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Thread: What are you working on RIGHT NOW? - Community WIP thread

  1. #51
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2001
    Location: Moscow
    Argh. This EnterMissionInfo\ExitMissionInfo\DifficlutyInfo system doesn't work with the appropriate links to some objects and\or volumes, and I have no idea what to do...
    I interview Irrational

  2. #52
    Irrational Games
    Registered: Feb 2005


    Quick concept of my level exterior.
    Last edited by rujuro; 28th Feb 2005 at 18:52. Reason: put in thumbnail

  3. #53
    Irrational Games
    Registered: Feb 2005


    And quick concept of a flying machine created by a mage who has been merging mechanist advances and elemental magic.

  4. #54
    wow, that stuffs really cool... i don't know how you're gonna do that in the editor, but I'd love to see it.

  5. #55
    Irrational Games
    Registered: Feb 2005
    Well, I hope to run a few tests on what is possible regarding size tonight, and the flying machine will just be a prop that I will build in Max, so that won't be any problem (you won't actually get to fly it, sadly).

  6. #56
    New Member
    Registered: Feb 2005
    Well, I am still in my planning phase with the map. Have played around with the "Builder" to get an idea of dimension size. But here are a few images of the actual building and a rough floorplan sketch. Enjoy.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...oughsketch.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...tle-school.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...ide-street.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...3/DSC04343.jpg

    [Edit~David] Please keep in-thread images to a max of 640x480 [/Edit]

  7. #57
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: House of Sand and Fog
    Quote Originally Posted by rujuro
    Quick concept of my level exterior.
    Man, you're awesome. What, was that done in Photoshop or Painter with stylus and Wacom pad? Shit, you should do artwork and concepts for CoSaS or Thief2X, or even The Dark Mod

    Would be beautiful if you could build such a locale, though. When I played through some of Half-Life 2 (namely the outdoor areas overlooking a big drop onto a beach and the ocean) I imagined some thiefy castle or something perched there. Good luck with that flying machine, too!

    Damn, you guys are making me want to open up the editor and look for some good configuration of static meshes. It's just too bad in some ways that the engine does rely on static meshes as much, as without new ones the areas will definitely start to seem regurgitated, and those of us who don't own 3DS Max can't make any new ones (and are even more at the mercy of custom object makers).

    deadman.

  8. #58
    Irrational Games
    Registered: Feb 2005
    Hey, thanks for the compliment, I appreciate it! Yeah, Photoshop with stylus. I can definitely see how the reliance on static meshes are going to make things difficult for people without Max, but for those of us who use it regularly it actually makes the whole process alot easier (IMO).

    I did some size testing last night, seems like it can handle what I need, we'll see.

  9. #59
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Norman, OK
    Quote Originally Posted by deadman
    It's just too bad in some ways that the engine does rely on static meshes as much, as without new ones the areas will definitely start to seem regurgitated, and those of us who don't own 3DS Max can't make any new ones (and are even more at the mercy of custom object makers).

    deadman.
    So, could those of us without 3DSMAX make some custom meshes and save in .3ds(Say with Anim8or, or similar program), and maybe the people who do own 3DSMAX could convert to static mesh? If it's not much more work than sending an attachment, and opening/converting the file, that might work. How many owners/users of 3DSMAX out there would be willing to do that? Or would it maybe not work out so well?

    I still have get Thief 3 and play the game, so I don't really know anything...

  10. #60
    Irrational Games
    Registered: Feb 2005
    Unfortunately it's not quite that simple, since the texture assignment uses Ion Storm's shader plug-in, but it would be possible. The person doing the converting would just also have to create new material assignments, which could potentially take a bit of time, depending on how complicated the material usage on the mesh is.

  11. #61
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2004
    Location: Washington, DC
    Quote Originally Posted by deadman
    . It's just too bad in some ways that the engine does rely on static meshes as much, as without new ones the areas will definitely start to seem regurgitated, and those of us who don't own 3DS Max can't make any new ones (and are even more at the mercy of custom object makers).

    deadman.
    True for now, but I'm confident somebody will program a converter plug-in eventually.

    In the meantime, we'll have to focus more on solid level design and thrilling gameplay rather than brand new eye candy... kind of like we're given a big virtual Lego set... we can't make any new Lego blocks, but think of the zillions of combinations we can achieve!

  12. #62
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by deadman
    It's just too bad in some ways that the engine does rely on static meshes as much, as without new ones the areas will definitely start to seem regurgitated, and those of us who don't own 3DS Max can't make any new ones (and are even more at the mercy of custom object makers).

    deadman.
    This is true, but you can use static meshes in pretty original ways if you arrange them certain ways. Keep in mind that you can reskin meshes with different textures. All you need to do is select a texture in the browser and ALT+click on the mesh and it will put replace all instances of the texture you clicked on with the one you have selected.

    Also, I've been working on a little something in the editor the last few days. Not sure if I'll get time to finish it though since it's a massive amount of work for one person to produce a map in this engine, but we'll see.

  13. #63
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Just north of Cragscleft
    This is what I've made so far. Haven't been "designing" levels since the early HL era, and even back then they were just test levels to see what the engine was capable of. I started off with an unreal tutorial, but got carried away, cathedral style

    t3edtest1

    Runs a bit sluggish (25-ish fps @ 1280), dunno what's wrong here, probably too many detailed meshes + the fog. Only 5 lights in the whole level, and (I think) I have turned off all shadow casting on everything (By adding "Render > CastShadows > False" into all properties, even for the ligths) There are two rooms, one small and the bigger (512x512x1024) "cathedral" one, the two connected by a small passageway. No separate zoning. I have lots of "useless" bits sticking out of the level, eg. the circular steps up to the alcove, dunno how to get rid of them just yet.

    My comp: P4 2.8, R9800Pro

    Had quite a few total lockups while trying to perform some subtracting maneuvers on the alcove. Changed the order of subtracting things to get around the problem, otherwise it's all working perfectly. I've never used UnrealEd and its likes before, but to me this is a quite impressive editor (compared to let's say Worldcraft or SandBox)

  14. #64
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2004
    Location: Washington, DC
    Quote Originally Posted by Kircaldy
    I've never used UnrealEd and its likes before, but to me this is a quite impressive editor (compared to let's say Worldcraft or SandBox)
    Or compared to, say... Dromed?

  15. #65
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Just north of Cragscleft
    Had my first go with dromed just a few weeks ago. Tis' an awkward animal... Got it to work ok, but never made more than a couple of rooms.

    EDIT: Tried out the "shadowvolumes" command, got this:

    shadowvolumes

    A bit too much? (In my last post, the shadows cast by the pillars, etc. are not visible, I was outside geometry when I took the screenie)

    EDIT2:

    Sorted! You have to tick this bloody box:



    Instead of adding the "castshadows > false" thingy... Sigh. Now everything runs silky smooth. Live and learn.

    Tried the castshadows command on a room in widow moira's, looked a LOT worse than my pic. I'll probably at least make my pillars cast shadows this time.
    Last edited by Kircaldy; 1st Mar 2005 at 16:52.

  16. #66
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    This is the most coherent screenshot I can get of what I'm working on right now, considering the map so far consists of a very tall, very narrow crevice. Put a lot of detail into it though and it's running nice.



    Man, I'm pretty excited about all this. I used to love mapping, but I never had the attention span as a kid to stick to projects and actually complete maps. Realizing this, I totally gave it up for a long time. Thief 3, I knew, would be the game to bring me back to mapping, if any. And then when I heard it wasn't coming with any editor, I was pretty disappointed.

    There really aren't words for the amount of appreciation and respect I have for all the LGS / Ion employees who put so much unneccessary time and effort into tending to the community's desires. Obviously it's been said, but never enough. Thanks much guys.

  17. #67
    Irrational Games
    Registered: Feb 2005




    Two views of the castle walk-up, I've decided to place the landing pad out a ways to allow a nice view/guard evasion opportunity. Hard to tell just how immense it is until I get in some point of reference for scale (but it's huge).

    Oh, runs great too (on my admittedly fast machine).
    Last edited by rujuro; 2nd Mar 2005 at 10:45. Reason: link to images was dead for some reason

  18. #68
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: ...and mastadons
    Now that is impressive.

  19. #69
    Wow these things are looking good. Makes me wish I had the time to devote to teaching myself unrealEd/t3Ed

  20. #70
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by Kircaldy
    Sorted! You have to tick this bloody box:

    http://hem.bredband.net/b101012/box.JPG

    Instead of adding the "castshadows > false" thingy... Sigh. Now everything runs silky smooth. Live and learn.
    I wonder if this is going to become the number one FAQ for using T3ED to get good performance ? I just tried setting "do not cast shadows" on all the BSP surfaces in the map over in this thread:

    http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=94274

    And it made quite a BIG improvement in frame rate, even though its a relatively simple map.

    Until the word about this setting gets out a bit more, I can see all the maps that people are making running a lot slower than they should due to BSP surfaces casting shadows by default, when only a few BSP surfaces (such as a pillar) would need to cast shadows. Certainly the ground doesn't need to cast a shadow, if its flat for example

    I wonder if there is a simple way to turn shadows off on all BSP surfaces and then manually enable just the few that need it, rather than the other way around...

  21. #71
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Wow, rujuro just blew my ass out of the water.

    I replaced the screenshot I posted above with a better one anyway, now that the map is a bit easier to take coherent screenshots of. And here's another as long as I'm at it.



    But damn, rujuro, already I can't wait to see that in-game. Hah, maybe I should've actually planned a little before starting to just build randomly.

  22. #72
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Just north of Cragscleft
    Quote Originally Posted by Mandrake
    Until the word about this setting gets out a bit more, I can see all the maps that people are making running a lot slower than they should due to BSP surfaces casting shadows by default, when only a few BSP surfaces (such as a pillar) would need to cast shadows. Certainly the ground doesn't need to cast a shadow, if its flat for example
    The "Properties > Render > CastShadows" Command is still useful for making certain lights cast shadows, others not. I have 3 lights in the roof area, but only the middle light is generating shadows (on the pillars / from the ceiling only)

    Getting there:

    Test3

    When I'm finished playing around with this, I'll try to make my own static meshes and then starting to build a smaller size church (with custom textures, I'll grab my Canon G3 and go texture hunting next weekend)

    USEFUL TIP:

    Sometimes (or rather - almost always) the "FX > Emitter > Windowlightshaft / WindowlightshaftLarge" effect gets in the way of editing. Because they are really huge, but almost invisible, you often end up selecting them (because they are in the way) when you want to select, say a surface on the other side of the room. I often ended up moving all the emitters out of the way, edited what i want, and then moved the emitters back. This is extremely annoying. To solve the problem, select all the unwanted emitters and click the "Hide Selected Actors" button in the lower part of the left button menu. Voila! The emitters are still there/active but out of the way when editing.
    Last edited by Kircaldy; 2nd Mar 2005 at 05:04.

  23. #73
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I've managed to create my first level with rudimentary Ai etc... time to scrap it and make a better one Some very nice stuf i'm seing so far from you guys

  24. #74
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by Kircaldy
    The "Properties > Render > CastShadows" Command is still useful for making certain lights cast shadows, others not. I have 3 lights in the roof area, but only the middle light is generating shadows (on the pillars / from the ceiling only)
    Yep, theres all kinds of tricks that can be used here....but check out the comments from null if you havn't already regarding the casting shadows properties for BSP surfaces:

    http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=94083

    He says thats one of the biggest framerate killers if it's not optimized.

    Getting there:

    Test3

    When I'm finished playing around with this, I'll try to make my own static meshes and then starting to build a smaller size church (with custom textures, I'll grab my Canon G3 and go texture hunting next weekend)
    Nice! I wish I had some artistic skills, but unfortunately I don't, so I only get to play with the technical aspects of the editor, such as object properties, AI, scripting etc

    USEFUL TIP:

    Sometimes (or rather - almost always) the "FX > Emitter > Windowlightshaft / WindowlightshaftLarge" effect gets in the way of editing. Because they are really huge, but almost invisible, you often end up selecting them (because they are in the way) when you want to select, say a surface on the other side of the room. I often ended up moving all the emitters out of the way, edited what i want, and then moved the emitters back. This is extremely annoying. To solve the problem, select all the unwanted emitters and click the "Hide Selected Actors" button in the lower part of the left button menu. Voila! The emitters are still there/active but out of the way when editing.
    Great stuff. I saw those buttons there, but didn't really stop to think what they might be useful for.

    I can see that things could become unbearably cluttered without them. It is kindof amusing though, if you use it to hide entire buildings made out of static meshes...

    The whole teminology of using the word "actor" had me a bit confused when I first started playing around with Unreal Ed, I was used to Quake terminology, and once I realised that "actors" are really just "entities" then it started to make sense (Why "actors" ?)

  25. #75
    Wow. I'm really liking what I'm seeing so far. I can't wait to play these.

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