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Post Info TOPIC: DM-HardFall


Unreal Old Friend

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DM-HardFall
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Update! RC4 fixes some issues with bots and online kismet. It also includes changes based on the other feedback in this thread. RC5 has an additional change to try to get the kismet traffic working online. Get the latest here:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4156719/DM-HardFall-RC5.zip

________________________________________

My map DM-HardFall is near final. I am just working out a couple issues with online kismet, etc. Feedback is welcome.

You can download release candidate 3 here:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4156719/DM-HardFall-RC3.zip


Now a few screenshots...



More information and screenshots are available in the development thread at BeyondUnreal:
http://forums.beyondunreal.com/showthread.php?t=180996&goto=newpost



-- Edited by SuperAlgae on Friday 14th of May 2010 07:24:50 PM

-- Edited by SuperAlgae on Saturday 15th of May 2010 08:40:40 AM

-- Edited by SuperAlgae on Tuesday 8th of June 2010 06:56:18 AM

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...ǝp¡s ɹǝɥʇo ǝɥʇ uo

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welcome to the RC Finals hell section :p

-- Edited by Bl!tz on Wednesday 28th of April 2010 10:58:05 PM

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Thrallala, thanks for the feedback. Here are my replies to your comments in my intro thread.


1. The music, for me. Music in UT3 maps is supposed to like get me going, to motivate me to kill some bots! the track you're using feels pretty boring and slow imo :P

When choosing a track, I tried some that were more aggressive, but they did not seem to fit the map. I have no particular attachment to the current track. It is easy to change if I can find a better one. Do you have one you would like to suggest?

2. Elevator, why does the elevator first go down a bit before going up?

It serves several purposes. One is to make it easier to time a lift jump. The delay also allows someone to jump down to the lower level and have time to step off the lift before it goes up. From a mechanical perspective, I think it makes the lift more interesting, like it is locked in place and must "prep" before rising.

3. I found the wind sounds to be a bit loud, it's kinda distracting.

There should not be much wind noise except near the edges of the buildings and during the jumps. Where are you hearing the loud wind? There is the sound of distant traffic that permeates most of the level. Perhaps that is what you are hearing. Like the music, this is an easy change that I can still make before final release... assuming I know what to change.

4. The layout feels rather flat to me and there could be a little more variation to the color of the map (it's pretty much all gray, while the outdoor parts probably has to be grayish. The indoor parts doesn't)

Yes, in retrospect, I would have liked to exploit Z-axis opportunities a little more, and I could have created more subtle variation in floor heights/textures, but I'm still pretty happy with what's there.

I think the map is as colorful as most non-fantasy themed maps. I'd still like to have more color variation, though doing so in this style of map can be a little tricky. I'm sure I could improve it given time, but that's a little much to bite off at this point. I'll just have to keep it in mind for future work.

Woops, forgot 1 thing. Could use a lens flare for the sun, atm the sun is about as bright as the rest of the skydome.

The sun is already 100% white, so it cannot really get any brighter. I agree that a lens flare could increase the impression of brightness. It's just a matter of doing it in a way that is not overly exaggerated. I'm trying to keep the effects subtle and realistic for this map.

 



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Bl!tz wrote:

welcome to the RC Finals hell section :p

-- Edited by Bl!tz on Wednesday 28th of April 2010 10:58:05 PM




:)  Yeah, I'll need to have some discipline and avoid any more significant changes. You and Stevelois have been waiting for me to release this map ever since you were Unreal Young Friends. I still welcome all feedback. Even things that are too big to make it into this map will help in the future.



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1. Personally I would use the music from "A_Music_Outpost" I think it's the one used in Epic's DM-Defiance.

2. Ah, good point.

3. Hmm yes, probably the traffic sound.

4. It's tough to get a lot of Z-axis with a map of this type and about the color, the outside area feels very realistic but the indoor, you've placed a few light actors that would light up their surrounding area with a strong orange color however it feels like they don't emit any lighting at all.

5. I'd say using a subtle lens flare would increase the realism, but yes it should definitely be subtle. Minor detail though :)

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crocodile dundee

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I tryed this map a few months ago now very nice m8 so far.

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...ǝp¡s ɹǝɥʇo ǝɥʇ uo

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yooo superalgae i finally found some minutes to play the map on the server

-i m not sure what wasnt working on lights with you but i had the yellow arrows working (the only lighty indicators i found on the server was thoses stock arrows

-no traffic at all

-the pp volume at the bottom is darker online and still sometimes a few seconds at respawn

-here the bot can still doing up & down for centurys in 1v1 ;)

hf.JPG

-all the jumppads was working perfectly :p

-this map is a blast! it s a pure paradise for a flying monkey like me and even if u finish it in 30 years i ll keep my eyes on it....30 yrs lol....unreal dead friends :p

honnestly i m just impressed and like said thrallala previously we can feel how many hours was necessary for such a place

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Thanks for the info Bl!tz.

I think the traffic issue is just because I had it set to client-only. I wanted to save the network bandwidth necessary to keep the cars synced, but it seems UT does not like it.

The lights I am referring to are the red and violet ones scattered around the map. They are supposed to light up when the berserk (red) or the u-damage (violet) is available. They look like this...




It seems odd that the post-process effect when falling to the street would look different online. If it is, then I have no idea of the cause. There is nothing special about it. I do notice that it takes a second or two to fade away when respawning (because UT does not realize to ignore the transition time), but it never bothered me.

I noticed the same bot glitch online, even though I almost never see it offline. I think maybe at the lower skill levels, the bots actually get too stupid to navigate properly. I'll look into it.

"even if u finish it in 30 years i ll keep my eyes on it....30 yrs lol....unreal dead friends :p"
... or heads kept alive in jars. Either one makes it hard to play UT.

"honnestly i m just impressed and like said thrallala previously we can feel how many hours was necessary for such a place"

Thanks. The biggest time-killer is lighting. The lighting for static meshes can be individually rebuilt, but unless I am missing something, that is not the case for BSP. The tweak-rebuild-repeat process really slows down the work.



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I worked on several of the issues and suggestions this weekend.

____________________________________________________________
First, in regard to the items that Thrallala mentioned...

I like the "Outpost" music, but it does not seem to fit the map. Outpost has a Tribal sound, but I am looking for something more contemporary. Maybe Mech8 would work well. However, I may be too buried in the map to judge well. If others want to chime in, then I'll go with the general consensus.

I reduced the traffic sound. I think this is all around better. It lets the other sounds of the map come through more, and UT3's traffic sounds are not that great anyway.

I made the orange lights in the Radio Building put off a stronger light. They are intentionally dimmer than the other lights (notice how the mesh is barely bright enough to bloom), but I agree that they were actually too subtle before.

I added a stronger bloom/corona to the sun, gave it more of a golden hue, and gave it some very subtle animated rays. I also added a slight lens flare.

____________________________________________________________
Regarding Bl!tz's feedback and the issues with kismet.

To approximate an online game, I am recording demos and replaying them. Demo playback seems to be a good test of what issues will appear online. Based on this, I think I have the traffic kismet working by just turning off the client-only flag. I still don't know why the powerup lights do not work, but I did find that other maps like DM-1on1-Paradox have the same problem. I made a post about it at http://forums.epicgames.com/showthread.php?p=27284576#post27284576.

I looked into the bot issue and tried to make some changes to help, but there is a limit to what I can do about it. I think UT3's bots are just not that smart sometimes. Stock maps like DM-ShangriLa seem to have the same issue.

____________________________________________________________

The main thing holding me up from release is the kismet issue with the powerup lights. The lights are not critical, but they are supposed to help casual players compete with people that time powerups, so it misses the point if they do not work online.

Once I get this resolved, I'll post an updated version on this forum for a last verification. Once that is done, then I'll call it final and post it on BU/Epic as well.

Thanks all for your feedback and help.



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*without looking at the map in the editor*
With that bot getting stuck, have you proscribed the path that it's taking so it'll be forced to use another path to get to where it wants?

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Okay, first off, I feel rather silly. I had not been able to find the option to proscribe paths and was just using careful node placement to minimize issues. Then once you mentioned it, I went back to the editor and found the option in about 5 seconds.

That said, DM-ShangriLa has very minimalistic pathing but has similar issues with the bots sometimes getting hung up when they need to jump. I'll proscribe unnecessary paths because it is a good idea, but I'm not getting my hopes up that it will prevent this issue.

BTW, do you know how to make the editor hide proscribed paths rather than just making them red?

Thanks for the help.


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SuperAlgae wrote:


That said, DM-ShangriLa has very minimalistic pathing but has similar issues with the bots sometimes getting hung up when they need to jump. I'll proscribe unnecessary paths because it is a good idea, but I'm not getting my hopes up that it will prevent this issue.


even players will double jump several times to do a double jump;the jump is just not enough powerfull if u "touch" what u want to jump on...i bet that bots are not enough cerebral to go 10 cm back to do the jump....same thing in ut2k4...i always found that a bit stupid and never was confortable with it :p
it break the flow & the speed in mooves and ruin the botpathing! 

-- Edited by Bl!tz on Monday 3rd of May 2010 07:00:40 AM

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Bl!tz wrote:
even players will double jump several times to do a double jump;the jump is just not enough powerfull if u "touch" what u want to jump on...i bet that bots are not enough cerebral to go 10 cm back to do the jump


I think you give the bots too much credit.  :)  These jumps are low enough to easily make while touching the pillar you want to jump on. Regardless, I might have found a way to get the bots to work by using a slightly angled (almost vertical) blocking volume. Now I just need to see if I can do that without hurting the navigation for human players.

On a different topic, I have come to the conclusion that kismet's actions for setting Material Instance params are just plain broken. They do not work online. DM-CarbonFire even has the same issue. However, I think I can get it to work by using a MIC actor and Matinee.

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I resolved the last known issues and have a new version avaialble. This may actually be the last!

Download: DM-HardFall-RC4

Based on my tests, I think this should work well online. I did a couple things to simulate online issues locally. I use "slomo 2" or "slomo 3" to force the bots to hit issues that otherwise occur mostly just online. The other test (as mentioned before) is to use demo playback to catch kismet issues that otherwise occur only online.

This build also includes the other improvements discussed previously, and I changed the music track to Mech8.

Let me know what you think. I am only posting this here (not on BeyondUnreal). Assuming no issues are found, I will drop the "RC4" and release it.

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Cool,

Will try RC4 tonight.

But why don't you post it on BU ? The more the better no ?

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...ǝp¡s ɹǝɥʇo ǝɥʇ uo

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yo mate i ll install it on the server asap ;)

bu and epics forums looks like deadalive places and more dead than alive haha^^...shame!

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stevelois wrote:

Cool,

Will try RC4 tonight.

But why don't you post it on BU ? The more the better no ?




Since the changes versus RC3 are small and limited to things discussed on this forum, I thought posting an update on BU would just create unnecessary noise. My thread has been there so long that surely I've squeezed out almost all the feedback I'm going to get.  :)

I'll test this build on Bl!tz's server, and if it looks solid, then maybe I'll make a quick post on BU to give people one last chance to test it out before I release.



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Bl!tz wrote:

yo mate i ll install it on the server asap ;)




Thanks! I'll test it out once it's up.



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...ǝp¡s ɹǝɥʇo ǝɥʇ uo

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yo jesse; it s installed and i just have reboot it; i ll probably give it a go later myself....if i can finish all thoses beta things i ve start in...rl...haha^^

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Hmm... the kismet traffic is now in the correct starting position, but it is still not moving. I've built an RC5 that uses "Level Started" events instead of "Level Loaded and Visible"...

Download: DM-HardFall-RC5

Bl!tz,
Sorry to have you running in circles. Can you upload RC5 to the server? If the traffic does not work on this one, then I'll probably just leave it. Most people in an online game would never even realize it's broken.

Thanks,
Jesse

-- Edited by SuperAlgae on Saturday 15th of May 2010 08:43:00 AM

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Unreal Old Friend

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I had a short run of RC5 on my testserver. Traffic was working.

BTW didn't have much time to test it today, but what I have seen so far: really cool map. wink

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...ǝp¡s ɹǝɥʇo ǝɥʇ uo

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ok; i ll install it this nite and no probs ;)

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Damn, I just dwn RC4 & now RC5 is here !

Dude, your eating all my broadband bandwidth with your map LOL

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stevelois wrote:

Damn, I just dwn RC4 & now RC5 is here !

Dude, your eating all my broadband bandwidth with your map LOL




:) Yeah, once I tried out RC4 on Bl!tz's server, I quickly realized that the kismet traffic was still not working and made another change to try to fix it. The good news is that from rulaman's post, it seems to be working now. I'll double check once Bl!tz gets RC5 onto the server. In the worst case, if the traffic still does not work, then I will just accept that and turn it back to client side only.



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...ǝp¡s ɹǝɥʇo ǝɥʇ uo

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ok it s installed and i just have reboot the server on the map ;)

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Bl!tz wrote:

ok it s installed and i just have reboot the server on the map ;)



Excellent. I tried it out and confirmed that the moving kismet traffic is now working. The "Level Started" event does not seem to get called until after warmup is over, but that is okay-- the traffic just won't move during warmup.

I'll give a few more days for people to try out RC5, and then I'll do the final release.

Thanks everyone for all your help.



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Thrallala,

Other than the bug fixes, most of the changes since RC3 are based on your feedback...
  • Changed music (to Mech8).
  • Reduced traffic sounds.
  • Made the orange lights emit a stronger color. (I'd like to go even stronger maybe, but the color is already as saturated as possible.)
  • Added bloom/rays and lens flare to the sun.
What do you think of the changes? As you say, it is largely personal preference, but it would be good to know if my modifications are on target or not.

And thanks for the help. The changes are small, but I feel they are a definite improvement to the map.


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I didn't dwn RC5 since RC2 & previous version I tests was fine.

But still, I'll try RC5 to see if there is no last minutes stuff I can help on.

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I finally play the RC5.

I must agreed that the music track fit better indeed. Still I like the one before, it was a good one but this one seem to fit roof top more smile

Only thing that need a tad more work is the lens flare that look somehow pixelized. I mean that you can see some square in the flare like the material miss some dept confuse

Except that minor thing, absolute great job Jesse biggrin

BTW, the readme is also very detailed (many THX for the credits biggrin). I suggest you add your UOF thread along BU / 3DBuzz & also, put the install info on above the map description because install first, play after & read more info if required only in the end wink


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Thanks Steve!

I assume that by the pixelized lens flare you mean the glow around the sun, particularly when clouds pass in front of it. That's in the stock material (I also have a separate actual "lens flare" plus a mesh plane with animated rays). I noticed the pixelization too but thought I might just be overly critical from staring at it so much (even though I've been told not to stare at the sun). I'll try to get a higher-res texture for the glow.

Good catch on the readme. I forgot to add this thread to the list in it.

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Yep, you understand perfectly what I meant about the flare.

Just a little thing that I forgot to post from my last comments, in fact I always forgot to mention it since RC1...

I suggest you delay the sound between the signing bird a bit. It's quite annoying to ear them signing like that without any pause. I didn't check the map in the editor so I dunno if you use a simple sound or a group sound (sorry, I forgot the right terms lol). Please add a delay so it will feel much more natural.

In DM-Aly (in case you want to ear what I mean), the average delay is 2 or 3 seconds between each sound. It's more natural, less irritating.

The final is gonna be something :D

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nothing to add to what steve said; especially agree on the bird sound and on the sun ;)
for the rest (lol and even like it is) it s one of the more polished map i ve seen so far and because of the coherent theme the more realistic!
thx for ur work and congratz ;)

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Regarding the birds, I have a SoundCue that randomly plays one of 10 sounds. The delay (from the finish of one sound to the start of the next) is randomly between 8 an 20 seconds. However, there is a corresponding AmbientSound in each of the eight large trees, so when the player is in range of all the AmbientSound actors the average gap is more like 1 or 2 seconds (sometimes more but sometimes actually overlapping). I will increase the delay, reduce the radius, and/or reduce the number of AmbientSound actors.

There are also some insect sounds (emanating from the few places with grass). I take it those are okay?

On another topic, have you noticed that when playing offline games, your first spawn is always in the same location? And the really strange thing is that it's not even the first (lowest numbered) playerstart. In DM-HardFall it's PlayerStart_17 (inside the radio building). It doesn't make a big difference, but I might try swapping that one with another playerstart.


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Bl!tz wrote:

nothing to add to what steve said; especially agree on the bird sound and on the sun ;)
for the rest (lol and even like it is) it s one of the more polished map i ve seen so far and because of the coherent theme the more realistic!
thx for ur work and congratz ;)



Thanks. I may not have the raw skill of some mappers out there, but I make up for it in obsessive persistence and time spent.  :)

That said, my next map (after getting a few other projects out of the way) might be a speed map (created with less than 10 or 20 hrs effort). It'll be good practice.



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Just a little suggestion about multiple SoundCue.

Don't forget that some players play the game without the music track so footstep / ambient sounds is very important for immersion & can be more annoying that anything else if it's overdone.

I would suggest only use 6 soundcues max on the big building & reduce there radius to obtain the best results & placing them in 2 rows like this (note the yellow circle are the sound location & the green circle there radius) :

http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/833/exemplet.jpg

You can set the delay to 2-3 secs between each sound. 5 secs or more is imo much to long. By adjusting your sounds that way ;

- When the player will be located near the threes at the beginning / end of the row, he will ear something instead of waiting 10 secs so the immersion won't be lost or go in / out.

- When players will be located between the trees, sounds will be ear from each side & provide the effect that birds are taking to each other from trees to trees (like a stereo effect) instead of talking all together at the same time. It give an impression that they talk / call each other.

Again, I've done that in DM-Aly.

I notice that when I played (offline with 10 players total) I often spawn near the stinger / link / bio. I rarely spawn near the flack / rocket launcher / shock. It's not an issue, only something I notice to say that my spawning points aren't the same as yours.

-- Edited by stevelois on Monday 17th of May 2010 04:30:50 PM

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I have the SoundCues in each tree similar to what you suggest but with a larger radius. I think it pretty accurately reproduces the feel of being in a small area with birds of several species (rather than just a few birds calling more regularly back and forth), and I personally never found it to be a problem (even when playing with no music). However, I can see how others might be bothered by it. I'll tweak the numbers to make the sounds play at more regular intervals.

Regarding the spawn location, I was referring only to the player's very first spawn point after the map loads. That initial spawn seems to always be in the same location. It is not a problem, but since that is the first thing people will see, it makes sense to put it in a good location.

The initial spawn point in DM-ShangriLa is facing a column with bad lighting, and I think that hurts the impression of the level. That bit of bad lighting might otherwise go unnoticed except that the camera is pointed right at it when the level loads.

I try to place all my spawn points in locations that present the map well, and the current initial spawn point in DM-HardFall is not bad (it's to one side of the lift, facing towards the area with the biorifle). However, I might swap it with a spawn point on the upper floor of the radio building, because that is an area that people might tend to bypass otherwise, and it gives a better view to the garden building.


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I finally got some time to play a little.
This is certainly a map to watch...First class so far.
I like the layout and the backdrop.
I think breaking up the floor material would help as its a bit repetitive. Also while playing old and new just seemed to stand out to me. Like it doesnt fit together.

Overall good job mate. Very nice.

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Hey Diesalot, thanks for the feedback.

Varying the floors more is something I would like to do if I were not so close to release. At this point I am avoiding anything that would require a BSP lighting rebuild. For the most part, the variations in light/shadow help keep it from looking too repetitive.

I'm not sure what you mean by "old and new". In terms of architecture/style, it seems pretty close to the amount of variation you might see in a contemporary city.

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Hey mate... Your welcome, im sorry im so late.

For the old new thing. I think it was the HU pillars and stuff, they seem to have an old rusty look compared with the ASC textures that look just built.
Its not a big thing and im sure its just me. It kinda stood out for me if you know what i mean.

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I see what you mean now. You are referring to the variations within the garden building itself. I think Steve mentioned the same thing about the ASC textures looking newer (in the last part of this post). I can alter the material to look older-- right now it is just the stock asset.

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Yep mate.
A little moss or discoloring would blend perfect and not stand out.
BTW a little of that on your floor would kill the repetitive i mentioned too.

Again im sorry im so late but i hope it helps.

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Good idea on including some moss/dirt in the garden building floor textures. Some of the floors in the radio building have that, but the garden building floors could benefit from it too.

It's never too late for constructive feedback. Even at this late stage, I think the couple things you brought up can be noticeably improved. And things that do not make it into this map will help in future work.

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I gave the floors a little texture variation to make them less repetitive. The variation is most pronounced for the floor of the inner corridor. I gave some similar discoloration to the yellow-brick planters (ASC textures) to make them blend with the rest of the building better. Here are some screenshots.



-- Edited by SuperAlgae on Tuesday 8th of June 2010 06:58:27 AM

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The ASC Textures look better from the pics. Just what they needed.

Good job mate.

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Thanks.

Regarding the floor textures, I made the color variation just enough to help camouflage repeating of the texture. Some bolder areas of moss or stains might be nice, but I would need to use something like meshes or projectors to more selectively place that. I'm not sure I want that much change at this late stage, so I stuck with just a slight variation in the texture itself. I may try something more, but I don't want to spend too much time on it, and I want to avoid rebuilding BSP lighting.


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very subtile but nice "variations"; good job smile.gif

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Nice touch m8 :)

Honestly, roof top like that look more accurately when they look clean specially in your theme when there is no damage nowhere & the scenery is light.

Leaving it subtle is great or else it wouldn't fit. I didn't mind your previous floor look or else as Diesalot I would mention you need to add some textures to brake the tiling but since it was good looking anyway I didn't comment on that since to be constant you would had to make the other floors look like that.

In any case, it look good m8 :)

Only 1 week before final :D

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stevelois wrote:

Nice touch m8 :)

Honestly, roof top like that look more accurately when they look clean specially in your theme when there is no damage nowhere & the scenery is light.

Leaving it subtle is great or else it wouldn't fit. I didn't mind your previous floor look or else as Diesalot I would mention you need to add some textures to brake the tiling but since it was good looking anyway I didn't comment on that since to be constant you would had to make the other floors look like that.

In any case, it look good m8 :)

Only 1 week before final :D




Yeah, I tried also adding some patches of moss to the floors. The effect works pretty well, but I'm not sure it fits the map. Here's a couple shots.

 

 



-- Edited by SuperAlgae on Tuesday 8th of June 2010 06:59:01 AM

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I like the moss mate, but as steve said he liked the clean look.

Its YOUR map choose whatever YOU likebiggrin

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yeah at this stage (and since several betas) it s a pure map and thoses last "adjustements & touches on polishing" must belong to ur own tastes :p

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