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Blast Radius WIP/discussion thread  "while it's brewing"

User is offline   ck3D 

#61

Built a little place, inside and outside:

Attached Image: OI1.png Attached Image: OI3.png

Also shaded the outer walls of the arena (was about time), so here's a better close-up on the tower with some sharp shadow play:

Attached Image: OI2.png

Thanks for the kind words above, too! The Watchtower yeah, even if the maps are on the large side I think having big recognizable structures and focal points like that helps convey a sense of location, in addition to other positives. Merlijn, the arena takes up so many sprites I have yet to put them all in, screenshots don't really show it but I keep fine-tuning details about the place as I go and that comprises filling in a few balconies at a time, honestly it's quite the chore but should be worth it. And Aleks yes, that's the tile. I'm glad the flag sprites look like what I intended them to because I wasn't too certain about them, but I guess that's as good as a parasol as Duke 3D gets. Full visibility will look funny indeed, can't wait to give it a try once I'm all done.

Right now I'm at 1574 sectors, 12167 walls (sigh) and a meager 2016 sprites. Whole city is pretty much enclosed now and just in need of some minor detailing here and there. Once that's done I will tackle a different layer of the map. One thing to be noted is this one is definitely going to be purely city-themed after all. Originally I had more ambitious plans and you were only supposed to start in the city but the damn thing grew, not just too big but also on me, and in the end it kind of spontaneously turned into something else. I guess the essential is there though and I have ways to repurpose to leftover ideas.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 18 December 2020 - 10:15 PM

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#62

This is a very important aspect of mapping. Having recognisable places and even focal points that help navigating the players from A to B. The inner location looks very good too. Fingers crossed for a good gameplay too.
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User is offline   Sangman 

#63

Looking good. Have you considered removing the fog? IMO that looks better on "sunny" maps

This post has been edited by Sangman: 20 December 2020 - 09:03 AM

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User is offline   ck3D 

#64

View PostSangman, on 20 December 2020 - 09:02 AM, said:

Looking good. Have you considered removing the fog? IMO that looks better on "sunny" maps


Thanks, yeah we were bringing this up with Merlijn just earlier, visibility in every map will be touched up eventually. Kind of needed here just because of the scale of the levels anyway, to avoid enemies hitting you from so far away you can't see them and really just to make it easier to get around.
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User is offline   ck3D 

#65

1981 sectors, 14883 walls, 5306 sprites. Been making solid progress, finalizing this one should only take a few days now. I've been so absorbed by it that it took Aleks to notify me how it's only been two weeks since I started it, making it my fastest built map for this project so far. Here's a room with 196 timed Cyclers (shout outs to Gambini and Aleks for the Octabrain trick):

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This post has been edited by ck3D: 20 December 2020 - 09:28 PM

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User is offline   ck3D 

#66

Map 5 current status is 2124 sectors, 15883 walls, 5450 sprites. Got a lot done over the past few days, city is fully enclosed and done, arena has been finalized, and multiple SOS areas have been added to the layout; I just started building the inside of the cathedral (screen 1), which will most likely be the last consequential addition to the level as I'm running out of walls, then I want a few extra hallways here and there and we're good as far as this one is concerned. Screen 2 is more random light/shadow play, might not look special but was a particular bitch to make sandwiched in SOS with overlapping lines. Next screenshots after these will be the final ones I'm posting for this map.

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This post has been edited by ck3D: 22 December 2020 - 05:15 PM

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#67

That's absolutely insane, dude. Are you on some kind of a drug fueled marathon? I mean, getting 16 000 walls in just a couple of days is wicked sick. I can be a fast mapper myself when the focus is right, but this is a whole new level especially considering just how great everything looks.
And i've been kinda stuck with my level for a while. Damn, man.

This post has been edited by Mister Sinister: 22 December 2020 - 05:59 PM

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User is offline   Sanek 

#68

^I agree. I've never witnessed something like this during the whole time I've been there. It's like he's been using all the enegry he didn't used during the 5-year hiatus he had until Poison Heart map, and now it's just never-ending marathon of awesomeness.
It took me months to make anything, starting fine then wandering without any idea what i'm doing until it all clicks 3 months later. Sure, it's possible to make a fine map when you know exactly what you've got to do at every inch of the map, but ck3D is making something great at such a breakneck pace that it looks nothing but a miracle. It's truly remarkable.
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User is offline   ck3D 

#69

Ha thanks, I really appreciate that. Zaxtor was already building at even faster speeds back in the AMC days though, which I remember used to inspire the hell out of me. I always guessed he was on disability and just sitting there mapping all day, honestly the latter is what I've kind of been doing over the past few weeks too with lockdown being a bitch, work being low and the weather being crap which probably explains a lot. Also like Sanek is saying, when you know exactly what you want to build or what you want your map to say and just follow through with pure execution, you save a lot of time. Part of me also really wants this project to come out, I've been putting thought into it for years now and no longer want to fuck around too much. And I guess working on several maps back to back, you really get into a groove and develop an exponential number of new habits, shortcuts and time savers.

A routine that's been doing wonders for me as of late and just imposed itself to me on its own, but got me hooked: mapping in short bursts. Now I've said it before that one should always launch Mapster with a mission - something particular they actually really want to build and are going to tackle first thing upon loading the map, otherwise it's easy to waste hours in the program not doing shit be it with the game or in life. But even with this mindset, one's attention span can only keep focus for so long. I've learned to understand the moment my brain is getting tired (usually every ninety minutes of work), usually that translates over to me switching to 3D mode just to fuck off and explore around the level, so now whenever I catch myself doing that I quit and move onto doing something else until the urge to make something in particular again comes back (it usually does several times a day but I wouldn't sweat it if it took whatever amount of time it needed). That basically ensures that every minute spent in Mapster is actually spent building and really I believe the most natural way to work on stuff in general; if pure efficiency is the goal then forcing it will never work.

And then there's all the funky tricks and quirks one develops. For instance, a big one for me lately has been realizing how I could use old back-ups of the same map I'm working on as overlays for SOS; I can just open the old file, nuke the accessible roofs of a whole building, use the confines of the freed space to work on the inside of what I intend to be SOS in the final map and then when I finally import that layer onto the final map it's even positioned wherever it's supposed to be on the grid (you just need to make sure no vertexes connect, maybe by moving the ensemble 1 Build unit off if you've really been working within the same 'walls' with no alteration of the dimensions). Method is not bug-free as copy-pasting areas that are too large will sometimes glitch (at least my ancient build of) the editor, who then seems to try to connect the layers with random blue walls, but then copy-pasting the same thing in fragments should always work. Compared to redrawing the layout, you save maybe fifteen minutes. And then it's the sum of a bunch of little things like this that just happen to fall in place with the more you map. You guys are the next level too, you just need to really want it and use the right energy where it counts, and maybe some more structure and patterns in your process - I mean I wouldn't know, but that's what's been making a huge difference for me; that and just getting more comfortable with in-editor manipulation too, which seems to be one of these things where it doesn't matter how much you've mapped before and how many releases you've dropped one bit, you're still learning new stuff every day like a little kid in school.

Fun fact Re: 'drug-fueled marathon', it's not a marathon but what I can say with absolute certainty is that not a single second spent working on this whole project has ever been sober, I'm smoking tons of weed and downing five cafetieres a day. It's happened a few times before where I'd wake up in the morning, launch Mapster and find myself discovering sceneries I never even remembered I had built (I used to get that with drawings a lot too). I'm enjoying it, but would not necessarily recommend.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 23 December 2020 - 01:47 AM

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User is offline   ck3D 

#70

Map 5 is now complete at 2166 sectors, 16341 walls and 6505 sprites with whatever is left of the resources reserved for some last minute detail and effects although most everything but the actual gameplay is implemented in this one as of now; here's a bunch of full visibility screenshots.

Not sure when I'll get to tackle map 6 yet.

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This post has been edited by ck3D: 26 December 2020 - 02:32 AM

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User is online   Ninety-Six 

#71

This map seems to live up to the title so far. Definitely looks like the remains of some kind of weapon hit.

I've taken special notice of what appears to be exposed seafloor. Reminds me of Half-Life 2.
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User is offline   ck3D 

#72

View PostNinety-Six, on 26 December 2020 - 01:06 AM, said:

This map seems to live up to the title so far. Definitely looks like the remains of some kind of weapon hit.


Ha, I appreciate that you could see that - the title is actually supposed to make sense that way in the end and it's the general feeling I'm trying to convey.

Also on a side note, most of that ocean is explorable (it's not just for show, you can actually get behind and around the buildings).

This post has been edited by ck3D: 26 December 2020 - 03:21 AM

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User is online   Aleks 

#73

That is some of the most impressive architecture I've seen made in Build so far! And it's crazy you managed to complete this one in like what, 4 weeks total? Some of these screens (mostly screens 3, 4 and 5) have such a strong Roch vibe, and it's not about the clear blue sky, but just the type of clean and creative architecture with some of the texture use + the scale and concept of the layout, which is quite awesome. And the 2D automap looks like something to print and hang on a wall.

BTW, is it just perspective, or is there some slight height differences between the "white lined" buildings on street level (e.g. on screen 7)?

Also the shadows look rad (mostly on screen 6 and 7)! They might be a bit too long for the time of the day I guess, but the contrast and detail they add on the street level looks marvelous anyway.
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User is offline   ck3D 

#74

Thanks, lol I think I started it on December 8th, so it's actually been less than three weeks. For some reason though, until you made me aware of that just a few days ago, to me it felt like I had been tinkering with it for over a month (for much longer than map 4, at least); I even might have thought I had started it on November 8th (instead of December) for a good minute.

The architecture is actually pretty simple, when you think about it even though that spritework took a shitload of work that arena could be made more detailed for instance, in fact I wish I had had the resources but at the same time the modern limits are perfect for maps of that scale when you keep things Duke-realistic vs. photo-realistic. That's also the logic behind the shadows, realism is one thing, I'm going for impressionism, in a way like the original game did with its iconic huge and dark corner shadows. Mapping is more akin to drawing/painting than it is to photography in my opinion and thus it's cool to be able to go nuts with scale and shapes. Just the base game is pretty nuts in those regards.

Not too sure which white-lined buildings exactly you're talking about with height differences, max sky height is the same everywhere in the level aka. top of the arena. On screen 7 the only white-walled buildings are the building on fire on the left and the columns of the arena. Lower buildings around are red-walled sectors the insides of which are in SOS layers. Perspective is a big thing in this map though which is why the wall bordering the map is lower than sky level and also conceals actual (unreachable) space (grey area on automap), so that no corner of a parallaxed sky can catch the view across the whole map from any diagonal angle and the central area is always in sight when at street level.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 26 December 2020 - 05:29 AM

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User is offline   Merlijn 

#75

Can't add much to what has already been said, but it looks great! And the speed is truly remarkable.
Especially like the lay-out and just the way everything clicks together.

PS: I know you're not implementing gameplay yet, but this map woul be perfect for some recon patrol vehicles.
Those enemies are somewhat underused and it's always a nice surprise to see them. Plus they would work really well in this layout.
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User is offline   ck3D 

#76

View PostMerlijn, on 26 December 2020 - 05:30 AM, said:

Can't add much to what has already been said, but it looks great! And the speed is truly remarkable.
Especially like the lay-out and just the way everything clicks together.

PS: I know you're not implementing gameplay yet, but this map woul be perfect for some recon patrol vehicles.
Those enemies are somewhat underused and it's always a nice surprise to see them. Plus they would work really well in this layout.


Thanks, thinking about it I might add a few connections from building to building here and there when finalizing everything with the two dozens of walls I have left, honestly I was originally going for many more but rather quickly ran out of resources, I'm glad you can see the existing coherence already though. I've thought about Recon Patrol Vehicles for this map for sure, I would love to see them fly through the openings inside and out of the arena in particular but IIRC they can get stuck against spritework that's directly above or below them so I'm not sure if that's possible. I have a bunch of ideas for other cool routes for them though, although I don't want to abuse them either, but in general this map should be quite airborne, vertical space is used all around with tall variations in terrain height, I've said it before but I still kind of want to make it 'the jetpack map' (and kind of designed the level around that idea in the end anyway).

This post has been edited by ck3D: 26 December 2020 - 05:53 AM

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User is offline   ck3D 

#77

For those who like to follow, work on map 6 started two days ago and it's already 700 sectors/4500 walls big; it's a city map yet again (should be the second level in the playable set, sandwiched in between 'map 4' and 'map 1'). Not too sure about sharing many screenshots of that one yet, but I'd say it's got some of the coolest architecture in the episode so far and a rather distinct vibe. Hoping to keep the pace up.
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User is online   Ninety-Six 

#78

Out of curiosity what is the planned progression of the built ones so far?
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User is offline   ck3D 

#79

'Map 4' should flow into 'map 6' (currently WIP) which should then flow into 'map 1'. Then ??? (couple of maps still to be built), then 'map 2' and 'map 5' should be somewhat back to back too, then ???, then 'map 3', then ???/finale. I'd say I'm done building roughly half the maps.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 29 December 2020 - 10:50 PM

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User is offline   ck3D 

#80

Cross posting/replying here as not to derail Aleks' Back In Business thread even further,

View PostNinety-Six, on 05 January 2021 - 04:02 PM, said:

That's one of the reasons I am looking forward to Blast Radius. He promised a gameplay style much closer to vanilla despite the expanded and more detailed maps.

I can also recommend Lost World if you haven't played that one yet. Seems to be right in line with the sort of stuff you make. It intertwines detail that functions as cover excellently.

And if you like complete insanity, there's also an older map called Demolition which has a bunch of new cons that basically add explosions everywhere and like 80% of the map is destructible.


I appreciate the interest so much and from what you've been posting in the dream episode thread, I have quite the amount of reasons to think you in particular won't be disappointed, if you're still around when this thing comes out that is (but I'm sure you will be).

Lost World is pretty dope, I wouldn't say it qualify as much as a slaughterfest type of map (although I guess it's one indeed) as some reviews made it sound, at least I know I really enjoyed it for what it was and it had some really interesting/unique moments like that last part where you have to conquer the swamp to get the final key and covering the terrain takes some strategy (as well as some hot quick feet), this bit was especially memorable to me, I've mentioned that before though. Looking forward to Dukebot's next output if there ever is one (and if you're reading this, happy belated birthday Daniel!).

Demolition sounds good, reminds me of Warzone in how you're describing it, I'm assuming you never missed that classic user map? You'll be in for a treat if you have so far somehow.

For those wondering about progress on map 6, I was just away for a few days but now I'm back and ready to tackle more progress this week. Map is around 900 sectors as we speak.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 06 January 2021 - 01:35 PM

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User is online   Ninety-Six 

#81

Yeah I've played warzone. You'd think there would be more maps set in scenes of destruction but alas


That said, Demolition is a completely different beast. The monster count is way higher, you start the map by running over like 30 of them on a motorcycle, and the map starts clean before all the explosions reduce most of the playable area into rubble.
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User is offline   ck3D 

#82

Oh shit, I actually remember that map now, from Devastator right? Wow what a throwback, I legit had never thought of that one again since the AMC days, back when he released it there and so I played it, if I remember correctly it was around the time of the Spiegul contest too (or slightly later, but felt like the same era), which we both took part in and also Taivo. It was a pretty kickass map, for teenager me at least, I remember not being an absolute fan of the design everywhere (I would probably appreciate it heaps more now) but it played well (again, for teenager me). As a general reminder I'll drop the link here, for the potentially curious: https://www.arrovfnu...tion-devastator / https://msdn.duke4.n...tdemolition.php

I totally share your frustration when it comes to demolition effects being underused in general, the idea of nuking the whole map along with one's progression has always been cool to me, hence my pitch to Mikko when he designed that Cycloid boss map for Metropolitan Mayhem that I had the vision for, but not the skills to pull off myself at the time. We do live in the Shaky Grounds era, though, so things could be way worse!

This post has been edited by ck3D: 07 January 2021 - 03:36 AM

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User is online   Ninety-Six 

#83

Yeah the design wasn't always top-notch, but it's just so completely insane and off-the-wall that I didn't actually mind some of the less well-thought sections, and the good made up for the bad in my eyes. Especially since I can't really think of any other map that lets you more or less completely blow up the level while you're still playing it.


In fairness, the lack of devastation was a problem in the vanilla game as well. For an alien invasion a lot of the places you visited were pretty intact. Of course that goes along with the design philosophy of making recognizable locations that you can explore.
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User is offline   Dynamo128 

#84

Just wanted to add that this looks really great and I am looking forward to the release :)
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User is offline   ck3D 

#85

View PostDynamo128, on 07 January 2021 - 09:02 PM, said:

Just wanted to add that this looks really great and I am looking forward to the release :)


I appreciate the kind words and encouragement, sometimes I feel like the labor spent on this can occasionally take a toll on my lifestyle so I'll take all the motivation I can get, thanks!

Pocketful of timid WIP map 6 shots (980 sectors right now):

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User is online   Ninety-Six 

#86

Gives me strong E1L2-meets-Poison-Heart vibes for some reason.
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User is online   Aleks 

#87

Gotta love the use of colours and palettes. That skyline on 2nd pics looks damn epic (I know you'll probably change the visibility in the end, but still!). Also love how the classic style is spiced by all those little details like windowsills with plants in 1st pic. Oh and that "One Market" sign looks like someone had too many spare walls to play with, actually I really dig when you re-use textures with letters like that!
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User is offline   Merlijn 

#88

View PostNinety-Six, on 08 January 2021 - 04:06 AM, said:

Gives me strong E1L2-meets-Poison-Heart vibes for some reason.


I'm getting the same vibe, really cool! Also, that last shot is teasing some kind of statue or structure that's just out of frame, judging by those shadows.
That's just mean :D
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User is offline   ck3D 

#89

View PostNinety-Six, on 08 January 2021 - 04:06 AM, said:

Gives me strong E1L2-meets-Poison-Heart vibes for some reason.


I'm especially happy to hear that as I've been thinking about throwing in some nods to E1L2 the same way the first map in this episode aims at being a spiritual successor of sorts to E1L1 without being a copy, but I feel like I've barely been actually trying and instead more focused on just doing my thing. There is indeed a huge building you can blow up in this one that I made with E1L2 in mind (except taken a tiny notch further), but realistically almost every map so far has destructible buildings. About Poison Heart that's something I neither tried for nor sensed, but I could see it because of the Blade Runner-styled roofs and general texture set (and now I indeed designed those areas of Poison Heart with E1L1/E1L2 and a bit of E3 in mind originally). Funny how things work!

@Aleks I'm glad you noticed the windowsills, those aren't just for show either as I intend the player to be able to climb them, in general these days I'm tempted to add platforming action to every corridor or hallway I design, like it would be a waste of space not to also let the player go up the walls and reach stuff higher up. And yeah I love subverting the base tiles with text, I find myself doing it a lot these days and this map is no exception, it's just a cool way to retain the original style all the while making fresh props. It's only wall-hungry if you let it, which I arguably do sometimes, especially one sign in this map so far is a bit ridiculous (but I'm stoked on it). Also about the skyline, thanks, honestly that scenery should actually look even better once finalized, regardless of (and, in fact, thanks to) visibility (and it's an accessible structure, too, not just props).

@Merlijn I'm trying so hard to give somewhat interesting glimpses and yet conceal all the actual cool shit; taking screenshots I'm fine with sharing can take forever. Just giving away the sky texture here I think broke me a little, it's so simple and a bit silly but it works and I love it.

Also since my last post, I've designed a whole new plaza and am already starting to enclose a quarter of the map, rest shouldn't wait either to be honest but then I'll have a lot of indoor locations to add, as I've mostly just been designing streets, plazas and buildings so far. Honestly kinda tempted to make maps that are spent mostly outdoors nowadays, one can only start so many new bathrooms and Duke Burgers before it starts feeling like the here we go again meme everytime. Currently at 1300 sectors and 8000 walls on this one, hyped!

This post has been edited by ck3D: 08 January 2021 - 04:54 PM

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User is offline   ck3D 

#90

The drug-fueled marathon keeps on giving, here are two images of a growing map 6, now 9000 walls of age. Final layout of the streets and general progression through the level has been decided upon for good, no more free flowing it, now onto pure application. Started adding several indoor areas as to not stay behind in that department, threw in lots of detail at street level and progressed a bit further in enclosing part of the map; now that I know exactly where I'm headed and how tings should fall in place, that should be quick-ish (anecdotally also meaning that the straight walls on both sides of the building silhouette on screen 2 are soon bound to go). Would love to get this one done in less than a month just like the past two maps, sounds like a surprisingly healthy pace, if I can maintain it somehow then that means I might even be able to wrap up this project this year (although I wouldn't completely count on that).

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This post has been edited by ck3D: 09 January 2021 - 10:15 PM

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