[WIP] Second map! - Need some feedback

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OjitroC
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Re: [WIP] Second map! - Need some feedback

Post by OjitroC »

These are the invisible walls I mentioned in an earlier post - the walls with the SeriousSam clip texture.

ed02.jpg
The tower room is obviously not accessible with a translocator from the area beyond the wall on the right.

ed01.jpg

The nearest invisible wall in the lower screenshot truncates the pillars as seen here

ed03.jpg
   
Auto merged new post submitted 51 minutes later
UnrealWarrior wrote: Sat Jul 22, 2023 2:30 am
One point to consider - if you feel that the map doesn't play well, then why do you think that? What is it that leads you to feel that? Analyse that and see if you can address those factors that lead you to that conclusion.
Now that the map is available, check the "first floor" (where the large pool is). You can feel that the floor is too "linear", there's isn't too much variety to it, just a room followed by another room.
Personally I think that is OK - the first floor with the pool is the central point of the structure - to me it fits in well with the overall design concept - the large space gives the opportunity for long distance combat (in particular with use of the sniper rifle) as well as closer range 'battles'. If you want to break it up, you can use plants/planters and/or ornamental stone structures (something that 'flows' from the type of structure/space this is)?
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Re: [WIP] Second map! - Need some feedback

Post by UnrealWarrior »

I've been out for a while due irl stuff and I'm back now :) Sorry if I didn't reply earlier.
I give it that it looks... adequate. Not great, but good enough and serviceable, especially for a 2nd attempt. Not sure why people say it looks great or impressive...
Well, I'm aiming for a "good enough" maps. You learn a lot when you're making new maps, but you gotta start small, for me, I've always wanted to bigger, cooler maps even though I don't have knowledge or experience with mapping (as I stated, this is my second map).
Swimming is usually considered bad due to how slow it makes the player and thus open to attacks. However, using it like this, I can get behind this idea. The alignment of the waterfalls could be a bit better, and the texture doesn't match with the pool either
I agree, but It's a quick way to get to the bottom floor, I think. Player won't use that road that much since, for now, there's nothing there of value (like a Damage Amplifier or Big Keg O'Health). The texture is kind of tricky like you said but it can be fixed. (the water fog doesn't show in the level like in DM-ArcaneTemple, not sure why.)
you could try UEs inherent fog or try if particle effects could hide it a bit.
I never used particles, but how can I use them?
If you have similarly looking areas in a big map they could be mistaken to be in a different spot than they actually are. You have already taken SOME steps to prevent this through use of architecture, but not through lighting
I always make sure that every room is unique (I try to), with different angle, small, large...etc. As for the lighting. I wanted the outside to be yellow-ish, and the walls that faces the sunlight from the skybox to be even more yellow (like it's really hot out there lol). Looking back now, some places looks very horrible, especially the lighting. I also wanted to create "shadows", but couldn't do it.
Last for this first screenshot, the architecture. Some of it is already really nice. You could still break up the ceiling and floortiles a bit more by adding some support beams and lining and trim the doorways. Doesn't need to be a lot but it will add a lot to the overall feel of the map and make it feel less "cubic"
True, the doors needs some improvements. But the more the map become larger, the long it takes to build it up. It become frustrating to build everything everytime you wanna change something.

SCREENSHOT 2:

At the beginning, I wasn't planning on making the bottom floor (the lower area where you have to go to through the water area). But it happened. As you can see, the first floor with the pool is the one I made first, it looks squarish in my opinion, also 512 units high which makes it almost impossible to jump between floors even with the jumpboots. The floor with snake is my favorite as it has some good fighting scenarios even though some of the can be a little bit large.

The outside area(the one with no way to get up :p) has some, but true, but not a lot of them. I added the small "shrines" but I forgot to add the jumpboots there to get to the upper area. As I said, this was a mistake by me when I was designing the map.
For this map I encourage you to break up the floor here and there, place a plant in between the cracks, place a small podest here and there to make it less even. For future designs you probably want to see if you can break up the floor policy a bit. If I had to give an example
I'm not sure I get this, but if i'm correct, you mean that some areas are "large" and you need to break the empty space with decoration?
The skybox has outlines which hurt immersion. Could try to scale the skybox very slightly to hide those a bit (try 1.01 - 1.05 and realign).
Didn't know how to fix that until I posted it here. So, thanks!

SCREENSHOT 3:
The snake is a neat idea, I dig it.
First of all, the snake looks goofy (look at it without the lighting lol). and the brush itself is broken. I don't how to "revolve" the brush while going "up" at the same time.
if you use more than light per lightsource. Remembering the teachings of DavidM, he used multiple per source - 1 very bright very low radius for making the source look like it's illuminated, one medium brightness medium radius one for actual illumination of the area and one low brightness high radius (32 - 64 usually) to simulate light tracing around the room via ambient lighting
Actually, this is a good idea. I was going to "unlit" the fire surfaces to make the look bright, but i'm gonna try this! :D
Can also use general ambient lighting give your map a base brightness but that's something you have to be VERY careful with.
True. because in some places like complex brushes or broken floors looks very dim.

Lighting is complex if you want to make something good. I was impressed by some maps where the lights cover all place yet they don't look very bright. Same goes for botpathing. They can be very tricky.

I really apperciate the reply :) You really had good points about the map now that i'm looking at it after two weeks. But the map got larger than I thought. I should've stuck with smaller maps until I get the hang of everything at a basic level. I started making maps in 2021, and this is all what I've released because I wanted to make the best looking/bigger map with little experience. It became really frustrating to change something in this map. same goes for the lighting.

When I started adding lighting, most of the brushes were "solid", after adding some lighting, the entire map broke. HOM everywhere. It's not a good idea to go after maps like these with little experience, like they say, "start small". I made a small map, not the best though, but focused on gameplay more than "looks" which i'm gonna post soon.   
Auto merged new post submitted 17 minutes later
...although one of them was set a bit low so his feet are in the ground.
Is there a way to keep the Nali in "permanent" animation? (I want him to keep meditating forever) for the ambient sound :p

Yep, not botpathing, horrible lighting and design lol. I posted this map to get some feedback about the overall design of it. It didn't look it plays well imo...

@sektor2111 : Nice! :D I thought the skybox was broken until you guys fixed it. Thanks!
You can use Tools -> Replace Textures (Ctrl + 4) for that.
Whoa! It worked! :D
That map has 63 zones. If it was only one zone more, zone properties would have been unpredictable.
The universe could've ended...Disaster averted!
Curious, what zones? If I added another one, what could've happened? :p I once added brushes takes the entire graph to try and break the game lol

These are the invisible walls I mentioned in an earlier post - the walls with the SeriousSam clip texture.
Because there was not point going from there, and you get stuck easily (there's nothing there). I've put those invisible walls to prevent players from going there.
The nearest invisible wall in the lower screenshot truncates the pillars as seen here
"Semi-solid" brushes surfaces becomes 'invisible' sometimes. You have to "build all" so they can become visible again.

I hope I replied to everyone :) And thank you all! I really appericiate the feedback about this map. I probably gonna take a break from this for while as I'm completely burnt out from mapping (also irl stuff). As I said, I worked on this for months but didn't turn out the way I wanted. It's fine, will fix it the best I can when I comeback :)
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Re: [WIP] Second map! - Need some feedback

Post by Swanky »

UnrealWarrior wrote: Thu Aug 03, 2023 4:40 pm I've been out for a while due irl stuff and I'm back now :) Sorry if I didn't reply earlier.
I give it that it looks... adequate. Not great, but good enough and serviceable, especially for a 2nd attempt. Not sure why people say it looks great or impressive...
Well, I'm aiming for a "good enough" maps. You learn a lot when you're making new maps, but you gotta start small, for me, I've always wanted to bigger, cooler maps even though I don't have knowledge or experience with mapping (as I stated, this is my second map).
It's all good, especially for a 2nd map. Seen much, much worse. Though I agree that starting smaller to get the basics right might be a better way to start. Big maps hard to detail and balance.

you could try UEs inherent fog or try if particle effects could hide it a bit.
I never used particles, but how can I use them?
It's an external file that adds them in. Good way to practice inclusion via myleveled files (works for other things than textures too but a bit finicky to get right). Maybe someone has a copy on the offhand for you to use as I don't. On second thought, might be worth trying to replace the upflowing water with it alltogether.

If you have similarly looking areas in a big map they could be mistaken to be in a different spot than they actually are. You have already taken SOME steps to prevent this through use of architecture, but not through lighting
I always make sure that every room is unique (I try to), with different angle, small, large...etc. As for the lighting. I wanted the outside to be yellow-ish, and the walls that faces the sunlight from the skybox to be even more yellow (like it's really hot out there lol). Looking back now, some places looks very horrible, especially the lighting. I also wanted to create "shadows", but couldn't do it.
Shadows are notoriously hard to do in UE1, especially sunlight ones. I use spotlights with high radius and brightness for sunlights (multiple of them to better simulate directional lighting), then soft lights or ambient lighting for the dark areas. The good thing about spotlights is that they usually crash the editor less when you try to move them (always do this in wireframe mode, then render before switching back!).

Last for this first screenshot, the architecture. Some of it is already really nice. You could still break up the ceiling and floortiles a bit more by adding some support beams and lining and trim the doorways. Doesn't need to be a lot but it will add a lot to the overall feel of the map and make it feel less "cubic"
True, the doors needs some improvements. But the more the map become larger, the long it takes to build it up. It become frustrating to build everything everytime you wanna change something.
The bigger the project, the longer it'll take. Sometimes happens on complex smaller projects as well. Just take your time, take breaks. I have layouts from 10 or 15 years back lying around somewhere...

For this map I encourage you to break up the floor here and there, place a plant in between the cracks, place a small podest here and there to make it less even. For future designs you probably want to see if you can break up the floor policy a bit. If I had to give an example
I'm not sure I get this, but if i'm correct, you mean that some areas are "large" and you need to break the empty space with decoration?
What I mean by this is that the floor is flat and uninspiring and thus boring to look at. At the same time, having it just being flat makes for boring gameplay, so it's good practice to break it up for gameplay and visuals a bit in places. Also, long stretches of open places strongly favor hitscan weapons such as snipers and shock rifles and should thus be used careful and / or sparingly.

Can also use general ambient lighting give your map a base brightness but that's something you have to be VERY careful with.
True. because in some places like complex brushes or broken floors looks very dim.

Lighting is complex if you want to make something good. I was impressed by some maps where the lights cover all place yet they don't look very bright. Same goes for botpathing. They can be very tricky.
You can merge complex brushes if their surface is flat and their texture aligned. This will make lighting look smooth. Option should be somewhere in rightclicking on brush frame -> polgyons -> merge.
As for botpathing, there used to be a few decent tutorials but I guess they've been lost to time. The gist of it is - at least for the very basic stuff - every playerstart and item you add has its own node and inventory, so you only have to fill in the in between with pathnodes. Generally, their reach is around 400 units and bots, while possible in extremely rare constellations, won't like using anything smaller than 128³ spaces. For specific stuff you should look at maps that do it and see how the special nodes are placed and what their settings are. You can check the option of showing paths in the window panel options. Unless this was changed, blue means it works, red means it will work in fringe cases and should be changed. As said, unless this system was changed in community patch releases.
No, I still don't trust any kind of automated script doing this.

I really apperciate the reply :) You really had good points about the map now that i'm looking at it after two weeks. But the map got larger than I thought. I should've stuck with smaller maps until I get the hang of everything at a basic level. I started making maps in 2021, and this is all what I've released because I wanted to make the best looking/bigger map with little experience. It became really frustrating to change something in this map. same goes for the lighting.

When I started adding lighting, most of the brushes were "solid", after adding some lighting, the entire map broke. HOM everywhere. It's not a good idea to go after maps like these with little experience, like they say, "start small". I made a small map, not the best though, but focused on gameplay more than "looks" which i'm gonna post soon.   
Auto merged new post submitted 17 minutes later
...although one of them was set a bit low so his feet are in the ground.
Is there a way to keep the Nali in "permanent" animation? (I want him to keep meditating forever) for the ambient sound :p

Yep, not botpathing, horrible lighting and design lol. I posted this map to get some feedback about the overall design of it. It didn't look it plays well imo...
Happy to help. Occasionally. :>

These are the invisible walls I mentioned in an earlier post - the walls with the SeriousSam clip texture.
Because there was not point going from there, and you get stuck easily (there's nothing there). I've put those invisible walls to prevent players from going there.
It's a very open map and not everything is walled off properly. This can confuse players and create inconvenient situations when someone manages to sneak up top. It also blocks any and all projectiles. I think you can also use blockactors for it. I remember using those in place of ICHs but I've forgotten the correct settings for them.
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OjitroC
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Re: [WIP] Second map! - Need some feedback

Post by OjitroC »

UnrealWarrior wrote: Thu Aug 03, 2023 4:40 pm Is there a way to keep the Nali in "permanent" animation? (I want him to keep meditating forever) for the ambient sound :p
You could just use the Nali's meditating sound in an AmbientSound actor (or a DynamicAmbientSound actor if you want periods of slience)?
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Re: [WIP] Second map! - Need some feedback

Post by Barbie »

UnrealWarrior wrote: Thu Aug 03, 2023 4:40 pm Is there a way to keep the Nali in "permanent" animation? (I want him to keep meditating forever) for the ambient sound :p
I did similar: A Nali ghost doing some animations. Adjust the code to your needs.
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Re: [WIP] Second map! - Need some feedback

Post by sektor2111 »

Adding a decoration with the mesh of Nali + Ambient sound for it and... animating decoration with MapGarbage, simple as that. No codes, no science, no muscles are needed.
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OjitroC
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Re: [WIP] Second map! - Need some feedback

Post by OjitroC »

sektor2111 wrote: Fri Aug 04, 2023 3:07 pm Adding a decoration with the mesh of Nali + Ambient sound for it and... animating decoration with MapGarbage, simple as that. No codes, no science, no muscles are needed.
Neither of the Nali are in an area that is accessible by Players so all that is needed is an AmbientSound?
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Re: [WIP] Second map! - Need some feedback

Post by sektor2111 »

Let me know if you can mess a "BlockAll" (or a simple static decoration) added, visible and animating and sounding and lightning and... so on... :omfg:
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Re: [WIP] Second map! - Need some feedback

Post by jmartin »

Nice looking map. Although I can't give it a rating for originality, the construction, textures and play-action are 10's.
Only his second map? Wow, cause it's better than a lot of guys' tenth map.

A+

Can't wait to see the next one. :tu:

BTW guys, don't forget to tip your mappers.
As a single friendly compliment can often yield up to 100 hours of inspiration.

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Re: [WIP] Second map! - Need some feedback

Post by Baardman »

Can you tell me how you made all those shapes?