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What are you working on for Duke right now?  "Post about whatever Duke related stuff you're doing"

User is offline   Mark 

#9331

Not everyone has a well developed "mind's eye" to picture details ahead of time. Or the patience to plan ahead. Thats me on both counts. :) My fore-planning usually consists of browsing the web for a few inspiration pics and then just start mapping and see where it leads. As it starts to take shape I then think what might look good to go along with the existing architecture and add it right away. Maybe I don't like it and remove it. So other than saying to myself its going to be a large open cemetary with underground areas and cool looking models I don't plan ahead. Gameplay elements are usually the last thing on my mind. I love the building part. I'm not among the best or most efficient mappers out here but this style works for me. Its mostly about having fun.

This post has been edited by Mark: 04 June 2020 - 06:05 AM

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User is offline   ck3D 

#9332

This is totally a digression and not meant to be a direct reaction to what you said - different people have different levels of 'mind's eye' depending on their own personal stage of creative development, but it's a skill I believe everyone is able to develop naturally. That's why I tend to be doubtful of the good ol' artistic mind vs. scientific mind argument - both are two different yet complementary ways of reading one same existence, then to which extents a person develops one and the other is dictated by focus and in the end, the overlap is absolute anyway so it's technicalities. I think a lot of people's artistic perspectives are shut down first thing by their own disbelief in their abilities, so they only ever try so much, resulting in a consequential waste of creative potential in this world including the personal fulfillment that comes with it, confused individuals, and a society that's darker than it needs to be. So when I see a creative spark in someone, I usually try to feed it, especially if they obviously need support.

Description of my functioning sounds tedious on paper but that's because I had to verbalize it. The whole process is natural for me, ideas just come and stack up and the maps come out when they're ready, except now they're just better (as in more cohesive with and representative of my vision, even if I'm still not quite there yet). It's not so much planning ahead as it is spending periods of time just spontaneously gathering more and more ideas. I'm definitely having more fun working like this than I used to as a kid sitting in front of the editor and doodling rooms at random - whenever I fire up the editor I always have something exciting in mind to build. Thinking about it, maybe this is more of a direct consequence of my time management habits than much of a conscious workflow, meaning that when mapping time does happen then it has to be optimally efficient, but either way it helps me tremendously.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 04 June 2020 - 06:57 AM

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User is offline   Mark 

#9333

Time management doesn't enter the equation for me. Even before I retired. I lived my life of debauchery and then settled down ( but stayed single ) around the time I started modding. I have had all the time I needed and more so its not a factor in my mapping process. But something that does affect my mapping is that I generally use custom assets, many made by me along with custom con code. So the maps will reflect if I have the ambition to create assets I need or not. Again its not really planned ahead of time in most cases.

This post has been edited by Mark: 04 June 2020 - 07:41 AM

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User is offline   ck3D 

#9334

I see - you have a different scope altogether of working with the game than I do. I really mostly focus on user maps and not so much on the creation or modification of its assets, whereas you rely on more techniques (texture creation, coding) to create your own universe than just raw levels and, in a way, are far less restricted than I am in terms of possibilities. There is just no real reason for you to obsess over level design in particular because in your case it's not the only course on your menu. The amount of thought I put into my maps, you put it into a larger picture.

Life of debauchery actually sounds like one great source of inspiration!
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User is offline   Mark 

#9335

it is :) But it didn't work out so good for Duke. Look at what he's doing after saving the world and living the good life. Packed on a few pounds and bartends in some dive.

Attached thumbnail(s)

  • Attached Image: debauchery.jpg
  • Attached Image: duke bar.jpg


This post has been edited by Mark: 04 June 2020 - 09:05 AM

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User is offline   Sanek 

#9336

I decided to follow ck3d method of making barebones layout of a map and what do you know, it become much easier to make map after this!
You see, whenever I do something in map, I'm doing it step-by-step, making one part of the map and then move to the next one. Things ofthen go not as planned, which results in frustration and stuff. However, I made the barebones layout of the city right now - just squares and roads. Sounds very simple but it actually helped me a lot, since I don't have to keep the overall layout of the ctiy in mind, which would clash with other parts otherwise. I'm messing up with the visuals right now so thank you man!
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User is offline   Mark 

#9337

Whatever works best for you, go for it. I still prefer the map as you go approach. If I was to make the general layout and then change my mind later about a certain area, the map may be beyond the point of being possible to accomodate that change. But I'll admit there are pros for the general layout approach like in the example of a city block with buildings and streets. Or whats-his-name's large open terrain map in the thread a few weeks back. But I don't want to accidently box myself in.

This post has been edited by Mark: 04 June 2020 - 05:25 PM

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User is offline   ck3D 

#9338

View PostMark, on 04 June 2020 - 05:25 PM, said:

If I was to make the general layout and then change my mind later about a certain area, the map may be beyond the point of being possible to accomodate that change.


I understand the concern but honestly, that doesn't happen (to me at least). If anything, it's really easier to be able to manipulate empty areas around the more advanced portions of the level if need be, than it is to rearrange a sum of such advanced (when not finalized) portions that are already assembled together by design. Also in most cases, if something goes wrong and you realize you no longer like how you designed part of the layout, the format makes it easy to just insert and/or move a number of vertices without real consequences, or you can even remove the sectors altogether and then copy-paste the empty template for that unsatisfying section from an earlier save in, to redesign it from scratch with the tweaks that you want.

Both methods aren't mutually exclusive, too. Mapping as you go is fun as well - it's all I did for a long time and to this day for some specific level sections I still do it, plus sometimes you just kind of have to. Whatever works!
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User is offline   quakis 

#9339

Mapping as I go had always been a struggle in the past, but stubbornly stuck with that process for the longest time before forcing a significant change to my overall mapping mentality while working on The Flaming Shipwreck (late 2014?). I think dabbling in Wolf3D mapping and having a "complete" layout to work with for Done & Dusted also contributed toward the idea of this eventual shift.

Beside the odd visual experimentation in particular areas, I don't focus too heavily on design from the start any more and lean favourably toward blocking out the majority of what I have in mind before the first design pass even begins. This makes significant changes less daunting and I'm not wasting time on something that may not be working right now. There must always be a start point and end goal figured out sooner than later, with several progression milestones and other ideas roughed out along the way so that a "playable" level begins to form. My current workflow is very iterative, I go through variations of structure, positioning and layout changes before settling on something that works for me and the level as a whole. Eventually, everything else slowly falls into place. The main struggle comes when I can't piece together the flow or gameplay in a specific segment, but that's why having breaks help immensely. It feels refreshing coming back having separated myself from the work.

This post has been edited by quakis: 05 June 2020 - 01:37 AM

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User is offline   ck3D 

#9340

Started map 3 of my episode today. It's not much so far, just a couple of hundred walls, I've mostly been constructing the exteriors of one big central building (I can't wait to make the interiors too), but I'm feeling inspired for all the rest and most importantly, starting a fresh level feels nice after what felt like half a year spent on map 2 (much longer than I wish it had taken) especially as architecturally speaking it's going to be very different, and more fun to make. Spare time is just about to become hit or miss again, but at least I've got a clean canvas.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 06 June 2020 - 03:26 PM

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User is offline   Sanek 

#9341

Here's some actual screenshots from my map (I'm sorry about the forest!)

Just like I suspected, it looks more Winterfall than Red but hey, this style of mapping suits me well so i'll stick with it. I'm finally making some progress, adding something every day. :)
Attached Image: Scptr0009.png Attached Image: Scptr0010.png
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User is offline   Ninety-Six 

#9342

I get more of a Rural Nightmare vibe, personally, albeit without the darkness
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User is offline   ck3D 

#9343

Really cool, Sanek!
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User is offline   Maarten 

#9344

Neat shots in here!

------

Time to show you all a bigger part of my map and what it's all about :) Been mapping on this one since January.

Attached thumbnail(s)

  • Attached Image: Woudrich june.png


This post has been edited by Maarten: 09 June 2020 - 12:18 PM

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User is offline   Gambini 

#9345

lovely rooftops!!
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User is offline   ck3D 

#9346

Amazing cityscape, Maarten. Loving how you're going in strong with the recreation of a real-world town (I actually looked it up on Wikipedia earlier to get an approximation of its size, and suddenly it made sense that the whole place could be recreated in Duke). Loving little bits of detail like those towers on the far left. I'm especially looking forward to that piece because conceptually it really resonates with what I'm also currently trying to do, and in general your style applied to that focus on recreating a real place I think will turn out to be particularly interesting.
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User is offline   Sanek 

#9347

@Maarten I was looking at the picture thinking "how damn big Shaky Ground 3 is for cryin' out loud", then I looked at the user's name and felt quite embarrassed. :)
I agree that it look lovely, instantly recognisable as the old european town of some kind.


And here's another shot from my map with a couple of, umm, references. :P


Attached Image: Scptr0011.png
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User is offline   ck3D 

#9348

Haha, that's actually super on-point in many ways as far as I'm concerned. I'm honored, thanks! Great to hear you've found your rhythm and are naturally making progress too.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 10 June 2020 - 04:26 AM

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User is offline   zykov eddy 

#9349

View PostSanek, on 09 June 2020 - 05:54 PM, said:

@Maarten I was looking at the picture thinking "how damn big Shaky Ground 3 is for cryin' out loud", then I looked at the user's name and felt quite embarrassed. :)
I agree that it look lovely, instantly recognisable as the old european town of some kind.


And here's another shot from my map with a couple of, umm, references. :P


Attachment Scptr0011.png


I see what you did there :P
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User is offline   Maarten 

#9350

Gambini: thanks!!
@ck3D: nice to hear you've many activity/ideas too! This map`s main.focus will be exploring the town / city (this is just a part actually haha).
The town is actually surrounded by nature/castle/buildings...if inspiration keeps coming, I will make a small level pack (like a level in the castle).
But for now my focus is on finishing this as a stand alone map.

Looking forward to your work!

@Sanek: haha hilarious misunderstanding :) Nope, no SG part 3...it's a map just by me haha.

Fun stuff in your shot btw!

Thanks for your support, I really appreciate it!!
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User is offline   Maarten 

#9351

...just to let you know. Things are going extremely fast right now: 1800+ sectors, 14500+ walls, 3820 sprites :)
Finishing the last locations & polishing stuff.
Aiming for a July release, but no promise yet!
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User is offline   11bush 

#9352

I have been doing a lot of work lately with the duke palette, and trying to make passable military style characters and enemies, and actually adding them to the art file instead of high res folders.

Attached thumbnail(s)

  • Attached Image: 3 characters.png

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User is offline   ck3D 

#9353

It's definitely too early for that (thing barely has 100 sectors as of now) but still, my mapping time being limited again these days, here's a very barebones screenshot (attachment) of a small plaza I started building as the start of map 3 for Blast Radius a little while back, complete with chaingun muzzle flash to compensate for the default visibility (that also masks a cool sprite structure, oops), back section of the building is completely built on a 45-degree axis (think half pyramid) so building the inside is going to be just as fun as it's going to be funky. I'm thinking it might be funny for a little while to just post regular updates of the progress on that same plaza area, for this map. I think I want two or three more city maps and then the rest will be different stuff.

And here's an early screenshot from my CBP 2020 part (undetailed and with some cosmetic problems that have been fixed since, a lot of stuff has been added to the scenery too) in spoiler tags for the curious.

Spoiler

Attached thumbnail(s)

  • Attached Image: blastradius-map3-1.png


This post has been edited by ck3D: 16 June 2020 - 07:01 PM

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User is offline   ck3D 

#9354

Not satisfied with the screenshot of map 3 I posted last night so here are a few more now that I've extended the boundaries of the map, allowing better perspective. I think those give a better sense of the scale. Been on a spree this morning and added 100+ sectors, the design style is starting to remind me of NY Plaza which is one of my favorite levels ever which gets me even more pumped in return.

All screens are pretty dark due to the default visibility settings, again - everything will be made brighter eventually. I just like working in that context for shading/lighting and then eventually boost the visibility in the level just pre-release (which so many of my old levels lacked - been thinking of fixing them then packaging them together again sometime).

First two shots are a better view of the plaza in its current state. I'm getting some weird sprite clipping bugs (see the red light in the second screenshot - it looks like it's clipping into a wall, except it's really not) and texture display bugs on certain sloped floors, I think that has to do with how large the sectors still are and also maybe the extreme shade values of some sprites (?), either way only minor stuff that's both temporary and not game-breaking (it's just funny I never encountered them before, but I'm kind of new at large scale structures).

Third shot is just a simple street corner with public toilets I just made with some wall-shading I like. Area with the toilets is still undetailed/unshaded etc, absolute beta shit.

Fourth shot is the sloped back of the building I was mentioning earlier (also gives an idea of the size). There's a handful of balconies already, I'll probably make more and maybe find tricky ways of connecting them with the indoor areas. Making the inside of the building is especially going to be fun because I want it to follow the structure of the outside, so it's going to be all built on a diagonal axis too with plenty of SOS and I'm already inspired for how I want everything to look like. (Also that side of the building will eventually have windows etc.)

https://i.imgur.com/4XSTEWx.png
https://i.imgur.com/8K30z3k.png
https://i.imgur.com/UwBnsuz.png
https://i.imgur.com/RecdGlI.png

This post has been edited by ck3D: 17 June 2020 - 09:06 AM

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User is offline   Seb Luca 

#9355

@ck3D : the last screen is so amazing !! :P :) :P
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User is offline   ck3D 

#9356

Thanks! Now that wall (as well as its symmetrical counterpart) has tons of windows with gradient colored lighting reflecting off neon signs too. I just added 50+ more sectors. Took the luxury of a day off work and ended up mapping all day, ha.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 17 June 2020 - 02:47 PM

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User is offline   ck3D 

#9357

Added a lot to the map again and it's now around 300 sectors/1800+ walls. Basically extended the area around the plaza so now there's actually a proper back street behind the central building (was absent in the last shot as well as a bunch of new elements), finished its surroundings with detailed little roads and whatnot and now that the basic layout of that zone is complete and before I start adding more detail or crafting the inside of the main building, I started making both the exterior and the interior of one of the skycrapers that I intend to have surrounding it, beginning with a cool circular elevator with a window with a permanent view on the plaza/central building/essentially the whole level - top floor is quite high so riding the elevator really takes the player up there and makes them feel like they're dominating the plaza which I'm content with as I find it feels really cool. Been having fun with all kinds of lights too.

I've also very much reflected on how I was going to tackle building the interior of the half-pyramid-shaped building technically - probably going to make a template of the size and shape of the building exteriors, copy-paste it multiple times, give them various heights and then use that as the basis for every individual floor. From then on, with that technique it should be easy to just all drag them in place and have them overlapping then connecting once they're done, and that'll save me lots of SOS-related hassle.

Kinda trying to post every time I build something significant or get tangible progress as people were asking about my workflow earlier. Here I basically made the main hub and now, I've started working the surroundings to clean up that whole section (besides leaving the south of the map open for a later segment I have in mind) before I get to fill in the hub. Also as the 2D plane has been more or less defined already, I can now start seriously concentrating on the 3D plane with the vertical action/features. For instance here I picked the location of the elevator ride thing on the basis of a compromise between where the view would look the best and the action would be the most practical, and I have a dozen of other angles where I could remake similar things. Not that I intend this map to be as enormous as the first two though.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 18 June 2020 - 06:54 PM

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User is offline   Merlijn 

#9358

That building looks really good! Love the scale and the shape of it.
Will the player be able to get on top of the angular rooftop? That would be really cool I think!
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User is offline   ck3D 

#9359

Thanks! Yeah of course I want all the space to be able to be explored three-dimensionally (or at least as much of it as possible), the idea is in that section of the level the player will have to infiltrate the central building from the bottom then make it to the top. I'm planning several openings/balconies at different levels communicating with the inside of the building using SOS/random Build tricks and whatnot, for that I'll try to build every floor independently then move them all into the same shared 2D space as the building and see what the best I can do is in terms of connections. I already have the first and last one (entrance and exit) planned.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 19 June 2020 - 10:25 AM

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User is offline   Ninety-Six 

#9360

I will never stop being impressed by multiple SOS trickery.

This post has been edited by Ninety-Six: 19 June 2020 - 06:22 PM

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