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Thread: Please ask your basic (newbie) questions in here.

  1. #1826
    New Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: Sweden

    readable help

    I need help with readable books, I have saved a notepad as test.sch in \CONTENT\T3\Books\English\ and added "BookFileName" to the book but it just stands
    "Book 'Test' Not Found" what am I doing wrong?

  2. #1827
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    You have to stay to the layout of all the other readables first. Then you want to make sure that you didn't write MyOwnReadable.sch in the BookFileName field but MyOwnReadable.txt.

  3. #1828
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: Sweden
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaara View Post
    I need help with readable books, I have saved a notepad as test.sch in \CONTENT\T3\Books\English\ and added "BookFileName" to the book but it just stands
    "Book 'Test' Not Found" what am I doing wrong?
    I had the same problem. Open an existing "readable-file" and resave it to your desired name...then edit the text. It's a lot of commands in the texts and four languages so I found this to be the easiest way. If you are looking for a particular font, then try linking the readable in your map, to an original "readable-file" to see how they look in game.

    I have a question for myself; I see a lot of talk about not using a lot of shadows and such because the game gets slow. I have a room with 4 tables and 16 chairs all with shadow casting set to TRUE. The game is quiet laggy in this room. Is this a normal reaction because a relatively old engine? My computer is a P3 3 GHz, 2Gb RAM and 768 Graphic memory...

    EPIC edit! (one year later): It's a Dual core 3GHz! Maybe even more RAM, but not sure (How the hell could I have said that in the first place??? P3 instead of Dual Core...maybe it's the number 3 in "3 GHz" combined with the word "P3"...)
    Last edited by Fieldmedic; 2nd Sep 2010 at 13:27. Reason: Saw this misspelling a few days ago and it has boggled my mind :D

  4. #1829
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2005
    Location: Scotland
    How many lights, and how big are they?

    But otherwise, yes it is normal, since every shadow is kind of like a heavily distorted copy of the object added to the scene.

    If you're not casting shadows for the detail on the tables, try turing the shadows off and putting a simpler mesh (just a cuboid, really, possibly even a single shadow casting face of some BSP) near the underside of the table to fake it out cheaper than casting the whole table model as a shadow.

  5. #1830
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: Sweden
    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemanskye View Post
    How many lights, and how big are they?

    But otherwise, yes it is normal, since every shadow is kind of like a heavily distorted copy of the object added to the scene.

    If you're not casting shadows for the detail on the tables, try turing the shadows off and putting a simpler mesh (just a cuboid, really, possibly even a single shadow casting face of some BSP) near the underside of the table to fake it out cheaper than casting the whole table model as a shadow.
    There are about 5-6 wall lamps in my little bar...the lights are not modified in any way. The tables are empty, there are just the tables and the chairs around them...I believe I just have to remove my shadows in this shadow eldorado I really hope you can add more shadows and stuff in Thief 4 when that game hits the scene But until then we have to be kind to the game engine

  6. #1831
    How big is your mission? Did you set the BSP to not cast shadows? I only have a 1.8 GHz CPU and 512MB graphics card and I have lots of things casting shadows without any lag.

  7. #1832
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: Sweden
    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowSneaker View Post
    How big is your mission? Did you set the BSP to not cast shadows? I only have a 1.8 GHz CPU and 512MB graphics card and I have lots of things casting shadows without any lag.
    Should I just select all the walls and floor/ceiling in my bar and remove shadowcasting? My mission is not very big, it's not even done...It's hard to explain in other words than that the filesize is 1.82 Mb

  8. #1833
    Right-click on a wall and select "Select all surfaces" then right click again and select "surface properties" and tick the box that says 'don't cast shadows'. I don't know if you read the tutorial on Fleshworks but BSP is set to cast shadows by default and those shadows are actually projecting out of the game world into nothingness which is a massive waste of cpu so you'll get lower framerates.

  9. #1834
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: Sweden
    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowSneaker View Post
    Right-click on a wall and select "Select all surfaces" then tick the box that says 'don't cast shadows'. I don't know if you read the tutorial on Fleshworks but BSP is set to cast shadows by default and those shadows are actually projecting out of the game world into nothingness which is a massive waste of cpu so you'll get lower framerates.
    In other words, it's a bug in the engine that projects these shadows? I thought this shadowcasting made brushes cast shadows...like if you had an brush pillar in a room and some lights around and if you removed the shadow casting effect on the BSB, the whole brush seized to cast shadows...What is this shadow casting for? Should I remove them as a standard when I create my BSB surfaces?

  10. #1835
    It's not a bug, it's necessary for some walls to cast shadows otherwise lights will project through them which will look odd. When you've nearly finished the mission you should go through it checking which walls should cast shadows and turn shadow casting on on those walls only.

    Should I remove them as a standard when I create my BSB surfaces?
    Yeah.

  11. #1836
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    Pillars are a usually a static mesh thing as well and thus less performance-eating. In general you can create a "healthy" shadow casting relation in TDS. Turn it on for everything which would look odd without and leave it out for anything else. We're somehow past the old be-extra-careful-with-shadows-thing.

  12. #1837
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: Sweden
    Quote Originally Posted by Beleg Cúthalion View Post
    Pillars are a usually a static mesh thing as well and thus less performance-eating. In general you can create a "healthy" shadow casting relation in TDS. Turn it on for everything which would look odd without and leave it out for anything else. We're somehow past the old be-extra-careful-with-shadows-thing.
    Yes, I know you use static meshes to create pillars. My example just referred to my thinking about how BSB-shadow casting worked...I guess I have some serious shadow-cleaning to do in my level There is a major thunder storm here in Sweden so I better shut my computer down for tonight...

  13. #1838
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    Just in case you're planning a bigger mission: Try not to add and delete a lot of properties and e.g. objects. If you don't need them for now, move them out of the map for further use.

  14. #1839
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: Sweden
    Quote Originally Posted by Beleg Cúthalion View Post
    Just in case you're planning a bigger mission: Try not to add and delete a lot of properties and e.g. objects. If you don't need them for now, move them out of the map for further use.
    Why is that? Does the engine store information of deleted properties/objects and suffer performance loss because of this?

  15. #1840
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    See the "Quirks" thread for the whole story; T3Ed stores every altered property (and also objects per se since everything takes up property slots) and this database gets fragmented during mission creation without any chance to defragment it. Above 61440 properties (thats app. five times the original maps' complexity IIRC) the mission won't load and even beforehand it won't allow saving since there are still properties filled during playing and saving (unfortunately we don't know yet how many slots). Otherwise it shouldn't affect performance at all.

  16. #1841
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2005
    Location: Scotland
    As for the shadows casting thing eating performance... Well, it'd be easier to say for certain with some screenshots.

    However 5-6 lights in one room runs expensive, since you probably have lights outside the room that the engine is also rendering (even if the player can't see them) and >6 lights causes an entire extra render pass to be done, which naturally rather cripples things. There's a property to increase that in, I think, the Level Properties page, but try to keep it low or people without lots of power to spare wont be able to play your map.

    Also, if those shadow casting objects are being hit by more than one shadowcasting light, that can be rather expensive too. I don't remember the maths on it, but I do know it can quickly deplete performance.

    My preferred method of dealing with these problems is usually to turn lights off, and/or shrink their radius: a small light which lights the tops of the table and the back of the chairs, but only needs the table to cast a shadow can be both more atmospheric and less expensive.

  17. #1842
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2007
    Location: Moscow, Russia
    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemanskye View Post
    As for the shadows casting thing eating performance...
    ...or try to use Spot-lights instead of Omni-lights (example is here).

  18. #1843
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: Sweden
    Quote Originally Posted by Beleg Cúthalion View Post
    Above 61440 properties (thats app. five times the original maps' complexity IIRC) the mission won't load and even beforehand it won't allow saving since there are still properties filled during playing and saving (unfortunately we don't know yet how many slots). Otherwise it shouldn't affect performance at all.
    So if I make a map that is about five time as big as any original map, say Castle1, then this performance storeing crap prohibits me from saving or running my map? And that is IF I can build my map WITHOUT changing my mind and delete/change some properties/meshes along the way? This dangerous limitation feels rather depressing and I am very close to leaving TDS and start making missions for Thief 4, when that games hits the scenes.

  19. #1844
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    Usually you wouldn't start building such big maps with T3Ed at the beginning of your mapping career. Apparently I'm the only fool. You should chose your tools according to what you want to create. If you liked the feel and look of TDS and some of its fan missions, then this property limit won't stop you from making great missions (you can get some interesting impressions at Komag's "Upcoming" page at the Shadowdark Keep and of course in the screenshot section).

    TDS/T3Ed still has a lot of potential with respect to graphics and lighting, unprecedented locations, new static meshes, AI and even scripts which can change the whole scenery by pushing a single button and of course story and depth which are not related to the editor but very important nonetheless (IMHO the most important things). If you didn't like TDS at all, T3Ed won't allow you to change it completely and trying wouldn't make much sense, but if you do I think it's worth. Besides, missions like Krellek's Labyrinth, Cabot and Valley already show large missions which worked. This property thing is still not fully understood.

  20. #1845
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: Sweden
    Quote Originally Posted by Beleg Cúthalion View Post
    Usually you wouldn't start building such big maps with T3Ed at the beginning of your mapping career. Apparently I'm the only fool. You should chose your tools according to what you want to create. If you liked the feel and look of TDS and some of its fan missions, then this property limit won't stop you from making great missions (you can get some interesting impressions at Komag's "Upcoming" page at the Shadowdark Keep and of course in the screenshot section).

    TDS/T3Ed still has a lot of potential with respect to graphics and lighting, unprecedented locations, new static meshes, AI and even scripts which can change the whole scenery by pushing a single button and of course story and depth which are not related to the editor but very important nonetheless (IMHO the most important things). If you didn't like TDS at all, T3Ed won't allow you to change it completely and trying wouldn't make much sense, but if you do I think it's worth. Besides, missions like Krellek's Labyrinth, Cabot and Valley already show large missions which worked. This property thing is still not fully understood.
    That is true...but I am I a fool fearing my map will probably stop working because of this? I don't want to feel nervous because I have to remake some room or delete some things and change sections of the level. Is it only you, with your humongous übermap, that has encountered this limitation error?

  21. #1846
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    I believe a bigger version of Evicted by nomad experienced this issue as well but unless you add and delete tons of different stuff AND have a large map, everything should be fine. It's just a long-time precaution to move e.g. static meshes out into the blue until you need them again instead of adding and deleting them.

  22. #1847
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: Sweden
    So I believe I can continue on my map then...I have planned a huge citysection with lots of different houses/areas to enter. Right now I am working on some kind of mansion. I understand that this properties limit problem is quite shrouded but if you encounter the problem, is it then possible to divide the map into 3-4 different areas with that blue smoke between? Is it possible to copy one section of the map to a new, clear map, and then save it? Or are the map with all objects and meshes doomed when the problem has occured?

  23. #1848
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    No, you can always cut and paste things into a new map, it's just that I wanted to avoid loading zones consequently.

  24. #1849
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2005
    Location: Scotland
    A large map is likely to run in to a lot of other problems before you get close to the property limit - I think most people have at least tried a large map, and very few of us have hit that particular problem.

    I think I'm still the only one to get fatal viktoria errors by running out of BSP vertices, for example, and I really don't know if that was because the map was too complex in general or it just really didn't like all the hand-built arches and stairs in specific. Needless to say, I never finished that map, which is the real danger most people face with planning big (/looks guiltily at his own Cabal level)

    If you plan a lot of enterable areas then the first problem that's really likely to make you want to give up would probably be finding BSP holes and unbuildable spaces, which can be worked around and/or fixed with enough patience.

  25. #1850
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: Sweden
    My new problem is that my editor install stoppet working after I have tried some fan missions...now when I have reinstalled it, I can't get the John P-textures to work in the editor's playing mode...It works fine in the original game, but not in the editor's game...

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