WIP / Concept Area Screenshots
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Re: WIP / Concept Area Screenshots
Posted by ReNo on Sun Jan 22nd at 3:13pm 2006


Hey guys, I figured this was probably about the best way to make a WIP thread in the maps forum. Just make sure you don't go rating the map it is linked to in my profile or anything, seeing as that is just a workaround.

For those of you who don't get the point of this thread, I'll try and give a brief explanation. Often I find myself making little rooms or starts of maps that aren't really going anywhere and I don't know if I plan to actually use it for a full level. That sometimes puts me off putting up any media in my profile, as that requires making a new map profile which is a bit too formal and committing to the level which is often just a bit of fun. That said, I do sometimes feel like showing screenshots anyway; as a proof of concept, to gauge feedback, or just to show off a little <img src=" SRC="images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif"> This thread is for that purpose. Post any screenshots in here, of work in whatever engine, that are of work you feel is too early, too spontaneous, too random, or too conceptual, to justify a new map profile and thread.

I'll get the ball rolling with a couple of screenshots of a little test room I built to play around with the HL2 AI. I might be using HL2 as a base for my honours project on AI so I built this just as something to play around with the existing system. It's nothing remarkable, just a fairly generic warehouse room, but I haven't really built anything in ages so this is the best I got <img src=" SRC="images/smiles/icon_wink.gif">

image

image

I hope this thread encourages people to share what they are working on, even if it's just something they built in a few hours for fun, without the pressures associated with posting a new map in their profile. Have at it guys!






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Re: WIP / Concept Area Screenshots
Posted by ReNo on Mon Jan 23rd at 3:19pm 2006


Made some changes...

image

imageimage

Cmon people, make use of this thread






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Re: WIP / Concept Area Screenshots
Posted by Belgarion on Mon Jan 23rd at 6:15pm 2006


raawr
nice picies. maybe i should make something C17-ish. i never did. that's a nice spin on c17 though. i like.






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Re: WIP / Concept Area Screenshots
Posted by Addicted to Morphine on Mon Jan 23rd at 7:48pm 2006


Nice shots. The benches and the bins change the warehouse look to something more... Someone at mapcore mentioned that the altered shots now look like they could be part of a subway system. I could see that, although I couldn't really see where turnstyles or ticket booths would fit in <img src=" SRC="images/smiles/icon_smile.gif">

I like the rooms asymmetry, and I really like the warm lights you put near the floor by the shutter.

Nothing livens up a room like having NPCs strolling around -- I like that.

Do you think you'll expand this area? Or will you just work on it until it's "done"?




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Re: WIP / Concept Area Screenshots
Posted by ReNo on Mon Jan 23rd at 7:56pm 2006


Well the area at the moment is just something to use as a test area for the HL2 AI system and my tinkerings with it for my honours project. To demonstrate my honours project work I'm planning on having one or two everyday scenes (such as an office, train station, bar, warehouse, whatever) with NPC's doing their thing. This could evolve into one of the final scenes, possibly as a subway, possibly as a warehouse, or maybe it will never get beyond this test area. Who knows <img src=" SRC="images/smiles/icon_smile.gif">

Glad you guys like it anyway, feels good to get back into hammer I must say. Belgarion, just have a shot at a concept area to play around with the theme of C17 if you don't want to commit to a full project...and post the results here for commenting <img src=" SRC="images/smiles/icon_wink.gif">






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Re: WIP / Concept Area Screenshots
Posted by Captain P on Tue Jan 24th at 12:23am 2006


Looks fine to me. Except that the benches and litter bins clash with the warehouse setting of course... :P

Does this AI stuff has anything to do with your 'background NPC AI' ideas you were talking about a while ago? Since you pointed out most NPC behaviour was fairly simplistic in most games...

I haven't done much mapping recently either, but when a friend of mine bought his own HLDM server I couldn't resist his request to do a map. So I scrounged up some old half-finished maps and put together some style elements using a simple layout I quickly thought up on. In 5 hours I created this:







I haven't finished it completely yet, the gameflow lacks a bit (though overall it's quite fun) so I still want to add a few connections and maybe another combat area, perhaps put in some more time to spice up the looks of it.
So, what do you guys think of this? <img src=" SRC="images/smiles/icon_smile.gif">






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Re: WIP / Concept Area Screenshots
Posted by Addicted to Morphine on Tue Jan 24th at 2:05am 2006


I like the last shot the best. It strikes me as very grand, which I like. It's almost as if you were mapping for HL2 while trying to keep things smooth, simple, and elegant.

The lighting seems a little random though... for example the locations of the lights on the rightmost pillar thing.

I think you might be able to add a few more light sources in that indoor picture, just to make it more interesting.




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Re: WIP / Concept Area Screenshots
Posted by ReNo on Tue Jan 24th at 2:20am 2006


Texturing looks a bit repetitive - fairly large unbroken expanses of them in places, particularly the horizontal spans in that last shot. Maybe if you broke it up with some vertical pillars using a different texture, or some alcoves exposing a different texture? Even if it was using the same texture, the additional faces pointing in different directions would at least have different lighting to the current flat surface, which would break it up visually.

It would also give you a bit more potential for your light fixtures; at the moment they strike me as being a bit simple and look awkward since they are only small objects stuck onto big flat surfaces. If you had some smaller components to your architecture then you can incorporate your light fixtures into them somehow (be it part of the base of a pillar, or shining down into an alcove, or whatever) and they won't look so out of place. Get some supplementary colours in there too, as at the moment you seem to be sticking quite rigourously to yellow. I'd also suggest dropping the overall light level and making the areas around the lights themselves brighter - most of them don't appear to have any immediate effect around the fixtures themselves, but just contribute to the overall brightness. Maybe I'm being over optimistic with the control HL1's lighting offers though - Source spoils you a bit with falloff distances and the like <img src=" SRC="images/smiles/icon_wink.gif">

Another couple of comments as well. The handrail sections in the last two shots are hugely long - maybe get some more "structurally significant" brushwork in at uniform intervals? The wallways out there could benefit from a trim around the edges too (in HL1, everything benefits from a trim <img src=" SRC="images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif">), and that could probably be worked into the "structurally significant" handrail portions somehow too <img src=" SRC="images/smiles/icon_smile.gif">

Anyway, I'll shut up now - all in all I think the base architecture is nice (last shot seems very grand in particular) but could use some more subtle elements and improved lighting.

In answer to your question about the purpose of my map - exactly on the money. My honours project is to investigate, design and implement an AI system for background characters to demonstrate social intelligence (ie. not act like total retards), and I've decided to use HL2 to do so. HL2's background character AI for non-gameplay issues is pretty much non-existant, in that all they do is randomly choose and "act busy" node as placed in the map by hammer and play whatever animation it tells them to, so it's quite a nice blank slate to work from. Pity there is all the proper game AI stuff in there to clutter things up and confuse me no end however!






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Re: WIP / Concept Area Screenshots
Posted by Orpheus on Wed Jan 25th at 2:04am 2006


This thread will only work for people like me if true thumbnails are used Duncan. Loading a page, even a page full of perfectly optimized screenshots will never do.

/wet blanket.





The best things in life, aren't things.



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Re: WIP / Concept Area Screenshots
Posted by Captain P on Wed Jan 25th at 11:54am 2006


Build a thumb-a-picture site or script, Orph, and we're all set. Nah, not all, but it would help... <img src=" SRC="images/smiles/icon_smile.gif">

I wonder if php functions are capable of good .jpg optimizing...







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Re: WIP / Concept Area Screenshots
Posted by Orpheus on Wed Jan 25th at 1:05pm 2006


One must understand my perspective before judging me harsh.

From my point of view, Snarkpit loads inconsistently. Sometimes it quits totally and I am forced to hit refresh to remind it what it was doing. If an image completes, it loads the next time I visit a thread. Case closed. If Snarkpit fails to continue, the image is incomplete and the image reloads again. If the image is 100k and there are a s**tload of them and they are incomplete, the thread is always loading.

Now, I ask. Is there no solutions other than me crying incessantly or my avoiding threads with numerous images quietly?

I cry often. I never cry without reasons.





The best things in life, aren't things.



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Re: WIP / Concept Area Screenshots
Posted by Addicted to Morphine on Wed Jan 25th at 6:08pm 2006


I need some clarification. If I post the imageshack code for thumbnails, does it load the whole image first anyway?

If it does, I'll link to my images. If not, I'll just post thumbs.




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Re: WIP / Concept Area Screenshots
Posted by Orpheus on Wed Jan 25th at 6:40pm 2006


I am not exactly sure what you said but, there are a s**tload of thumbnail generators out there that do a wonderful job. Whats the problem uploading two images and using the snarkpit codes to utilize them?



The best things in life, aren't things.



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Re: WIP / Concept Area Screenshots
Posted by Addicted to Morphine on Wed Jan 25th at 8:08pm 2006


Basically -- if I post a thumbnail, does it make you cache the whole image first before it displays the small thumbnail? In other words, does it actually help to have thumbs?




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Re: WIP / Concept Area Screenshots
Posted by Crono on Wed Jan 25th at 8:27pm 2006


If the thumbnail is a new picture which is significantly less file size: yes. If you use the snarkpit "optimization", NO, it just resizes the image (as far as I can tell), so you're still loading a 100 KB image (or something like that)

Just saying "make a thumbnail" doesn't mean much if you don't realize that resolution and file size aren't a 1:1 ratio to each other.

Anyway, I'll try posting some stuff in the next few weeks. Have a bit of work to get done first.



Blame it on Microsoft, God does.



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Re: WIP / Concept Area Screenshots
Posted by Orpheus on Wed Jan 25th at 9:13pm 2006


Lep coded two examples of posting screenshots.

One is the example Crono says, where it resizes the dimensions to 800x600, but the file size remains the same.

The other is actual code where you post 2 screens, one a full size, and the other a thumbnail size.

You link to the thumb at say 10k, and the thumb links to the full image say 110k.

the code was made specifically for 56k users ages ago, but is seldom used.

[ thumb=thumb.jpg]big.jpg[ /thumb] (remove the spaces.)

The only drawback is having a location to post both images and the actual creating of the images before hand. Other than that, it works great.





The best things in life, aren't things.



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Re: WIP / Concept Area Screenshots
Posted by Addicted to Morphine on Thu Jan 26th at 4:37am 2006


Ah, thanks Crono and Orpheus, I see now. I'll be sure to use the imageshack thumbnail code if I post anything here.




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Re: WIP / Concept Area Screenshots
Posted by Crono on Thu Jan 26th at 6:55am 2006


My point is, people don't use it that way. The only times I've ever seen that used is where people don't make a seperate thumbnail image ... so it just resizes the large ass image to a small resolution.


Blame it on Microsoft, God does.



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Re: WIP / Concept Area Screenshots
Posted by Addicted to Morphine on Thu Jan 26th at 7:00am 2006


Is this alright?

image

And goodnight by the way <img src=" SRC="images/smiles/icon_smile.gif">




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Re: WIP / Concept Area Screenshots
Posted by Orpheus on Thu Jan 26th at 10:13am 2006


? quoting Addicted to Morphine
Is this alright?

image

And goodnight by the way

Must be cause the thumb loaded quick, and the image took normal time.

Lots of orange turf you got in that one bud. <img src=" SRC="images/smiles/heee.gif">





The best things in life, aren't things.




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