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 Post subject: MW:TrueCombat mapping
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:58 am 
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Groove Six Studios
Groove Six Studios

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Hi,

this is for contributors only.

General:
I can't make a good team leader but I would be happy if some mappers would form an official team, at least of significant freelancers. This thing will fly or die depending on original map work. Probably you guys know each other better and can judge who has the potential.

TCE map assets:
I was also hoping that someone might take job of converting the 10 most important map props (mostly from Liguid) to Cod4 xmodel.
Nobody should be afraid of later improvements (if required) of other contributors.

Maps:
I will share all map sources and reworked models when I publish and I would like all other map sources and stuff to be shared too, at least to Diane and me. I can only strongly encourage all mappers to share their work and review each other. There is a reason why so many authors worked on each map in TCE ... there should be one main author for each map taking the lead of course.

Rescaling:
With the rescaling, I am currently thinking about door openings, windows, map assets. Delta and Stadtrand have the right scale of door frames.
I would not rescale buildings etc. before a first version is played on servers and before movement in the mod is ironed.

Mod source:
I am thinking to provide Diane with a copy of the mod's source when it is done, so there is some security for contributors in case I might get lost or have little time.

MW:TC mapping guidelines:
*Have a look how Cod4 mapping is done in mp_backlot before you start.
*Split the map in buildings and compounds, these go to "prefabs/mp_tc_mymap/mymap_bldg_01.map" etc. This way the individual map buildings can be revised step by step or reused and rotated.
*Map/theme specific prefabs go into the "prefabs/mp_tc_mymap" folder, e.g., "door_desert_wood_48.map"
*Rescaled Cod4 prefabs from, e.g., "prefabs/misc_model/com_xyz.map" go to "prefabs/truecombat/com_xyz.map" and keep their name. Avoid double work, I will share some rescaled stuff soon. All barrels and pallets have to be rescaled by 0.8. Cars, car wrecks and cargo containers are not rescaled. Dynamic models are also taken as is.
*Converted .md3 map assets from TC go to the xmodel folder and are named "tc_originalmodelname". If collision is required a prefab with the according clipping brushes has to be produced and has to be located in "prefabs/truecombat/tc_originalmodelname.map".
*Most geometry should be detail not structural. Structural brushes have to be combined with caulk and portal brushes in a smart way. Have a detailed look at how it's done in mp_backlot or mp_tc_backlot later. This is very important for performance! You must run the bsp compile with -leaktest and continue debugging (.lin file and error messages) until bsp with -leaktest passes and writes a d3dbsp. It usually compiles and runs without -leaktest even if portal issues are there, but this will effect performance in game.

Cod4 issues:
*There is a map size limit for Linux serves of 48 MB or so for the .ff file.
*Map cycle doesn't work on listen servers with custom maps. You will get an error with inpure or so. It works on dedicated.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:52 pm 
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Master
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From what I know there are many significant mappers (as you put it) in the community. The only "active" ones that I know about in the forums and that are in direct communication with me, are,
    Damien
    Ross
    Dimstar
I'm sure there are many more out there. But are forum shy. Communication is key when it comes to teamwork. We need to start col·lab·o·rat·ing so no mapper is missing custom work from another. This is not a competition, but more like a dedication to the community.

But I'm sure you would agree with me, there are numbers out there, but are we aiming for quality or quantity?

I would suggest whomever this self appointed person or persons are, that they look at the released material of the mapper, and decide if it is the standard we're after. I'm sure there are many mappers that would like to participate. But we need to have the right person or persons choosing the right mappers for the job. That's all.

My I suggest we create a special forum here for COD4 mappers and the actual team. Then from there we can build the team as needed. Also, I would suggest we have meeting times established for feedback, instruction, and advice.

The popular chat program seems to be xfire. It also has a file transfer feature that is useful.

I can start a repository that we can dump all files, of course organized by category.
    Textures
    Models
    Scripts
    Maps
    etc.

This repository would have unlimited space and access to the team and those involved.

Let me know your thoughts please.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:27 am 
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Expert
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As far as me participating on the team i can say yes. However it would be strictly voluntary. My reasoning behind this statement is simple. My expertise in mapping is personally considered novice at best. I do what i can and how i can with time and lively obligations limiting my participation. I am easily motivated, but also easily discouraged. As far as my mapping skills go I've never created my own map yet, but modifying or enhancing strategical gameplay ive been very good at.

If truth be told, I've already been discouraged due to lack in my own abilities in meeting a standard that hasnt been clearly stated yet. I took a look at coroners screenshots of backlot and was surprised at how much detail was included in the map. Im used to tce style maps. They are very clean comparing it to backlot. I will finish depot as best i can without breaking bongwaters simplicity. I sincerely hope to not dissppoint.

Since ive touched on the level of detail subject, i think should point out what the other mappers t of tce are waiting for. Alpha. Alpha will determine if they sign up or stay silent. Without a doubt, coroner, you will find contributors from cod4 community, but know that alpha will bring more from the tce contributors. From conversations with some of the silent mappers, they are waiting to see the standards pertaining to quality of the maps in tc cod. In my point of view if the standards are cod4 official maps then the bar is freighteningly high.

Anyways..... Never try to type long sentences on a phone. Lol soo many errors too.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:50 am 
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Ross, I really appreciate your modesty. But I see much more then a novice mapper when hearing your humble yet honest approach to mapping.

What I mean is, one needs to realize ones limitations, this is the first part of the battle. The second is taking your time, learning from other people, and paying attention to details.

I see all those qualities in you. I haven't seen any of your maps yet, but I know that you have a high standard, and that should be enough for the team.

Everyone here knows that we have RL (Real Life) situations, and sometimes get caught up with personal stuff. I try to find time when nobody is around and work on one section at a time in my map. If you try to tackle everything at once it gets overwhelming and depressing quick.

One thing I can't stand is anyone who thinks he/she is too good to participate with the community, give input, or passes judgment without knowing the situation people are in. Unity is strength.

You must remember we're dealing with a different engine, which allows more detail and capabilities.

The talent that you posses which is strategical gameplay scenarios, will help you place objects in your map strategically of course. Don't just place things here and there without reason.

Put some trash outside a trash can. Place a barrel and crates in a designated area for storage. In other words, there are reasons that objects are placed in certain areas. I'm sure you already knew that.

It is easy to be discouraged looking at bars that are set really high when you've never obtained them. The key is compartmentalizing when it comes to mapping. Draw an outline and separate sections of your map and work on those sections individually at a time.

I hope this helped. If you already knew this maybe it might help someone who didn't.

Can't wait to see your map Ross!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:38 am 
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Groove Six Studios
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Hi Stealth, Ross & others,

Firstly, the standard I am aiming at would be beyond official Cod4 maps. The TC franchise has always surpassed its root engine and my clear goal is to see what is possible with Cod4. Secondly, I am aiming for quality not quantity.

However, this goal should not discourage anyone! And this is why I am begging for teamwork and cooperative work on maps. So, if somebody feels she/he doesn't get the details right, get help and let some other person place map models all over the map. Let somebody revise geometry, let somebody be the terrain guy fixing the terrain in all maps ... this will help everybody to improve his/her own skills. Again, this is why TCE maps already hab up to three authors.

Moreover, we have to face a simple fact: Building a map nowadays is a couple of times more work than it was for Q3 and early TCE Geometry is vastly more detailed. Prefabs help a lot but can't compensate for the fact that it is much more work overall. Again teamwork helps, splitting the map in prefabs help, because someone else can improve and detail a certain building.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:36 am 
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Two questions:

1. When starting with a TCE converted .map, would it make sense to scale the map by the factor of 1.25 first and then adjust the door/window frame and model sizes to keep TCE's map geometry scale?

2. Which TCE models are most needed?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:10 am 
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Been trying every once in a while to check xfire for you and Ross Damien.

I've found that scaling a map is the worst thing you can due. The XYZ axis do not always align to the grid which messes with VIS. The best grid I've been told is Grid 8.

I would just scale the doorways and player interaction props. You know, stuff like that.

I would say the models most used in TCE maps should be converted first. According to Coroner it was and I quote, "I was also hoping that someone might take job of converting the 10 most important map props (mostly from Liguid) to Cod4 xmodel."

As far as a specific list I do not know my friend.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:29 am 
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In TCE, 1 Radiant unit = 2cm. In mw it's 1U=2.54cm or 1 inch
Player height is 72u (183cm) and 36u when crouching.

With this in mind, current TCE maps should be scaled otherwise they'll seem smaller. Maybe scaled and then touched up so there are no errors.

Door and window dimensions are another thing...

One more thing, it seems CoDRadiant and MW's compiler work much better with rotated and scaled geometry. I've seen a tutorial with an entire building being rotated, which was not recommended in Q3/ET. If you check out some MW maps, there are rotated areas, too.
Has anyone tried this out?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:56 pm 
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Guys if there is anything I can help with or anything you would like me to do, please ask, i personally would like to see stadtrand on mw:tc (I have pm'ed Coroner concerning this) But other than this i can see delta and snow are already being worked on, so unless there is a source for stadtrand I will help who ever with what ever I can, also I must say there is one or two other mappers with greater skill than my self waiting in the shadows to see what the alpha is like.

I think we really need to discuss and find someone to manage and keep track of the community development, maybe a few guys could put them self forward for the job and we could vote?

Stealth wrote:

I can start a repository that we can dump all files, of course organized by category.


Great idea Stealth! :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:09 pm 
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im out of town until sunday. when i return ill create a private subforum and an ftp accout for files/storage on the official site for map contributors. and i do have my own two cents/suggestion about prospective people, but i will leave that for when i refurn. : ppp

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:29 pm 
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Groove Six Studios
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Please consider my posts even when the are lengthy.
Here some short important things.

1) Do not rescale converted maps, only door frames and window heights.

2) Buildings should go in a misc_prefab. A misc_prefab can be rotated.
Rotated buildings (inthe prefab) should be detail.

3) Repository: I think it is good if Diane sets up an ftp account and stuff for us, it also makes sure that it stays at a safe place in the community.
Of course SVN or Git wouldn't be bad either and strcture in there should be exactly like in the Cod4 folder.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:58 am 
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I think im currently the furthest of the group in terms of a testable, viewable map. I fixed the scales today along with fixing the story heights to be as coroner specified. At 128. Thats from floor to cieling. Doorways are scaled as specified . I still have much to do but ill take some screen shots later tonight when i feel scale is at where i want it to be. Once i have my scale down ill work on massive detail overhaul.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:05 am 
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Groove Six Studios
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@all, please read carefully:

I fear that confusions are coming up. It's great that so many are enthusiastic! I just want to make some issues clear and to avoid some rushing in all directions:

The story height of 128 is from floor to the floor of the next level. As I stated earlier, the remaining free height is 128-16 = 112 or 128-8 = 120 depending on the thickness of the ceiling/floor in between.

This should be anyhow the case for existing TC/TCE maps. Usually they were build with 128 story height, 16 units floor thickness, 112 free height. It is different in Cod4 maps, ther are all additional 8 units higher. I wouldn't bother with this before playtesting and final decisions on scale.

It is great to see so much enthusiasm but again and in order to safe much reworking, I strongly recommend:

a) 049b maps must be used as basis
b) Only adjust the height of doors in the first steps. In some cases of windows. In delta and stadtrand doors and windows are ok, too. In the other TCE 049b maps, the doors a higher (100 units). For first testing this is basically the only thing that has to be changed! And still retexturing and other stuff would be more important for a first step. The door width stays the same from 049b and this is the only relevant thing for gameplay.
c) Retexture the original geometry from the maps first. Before touching and optimizing anything else these converted versions should be tested on servers.
d) Too have a clean source with the original .map brushes ask me.


Finally what kind of maps are we aiming at, I would suggest:

Desert style: mp_tc_backlot (coroner, done)
Winter style: mp_tc_snow (damien, 048 version? why?)
Urban style: mp_tc_delta (Ross?)
Abandonned "overgrown" style: I think village would be the best basis (Dimstar?)
Favela style: mp_tc_favela (coroner, I have started building prefabs for this, lets see how close it will be to MW2 Favela)

I think this is enough of a goal if more are contributing all work should go into this goal.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:18 am 
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Work on snow is going well, using the converted official version.
I started from the terr. spawn, removing TCE models and texturing using CoD textures for now so I have the first version as soon as possible for playtesting.

Once that's done I'm starting with the details.

Oh, and I still don't know which TCE models are most necessary. ;)

EDIT:
Quote:
Winter style: mp_tc_snow (damien, 048 version? why?)
Did not have any other version to start with. Is there a lot of difference? If yes, please PM me with .49 source if possible.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:25 am 
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well sounds like theres nothing for me to do.


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