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    [PROTOTYPE] DM-TheBalist

    Download: DM-TheBalist_a4 (Latest) (Now Drop Box)

    This is a level layout designed for 1 vs 1 arena combat. The latest version has been a complete rework of every area with a stronger focus on level geometry and game play. Static meshes have been taken out and lighting has been greatly evened out.

    All feedback is welcome! Especially videos of game play!

    Full Video Playlist, you can watch this levels creation from the first brush to where it is today complete with full commentary and the occasional rant.
    See the full Playlist here.






    Last edited by Castle; 10-17-2014, 02:09 AM.
    - Russell Meakim AKA The Castle
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjE...JOGtfv1RK2DpNg
    Steemit: https://steemit.com/@thecastle
    Twitter: @zZCastleZz

    #2
    Hey,

    heres my feedback from my first playthrough.
    http://imgur.com/a/3xnN0
    There aresome weird lighting/shadow issues with the meshes, some of them are really broken, maybe something with the UV mapping? Also some of the meshes seem not be entirely in place, creating flickering on screen(pic 1 and 4 (4 is the top level at belt).

    There are some flow issues i found with the map.

    The only way to access the ammo is by walldodging, I'd rather like to see the platform a bit lower so you can reach the ammo by simply jumping.


    (at thighpads) If you want to walldodge to the higher platform you sometimes hit the wallmesh.


    I think it would help the flow of the map if the dodge is possible, atm some cm are missing to get it done. You could move the mesh(on the other side) a little bit outwards and that should fix it.


    The jump is no longer possible, didnt you like it? i think it should definitly be possible.


    The only way to get over the blockade is by walldodging at chest armor, wich is also very inconsitent. I would lower it a tiny bit(make it possible like its in the picture?) or dont you want people to get over it "easily"

    I also had some lighting issues, the map was really dark for me(running everything on low quality). I did try it on high quality and it looked nice, I dont know if that is a Engine issue or a map issue. But on low quality the map is way too dark for me.

    I have to play the map in multiplayer to comment further, but the overall quality of the map is great imo. Its the first map in ut4 that is fully meshed and it still seems somewhat playable to me(constant 80FPS) wich is fine for me.
    Thumbs up from me and expect more comments in near future !


    Edit: could you please upload a .pak version of the map.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Nonemm; 09-29-2014, 08:04 AM.
    Nonemms Music Thread DM-Lea(Youtube Soundcloud )
    Fabian Joosten - composer for media

    Comment


      #3
      Looks like a nice start!

      Haven't gotten a chance to actually try it but one bit of general workflow feedback/advice:

      We generally try to avoid meshing on top of the shell and instead treat BSP as what should ultimately be the collision of the map. Doing it the other way around more often than not encroaches on the original dimensions of the play space and make things a bit more cramped than they need to be. It's harder to wrap your head around sometimes doing it that way but ultimately gives you a cleaner end result that forces you to be a bit more creative with your architecture (i.e. avoiding plastering a wall with a ton of different meshes because it's quick and comfortable and instead think bigger scale that creates bolder architecture that flows/connects with the rest of the map as opposed to being isolated elements).

      One neat trick to help with this workflow is to simply put all your BSP into a separate streaming level so you can easily toggle visibility on/off and have the original dimensions on reference while having the ability to run around in the meshed version without seeing it.

      A good common example of that are trim pieces on platforms that end up hanging over the side of the original space, which can be fine if done deliberately but you also run the risk of changing sightlines of vertical play for the worse and can mean adding things you can bump your head on in the wrong places.

      Another point against high frequency variation of lots of little meshes with a ton of alternating recessions and stand out details is the purely psychological aspect of the map feeling sticky (even if it isn't because you made sure that blocking volumes are making the actual collision nice and smooth). Also keep in mind that unless you specifically set your BVs to block projectiles this will change predictability and usefulness of weapons like the flak primary as the bounce off now becomes more random as it hits those wall details.


      Overall please don't take this the wrong way, there's nothing inherently wrong with what you are doing at all. I'm commenting because I think what you have is great and has the potential to really level up by stepping outside of your comfort zone a bit. It may sound harsh but this is the same type of feedback we'd be giving each other internally to push ourselves, lessons learned from UT3 and all that.

      Keep it up!

      Comment


        #4
        Awesome feedback! Ill get back soon on all of the details. I am especially interested in the idea of reworking the levels geometry and addressing every single point that has been mentioned. The next version of the level I will likely step back and remove the static meshes for now. I want to explore the method that Clawfist mentioned.
        - Russell Meakim AKA The Castle
        YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjE...JOGtfv1RK2DpNg
        Steemit: https://steemit.com/@thecastle
        Twitter: @zZCastleZz

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Nonemm View Post
          Hey,

          heres my feedback from my first playthrough.
          http://imgur.com/a/3xnN0
          There aresome weird lighting/shadow issues with the meshes, some of them are really broken, maybe something with the UV mapping? Also some of the meshes seem not be entirely in place, creating flickering on screen(pic 1 and 4 (4 is the top level at belt).
          Yeah there are a few things like this that have me considering the notion of just getting rid of the meshes and going the full route that epic is doing.

          Originally posted by Nonemm View Post
          There are some flow issues i found with the map.
          The only way to access the ammo is by walldodging, I'd rather like to see the platform a bit lower so you can reach the ammo by simply jumping.
          Ah yeah, I wonder if I should add another side way up so you can use the wall dodge as a short cut or take a ramp from the left side. That might be cool.

          Originally posted by Nonemm View Post
          (at thighpads) If you want to walldodge to the higher platform you sometimes hit the wallmesh.
          Yeah that sucks. The new version ill make sure to get rid of that problem.

          Originally posted by Nonemm View Post
          I think it would help the flow of the map if the dodge is possible, atm some cm are missing to get it done. You could move the mesh(on the other side) a little bit outwards and that should fix it.
          Sure thing!

          Originally posted by Nonemm View Post
          The jump is no longer possible, didnt you like it? i think it should definitly be possible.
          Its still there now but its way harder. I dont currently like it and will make it a bit easier. There is a ledge on the far wall you can jump on then do a wall jump to thigh pads.

          Originally posted by Nonemm View Post
          The only way to get over the blockade is by walldodging at chest armor, wich is also very inconsitent. I would lower it a tiny bit(make it possible like its in the picture?) or dont you want people to get over it "easily"
          I kind of want it to be a meaningful obstacle that requires a bit of effort to get around. Though Its completely within realm to add a small ledge to get over it.

          Originally posted by Nonemm View Post
          I also had some lighting issues, the map was really dark for me(running everything on low quality). I did try it on high quality and it looked nice, I dont know if that is a Engine issue or a map issue. But on low quality the map is way too dark for me.
          Hmm i wonder whats causing this. Maybe once the static meshes are gone ill be able to try and make the level brighter overall without strange lighting artifacts and things of that nature.

          Originally posted by Nonemm View Post
          I have to play the map in multiplayer to comment further, but the overall quality of the map is great imo. Its the first map in ut4 that is fully meshed and it still seems somewhat playable to me(constant 80FPS) wich is fine for me.
          Thumbs up from me and expect more comments in near future !
          Awesome!

          Originally posted by Nonemm View Post
          Edit: could you please upload a .pak version of the map.
          Yeah! the only reason I didn't include it as a pak file this time around is the static meshes wont work if the level is paked. not sure why. No meshes will mean this problem goes away.
          - Russell Meakim AKA The Castle
          YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjE...JOGtfv1RK2DpNg
          Steemit: https://steemit.com/@thecastle
          Twitter: @zZCastleZz

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Clawfist View Post
            Looks like a nice start!

            Haven't gotten a chance to actually try it but one bit of general workflow feedback/advice:
            Originally posted by Clawfist View Post
            We generally try to avoid meshing on top of the shell and instead treat BSP as what should ultimately be the collision of the map. Doing it the other way around more often than not encroaches on the original dimensions of the play space and make things a bit more cramped than they need to be. It's harder to wrap your head around sometimes doing it that way but ultimately gives you a cleaner end result that forces you to be a bit more creative with your architecture (i.e. avoiding plastering a wall with a ton of different meshes because it's quick and comfortable and instead think bigger scale that creates bolder architecture that flows/connects with the rest of the map as opposed to being isolated elements).
            Yeah I really think this is how I need to be going about things. Aim for bolder geometry design in general. Worry less about plastering static meshes on everything.

            Originally posted by Clawfist View Post
            One neat trick to help with this workflow is to simply put all your BSP into a separate streaming level so you can easily toggle visibility on/off and have the original dimensions on reference while having the ability to run around in the meshed version without seeing it.
            For some reason I completely forgot about the separate streaming levels. This is something I had not thought about yet and will seriously try.

            Originally posted by Clawfist View Post
            A good common example of that are trim pieces on platforms that end up hanging over the side of the original space, which can be fine if done deliberately but you also run the risk of changing sightlines of vertical play for the worse and can mean adding things you can bump your head on in the wrong places.
            Yeah, a bit of that already happens in this level.

            Originally posted by Clawfist View Post
            Another point against high frequency variation of lots of little meshes with a ton of alternating recessions and stand out details is the purely psychological aspect of the map feeling sticky (even if it isn't because you made sure that blocking volumes are making the actual collision nice and smooth). Also keep in mind that unless you specifically set your BVs to block projectiles this will change predictability and usefulness of weapons like the flak primary as the bounce off now becomes more random as it hits those wall details.
            I wasn't even thinking about flak bounces. That is definitely something to keep in mind.

            Originally posted by Clawfist View Post
            Overall please don't take this the wrong way, there's nothing inherently wrong with what you are doing at all. I'm commenting because I think what you have is great and has the potential to really level up by stepping outside of your comfort zone a bit. It may sound harsh but this is the same type of feedback we'd be giving each other internally to push ourselves, lessons learned from UT3 and all that.
            There is nothing to be taken the wrong way here. This is valuable feedback and its going to have a big effect on the next version of the map. My current plan is to take a step back and remove the static meshes. Instead I will focus on more bold and cohesive level geometry through brush work.

            Originally posted by Clawfist View Post
            Keep it up!
            Will do!
            - Russell Meakim AKA The Castle
            YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjE...JOGtfv1RK2DpNg
            Steemit: https://steemit.com/@thecastle
            Twitter: @zZCastleZz

            Comment


              #7
              See this if you wish: https://forums.unrealtournament.com/...-Epic-s-builds

              It will allow you to combine everything into a .pak file to release for beta testing.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Jay22 View Post
                See this if you wish: https://forums.unrealtournament.com/...-Epic-s-builds

                It will allow you to combine everything into a .pak file to release for beta testing.
                I tried the pak file program and for some reason when I packed up the meshes they would break.
                - Russell Meakim AKA The Castle
                YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjE...JOGtfv1RK2DpNg
                Steemit: https://steemit.com/@thecastle
                Twitter: @zZCastleZz

                Comment


                  #9
                  Careful with all those static meshes. I feel you're getting close to the point where the pursuit of aesthetic appeal is going to hinder gameplay - one of my biggest gripes with post-99 UT games.

                  I'm already finding myself looking at parts of your level geometry and asking 'can I stand on that?', 'where's the edge of that?', 'does that block players?' and 'what's the collision mesh on that?'

                  Sure, it all looks great in screenshots and videos, but I don't think anywhere near enough consideration is ever given to gameplay in this regard.
                  also known as Humphro

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Diode View Post
                    Careful with all those static meshes. I feel you're getting close to the point where the pursuit of aesthetic appeal is going to hinder gameplay - one of my biggest gripes with post-99 UT games.

                    I'm already finding myself looking at parts of your level geometry and asking 'can I stand on that?', 'where's the edge of that?', 'does that block players?' and 'what's the collision mesh on that?'

                    Sure, it all looks great in screenshots and videos, but I don't think anywhere near enough consideration is ever given to gameplay in this regard.
                    I tend to agree. I would rather go for some real tests (live action, people playing the map in DM, TDM and Duel) of the layout before making art passes. Can be rough to delete half a map to adapt the layout, but with BSPs it's really easier, faster and not heart breaking.
                    RASTE IN PEACE !
                    Maps: DM-Hydraulics | DM-Affliction
                    Weapon: Redeemer

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Castle View Post
                      I tried the pak file program and for some reason when I packed up the meshes they would break.
                      I paked your meshes myself on 0.5 and they work fine.

                      That tool does nothing more than stop the use of a directory outside of paks (it fakes a filesystem for the engine) and prevents people from putting meshes in places they shouldn't.

                      Can you clarify the problem you had?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        had a play of this map last night and it was EXCELLENT 10/10! Good job.
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                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by code187 View Post
                          had a play of this map last night and it was EXCELLENT 10/10! Good job.
                          +1.. I really enjoyed this map too.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Hey Castle.

                            So it looks like this has come a long way since you've originally posted the first version. Great that you've stuck with it and continued your efforts, nice one!

                            I've been running around your map locally today and it looks pretty cool. As rax has now popped it on his servers, I'll be giving it some games tonight in duel! Looking forward to it
                            http://www.twitch.tv/chumbo_

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by chumb0 View Post
                              Hey Castle.

                              So it looks like this has come a long way since you've originally posted the first version. Great that you've stuck with it and continued your efforts, nice one!

                              I've been running around your map locally today and it looks pretty cool. As rax has now popped it on his servers, I'll be giving it some games tonight in duel! Looking forward to it
                              Awesome! I just followed you on twitch and ill keep my eyes on things.
                              - Russell Meakim AKA The Castle
                              YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjE...JOGtfv1RK2DpNg
                              Steemit: https://steemit.com/@thecastle
                              Twitter: @zZCastleZz

                              Comment

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