View Full Version : WIP: City of the Ancients

12-07-2002, 10:18 PM
Now that I have submitted Mars to some jkii map hosting sites...I have nothing to do...

At my site (http://wso.williams.edu/~jshoer/outcast.htm) I have posted the first screenshot of my next endeavour, a CTF / FFA / CTY map taking place in a fiarly large, abandoned city. There will be four temples at the corners of the map and one in the center, two of the temples in the opposite corners will contain the red and blue flags. The rest of the level, however, is not designed symmetrically! Players will be roaming wild in the streets!

I have planned the whole thing out on paper, and I think the assymetrical aspect will work for CTF. Even if it doesn't, it should make for a great FFA map, there are plenty of places to hide, and plenty of open areas to duel in. I count approximately 50 distinct buildings on my design sketch, of various sizes, players will be able to enter 12 of them.

These shots are VERY prelimenary. I am trying to get the main architecture down first before I move on to making some adobe-looking textures instead of this Bespin basic crap. I'm also working on the ocean and making it look like it blends into the skybox. However, the buildings are fairly easy to make, so this should move quickly into the surface detailing phase.

12-11-2002, 01:01 AM
I have updated my WIP site with a new round of screenshots form the latest test compile of the City. The link is in my sig.

For you picky people out there, all I have to say is "bsp FastVIS (1/2)."

I've stuck custom textures on almsot everything, I haven't lined them all up correctly, I'll be getting to that when I'm done with finials and my little research paper on Native American tactics in warfare. The lighting is screwy, for some reason q3map2 won't reconize my skybox shader as a light source and sof2map has decided that all my curves can be lit through. Oh, well. I have one other minor issue: I put a flame effect in, but it's too big. (Specifically, look at the pic marked "a torch in a dockside building"--it looks like it's on the 'roids.) Is there a smaller fire effect, or a way to shrink the existing one?

Anyways, I'm almost done plotting out all the buildings. I will then build the interiors of the few that you can enter, and then run throughout the level adding details, carts, torches, boats, you name it.

12-11-2002, 01:05 AM
Another quetion. How do I code a shader so that my canopy on the house is translucent?

12-12-2002, 01:25 AM
Bring on the eye candy! There has been another update, now you can see the nearly-completed Red and Yellow Temples. They look very nice if I do say so myself. :D

12-15-2002, 09:44 PM

The only physical building I have yet to build is the Blue Temple, which will have a water motif and be partly underground. All remaining architecture is the interiors of the Council Hall and two other houses, then I will go through the level and make it super-detailed.

I have a nifty custom texture thing going on, I'm playing around with spotlights and colored glass and stuff. This is going to be great, I can't wait to play it myself!

12-16-2002, 12:48 PM
You should make this into an RPG level... It looks like it would fit just perfect.


12-16-2002, 03:44 PM
Originally posted by ZDawg
You should make this into an RPG level... It looks like it would fit just perfect.


Exactly ;)

12-16-2002, 05:14 PM
Hmm...I'm a little behind the curve on this one, how is it that you play Outcast RPG?

12-20-2002, 09:58 AM
Lookin' good, Wedge. RP for Jedi Outcast is pretty simply, but I'll let someone like Pnut (who is a lot more knowledgeable about such things) explain it. ;)

I do like the initial layout of the city. There aren't enough city maps (that are actually city sized)... in fact, I think you're the only one. Looking forward to the detailing of the map. Maybe some type of wires or something between buildings could be nice - sort of like electrical wiring but not as ugly. :D

12-20-2002, 01:06 PM
Hello Aru-Wen, cool that I ran into you here...

12-20-2002, 08:37 PM
Hi Xam. ;) We should probably keep to PMs rather than talk here on the threads... the mods around here don't like off-topic stuff.

12-20-2002, 09:34 PM
Wedge, Role Playing on Outcast:


I'm one of their members :)
If you're a decent rpger, send in an application.

12-28-2002, 04:05 PM
Hmm, I don't think I'll be doing any RPing myself, but it's fine with me if you want to use this map for it!

Aru-wen, sorry, no electrical wires, it's a pre-industrial city (City of the Ancients and all :D). But some ropes between the buildings, hmm, that could make things interesting...

Well, all that's left architecturally is digging into the interior of one more building, and then I will go nuts and put doors and windowframes and stuff in. My site will be updated shortly, with pics of the newest building and the interior of the council hall, as soon as I finish this next test compile... (work, computer, work!!)

12-28-2002, 05:31 PM
Okay, newest pics are up!!!!


(I know some of the lighting is cruddy, it's on my to-do list!)

12-29-2002, 07:35 AM
wow i must say that you really have an eye for detail. it looks absolutely amazing.

maybe we have a mappingposition available for you over at the attack of the clones tc, we could really use the help from a mapper like you. check out the forums, www.aotctc.com (http://www.aotctc.com), and either mail me (buckman@spray.se) or add me to you ICQlist 97046389

i hope that you're interested ;)

-Buck out :duel:

12-31-2002, 04:43 AM
I have a couple more projects I'd like to work on by myself first, but thanks. :)

01-01-2003, 05:30 PM
I have finished all the architecture! I'm starting in on all the necessary detailing, and since I'm addicted to taking screenshots and posting all of them online, you can all check out the newest batch on my personal site. Doesn't it look lived in now? (http://wso.williams.edu/~jshoer/images/shot0044.jpg)

Still playing with the lighting, and I haven't put in many weapons or powerups yet. It'll be out by mid-january at least.


01-02-2003, 02:56 PM
Looking sweet, Wedge. Can't wait to play it. :D

01-03-2003, 06:56 PM
Unexpectedly, I finished mapping CotA.

Architecture- done... Details- done... Lighting- done... Weapons- done... Spawn points- done... CTF items- done...

I'm going to tweak the thing a little, bot-route it, compile it, and I expect to have turned in the final product to jkii.net by the middle of next week.

Be warned, the thing appears to weigh in at 21 megs. Custom textures and music, yeah...it wouldn't be any fun otherwise :)

Due to the vast open area, I've gotten some FPS counts below 20, but it's only in a few discrete spots, and most of the level averages about 50. Indoors, it can get up to 80. Sorry about the craziness there, but I felt it was worth it to be able to jump over buildings and run freely in the streets (makes explosive weapons a LOT of fun, too, you'd be surprised how far you can make yourself fly when you set off 3 trip mines and 3 detpacks simultaneously with a rocket).

Good thing, too, I'm starting to get that end-of-level-itis when I'm just itching to get this thing out so I can start on my next idea (but more on that later).

I expect lots of rave reviews midweek! :D


Sephiroth CR
01-04-2003, 03:27 PM
This looks like a really great map!:) Can't wait 4 it to be finished!

01-08-2003, 02:53 PM
I have finished the final version of CotA! YAY ME!

It has been submitted to jkii.net and pcgamemods.com, I will post again when I see it online.

I was wrong about file size, it cashes in at 12 MB, not 21. :) I didn't realize just how much PakScape compresses .bsp files.

In my opinion, the map looks good, and the bot routing seems to work, I don't notice any severe issue that the bot can't fix in a few jumps, etc. Frame rates are also steady with 8 bots, never really getting below 20 on my system, mostly not getting below 30. I was rather impressed, I thought a large number of bots would kill the thing, but I even walked to the spot where I hit 16 FPS in testing, and lo and behold, it was more like 25-30. Wow.

While watching a battle on this map, I've noticed things happen that I've never seen before because there hasn't really ever been a large open map done on this scale before. Long-range weapons are incredible: rockets and the disruptor and DEMP2 (especially DEMP2 alt-fire). This map would be sniper heaven if it weren't for the fact that there are a million ways to sneak up on campers! Still, I think I zapped 5 bots in under 2 minutes from the same spot (they were all involved in complicated saber duels really far away from me or had decided that a screaming charge from 50 yards away was the way to go against a sniper on a platform 30 feet high). Still, at any time if I looked up at the sky, I was likely to see blaster bolts or flaming energy balls crossing the city from above, truly impressive, especially when they "accidentally" hit something. Another thing that I've never seen before is a saber duel from about the equivalent of 500 yards away: you can just make out two stick-figures holding glowing rods, swinging them wildly, and every time the sabers connect, a brilliant "flash!" in a bubble visible from far away. It was truly impressive. (Until I decided to be a complete @$$ and blow them both apart with a homing rocket, eh, they're just bots! :D)

I'll post again when I see the file online, if you want to look yourself, check jkii.net and pcgamemods.com for a file entitled either "City of the Ancients" or CotA!! Once you have it, I would really appreciate comments!

01-08-2003, 03:00 PM
Sounds sweet, Wedge. I hope they get it posted soon - I can't wait to play it.

01-09-2003, 08:02 PM
Okay. I hate waiting for submitted files to be posted. And I'm having way too much fun with this map myself, it's great. (Anyone ever read Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlien? Think force jump + rocket launcher, it's totally awesome.) So, limited time offer until it goes on the official sites, cause I don't want college IT to kill me for overloading their download servers:

First 10 people to email/IM/post here with their email address will get a link to the download. Special sneak preview and all. ;)

(PS, Aru, one of those has your name on it:))

01-10-2003, 09:39 AM
Wooo hooo! First one, too! Send me the link whenever. Also, maybe we can work out a time so that I can play the map with you? Eh? Eh? :D

01-11-2003, 06:59 PM
I'm not sure if it was just the version you linked me to or not, Wedge, but the one I downloaded has no levelshot. :/

The map looks great, otherwise. :) I love the music, especially. My only real complaint with it is that my FPS drops below 30 (even when i'm by myself) when I look all the way across the city. What did you test it on? I ran it on a 1.53 GHz, 512 MB computer with a 64 MB video card.

01-11-2003, 07:16 PM
SHOOT! I forgot the levelshot! ARRRG!

Well, the pic that was meant to be the levelshot is the index picture for CotA on my site, here (http://wso.williams.edu/~jshoer/images/CotA.jpg), so if you feel like stretching that to 1024x1024, that'll be it. :)

01-11-2003, 07:28 PM
Okay, I checked my original .pk3, and it turns out that i did NOT forget the original levelshot, I just forgot to put it in the right directory. If you open up CotA.pk3 in PakScape, you'll find the levelshot CotA.jpg in the botroutes/ directory. D'OH! The corrected file is available at that same link I sent you before, and I sent that link along to jkii.net as well. Hopefully, they will put that up before they put up the levelshotless version. :)

I'm running a Dell Inspiron 8200 with a P4 1.7 GHz, 256 MB RAM, and a 64 MB GeForce4. I get the same drop in FPS when I look across the city, but I haven't had any inturruption in my own gameplay due to frame rates. I dont think there's really any way to fix that in this level, though. Thanks!

01-11-2003, 07:57 PM
No problem, Wedge. I know there's no way to fix the framerate issue in the large open area, I just thought I'd mention it as news. Still awesome though... I played it last night with bots for some time. :D

01-12-2003, 03:32 PM
awsome! I'd love to see it.

your great!

01-12-2003, 05:55 PM
really good
looks big and has nice detail!

01-13-2003, 09:48 AM
Okay, it appeared online at jkii.net:


As far as I can tell, this is the fully-functional correct one with the levelshot in the right place and everything. I have had one person complain about bots not being routed...but I honestly don't know what that's about. Please, download, enjoy, comment!

01-14-2003, 07:05 PM
Two things I would like to know about players' impressions about this map:

First, are there any problems with the huge open area? As far as I can tell, this is a kind of revolutionary idea in JKII MP maps.

Second, does this map work well as a CTF map? I designed the layout of the temples to provide a natural red/blue division, but I specifically made the general city layout asymmetrical. Is one side "better" than the other, or is this a good CTF arrangement? If it works, I might later experiment with drastically different asymmetrical CTF layouts, such as a canyon/mountain system on one side, a plain in the middle, and a constructed base on the other side.

01-14-2003, 07:44 PM
Originally posted by wedge2211
Two things I would like to know about players' impressions about this map:

First, are there any problems with the huge open area? As far as I can tell, this is a kind of revolutionary idea in JKII MP maps.

Second, does this map work well as a CTF map? I designed the layout of the temples to provide a natural red/blue division, but I specifically made the general city layout asymmetrical. Is one side "better" than the other, or is this a good CTF arrangement? If it works, I might later experiment with drastically different asymmetrical CTF layouts, such as a canyon/mountain system on one side, a plain in the middle, and a constructed base on the other side.

The major problem for me is the slowdown of the open areas. When playing with a few other people it makes it nearly unplayable, which hurts especially during CTF. It's hard to dodge the choppy movement, you know?

I do love the layout, however. Asymmetrical CTF is much more fun. As far as I can tell, no one side is better than the other... but for future reference, each side should have strengths and weaknesses. Your later experiment idea sounds interesting... hope to see something on it soon. :P

01-14-2003, 10:39 PM
Very nice map Wedge, the only complaint I have is there seems to be some odd lighting in random places (A green light in that an 'alcove' in open place in front of the big temple, some random yellow lighting) but it might be just a problem with lighting (other than that the lighting was exeptional).

As for the FPS, I got around 30 in most of the map and about 19/20 while on the boat, which would be good enough for an RP game but for ctf, it's iffy, would have to have a better comp than me :-D

The map overall was awesome, i'd give it a 9.5/10, I hope mine can compare to this (if it ever gets done! lol).

In case your wondering, im on an Athlon 1ghz, 256mb ram and WinXP

This map really 'kicks the llama's ass'

El Sitherino
01-16-2003, 06:02 PM
hey wedge only one complaint other than that its excellent. the fps is really really ridiculously low in some places. i was wondering if yo caulked and if so did you caulk all the outside space ?and did you light my fps dropped to around 4 and 5 so i cant play it with much enjoyment. other than that its gold.

01-16-2003, 07:20 PM
Thanks for the comments.

Most unseen surfaces are caulked. The sky is a light-emitting shader, which might affect FPS, but it's a sun light instead of just an emitted light. Basically the frame rate i low just because most of the map is essentially one, big, open area, which can't be helped other than major architectural changes (i.e., making all the buildings so big that you can't jump/see over them). In my opinion, if you've got a good enough machine, the map plays well enough over most of it's area, I really can't do anything else to increase the performance. I have seen worse. :)

Thanks for the accolades, guys!

01-21-2003, 08:19 PM
Very nice map. :)

I don't get a great FPS when looking at the general length of the map (that's usually the FPS killer), but my FPS is a lot better on this than the DOTF map. :D
I like the detail of the buildings, and the market in the middle. Very nice for RP stories. :)

Mars is also an excellent map, reminds me of the movie 'Ghosts of Mars' if you've ever seen it. :)

I look foward to your next map. ;)

Nice work on the water too. ;)
Normally people use green water, and generally don't shove a shader on it... I dislike green water. :p

01-22-2003, 12:25 PM
I've made a very embarrasssing error.

Some of the custom textures I used, and included with the CotA pk3, came from buckman's BETA-tatooine map, as he pointed out to me. I didn't give him credit for those in the readme or even shoot him an email asking to use them. He mentioned to me that it would have been OK if I had asked permission properly and cited him in the readme, which I failed to do. It's kinda of beyond help now, as the map has been available for some time and there have been a lot of downloads. I re-wrote the readme and sent it off to jkii.net, asking them to update the download, we'll see what happens. I'm not sure if buckman will accept my profuse apologies or what else I can do to resolve this, it was rather dishonest of me.

I have certainly learned to keep track of other map readme files along with the maps themselves, and to be sure to ask permission in the future; this won't happen again.

The new version of the readme I sent to jkii.net, for inclusion with the CotA.zip download, reads as follows:


Title : City of the Ancients
Author : wedge2211
E-Mail : 06jps@williams.edu
Website : http://wso.williams.edu/~jshoer

File Name : CotA.pk3
File Size : 11 MB
Date Released : 8 Jan 2003

Description : The populace of Keranis IV, a preindustrial world, was wiped out by the Sith at the height of their power. The Sith used a massive Force burst to eradicate all intelligent life on Keranis, leaving the Kerani cities desolate and preserved. No living thing remains in the cities but a few slowly rotting plants among the Kerani houses, shops, and temples. Features 5 themed temples, an open marketplace, a meeting hall, and a port. Over 52 independant buildings, 12 with detailed interiors.

Comments : This map is bot routed. I haven't had any significant framerate issues yet, despite the large open space. The music is "Atrus' Theme" from Riven (the sequel to Myst).

A note on custom textures--

The following textures came from the Photo-Brush program:
cobblestones, gold, planks, planks_dk, plaster, plater_rough, weave, marble_bl, marble_gr, cloth2. Other mappers MAY use these textures.

The following textures came from buckman's BETA-Tatooine map:
adobe_lt, adobe_dk, brick, sand, sand2, sand3, sand4, sand5. Other mappers should CONTACT BUCKMAN for permission to use these textures.

The following textures are modified JKII standard textures:
glass_gr, oceansky_up, oceansky_dn, oceansky_lf, oceansky_rt, oceansky_ft, oceansky_bk. Other mappers MAY use these textures.


Again, I'm very sorry about all this, and I hope we can work things out.