View Full Version : DM-AlteredMind-beta
05-08-2003, 07:07 AM
Hello everyone, I'm a n00b to these forums and a n00b to mapping, just started 2 weeks ago. Never done any computer design before, but I think it might be more addicting than playing the actual game. I know this map isn't near as good as others out there, but nevertheless I would still like some feedback. I've focused more on gameflow than detail here, but would like some suggestions on how to improve the look and feel of the map. If anyone notices something I'm doing that's way wrong or bad, please let me know.
Here are some screenies....
It's not bad for a first map :)
Main gripe concerns lighting: it's really dark. Also, it slightly lacks of contrasts. If you want to make a map focused on gameplay, you may want to have a clear field of view to allow players see well their opponents and also understand correctly the geometry of the arena, therefore a good amount of brightness for lights is absolutely crucial
One interesting thing to do is to put an operture in the ceiling of the main room (where there's the Super Shield) to let enter a nice global lighting from the sky for example. A nocturnal sky can be welcome, which will drop a cool blue lighting (brightness=80, Hue=150 and Saturation=200, something like that...): this will be a good contrast between the warmth of the orange and the cold of the blue. Put some other things like that in the other areas of the map and it'll become clearer
For the rest, just use very bright light actors with a small radius near each light source, then put a second light actor farer away from this light source and give it 2x or 3x the radius of the previous one but half or third of its brightness. Like this, you'll get a cool ambient lighting. You may want to lower both Hue and Saturation of this second light actor to get a good color scheme but it's not fundamental (if Hue is superior to 128 for the light close to the source, increase the Hue of the second light instead of decreasing it...)
Otherwise, it lacks of details and variety: archi's rather boxy, plain and simple. If you don't want that static meshes hinder the gameplay, put them in the heights of the map, towards the ceilings. Or substract brushes in the walls and put the static meshes in these holes, then put a blocking volume to avoid players get stuck on. It's hard to tell you more 'cause I couldn't see really well but overally more eye-candy wouldn't be a luxury
Keep up, man! :rockon:
05-08-2003, 02:50 PM
Thanks for the tips, Gui, much appreciated! :cool:
05-10-2003, 05:57 PM
Gui, or anyone else, I incorporated your suggestions and have a new version. I feel like I could spend another month detailing this thing, but it should look better than before.
REVISED MAP (http://www.deepwatercanvas.com/guest/DM-AlteredMind-beta8.zip)
Any further help is greatly appreciated.
I do have one question....I am currently using 5-6 different Static Mesh packages. Is this a problem? Should the number of packages be limited? If so, to what?
Indeed, it looks far better :)
There's no problem into using several static meshes packages as long as they fit the theme: overally your choices work well, except for the metal ramps. They look too much futuristic right now, but you can fix this with a different skin: Static mesh properties -> Display -> UV2Mode + UV2Texture. UV2Mode is the type of display for the skin you'll put into UV2Texture: choose UVM_Skin and in UV2Texture, simply select in the texture browser the tex you want to use for these ramps and click on 'use' in this field. The chosen tex will replace the standard tex without any issue for the performances
The tex you used on the DragonHead static meshes looks slightly overused all along the map, though it's not exactly a problem but you may want to test different ones to put more variety in your design. Same thing for the walls which use always the same brick tex: variety allows to give more personnality to the various areas of a level, therefore improving the orientation/navigation of players and also the aesthetic qualities of your little world. I trongly recommend you to give a try to some others, just to get a precise idea of what it can look like... You can add variety with trimages aswell: with BSP geo such as pillars inlaid into the walls or additional static meshes (like you did in the room of the DragonHeads in fact...). Also, don't hesitate to add borders to hide the transitions between textures when surfaces are perpendicular: check the architecture tutorial of Hourences in the tutorial/utility database for further explanations (it's towards the end of the docu...)
Ceilings are really flat, you know... You can add more stuff to break their monotony and make them less 'empty': whatever you put in there, this will never be an issue gameplay-wise so feel free to fill these areas with everything you think will fit in there. And don't forget to put variety from one ceiling to the other: it's a keyword in map-making. Otherwise, you should really add support for the various ramps you put in your map, especially the ones which have a pair of Health Vials on: they seem floating and don't look realistic at all right now (yes, I know, it's Unreal and your map is rather oriented fantasy, but if the environment is not believable, players will have difficulties to immerse themselves in, therefore a minimum of realism is always required...)
Lighting requires work: because I was bored, I took the liberty to rework your map :D I'll be more than happy to send it to you if you want to check out the settings I used, I'll just need your e-mail adress for this (unless you prefer another solution, in this case just let me know and we'll see...): overall result is rather nice but it's also a matter of taste ;)
05-10-2003, 10:54 PM
I took your new Beta 8 version for a test-drive, playing it the first time thru in DeathMatch and then in the Team Deathmatch gametype, both set to your default player load of six players. In the Deathmatch one, it starts out at a really very fast pace!! (I'm not sure if you can set the defaults for each gametype, but if you can I'd think the setting in the Single Deathmatch should be set to 4, and leave the 6 for the Team Deathmacth.) Overall, I thought this map was pretty good! You're done a great job with it! Though the one thing I didn't like, was getting trapped in a corner a number of times, when I went for the Rocket Launcher...maybe that side entrance could be made into a ramp. Plus, maybe my mind is playing tricks on me, but it seems that the MachineGun fired sooner and quicker in this map...and since I'm just learning about UED v3.0 I'm not too sure where I would go to check if there is a script being used or not. :confused:
Also I followed a bot around the map for a while and noticed that he / she never went to the upper-levels for the Sniper Gun or the Double Damage Power-up! On the other hand...they play like hell-spawn demons in the lower levels of the map! :p
Below I just had to put together a screenshot of all the Super Kool Special Effects you've placed all thru in this map...maybe it will encourage others to test / check-out this map!! :D
05-11-2003, 02:18 AM
Gui, thanks again for the analysis, I would be very interested to see your modifications to the lighting...my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I agree on the overuse of the oscillating blood texture, I think it works on the dragon heads and the pit below the super shield. I was running out of ideas...hehe. I'll investigate some different skins for the ramps (I presume you mean the stairs below the dragon heads). And thanks for the pointer on the borders tutorial, I will check that out.
SpottedTiger, some comments on gameplay...
This map was designed to play 1v1 and up to 3v3 TDM, tho it should play fairly well in reg DM with up to 8 (fast paced with that many players). I originally had the ramps connected going up to the damage amp and had the bots going there and to the LG. Since then, I made it more difficult to get to those, and haven't fixed the bot AI yet. I think it will take a hammerjump spot to get to the amp...and not sure yet how I will handle the LG...prob just make the lift go up another level as well. Is it possible to make bots do a lift jump? Anyone know?
The rocket launcher corner...that was done somewhat on purpose, to separate the large and small shields...but I suppose I could turn the side opposite to the 50A into a ramp. The thing is...right now, skilled players can take several shortcuts around the map using the boost. You can boost across the RL atrium to get to the 50A, boost over the minigun atrium, and boost from the LG to the amp. You can also boost from the floor of the RL up to the 50A if you know how. The catwalks up by the dragon heads...requires a standard dodge jump to make it to the other side to get the amp (got to time it right or you'll miss, kinda like getting to the amp on Flux2).
As for the mini firing faster....I'm not doing anything special to cause that.
Thanks for the kudos and tips. I'm still crankin away at it! :type:
Hope to have another version in a few days.
E-mail on its way
The ramps I was talking about are the ones where the Adrenaline pills are put on, on each side of the DragonHead room, close to the ceiling. Maybe 'ramp' wasn't the good word though...
As for your flat ceiling, you may find interesting to use a different texture than a base one. The Abaddon package presents some nice things which may fit your theme adequatly. Combined with an appropriate Static Mesh usage, you'll get interesting things
Something I fogot to mention in my mail is that textures have a huge impact on lighting: this is why I replaced the brownish-orange tex of the floor by something more white. Like this, floor is brighter and allow a better visibility as well as a better understanding of space and the environment. It's particularly useful for dark settings like yours
For this same reason, replacing some wall texs can be a strong plus 'cause the one you used is rather dark but it's up to you anyway
Keep us informed of your next changes but take your time: it's your best friend in mapping ;)
05-11-2003, 05:01 PM
When furnishing a home, it is best to purchase everything from the same tier of stores...never mix and match high quality with low quality. The reason being...all low quality furniture can still look very nice, but add one piece of high quality in a room, and suddenly everything else looks like shiite.
I just redid one of the walls with a different texture and a bunch of embedded meshes. Now the rest of my map looks like a garbage heap. :(
Might be a while before I post the next version. ;)
Originally posted by Gui
take your time: it's your best friend in mapping ;)
:D :D :D
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