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Author Topic: Doom II Entryway map (and Strogg map: City Palace (W.I.P.))  (Read 35216 times)
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Tabun
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« on: 2007-08-20, 22:20 »

Seeing as there's still too many aspects of Q3 modding that I haven't tried my hand at, I've started a little mapping project. I'm going to make a Quake II inspired map that's based mostly off of the city*.bsp's.

This will be a slow-going thing, but I intend to get something good enough for Generetions Mappackage by the time we're ready to distribute 1.0, at the latest. I mean for this to be (or grow into) a sort of open-community project, where you guys help me out by critique and playtesting. If more experienced mappers are around, please  to let me know if I'm making a mapper's misstep. I have built (quite decent) Quake 2 maps with radiant before, but never did any serious Q3A work, so I'm kind of curious what I'll be able to come up with.

Now, being of the interminably pixel-prodding sort, I'll be making quite a few textures to help spice up the .bsp and get some serious nostalgia going here. The first set of textures I've done (partly now) is of this kind:

As I get 'full sets', I'll release new texture packages.

And I've already used those to make this:


As you can see, I'm not going for a precise translation, but something to get the ghist and at least in part copy the layout of the original(s). The door in the above picture is a placeholder texture.. ;]
« Last Edit: 2009-08-08, 18:11 by Tabun » Logged

Tabun ?Morituri Nolumus Mori?
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« Reply #1 on: 2007-08-20, 22:37 »

Is the roof crooked in that shot, or is that a result of FOV doing funny things at that angle?
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Tabun
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« Reply #2 on: 2007-08-20, 22:51 »

The roof follows the slant of the stairs. It's not crooked, but it's kind of hard to see the exact angles here indeed.

http://www.tabun.nl/tmp/gen/tab3dm1_pre02.jpg

That should give a slightly less skewed view of what's going on. It also shows a bit of the rest of the WIP area..
Looks like I'll have to dim the lights somewhat Slipgate - Smile
« Last Edit: 2007-08-20, 23:40 by Tabun » Logged

Tabun ?Morituri Nolumus Mori?
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« Reply #3 on: 2007-08-21, 01:00 »

Nice! I'm just waiting on Big Mak coming down those stairs ...
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« Reply #4 on: 2007-08-21, 13:25 »

Looks really nice Slipgate - Smile
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« Reply #5 on: 2007-08-21, 15:40 »

Ahh, it's perspective distortion in the shots then.  Looking good so far.
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Tabun
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« Reply #6 on: 2007-08-25, 04:53 »

Making some more progress. It's slow going, both due to pain, but also due to the fact that I have to learn all about making gtkradiant to do what I want -- for some reason, making brushes behave and preserve vertex locations when you're dealing with multiple slanting angles is an even bigger pain in the neck than it used to be in my old Quake II editor (Quark, for those who remember). If anyone knows an easy trick to get a consistent, grid-aligned two-way slanting clip on a set of brushes, please enlighten me. Slipgate - Smile
Maybe I'll have to make more use of curve patches for the outdoor areas..

Anyway, here's what I got so far. Warning: it's a rather large image, being a six-in-one vertical monster of a bitmap:
http://www.tabun.nl/tmp/gen/tab3dm1_pre03.jpg

Don't mind the 'weird stuff' surrounding the entrance structure. That area is far from done, but part of the imposing wall surrounding the actual entryway is starting to get to my liking. Also note that the blue coloured light above the entrance is meant to emulate the blueish stuff in the original Quake II map. I'm not sure if I want to keep it, make a new texture for it or forget about the blue stuff altogether, so don't mind that. Unless you've got some cool ideas I should hear about! Slipgate - Smile

(Question to experienced mappers: is there a neat way to make a square patched archway and end-cap it neatly? I just bent a squared cylinder and put a couple of brushes behind it. That's kind of wasting faces, since a) the vertices of the brushes don't line up to the curves, and b) the cylinder has 'backside' faces that are never seen.)

I have been able to do a lot of texturing work, though, and I'm nearly done with a remake of the Quake II 'palmet' texture set, which is the series that looks like this:

I was very fond of those textures and used them often in my Quake II maps. It also happens that Q2's city1.bsp makes heavy use of palmet textures for its sewer-ish area's, so I can put them to a nice amount of use. I intend to make an 'official palace area' with a moderately sized hall and the entrance that you can see in the screenies above, and a 'sewer/maintenance' area that is interconnected with the former. That should allow me to make an interesting, but logically sensible layout.

I think I'll take a break from this now, give my aching hands one or two day's rest, and then finish some Gen models/skins. After that I'll go back to mapping.

Pfew, long post this time. Couldn't resist though, as long as radiant behaves mapping is a lot of fun.
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Tabun ?Morituri Nolumus Mori?
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« Reply #7 on: 2007-08-25, 06:20 »

It looks pretty good so far.  It's instantly recognizable as Quake 2 City and looks like "Quake 2 but updated" - just what I'd expect and hope to see.

As for the "blue" stuff in the palace, it's Steedium crystal, like in the lower mines level, placed as a kind of decoration, as you can see here:


Steedium in the mines
Steedium in the palace
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« Reply #8 on: 2007-08-25, 07:45 »

For manupilating standard brushes shift+click face can be quite usefull. otherwise use edgeselecting ("E) or if you feel bold use the vert tool ("V")

As for making the arches one way of doing them is to place two endcaps and using a simple patch mesh make that "cap" the hole between the bevels. also you can, if you want use four bevels instead of 2 endcaps.

Regarding GTKradiant i really dislike the newest versions of it the fastest way to making brushes is using gtkradiant 1.2.13-update.

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« Reply #9 on: 2007-08-25, 08:52 »

Awesome job so far! The map looks exactly the same as the original one.
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Tabun
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« Reply #10 on: 2007-08-25, 11:31 »

Thanks Reb. Simply using 2 bevels and a bent curve patch might work.. hadn't thought of that. :]

As for brush manipulation: moving brush faces is not powerful enough, nor is moving edges, to get the shape I want. Vertex manipulation, in theory, should work fine (hell, I'd whip this up in 3d studio max in 5 seconds that way), but radiant is evil.



The above shape is more or less what I want to get. All its vertices must align with the grid, otherwise I won't be able to fit it in the map or cut it up into pieces for detailed texturing, etc. If I manipulate the verts around B so that they might result in the brush shape, the vert at A will be forced off the grid, and vice versa. It doesn't really seem to matter in what way I try to massage the brushes into this shape, it just doesn't want to that, and starts springing its verts around the place for for an undisclosed reason. Shape looks simple enough to me?

Forgot about that blue texture's use in the mines. Slipgate - Smile
The crystals don't make any sense to me there, so I'm going to stray from the original's design there. The outside area near the entrance is going to be quite a bit different from the original's layout too: the original room is kind of cramped for a space that should be more open in a DM map. I also want a more defined look to the palace entrance, and not the 'embedded into rock' look that it had in the original -- for no other real reason than that I don't think I can pull it off in a good/better looking way.
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Tabun ?Morituri Nolumus Mori?
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« Reply #11 on: 2007-08-25, 17:07 »

Anychance on getting a copy for playtesting?
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« Reply #12 on: 2007-08-25, 20:07 »

I think it might be better to let Tab actually finish the level geometry beyond a single doorway first.   Slipgate - Thumbs up!
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Tabun
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« Reply #13 on: 2007-08-26, 02:50 »

Ghehehe. Playtesting. Count on several weeks for that to be possible. For the basic layout, I've got about 5-10 percent more or less done and a little less than that when we're talking details. And remember that I'm not counting the work needed for item placement, r_speeds(FPS hits) testing and its consequences and package compilation. Slipgate - Smile

The only thing that's near done at this time, is my dfloor + palmet texture set. I think I can upload that tomorrow.

Edit:
By the way, the solution to the brush problem is to set up the brushes to align with a bigger grid and use the clipper tool primarily. If the last steps of shaping the brush are made by clipping the brush, it's possible to make odd shapes without destroying alignment.
« Last Edit: 2007-08-27, 17:21 by Tabun » Logged

Tabun ?Morituri Nolumus Mori?
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« Reply #14 on: 2007-08-28, 20:58 »

I have good news and bad news. Which first? Eeney-meeney..

The good news is that I've made some progress. It's really slow-going and I'm not taking Cardigan's "top advice" -- I'm trying to get each room I make to be as close to acceptable as I can, before moving on to the next. I've simply not learnt the art of detailing well enough to risk doing it after I have a main layout in place -- it serves me best at this point to try and go for all sorts of effects right away, before I learn afterwards how I should have done everything differently. So far it's saved me from a few nightmares already. Slipgate - Smile

The bad news is for the purists: I am now definitely straying so far from the city1 entrance design that that area is not remade, but remixed. To me that is no problem, for I was going to remix the layout of the actual map anyway, but it's quite impossible not to disappoint some in this respect. The reason for the design-alteration is twofold: first, the original entrance design was nice for Quake 2 standards, but hideously underdetailed for Quake 3 standards, so remaking it out of a few brushes would not be satisfactory. Adding detail to the basic layout would however be impractical: the odd angular brushes cannot be detailed (by me) without destroying their shape or getting huge splits and seams everywhere. Inefficient, ugly and definitely not worth the trouble. The second reason is that playability is important. Good idea: remake an area. Bad idea: remake an area even if that would suck for anything but single player usage.

Here are two more screenshots for those interested in how it's coming along:
http://www.tabun.nl/tmp/gen/tab3dm1_pre04.jpg

Lighting the outdoor area properly will prove to be a challenge, but I'm liking the (bottom part of) the geometry of the main entrance/facade as it is. It also sports a few of the textures I've been cooking up. :] The look of the area, when I'm done with it and if all goes according to my wishes, will be one of an open area between two buildings, surrounded by rocky cliffs. An industrial wall/back-entrance will face the palace entrance and there will be a service/sewer-ish side entrance to the palace.

I'm getting the hang of using curves, but I still have to get a feel for the architecture on the hardware. So far I've not been able to get a drop below even the 333 FPS mark, but the r_speeds are showing 3000-4000 verts in some places already, which seems to be about average for the more highly detailed of id's Q3A maps.

One other thought struck me, and that is that, as a beginning amateur I am both amazed by what good mappers pull off, as well as what mediocre mappers think they can get away with. I know I won't be up there with the big boys of mapping unless I both use my texturing skills to the fullest and practice a few more years. I also know that even a beginner can avoid ugly, lazy designs that can be found in most maps that I encounter in our search for material for the next mappack..
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Tabun ?Morituri Nolumus Mori?
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« Reply #15 on: 2007-08-28, 23:30 »

Holy crap... great looking screenshots there...
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Tabun
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« Reply #16 on: 2007-08-29, 03:33 »

Thanks. :]

Made some progress on the outdoor area. I think I finally got an imposing facade going here.
http://www.tabun.nl/tmp/gen/tab3dm1_pre05.jpg
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Tabun ?Morituri Nolumus Mori?
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« Reply #17 on: 2007-08-29, 07:55 »

You're picking this up fairly quick.  Looking alright so far, though it's kind of weird seeing curves in Strogg architecture.  I'm used to the angular style that was partially a result of Quake 2's engine limitations.  Slipgate - Smile
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« Reply #18 on: 2007-08-29, 17:45 »

Quick indeed! I'm still feeling my way around Doom Builder ...
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« Reply #19 on: 2007-08-29, 22:14 »

I think you need to give yourself a bit more credit there, Tab. I've seen a lot of 'beginner' maps.. including my own.. and yours definitely doesn't look it. But then you said you've mapped before.. just not for Q3. I can see the prior mapping experience just in the screenshots. Now.. beginner with Radiant.. that I can see. Slipgate - Smile

Looks great. Slipgate - Thumbs up!
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