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-   -   Anyone recommend this? (https://forums.3drealms.com/vb/showthread.php?t=15340)

8IronBob 01-23-2006 11:34 AM

Anyone recommend this?
 
I was just visiting Borders this past weekend, and noticed that I ran across a book on Unreal Level Design, called: Mastering Unreal Technology: The Art of Level Design
To me, this seems to be like the only book I saw that can really make level design easier. Even the DVD Edition of UT 2004 may be difficult. However, before I make anything official, what do you say about this book?

NutWrench 01-23-2006 12:37 PM

Re: Anyone recommend this?
 
I've never read it. The Unreal Developers Network has lots of up-to-date mapping tutorials in their public areas. You'll save 35 bucks, too. http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthread...lins/smile.gif

jimbob 01-23-2006 02:59 PM

Re: Anyone recommend this?
 
and 3dbuzz is full of editorial video`s, i think signing up is free. and there is a bonus DVD full of video`s about editing, scripting, and modeling etc on the UT2K4 Bonus DVD http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthread...lins/smile.gif

Theseus314 01-23-2006 04:16 PM

Re: Anyone recommend this?
 
It's a good book. It won't make level design easier, level design comes from the soul, and can't really be taught in any book, but it will make using the UnrealED editor easier.

Wamplet 01-31-2006 09:58 PM

Re: Anyone recommend this?
 
It would be good for reference, but you really need to just make a few maps so you can learn the limitations and features of the editor. I would definitely start off with small levels and work your way up in complexity.

8IronBob 02-01-2006 12:01 PM

Re: Anyone recommend this?
 
Quote:

Wamplet said:
It would be good for reference, but you really need to just make a few maps so you can learn the limitations and features of the editor. I would definitely start off with small levels and work your way up in complexity.

Sounds great. As most FPS games made this day in age are sort of based off of the Unreal engine these days (also the Doom 3 engine, and Source, but no books are available for those as of yet), those seem to be the best maps to build anymore. You got Postal 2, UT 2004, SWAT 4, Deus Ex, etc... I really can't emphasize the need to learn the engine in its core components, and how they come together.

Wamplet 02-04-2006 08:33 PM

Re: Anyone recommend this?
 
I'm not too familiar with non-Unreal engine-based games, but I gather by now nearly all major engines require maps to be made by BSP and static meshes. I am sure there maybe alternatives, but if that is how the other engines work, then the concepts are identical at a fundamental level and you would primarily be concerned with learning the different ways of tagging objects.

BSP design is truly the easy part, especially with the Unreal engine, because so much of the world is actually "meshed," rather than molded from BSP directly. The hard part is designing a level where you have imported meshes and textures. Creating levels has more or less become modding for this engine, rather than mapping for the most part and I personally do not import textures or static meshes outside of what is given to me simply for the fact that I don't have time to do that.

Anyways, I am nearly done with the Newfort map conversion I am working on. I will probably post a link in the existing Swat4 thread in gen gaming over the next few days. I am currently tweaking it and I have the map at 99% complete. I am just going back and fine-tuning it by play-testing with a few pals. That's the fun part. I love testing maps. http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthread...lins/smile.gif

For a preview, I uploaded some screenshots of the original Newfort map at www.wamplet.com/swat4/Newfort.zip

Those are pics of the Duke3d version, with a set of inverted pics to enhance the images as well as a few overhead editor shots, so I could design the level in UnrealEd/SwatEd.

I have revision 19 uploaded there as well and I am currently on Revision 20. I think 20 will be the last version, since I don't see any outstanding problems right now.

I believe the direct link is http://www.wamplet.com/swat4/SP-Newfort19.zip

If that doesn't work, just go to http://www.wamplet.com/swat4

You can browse the directory and download several other good maps. Only 2 of them are mine, Newfort and Airbus, but the rest are all other users' maps that I have running on my server. They are all co-op maps as an fyi, but some have the MP(VIP, DM, and Rapid Deployment) versions with them as well.

Feel free to PM me on any questions you have if you don't feel like making a thread for it. I'll try to help as best I can. http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthread...lins/smile.gif

Parkar 02-05-2006 05:43 AM

Re: Anyone recommend this?
 
Quote:

Wamplet said:
I'm not too familiar with non-Unreal engine-based games, but I gather by now nearly all major engines require maps to be made by BSP and static meshes. I am sure there maybe alternatives, but if that is how the other engines work, then the concepts are identical at a fundamental level and you would primarily be concerned with learning the different ways of tagging objects.
...

Yea, this seems to be the way things is heading. Not sure if Carmacs every surface has uniqe textures changes things but I am guessing the geometry is built in a similar way to the doom 3 engine.

Kristian Joensen 02-06-2006 09:23 AM

Re: Anyone recommend this?
 
I would say that too, since it IS the Doom 3 engine at is core only with a new renderer.

8IronBob 02-06-2006 12:34 PM

Re: Anyone recommend this?
 
Actually, there are some arena-style maps that I built for the original Quake from about 5 - 7 years ago that I'd like to bring into UT 2004. Not too sure how easy that would be. However, UT's engine is a little more complex than that of Quake, we know that. With Quake, it was all about brushes melded together to make a room, and they had to be totally airlocked, or else leaks would show all over the place, I remember that. UT 2004 does take a far different approach, and should be worth getting used to.

Wamplet 02-06-2006 07:58 PM

Re: Anyone recommend this?
 
Quote:

8IronBob said:
Actually, there are some arena-style maps that I built for the original Quake from about 5 - 7 years ago that I'd like to bring into UT 2004. Not too sure how easy that would be. However, UT's engine is a little more complex than that of Quake, we know that. With Quake, it was all about brushes melded together to make a room, and they had to be totally airlocked, or else leaks would show all over the place, I remember that. UT 2004 does take a far different approach, and should be worth getting used to.

It's entirely doable. In fact, I think that is the easiest kind of level to make with Unreal.

UT2004 levels can be made with only BSP cuts, but it's just not done, since there is so much "decorating" with static meshes that gives the levels even more life.

Like I said, I recut a duke3d level into the swat 4 editor and it's probably 90% BSP, if not more. I daresay that it's maybe 95%. It had about 390 bsp cuts and I'd ballpark the number of static meshes in my level to about 30, maybe less. If you count doors, which I would, I'd add about 10.

In reality, I would say the percentage is the other way around or so in most Unreal-based maps.

Yes, a BSP-only map will look outdated, but you can still make some fun levels. That's honestly the way I prefer it, since I don't have the time to work with the modeling programs for my own custom level work.

The only hard part in "porting" a map over from one engine to the next is getting the scale right or fairly close. If you can do that, then you can literally go by the original map's blueprints.

That's what I did with Newfort.

My suggestion is to take a few screenshots in-game on the Quake levels and then a few from the editor and then just work with those. Of course, by few, I'd suggest a full walk through of the map. when I did a screenshot walkthrough of Newfort, it took about 40 pics.

mikenet2005 06-22-2006 09:27 PM

Re: Anyone recommend this?
 
Like jimbob said Join 3dbuzz. Nearly everything to help beginers and even more experenced users of unrealed is there, as well as info on many other editors for various games. There is also A huge forum as well if you have any unanswered questions. Save your money, trust me.

Co11 06-27-2006 07:10 AM

Re: Anyone recommend this?
 
that book is from 3d buzz by the way.

it's exactly what you'll get from the VTM's..

I believe the VTM's cover a little bit more in regards to programming though.

both are a great read if you want to know everything about the unreal engine.


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