Thread: Fort_Gorgon (Version 1)

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  1. #1
    Registered User Encephalon Injury's Avatar
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    Fort_Gorgon (Version 1)

    Welcome to Fort Gorgon!


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    A top secret military research installation hidden deep in the scorching heat of the Mojave desert.



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    Seek answers to terrifying questions about mans place in the universe by slaughtering the personnel of the facility.


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    Wade through the results of failed experiments and other-worldly monstrosities as you delve deeper, hoping to find proof the your friends carried deeper into the facility still live!


    In all seriousness, Fort Gorgon is a very small test map that I created while playing around with hammer and trying to learn the ropes. I'm posting it here hoping for some feedback in creating better, more engaging levels. Any advice or criticism is welcome, just hit me with whatever comes to mind while playing the level.

    http://scmapdb.com/map:fort-gorgon

  2. #2
    Super moderator Hezus's Avatar
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    Re: Fort_Gorgon (Version 1)

    Not bad for a first map! As you said, it's small and simple looking but a lot of more complex elements are already in there, such as elevators and trains. So good job there! My first map never looked as good as yours, lol.

    But since you wanted feedback on to do a better job at mapping, here's what I've got:

    When you put your map in a zip file, it's good to start with the /svencoop_addon folder. This way people can easily unzip the package into their SC installations and everything will go into the right place. You can also add extra config files, so you can determine what start loadout your players will have. This way you don't have to put your weapons on the floor at the spawn. Check out some of these other CFG files from official maps in the /maps folder. You can also put in a briefing with a MOTD or adjust the monster damage with an SKL file and so on. More info about that here: http://www.svencoop.com/manual/mapping-config.html

    As for the map itself, from the start point the wpoly registers over 1100, which is just within acceptable limits but is too high for such a simple looking map. That means you'll have to learn a bit more about the way the engine works and what are good and bad mapping techniques. I've recently written a large piece about that here: https://forums.svencoop.com/showthre...p-Optimisation This will surely give you some better understanding and tricks!

    I've noticed some other stuff, like the way the cylinder hole is cut at the end (with the train). It looks like it's been carved into the wall and all kind of dodgy effects start happening. It's always better to create geometry from scratch with blocks, since carving and cutting can lead to messy geometry like in your case. Which leads to bad performance, as you can see from the above tutorial.

    Some of your crates float in the air when the one below was destroyed. To fix this, make sure the crate below targets the crate above it once it's destroyed. They will then break simultaneously.

    Also, I got stuck between the blue and orange pipes and the window pane (near evil Otis). Some clip brushes can fix that (see tutorial above!).

    Right after the Otis, you have some transparent fences. You've probably used the additive render mode on them. This makes them totally see through. What you want to use is the SOLID mode and FX amount of 255. This will only then make the blue parts of the texture transparent and not the full texture.

    Some of the grunts near the big mirror thingy (?) jump over the edge and stand on the blue pipes. If you give the grunts a monsterclip flag and set up a few clip brushes along the edge, they will not pass over.

    I've noticed some texture misalignment here and there, but that's minor stuff. What I did find troublesome was the amount of light inside. It looks like you've used texture lights. Did you use a RAD file or the light_surface entity? In any way, it could use a bit more light inside the facility. It was too dark for my taste. It seems you've pretty much used the same light type everywhere. Mix it up a little with different types, different colours and brightness amounts, to make the map look more vibrant and realistic.

    If you need some more specific feedback on your mapping technique, I would be willing to take a peek at your RMF file and see what I can help you with!

  3. #3
    Registered User Encephalon Injury's Avatar
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    Re: Fort_Gorgon (Version 1)

    Thanks for the intricate reply! I know this is late, no idea why I put off replying to this.

    The wpoly issue was due to me trying a little experiment with terrain on this map, which you can barely see. There are an absolutely massive amount of clipped brushes right at the beginning.

    The light issue was one of the most worrying for me. I really like using texlights since I like stuff to look nicely lit and atmospheric, but I had a hard time finding a good balance in this map. It seemed like I really couldn't get the texlights bright enough to light up the areas of the warehouse no matter how high I set them.

  4. #4
    Still learning wolf-3d's Avatar  
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    Re: Fort_Gorgon (Version 1)

    @ Encephalon Injury

    re: texlights brightness - In case you did not know, they are a bit "hit and miss", with some "light textures" a brightness of 200 gives sufficient light, other "light textures" may need a brightness level of 4000+ to give of a reasonable amount of light. (Exactly why IDK - Other than experience in trying different numbers/textures/experiments.)

    Also in passing Textlights, where Historically more important pre-SC 5.0, when mappers where hamstrung with a Entity limit of 400/512 (Normal lights count towards the entity limit, whereas texlights themselves do not. [Any "switchable textlights" needed switch entities but in general you could save a lot of entities]. )

    As per Hezus, [and SC 5.0+ with the new 8,000 entity limit] you are freer to "get your light atmosphere" more realistic, sexy or whatever.

    Keeping an eye on wpoly and epoly plus "game play ability". The balance between "surprise, fun, pace, new features and atmosphere" is becoming more relevant for what is normally considered a "Great Map" but then again "tastes are different" and some of the recent popular maps are little more than "grind based" box rooms with new AS weapons.


    In terms of a first map - Congrats, as getting any half decent map out is an achievement in itself. (Many mappers take years to get to release or are afraid of criticism/perfectionists/never quite find the time.)

    SC over all success is largely determined by the "Many different types" of maps available and by our constantly changing and evolving player base. (Some players prefer box room mayhem and will rage quit at the first sign of a puzzle, other players are the exact opposite.)

    PS: Welcome to the Forums.
    Regards
    Wolf-3D

  5. #5
    Super moderator Hezus's Avatar
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    Re: Fort_Gorgon (Version 1)

    Good to see you're back. I was already wondering why you weren't replying to your own thread anymore

    About the lighting issue: I've written a bit about texture lighting here. Check out the part on light_surface!

    You can in theory fully light a big room with 1 texturelight if you just put the value extremely high like (10.000), but it also comes down to the size of the brush the texture is on. Small brushes emit smaller lights than larger brushes (since there is less surface to cast light from). On most of my regular ceiling lights I use a value of 1500 or 2000, to make it seem realistic. If the room is still too dark, it mostly means I have to put in more lights. Or add different lightsources, like sunlight coming through a window or smaller lights on the walls.

  6. #6
    Registered User Encephalon Injury's Avatar
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    Re: Fort_Gorgon (Version 1)

    Thank you very much! I'll definitely have to do more experiments with texlights to see how to make them work to my advantage, the usage in this map was pretty basic. I'm going to try reading through the lighting tutorial Hezus linked and fixing this map up again at a later date, and fix the wpoly issue too, which at least won't be that hard since I know exactly what's causing that.

    Thanks for the welcome too, i'm hoping to create some fun maps once I have more free time and get into the swing of using hammer.

  7. #7
    Registered User Aurora's Avatar
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    Re: Fort_Gorgon (Version 1)

    I am so glad to see a new face join the club.
    Quote Originally Posted by RetroFish View Post
    Hey guys remember when maps/games were made because the creator wanted to make them, and not because of what people wanted to play?

    That was great.

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