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de_cathedral release (Alpha)

Discussion in Completed Maps started by JorisCeoen, Jun 9, 2014

  1. Apr 9, 2012
    Nope, not ZE but DE!

    As some people have requested me to feedback on the CEVO contest map, I'm proud to present de_cathedral: http://csgo.gamebanana.com/maps/181217

    So de_cathedral is a map set in Italy at the center of a big gothic cathedral. It is unqiue as opposed to all previous projects in that it is entirely created within 3DS Max with the aid of the Wall Worm Model Tools, a free 3DS Max plugin designed and built by Shawn Olson.

    Many mappers told me straightforwardly to ditch 3DS Max and use Hammer instead as it is a 'piece of junk' and it 'would never work' or simply say that it looks horrible. This gave me shivers down my spine as this is completely wrong. 3DS Max and WWMT combined, there is not a single thing I can think off that it can't do faster than Hammer. Not only faster, but better and with many, many extra options that simply do not exist in Hammer. They don't and never will be unless Source 2 would ever come out.

    So yea I would say quite the opposite: Ditch Hammer and learn 3DS Max. You do not simply learn level design in a new environment, but you will also learn modelling, texturing, all straight into 3DS Max. So that means no need to go to an external image editting program unless you really can't achieve a specific something in 3DS Max (which seems virtually impossible).

    A few of the many things it can do:

    1. It allows the creation of models, brushes, displacements and everything you can think of all in the same place. You have one environment in which everything is in your reach in seconds.
    2. 3DS Max has a slate texture editor which allows for complex combination of texture with very easy oversight on everything and how textures are connected.
    3. WWMT has a slate editor for outputs so you could make ZE mapping in 3DS Max even easier than in Hammer.
    4. WWMT will offset your 3D Skybox elements for you. You don't have to do anything anymore. Just build your entire level on scale, and select the items for 3D Skybox instead. Export and it'll do everything on it's own.
    5. Can import all possible forms of models provided they are decompiled and will import the texture automatically on the fly.
    6. You can import all materials so you can use them in the level. Create a few libraries (which is very easy) and you can use about every texture available for the game you're mapping for.
    7. Lights work differently in that they have a multiplier options. Whatever that number is, it will be multiplied by the settings you can put before exporting. So if some lights have 1.5 and the multiplier before exporting is 200, then you'll have a 300 light intensity. What this allows is that at any time during the development, you can change the brightness of ALL lights at once without having to change them manually or giving them all the same/changing the value. In a heartbeat. You can't do that in Hammer. You simply can't. You would have to select all lights and then the only thing you can do is give them all the same value...
    8. Displacements are incredible in WWMT. You can select any vertice seperatly and change its height or position to anywhere you want. This allows for never-seen results in possibilities of placing displacements along other brushes or models.
    9. So much more and too much to sum up here
    This is just a list of some of the most prominent things I discovered. There are so many more things I couldn't even yet use in the map.
    Now after potentially testing the map you may wonder yourself how some of these things are good, because the map is not good and more or less empty gameplay wise?
    Well, the only thing I can say about that is that I have to learn yet myself, there are still some things I need (and want) to discover and test. But time hurts sometimes, for instance exams. In fact I have focussed so much on the cathedral only that I had to do the outside environments in a single day (today). Now that I look back at it: I could never have done the outside environments so fast in Hammer. If Hammer was still my tool today, I would have called it quits for the contest and just release it a few months later... Talking about months here whereas here it's like a day.

    There's just so much that's so good about this plugin. ALSO for ZE mapping, but it takes a lot of courage and interest, and most of all insight in what the possibilities are with this.
    Just an example for ZE: You have designed your boss battle arena -> Now you can animate a monster (doesn't matter if it's self-made or imported) exactly to the needs of the environment. So if there are some pillars, I could animate precisely that he could destroy the pillars with all of the epic details and looking as if he really was in the environment. I wouldn't even need to parent him anymore to a func_tracktrain. It would be a vastly different approach on boss battles. And if you still like the predator style that's no problem either with the slate output editor.

    There's yet so much more to say, but that's coming in a documentary I'm working on to bring this plugin in a better shade of light. In the mean time, let me hear about your toughts on WWMT, and eventually on the map but allow me to say I perfectly know it's a competitive and gameplay-wise nightmare FOR THE MOMENT. So yea the workshop version will be complete with a working .nav, cubemaps, custom soundscapes, more details, well-designed gameplay, faster rotation times, even better 3D Skybox, other shaders and more fancy stuff that improves the map considerably.

    If you read through all of this and I really hope you did (which is why no tl;dr this time) then really thanks for your interest because that's why I share this!
    • Mapping King Mapping King x 6
    • Like Like x 2
    • Zing! Zing! x 1
      JorisCeoen, Jun 9, 2014 Last edited by JorisCeoen, Jun 9, 2014
    • Dec 10, 2013
      That screenshot looks sweet Joris :grin:
    • Jul 20, 2012
      After you put those complex structures from 3dsmax into Hammer are they then models or func_detail?
    • Apr 9, 2012
      models and func_detail, it depends on the complexity of the geometry. If I don't need a model for a certain mesh, then I simply use it as func_detail. If it would be better off as model, I turn it into a model. The thing is in 3DS Max you can switch between both at any second. In Hammer this is just impossible, unless using propper which is essentially a 'bad' model tool. It's bad because it keeps modelling to the same standard as brushes which is just bad as that is rather primitive and the texturing remains planar (and on a model you can texture it any way you want).
    • Jul 20, 2012
      You make it sound so easy. I wonder what other mappers thinks about this. @enviolinador
      Myself I can only hope for Source 2. I can't model, for free, and Propper is broken.
    • May 31, 2012
      Since this thread is about Joris' new map, I don't think rambling about whether 3DMax is good/better/useful or not should be done here. I've found myself that in general modeling programs are too complicated for me since the workflow is usually different (read: focused on little pieces instead of whole thingathongs), but to each one his own I guess; I've only tried Blender being honest and I didn't try too hard.

      Propper isn't broken, getting it to work is a bit annoying though (from what I know, I don't use it since brushes >>> props in terms of colisions and lighting).
    • Apr 9, 2012
      O well I don't mind talking about 3DS Max opposed to Hammer. It would be very interesting instead and I'd love to hear ideas :smile:

      I can understand that modelling may be a complex task to start with, but I can't imagine a single mapper in the world not being able to do so if you have the creative mind to realise maps! I have no idea about propper, but if you say it works fine then I'm happy! I think I did hear about a working version last time and that was a long time ago already but I wasn't sure if it was true.
      Post Merged, Jun 10, 2014
      How do you mean, "making it sound so easy". Are you implying that I said modelling was easy? Because that's not really what I wanted to say ^^ My point was that it is easy to switch between func_detail or a model inside of 3DS Max with WWMT. In Hammer you can't switch between an object being a model or brush at all as those 2 things are a permanent function within the editor.
    • May 31, 2012
      Well, for one, the first issue is that you gotta pay for 3DS Max (yeah, you can pirate it, but w/e) so in that aspect you get a first sieve. Then, assuming you have a license or that you go through the process of pirating it (I haven't tried but with those kind of programs it's not that simple usually), you gotta get accustomed to it and use a single program for two different tasks (in my PoV) that is building the whole map as an structure, the base and then filling it up with the models, the detail, what the application is really suited for.

      Talking from my own ignorance, and assuming a very positive case in which the integration is perfect (which I doubt since there'll probably be some quirks), you're still having two different levels of doing stuff mixed. Now, even if we overcome that (not all people map the whole thing and then detail, I don't, for example, but thinking in general is usually good to say absolutely nothing and use a lot of silly goose words), we have the problem of putting everything we've done together and adding the entities and whatnot. Again, I assume this is implemented to be painfully, but I doubt it can be the exact case since a 3D modelling program, as general and configurable as it can be, isn't thought to be keeping the whole dev. process of an engine but a portion of it.

      Finaly, the entities and the design must be placed in a manner that is consistent with the engine too, that is, if the editor works on some weird woobly wably scale (I remember blender worked on the [0-1] interval from scratch or something like that, models would come up tiny if you tried to export then to source) there must be some direct conversion (hopefully transparent to the user).

      The jumps and tidbits from one thing to another and the aglutination of everything into a program that was designed for one purpose only is what keeps me kinda far away from this (as well as having to yarrrrrrrrr or pay buckaroos, but perhaps something similar exists/can be found for some opensource/free 3D modelling app).
    • Feb 27, 2012
      • Zing! Zing! x 1
      • Apr 9, 2012
        Well 3DS Max if for free for anyone who is a student. You can aqcuire a student license here. So no pirating involved whatsoever. I understand that the price tag is something that keeps everyone away but a lot of people don't seem to realise there is a student version. This is most likely because there's absolutely now way to know about them other than stumbling across them by accident (for instance, browsing to hack 3DS Max will quickly bring you on their student license page).

        Anyways, I agree with you in that 3DS Max is very steep to learn. However, the time I spend learning it, I earned it back at least 3 or 4 times back in the time to realise this project. Believe it or not, the combination of the 3D Skybox and the real-world is something you simply can't do in Hammer. Not on the scale and definitly not with the textures. You're doing everything in 3DS Max. In Hammer you need to use a 3D Modelling program, a texture editor, you need VTFedit to convert textures etc. In 3DS Max you can do all of that in the same place, at any moment. That AND using the default texture/models.

        I'm not sure what you mean with putting everything together and adding the entities. The only thing I can say about that is that many entities are definitly more controllable, and there's currently nothing I know of that you can't use in 3DS Max as WWMT makes the program read from the .fgd for all of the entities. It then reads all of the outputs on each entity that it has and you can use any outputs and entities exactly in the way Hammer does it. Only, this time around you have a slate editor for outputs (that means you can visually link stuff to each other with modules to see instantly how the structure of the outputs work between entities!). I agree that there are probably some quirks, but if you report these to Shawn, they're fixed usually the day itself. I mean IF there is a quirk, it's just not ment to be and you can happily report it for a fix. Shawn didn't really code everything seperatly (like each entity or somethin) but he just made sure WWMT can read exactly the .fgd like Hammer does it and then put it over to 3DS Max in a more convenient way. Basically most other features do this as well and then benefit of all the extra tools 3DS Max has.

        the scale in Blender, I have no idea, but in 3DS Max you just have to set it to 1 unit, then you can set the next grid to anythign you want (like 16 or something or 32 or whatever you want) and you're set. The grid will be 100% hammer compatible.

        I understand your POV really, but I want to clarify that in WWMT, at least the way I see it, there's nothing in it that it can't do faster than Hammer. There really just isn't any, or I'll have to discover those yet. For the moment the modeling importer just needs to have full decompiles, but we're working on a way (that WILL work) so that it can read those packs, and you can import all models at once and then use them like hammer (now you still have to import the ones you need but that'll be fixed then). That is maybe the only thing, and then again, when using them in 3DS Max, moving them, snapping them to vertices or faces are thing you can't do in Hammer once again. So the recylcing of models can be done in seconds and instantly placed on the exact spots you want, whereas in Hammer this involves endless amounts of copying and moving left/right, up/down...
      • May 31, 2012
        Knowing that there's a free version is kinda cool; we'll see if I can be arsed to download it some day just to toy around with it.

        Being aware of what you're able to do in Hammer texture wise and knowing that you can't do everything is really common sense for me, Hammer is meant just for maps and maps (as Source still sees them) are basically just walls. Having everything together (this is what I was getting at) can be both a blessing and a curse: if you have a myriad of possibilities you might end up either losing time for each thing you need trying to find the best one or using a subset of the possibilities that you've learnt by heart and that makes you take away the 'good' from the system you're using. I'd rather separate each task a bit so I can focus and do this well (although, for the textures part, I must agree that Hammer is a it oblivious; you can integrate stuff with plugins for paint.net/photoshop, though, and it'll be smooth sailing).

        Having not messed with the entities in the thingthong you're using, I can't obviously talk further than from what I've seen in a video (that Kaemon linked, I think, after you linked him). I seem to remember a GUI-styled entity manager which seemed similar to the one in UDK or Unity... In both cases (or in one, perhaps I'm mixing stuff up) I end up feeling those are always slower to work with (since they rely more on conecting things via mouseclicks which takes me more than typing out stuff quicko or copypasting). I assume there is a 'normal', textlike one like the one in Hammer but that's where my doubt settles in: if the one I seem to remember (and I'm assuming I'm remembering sorta kinda decently, which is an awful idea) is the one that is displayed as the 'common thing to use', I find it reasonable to think that the other one might be underdeveloped and, thus, that I will have to be doing lots of mouse clicks using the developed one which I don't really fancy.

        About being able to touch up models while on the editor, I guess that's good but, back to the previous comment about separating tasks, I'd rather have the whole thing as a directly linked editor (that perhaps loads up when needed and does its job and only its job instead of having lots of things to do on too little space) in Hammer than touching stuff within the map editor itself.
      • Mar 29, 2012
        From the screenshot alone it looks very blocky i think. Hopefully it plays good. Also can you add an overview screenshot so we can see where bombsites/spawns are?