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FPSC Chat / {Wolfs Guide to FPSC} -Episode 2- Mapdesign Part 1

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Wolf

Valued Member


Joined: Thu Nov 8th 2007
Location: The Sea of Dark Desires
Posted: 14th Aug 2011 01:11     Edited: 14th Aug 2011 01:12     | link | toggle

Hi!

Welcome to my new tutorial!
This time I will show you how to plan and create a decent level. This tutorial works together with my older tutorials. You can find them here:

Older Tutorials

Spawning Ghosts and Visions like in some horrorflick

Creating a Ghost Character

Keeping up motivation / getting a game done

Do you're transparent plant textures hide the ones behind them?

Dealing with the 1,85 Memorycap

Lightmapping

Disclaimer

Quote: "1. These tutorials are being released on an irregular basis.
2. English is not my native language
3. Length and Quality of my tutorials may vary "

Difficulty Level

INTERMEDIATE

(List of difficultys)

Beginner : Lets get started
Rookie : Warming up
Intermediate: Medium difficulty
Hard: Needs some knowledge
Pro: Needs a lot of knowledge and experience
Experimental: Haven't figured the whole thing out myself yet


Introduction:

In this tutorial you can follow me step by step on how I approach the creation of an entire level. Keep in mind that Gameplay/Soundambience/Setting up Firefights or placing Enemies in a Horror Game and Scripting will be in another tutorial. This one focusses on the level and the level only.

Part 1

First comes the inspiration. You need an idea for a level first... this depends on your setting. The creators of F.E.A.R for example had to focus on officebuildings and simple backyards. They didn't really need any creative thinking for the setting itself, but for the AI and the firefights later on. Different story for the creators of Prey...the artists had to invent a space ship that can be travelled from multiple graphity zones and was half metal, half organic. However, these studios are working under harsh conditions with releasedates and a limited timebudget. We don't.

In Fact, I often feel a whole week like not doing anything in FPSCreator. Its a great program in short bursts
However, as soon as I have an idea on how to proceed, I usually grab something cool from the fridge and start playing around.
If you are one of those fellas that lag inspiration. THIS WEBSITE has a lot of crazy photos and artworks that will immediately give you some kind of idea.

My tutorial focusses on some big round generatorcore pulsating thing. Don't worry, it has a few more normal rooms. I just wanted to make sure that no one simply copys my tutorial 1 by 1 and claims it his work

Part 2

It would be really handy if you red my „how to deal with the 1,85 Gigabyte memorycap tutorial now...
Some people claim to plan everything on paper first. Well, if its help, feel free to do it, but to be honest... totally useless in FPSCreator for me. Just make your brain work a little bit and think of everything you absolutely need for this map. Then draw the basic layout with segments.



While doing the basic layout you can think off what the player has to do in the level. This one will have very little action and more puzzle solving.

The player has to open the doors to the cooling chambers and shut them down to overload the generators. A total of 4 well placed enemies later on will keep the player on his toes! Don't forget that I will write a tutorial about that LATER.
It has a little ventshaft aswell in case the player decides to jump from the gantry and chek whats going on in the coolingwater of the generator (the idea to add coolingwater came while typing...dont be suprised, I will add stuff on the fly). So he can come back up.

Feel free to test the level now and see how much memory it already consumes.

Part 3

Now we add the essential objects.
These are basic objects that determine what the room the player is in actually is. (For an office: the office desk and the filedrawers)
The doors and the basic architecture. Make sure to get rid of the boxiness of the segment layout.





Now we have the essentials of the level's concept. That generator and some support beams and objects outside of it. This still looks very ...simple to put it nicely. But as you can see, we have a constant framerate of 60 FPS (even though we use some wierd shader) and plenty of room to go.

I retextured this giant screen that is monitoring the darkmatter engergiecore last year...I knew that one day, I will have use for it

3 of the models presented here are made by me, but everything else is from cosmic prophets science fiction pack. This makes it easier to follow for you, I try to use as much stock media as possible on this map aswell.

You might notice those colosso pipes and the very simple and big models on top of the generator room. Most players tend to focus on what is going on in front of them and what is going on below them. Pits are usually more attractive than heights. Why? Because the player has to look what is going on around him in case an enemy kicks in and of course he is constantly looking for loot and collectables. Feel free to place a lot of items in your map. This can be completely useless junk (for example: there is a lot of food in relict the player can eat that either color the screen a bit different for a few seconds of boost his health 5 points. Not really useful but makes looting and exploring more interesting...this procedure also adds a larger feeling of value to actually good items.)
So keep the upper parts of your level lowpoly and use big items...these wont push your memorycap so hard.
Remember to save your map frequently and leave enough rooms in the places you want to spawn enemies later, so these can walk around.

Part 4

Welcome back, now we actually build the level. I usually work „room for room“ but if you feel more comfortable to work in every room a little bit until its done...feel free to do so. The procedure won't change.

This is the vital part of the tutorial as I teach you now how to add live in static scenes. Thats right... I mean... add the feeling of being in a living environment instead of a FPSClevel. It is import to make the player feel that anything can be anywhere and that everything can happen. Well...or much less epic: Think while mapping.

Lets start with the entrance room. This room has to be interesting to keep the player going on. If its an empty concrete room he will most likely quit the game and come back later or ...never... but we want him to stay in for just a little while longer...keeping him interested.

Lets add shiny stuff.




As you can see, I added 2 Interactive computer terms. Something that pops up a HUD image with a sound. Nothing fancy, but as far as I am concerned...when I play, this is the kind of stuff I have to check out
Other than that its a fairly basic Room. Lets get to the office



As you might have noticed the Map is rather large.
Thats why I have to save polygons.
In this office, there is almost no equipment left, but it still looks a bit crowded
with all the furniture I was putting in. By equipment I mean, books, coffeemugs, pencils, computerequipment. I just added what was absolutely necessary. I've overdone myself a bit with the giant generator thing
Whenever you do an office and you have more polygons to spare: Fill it!
People are supposed to be working there so there is probably a lot of stuff lying around including personal stuff from the emplyees. Adding details as these makes everything look a lot more natural (not in the images)

The cryochambers: Well, some specialeffects like fog etc. would really fit in here. I had nothing suitting ready though so I guess I have to simulate the coldness with light. Note how the maincolor in these rooms is blue?
All those tanks and equipment is supposed to make it look like a rather complicated installation. Also the door had to look like it can be sealed completely that is why I used the stock Scifi “prison cell” door.




The giant machinethingie in the second cooling chamber is just a T Jungction of the Scificorridor collection. Again, its FPSCreator...you have to think out of the box.



The generator room itself is supposed to be quiet an attraction.
I made something like that a while ago for the old Shavra Remake where I used a giant orange sphere



but I found a ball of darkness much more suitting for the following reason:

1.It suits the games overall athmosphere
2.A glowing ball would light up too much of the map

The second part is important because, again, we had to save polygons and I crowded up the room with oversized, underdetailed objects. Having them all lit up would make it look bad, but now that they faint a bit in darkness hides their simplicity.

The sphere itself is just a sphere I made ages ago with entity workshop. The shader on it is the fur shader from the ultimate shader collection. Just type it in the searchbox. Note that some shaders will need source mods to work correctly. I don't want to be responsible for a load of complaining threads about not working shader effects.





So, the second hallway room is filled with boxes. I did that because I really havent had much sparememory left and because there will be some fighting going on here anyway and the boxes serve as cover for the hostile.
The rest of the procedure is gappfilling and now we have the raw version of a brand new level.



We just created a fictional place and we can walk around in it and feel the athmosphere. Thats what I love about this software.





Part 4

Additional Infos:

The water is just a larger version of the puddle in Bond1s Metro Theater Pack using the stairwater.fx file.

I tried to provided as much information as possible but you might have noticed that a lot of “how to's” are missing. Well, thats because they do not exist. Mapping in the editor is drag and drop...thats it.

I used mostly stock and Cosmic Prophets entities. You can all get these off the forums for free. I'm really tired of all these “My leveldesign is awful? Yeah! But only because I dont have enough assets...and the software is bad!!” kids.

Part 5

Ingame shots of the final product:



Part 6

Special Thanks again to cosmic prophet for the huge library of assets he provided in his time on the forums that made scifileveldesign a piece of cake for us

This tutorial has been written within 5 or even 6 days. It contains typos, formatting errors and other drama. But I just dont care

Now beat it! ...but leave some feedback first



-Wolf

I make serious coffee - so strong it wakes up the neighbors.
http://serygalacaffeine.deviantart.com/
Twitter:@Serygala
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Nickydude

Moderator


Joined: Sat Nov 4th 2006
Location: Look outside...
Posted: 14th Aug 2011 01:19           | link | toggle

A video of this finished map would be nice.

I reject your reality and substitute my own...
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Bootlicker

FPSC BOTB Developer


Joined: Sun Mar 29th 2009
Location: Germany
Posted: 14th Aug 2011 01:20           | link | toggle

sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet. this will help alot! gave me a few ideas that i might include in a few of my games.


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Wolf

Valued Member


Joined: Thu Nov 8th 2007
Location: The Sea of Dark Desires
Posted: 14th Aug 2011 01:25           | link | toggle

Quote: "A video of this finished map would be nice. "

Awww! Man! I haven't made the sounds for this yet.

Quote: "sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet. this will help alot! gave me a few ideas that i might include in a few of my games.
"

Cool



-Wolf

I make serious coffee - so strong it wakes up the neighbors.
http://serygalacaffeine.deviantart.com/
Twitter:@Serygala
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2Beastmode4u

User


Joined: Mon Feb 14th 2011
Location: Loading...
Posted: 14th Aug 2011 01:54           | link | toggle

Amazing Wolf, very helpful indeed. What shader do you mainly use?

Also, what are your specs?


Cheers.

God help me, Please.
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da2020

User


Joined: Sat Dec 26th 2009
Location: C:\\Program Files\\
Posted: 14th Aug 2011 05:47     Edited: 14th Aug 2011 05:50     | link | toggle

Amazing Wolf it's extremely helpful!(Now let's see if games on the WIP thread actually follows this tutorial)
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Bugsy

FPSC BOTB Developer


Joined: Mon Nov 24th 2008
Location: another place in time
Posted: 14th Aug 2011 06:51           | link | toggle

This is a very well written tutorial! it is very helpful!

imageflock.com/img/1303928322.png
skype = isaacpreston. I want to talk to YOU
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OmegaWolf98

User


Joined: Sun May 15th 2011
Location: Australia
Posted: 14th Aug 2011 08:36           | link | toggle

This is excellent, it's opened up a lot more ways for designing levels.

I thought I had a problem with level design because I thought 14 GB's of media wasn't enough for FPSC.

I take my tea seriously, oh and my story writing.
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Wolf

Valued Member


Joined: Thu Nov 8th 2007
Location: The Sea of Dark Desires
Posted: 14th Aug 2011 10:30     Edited: 14th Aug 2011 12:43     | link | toggle

Quote: "What shader do you mainly use? "

Besides the ones I described in the tutorials, there are some metro theater shaders involved. Mainly to deal with the "glowing door" issue. Only to add some specular effects on some metal things. 80% of the entities don't use shader effects at all. Its all in the textures...ha!

Quote: "Also, what are your specs?"

Quad core something
with a nvidia 9something GTX graphics card
3 gigabyte ram
some creativelabs soundcard

How is that related to the tutorial?

Quote: "Now let's see if games on the WIP thread actually follows this tutorial"

...by counting the glowing plasma balls that come up in future
No seriously: I'm also eager to see if I got myself a few readers (no Bill Hicks quote intended)

Quote: "This is a very well written tutorial! it is very helpful!"

Well, thank you! I was expecting something more destructive

Quote: "This is excellent, it's opened up a lot more ways for designing levels."

Thank you! Glad you liked it.

Quote: "
I thought I had a problem with level design because I thought 14 GB's of media wasn't enough for FPSC."

This is not a measuring contest



-Wolf

I make serious coffee - so strong it wakes up the neighbors.
http://serygalacaffeine.deviantart.com/
Twitter:@Serygala
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OmegaWolf98

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Joined: Sun May 15th 2011
Location: Australia
Posted: 14th Aug 2011 11:35           | link | toggle

Lol

I take my tea seriously, oh and my story writing.
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Leongamerz

User


Joined: Sat Aug 14th 2010
Location: Cyberspace
Posted: 14th Aug 2011 12:47           | link | toggle

Oh my god Wolf,thanks for this tutorial!.Have one beer from me.

Poloflece,Anayar,PWP,Henry Ham,Cosmic Prophet,Wolf,Rolfy,KeithC,Nickydude,SceneCommander,Dark Goblin And Lee Bamber is my icon.

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bruce3371

FPSC Reloaded TGC Backer


Joined: Wed Aug 4th 2010
Location: Englishland
Posted: 14th Aug 2011 13:28           | link | toggle

Very good tutorial wolf

Now all I need is a tutorial on how to make good textures lol

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2Beastmode4u

User


Joined: Mon Feb 14th 2011
Location: Loading...
Posted: 14th Aug 2011 20:00           | link | toggle

Quote: "How is that related to the tutorial?"

Because I wanted to know why you have 60 fps and I don't. Probably my video card.


Cheers.

God help me, Please.
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Captain Coder

FPSC Reloaded TGC Backer


Joined: Wed Jul 6th 2011
Location: Runtime Error 13: Location unknown
Posted: 15th Aug 2011 23:14           | link | toggle

Wolf, this is fantactic! Thanks for writing it in more of a walk-through format, I always love detailed tutorials that walk you through how to do something to one degree or another. Thanks for helping us newbies!

Captain Coder

One of the most humbling days in your life will be the day you discover you AREN'T the best at what you do.
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RAXMUX Games

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Joined: Wed Dec 16th 2009
Location: Sweden
Posted: 16th Aug 2011 17:11           | link | toggle

These tutorials are priceless, can't wait for Episode 3

Just call me Raxmux
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KeithC

Moderator


Joined: Thu Oct 27th 2005
Location: Michigan
Posted: 16th Aug 2011 17:43           | link | toggle

Excellent work! Added.

-Keith

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Wolf

Valued Member


Joined: Thu Nov 8th 2007
Location: The Sea of Dark Desires
Posted: 18th Aug 2011 14:04           | link | toggle

Appreciated a lot!

I make serious coffee - so strong it wakes up the neighbors.
http://serygalacaffeine.deviantart.com/
Twitter:@Serygala
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Help bugs!

User


Joined: Tue Sep 1st 2009
Location: Cyberspace
Posted: 24th Sep 2011 02:22           | link | toggle

Wolf. Just a quick little question. How do I rotate objects to be on there side like barrels and chairs?

Sorry for such a noob question but its been bugging me!

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Wolf

Valued Member


Joined: Thu Nov 8th 2007
Location: The Sea of Dark Desires
Posted: 24th Sep 2011 02:28           | link | toggle

You are here since 2009 and havent figured it out yet? Oh well... better late than never

1,2,3,4,5 and 6 Button, if you hold shift, you can rotate 'em slower.



-Wolf

Matter is energy condensed to a slow vibration, we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively Theres no such thing as death,life is only a dream,and were the imagination of ourselves.
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Help bugs!

User


Joined: Tue Sep 1st 2009
Location: Cyberspace
Posted: 25th Sep 2011 15:27           | link | toggle

Quote: "You are here since 2009 and havent figured it out yet?"
It's been bothering me for ages thanks!

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Wolf

Valued Member


Joined: Thu Nov 8th 2007
Location: The Sea of Dark Desires
Posted: 25th Sep 2011 20:31           | link | toggle

Glad to help

Matter is energy condensed to a slow vibration, we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively Theres no such thing as death,life is only a dream,and were the imagination of ourselves.
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The Storyteller 01

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Joined: Mon May 11th 2009
Location: On a silent hill in dead space
Posted: 25th Sep 2011 21:09           | link | toggle

Great tutorial @Wolf

btw, I am amazed about your constant output. Are you really a single person only?

In case you find my grammar and spelling weird ---> native German speaker ^^
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Wolf

Valued Member


Joined: Thu Nov 8th 2007
Location: The Sea of Dark Desires
Posted: 27th Sep 2011 10:16     Edited: 27th Sep 2011 10:16     | link | toggle

No, but I'm receiving threatment for it.



Sorry, but I had to
I'm glad you liked it.



-Wolf

Matter is energy condensed to a slow vibration, we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively Theres no such thing as death,life is only a dream,and were the imagination of ourselves.
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