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Author Topic: Tips  (Read 1302 times)


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« on: 2007-07-23, 14:32:02 »


Any tips or little tidbits of info to share? Any general rules of thumb you
guys use when making a map?


Generally I start by setting the ambient light high, (400 or so) and then start placing all my walls, doors, ramps, etc. I can lay out the archetecture quickly this way since the exports don't take very long. When I'm done that (for the most're never really done ;-), I add one sector to the area I'm going to be adding details to, drop the player start in there, set the ambient light to what I really want, and then start adding the lighting and props. When I'm done with the area I move the sector and playerstart to the next one. This trick keeps the export times down while editing (since embrace only exports areas that are sectored...provided you have the sector flag set in the export dialogue).

The CSG tool is usually not the best tool to use, sometimes it's necessary but I try to avoid it because it tends to make a mess of your brushes on complex objects, which can hinder further editing. Using the clipper tool, while taking more time initially, gives you better control over what the brushes look like, so it can save editing time later (it's also better on floors since fewer brushes on the floor is less likely to confuse the path finding ai). The clipper can also be used to split brushes.

I tend to make my walls 8 units wide for two reasons. A) it's the default grid width ;-) and B) it gives me room to play if I've made any minor errors when creating the basic layout, and still leave room to put sector lines inside the walls.

-- TGrimm

The biggest problem I see in custom maps is the pathing (navigation) through them, so I always advise - if it looks too big in the 3d camera view, then it's probably the right size. Pathing is greatly improved if you make your walls thick (I also tend to use 8, so a doorway is actually 16 if you put two walls together to make a doorway) and your doors tall and wide. Generally, your doors should be 128 units wide and 192 units tall (even though the textures are not that big).

Also, I do all my sectoring last, since if you do use the CSG subtract within sector (to make a door, etc.) you will have a big mess.

And finally, if you are going to add point lights, do that last since the lighting calculation will take the longest during the compile (and probably the longest time to get exactly right :)


Another reason to sector last, is so that it's easier to select things in the 2D window. If you have sectors over your map, and you try to select something in the 2D window, you'll just select the sector.

Which brings up a good point and habit. Use your Layer options dialog to turn off differing items in your map. This clears the work area and can solve the selecting sectors problem. Just type 'L' and click the View Options TAB. You'll see a list of different types of items you can turn off and on again. I usually turn off sectors, regions, lights and entities when building world geometry.

Sectors can also be used during the map editing process to work on one area of a large map at a time. Basically Wall off the area you intend to work in then create one sector that surrounds the outside of the walls. Now go ahead and edit the area. When exporting just select "Use Sectors" and just that one area will be exported resulting in a much faster export operation! A real time saver.


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