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 Post subject: Thoughts on mapping
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2005 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 2:07 am
Posts: 14
just random stuff about my spirt or method of making a level .

I don't care if people think I'm right or wrong here this just random ideas I have about level making .

take it for what it's worth

map files are complied into a .bsp

What is a BSP ?
Binary Space Partitioning Tree, or BSP Tree.

The player-navigable space inside the World is split into convex volumes bounded by planes. These convex volumes are called Leaf Nodes. The Leaf Nodes are stored in a binary tree called a BSP Tree.

Note: The "player-navigable space" inside the World means: everywhere in the game World that isn't a brush which is both solid and structural. The area the player can navigate around in the World using noclip, without passing through a Solid structural Brush. All World Brushes are Solid and structural unless they have a different content property set.

Non-structural content properties are detail, playerclip, trans. Non-Solid properties are water, lava, nonsolid Detail brushes are set by surfaceparm detail, or by making the brush detail in Radiant (viewing detail brushes is toggled by ctrl+d, viewing structural ctrl+shift+d). Some of the common/ shaders are structural, but not visible, including: common/caulk, common/hint, common/nodrawnonsolid, common/areaportal. The rest are either non-structural, are only used on Entities, or are not commonly used in maps.


so what does that mean?

it means that is what controls what the game will render
(unless specified to do otherwise)

knowing that you must now edit your .map with that in mind .

if you are editing a large .map then it would be wise to plain on having the layout block the other areas of the layout from a direct line of sight .
this will allow you to build much more detailed areas and still have the game engine run well on a normal PC.


Hint brush's
are only a helper , once the level is edited you might be able to help a levels performance by adding well placed hint brush's to the final .map file.
but hint brush's will not resurrect a terminally flawed layout .


patch mesh:
good and bad.
patch mesh make very smooth curves and have a built in LOD (Level Of Detail) patch mesh will lower it's tris count the farther away you get from it.

patch mesh textures usually benefit from shaders that were made with patch mesh use in mind.
meaning not all shaders will work well on a patch mesh .

but some work very very well.

decals and fences for example I think work much better on a patch mesh
then on a brush ..
I wrote patch mesh specific shaders for fences and decals .
the fence shader makes use of q3map clone shader and can be found in the tc_rumblefish pk3.

there's no formula to coming up with a map idea..

one thing to try is to draw it out on graph paper and have a rough idea of what your trying to build...

another is to just start building an area and then add onto it when your ready , and then go from there...

if you plan out the level with the fore knowledge of how the game engine will draw it out , you can designed your level to have good portal structure
and high detail and it will not even be noticed by the player.
all they will know is that the level has allot of detail but somehow it still runs ok..
that's the tricky part

less is more...
overly complex brush work and allot of fuc_doors and breakable windows are usually a waste IMO ...

on most maps a door or 2 is more than enough to slow down an area .
doors can be used to help with performance but only help a little they cannot be counted on to fix a bad layout..

Stronger Than Satan

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