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StaffSaberist 11-13-2005 09:11 AM

SP WIP: The Rift Valley
 
Hi, everyone. I have been working on a SP map using the Rift Texture Set. The storyline will be thus:

After the defeat of the DISCIPLES OF RAGNOS on Korriban, the Jedi have begun the task of defeating the remaining rogue Reborn, along with the IMPERIAL REMNANT.

During this fight, the Jedi, under Master LUKE SKYWALKER, have taken the shards of the shattered SCEPTER OF RAGNOS and begun restoring Force Power to the worlds Tavion stole it from.

At the final world, Chandrilia, the Jedi discover and explore numerous new caverns in the RIFT VALLEY. As they explore, they are watched by the last of the Reborn, desperate for revenge...


Let me know if I spelled Chandrilia wrong. I hate spelling errors in the Mission Briefing, etc.

As of now, I have lost all progress on my map. As you may have heard, I accidentally destroyed my copy of JA, and that included the Base/Maps and my personal Base/Scripts folder. :( I am forced to start from scratch. However, I will not let even this setback keep me from my work. I'll just have to back up my files every now and then, is all.

The game will be divided into 4 levels, called parts. Part I is called Ambush!, and it truly has only one room. I did this because you will have one heck of a fight on your hands (weak systems not recommended). Up to 24-25 NPC's will go at each other with a vengeance. Part II, The Rift Valley, will look like the outside portions of the Raven level t3_rift. Part III will be called The Rift Catacombs. It will look like that hallway near the end of the t3_rift level, but will be much larger in terms of length. I haven't thought of a name for Part IV yet, but depending on your choice, it will either be a fight with the new Sith Lord, or a new quest to eradicate the Jedi. If you fight the Sith Lord, the room will have an Arena feel to it.

In terms of scripting, I will heavily rely on ICARUS to create tactics for the enemy. After all, this is the last of the Reborn, they have lasted this long, and they are fighting to preserve the Dark Side, so they should fight the best. How many times has this happened to you? You are running aling and see a Reborn and a Flechette Stormie. The Reborn Force-Jumps into Flechette fire. Either the Reborn gets spiked, or the Stormie cannot shoot. This is stupid. I will use scripting to get the AI into better combat positions.

I will also include false retreats, ambush points, mass deceptions. The enemy will be a genius on the field. In the end, it may prove too mush for some. We'll see. But I want to give the cheap SP combat system a run for it's money.

I will also include voices and cutscenes. No less is required. When the mapping is complete, I will send out a request for voice actors and create a script (not ICARUS) for my characters. I will also send out requests to the Skinning experts when mapping is complete. After all, Desann, Tavion, and Alora are dead. Why should the new Sith Lord look like them? Also, I may want a more sinister reskin of the Reborns themselves.

This may be the first map I release to the public - but why should it look like it? ;) I will take the time I need to get a fantastic level done, rest assured. I will use this thread to bring updates, take suggestions, constructive critisism, etc. But please don't tell me to change textures! I am basing my texturing on dozens of t3_rift screenshots. (Oh, wait, I have to retake them. That bites... =/) I am going for the Rift "feel". I do have a screenshot of my level about a week and a half before I lost the map cpmpletely. I'll provide a link after I figure out what's wrong with my internet.

Anyway, since that pic, which I will show you, I fixed an odd misc_model problem where the crystal pillars would show up silvery instead of the correct texture. And I also fixed the modelscale issue that I can't remember if you can see. So, if you see problems, esp. with the lighting, I alreasy took care of it - before I lost the project, that is.

Sorry for the lenghty post. I want to make sure you have adequate background on this project.

StaffSaberist 11-13-2005 09:19 AM

OK. The internet is as slow as all heck this morning, but I have the link to the image. Rather that edit my post, which would take forever for some reason, I'll provide the link here:

http://img140.imageshack.us/my.php?i...ighting8su.jpg

I don't recommend following the link if you are having internet problems right now. I still can't get the darn pic to load any faster.

EDIT - Hmm. The pic seems to be half cut off. I hope that's just the internet connection this morning. It would suck to only have half a pic to show you. =/

Oh great. Now the link won't work at all. Boy, is this fun! Oh, imageshack is down. Darn.

EDIT II - Good! It's back up. I can see the lighting is too dark. This was a problem I fixed shortly before losing JA. So, I will know what to do to make the level similar, but better.

shukrallah 11-13-2005 10:34 PM

Your pic doesn't currently work, but the project sounds good! :D

StaffSaberist 11-13-2005 10:40 PM

Imageshack is down again? @#$@ @#%@ $^#@!!!

OK, you have already seen the pic, shukrallah. Don't worry about that. ;)

I have begun the long, tiring process of picking up the old level. I have cut the room into a perfect octagon, and raised the four corners of the room. My next task will be reconstructing the pillers and doors. I never liked the way the doors turned out before. Now's my chance to redo it.

Progress is slow, since I am also rebuilding my JA Mod bank I had in my GameData folder. (That, and training in MP...) but I am working on it, as fast as I can. :)

Hey, it loaded! And it is far brighter than I thought. Good, I can get back to work... :)

wedge2211 11-14-2005 12:19 AM

"Chandrilla," just for reference. Sounds like a project to follow, good luck!

StaffSaberist 11-14-2005 10:17 AM

Ah, thanks. I don't mind the occasional typo, but if I have a spelling mistake in bright glowing neon... that's an invite to get flamed. ;)

StaffSaberist 11-15-2005 01:24 AM

I have been very active, haven't I? I wanted to prove I haven't been idle in Radiant, I guess. I have the lighting figured out, for the most part. I went back on my word, I still have yet to put in a few pillers (I'm so terrible). But I have reconstructed most of what I have lost. Observe the following. Oh, it doesn't really look quite this bright, my screenshots are messed up. I tried to fix it in Photo Editor, and made it just a little too bright instead of too dark. Ah, the joys of the computer... ;)

http://img456.imageshack.us/img456/5113/shot00408gr.jpg

I am thinking about turning down the _minlight, just a tad... ;) It does appear a little washed out. I have it at 10, maybe would be better at 8. I also am going to do something about those doors. They won't go anywhere in the game, but they do need frames. And maybe a little more work in other ways. But it's getting going. :)

Those who have seen my previous map will notice I now have my crystal pillars on a stone support, a vast improvement. Luckily, I can load up t3_rift in Radiant, and C&P what I need to look exactly the same. (I'm so lazy, I should spend hours getting it to look right.) And I will apply the modelscale key to those pillars, they are too small, now that I look at them closely.

So, I am making progress. But there are a few wrinkles to iron out (at least) before I concentrate on Part II's archi. I'm correcting my previous mistake of doing the scripting as I go. That's just dumb. I'm going to make the archi here better, then I will move on to Part II, etc.

I am also doing something I forgot to mention. Why not interlude levels? It will be interesting to see side-quests that will, if nothing else, provide you with interesting glimpses at the Rift Valley. I'll build the actual levelset first, then I will create the side-bonuses and script them in as possibilities you can either choose to play or ignore. I may allow extra Force Powers for completing them, though... :) I have my work cut out for me.

*NEW OBJECTIVE FOR ME: GO TO BED, KNUCKLEHEAD! IT'S 10:30!*

:lol: See ya...

EDIT - I've done some work on it this morning. I have a rough door frame for the other doors, which lead nowhere, and I have clipped the pillars. Take a look at this, I think I'm getting better at the brightness setting so it looks like it does in-game. :)

http://img34.imageshack.us/img34/161/shot00421fh.jpg

Let me know if you have any ideas/suggestions. It has an appropriately dark atmosphere. :)

wedge2211 11-15-2005 04:34 PM

Looks like a faithful reproduction of that room from t3_rift. Good job on that. But why not embellish it with a little of your own stuff? For instance, the huge, perfectly cylindrical pillars...maybe make them segmented, or add little vertical trim pieces going up them? I never really liked those perfectly straight pillars in Raven's level.

The idea of diversionary maps (or sections of maps) that give you extra usable goodies is a good one. Kinda like WC3's side quests, eh? I guess you can do that to some extent with secret areas in a single map, are you thinking of that or completely diversionary maps?

StaffSaberist 11-15-2005 07:23 PM

I am talking, Wedge, about completely different maps. Like this:

You are on map 1. You can proceed normally to map 2, or trigger a side quest and go to map A. Map A leads only to map 2. The difference is, if you complete map A, you get a bonus, like additional Force Power, or perhaps there is a weapons cache somewhere on the bonus level. (Like, the Missile launcher is obtained sooner if you play a certain side-quest.) I have no doubt this can be done. Possible side-quests are up for debate. Here's a few I thought up while doing early planning of the map:
  • The Renegade Cultist
  • Det-Pack-Revealed secret passage
  • Two passages at the end of a level

About each bonus level:

The Renegade Cultist: At the end of one of the levels, you will get the chance to meet Soraa, a former Disciple of Ragnos who swears to help you in exchange for her life. Though no longer able to use the Force, she will be more than capable with a Heavy Repeater.

Det-Pack-Passage: At the end of another level, a huge explosion will... occur... and it will be your choice to investigate the dark tunnels... or not. This level will deviate somewhat from the t3_rift texture set, at least for the tunnel itself. Dark and sinister things creep down there...

Two Passages: At the end of a level, the player will ponder which hall to take: A wide one leading up, or a narrow one leading downwards...

I hope these sound as awesome to you as they do to me. I notice not too many players (actually, none) have used this interesting idea. That surprises me. I will call the actual game Parts I, II, III, and IV, and the bonuses simply... Interludes. This is because they are bonuses, after all, not truly plot developers in themselves.

HOW I WILL DO THAT:

On at least one Interlude, the game will allow you greater understanding of the Force. But how will JA know if you have completed the Interlude possible or not? Normally, the Force Powers will be updated as you start the level. I could set up an If... then flag and see if you completed the interlude or not, but it would be far easier to have the force powers increase thus:
Code:

If player has level 0 in this Power, up it to 1 and set Parm1 to "False"
If player has 1 and Parm1 is "True", up to 2 and set Parm1 "False"
If...2,...3..."False"
Load level <level>

Not valid code, I know, but I did that to distinguish the ideas from the How-To. See, it does appear to be possible. And it's going to be awesome.

After all this, I will address the bulk of your post:

Quote:

Looks like a faithful reproduction of that room from t3_rift. Good job on that. But why not embellish it with a little of your own stuff? For instance, the huge, perfectly cylindrical pillars...maybe make them segmented, or add little vertical trim pieces going up them? I never really liked those perfectly straight pillars in Raven's level.
Yeah, I told you I'm lazy. ;) I copied that from the uncompiled t3_rift_sample. You'd have to compile it to play it, but it seems to be mostly the same as the actual thing. But that is a very good idea. I wanted to make it like Ravens, then change it at least a little. Kinda ironic, actually: In JK we wanted to be able to make perfect circles, but couldn't because of the game engine. Now that we can... but it does look kinda plain, I agree.

The room you are viewing is a level unto itself, because I'm nice. After all, there will be one heckuva battle here, and it makes it easier to do the DS ending. That room is designed to be an antechamber of sorts, but the doors arelong destroyed, except for the one the Jedi were able to run through. I will cover this fact in the opening cutscene, unlike Raven, who gave us tons of doors that appeared cool to explore, but were inacceessible. (I remember when I played the demo. I kept trying to open those doors, and I started swearing at the game lol). I will certainly have those doors ingame, and they won't go anywhere, and I can only explain the big ones you see at first. You do gotta keep the game going...

Oh, by the way, I had an issue where I couldn't do much for the ceiling. Well, I managed to mask it. Now, it fades to blue, the higher you go. Perfect.

So, the basic archi for the first room is complete. I will add my own details (not just the trim) and I will put up pics for comments, if I am unsure of something's, um, beauty. A few things I will have to Copy and Paste, like those tunnels, at first. I tried, unsuccessfully, to recreate the tunnels. The trim is what defeated me. Raven made kick-arse trimming there, no reason to go unfaithful there. It is, after all, the Rift, so I can change details and the layout - not the theme. But that doesn't mean I can't look around in other texture sets to get exactly what I want... :)

Well, that was one heckuva post. I'm going to make those changes, and add some of my own.

StaffSaberist 11-15-2005 08:25 PM

Sorry for the uber-post, I got carried away. Anyway, I have a sample trim. It looked like the cr@p when I put it with the default pillar texture, but I am messing around with that, too. :D Forgive me if this doesn't look so good, but I wanted you to see an idea for the trim. Does this best suit your expectations?

Okay, the pillar itself I am not happy with. I'd like a nice stone texture, but I can't find it easily. Perhaps if I used a wall tex... might work, I'll give it a whirl. But I wanted you to see the trim I am working on. :)

EDIT - I found something that may be better. I'm compiling now, will show it in a minute. :)

EDIT II - Okay, this I like. It isn't perfect, I'd like to have a more "ancient" texture, but it looks good to me: A stone pillar, with stone trim, and crystal lighting. (I just realized how many lightsabers you could make from these...) As an added bonus, it retains enough roundness that is isn't boxy.

http://img489.imageshack.us/img489/1024/shot00448tp.jpg

A slight problem is that it juts out slightly... the price you pay when you put a flat surface on a round object.

And, as much as it will be good to customize the maps, the first one NEEDS to be simple in design. When you have 25+ NPC's going at each other, those extra brushes are the difference between 50 fps and 10. So, I will customoze, but not so much on the first map. It's it's own map soley because of framerate issues.

EDIT - OK, I will add to the map. But first, I need someone to get back to me, I am having trouble getting started modeling. In the meantime, I am going to get started on the second part of the map: THE RIFT VALLEY.

Jamps 12-03-2005 09:03 PM

That map looks pretty cool. It is nice to see a SP map being made, especially one this good.

What Jedi and Sith models/skins do you intend on using on your map anyway?

By the way The sidequest idea sounds pretty cool. Maybe you could make the sidequests involved with the Lightside/Darkside choice. Instead of one choice, you could have several like Dark Forces 2 or KOTOR.

RobQel-Droma 12-07-2005 01:26 AM

Nice, StaffSaberist. Looking good, I'll have to look for this one. I'm not playing JA right now, but this might give me a reason to go back instead of playing KotOR.

StaffSaberist 12-07-2005 09:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vatter
That map looks pretty cool. It is nice to see a SP map being made, especially one this good.

Just when I thought there was little inspiration left. OK, that's it. To heck with ADD, this next map is getting done pronto. I will finish the basic archi, which will look boxy, then embellish it as needed so "box" is the last thing that comes to mind.

Actually, I am not building a large box (or string of them) to be the outside, and then design the level inside it. I am going to build it, and shape the outside walls around it! This will make it look like the place was carved out this way; that it was meant to be exactly what it is.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vatter
What Jedi and Sith models/skins do you intend on using on your map anyway?

That I am leaving a little open. I made a looong request in the Edit Request Forum, but that was pretty much ignored, even though I placed it in Editing Requests like I'm supposed to, instead of spamming the Skin Forum. Figures... =/ But maybe they just want to not reply until they have a screen to show me. :) Anyways, I left that open, saying I wanted a "theme", not so much a set character design. Besically, let the imagination flow.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vatter
By the way The sidequest idea sounds pretty cool. Maybe you could make the sidequests involved with the Lightside/Darkside choice. Instead of one choice, you could have several like Dark Forces 2 or KOTOR.

Unless a certain... action... is taken at the beginning of Part IV, Jaden will be LS, having withstood the almost irresistable temptation to kill Rosh. ;) Now, he is a JEdi Master. It would take a lot to turn him. But having a sidequest after the DS ending is good. Actually, it would work...

If the player goes DS, I was thinking about having a dramatic (as dramatic as the inferior JA engine gets) DS cutscene where Jaden slaughters the Jedi Academy in Luke's meeting chamber, to show the infinite cruelty of the Sith. But letting the player do that would require less scripting, and would even be fun for the player to do. So, maybe leave that as an option: Go to your ship if you wish to begin Sith rule, and Yavin Runner II if you wish to finish off the Jedi first. Good stuff, there.

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Nice, StaffSaberist. Looking good, I'll have to look for this one. I'm not playing JA right now, but this might give me a reason to go back instead of playing KotOR.

I'll change my sig to a new thread when it's done. :D

Ah, darn it. All this inspiration and no time, school's starting! *Warning bell rings* *Shuts down laptop*

wedge2211 12-07-2005 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StaffSaberist
Actually, I am not building a large box (or string of them) to be the outside, and then design the level inside it. I am going to build it, and shape the outside walls around it! This will make it look like the place was carved out this way; that it was meant to be exactly what it is.

Can you elaborate on that a bit? I'm not understanding what you're trying to convey, and when it comes to architecture like this...well, there are good ways to map, and bad ways to map. I don't want to see a project this promising come out flawed.

StaffSaberist 12-07-2005 06:31 PM

OK. Lemme do this in MSPaint. I have no other way to show this:

THE BOXY MAPPER:

STAFFSABERIST'S RIFT TECHNIQUE

Thank goodness I have Drafting class. I can do this kind of thing in paint. :) Actually, Raven did this, I believe. They built the basic archi, then made the outer walls around it. So it isn't really my idea. But it is one I will adopt in these open areas.

And you know, there just aren't enough SP levels out there. ;)

Jamps 12-07-2005 06:36 PM

I posted a reply in your editing request, dunno if you want my help but heres some early work on an older Jaden. (I intend to work on the clothes, but I would like some kind of Kyle-style influence in the clothing since he was his master.)


Click on the pictures to make them bigger and clearer:

http://img224.imageshack.us/my.php?i...djaden16nr.jpg

http://img224.imageshack.us/my.php?i...djaden26hc.jpg

Jamps 12-07-2005 07:51 PM

Sorry to double post, still don't know if you're interested but heres some more work on the costume and alignment.

Dark Jaden:

http://img217.imageshack.us/my.php?i...kjaden13xt.jpg

Light Jaden:

http://img217.imageshack.us/my.php?i...tjaden13vg.jpg

I think leaving the costume the same for both sides might fit better with the story, since by the way you tell it it all happens in the same place at a certain point in time. Would be weird for him to all of a sudden change into a costume just because he went dark.

StaffSaberist 12-07-2005 08:45 PM

^^
Oh, definitely. I could use that second pair of skins EXCEPT: I don't think Jaden aged that much in 5 years! :lol: We are talking about not too long after the events of JA. That would be pretty useful, otherwise. I like it.

Jamps 12-07-2005 09:11 PM

I could probably recolor the hair for the Lightside version, give him the bright colored hair again and reduce a few wrinkles. The Darkside version I think fits. They usually look older when they go dark.

StaffSaberist 12-07-2005 11:21 PM

Good point. I too play KotOR, I know what you mean! :D

*wonders what Maul looked like before he went Sith*

wedge2211 12-08-2005 02:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StaffSaberist
OK. Lemme do this in MSPaint. I have no other way to show this:

THE BOXY MAPPER:

STAFFSABERIST'S RIFT TECHNIQUE

Thank goodness I have Drafting class. I can do this kind of thing in paint. :) Actually, Raven did this, I believe. They built the basic archi, then made the outer walls around it. So it isn't really my idea. But it is one I will adopt in these open areas.

And you know, there just aren't enough SP levels out there. ;)

Oooookay. Well, as you've drawn them there, both use poor technique. What you want to do is build the level...and that's it. No outer box. The outermost walls of your map (the ones that touch the void) should always be structural, and WILL be your outer structural hull. Have I already shared with you the nibsworld tutorial on structural and detail brushes?

Basically, the idea is this: Just build rooms. Doesn't matter how big or small they are. Generally, when you build a room that's separate from other rooms, the outer, major walls should be structural brushes and everything else should be detail brushes. Building a large box, no matter how it's shaped, outside the map is redundant if you used structural brushes properly (it won't ever be drawn by the engine and just takes up some extra compile time) and detrimental if you didn't and made all the inner brushes detail (your entire map will be drawn at once).

StaffSaberist 12-09-2005 11:39 PM

Well, that is what I mean. The build the level thing.... ah, damn it. I am doing a poor job of explaining this. When I say "build the level", the thing you see is part of the pathway. What I mean is that I won't build the hull first... I will build the detail brushes first, and the hull afterward! This way, I don't feel constrained by the arbitrary limits of my own structural hull.

If this still seems like a bad idea, I'll show you in Radiant, after I get a bit done. In the meantime, I've sketched out part of what I want in Paint. I'll use that as an extremely general template for Part II. Part II is one long level, like t3_rift. Part III, The Valley Catacombs, will be rooms, enclosed by ceilings, walls, etc. But for now... *opens Radiant*

wedge2211 12-10-2005 12:06 PM

You can always alter your structural hull...after all, it may impose arbitrary limits on the extent of the map, but those arbitrary limits are set by you. Also, if you're under the impression that any brush that doesn't touch the void should be detail, RichDiesal was flat-out wrong about that. This is a simplified explanation, but struct brushes block VIS and detail brushes don't: the game acts like you can see through any and all detail brushes, but not structural ones (mostly). Walls of rooms should be structural, even if they don't touch the void...detail brushes are things like furniture, consoles, pillars, light fixtures, machines, railings, loose rocks, etc. It isn't just the "outer hull" of a map that should be structural. So if you're going to go through your map building all the detail brushes first, you'll have a map with "details" but no walls, floors, or cielings. That'll confuse you real fast.

Basically, you should do what you're trying to explain in this image of yours, but make sure you use structural/detail brushes properly and stop after part 1.

StaffSaberist 12-10-2005 09:37 PM

So, what you are saying is, that I should make the floors, walls, etc. structural, so it blocks the view. If blocking the VIS improves framerate, I'm cool with that. No need to worry, I will make things like the crystals, the statues. etc. detail, because the floor is the structure of the map, as you say. Things I put on it will be detail. Don't worry about that; I was trying to explain...

Just in case somebody reading this in the future doesn't get it, when I say build the level I mean build all the pathways, details, etc. except the outer walls. Then I build said outer walls. This will make it easier to build the walls; I'll only have to do that once.

Anyhoo, I'll get back into Radiant. I wish I could curve this pathway corner, but, well... how can you make it fit with the rest of the floor, eh? I wish I had more power in Radiant, to turn a corner into a curve. Or can GSC Subtract or whatever do that? Experimentation time! I have it saved, so if I screw up real bad... whatever. :D

wedge2211 12-11-2005 12:33 AM

Don't let CSG subtract touch patches, bad things can happen. To make an section of corridor follow a 90 degree arc, first make two bevels for the inner and outer walls of the arc. Then make a brush into a 3x3 simple patch mesh , press V, and move the innermost and outermost vertices to coincide with the inner and outer bevels, respectively. The middle row of vertices goes in the intermediate positions between the two walls. That will be your floor, duplicate it for the ceiling.

StaffSaberist 12-11-2005 01:05 AM

I practiced on one of my pathways. It's a nice, purty curve, but I have to throw it out, it's not what I wanted. I mean, I did want to do this, but not in that particular spot. I forgot to include thickness of trim. The way I see it, this place can be a work of art. You know those pathways in t3_rift? Why not make at least the trimmimg curve? The answer would be that it botched up the textures to all hell. But I have a black rock trim here, so not too much will be noticed.

Thanks, wedge. Full steam ahead!

wedge2211 12-11-2005 08:08 PM

Texture on curves aren't hard, though they may be less intuitive. You have to use the patch inspector (SHIFT+S) rather than the surface inspector (S). Hitting "Natural" will make the texture "follow" the curve, hitting "cap" will project the texture onto the curve from one side (good for caps and flat patches on the floor, but not for walls). You can also rotate/scale/translate/fit textures as usual...but the behavior of those particular commands changes depending on whether you picked natural or cap.


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