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Is it OK to have predominantly BSP in a final map release?

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    Is it OK to have predominantly BSP in a final map release?

    I am most of the way through the shelling out of a level I am working on, having used BSP for everything. Things to note:

    - It is a reasonably small level.
    - The final geometry is going to be very simple; the most complex shape is likely to be a wedge...
    - Pretty much everything in the level is going to be static. I have one lift that is already a static mesh, but it will likely be the only moving thing.

    My question is now that I am ready to muck around with some very simple trimmings (seriously, when I said simple, I mean rectangles creating small notches in walls and stuff like that), what are the things I should consider with a final release? Some things that I think need addressing are:

    - Performance of meshes over BSP. From what I have heard, meshes are more efficient at run time, but will it be a big deal if I am expecting to have around 200
    BSP/mesh actors (can't tell if this is the right word...)?
    - Limitations of BSP. Am I going to get stuck trying to do any design things, such as material application, little bits that jut out of walls, etc?

    I have no problem working with the limitations of the BSP tools, as they address the needs I have. It really comes down to whether there is some major reason/s that would mean a small level made out of BSP would be an issue. Sorry if this is a vague question, I am trying to keep it as technical as possible.
    My maps:

    CTF-DBMBridge: https://forums.unrealtournament.com/...-CTF-DBMBridge
    Feedback: "Not too bloody shabby" - Me

    #2
    Good question and one you'll get different answers to.

    Me, I think it's ok but there are many who won't agree with that. Some will even insist maps with any BSP at all are garbage.

    For the most part the more "competitive" players tend to care less about the looks and more about the gameplay, performance, flow and visual clarity over all else.

    On the other hand new and more casual players tend to get drawn in by looks... But it's gameplay that keeps them playing.

    I can appreciate both sides of the coin. I prefer maps that look good but also perform well with good flow and visibility. I don't like playing maps that while they might look terrific (especially in hi res all epic + AA screenshots) cause big FPS drops, stuttering / input lag or have visibility issues. If I have to choose between looks and gameplay, I'll take gameplay over looks every single time.

    200 meshes or BSP brushes is nothing. Unless they're really complex (high poly) meshes you won't have any performance problems with that. You can however pack more fine detail into meshes with less of a performance hit than with simpler BSP. And unless you go absolutely crazy with extremely complex, detailed BSP brushes, 200 brushes won't be a problem either.
    Last edited by MoxNix; 08-04-2015, 11:45 PM.

    Comment


      #3
      Fantastic reply, thanks for that. Exactly answered my main question of performance. I'm not so concerned with the work flow or anything like that, but i knew that in asking this question there was the possibility of starting a debate.

      I personally like the game play side of things too, but I definitely won't pass up a really good looking level. I do agree with the statement that game play is what will draw people back, and that is the biggest thing I am worried about. I feel that too much visually will distract from the important things in the level such as pickups, the player and the flags. As I have said in other threads, the UT3 low poly maps were by far my favourite levels. And simple doesn't mean ugly!

      Thanks again, I can continue doing what I was doing and rest easy.
      My maps:

      CTF-DBMBridge: https://forums.unrealtournament.com/...-CTF-DBMBridge
      Feedback: "Not too bloody shabby" - Me

      Comment


        #4
        Like Mox said, there's no technical reason that I know of, the question is mostly artistic. Some settings/themes might work OK with BSP core geometry, but it all really depends on the fidelity you'd like to hit.

        Comment


          #5
          I'd say that eventually there won't be any reason to not put meshes in. As more styles become available, I'm sure one will fit whatever you are trying to do with your map. One thing I hope Epic will make is a mesh set that resembles UT99 maps style wise. Like re-imagined assets that could fit into an HD remake of UT99. Liandri assets are cool, but are very distinct and different from how I imagined an HD UT map to look. How would a photorealistic CTF-orbital look? I think it's cool to think about how a photorealistic UT99 might look. How would it be the same and how would it be different?

          Kind of off topic though.

          Comment


            #6
            I suggest you check out how Outpost 23 is done. All the places where BSP would have been enough, they replaced it with a single mesh that simply takes the BSP geometry. They call that BSP optimizations.

            Even if your structure remains very simple, I would advise going the Epic way.
            RASTE IN PEACE !
            Maps: DM-Hydraulics | DM-Affliction
            Weapon: Redeemer

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by cafe View Post
              I'd say that eventually there won't be any reason to not put meshes in. As more styles become available, I'm sure one will fit whatever you are trying to do with your map. One thing I hope Epic will make is a mesh set that resembles UT99 maps style wise. Like re-imagined assets that could fit into an HD remake of UT99.
              We could really use some custom mesh and material makers, just like there were people who released custom texture packs for mappers to use in UT99.
              UT4 CTF Maps: CTF-Whiplash | CTF-Sidewinder | CTF-Highpoint | CTF-Hardcore | CTF-Tubes-Of-Spam

              UT99 CTF Maps: CTF-DagnysBigAssMap-V2 | CTF-Dagnys-P****WhIpPeD | CTF-Dagnys-Dark-Delight-LE102 | CTF-Dagnys-Tubes-Of-Spam

              Comment


                #8
                It seems like I will have to move to meshes at some point then, though is there any issue with simply converting BSP to mesh? That is the option I would take if possible...

                I actually noticed that after the latest package of my map (which is still only using BSP), the framerate seemed to be a little dodgy in game. I'm not on the newest system, but at the same time it is not a complex map, and other ones do seem to run better. I am gonna muck around with converting some things to mesh and see if that fixed my issues with the frame rate.

                I'm unlikely to use a 3rd party program as my modeling skills are non-existent, and I actually don't have one (though I know some are free). The decoration is going to be so simple on my map that it really would be overkill to load up a whole other program if it can be avoided.

                Thanks for the discussion guys, really appreciated.
                My maps:

                CTF-DBMBridge: https://forums.unrealtournament.com/...-CTF-DBMBridge
                Feedback: "Not too bloody shabby" - Me

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by DolphinBuffMan View Post
                  It seems like I will have to move to meshes at some point then, though is there any issue with simply converting BSP to mesh? That is the option I would take if possible...
                  Only issue I found so far with converting bsp to a mesh is when you want to duplicate the converted mesh. This seems to be wonky as the duplicated actor is completely empty.

                  Originally posted by DolphinBuffMan View Post
                  I'm unlikely to use a 3rd party program as my modeling skills are non-existent, and I actually don't have one (though I know some are free). The decoration is going to be so simple on my map that it really would be overkill to load up a whole other program if it can be avoided.
                  I'm in the same boat as you. Making a level but not having any 3D modeling software skills. My modeling skills were non-existent too if you ignore the fact I made maps "modeling" with BSP in UT2004. Over the past 2 weeks I've picked up Blender (free) watching/reading several tutorials and got the hang of it very fast despite I also got a 8+ hour full-time job. It's certainly a nice skill to have to make more detailed stuff.
                  But as you said, if the most complex shape you'll have is a wedge then I guess you'll be safe by just converting the BSP and hope you'll get good collision shapes.
                  DV Gaming - UT2k4 & UT3 RPG mutator

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I'll keep your duplication issues in mind. I can see how that would be an issue, so I am thinking that I might fill out the map with BSP, and then when I am happy with certain sections, I will convert them to meshes. That way I don't have to worry about duplication or anything like that. Thanks for the heads up.
                    My maps:

                    CTF-DBMBridge: https://forums.unrealtournament.com/...-CTF-DBMBridge
                    Feedback: "Not too bloody shabby" - Me

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by nialzinth View Post
                      Only issue I found so far with converting bsp to a mesh is when you want to duplicate the converted mesh. This seems to be wonky as the duplicated actor is completely empty.
                      Works fine for me. I use several meshes I made in the editor by converting BSP to static meshes and have no problem duplicating them.

                      I did have trouble with one such mesh once but I think I just forgot to save the mesh before trying to duplicate it... Made pretty much the same mesh (a simple wooden plank) again the next day, saved and rebuilt before duplicating and had no problems.

                      Also when making meshes from BSP in the editor you have to change "lightmap coordinate index" in the mesh editor from 0 to 1 or they won't light. While you're in the mesh editor you should probably bump up "lightmap resolution" from the default 4 to 32 too. And don't forget to save the mesh.
                      Last edited by MoxNix; 08-11-2015, 11:28 AM.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by MoxNix View Post
                        Works fine for me. I use several meshes I made in the editor by converting BSP to static meshes and have no problem duplicating them.

                        I did have trouble with one such mesh once but I think I just forgot to save the mesh before trying to duplicate it... Made pretty much the same mesh (a simple wooden plank) again the next day, saved and rebuilt before duplicating and had no problems.

                        Also when making meshes from BSP in the editor you have to change "lightmap coordinate index" in the mesh editor from 0 to 1 or they won't light. While you're in the mesh editor you should probably bump up "lightmap resolution" from the default 4 to 32 too. And don't forget to save the mesh.
                        Gave it another try and figured out a bit more. It seems the mesh replacing the BSP when converted duplicates into an empty actor. But dragging in the mesh from the content browser and then duplicating works fine.
                        DV Gaming - UT2k4 & UT3 RPG mutator

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Cheers for the heads up, I will just use it from the Content Browser after saving it to avoid any problems.
                          My maps:

                          CTF-DBMBridge: https://forums.unrealtournament.com/...-CTF-DBMBridge
                          Feedback: "Not too bloody shabby" - Me

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Making more meshes tonight I remembered something else.

                            When I make a mesh in the editor with "convert to static mesh" if I try to drag copy that very mesh (the one it just made, that's in the map) the editor crashes. However if I delete that instance, select the mesh in content browser and drop a new instance into the map, I can then drag copy any instances of the mesh in the map with no problems. It's just the original one made in the map that crashes.

                            Forgot all about that until I made some new meshes tonight, but a few crashes jogged my memory.
                            Last edited by MoxNix; 08-12-2015, 01:40 AM.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Did you ever take a look at the "Hardcore Old-School Low Poly" (HOLP) maps in UT3?
                              They do everything pretty much with BSP, but you know what? They look beautiful.
                              With the right materials you can make a primarily BSP map and have it totally up to par and be a finished product. That being said, your theme options will be somewhat limited; you can't so much that looks rustic or natural.
                              And it wouldn't hurt to add in some meshes for some trim, and some occasional high-detail panels and other decoration. But if the look and feel of a map really suits having low-poly surfaces, then go for it.

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