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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   ck3D 

#9541

Got a lot done on this one today. Before going in any further on the last few indoor locations I want to build, I'm trying to polish the map at street level and enclose the gameplay area outside, to make sure I won't run out of resources before the time comes. I'm actually pretty happy in that department for this one (less stressed out than for map 2), I still have roughly 5000 walls left and as every indoor addition will be mostly spritework at this point, so I'm feeling comfortable, even though I'm only done with maybe one third of the terrain I need to enclose. Still missing fine detail, cars and whatnot but getting closer to the intended look and feel. I also built a giant ass destructible building (well, only its structure so far, will add most effects last) with a connection to another area at the bottom, think E1L2 but bigger.

Attached Image: map3-1.png Attached Image: map3-2.png

Part of the destruction scene:

Attached Image: map3-3.png Attached Image: map3-4.png

And yo I heard you liked lights from a distance, so I put lights from a distance in your lights from a distance so you can light from a distance while you light from a distance.
(Reminder, visibility will be bumped eventually)

Attached Image: map3-5.png Attached Image: map3-6.png Attached Image: map3-7.png

This post has been edited by ck3D: 08 October 2020 - 05:04 PM

10

User is offline   11bush 

#9542

I haven't had a ton of time, but I've been working on a new M-4 Carbine.

Attached thumbnail(s)

  • Attached Image: m4duke.png

1

User is offline   Aleks 

#9543

View Postck3D, on 08 October 2020 - 04:47 PM, said:

Got a lot done on this one today. Before going in any further on the last few indoor locations I want to build, I'm trying to polish the map at street level and enclose the gameplay area outside, to make sure I won't run out of resources before the time comes. I'm actually pretty happy in that department for this one (less stressed out than for map 2), I still have roughly 5000 walls left and as every indoor addition will be mostly spritework at this point, so I'm feeling comfortable, even though I'm only done with maybe one third of the terrain I need to enclose. Still missing fine detail, cars and whatnot but getting closer to the intended look and feel. I also built a giant ass destructible building (well, only its structure so far, will add most effects last) with a connection to another area at the bottom, think E1L2 but bigger.


Wow, this looks really huge, larger than it felt from the screens you posted before, and really immersive :) And this might be stupid question, but are these yellow, red and blue lit buildings with skybox texture actually "block" sectors textured like this to give more "depth" to the parallaxed sky? https://forums.duke4.net/public/style_emoticons/default/ohmy.gif Took me a while to figure out what's going on there with all these palette and heights changed, now makes more sense - simple, but really effective trick!

Love the scaffolding too of course, but make sure they're "compatible" with new Eduke versions, e.g. if they aren't blocking player too tight or "skyrocketing" the player up like a ladder, as this happened to me sometimes with such stuff (again, if they serve some "platformer" purpose, but I'm quite sure I'd jump on them myself looking for secrets).

The general ambience is really awesome on the street photos. Destructible building looks quite complex 2D design-wise, waiting for more "intel" on these.
1

User is offline   ck3D 

#9544

View PostAleks, on 09 October 2020 - 02:51 AM, said:

Wow, this looks really huge, larger than it felt from the screens you posted before, and really immersive :) And this might be stupid question, but are these yellow, red and blue lit buildings with skybox texture actually "block" sectors textured like this to give more "depth" to the parallaxed sky? https://forums.duke4.net/public/style_emoticons/default/ohmy.gif Took me a while to figure out what's going on there with all these palette and heights changed, now makes more sense - simple, but really effective trick!


Yeah it's the good ol' beta Stadium trick (IIRC from that screenshot), just last night while posting the screenshots it kind of hit me how similar the technique also is to how I used to build primitive buildings beyond the gameplay area in maps like Happy Hangover etc. except pitch black instead of full bright. I've used that look in every big city map in the episode so far (so in every map so far since all I've been working on is the city maps), if you ever go back and find some old screenshots you'll see it too, I never posted the areas where it looks the best though. What's cool is since they're just sectors, one can also make them interactive, destructible and whatnot. If you ever try it, remember to set the brightness of the texture at -128 (full bright) otherwise you'll get funny glitches from distance with the default visibility.

And yeah all the maps are pretty large and play with scale a lot, all 3 are by far my largest so far, about twice the size of Poison Heart minimum which is an aspect I'm rather stoked on, I always wanted to know how to make levels like this and now I guess I've developed the right habits when it comes to resource sparing/balancing or something since it's actually starting to kind of work. I appreciate you appreciating the atmosphere, mood is a big part of my vision.

View PostAleks, on 09 October 2020 - 02:51 AM, said:

Love the scaffolding too of course, but make sure they're "compatible" with new Eduke versions, e.g. if they aren't blocking player too tight or "skyrocketing" the player up like a ladder, as this happened to me sometimes with such stuff (again, if they serve some "platformer" purpose, but I'm quite sure I'd jump on them myself looking for secrets).


Ah shit yeah good point, that scaffolding is indeed supposed to play a certain role, I built it according to the base behavior of the game (each story being the exact height Duke can reach with a big jump), and the poles are blockable but just narrow enough for the player to venture through, hopefully it'll be alright. I'll be heavily testing the episode in the latest versions pre-release anyway but thanks for the reminder about this potential concern, I should keep it in mind while mapping too. This particular segment is not especially meant to be challenging though so it's not much of a problem to me if the player can somehow cheat their way up.

View PostAleks, on 09 October 2020 - 02:51 AM, said:

The general ambience is really awesome on the street photos. Destructible building looks quite complex 2D design-wise, waiting for more "intel" on these.


Thanks a lot, yeah the destructible building is actually one cheap fucker, the inside is somewhat complex but technically the facade is going to be the only part actually crumbling down with the effect, lol.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 09 October 2020 - 03:32 AM

1

User is offline   Merlijn 

#9545

These constant updates are really cool, ck3d! The map already looks really impressive and atmospheric, the colors really pop out.
This is going to be one hell of an episode if you keep up this quality. :)

Quote

Thanks a lot, yeah the destructible building is actually one cheap fucker, the inside is somewhat complex but technically the facade is going to be the only part actually crumbling down with the effect, lol.


That's the best way to do it haha, no need to make it more complex when it's not needed.
1

User is offline   Mark 

#9546

Driven once again by boredom this afternoon, I spent a few hours re-imagining a popular map using my current project just for fun. I'm sure you can recognize the simple street area and where its from.

Attached thumbnail(s)

  • Attached Image: SUB1.jpg
  • Attached Image: SUB2.jpg
  • Attached Image: SUB3.jpg


This post has been edited by Mark: 10 October 2020 - 03:32 PM

6

User is offline   ck3D 

#9547

^ I'd bite but I'm not sure, the style of the new art results in so much characterization of the locations compared to the base assets that it could be many popular maps under that disguise, are we talking base game maps or user maps? For some reason episode 3 can't help but come to mind, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was a user level too. That pillar with the missing chunk especially looks familiar (and is good design either way).

@Merlijn appreciate the appreciation! Keeping up in terms of quality shouldn't be a problem, now finding enough spare time to materialize every idea is, but that also allows for better planning and organization when it comes to level concepts and themes. And recently I've been able to map a lot, so I'm not complaining.

And now for an update just for the sake of it, map 3 is 1700 sectors/12500+ walls/7000 sprites now. Over the past few days I improvised a cool little indoor segment (which will probably make for a sweet firefight), and I've kept on enclosing the boundaries of the outdoor gameplay area, tackling the south of the map now after quite some time spent on north and east. In fact I would already be done with the south and more if I hadn't had to scrap it a first time, due to originally building it in a single sector that turned out to be so big it would disappear from distance and insta-nuke itself if I touched it in 2D mode (similarly to the subway track thing in map 1, so now I know size is the problem), given the height and visibility of the towers that was obviously a problem so I had to go and remake it from scratch. Splitting the thing also made me use up some resources I hope I'm not going to miss soon, I think I'll be alright though, most of the core layout is done.

Here's a WIP perspective, although the rightmost side (the aforementioned south) is still missing towers (that it once had). Not the most interesting shot, but it's growing.

Attached Image: br3again.png

This post has been edited by ck3D: 11 October 2020 - 07:06 PM

4

User is offline   Ninety-Six 

#9548

It looks like Shadow Warrior's first level to me.
2

User is offline   ck3D 

#9549

View PostNinety-Six, on 11 October 2020 - 07:16 PM, said:

It looks like Shadow Warrior's first level to me.


Ah but of course, I see it now. For some reason I was dead set on making a reinterpreted Duke 3D map out of those shots, lol.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 11 October 2020 - 07:36 PM

0

User is offline   Aleks 

#9550

View Postck3D, on 11 October 2020 - 07:00 PM, said:

And now for an update just for the sake of it, map 3 is 1700 sectors/12500+ walls/7000 sprites now. Over the past few days I improvised a cool little indoor segment (which will probably make for a sweet firefight), and I've kept on enclosing the boundaries of the outdoor gameplay area, tackling the south of the map now after quite some time spent on north and east. In fact I would already be done with the south and more if I hadn't had to scrap it a first time, due to originally building it in a single sector that turned out to be so big it would disappear from distance and insta-nuke itself if I touched it in 2D mode (similarly to the subway track thing in map 1, so now I know size is the problem), given the height and visibility of the towers that was obviously a problem so I had to go and remake it from scratch. Splitting the thing also made me use up some resources I hope I'm not going to miss soon, I think I'll be alright though, most of the core layout is done.

Here's a WIP perspective, although the rightmost side (the aforementioned south) is still missing towers (that it once had). Not the most interesting shot, but it's growing.

Attachment br3again.png


This screenshot has such a strong Las Vegas vibe to it! The street which immediately reminded me of GTA San Andreas strip in Las Venturas, all the neon lights and "pyramid" building certainly do the trick here...

As for the single large sector, never thought this could cause problems actually - maybe you should really get a newer build of Eduke and Mapster to check if this could be mitigated somehow (at least for removing the "insta-nuke" thing and just fixing the thing in 2D mode)?
1

User is offline   ck3D 

#9551

Thanks, adding those towers has actually been quite the addictive process lately, I think it's just excitement of seeing the level come together the way I had been envisioning it the whole time, and getting that extra satisfaction (that also stems from starting to feel like I'm wrapping the map up). Since your last post, I've been thinking of incorporating a few into the gameplay with some destruction sequences too.

And yeah, right now I'm still using my old build but in the future I will update and fix what needs a fix and optimize the levels accordingly. That problem in particular though, if it's ever been tampered with then I haven't heard about it, working with huge sectors has always been an inherent issue with the engine to begin with AFAIK (due to how sometimes they can glitch like that, or by stopping your bullets in mid-air, etc.).

Note that by huge I do mean huge, for instance my improper sector here was almost as big as the rest of the map, and the subway track in map 1 covers most of its surface. My version of Mapster does warn me of wall length, but sector size has never really been addressed that I know of and I'm not even sure much would be of any help here; in a way, always breaking huge sectors down into smaller pieces is as basic 'safe' logic as always building the parent sectors before the child sectors, when you're familiar with how the engine works (and its quirks) it's just common sense for users to develop. Here I just kind of tried to see if I could push it and of course I did and fucked up, so it was my mistake. What would happen is I could add island sectors to the problematic huge sector just fine, but any split would either delete it, or delete some other walls/sectors inside it depending on the type of split (and the Undo function would suddenly stop working, always returning 'nothing to undo!'). Could have lived with it but now the visual glitching from distance was too much. Either way it's cool since I managed to fix it, only wasted a couple of hours if anything.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 12 October 2020 - 08:40 AM

1

User is offline   Aleks 

#9552

Finally finished on the interiors and put them into the main map - got about 1500 walls to spare, which is a little less than I expected, but should be sufficient for final touches on the outside. Didn't really merge every floor of the building into one inside the main file yet - this will have to be the last thing to do (even after adding monsters and items inside) as it's pretty damn complex. Had to test it anyway to see if any bugs occur after merging and it seems pretty fine - I've noticed 4 minor bugs, 2 of which may not even be related to SOS at all, and they should be quite easy to mitigate. I also have the manhole there, but it didn't act weird upon merging and seems to work just fine (with SE7). Most important thing, I've developed a "pattern" to merge all the SOS floors later on quite fast and bug-free. Well, here's a completely unreadable 2D screenshot showing the mess that is 4 excessive floors merged together:
https://imgurl.me/images/2020/10/13/SOSd887e89c86972203.th.png
5

User is offline   ck3D 

#9553

Aleks that's great, honestly I would almost frame something like this and put it on my wall if I were nerdy enough, I always appreciate funky 2D layouts. Now this one is only a few sprites short of being readable by my phone as a QR code. It's cool to see more people still focusing on that aspect nowadays, I feel like for a while 3D mode aesthetics were mostly the trending style in user maps (well most people skilled enough to pull that off in the first place usually had a clue about 2D level design too, but occasionally it'd take the back seat). Coincidentally I ran into the bunch of screenshots which you posted a few weeks back again just the other day while looking for another old post, and got even more excited for your project, promising stuff.

Also progress on map 3 is ongoing with about 100 sectors, 1000 walls and 1000 sprites added yesterday. Trying to make the most out of some low times in work. I've been getting one sector glitching bug again which is minor (it's easily reproducible, but barely noticeable and only happens from one certain point and angle in the map which I can easily fix or block if all else fails), but intrigues me a wee bit as it's now part of a building I made months ago and never had problems with that's affected. Building is located at the very south of the map, and seems to partly glitch in and out of existence/display weird HOM when viewed from one particular point in a sector at the very north, both being separated by overly long roads for now which are sectors I have yet to split (I suspect the issue might disappear if I do). Then studying the glitch in-game with automap on (to check if anything weird was going on live in the layout at the same time) made me realize that the particular distance and angle needed to replicate the glitch was the exact one needed for fully zoomed-out automap to block that sector from appearing on screen (due to the size of the map). Not sure if there's a correlation or it's a coincidence but I thought that was funny. The building has full-bright sections and those seem to be the specific sectors acting up.

Also another funny thing is the north and south unreachable areas with the full-bright towers coincidentally seem to be just about the right distance from one another that it takes for Build to start struggling with rendering even tiles with shade value of -128 with the default visibility fog (as long as the player remains in the gameplay area it all looks fine, but from an unreachable area to the other, even the full-bright tiles fade to black).

This post has been edited by ck3D: 13 October 2020 - 03:49 AM

1

User is offline   Aleks 

#9554

View Postck3D, on 13 October 2020 - 03:27 AM, said:

Aleks that's great, honestly I would almost frame something like this and put it on my wall if I were nerdy enough, I always appreciate funky 2D layouts. Now this one is only a few sprites short of being readable by my phone as a QR code. It's cool to see more people still focusing on that aspect nowadays, I feel like for a while 3D mode aesthetics were mostly the trending style in user maps (well most people skilled enough to pull that off in the first place usually had a clue about 2D level design too, but occasionally it'd take the back seat). Coincidentally I ran into the bunch of screenshots which you posted a few weeks back again just the other day while looking for another old post, and got even more excited for your project, promising stuff.


Thanks! Hahaha, when I showed this pic to my girlfriend this morning, she said it looks like an abstract painting :P It's mostly not really complex geometries there though (besides a couple places I guess), but the 2D mode challenge was to actually align each floor (bearing walls at same places, windows, ventilation shafts), filling each floor with rooms in their restricted area (every room of this building is accessible), seamless connection between the floors (the staircase creates quite a fake-TROR effect, as you can see both upper and lower floors from certain angles at the same time without HOM glitches) and making sure the "2-way windows" wouldn't show overlaying sectors from any angle (there's still a little bug here, but easy to mitigate and resulting from my too generous openings in one room).

Quote

Also progress on map 3 is ongoing with about 100 sectors, 1000 walls and 1000 sprites added yesterday. Trying to make the most out of some low times in work. I've been getting one sector glitching bug again which is minor (it's easily reproducible, but barely noticeable and only happens from one certain point and angle in the map which I can easily fix or block if all else fails), but intrigues me a wee bit as it's now part of a building I made months ago and never had problems with that's affected. Building is located at the very south of the map, and seems to partly glitch in and out of existence/display weird HOM when viewed from one particular point in a sector at the very north, both being separated by overly long roads for now which are sectors I have yet to split (I suspect the issue might disappear if I do). Then studying the glitch in-game with automap on (to check if anything weird was going on live in the layout at the same time) made me realize that the particular distance and angle needed to replicate the glitch was the exact one needed for fully zoomed-out automap to block that sector from appearing on screen (due to the size of the map). Not sure if there's a correlation or it's a coincidence but I thought that was funny. The building has full-bright sections and those seem to be the specific sectors acting up.

Also another funny thing is the north and south unreachable areas with the full-bright towers coincidentally seem to be just about the right distance from one another that it takes for Build to start struggling with rendering even tiles with shade value of -128 with the default visibility fog (as long as the player remains in the gameplay area it all looks fine, but from an unreachable area to the other, even the full-bright tiles fade to black).


Wow, that's going really fast! I was also trying to make as much as possible of my map during my 2 weeks annual leave recently, but got back to work this Monday and now the mapping time is a lot more tight as I got insanely much stuff on my head. The sheer size of your map already gives me goosebumps from what you're describing. And the automap is a great help, either for sector glitching or for checking if moving sectors (mostly ST23 or ST30) don't do weird stuff going out of mother sector boundaries etc.
1

User is offline   ck3D 

#9555

Yeah I reckoned aligning everything would be the challenge, at least you did it the best possible way I can think of by editing each floor in a different map file, and patterns in general are key, I used not to give a damn about numbers while mapping but for the past few years I've been using basic math for geometry a lot and it makes life a whole lot easier, especially once you've understood how much the editor liked counting in multiples of 8 for everything dimension (and of 3 for shade values), once one has grasped such logic then a lot more of the execution process becomes automatic so stuff ends up coming out a lot better and quicker.

And yeah for the past few days I've been mapping non stop because my work has been to wait on someone else to do their job first, so I've been more free than usual and since the whole map is laid out in my head (and the more ambitious structures out of the way already), progress is mostly a matter of raw materialization and execution, I no longer need to overthink much, only to lay terrain and decorative props. That being said, even some of that stuff is turning out pretty cool, I'll post screenshots soon, and also of that glitch I'm getting. I tried splitting the sectors I thought were problematic but it doesn't seem to fix anything, I guess I'll see about that with updated Mapster, otherwise it's not too problematic as again it only seems to pop up from one point at very specific angles.

Also map itself is large but not that large, it's mostly the surrounding unreachable areas that make it larger than fully zoomed-out automap, otherwise it'd be pretty much that size.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 13 October 2020 - 09:49 AM

1

User is offline   Aleks 

#9556

View Postck3D, on 13 October 2020 - 09:48 AM, said:

Yeah I reckoned aligning everything would be the challenge, at least you did it the best possible way I can think of by editing each floor in a different map file, and patterns in general are key, I used not to give a damn about numbers while mapping but for the past few years I've been using basic math for geometry a lot and it makes life a whole lot easier, especially once you've understood how much the editor liked counting in multiples of 8 for everything dimension (and of 3 for shade values), once one has grasped such logic then a lot more of the execution process becomes automatic so stuff ends up coming out a lot better and quicker.


Hah, I haven't really made myself clear earlier - I made floors 2, 3 and 4 in a different map, but they were all together. The trick to not mess up floor and ceiling alignments was moving the main sectors of their respective boundaries a multiple of largest build grid size, to a position where nothing else existed in the "main map". This way it was easier to coordinate tags correlated between the floors. And I could have done it in the main map too actually, but I made this one test "one way window" before, so Mapster kept pulling me warnings, which were kind of distracting. Now everything is in the main map, but not "sandwitched" yet. Another use of multiples of 4s and 8s ;) But yeah, that basic math is crucial to get a grasp on early during the journey with Build/Mapster, mostly for panning and alignment, but also for the tiny spriteworks to work good.

Quote

And yeah for the past few days I've been mapping non stop because my work has been to wait on someone else to do their job first, so I've been more free than usual and since the whole map is laid out in my head (and the more ambitious structures out of the way already), progress is mostly a matter of raw materialization and execution, I no longer need to overthink much, only to lay terrain and decorative props. That being said, even some of that stuff is turning out pretty cool, I'll post screenshots soon, and also of that glitch I'm getting. I tried splitting the sectors I thought were problematic but it doesn't seem to fix anything, I guess I'll see about that with updated Mapster, otherwise it's not too problematic as again it only seems to pop up from one point at very specific angles.

Also map itself is large but not that large, it's mostly the surrounding unreachable areas that make it larger than fully zoomed-out automap, otherwise it'd be pretty much that size.


Ah, probably same thing like there was with one of my sectors on the outside - it flickered for no particular reason at certain very specific angles, but it was only possible to spot from a Jetpack, which the player won't have, so in the end I just let it go after making sure it's not something serious and it's really hard to repeat. If it's similar in your case, then probably the wisest thing would be to just let it go and block the curious players from seeing this bug.

Hopefully I will reach the point where you are in with my map next week - the point of laying basic decorations to polish the outside part of the map. Currently fixing some minor bugs that appeared during playtesting the SOS part. In your words, that building will be kind of "level in a level" probably. Also found a very unlikely scenario where player's decisions would block him from progressing further with the map, but it will be easy and quite fun to mitigate and turn into something neat, but also very unlikely for anyone to notice...
0

User is offline   ck3D 

#9557

Completed the enclosure of the streets of map 3 today, I even started adding a few cars. I'm planning quite a lot of those that should turn out to improve the look, coherence and gameplay of the city significantly, so this might be some of the very last screens of the outside I'm sharing, as the next stages might resemble the final product too much to feel comfortable giving away. Two of them aren't shaded yet as they're still my main resource for copy-pasting. Each car only roughly takes up 50 walls which is sweet, I'm pretty much guaranteed I won't be flirting with the limit as closely as I did for map 2 where that was pure anguish, and will be able to implement most everything I wanted.

Attached Image: cars3.png Attached Image: cars2.png Attached Image: cars1.png

'tis one of the borders of the level with a big sprite bridge I made. Third screen is taken from the unreachable side.

Attached Image: overpass1.png Attached Image: overpass2.png Attached Image: overpass3.png

Random scenery, red building on screen 1 serves as a focal point for the player to find their way back to the central area from the eastern region of the map. Screen 2 is of a random parking lot I've started (still car-free, that won't last). Screen 3 is a view out of some tunnel on what currently still is an empty-ish open area, and to be honest aside from a few trees and small detail I'm quite tempted to leave it mostly like that, just the shadow visible on screen 1 already does a lot of the job.

Attached Image: building1.png Attached Image: parking1.png Attached Image: tunnel1.png

Also I documented the glitch I was bringing up earlier (first screen is normal, second and third can suck balls), upon further investigation it not only triggers from a specific point in a particular sector but also the player has to be looking at the problematic building at exactly a 45 degree angle. I kind of don't get it, if it has nothing to do with my construction (guess I'll triple check) then I wonder if it has anything to do with the game trying to draw a full-bright texture past a very distant, and complex mishmash of walls or something.

Attached Image: glitch1.png Attached Image: glitch2.png Attached Image: glitch3.png

@Aleks - no matter the extent you did it, juggling between multiple map files is still a smart move, now how you did tackle it sounds like a happy medium between my idea of building the floors separately within the file of the main map only to move them atop of each other later (which really isn't practical as it's then easy to mess up non-relative floor alignment if you didn't respect the pattern you mentioned), and literally using copies of the same map file originally bearing nothing but the floor's outline (at the right coordinates from the get-go too, because why not), to then alter their heights and fill them in individually. That'd be one way to significantly speed up things; and now if you've added a 'resource bank' of assets (pre-made benches, doors, general sprite work...) to the template map, you're golden. Would probably risk resulting in redundancy if that mechanical approach was taken to an extreme though.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 13 October 2020 - 08:09 PM

8

User is offline   MetHy 

#9558

Experimenting with Shadow Warrior's "Advanced" Room Over Room (official term)


https://i.imgur.com/wqmf6bD.png

https://i.imgur.com/IkLG3J1.png

https://i.imgur.com/qe1CfEk.png

I'll share some findings soon :)
3

User is offline   ck3D 

#9559

For those who keep up with the constant updates: map 3 got a huge boost today, I built like 40 cars at street level, bumping the spent resources to 2100 sectors/15000 walls/9000 sprites (I tried telling myself to stop adding walls in the 14000's but I couldn't), making it the largest map in the set so far by a microscopic margin. Minus some minor sprite detailing and shading here and there, the outdoor area is now complete, all remaining walls will be going to the handful of indoor locations I still need to add or polish. Framerate only really gets bad when looking at the entire level from out of bounds, so since I won't add much clutter it should play well. Earlier when I said I'd like to be done with this map before the end of the month I thought I was being overly optimistic but it's turning out to be a certainty now, all I need is a few more sessions and voilà. Already looking forward to working on the next levels.
2

User is offline   Aleks 

#9560

Man, you work and post updates too fast for me to keep up with commenting on all that stuff! :o Crazy amount of sectors, too, I doubt I'll be able to reach 1900 when I run out of walls myself. You're on quite a mapping spree, which is pretty great (at least from a mapper's perspective) if you managed to use your free from work time to get so much progress.

Now for the comments: I have a strong feeling from the first 3 shots (especially the first one) that either the wheels are too small or the police car is too wide, at least from that perspective. Also, my OCD begs to wrap the cars around in sprites (I'd use #1195) so their underside blends in with the street instead of leaving that brown-sand thing from the texture, but with 40 cars I imagine it'd be quite a hassle and I've no idea how many sprites that would use up and if that wouldn't play weird things with performance for you (plus again, that's just my OCD and something that should be barely noticable in actual gameplay).

It seems that screens 1 and 8 show the same part of the map (judging by how the buildings on the bounds of the map line-up), but from a different perspective, having these 2 screens together gives a nice sense of depth even before playing. Bridge looks pretty neat, always a fan of large-ass spriteworks that blend-in seamlessly with sectors, also nice use of textures (especially the tile on deck which is rarely used in this context I think).

As for the glitching building, well, you have my sympathy. Hopefully you can find some solution to keep it from player's view easily without spending too much time trying to figure a way to fix it.

As for my progress, I've been quite busy with work during the week, so the mapping sessions during last 3 days focused only on getting rid of the bugs and playtesting the level with SOS building overlaying for a test. The glitches with SOS itself were actually surprisingly easy to fix - there's not that much "2-way" windows, but there were some particularly vulnerable angles and places - now I think I've achieved a nice sense of "3D-ness" with that building, as parts of each floor can be visible from the outside and nothing glitches (gave it a really thorough tests, even for perspective normally unreachable for the player). One thing I found particularly cool was, in one place, I had to split a sector because of SOS-overlaying in exact location where a couple of moving sectors had their routes, so I joined the moving vertices to avoid collisions and it works perfectly, eliminating the glitching rendering and not interfering with the moving sectors.

The only bug I couldn't get rid of was one mirror starting to go HOM when looked at from the outside of the room it was located in, it only did it after I overlayed the other sectors on it. Nothing helped with it, so in the end I made it broken from the start, no idea what caused it - especially since there are also 2 more mirrors in this building, and I would rather expect them to glitch if anything, but they were perfectly fine. Another issue is with ambience sounds that were a bit too loud and hearable between the floors, but mitigated it as much as was possible I hope.

And now the biggest mapping satisfaction of the day for me, for the first time, I've played start-to-end through that large building to see if all the effects and sequencing works, and well... It does! Great feeling after meticulously tagging and testing each floor separately for past 2 months or so to only now see it in it's full glory like a clockwork mechanism (and testing different scenarios if nothing gets stuck if approached differently). In other words, I'm really happy with how it turned out now, with some interconnections and a nice balance between sequencing/effects/linearity and room for exploration/world-building. The whole place just gradually opens up, which is exactly what I aimed for. Fans of deep-exploration should feel rewarded here and there as well.

I've just noticed I have a total of 78 different version of the map made during various stages (along with "submap" used for making the SOS layers). Better safe than sorry!
1

User is offline   ck3D 

#9561

Yeah for the past few maps I've been working on, after a while I've always come to a certain point where the process would start feeling like it's all been dragging on for a bit too long, and that's when I usually realize that I'm actually super close to wrapping up the thing and that's it's worth putting in the effort as I eventually want to release this thing for people to enjoy, not just sit there and keep working on it for my own amusement so then it boosts me. I'm having tons of fun but I'm also fueled by the idea that the level won't build itself, and since like I was saying I have most of the project laid out in my head already I can just focus on execution, I've made it a personal rule to never ever launch Mapster without a specific idea of what exactly I'm going to add to the level this session to make sure that every single one is productive, and then I usually get sucked into building even more stuff.

About sector count IIRC map 1 has 2200+ which is a personal record, map 2 falls just under 2000 as I ran out of walls first. I remember Zaxtor posting about how it would be common for him to get into the 2500/3000 sector realm before running out of walls on single levels, I think that's crazy. It's kind of funny keeping track even just of the wall count because I commonly associate it with the corresponding number of space key presses, so let's say so far I've made three maps containing 16000 walls, that's at the very least 48000 space key presses, and that's all without counting everything else about the process, I like looking at things like that because it's pretty representative of the quantity of personal effort that's been put into a project by the author. Now numbers don't automatically equal quality or substance, but when you think about it the process of mapping is pretty crazy.

I can see what you think looks off about the wheels of the car and you're right, I think it's just how I like to build cars though, thinking about it now the ones in every map so far have that 'cute' look - I don't especially aim for realism when I'm building objects (although I will use visual references quite often), if it looks like what it's supposed to be and most importantly plays well then stylization is fine by me. I don't think I'll fix the dimensions but a lazy way of doing it would also be to just paste wall-aligned sprites of that single tire tile from Atomic over the small tires, I've done it before and it can actually look alright. I think I remember I used to have that OCD about the brown on those textures too, a while back, which I had completely forgotten about, but I've definitely done the black sprite thing to cover it up before. Won't be doing it here though, I've come to accept and even like the look of that tile, it is what it is as a pure Duke 3D texture; I'm not really into altering the style of the original tiles anymore with visual tricks (on the other hand I've been super into trying to figure out fresh ways to pan them). Same as using transparent sprites everywhere to alter the look of wall textures, I used to do that a lot but these days I'm really into honoring the base textures to make levels that directly reference the original game, and feel like a coherent extension of it a bit better (at least for this specific project).

Looking forward to your project, great to hear about the progress, making me curious now. 78 back-ups sounds cute to me though, just for map 3 I think I must have had 2000, I just Save As an awful lot, especially when copy pasting. Whenever a filename gets too high up in the something hundreds (usually around 200 or whatever it takes to feel like the level has reached a considerable new stage) I just start from scratch again with a slightly different variation on the filename. Then way later when the time comes to organize all those files I just delete most of them but the latest revisions of each individual 'version'.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 15 October 2020 - 11:37 AM

1

User is offline   Mark 

#9562

ck3D said " the level won't build itself"

Darn it. I was just about ready to check on some projects I started years ago and I left them alone hoping they would finish themselves. GAH!!! :angry:

This post has been edited by Mark: 15 October 2020 - 02:41 PM

1

User is offline   ck3D 

#9563

I mean in general, you'd be surprised to realize the amount of time many people think they're spending creating vs. the amount of time they're actually spending creating. I can spend hours in Mapster but if I fire it up it's with a goal in mind and while I enjoy the process, I also make sure it's spent more constructively than two hours floating around 3D mode like it's 1996 and I just discovered the jetpack, thinking of how good my level is eventually going to be when one day I wake up and it's magically done. We've all been there, it's the worst creative trap and a big reason why a lot of things often get discussed but never done.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 15 October 2020 - 03:40 PM

2

User is offline   Mark 

#9564

I'm guilty of the above behavior these days. ;) It wasn't a problem when I was working with a team.
0

User is offline   Sanek 

#9565

Something that's on my desk right now and my future plans (if they ever come to fruition):

I didn't work on my map at all over the last 1,5 months (well, I had a pretty good reason for it). I'm sorry to say it, but it looks like I don't have time to work on it anymore. The map I was working on all summer is basically frozen now. It's like 50% complete right now, but still there's a lot of work ahead. Sure, I can finish it someday but I'm afraid there'll be another case "Sanek-itis" making my maps worse. So right now I have the idea to let someone else complete the map and make it overall better. I have one likely candidate right now, but we'll see. But other than that, the project's closed righ now.


Future:

I really, really, really want to start making a classic 3DR-style maps that Fernando's making. Maps that's medium in size (like a majority of the original ones) and doesn't require too much details yet it can be detailed on par with the originals. It also looks like I have to make the episode instead of a separate user maps. Perhaps I should release it as a map pack (like what's Mr. Sinister's doing right now. If I'll release a single map with basic 3DR style, it'll pull my overall Hot Maps' average down.
_________________________________

I wanted to make a CBP with Doom-like design but it didn't happened. Like some members suggested, I should've propose to make the episode of such maps instead of one giant map. I'll try to make one map to set it up as the example. Perhaps that's what I can make easily and then create Thread №2, hoping to find mappers who's interested.
_________________________________

And for cryin' out loud, I really should start making that Ion Fury map that Oasiz promised to help me with, someday!
0

User is offline   ck3D 

#9566

How about you merge the map with the other abandoned one you were trying to submit into CBP2020? Wouldn't work?

The original Doom CBP thread could have worked, in fact I'm sure people would still be down, honestly the only reason why that thread died is you stopped replying in it. It's cool to hear you're still thinking about it though. And congrats on your game.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 16 October 2020 - 10:05 AM

0

User is offline   Aleks 

#9567

Sanek, congratulations on your game being published! That's definitely a priority over a nerdy Duke 3D project one does for a hobby ;) And yeah, remember that - making Duke maps is a form of recreation, you're doing it for yourself, so you should never feel guilty for not mapping or put some pressure on yourself to push it as planned. There are no deadlines here, plus it's a creative form of activity, so you can't just stress yourself out to sit and make it, you need inspiration to build. Just shelve the project and come back to it whenever you feel like it or whenever you have some free time for it. I imagine if you're becoming a "pro game dev", making user levels might not exactly be the form of activity you want to spend your free time on, too.
1

User is offline   Aleks 

#9568

Worked some on the terrain on the left side of the picture during the weekend and pretty much got the boundaries of the map ready. That area still need proper shading and some polishing, but the shapes are quite OK. Experienced some sectors flickering there as well, but only at unreachable areas and from perspectives not accessible for players without cheats, so there's nothing I can do about it I guess. Examined the problem and found some rotten egg sector which got removed already, but with the complex geometries (multiple lines joining in a single vertex, massive sloped sectors) it's kind of predictable. Also from the perspective visible on the screen, some sprites are flickering, but again, it's unreachable from the player. When I'm finished with all the outside area, I'll have to see if there are any flickering problems from player's perspective that are serious enough to require intervention, then I might lower the visibility a bit - but I'm pretty happy with how it looks, so hopefully that won't be necessary.
https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/309341856729268228/767442485411577876/duke0036.png

This post has been edited by Aleks: 18 October 2020 - 12:21 PM

5

User is offline   ck3D 

#9569

Great to hear about the progress Aleks (and sorry to hear about the glitches, but if the player can't spot them from the gameplay area I'd say it's really no problem), your screenshot isn't showing for me though.
0

User is offline   Aleks 

#9570

View Postck3D, on 18 October 2020 - 10:37 AM, said:

Great to hear about the progress Aleks (and sorry to hear about the glitches, but if the player can't spot them from the gameplay area I'd say it's really no problem), your screenshot isn't showing for me though.


Seems there's some problem with imgurl having it's certificate overdue, so that might be the problem. Edited the post now with the image link from Discord.
0

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