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A Video Tutorial for Mappers: Modular Geometry

#1
Video 
I thought some of our mappers might find concepts covered here useful:
[Image: BSF48.png][Image: HMITP48.png][Image: S48.png][Image: TLT48.png]
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#2
Thanks for the find unfa!

As for the video: This technique (using modular geometry for creating levels) is easier to use in modern game engines than it is in Xonotic. The reason for this is simply that Xonotic mostly uses BSP brushes instead of models, like Unreal or Unity do, and that BSP brushes are way more critical when it comes to alignment than models. And if you look at the geometry of the created level in the video (but also in any other levels created with Unreal, Cry-Technologie, etc.) there are many overlapping meshes which would probably cause serious problems in Xonotic. Nevertheless this works great if you just fix all the overlapping issues.

So yes, this is definitely something worth learning!
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#3
Super filmik, Unfa! Moze sam zainteresujesz sie robieniem map? Naprawde przyjemna (choc dosc pracochlonna) sprawa. Moglbys samemu dodawac wlasna muzyke i dzwieki. Tworzenie map rozwinie twoja wyobraznie przestrzenna (To, ze masz wyobraznie muzyczna to juz wiadomo). Roznica pomiedzy level designem, a muzyka nie jest wcale tak wielka jak sie wydaje. Oba wymagaja kreatywnego umyslu.
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#4
"Super video, Unfa. Maybe you will get interested in making a map yourself? Truly... ... Creating maps wakes up your imagination. DiVverence between level designing and music is... . Both require creative thinking."

What were you saying, Justin?


I cant realy tell the use of such tecniques, even in modern games. For example, what is the purpose of using models for geometry, if they are just plain wals?

I know that i am realy old facioned, I get strongly attached to things. Maddins post made me upset.
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#5
@Justin: Now, can you speak English again please?

@aa:
aa Wrote:[...]what is the purpose of using models for geometry, if they are just plain wals?
Models are easily duplicated and allow a more complex structure than BSP brushes. The video just shows the very basic principle. But in Xonotic (and also Quake, etc.) this is not recommendable because models reduce the performance (more than BSP structure does) and don´t have any effect on the VIS part (thus won´t hide geometry which is not seen). It´s just that the engine works different to e.g. Unreal.
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#6
EDIT: sorry for confusing Maddin.
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#7
Uhm sorry, what do you mean? Undecided
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#8
Isn't BSP models but in a more simple and more fast to parse format? Since maps themself doesn't need to be as complex as models.
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#9
I was basically saying that mapping is similar to music creation and it's very very easy:
[Image: this_is_madness.jpg]
and that Unfa should really try it. Big Grin
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#10
@machine!: BSP structure is directly created from the map file whereas models are imported, if you look at that during the compile process. This is basically how I understood it, divVerent (or any other long-time developer who is involved in mapping) probably has better knowledge of that.
machine! Wrote:Isn't BSP models but in a more simple and more fast to parse format? Since maps themself doesn't need to be as complex as models.
Models don´t necessarily need to be complex either. So theoretically you could create your map out of a single model (or multiple, doesn´t really matter. But this has some disadvantages which are crucial:
  • Models don´t create any VIS portals thus will show every polygon at any time. BSP structure would create VIS portals therefore hide polygons which are not seen (optimises performance). Of course you can combine those two different structures and you don´t have that problem.
  • Regular models (misc_model) don´t support specular-mapping (but lighting and collision). Ingame rendered models (misc_gamemodel) don´t support lighting and collison (but specular-mapping). You could again thinking of combining them: That´s possible but still leaves the fact that your model won´t be lit properly. Additionally this is a hell lot of work.
  • BSP structure is simply way easier to build than models are; if you keep in mind that if you create models you have to export and import it in your level editor very often to check for the placement of any entities.

@Justin: Oh, alright. Big Grin
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#11
Problem is - Xonotic is multiplayer game. You will play certain level 1000 times. So basically you should avoid repetitiveness. Geometry should be diversified to the limits. So you can always navigate easily, instantly know which part of level you are atm, etc.

Making environment built in the same way everywhere makes that harder.

What you show on video is great for single player gaming, where you just "go forward" and never go back.
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#12
I have to agree with some of the scepticism voiced here. While map models are great, and can speed up rendering if the engine supports GPU VBOs, their (overuse) in modern commercial games largely boils down to a difference in work-flow.
What I mean is that in a big team of dedicated artists, a single full time developer can produce these models to a really high quality and then add them to a repository of map-models for *another* person to use in constructing levels. This person then can get creative with their re-use and modern commercial engines are optimized for this kind of asset production.

Mapping in Xonotic, or really any other open-source/hobbyist project, doesn't work that way however. For a single part time developer a real map-editor where you can block out shapes and even make quite detailed structures in an iterative process is much more sensible. After all you can't just go to the next cubicle and tell your "prop-artist" to make a nice window-frame for you.
However a certain number of map-models, especially for vegetation etc., is still nice to have Wink
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#13
What the video (and the level designer) shows is just the basic principle. Which means that your level should, of course, be constructed out of non-modular geometry too. I said before, those meshes are simply for the purpose of explaining the technique.
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#14
(10-26-2013, 01:34 PM)Justin Wrote: Super filmik, Unfa! Moze sam zainteresujesz sie robieniem map?
(10-26-2013, 01:34 PM)Justin (translated by unfa) Wrote: Great video, Unfa! Maybe you'll try making maps by yourself?

I think I'd love to, I'm just quite busy with lots of stuff, and I think I'll need quite some hours to get the feel of NetRadiant and to start making stuff with it. However I have some map concepts in Blender and I was making maps for Unreal Tournament '99.
[Image: BSF48.png][Image: HMITP48.png][Image: S48.png][Image: TLT48.png]
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#15
I think i translated the main idea: mapping is great!

I currently want to try out that technique in xonotic. Have started working on a set. Just to see how it works out.

Will report of any results.
[Image: 0_e8735_c58a251e_orig]
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#16
(10-27-2013, 04:14 PM)aa Wrote: I currently want to try out that technique in xonotic. Have started working on a set. Just to see how it works out.
Looking forward to see your results!
[Image: BSF48.png][Image: HMITP48.png][Image: S48.png][Image: TLT48.png]
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#17
Btw here is another piece about Modular: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/JoelBurge...01/191514/
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#18
I have made the pipes you have seen in Screenshots. Now you can build a maze from those (i have turns and t shapes as well). There problems with them, but it can be iproved and i label it as a succsess, as a practise.

Now i am planning a proper one, and want to have some information about mesurments. I found that a player is 32x32x69, but i need more info: how high can a player jump/bunnyhop? What should be the hight of clean space/ dirty space? and also advicable door sizes.
[Image: 0_e8735_c58a251e_orig]
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#19
(10-28-2013, 05:38 PM)aa Wrote: I have made the pipes you have seen in Screenshots. Now you can build a maze from those (i have turns and t shapes as well). There problems with them, but it can be iproved and i label it as a succsess, as a practise.

This is a great idea!
Do we have models like this for level decorations? Unreal games are full of that, and it's so easy and fun way to add detail to levels! We could do a lot of modular sets for mappers! Both decoration and simply level geometry.

If there could be a level object that has a (visible, more detailed) mesh and (a simplier, invisible) BSP shape used for zoning and collisions - we could make up pathways and corridirs from modular elements - at map building the BSP information from these objects would taken into consideration for making zones (visibility culled only if the mesh is non-transparent: meshes with holes should not do that) and collision meshes...

Or mapers could just make BSP by hand and use those meshed for decoration....

What are your thoughts?
[Image: BSF48.png][Image: HMITP48.png][Image: S48.png][Image: TLT48.png]
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#20
unfa, there is one thing i can tell you: open Blender and start modelling. I am currently working on it as well.

Other then that, the idea about two models is not new, i know for sure it was used in quake wars of id tech4, and probably onwards. But we dont have that, you would need programmers, and Samual (that is one of the main programmers) is very sceptical about using models like that.

But still, who can stop us from make a tile set, and making awesome maps with it? So, as I said, get to blender, and start modelling, now!
[Image: 0_e8735_c58a251e_orig]
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#21
(11-02-2013, 09:39 AM)aa Wrote: Other then that, the idea about two models is not new, i know for sure it was used in quake wars of id tech4, and probably onwards. But we dont have that, you would need programmers, and Samual (that is one of the main programmers) is very sceptical about using models like that.

im certain it will lead to huge performance issues, the Darkplaces engine cant handle many tris. Even if you just use them just as additional props, you need to be care that the performance wont suffer.
ok, do some a little bit to work against performance issues but you get quiet fast to the point where the performance suffer. no matter what you do.
<Samual> I am the most unprofessional developer ever
<bluez> halogene, you make awesome music, but you have no clue about ctf.
<Halogene> I didn't know mappers include some mysterious waypoints so members of the BOT clan can navigate a map?
<divVerent> if you don't pay for a premium account, your movement speed is limited to 100qu/s
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#22
Those piepes you see in screens of watcha doin have around 700 tris. T sahpes around 1000 and turns over 1500. i built a fucking maze of them, and there were not decrease in performance. Th0e trick is probably in placing caulk brushes in between, and cliping them.
[Image: 0_e8735_c58a251e_orig]
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#23
Though I have to agree with Cortez. It may seem a neat idea to use models for creating a bigger level of detail but Darkplaces is just not meant for this extensive use of models.

Another thing is, your map probably (I can only guess here) is a simple 2 dimensional level regarding the paths. Adding a 3rd dimension makes things complex and after you added organic structure you soon will have your difficulties to optimise everything properly.

You also should keep in mind that your hardware is probably better than others and that your map should run also on crappy low-end machines.
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#24
Here is the map, judge yourself. http://ubuntuone.com/2LjFO0qrf9CYq00vGDlkTi

My hardware is not that good, probably below average,
[Image: 0_e8735_c58a251e_orig]
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