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  • oRGy's Pretentious Map Tips

    Here are some shitty pearls of wisdom I sent to Dalai ages ago when he was making a map. I might add some more later. Har, Rar.

    1) Make sure any building you design makes some sort of functional sense. Eg a bank will have vaults, but it will also have customer desks, areas where the officers work, break rooms, storage rooms, etc. The part of the feeling of being "thrilled" in Thief is that butterflies in stomach emotion one gets when one is trespassing on someone elses premises, and these premises must be convincing instead of DM like abstract spaces.

    2) Keep ambient wind noises and such higher above the player or where they can't get to, or where you might reasonably expect wind noise to come from.

    3) Texture consistency both inside the map and between maps in general is a good idea. Also the default (flats) cobble texture sized to 0.5 should be used for streets unless there is compelling reason otherwise. 0.5 gives greater shadowmap detail also. As oRGy is a design genius, oRGy maps = canon maps (though Thief maps>oRGy maps)

    4) Please don't use the door textures from ThDoors.utx for unopenable doors in front of houses. Use the ones in ThCity.utx>Doors instead. This helps players distinguish between doors that can be opened and those that can't, therefore avoiding frustration.

    5) Always make lit up windows a) have the lit version of their texture and b) have their brush with bright corners selected.

    6) "Deeper" windows look thiefier than shallower windows. (ie 16-32units recess rather than 8)

    7) Never stretch textures. Looks shoddy. Fit brushes to window texture size, repeat the texture, or make a new one.
    7b) Except to use the Align To Floor function on arches, that is.

    8) Nice skyboxes - use the ThSkybox stars texture for stars (its 256*256 instead of unreals 128*128, ergo more detail), the one from Th-Folly is the best in Thievery by a fair bit I reckon. Copy teh technique.

    9) Electric lights should be brighter than torch lights. Electric lamps should have a faint light blue or green hue. Standardise light settings for various light fittings across the level so the player knows what to expect and for thematic consistency.

    10) Anything that looks good in Thief looks good in Thievery. The engine is almost the same, functionally.

    12) For gameplay featurey lights, make sure the floor has some 0.5sized texture to increase the shadow detail so players can appreciate it and react to it better.

    13) Make things like pillars and added decorative brushes semi-solid, wherever possible - it reduces the node count and therefore helps performance.

    15) ZONE your map. Ideally every room should be a seperate zone, unless you are running out of zones (limit: 64.) Speeds up processing and allows more interesting reverb properties, and events.

    16) Use animated water textures instead of the unanimated ones.

    17) If you can, invent a history and plot behind your buildings that makes sense and that you can refer to. (Not like I did this personally or anything...) More believable is more immersion and shiat.

    18) Break any of these rules rather than do anything outright barbarous.

    Ciao Ciao...
    Red Guard
    Thievery UT

  • #2
    good stuff..... so a .5 texture skale will leave better shadows? i don't get it O_O

    ps orgy...just in case you played my map and saw those doors that was 'unopenable'...they do open :lol: ..just gotta find a switch
    http://profiles.myspace.com/users/7360475
    -=:ToB:=- / :]eDe[: Site: www.endarkend.net
    -=:ToB:=-Forums: www.endarkend.net/phpbb/
    -=:ToB:=-PayingSins (TUT MAP)- http://www.endarkend.net/downloads/m...oB_Payback.zip

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    • #3
      Yea, its a feature of the engine. The smaller you scale a texture, the higher the shadowmap precision on that face will be.
      Red Guard
      Thievery UT

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      • #4
        Maybe a mod could sticky this? This is going to be some useful stuff! Thanks!!!

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        • #5
          I've noticed people putting Sheet Zone brushes inbetween doors(movers). Why are they doing this and how can you get the zone brush to move along with the mover?

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          • #6
            (makes sense)

            You can't change zones dynamically. Putting a zone portal inside a door may improve occlusion time slightly from both sides: as the player can't see the portal, the game doesn't make calculations for the zone beyond it. I think...

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            • #7
              So all I have to do is place plain Zone Portal at the doorways to "seal off that area"?

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              • #8
                Interesting. What happened to 11) and 14) though?

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                • #9
                  Thanks, Orgy.
                  JM

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                  • #10
                    I'd just like to add:

                    19) Don't place hot coffee half off the edge of your mousemat near to the keyboard. *cough*

                    20) Don't use that ambient wind noise that makes us all claw at our ears (and iirc, there are several of these)

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                    • #11
                      Yeah, thanks for the tips.
                      It gets me to want to start mapping for Thievery.

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                      • #12
                        Good tips all around. Although, I think more than 16 units looks ridiculously thick for a window.

                        21.) Use trim when ever possible. Make it around platforms, doorways, windows, around the top and bottom of walls, etc. Makes rooms and walls more pleasing to look at and realistic.
                        (AKA Dresden)
                        Despite all my rage, I am still just a dwarf in a cage.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NeoPendragon
                          Good tips all around. Although, I think more than 16 units looks ridiculously thick for a window.
                          Now that I think about it, you were probobly talking about the acual subtractive brush for a window, and not the mover itself right? Then yes, 16-32 would be about right.

                          (The mover part should be 8 UUs IMO.)
                          (AKA Dresden)
                          Despite all my rage, I am still just a dwarf in a cage.

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                          • #14
                            Thats right, the recess.

                            Movers are generally most effective at 4 units thick, though they tend to get finicky and sometimes make me quite uneasy, grid wise.
                            Red Guard
                            Thievery UT

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                            • #15
                              I have another tip.

                              22.) If you want your mechanical movers (elevators and movers triggered by switches, etc) to fit into the Thief universe, make them slow moving and generally primitive feeling. Unless there is some specific gameplay reason, like the elevator in Aquatone. It would take forever to get to the top if it was slower.

                              But the lift in th-Theatre's workshop I would've slowed down a bit and given it more primitive sounds.
                              (AKA Dresden)
                              Despite all my rage, I am still just a dwarf in a cage.

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