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Old 03-21-2012, 11:31 PM   #1  
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Default (WiP) Approaching hell [solo/co-op campaign]

Good day, everyone. I'm here to present you the map(s) of my creation.

Campaign Story : Approaching Hell
status: incomplete (57% complete ~ 4/7 maps complete)
  • Map 01: Forsaken Slums
    Status: done.
    Backstory: Sam was on the mission to destroy Mental's communication tower in one of the Egyptian cities, but his chopper was shot down. Thankfully, because he didn't wear his seat-belt, Sam survived the crash. But now he is all alone in the enemy-occupied territory, and he still needs to complete his mission: to destroy that damn tower. Without a suitable transport, he'll have to get there on foot, but, before that, he has to find himself some cool guns to blow alien's heads, and find a way out of these forsaken slums...
    Statistics:
    • Enemies: 364 (Tourist & Easy) --- 371 (Normal, Hard & Mental) --- 374 (Serious)
    • Secrets: 8
    • Achievable score: ~298 000 (Tourist & Easy) --- 305 000 (Normal, Hard & Mental) --- ~307 000 (Serious)
    • Saves: 9
    • Level Boss: Eradicator biomechanoid @ parking area

  • Map 02: Downtown
    Status: done.
    Backstory: Sam manages to clear his way out of the slums, but this doesn't mean that the rest of his mission to destroy Mental's communication tower will be easy - the aliens now know that he is here and that he is serious, so the opposition Sam faces in the downtown is stronger and more bloodthirsty than before.
    Statistics:
    • Enemies: 535 (Tourist & Easy & Hard & Serious & Mental) --- 539 (Normal)
    • Secrets: 9
    • Achievable score: ~730 000 (Tourist & Easy & Hard & Mental) --- ~731 000 (Normal) --- ~735 000 (Serious)
    • Saves: 7
    • Level Boss: 100 kleer skeletons @ final street
    Known issues: not that great performance, but I really don't know how to fix it

  • Map 03: Premises
    Status: done.
    Backstory: Sam has cleared the downtown part of the city as is now just a couple of blocks away from the communication tower he needs to destroy. Unfortunately for our hero, Mental sends still more of his troops in in hopes of stopping the piny human that dared to fight against him.
    Statistics:
    • Enemies: 289 (Singleplayer) --- 298 (Multiplayer :: Tourist, Easy and Normal) --- 308 (Multiplayer :: Hard, Serious and Mental)
    • Secrets: 6
    • Achievable score: ~350 000 (Singleplayer) --- ~390 000 (Multiplayer :: Tourist, Easy and Normal) --- ~ 400 000 (Multiplayer :: Hard, Serious and Mental)
    • Saves: 4
    Known issues:
    • Not that great performance, but I really don't know how to fix it;
    • Also, sometimes a chopper activated by one of the secrets gets stuck (this happens roughly 1 time out of 6). Don't know how to fix this one either.

  • Map 04: Mental's tower
    Status: done.
    Backstory: After a lot of struggle, Sam finally reaches the communication tower he needs to destroy, but what's that? - the tower is now surrounded by some sort of a force field that needs to be turned off first. After fighting lots of Mental's minions, Sam manages to deactivate all four generators that power up the force field, so now he can take care of the tower itself. Of course, he still had to fight even more monsters... But even with the tower finally destroyed, Sam isn't allowed to relax as the Alcor class warship appears and the new fight starts... It wasn't easy, but Sam manages to scare the spaceship off, and now his mission there is finished and all he needs to do now is to find some way to go back to the HQ... Luckily, someone left a working chopper nearby.
    Statistics:
    • Enemies: 315 (Singleplayer) --- 333 (Multiplayer)
    • Secrets: 5
    • Achievable score: 2 175 000 (Singleplayer) --- 2 335 000 (Multiplayer)
    • Saves: 9
    • Level Boss: Alcor class spaceship
    Known issues: not that great performance, but I really don't know how to fix it

  • Map 05: Desert Run
    Status: alpha release - download separately
    Backstory: Having successfully destroyed the communication tower, Sam was flying back to the HQ, when his chopper broke, leaving him in the middle of the desert, not far away from an ancient temple. Good news? NETRISCA detected a hidden passage starting inside one of the temples; this passage will let Sam escape this hotzone. If only reaching it was easy...
    Statistics:
    • Enemies: ... too lazy to count just yet
    • Secrets: 10
    • Achievable score: 600 000-700 000
    • Saves: 11
    • Level Boss: 27-45 (depends on the difficulty) Khnums @ final area (before the grand temple)
    Known issues: this level has several lighting bugs

    Warning: you need to have Solais's monster pack from 08.04.2012 or a newer one to run this map

Download link: Download current version of the "Approaching Hell" campaign (v0.57) --- "Desert Run" map (standalone)
How to install? : just copy the *.gro file you've downloaded into the /Content/SeriousSam3/ folder. If you have such file already, overwrite it with the newer one. Make sure that you have Solais's monster pack there as well.

Screenshots:


And not exactly screenshot:

You can also download single-map version of this campaign (has poor optimization):
download "Mental's Tower" map v0.40 [not optimized]

Last edited by NHunter; 11-24-2012 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:34 AM   #2  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

Checked it in in the editor, it is not bad at all! The size is really quite huge and I love how different parts of different levels are tied together! I'll give it an actual playthrough later when I have time, but I'm really excited to see an actual proper SP/Coop map that seems to be complete.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:22 AM   #3  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

If it's complete you shouldn't be calling it alpha 0.10 then. Screenshots do look good though. Is there an actual tower to explore, or why the name Tower?
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:07 AM   #4  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finzy View Post
If it's complete you shouldn't be calling it alpha 0.10 then. Screenshots do look good though. Is there an actual tower to explore, or why the name Tower?
Hmm... While it's already a bit playable, it's far from being truly complete - I need to balance it (you have far too much ammo in some locations, some monsters need updates tactic-wise, there are no multi-player items, there is no proper lighting, etc... MOST IMPORTANTLY, I need to make the level finish automatically [you did this in your map, can you tell me the trick?]). Still, maybe you're right, and it's not alpha already, but it is neither RC yet.
But thank you ^_^

The tower is that alien-looking thing in the fourth screenshot. It has four terminals at its base that player needs to activate to destroy it (and summon the boss in the process).
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:01 AM   #5  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

I used a chapterinfo entity with a next level set. To make the level finish to the main menu, I guess you need a script (maybe you could take a look at the last CT level to find it).

Also, alpha 0.1 implies that only 10% of it is done, and since you already have it mostly planned & mapped out and only missing some misc. stuffs, the version number should be higher imo. Of course you can use any weird naming convention you like, but I personally stick to a strict percentile ratio.
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:10 AM   #6  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finzy View Post
I used a chapterinfo entity with a next level set. To make the level finish to the main menu, I guess you need a script (maybe you could take a look at the last CT level to find it).

Also, alpha 0.1 implies that only 10% of it is done, and since you already have it mostly planned & mapped out and only missing some misc. stuffs, the version number should be higher imo. Of course you can use any weird naming convention you like, but I personally stick to a strict percentile ratio.
The problem with end_level ChapterInfo is that it doesn't look any different script- or property-wise from any other one --- I have looked into the custom map that ends properly, and saw nothing special... Will try to look at it again, maybe I really had missed something...

As for why 0.10 --- because it doesn't end properly, it's really far away from being complete. Though... maybe you're indeed right and I should update the version to something like 0.50
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:15 PM   #7  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.15 out]

Posted a minor update with some fixes.
For the actual list of what was changed/updated and for the link to the new version of the *.gro file, go to the first post

BTW, am I blind, or there is no edit option for the thread title?
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:32 AM   #8  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

Go advanced when editing the very first post and change the title there where it says "(WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha v0.15 out]".
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:39 AM   #9  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solais View Post
Go advanced when editing the very first post and change the title there where it says "(WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha v0.15 out]".
It edits the title of the post and not the title of the thread - if you haven't noticed, post's topic already was set to 0.15 earlier.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:00 AM   #10  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

Weird, it worked for me. Hmm.

Btw, I'll look on your level, maybe I can bake it some lightning.

Last edited by Solais; 03-23-2012 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:58 PM   #11  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

>>Here<<

I've baked the lightning. I've also fixed the CubeBackground. You're the second person who are setting the CubeBackground up badly, putting the whole level inside it. This is WRONG. You just have to place the CubeBackground on the level, and that's it, it works instantly. Who is telling you guys about using the CubeBackground like this? He is very wrong.

I also fixed the level end, it ends now properly. (At least, I think I fixed it. Maybe it was you.)

Since the background was a stormy sky, I set the lightning to be dark. It's not perfect, there are a few black seams here and there, but to be honest, there are less than I imagined it would be. They are barely noticeable. I kinda forgot some black buildings in the beginning, just resize the probe light there so they are lit up.

As for the level... Wow. Just Wow. This is the longest SP Custom level for SS3 right now, and it's incredibly good! The fact that you made a long City level, something even I don't want to attempt (that survival level I tried to make turned out horrible as well, that's why I decided to flood it ). I commend you, sir, for your achievement. I welcome you among pro mappers of this forum.

For some bugs and things:
- There are plenty of floating buildings on the map.
- The Khnums use the LeggedCharacter, so they can be hurt by any of the weapons. Is this intentional?
- I think you should tweak the encounters, there are a few encounters where enemies just really clutter together.

And the biggest problem: Optimization. Most of the time, the map runs with a 5-12 FPS for me. You really have to set up Visibility sectors to optimize it. I don't have time to explain it, you can maybe find some info about that. Or you can ask Mischievous, he taught me to map, so it's guaranteed that he's the best!
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:27 AM   #12  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solais View Post
>>Here<<

I've baked the lightning. I've also fixed the CubeBackground. You're the second person who are setting the CubeBackground up badly, putting the whole level inside it. This is WRONG. You just have to place the CubeBackground on the level, and that's it, it works instantly. Who is telling you guys about using the CubeBackground like this? He is very wrong.

I also fixed the level end, it ends now properly. (At least, I think I fixed it. Maybe it was you.)

Since the background was a stormy sky, I set the lightning to be dark. It's not perfect, there are a few black seams here and there, but to be honest, there are less than I imagined it would be. They are barely noticeable. I kinda forgot some black buildings in the beginning, just resize the probe light there so they are lit up.

As for the level... Wow. Just Wow. This is the longest SP Custom level for SS3 right now, and it's incredibly good! The fact that you made a long City level, something even I don't want to attempt (that survival level I tried to make turned out horrible as well, that's why I decided to flood it ). I commend you, sir, for your achievement. I welcome you among pro mappers of this forum.

For some bugs and things:
- There are plenty of floating buildings on the map.
- The Khnums use the LeggedCharacter, so they can be hurt by any of the weapons. Is this intentional?
- I think you should tweak the encounters, there are a few encounters where enemies just really clutter together.

And the biggest problem: Optimization. Most of the time, the map runs with a 5-12 FPS for me. You really have to set up Visibility sectors to optimize it. I don't have time to explain it, you can maybe find some info about that. Or you can ask Mischievous, he taught me to map, so it's guaranteed that he's the best!
Great, great, great, great thanks for lighting, man!
My laptop just hungs and stop responding when it comes to calculating bounces - the most I could get was like 17/1000 before it all stopped working and I had to do reset for the laptop as I couldn't even summon Task Manager to kill the process.

OK, now onto what you've found out:
  • CubeBackground - I used my intuition there, no one advised me anything. When I was little, my *.bsp map editor required the background cube to contain the whole level inside, so I assumed something similar was there as well. Well, looks like I was wrong, thanks for opening my eyes.
  • Floating buildings... if those as outside the player's path - let them be as they are, no one is hurt by them. If those are on the player's path... I'll have to do some search for them as I though that all buildings that really mattered were standing firmly on the ground.
  • Khnums as LeggedCharacterPuppets. Don't think this was intentional. Most likely the cause of this is my laziness to go to where there is a proper khnum (there should be a couple of those) and just copied the nearest legged character and reset it to look and act like Khnum.
  • End level - not sure who did this, as in v0.15 I set the SignalEvent("End game") function after the last chapter is activated. According to some sources, this is how you should end the level (signal event). But, maybe, this was actually your doing something, not sure.
  • optimization... yeah, I know it sucks at the moment. Mostly because of the particle effects used. (I still can run on 12 FPS in editor and over 35 in actual game, so it's hard for me to notice) I reset them to be seen only at close distances, so it should help a bit. Custom visibility sectors... will look into those. But still don't expect good optimization till v0.75 or something.
  • Cluttering enemies in the fights... I'll look into those.
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:47 AM   #13  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

Those buildings are in the way where the player goes. They are all the same models btw, so maybe there was something wrong with that. There are quite a lot, and all in the path of the player.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:52 AM   #14  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solais View Post
Those buildings are in the way where the player goes. They are all the same models btw, so maybe there was something wrong with that. There are quite a lot, and all in the path of the player.
For some reason, I can't see any 'flying' models at the moment. I'll look into this a bit later... Maybe then I'll see the problem myself

Also, found some black streaks left from the lighting. Fixed those with some FastLight entities. Should work fine.
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:39 AM   #15  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

Here and Here are two pictures I've taken.
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:59 AM   #16  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

I see... I also found them when I played the map in game ---> for some reason the models of the bases are ticked not to appear on easy difficulty. Same is true for some garages.
I'll fix it now
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:00 PM   #17  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

Ah so that was it. I met them since I played it on Easy difficulty.
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:03 PM   #18  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

Anyway, while I haven't looked into optimization yet, I'm still uploading the new version (v0.35). The link and the list of changes are in the first post. And I still can't update thread's title for some reason...

Warning: Optimization in this version suck really badly. Do not expect to get more than 20FPS without really powerful computer. You can download and try this version, but you better wait for the optimized one. Hopefully, it'll be up in a couple of days.

--------------

Edit: Actually, on the second game I got rather good FPS. Not sure which result is the real one, though, so, if you do not own super-gamer's-PC, wait for the optimized version
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Last edited by NHunter; 03-24-2012 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:55 PM   #19  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

You wrote that more enemies will be added. Is this for the count, or maybe the types as well? If you don't know my works, I can tell you that if you click that link in my signature, named "Mapping Resources", you can find my New enemy pack there, along with such things as the new ammo crate pack as well. Just as a suggestion, if you want more enemy variations or types, or want crates for every ammo type, or just a +200 Health item.
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:10 PM   #20  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solais View Post
You wrote that more enemies will be added. Is this for the count, or maybe the types as well? If you don't know my works, I can tell you that if you click that link in my signature, named "Mapping Resources", you can find my New enemy pack there, along with such things as the new ammo crate pack as well. Just as a suggestion, if you want more enemy variations or types, or want crates for every ammo type, or just a +200 Health item.
I already have your monster pack. And I'm thinking about replacing the normal monsters from the warship's spawns with yours (well, most of those -- I'll leave my arachnoids as they are)...
Actually, now that you've reminded me, your lazergun-soldier has some model problems with the weapon: it disappears at greater distances, just like your terminator arachnoid does. And both of your new soldiers have bugged behaviors, or at least that was like this when I tried them.
No, I meant some extra monsters for co-op games. Maybe I'll also remove/decrease numbers of some for the easier difficulties. And do more monster-related balancing.
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:27 PM   #21  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

What kind of bugged behaviors? The rocket soldier should be using the Shotgunner behavior and the laser should use the Rifleman behavior.

As for models disappearing, those are not my responsibility, that's how Croteam made those models. Annoying, I know. At least for the laser soldier, only the weapon model disappears, not the whole enemy, like with the Terminator.

One thing I suggest for the warship: Maybe add some enemies that spawn not from the warship, since the warship is actually very easy to defeat with the Cannon.
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:36 PM   #22  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solais View Post
What kind of bugged behaviors? The rocket soldier should be using the Shotgunner behavior and the laser should use the Rifleman behavior.

As for models disappearing, those are not my responsibility, that's how Croteam made those models. Annoying, I know. At least for the laser soldier, only the weapon model disappears, not the whole enemy, like with the Terminator.

One thing I suggest for the warship: Maybe add some enemies that spawn not from the warship, since the warship is actually very easy to defeat with the Cannon.
Rocket soldier was coming way too close when I tried him --- honestly, he started firing only when he was like just 20 meters away... And you know about weapon model disappearing, OK.

As for the warship fight... I'll look into this. Anyway, I can always make it spawn with more hatches and more monsters at one go --- not 1/2 as I have now, but more like 5/6 or even more. I can always tweak the spawning monsters so that the player has to pay them more attention.
This will require experimenting.
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:39 PM   #23  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

Well yeah, since the rocket soldier uses the shotgunner behavior. Maybe I'll make it a separate behavior that fires from more afar later.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:13 AM   #24  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

Beta v0.40 [not optimized] now available. Download link and the list of changes are in the first post.

Custom Visibility Sectors optimization will be added into the next update 'cause I need more time to set the visibility groups properly.


And why I still can't update the thread title???
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Last edited by NHunter; 03-29-2012 at 02:49 AM.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:02 PM   #25  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

Great! I will check it out as soon as possible.

BTW, It's nice to see another mapper on this forum.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:34 PM   #26  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

After some playing with visibility sectors I came to a conclusion that if you want a fast working map that still has all of the details from the original, I'll have to split the original map into several (likely three; each about 20-30 minutes of gameplay long) chapters. Also, I have an idea for three more chapters that will let me tie together this project with the canon campaign (my maps will become a small prequel to campaign).
If, though, I don't split this map into parts, you will like still have a huge and slow-working monstrosity. But the final decision is yours by voting.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:42 AM   #27  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

Well yeah, using vis sectors can be a pain in the ass, especially in a city map. As for splitting it? Sure, if that's how you see it.
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:03 AM   #28  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

Looks cool
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:31 AM   #29  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

Definitely go for the split if it means better performance. There are also other benefits such as being able to change the theme of the level on the fly (e.g lighting, music, etc). Maybe have the time of day change each map for instance.
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:02 PM   #30  
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Default Re: (WiP) Mental's Tower [campaign/co-op][alpha 0.10 out]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finzy View Post
Definitely go for the split if it means better performance. There are also other benefits such as being able to change the theme of the level on the fly (e.g lighting, music, etc). Maybe have the time of day change each map for instance.
Well, performance is much better < in editor as the cut into parts version is not ready for the real in-game test > : I get up to 70 FPS for the free-flight camera in editor for the chapter'ed version while the original map barely showed 25 in the most of the locations. Also, the chapters' *.wld load so much faster (20 sec. at most as opposed to almost 2 full minutes for the 'full' map version).

And I agree that for such a big map it is better to have zones with different environment settings. while it if possible to do different music themes for a single map, changing lighting and 'day time' requires splitting. So, definitely, I'm going with the chapter'ed version.
And it also allows me to redo some of the fights to add more variety to them. expect the triumphal return of the beheaded firecrackers

as for the chapters:
[1] Forsaken slums --- From the beginning of the original map till that short backstreet where you fight two scrapjacks and many clones. Slums part is also expanded a bit as some new elements were added to the map. The number of the secrets is likely to remain 6 for this chapter. Daytime is set to be late afternoon.
[2] Downtown --- From where the first chapter ends till after the mass kleer-khnum fight. The only changes will be some new secrets and different sky (pre-stormy).
[3] Mental's tower --- From where second chapter ends till the end of the original map. The only change will be some new secrets and slightly modified final fight.
[4] Desert run new --- This map starts when Sam's borrowed chopper runs out of the fuel in the middle of the desert. The concept of this chapter is not finished, though.
[5] Night among the ruins new --- continuing the previous chapter. Expect something a bit like "The last man on the Earth" for the first part of this chapter and something like the end of "The dark bride" for the second half.
[6] Back to the civilization new --- the final chapter. Sam fights his way to the EDF headquarters. Just to arrive when HQ loses the contact with team Bravo in Cairo. Cue canon campaign
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Last edited by NHunter; 03-31-2012 at 02:24 PM.
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