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[owc_traverse] Traverse

SamC's Photo SamC 13 Nov 2010

Here's my entry for the level design contest, ow_traverse!

The rebels have to fight their way through the city streets to reach a Combine forward base. The rebels will have to hack into a Combine terminal to steal some data vital to the resistance. The streets are heavily guarded, with checkpoints, shield walls, and regular Combine patrols, with the hardest security surrounding the Combine forward base. I've been working on it off and on for a week.

Some screenshots:

The Rebel Spawn, in a small park.
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Shows one of the barriers the Rebels can demolish.
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An overview.
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More to come!
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Jgoodroad's Photo Jgoodroad 13 Nov 2010

that stairway leading to the second floor looks too wide and out of place, I would suggest having it inside the building or at least off the sidewalk.
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The Joker's Photo The Joker 13 Nov 2010

Impressive, but why is it called traverse? To traverse is to trudge/walk up something, a mountain or steep hill. Perhaps adding some hieght leading up o the Combine forward base.
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Jgoodroad's Photo Jgoodroad 13 Nov 2010

I hope you have something snazzy planned in order to make this map different.
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The Joker's Photo The Joker 14 Nov 2010

View PostJgoodroad, on 13 November 2010 - 11:31 PM, said:

I hope you have something snazzy planned in order to make this map different.

Thats a little harsh, thats saying his map is similiar to other urban-type maps. Then again...

It actually reminds me of the plaza map in the chapter Anticitizen One of Half-Life 2. I think he thinks the same.
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SamC's Photo SamC 14 Nov 2010

View PostThe Joker, on 13 November 2010 - 09:58 PM, said:

Impressive, but why is it called traverse?

To be honest, I just liked the sound of it. It might change to something more appropriate if something comes to me.

Jgoodroad, I enclosed the stairs and it looks much better, thanks!
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The Joker's Photo The Joker 14 Nov 2010

View PostSamC, on 14 November 2010 - 12:03 AM, said:

To be honest, I just liked the sound of it. It might change to something more appropriate if something comes to me.

Jgoodroad, I enclosed the stairs and it looks much better, thanks!

In my honest opinion, it should be called ow_urban or something of that sort. Maybe you can use references to HL2, it does remind me of Anticitizen One, maybe you could call it ow_anticitizen or something.
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Jgoodroad's Photo Jgoodroad 14 Nov 2010

I like the name he has now, and by snazzy I mean some kind of event, trap, or building that makes the player remember THAT map. the setting itself is pretty generic (it's city 17 really) which doesn't mean it can't be good, I just think there needs to be something there that sets the map apart from the others.

(I would also like to point out as an example that there are 2-3 competition maps that take place in nova prospect, but if each one has something different to them, it's like playing in completely different areas, even if they are in the same location. BUT without that special something what is there to set said map apart?)
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Auxor's Photo Auxor 14 Nov 2010

To be honest, Overwatch hasn't got enough maps to have ANY map considered boring or default. Hell, if anything, it needs more "plain" maps like this to fill out the lack of maps.

Remember to nodraw or give OW visibility 0 on roofs and places players cannot see. It helps massively optimise the level.
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Jgoodroad's Photo Jgoodroad 14 Nov 2010

I am thinking ahead.
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SamC's Photo SamC 16 Nov 2010

Yikes. So I was cleaning up the Overwatch view, turning some buildings into func_brush_ow and then adding nodraw brushes around them to stop leaks. I stopped up all the leaks, but now vvis takes 40 minutes, basically freezing at the portal flow step. It was taking maybe five minutes before. I don't have any illegal brushes, and no leaks, at least none that show up in the build log, and no point file is generated. I've googled this a bit, and there doesn't seem to be a clear cause. Most recommendations I've seen just say optimize, but there has to be something specific that I've changed. I tried moving back a few steps, but I'd moved and tweaked so many brushes since the last build that it could be almost anything. Any suggestions for ways to check what's causing the slowdown? I guess I could use the cordon tool and try compiling different sections of the map until I find the bit that takes the longest, but I'm afraid that won't work. I'll keep plugging away at it.
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Psy's Photo Psy 16 Nov 2010

Hmm. Maybe you could post some screenshots of the map from in Hammer without anything enabled except your world brushes. It might show us what's up and/or what could be optimised.
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SamC's Photo SamC 16 Nov 2010

Huge dump of ugly hammer shots with all visgroups off except world geometry.


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SamC's Photo SamC 16 Nov 2010

Last image, over the image limit:

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These shots cover the area I was editing before the compile time went up.
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Psy's Photo Psy 17 Nov 2010

You have a lot of brushes that should be tied to func_detail. I've highlighted ones that are most likely causing problems in green.

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SamC's Photo SamC 17 Nov 2010

View PostPsy, on 17 November 2010 - 01:33 PM, said:

You have a lot of brushes that should be tied to func_detail.

Thanks a bunch Psy, that really helped! I made a run through and func_detailed everything I could, including the stuff you highlighted, and it made a huge difference. Vvis time is back down to 4 minutes, as opposed to 40 (!). I've used func_detail before, I should have seen all those crazy angles in that building. I'm too used to working with right angles. Thanks again!
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SamC's Photo SamC 17 Nov 2010

Some more progress, trying to clean up the Overwatch view a bit, blocking in the Combine forward base.

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Adding some details to the ruins, still needs some work, but I think it's looking better.

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But this is annoying - the prop_statics I'm using for the busted windows are shaded just different enough from the brushes that it's noticable. Is it just this model, or are meshes rendered/lit differently than brushes? Is there anything I can do to get the model the same shade as the brushes? Here's a shot of what I'm talking about. Static mesh on the left, brush on the right.

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Jgoodroad's Photo Jgoodroad 18 Nov 2010

now THAT looks nice... as for your prop problem, there are a few tricks I can offer up.

first off, make sure that the shadows are disabled on said prop,

if that don't work, see if you can place a tree of somthing in front of said prop,

and if THAT don't work, use some small brushes, place them are regular intervals so that the seam is covered, then apply the wall texture, rotate it, and fit it so that the only thing showing is the trim, make sure that the trim is all that is seen...

you do know how to manipulate a texture...right?

edit. A scaffold there would also work, you would only need a few stories so it will not be TOO bad, but make sure it's func_detail.
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Auxor's Photo Auxor 18 Nov 2010

Wow, nice map. It seems like it could use some more "complication", as in, more passageways branching off the map and more troop spawns, like in OW_Breach. It seems a bit too linear so far.
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SamC's Photo SamC 18 Nov 2010

@Jgoodroad: I think adding some trim is the way to go, I took a closer look in the editor and it looks like the texture is just different. I've tried brushwork scaffolding in some earlier maps, and I wasn't too happy with the way it turned out. I might go back and look at how Valve used the broken window prop in their maps.

View PostAuxor, on 18 November 2010 - 04:18 AM, said:

Wow, nice map. It seems like it could use some more "complication", as in, more passageways branching off the map and more troop spawns, like in OW_Breach. It seems a bit too linear so far.

Thanks! I think you're right, I was thinking the same thing cruising around the map yesterday. But I want to get some objectives in place and mock up how it's going to play, then go back and see where I need to put alternate paths, more cover and the like. From just looking at it, there might need to be some more space in between the objectives, and more side passages, but I want to get some playtesting in first. So that's where I'm headed now, getting objectives and OW spawns and traps in.
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