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DarkBASIC Professional Discussion / Full Level Design Walkthrough for DBP - Design, Modelling, Texturing, Exporting.

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Megaton Cat
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Location: Toronto, Canada
Posted: 7th Jan 2006 22:54 Edited at: 11th Jan 2006 20:44
Update - Nov 10/06
Hi guys. Just added the main index page where all the tutorials will go (Going to have some excellent contributions soon from Jonny Ree, Lawrence and Tinkergirl)

http://www.vgstudy.com/

Added the new "Gile[s] lightmapping Tutorial" for those who spent restless nights for it. Comments welcome as usual, exept from the forbidden people. You know who you are.

Thanks.





------------------------> Old stuff Bellow

Hi

This started off as a beginners tutorial, but I just can't write a beginners tutorial (not enough brain cells in stock) so It turned out to be an intermediate/advanced tutorial. Meaning you're going to need SOME Cshop experiance, basic knowledge of vertex manipulation, UV coordinates etc. Nothing hard, but not the usual "Just bought level editor, what do I do?" kind of user.

This can either be followed in Cshop or 3DWS. Both relatively the same.

Mattman beta-tested it already and he was completlly floored by the first 3 images. Lost like a kitten in Metro-Tokyo. This means you MIGHT have problems with it. This is my first tutorial and I might not be a great teacher. I'm still always avalable for questions though.

Anyway, I am making a sci-fi Deathmatch. But the method I'll be using can be applied to any type of level.

Well....after a 30-hour crunch on this tutorial, am kinda tired of talking about it. Here's some SCREENAGE.





Even those who won't bother reading it - comments and opinions welcome.

Thanks and god speed.

Please note that at the moment there is no .GLS export option for 3DWS - meaning you will have to either settle for 3DWS lighting, or try to export to .x then load into Gile[s]. If you have Cshop, then you're good to go. Maybe we can get Josh to release a freeware version of Cshop for use with this tutorial....since Cshop is no longer being sold, and 3DWS is the main product at the moment, it would encourage people to upgrade to 3DWS.

Darkbasic MADPSP
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Posted: 7th Jan 2006 23:00
Looks good

Experienced DB http://www.greatgames3d.com (work in progress site)
Zotoaster
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Posted: 7th Jan 2006 23:05
Thank GOD! (aka you) I could really do with one of these!

Zedane
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Posted: 7th Jan 2006 23:07
Go Megaton!


around here.. normal's just a setting on a hair dryer
Kangaroo2 BETA2
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Location: Somerset / UK
Posted: 7th Jan 2006 23:10
EXCELLENT tutorial, just read it from start to finish, I think I learned something, I know I enjoyed and agreed with it

The only part I dissagree with is the "downgrade to 5.8" thing - surely giles' programmer will soon update the export dbo option to the new dbo version?

Anyhow, VERY nice tutorial. Your textures are really cool too


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blanky
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Posted: 7th Jan 2006 23:11
F**king awesome... Man, that explains like everything.

Cartography shop, I will conquer ye!!!

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Tinkergirl
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Posted: 7th Jan 2006 23:34
Very nice, Megaton
Good to see you got into more about the down-and-dirty of the modelling side, and still didn't skimp on the sketch side.

Good work
Megaton Cat
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Location: Toronto, Canada
Posted: 7th Jan 2006 23:38
Thanks, been meaning to ask you too add in your gameplay related stuff, but no way to contact/MSN you.


Model packs found on "Web" icon bellow.
Megaton Cat
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Posted: 7th Jan 2006 23:43 Edited at: 7th Jan 2006 23:44
Would also like to mention to everyone that I will begin working on video tutorials - these tutorials will be MUCH simpler, shorter, and more practical as they're for modelling single objects. They'll be about 1-1.5 hours long and sold for $10.

The first one will be "Creating an RPG house and Interior"
Thanks


Model packs found on "Web" icon bellow.
AtomR
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Posted: 7th Jan 2006 23:48 Edited at: 7th Jan 2006 23:50
@Kangaroo2 Beta2: The creator of Giles can't do much until the new dbo format specsare realeased whichj they weren't.

Great tutorial Megaton. Awesome pics. Keep up the good work.

Take care
AtomR
Deadwords
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 00:25
Great tutorial Teh Cat! Good job on mapping and writing

Skalex - Nobody can ear you scream ... you're on a forum!
David T
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 00:57
Nice tut!

So that's what I've been missing. Never used splines / vertex editing a lot. I just tend to use boxes to make walls -_-.

Hey. Can't believe I didn't a get mention. How many times did I say "cool" to you? And I slaved away at that DBPro flyaround thingy too



Still nice work. Are the techniques that much different for an outdoor level?

FXTC
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 02:39
nice tutorials

AMD 2,4 512MB RAM,2x200GB hdd,GforceFX5700GT128MB
x1b
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 03:01
Quote: "Hey. Can't believe I didn't a get mention."



Dont feel bad David. I'm the one who got him started on this and even I didnt get props

- Do it, Do it Right, Do it right now..
Zedane
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 03:07
lol, megaton you meanie . Anyways..now it's just a countdown until this becomes a sticky.


around here.. normal's just a setting on a hair dryer
Hawkeye
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 03:14
Dude, that was an INCREDIBLY SEXY TUTORIAL.

I am in awe of your madz levelpwnskillz0rz.

*bows*


I am but mad north north-west; when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw - Hamlet, Hamlet
Mattman
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 03:30 Edited at: 8th Jan 2006 03:31
Whoops I was wrong. It wasn't gone, I just had the wrong linkbookmarked.

Why make sense when you could make brownies?
Bob Joe Sam Tom
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 03:51 Edited at: 8th Jan 2006 03:56
Wow.

So that's how you guys get such great levels... I'm forever in your dept. No longer will my levels be simple corridors and box rooms.

Amazing.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!



EDIT : Fixed my errors.

EDIT 2 : I'd like to point out a small error in the turorial:

Quote: "Right, and now is the fun part: We start modeling. Pop that Cshop open, shove your cat of your keyboard, get some coffee and sit down."


I think you mean "shove your cat off your keyboard"
Cash Curtis II
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 04:08
Very, very nice. You make it all look so easy. Thank you Megaton.

Rodan
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 05:09 Edited at: 8th Jan 2006 05:10
That's it!

I'm creating a shirt that says: "Megaton Cat is my homeboy"

This tutorial rocks. I can't tell you how grateful and in dept I am ot you

Seriously thanks for sharing your skills with us noobs!
John H
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 05:47
Want to make this a sticky since its so Godlike, but just had to remove a bunch of stickies so gonna have to talk it over. It will at least be linked in Newcomers / 3D Forum stickies though.

Awesome work man.


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John H
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 07:31
Stickied here for now, may be removed and referenced in other stickies as we are trying to keep the number of stickies down a bit.


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Manic
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 14:57
cool tutorial megaton, altho i've a question about the final passage in the tut.

why would a dbo have half the polys? can dbo files support multiple uv maps, or somehow support lightmapping within them? Its something i've never heard about.

nice one megaton.

I don't have a sig, live with it.
Megaton Cat
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Location: Toronto, Canada
Posted: 8th Jan 2006 15:12 Edited at: 8th Jan 2006 15:33
Well, came back from watching King Kong to find a ton of cool comments and a sticky.

Thanks guys, cat appriciates it.

Quote: "Hey. Can't believe I didn't a get mention. How many times did I say "cool" to you? And I slaved away at that DBPro flyaround thingy too"


Ah man sorry I forgot to include that demo and update the page. Will do that today.

Quote: "I'm the one who got him started on this and even I didnt get props"


Oh I'm sorry, is your name Lawrence? I must have been talking to the wrong guy on msn the whole time - next time I see him I'll be sure to tell him to sod off and block him.


Quote: "why would a dbo have half the polys? can dbo files support multiple uv maps, or somehow support lightmapping within them? Its something i've never heard about."


Well, I might be wrong as my source is directly another programmer. Here is Fallout's quote in an old email from one of our old projects:

Quote: "From Simon: You're exporting as two .x files (one model and one
light map model). Is there a reason why you're not using the .DBO export?
With the DBO we only have one model with the lightmap already on it and
therefore only half the number of polys/vertices?"


From what I understand, .x needs to export the mesh, plus export another mesh to be lightmapped and ghosted over the original mesh. Therefore:

load object "level", 1
load object "level_lm", 2
ghost object 2, 1
set ambient light 100

This is extremly noticable in-game: A 9000 poly .x level sees enormous fps drop over an even bigger 14000 but DBO scene. The .x scene is actually closer to 19k poly now with the lightmap. Yeah it's a pain for now, but we're just gonna have to wait for the updated DBO exporters.

Thanks.

EDIT:
I also apoligize to the mods about the sig. After being on 1024x768 for a decade, just two days ago I switched to 1280x1024. Everything looks tiiiiny and I didn't realise my sig was actually noobed. I've become the very thing I been mocking for years.

Your signature has been erased by a mod because it's larger than 600x120...
That's a first.
French gui
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 17:13
Nice Megaton, congrats, it's a cool and usefull tutorial you've made here! Just one thing, correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that 3DWS have not the splines construction anymore(unless I'm unable to find it). So 3DWS users have to use another method...

Megaton Cat
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 17:23
That's no problems - you can still create single faced plains with the box tool which acts exactly like splines.

Your signature has been erased by a mod because it's larger than 600x120...
That's a first.

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Megaton Cat
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 18:00
Uploaded the open-source .CSM file of this level. Pop all the textures in the same folder as this file and you can open it up in Cshop/3DWS to fiddle/edit/look around.

Enjoy.

Kangaroo2 BETA2
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 18:14
Cool! Megaton - did you make these textures? If not where are they from? Me likes!


Preorder EA here:http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=67575&b=8&p=0
+ Model Pro out now in Program Announcements!
French gui
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 18:32
Quote: " That's no problems - you can still create single faced plains with the box tool which acts exactly like splines."


Oh, but how are you doing? By deleting unused faces of the box?

Megaton Cat
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 18:46
Kangaroo2: The textures are just free stuff I snagged online:

http://www.planetquake.com/hfx/textures.html

French gui: Pretty much. If you drag the box together, you can get it to create just a simple plain with 2 faces - something that wasn't possible in Cshop. Just delete the one additional backfaces.

Oddmind
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 18:56
OH MEGATONNN!!!!! I likez this tutryl alto, it taughted me how to makex d3h levelzz!!!!

And because of your gracious efforts to save this community from the horror that is cube levels, My games will now look 11.5 times better . Thank you!

formerly KrazyJimmy
French gui
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 19:02
Ok thanks a lot Kitty.

Kangaroo2 BETA2
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 19:13
ok thanks


Preorder EA here:http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=67575&b=8&p=0
+ Model Pro out now in Program Announcements!
Ric
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Posted: 8th Jan 2006 19:51
Holy cow! This is one monumental piece of work! Make sure you get Rich to include this in the next newsletter - just knowing that this sort of quality is possible by one man and DBPro/Cshop/Giles is an inpiration to us all. Good luck with the videos - I'd be especially interested in a tutorial which goes into some depth as to how to get the best out of Gile(s) which I've had for ages and have never got it to work properly. And do I remember you saying you use 3d-Canvas as your modeller? I'd like to see how you create a complete workflow which combines all of these programs (which I bought as a bundle pack from TGC).

Red Ocktober
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Posted: 9th Jan 2006 00:47 Edited at: 9th Jan 2006 02:46
Verrrrrrry Verrrrrrry Niiiiice!!!

thanks for taking the time to do this...

one question... since you have .x files, why didn't you lightmap it in CShop... to take advantage of different type of lights in Giles?

--Mike
adr
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Posted: 9th Jan 2006 10:06 Edited at: 9th Jan 2006 10:11
I've just read the thing from top to bottom and I can honestly say I'd find it a big help when I next try and design a level.

I personally would be tempted to model a room at a time but I can see how that would be wrong. You just end up with a load of differently styled, scaled and textured rooms which don't really interconnect.

Makes for excellent reading.


----- edit - You did kinda skim over lighting at the end which is a shame. I can appreciate that there might not be much to say on the subject but it just seems like a large gap in terms of detail between level design/modelling and lighting. Perhaps lighting itself could be investigated in a separate article? How does different lighting effect that level, etc?

[center]
iv tryed everything!!!!!!!!!! could u please just add The gun and shooting Code thats All!!!!!!!!!
Torrey
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Posted: 9th Jan 2006 10:29
Over all the tutorials I've read on this site and these forums that has to be the best one! Keep'm coming, you have great skill.

=ChrisB=
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Posted: 9th Jan 2006 11:32
This may push me to learn DBP. Thanks, fat boy!

Your signature has been erased by a mod
Manic
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Posted: 9th Jan 2006 12:16
hmm... under my understanding, the dbo would be just the same... perhaps giles actually exports two copys of the level within one dbo file, one with the normal textures and one with the lightmap.

the apparant fps decrease (between dbo and .x) could simply be to do with the extra object's computing requirements.

could do with some clarification on this from tgc/the guy that makes gileS

I don't have a sig, live with it.
BatVink
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Posted: 9th Jan 2006 15:27
Megaton Cat
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Posted: 9th Jan 2006 15:32 Edited at: 9th Jan 2006 15:41
This is too good to be true.

Downloading...

edit: It appears to be VB...no idea how to get this thing running. I'll wait for some of the more advanced users meddle with this.

Mattman
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Posted: 9th Jan 2006 15:51 Edited at: 9th Jan 2006 15:52
Megaton, I read through it without trying to make every step, much easier to get an idea of it first then try it later. I've got some more grammer errors for you later tonight.

PS Thanks for making me look like a total chump. Gee whiz

Why make sense when you could make brownies?
Megaton Cat
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Posted: 9th Jan 2006 15:53
Thanks Matt, it's really hard to type when you have paws...that's why I make alot of errors.

I appriciate the proof-reading.

Megaton Cat
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Posted: 9th Jan 2006 16:02 Edited at: 9th Jan 2006 16:03
Well, a few recent events changed the situation:

Due to popular demand, high user-incompetence, and the newly released progress of the .gls DBP importer, I think I'll be needing to make a .gls lighting tutorial. People feel I brushed up on lighting far to quickly on my current Level Tut so for this new one I will go into detail on such things as basic light sources, omni lights, uses of spotlights, sunlight systems, and basiclly a bunch of do's and don't's for lighting up your indoor/outdoor level. Will be much shorter than my previous one, I promie.

Thanks.

p.s Trying to download desktop-recording software to start work on my video-tutorial it's being stubborn with the download...

BatVink
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Posted: 9th Jan 2006 16:15
Quote: "It appears to be VB"


It's C++, for Vis Studio 7. I'm sure that means something to somebody somewehere.

It's been up nearly an hour now and still no sign of a completed, compiled version with documentation and a keywords file.

Megaton Cat
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Posted: 9th Jan 2006 16:24
Basiclly what I meant to say is: I'm noob and don't know how to work with it in it's current form - maybe Lawrence will help out?

*Prods Lawrence*

Van B
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Posted: 9th Jan 2006 16:35
Great read Megaton, along with Tinkergirls post, I'm all set to start designing levels again .

I find it's one of those things that you have to be in exactly the right mood for - that tutorial provides a lot of much needed inspiration, and I don't even have Giles or CS (damn CS has come a long way huh!).


Van-B

Put away, those fiery biscuits!
x1bwork
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Posted: 9th Jan 2006 17:57 Edited at: 9th Jan 2006 17:59
Sorry, was working. What, who ? huh ??


[edit]
Ohhh, copile C++ source in VS7 ? ya,man. ill hook you up when I get home. I code perl at work. no VS7 here
blanky
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Posted: 9th Jan 2006 18:39 Edited at: 9th Jan 2006 18:40
Well, er, I... Provided.... moral support.. in the form of an MSN message at least once every 6 months and I didn't even know about this tutorial until it was completely finished.

HOW COULD MEGATON NOT MENTION ME!

[Edit] Oops... so there's 4 pages, not 1 [/Edit]

Point is void.

Support the AAANJL by doing nothing! Visit teh site below..
BatVink
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Posted: 9th Jan 2006 23:34
This is now officially Tutorial City's first featured publication...

http://members.thegamecreators.com/tutorialcity/html/feature.html

.

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