In this devblog I discuss the art pass on Platoe.
So when I left off on Platoe the levels overal layout was taking shape and it looked like this.
When blocking out a level its always good to have two main textures, one for the floor and another generic that covers everything else. This is great for aiding the player to see the playable space during testing. So I started out knowing I was going to be doing a human level originally planning to do something more like the engine room from the Maw because it has all sorts of cool fancy shaders, but then noticed the resemblance of the overall shape to Boardingaction. It then was obvious that Boardingaction theme would be the most fitting.
First thing was then to rip Boardingaction's BSP and examine it for what its style consists of.
BoardingAction is a very simple level compared to others where it mainly consists of four generic textures I used for large massing the level. The floors use a generic metal, the walls use the POA exterior paneling, the ceilings use steel, and some walls used panel strips. After I box uved most of the level I then looked for modular details within Boardingaction. The parts I saw was the doorway frame and the ladder. For me to easily add the ladder geometry and other geometry I stretched out Platoe vertically to line up the floor elevations with Boardingaction. This change impacts the overall design and I decided that the increased verticality was good but there are some negative side effects I'll need to address.
At this stage I was able to get those doorways and ladders along with some caution strips into the level. I then copied around beveled squares in each of the room section that helped bring the same look from Boardingaction and at the same time creating a nice platform for netgame equipment.
Here I finished most of the visuals, I ended up adding the light fixtures, the teleportal geometry, and also the POA to panel strip detail. Most of this geometry was floating geometry that was render only in order to reduce triangulation for Boardingaction's already high try count. I decided that the map was plenty optimized unlike Boardingaction so I can afford to spend the extra triangles and make everything attached to the model and have proper collision. Then, I quickly added some basic exact portals seen in the image below.
Something to note about creating exact portals. The edges of exact portals do not need to line up exactly with an edge the main level as long as the portal geometry completely seals and does not intersect the main level geometry. Here is a better image to help explain what I mean.
Here you can see not all the corners of the exact portal line up with vertices in the map geometry. The reason this works is that the portal seals off that space and does not intersect the main geometry.
And here is the end of the art pass concluding with adding in ceiling lights taken from the engine room.
This is the stage I'm at now with my BSP and going forward I plan on addressing issues that have became more apparent with playtesting. Two major changes are relocating the teleporter-from teleporter to the first floor from the second floor. The current location of the teleporter is already on the route to getting up to the top and can be relocated to the first floor to stir up the bottom floor's stale movement. The second change is to relocate the dropdown located on the third floor that drops to the second floor. The reason for changing the location of that dropdown is that the drops onto the ramp which is slightly lower than the second floor and is within the height of causing fall damage. This fall damage is causing this dropdown to adversely affect players movement when using it.
I'm going to end this blog here and next time I'll go over older maps I worked on as I release their data files. The reason I'm able to go back and take pictures like these is because as I work im constantly saving as a new file. For example I used "platoe_01.max" and then "platoe_02.max" this allows me to make quick changes and if I do not like my change I can easily revert back to a previous version.
If you liked reading this blog check out devblog #1: Designing a Map - Platoehttp://forum.halomaps.org/index.cfm?page=topic&topicID=50696
Also check out my previous 2 maps
In addition if you're interested in playing competitive 2vs2 games please feel free to message me here for more information.