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PostSubject: [WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2]   [WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2] Icon_minitimeFri Mar 13, 2009 5:00 am

Phoenix's first semi-completed map. I've been working on this for a few months now and im pretty proud of it. I'd say its about 80% finished. Only touch up, adding more meshes, and overall game play to do then its finished.

Background Story:
You are flying in your Spacecraft when suddenly you are knocked out of space by some unknown missile defense system. You crash land on a frigid planet to discover your ship is now unusable and your Planetary Warp device has had its main core stolen. You then recover its drive and repair it, then warp to the closest Warp Device. After stepping out you see a tropical planet. You set up a base camp, and head out to look for supplies. The locals are wary of you, and attack. You have no choice but to bomb their base to stop the attacks. After you successfully took them out, you see on a map of the sector a nearby warp drive that you will take you to an unknown facility. You then turn on its core, and head through. You arrive in some underground basement, and see a lift in front of you. Up you go. Now more people are trying to kill you. Tough day. You notice a small security gate blocking an exit. Lower the gate and head through. Now once again you arrive on yet another strange planet, that after calling for reinforcements, discover is some mining planet. What? They are attacking again? Why does everybody hate you today? Now you've had enough. Steal the first plane you come across, and get the hell out of there!

Thats the story behind PlanetWarp. It was originally going to be a map where you grab a dropship (hence the repair the vehicle sort of objective at the start) and then pick up your teammates and fly to that island planet. It didnt go as planned and ended up like this Very Happy

Size = 36MB (Yup, its quite a large map and has a few custom textures)
New Textures - Yes
New Meshes - No
New Weapons - In the next release
New Vehicles - In the next release

Im using the water shader from X-Isle as for now. May change in the future. You need the ECE Bonus pack to play. Lastly you may notice a performance hit on older machines on the Island part of the map.

Apart from that, Enjoy!

[WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2] Screen1
[WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2] Screen2
[WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2] Screen3

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PostSubject: Re: [WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2]   [WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2] Icon_minitimeFri Mar 13, 2009 10:39 am

The map does not show up in-game and starting it with a double-click terminates UT2004.exe with a generic runtime error. UT2004.log is empty. UnrealEd reports two missing packages. APVerIII_ST and APVerIV_ST. If you upload those packages I can start a little bot-stomp romp on the map. Smile

The icy terrain should have it's ground layers scaled up a bit so they don't repeat as often. Open the TerrainInfo's properties, go to TerrainInfo -> Layers -> The layers you wish to scale up -> increase the value for UScale and VScale.
The fence around the generator is missing a post. I know the model only has a post on one side so it may be a bit of a hassle to make one for the left-over side, but I think it would be worth it.
Judging by the size of the actors the area seems fairly small. At one spawn the cliffls look as if they could be jumped over by players, but there is nothing behind them. There are many places where players can see behind the cliffs because they don't really fit.
I assume that the lighting and decoration here and in the elevator part of the map is WIP, so I will comment on that later, when a new version of the map is released. How are you going to handle the fluid surface? Will players be able to drain the lava sink?

I had to grin about the in-joke about Xan. I won't spoiler it here. Very Happy
Some parts of the underground facility are so dark that bad lcd screens are going to have trouble displaying them correctly. If you would lightem up a little more you could eliminate the full-black and the dark parts wouldn't look so washed out. If you have a CRT or a good LCD you probably wouldn't notice such issues, but on bad lcd screens it looks horrible.
The lava-tubes (?) should emit a little light.
All in all I didn't like this area all that much because it's all just one cubic room/corridor after the other. If you could break up that shape a bit somehow it would look much, much better.

The island part seems fairly finished, so here are some thoughts on possible improvements:
In the island part the terrain is very steep on both sides of the volcano so the path looks like it's unpassable but the painted on path indicates it is traversable. You could make the paths a little less steep and maybe carve them in a tiny bit just so they look more convincing.
The wall-meshes you used have ugly streched textures at both of their ends, which isn't a problem as long as they end into another wall, a hill or a pillar, ... In your case some just end in the open so their end is visible. You should try to hide that somehow. The wall part that can be blown up isn't close enough to the other walls so you can look in and out of the compound on one side of it.
The mini-island where the defenders spawn has really cool stones on it but they don't match up with the terrain perfectly so one can see under them. It would probably be easier to have them match when the island was a little flatter and it would look more realistic too, maybe.
The blue underwater sand texture was a great idea but it should be scaled up a bit, like the ice textures on the terrain in the ice part.
You could add fords between some of the islands.
I'm not sure if people are going to notice in the heat of action, but the transition between the shallow water around the island and the deep water in the open sea around it is a bit too straight. It would look better if this was curvier. Not just small curves as you already got those, but big curves.
The lighting from the lava pit could be improved by making it brighter near the lava and darker in the rest of the cave.
What's the thing over the lava?
I'm not sure about overall the lighting. On the one hand, color and brightness fit well with the rest of the theme, on the other hand everything is lit very evenly. A little more pronounced shadows could help. It might be worth a try.
The general look of the area is great though. The skybox, fog-ring, distance-fog and choice of textures fit really well.

The performance problem on older machiens you talked about seems to be mostly due to the high-res terrains. Half the resolution should easily do the same job but would only have a quarter of the performance impact! Hourences (he made Rankin and countless other great maps) wrote a terrain tutorial and in it he said that some people opt for a terrain resolution with which one terrain-segment is about as big as an adrenalin pickup. While it isn't that high-res in your case, he said it is enough in most cases if a terrain-segment is as big as a Goliath tank, and your terrain is a lot finer than that!
I'd say, just finish your map if it runs fine on your pc and when you are done give it to someone with a weak machine and see how well it runs on it with a couple of bots. If it runs bad, decrease the terrain resolution.

If you have an xbox you should try to get a hold of a copy of Brute Force. It's not a great game (it's fun if you play it co-op with a friend and you don't take the game too serious) but its level-design reminded me a bit of the elevator area in your level. It has rocky lava levels and alien crystal planets in the later game and you used both elements in your elevator part. You might be able to get some good ideas from the game.
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PostSubject: Re: [WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2]   [WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2] Icon_minitimeFri Mar 13, 2009 8:53 pm

Ah, i have used the AP SM and textures for a plane in the crystal part. It drops off the bender that falls to the attackers to get to the end. I've been meaning to scale up both the sand and ice textures for the terrain but haven't got around to it. Same with the cliffs, just haven't had time as i've been trying to script a few things for the map. I know the fence is missing a post, just haven't found any nice meshes to go around it. I'm pretty awful at modeling so i don't think i could add a post. Never really thought the area was small actually. Only thought of it as more of a beginning area that was supposed to be over and done with quick. Might make it bigger, and add a waterfall and river to the water. The underground place was supposed to be dark, as if it wasn't used and decrepit. Probably will add a new light, and keep the orange tinge to the map going. That strange thing over the lava is the same core and emitter in Mothership. When you trigger the panel at in the cave after blowing the base up, it turns on the emitter and it looks pretty cool with a giant ion-ish thing coming out the top. To be honest i've never been good at mapping small indoor fighting areas. Only outdoor areas i can do, as i love to terrain. Would it look better if i changed the main room there to a Hexagon? Or perhaps change the area leading to the last place as a sewer line and cylindrical BSP? About the bot-pathing, its about half done. I moved the defender spawns over to that far off island and haven't repathed it so they know where to go. The attacking side however can get up to the underground facility.

Thanks for the advice!

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PostSubject: Re: [WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2]   [WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2] Icon_minitimeFri Mar 13, 2009 10:36 pm

Cylindrical sewer sounds good. Anything but cubes really.
I don't know if you know my map CTF-Wasnuni. Here is a thread with screenshots and download links if you are interested and here is a link to the review at UTUnlimited. Even though I broke up the cubic base-shape with the ceiling and the many walkways in the walls the map was critisized for looking too much like cubes - and it does! I'm in love with my map and if someone says it looks too much like cubes I'm inclined to respond it's supposed to look like that, real places are made up of cubes too, what'S so bad about them anyway, etc. pp. But I also know that if I downloaded that map and saw I too would think that this looks too cubey for my tastes.
If you really go with just cubes, without breaking them up at all, you might get some flak. Certainly not from non-mapper friends, who have no clue about mapping and are just astonished that you could make something in 3d at all; maybe not from players, who got onto the map because the server changed to it and they care more about what they experienced on the map (like a funny kill or a tight match) than about what the map looks like, but certainly from other mappers and definately from reviewers!

For the lighting:
Multiplayer has different requirements for the lighting than singleplayer. While dark areas in singleplayer maps can enhance the atmosphere and create a scary mood, players need to be able to see each-other in a multiplayer game. Especially in a fast game like Unreal Tournament. In UT2004 playermodels are lit extra though so they should be somewhat visible either way and in the end it's your choice anyway. Maybe I wasn't clear enough about what I meant above: Dark is fine (if you know what you are doing and you know what effects it has on mood and gameplay and you intentionally want to achieve these effects), you just have to eliminate pitch-black parts!
On the one hand, if there is a light somewhere in the room no part in the room would be pitch-black in real-life because of refracting light. Example: If you switch on the light in your living room, even the area under the table will be lit a bit. It would be pitch-black in Unreal!
Apart from being unrealistic there is also the problem of cheap LCD monitors, I mentioned above. The cheap ones can't display pitch-black and will substitute it with a dark grey. This dark grey that is used as substitution for full-black is sometimes brighter than the darkest grey that can still be displayed! This means that areas that are full-black will appear a little brighter than the areas surrounding it, but there won't be any detail in the "full-black" areas as they would normally be full-black. The mind sees them brighter though so it wonders why it can't make out any details there and it just looks horrible.
See, I'm not saying pitch-black parts in your map look horrible in general. That's your decision as an artist. Just due to technical limitations they may look horrible on some people's monitors. Here are two images to illustrate this effect. I faked this as best I could with a graphics program. Taking screenshots on a bad LCD wouldn't help because technically the image looks normal, it's just the monitor that screws it up but the screenshot is taken from the gpu, where it still looks ok. I just grabbed a screenshot of Doom 3 from google and manually replaced full-black with dark grey in a graphics program. Here is the original:
[WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2] Doom3
By xMurphyx
As you can see it's pretty dark, but that's intentional. The devs wanted to create a certain mood with this and they suceeded, in my opinion.

This is what it would look like on a crappy LCD:
[WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2] Doom3crappylcd
By xMurphyx
Only the full-black parts are replaced by the substitution-grey, which looks really awkward where full-black blends into not-full-black. Like on the ground in the foreground. Also areas in the upper right in the background look pretty light to the eye but there are no details in them (as they would normally be full-black) so it looks strange and washed out.

All you have to do is eliminate the full-black. You could use zone lighting with a brightness value of five or six. This would not make the level appear much brighter but it prevents this from happening on bad monitors.

Apart from the darkness discussion I think it would be worth your time to read this excerpt from Hourences' book where he talks about various aspects of lighting in games (specifically UT). It's a good read with many illustrations (often contrasting bad examples with good examples).
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PostSubject: Re: [WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2]   [WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2] Icon_minitimeSat Mar 14, 2009 1:25 am

Thanks for the tips, i'll touch up the lighting tonight then. Heres the link for the missing files:

download the one that says Air Power 3.2. Actually thats a nice mod for UT2004, and im only using a plane as a mover TBH

EDIT: Forgot to mention, on the last objective that underground base with the entrance covered in lava. The lava isnt supposed to be there but im not quite sure how to not display a certain part of a FluidSurfaceInfo.
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PostSubject: Re: [WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2]   [WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2] Icon_minitimeWed Apr 01, 2009 5:15 am

Touched up quite a bit, the first zone has been scaled up, and a little secret added to it! The last zone at the last objective has been revamped a bit. The zone with the lift now has an experimental fog in it. Not sure if it will look good or not, will have to find out. Started work on an opening Matinee, most of which im going to scrap as i hadn't a clue what i was doing and redo it. A few more blocking volumes and such. I'm going to add quite a few secrets to my map to keep people interested and maybe a few custom classes here and there. Tell me what you think. I hope its better than the last.

To Do List:
  • Add far side to volcano entrance
  • Make gameplay smoother
  • Import Watercraft boat to island area
  • Touch up more
  • Add more emitters to make it look nicer
  • Maybe some birds flying over the island?
  • Other General items

Haven't added any new textures or stuff since the last release, so its only the map file this time.
Clicky Here ------> Download!
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PostSubject: Re: [WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2]   [WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2] Icon_minitimeWed Apr 01, 2009 1:25 pm

I can't get it to work.Sad
Here is the UT2004.log
Log: Log file open, 04/01/09 12:07:20
Init: Name subsystem initialized
Init: Detected: Microsoft Windows XP 5.1 (Build: 2600)
Init: Version: 3369 (128.29)
Init: Compiled: Nov 23 2005 16:23:34
Init: Command line:
Init: Character set: Unicode
Init: Base directory: E:\Spiele\UT2004\System\
Init: Ini:UT2004.ini  UserIni:User.ini
Init: Build label: UT2004 Build UT2004_Build_[2005-11-23_16.22]
Init: Object subsystem initialized
Log: Splash screen filename is '..\Help\UT2004Logo.bmp'
Log:    nv4_disp.dll/NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT
Log: Game class is 'GameInfo'
Log: Bringing Level Entry.myLevel up for play (0) appSeconds: 8.714000...
ScriptLog: GameInfo::InitGame : bEnableStatLogging False
Log: Browse: NvidiaLogo.ut2?Name=MonBère?Class=Engine.Pawn?Character=Diva?team=255?Sex=F?Voice=XGame.MercFemaleVoice
Log: Collecting garbage
Log: Purging garbage
Log: Garbage: objects: 27953->27953; refs: 284101
Log: Game class is 'CinematicGame'
Log: Bringing Level NvidiaLogo.myLevel up for play (0) appSeconds: 12.000000...
Log: (Karma): Autodetecting CPU for SSE
Log: (Karma): Using SSE Optimizations
ScriptLog: GameInfo::InitGame : bEnableStatLogging False
Progress: Exporting As-PlanetWarpBeta2...
Warning: Failed to load 'MissileLaunchTrigger': Can't find file for package 'MissileLaunchTrigger'
Warning: Failed to load 'As-PlanetWarpBeta2': Can't find file for package 'MissileLaunchTrigger'
Warning: Failed to load 'LevelSummary As-PlanetWarpBeta2.LevelSummary': Can't find file for package 'MissileLaunchTrigger'
Warning: Error loading As-PlanetWarpBeta2 !
Progress: Exporting AS-PlanetWarpBeta...
Warning: Missing Cubemap Cubemap AW-Cubes.Cubes.MesaEnv2
Warning: Failed to load 'APVerIII_Tex': Can't find file for package 'APVerIII_Tex'
Warning: Failed to load 'APVerIII_ST': Can't find file for package 'APVerIII_Tex'
Warning: Failed to load 'AS-PlanetWarpBeta': Can't find file for package 'APVerIII_Tex'
Warning: Failed to load 'LevelSummary AS-PlanetWarpBeta.LevelSummary': Can't find file for package 'APVerIII_Tex'
Warning: Error loading AS-PlanetWarpBeta !
MusicPlayer: Removing file from playlist 'Neue Wiedergabeliste' - file not found
Log: ALAudio: Using DirectSound to record audio.
ScriptLog: New Player MonBère id=d60ac87e9b293b0c32c08a3b986eec3c
Log: Opened viewport
Log: Couldn't bring window to foreground.
Log: Enter SetRes: 640x480 Fullscreen 0
Log: Using back-buffer format 22(32-bit)
Log: Using depth-buffer format 77(32-bit)
Log: Creating device
Log: xD3DHelper::Init (QuadEmulation)
Log: Startup time: 12.975000 seconds
Log: Precaching: NvidiaLogo.LevelInfo0
Log: Static mesh batches: 508608 vertex bytes, 110460 index bytes
Log: Allocating 16384 byte dynamic index buffer.
Log: Finished precaching geometry in 0.168 seconds
Log: Finished precaching textures in 0.070 seconds
Debug: UT2k4MainMenu.Opened()  Sender:Package.UT2k4MainMenu
Log: URL: Adding default option Name=MonBère
Log: URL: Adding default option Class=Engine.Pawn
Log: URL: Adding default option Character=Diva
Log: URL: Adding default option team=255
Log: URL: Adding default option Voice=XGame.MercFemaleVoice
Log: Browse: Index.ut2?disconnect?Name=MonBère?Class=Engine.Pawn?Character=Diva?team=255?Voice=XGame.MercFemaleVoice
Log: Failed; returning to Entry
ScriptLog: UT2k4MainMenu NotifyLevelChange  PendingConnection:False
Log: Spawning new actor for Viewport WindowsViewport
ScriptLog: New Player MonBère id=d60ac87e9b293b0c32c08a3b986eec3c
Log: Static mesh batches: 0 vertex bytes, 0 index bytes
Warning: Gametype UETF.UETFIntroGame found but it has no maps
Debug: UT2k4MainMenu.Opened()  Sender:None
Log: Closed viewport
Log: All Windows Closed
Log: appRequestExit(0)
Exit: Preparing to exit.
Log: Purging garbage
Log: Unbound to Window.dll
Log: Unbound to Core.dll
Log: Unbound to Engine.dll
Exit: Game engine shut down
Log: Unbound to WinDrv.dll
Exit: Windows client shut down
Log: Unbound to D3DDrv.dll
Log: Unbound to XGame.dll
Log: Unbound to IpDrv.dll
Log: Unbound to Editor.dll
Log: Unbound to Fire.dll
Log: Unbound to XInterface.dll
Log: Unbound to UWeb.dll
Log: Unbound to Onslaught.dll
Log: (Karma): Level Karma Terminated.
Log: Unbound to ALAudio.dll
Log: Waiting for file streaming thread to finish...
Exit: OpenAL Audio subsystem shut down.
Log: Garbage: objects: 36648->0; refs: 284101
Exit: Object subsystem successfully closed.
Exit: Exiting.
Log: FileManager: Reading 0 GByte 79 MByte 723 KByte 112 Bytes from HD took 0.863998 seconds (0.667998 reading, 0.196000 seeking).
Log: FileManager: 2.276001 seconds spent with misc. duties
Uninitialized: Name subsystem shut down
Uninitialized: Memory Allocation Status
Uninitialized: Curr Memory  0.214M /  3.934M
Uninitialized: Peak Memory  71.766M /  73.582M
Uninitialized: Allocs        757 Current /  1686828 Total
Uninitialized: Log file closed, 04/01/09 12:07:49

I do have the packages AvPVerIII_Tex and AvPVerIII_ST!
Nothing named "MissileLaunchTrigger" came with my version of the pack. If it's an actor in one of the three files in the system folder I don't understand why it's missing because I have those three.
The old version at least worked in UnrealEd, even if it didn't show up in the map-list in-game. This version I can't even load in UnrealEd. It just quits with this error message:
[WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2] Errorbadnameindex
and produces the above UT2004.log.
Overheating cannot be the problem as my system never overheats and other maps work like a charm.

Can you upload all the non-retail packages/files in a new .zip file together with the map?
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PostSubject: Re: [WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2]   [WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2] Icon_minitimeThu Apr 02, 2009 1:27 am

The AP_III tex files can be found in the post above my last, and the MissileLaunchTrigger was something i coded myself, forgot to import it into the map here it is: MissileLaunchTrigger_u Sorry about that. Just download the AP files and the MissileTrigger and you should be good
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PostSubject: Re: [WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2]   [WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2] Icon_minitimeThu Apr 02, 2009 9:00 am

Ok, I downloaded it again and added your MissileLaunchTrigger.u file, but it still doesn't show up in-game and while I can open it in UnrealEd now, it still gives me a warning message:
[WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2] Loaderrors

In the snow-area:
The crash-site could use some more debris.
The water should have its fog color changed so it looks more like the player is immersed in it. The surface should be two sided as the player can get below it. The color looks more like some sort of waste than water. If this is intentional you could make this clearer my adding a few techy looking barrels and/or a leaking tank somewhere near it and make it do a bit of damage to a player who falls into it. Doesn't have to be much. Just so it becomes clearer that this is some sort of waste. If it's supposed to be water the surface should be more transparent and have a much less saturated color. You could make the lake bigger and make it frozen at the edges.
Some cliffs still have gaps.
The area behind the minigun turret should have a second entrance/exit.
The repaired teleport device could move from its destroyed position to its restored position (with or without some sort of magic anti-grav hover effect emitters) instead of just being there at once.
The center of the gate could display the destination. A cubemap composed of screenshots of the respective destination gate would probably look good. Maybe on an xProcMesh so it's distorted a bit.

My computer froze while testing shortly after I entered the second area. This doesn't have anything to do with your map, however, I'll have to fix that before I go on. I'll take a look at the other sections later today.

The descriptions for the objectives could be a bit clearer. For example, the Minigun Turret could just be called Minigun Turret or just Defense Turret or even just Turret. You called it Minigun, which creates confusion as this is also the name of a weapon. I mean, of course it becomes apparent what has to be done, but it could still be clearer in the description. You should also try to get what the players have to do in-game into the descriptions and not just what their action is supposed to do in the gameworld. Ie, don't just write "Establish Outpost" but try to sneak into the description how players are supposed to do that.
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PostSubject: Re: [WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2]   [WIP]AS-PlanetWarp[UT2] Icon_minitime

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