorthcorridor0007.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/826/nsmetanorthcorridor0007.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://img341.imageshack.us/i/nsmetanorthcorridor0008.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/6926/nsmetanorthcorridor0008.th.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    From the images I've posted they appear to look a bit too dark, some areas need to lighten up but at the same time provide the glowing haze of the colours that correspond to the lighting. That is probably where in these situations where light_spot would be a good idea to use.
  • Soylent_greenSoylent_green Join Date: 2002-12-20 Member: 11220Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    <!--quoteo(post=1776083:date=Jun 24 2010, 07:37 PM:name=Zerotech)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Zerotech @ Jun 24 2010, 07:37 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1776083"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I do agree that the lighting does look a bit plain, the gamma setting I'm using right now is 3.0 so to speak.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    That's not the gamma I'm talking about. There is an entity called env_gamma, it fiddles with the contrast and it only goes between 1 and 2. You can play with this setting with sv_cheats and developer enabled; the command is setgamma x, where x is some value between 1 and 2.

    If you're using vista, did you get an error message: "display doesn't support downloadable gamma" or something like that when you first started up NS? If so, you probably used cl_gammaramp 0 to disable it and forgot about it.
    If you type cl_gammaramp in the console, you will see if you're using the gamma ramp or not.

    If you're playing with cl_gammaramp 0 you should make a profile in the control center for your graphics card specifically for playing NS; otherwise you're not going to see NS maps as anything like they're supposed to be seen. In particular you should make a colour setting in this profile with contrast cranked WAY up; if normal is 100, 180 or so is a good compromise(different maps use different amounts of this overbrightening so the best you can do is pick a decent compromise).

    If you have photoshop you can adjust your screenshots by going adjusting the levels to 383 - gamma*128, where gamma is the one from your env_gamma entity(which all maps should have and all official maps do have).

    <!--quoteo(post=1776083:date=Jun 24 2010, 07:37 PM:name=Zerotech)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Zerotech @ Jun 24 2010, 07:37 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1776083"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Although light_spot entity is good but I have to ensure I use it in moderation rather than execessive (got to bear in mind there's an entity limit count).<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    No, they're absolutely free! Use a thousand off them if you like. <b>They don't contribute toward the number of active entities</b>(type numents in console to see how many entities you are actually using). They don't take any extra computing power to render or any extra memory because they all get baked into the same light-map at compile time.

    They only time this is not true is if you name your lights or give them a lightstyle; then they become dynamic and can be switched on and off or varied in intensity which consumes both entities and lightmap memory(they get baked into a different lightmap). But even that isn't as bad as it appears; if you have a hundred lights with the same name or with the same lightstyle that's just one entity.

    <!--quoteo(post=1776083:date=Jun 24 2010, 07:37 PM:name=Zerotech)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Zerotech @ Jun 24 2010, 07:37 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1776083"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->So far apart from the Nuclear Reactor Hive which is almost in completion but just got to fix a few stuck issues as well as fixing up the ceiling.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Many stick issues comes from the compile tools. It's a bit messy to explain why so I'll just say this, if an object is convex and you can make it of a single brush, do; those faces you don't see can still contribute an invisible tiny "stair-step" that you can stick too.

    When it is possible, when the brush is convex(a truncated cones is convex; a torus or banana is concave), you can always do it with vertex editing but it can be time consuming and tricky. Sometimes you can do it with a series of carvings and when you can that's easier.

    Vertex editing is kind of tricky and it is easier for you to learn it by trial and error than for me to explain it; what you need to know is that you can always add new edges and vertices by selecting midpoints on edges that surround the same polygonal face of the brush and clicking ctrl+f; you can also destroy vertices by moving them ontop of one-another to merge. You can also remove edges by repeated face splitting and merging(usually not more than twice). You can't have any coplanar faces(two polygons that lie in the same plane) and you can't have any faces that aren't flat as a pancake; if it's not flat you can add an edge splitting it into two flat polygons and it will work as long as it is still a convex brush.

    <!--quoteo(post=1776083:date=Jun 24 2010, 07:37 PM:name=Zerotech)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Zerotech @ Jun 24 2010, 07:37 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1776083"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I've also modififed the Arc Bridge room to give it a more vibrant feeling but the downside is that as I detailed the room the wpoly just went out of control with 900 wpoly which I don't find acceptable (according to ns mapping standards they require 800 or less).<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Use gl_wireframe 2 to see what the problem is.

    Polygons must be convex, so if you stick a cylinder on a flat floor, say, it's going to make a hole in the middle of that floor polygon and the floor will be splintered into several convex triangles radiating far outwards from this cylinder. This kind of odd-angled geometry should either not touch the ground(hover 1 unit above it), be made a func_wall(doesn't split faces so you can have them partially embedded in the wall or whatever and it will work just fine).

    Big polygons with a small texture scaling on them will generate lots of W-polies because the engine splits it every 224 texels for repeating textures and every 240 units for non-repeating textures. Scaling ceiling or wall textures up a bit to 1.5 or 2 in a big room can help a lot without looking too bad.

    You should also have reasonably good VIS blocking such that you cannot see into many rooms at once. Use gl_wireframe 2 to show all w-polies that are being rendered(including ones that the engine thinks you might be able to see). The most standard way to do it is to separate rooms by L-shaped or U-shaped corridors, but there are lots of ways to get creative to make it less obvious that it's just there to block VIS.
  • Soylent_greenSoylent_green Join Date: 2002-12-20 Member: 11220Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    Actually, I made a pretty big mistake in last post. I tested it to make sure I wasn't speaking nonsense.

    ONLY named lights and light_spots count as active entities, because they're the only ones you can target and turn on and off; doesn't matter if they have a light style or not. In other words, never name lights unless you actually need to toggle them on and off.

    ALL named lights and light_spots count as active entities; even when they have the same name. They shouldn't, because they can't be independently turned on and off but they do.

    Dynamic lights go into separate light maps, they can consume a lot of lightmap memory. Use sparingly or not at all; might also want to use -nodynbounce if using dynamic lights.
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