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View Thread: Intruder's mapping (how to)
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Intruder's mapping (how to)
Intruder
Hello,

In this thread, I'm going to try to explain you, step by step, my way to obtain realistic maps for Vietcong...
For me, it's very important to increase the quality of the maps because I want to avoid that the gap between Vietcong and actual games, with much more modern graphics engines, becomes too big!
This thread will be a "living one" in the sense that I will try to regularily update it with new subjects, bugs fixes, advises, comments... However, don't worry if you see no activities for days, weeks or months because my free time is already very busy!
Note that I won't explain and talk about "the basis" of the Vietcong's mapping here, but rather about the "little things" (but important ones!) you may not find elsewhere...
But if you're "a real beginner", don't miss the useful Curandero' section, that will guide you from the start!
I'm still not sure if it will work "as it should" but I hope it will give the wish to some to create new and nice (!) maps for the game we still all love!



Suggestions / Comments:
---------------------------------
- Feed your imagination in books
- Intruder's maps name explained
- How to protect your "work in progress"
- Add a "test mode" to your map
- Prepare your Vietnam's documentation before to start anything (in project)


Working with the Editor:
-------------------------------
- How to create an "healthy" terrain
- How to place the Recovery Points
- How to fix the "dark bots" in the scene
- Use "visuals" to increase the size of your maps
- How to add an Ambient sound in your map
- How to use the sound switch
- How to avoid that the fog is incorrectly applied on a texture
- How to apply "shadows" on your dynamic objects
- How to correctly set the lighting of an object
- How to fix the "njh_dracerabig" plant
- How to fix the "njk_liska03 (and 04)" plant
- What is the best "scene view distance"?
- How to delete an invisible wall
- How to create "clever" bots
- How to fix the "missing fauna"
- How to optimize your map
- How to correctly set your modes
- How to correctly name and write your modes
- How to enable the players' flashlight for your nightmaps
- How to correctly name and set your vc scripts
- How to create "healthy WayPoints" without errors (NEW)

Note:
- Because of the "technical aspect" of this thread, I'm asking you to avoid to directly post in it. If you have questions, drop me a personal post instead and I will update/edit the subject... Wink


Under Construction (this post WILL BE regularily updated in the future)!



Intruder
Edited by Intruder on 30-10-2018 19:16
  x 10  x 2
 
Intruder
How to place the recovery points:
-------------------------------------------

- The number of recovery points you need to add into your map will depend of the number of coop players you want to have. Let the editor use its own numerotation (Recovery point, Recovery point#1, Recovery point#2,...) to avoid troubles... You can also use a different name for those recovery points but keep the "right order" anyway (name, name#1, name#2).
And don't forget to select the coop option in the properties panel of course.

- Place the recovery points as close as possible the ground level (without to touch it) and place them above a flat surface (as most as possible) otherwise you may respawn in unexpected areas. Indeed, once your player's character will be created, he will "slip" from the surface (if it's not flat enough) and you may land in uncomfortable places. This action is "instantaneous" so you won't see your character "slip".
Note that this case is also valid for the bots! So, be very careful to place the recovery points at the right places, to avoid bugs (like respawnings inside rocks)!
In this example, the bot won't "slip" because of the rock on the left of the picture, otherwise he would do it (1).

- Place your recovery points in a safe and clear area where the bots won't see you directly. It will give you (us) the time to prepare the mission and to wait for your mates quietly...
For my VC_Storm edition, I put back the respawning points to avoid to be attacked right away by the vietcong, unlike the Pterodon's version (2).

- Pay also attention to the side of the recovery points... I still see too often we are respawning with "the nose" in front of a wall, a bush or a tree in some maps! At the base of the "pyramid", you have a little cube wich indicates the side of the view that will be used once you respawn... Place the "editor's cam" at a player's "level" to chose the best looking view, and rotate (in the "Z" axle) the pyramid('s cube) toward the same direction (3).

- If you use another dummy object (a dummy or a waypoint) to create the respawning of a player or a bot, the "pointed side" of the pyramid's base (inside the "selection cube") will show you the right direction to use...


Under Construction (this post may still be updated in the future)!



Intruder
Edited by Intruder on 28-12-2016 14:49
  x 2  x 1
 
Intruder
How to fix the "dark bots" in the scene:
---------------------------------------------------

The symptoms:

Sometimes in the scene, the fog is not applied on the bots which creates very dark "targets" easy to spot and to kill (1). This bug appears at different distances and mainly when you aim a "living bot"...


The fix:

In fact, this bug is rather easy to fix. You just need to find all the objects in your scene, with the "no cut by visibility" box "ticked" (in the properties panel)!
Once the bots are in the surroundings of those objects, the fog won't be applied on them, when the option is "ON".
Note that normally, that box is not "ticked" by default.
So, despite this option is available for each object, I advise you to NEVER use it! This option "on" will create others visual bugs anyway...

Note:
This fix has been found by Ando!


Under Construction (this post may still be updated in the future)!



Intruder
Edited by Intruder on 29-11-2012 11:53
  x 2  x 1
 
Intruder
Use "visuals" to increase the size of your maps:
--------------------------------------------------------------

A simple way to increase the size and the look of your map is to use "objects" you will place "outside" of it, like trees, rocks, bushes. It may sound "evident" for some but I still see very few maps using this kind of trick... These objects will give you the impression that "something else" is still existing "behind the hill", by fill in the holes and empty areas... They will also help you to lower the limits of the playing area by avoiding to always use big and high hills to "close" (limit) the map (1)...
Those visuals are maybe "useless" because we won't use them "directly" (as covers for example); but they are very important, in my opinion, to create a realistic and immersive environment...

I'm showing you 2 areas of my VC_Storm edition, to compare them with the original map, made by Pterodon:

1) At the balcony: Before - After
2) On the base's hill: Before - After

Note that you can use the same "trick" with the sounds! Put some "outside" of your map's limits, to complete the "increasing effect" of your map!


Under Construction (this post may still be updated in the future)!



Intruder
Edited by Intruder on 05-10-2013 08:42
  x 1  x 3
 
Intruder
Intruder's maps name explained:
-------------------------------------------

VC_maps' birth:

In the past (years ago) I remember we were reporting, in the Pterodon's forum, all kinds of bugs we were finding in the original maps. Unfortunately, those bugs have never been corrected by Pterodon for "some (commercial) reasons"...
My "frustrations" grew even more when I was discovering that most of the new editions of those maps were not only using the same original bugs, but also had newer ones (like missing sounds, wrong colours, crashes...)!!! And, I was also reading "here and there" (in forums) that the game and the editor were buggy as hell, but I knew it was not the case after my learning process with Intrusion! How to prove the community that Vietcong wasn't an "has been" game? Well, it was more and more "obvious" that if we wanted to play on the "most updated" versions we could find, I had to edit them myself... Please, don't read "this" as a pretentiousness attitude...but I KNEW what to do to transform them into very immersive and stable maps!


The purpose of this post is not only to explain you my way to name the "VC_maps", but also to show you that every aspect in the creation of a map should be taken in count (for an "easier" work)...
So, try first to find your own way to name your maps if you're going to start to create a lot of maps for Vietcong!

This is an extract of a mail I sent to friends in the past, and I hope you will find it useful also...

==============================

I thought it was time to explain you the "reasons" of my VC_maps' name...

Examples:

- VC_Stream_beta_1
- VC_NuiPek_beta_2
- VC_RadioRelay_II_b_1
- VC_FrenchRoute_A_b_0a
- FA_BaseCamp_beta_0a

VC_NameOfTheMapWars_II_A_b(eta)_X(x)

VC:
VC (or FA), in front of the name is to "show" the players that the map is coming from the Vietcong game. She has NOT been made by me, but by the Pterodon's guys... Because the maps are coming from the game, that "tag" also allows me to use the same map's name when the map is coming from the Fist Alpha addon, like FA_NuiPek (instead of VC_NuiPek) wich I could edit in the future also...

NameOfTheMap:
In this case, I will ALWAYS try to use one of the names Pterodon used for the game. Those names are coming from the solo campain, a mission, a briefing... This is to avoid that the players think they are going to play a "new" map when in fact it's "only" an edition of a map we already all know...

Wars:
Each time I will add the "Wars" suffix to the "NameOfTheMap", it will mean that that map has "all" the other modes excepted the Coop one. I made that distinction mainly because of "technical reasons" and to avoid conflicts with my Coop mode that has some particular specificities. It explains my Intrusion and IntrusionWars map...

II:
I'm using the roman numbers when the map is "just" a different version than the original one, like I made with the RadioRelay_II version... This version is more "fictional" because in the solo campain, we aren't attacking the radio relay from the bottom. It was just an opportunity to have "something different" with "less" work to do!
I will normally use the "II, III, IV, ..." numbers everytime I will make a "not from the solo campain spirit" map, but it won't happen very often I'm afraid! lol
Note that sometimes, the maps are only coming from the multiplayers mode (like Storm)... In this case, I'm using the "default version" as the first one to use.

A:
The Caps letter (A, B, C, ...) is used when a mission is made of several maps, like our dear FrenchRoute maps (_A and _B version). I will probably use those "letter versions" when maps are very "tied" together, like the HoChiMinh trail or Three Canyons maps.

b(eta):
It's simply to show the players it's a...beta map! lol
I'm using the full name "beta" when the NameOfTheMap is not too long, and only the "b" letter when the name is longer... It's to have a better display in the Vietcong' server list (browser) when we use the more "common" 1280 x 1024 resolution size... Otherwise, the maps' name version is usually "disappearing" from the list (is it a beta_1, 2, 3?)!
The other reason is that I've noticed there is a limit in the number of characters we can use IN the name of the map AND the name of your modes. Because I have a "Discovery" mode (9 letters), my map is not in the selection if my map's name is too long. So, by using the _b (-3 letters) instead of the full _beta name, my map is showing again! However, I still haven't made the test to determine what was the maximum of characters we can use.
Once the map has gained her COMPLETE and FULL status, the "beta" name (and everything behind it) will disappear... Such a map will be "dead" for any other editions of the same kind!

X(x):
X is used for the beta version, it's always a NUMBER (0, 1, 2, 3,...); and every new beta map version will have the "(x)" tag that I use with a LETTER (a, b, c,...). Those betas "sub-levels" are always "NON PUBLIC" (for private tests only)...

So, to resume (example):

VC_Stream_beta_0 (for me only!)
VC_Stream_beta_0a (private version)
VC_Stream_beta_0b (private version)
VC_Stream_beta_0c (private version)
...

VC_Stream_beta_1 (public version)
VC_Stream_beta_1a (private version)
VC_Stream_beta_1b (private version)
VC_Stream_beta_1c (private version)
...

VC_Stream_beta_2 (public version)
VC_Stream_beta_2a (private version)
VC_Stream_beta_2b (private version)
VC_Stream_beta_2c (private version)
...

VC_Stream (Final and public version)

For my PERSONAL maps, just drop the VC / FA tag in front of the NameOfTheMap! And the NameOfTheMap will have NO "link" with the maps' name from the Vietcong game... I will use a NEW name like I made with: Intrusion (for example). The rest has the same "meaning"; and I hope you see what I mean now! lol

Note that despite I still haven't released final versions, all my public beta versions are always fully tested and could be considered as "final versions" anyway! Once I will find the solutions for "the features" I still have in mind, all those beta maps will reach the final version!
Simple, no? lol

Yeah, I know it's not "easy" but I had to find a solution FROM THE START to name all those maps I was going to create, but I think once you "catch the trick" you can understand EVERYTIME what is the "meaning" of my VC_maps name! lol Wink


Under Construction (this post may still be updated in the future)!



Intruder
Edited by Intruder on 08-07-2017 14:49
  x 2
 
Intruder
How to use the sound switch:
--------------------------------------

The sound switches will help you to "decrease/increase" the ambient sounds in your map... It's very useful if you go inside a cave or a building for example (1), because you won't hear the "external sounds" anymore (or less) like in the reality!

This is what is written in the the Editor's help file:
Sound switch serves for switching or resetting sound settings on collision with a camera. The parameters that can be changed include the type of walk noise, colliding dynamic objects and EAX settings. Sound switch is an oriented sphere; its positive hemisphere is marked with an arrow.


- From my personal experiments, the sound switches are only acting on the ambient sound (stereo) placed in the sound.c file... All the sounds added to your map by means of "events" won't be affected by the sound switches! However, because of my poor knowledge in the scripts, I haven't been able to go further in the tests, to determine if only the "ambient" sounds are affected OR if any sound will be affected once "set" in the sound.c file (like a river sound)...

- Once we pass into a sound sphere, she will affect the ambient sound we hear, depending of its settings... The side marked with an "arrow" can be considered as the "outside" (Env1) which is usually set to 100% of the sound volume... And the opposite side of the arrow is usually considered as the "inside" (Env2) which is usually set to a less percentage, of course (let's say 60%)... This is only the theory because if you invert the sound sphere by switching the "in and out" settings, you should obtain the same results! To have "smoother decreases", you can also use more sound switches "in a row" of course (100% > 80%, 80% > 60%, instead of 100% > 60% directly, ...) (2).

- To be sure a sound switch is working correctly, it should be the size of the passage you go through (3). That size is determined by the "Eax" radius sphere, but avoid that the sphere exceeds your building (or whatever) because she may affect your ambient sound before you enter it! Note that the change of the sound will occur "inside" that "Eax" sphere... And if "the passage" is too wide, you can also use 2 sound switches, side by side, to obtain the desired effect (4). Personally, I also set the "EAX" (id) setting "OFF" (zero) because I noticed that the sounds were not rendered "for the best" with (less natural)...

- If only the ambient sounds work with the sound switch, it is advised to not put "events' sounds" too close the building you may go in...otherwise, "the cricket" (sound) will be also inside of your hut, if you see what I mean! lol However, I noticed that the effect is still very convincing with events like the "treetop, wind and many other sounds" if they aren't too close the "building".

- Sound switches will work correctly at the 1st person view only! If you watch a mate when you are dead (at the 3rd person view), you may hear "incorrect" sound switches. This "bug" can't be fixed...

- If you place a respawning point INSIDE a building (or a cave), don't forget to put it INSIDE a soundswitch (wide enough for a player's size), so the player will respawn with a "mute" sound already!


Notes:
- Consult your xsound_160.txt file to have all the available ambient (stereo) sounds!
- Apparently, the sound switches "engine" hasn't been completely developed...


For the moment, it's all I can say about the sound switches. Be very methodical and don't be sparing of tests, tweakings, tests, re-tweakings and re-tests...for the best result!!! Wink


Under Construction (this post may still be updated in the future)!



Intruder
Edited by Intruder on 29-11-2012 12:05
  x 1  x 1  x 1
 
Intruder
How to protect your "work in progress":
----------------------------------------------------

- My advise is, at the end of each mapping session, to ALWAYS check your "map stuff" to be SURE everything is "ok" (so far) before to save your work for the last time; and then, zip your .sco file (the most important one) to upload it on a hotmail account (for example)...
Note that the compression of that file is rather big, so it won't take a lot of time to upload it on your account. Sometimes, you (or the editor) will create "bugs" you won't notice directly (a whole part of the scene may be displaced) and if you safe your work continuously without to notice it (it happens very often when you place objects inside buildings for example), your .sco file, and all those in the backup folder, will be corrupted either.

- You can also make a "copy/past" of that .sco file occasionally (in its own folder), just before you're going to make a change you aren't sure about "the effect" it may create... If everything is working correctly, you can delete that "copy.sco" file just after.

- Once the "main content" of your map is created (after "x" days or weeks, with all your objects, textures, lightmaps, handmap,...), I advise you to "zip" the main folder of your map, to upload it on your account as well (Hotmail's SkyDrive is ideal for that!). Now, all your main "map's stuff" is safe.

- You should always rename your levels folder (to levels_original for example) just before you're going to test your map with the game! This is because the game will go catch the stuff inside your levels folder as well, and it may hide "bugs" other players may have (because they won't have the extra stuff from your levels folder!) but most of the time, in this case, they won't be able to load the map anyway... If you "close the path" of your levels folder, you will load the map in the same conditions as the other players...

- By doing this you will also protect your "ldt folder" wich contains all your lightmaps files... Indeed, during your "work in progress", you will probably create more than one version of the same map BUT, if you re-test a previous version (to compare different versions for example) or select an older version by mistake (wrong "click"), the older ldt folder will "crash" the content of your latest and updated one! The consequence is; you will have to redo all the lightmaps of your last map version.


By following my advises you should never lost more than 1 session instead of all your work, if one day something goes wrong (bad saves, corrupted files, HDD crash,...)! It's a boring task(s) to do but it's worth the effort(s)! ;)


Under Construction (this post may still be updated in the future)!



Intruder
Edited by Intruder on 09-03-2017 13:32
  x 1  x 1
 
Intruder
Add a "test mode" to your map:
-----------------------------------------

- When you will create your first (or next) map, you should create a "special mode", without bots, as well... That way, you and your beta testers (2 or 3 is enough) can run everywhere on the map, without to be disturbed by the AIs, in search of the graphical bugs ("poping and flying" objects, "stucking places", obstructed covers...) and better gameplay. I've always found it was easier (at least for me) to make those tests "in game" and in "real conditions" with some mates...

- Disperse yourselves on the map and as soon as someone finds a bug, you can directly go to him (them) to take a picture of it (F2) - (trick:aim the object/bug you need to fix). Later when you will work with the editor again, just open your "screenshots bugs" and fix them, one by one, right away! By using this method, you will probably never forget to fix a bug! And once the bugs are corrected, drop the screenshots in the bin...
Repeat those operations till you have nothing more to do! lol ;)

- Personally, I just edit my coop mode script (I make a copy) by renaming it "Discovery" and change to FALSE (instead of TRUE) the SC_MP_EnableBotsFromScene(TRUE); code line.

- It is advised to NOT select the "teamrespawn" option in the server settings during those tests otherwise you WON'T respawn if you die!


Under Construction (this post may still be updated in the future)!



Intruder
Edited by Intruder on 09-03-2017 13:29
  x 1  x 1
 
Intruder
How to avoid that the fog is incorrectly applied on a texture:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The symptoms:

When you create an object in 3dsmax, or more precisely your terrain, the "logical thought" is to reduce the number of faces in areas where details aren't really needed. This is to optimize the number of polygones, to the minimum, to have the highest frames per second (fps) as possible (in game)...
However, what will be good for the fps, won't be good for the map's graphics when you're using the fog! Indeed, the Ptero Engine won't display the fog correctly on those big faces when you use them in your maps!
The symptoms will be that the fog's colour will be applied on those big faces (texture) even if you are close of those objects (1); or that the background fog won't "mix" smoothly with the ground, creating a kind of "map limit" view when you shouldn't see one (2)...


The fix:

So, even if it's tempting to create big planes with the lowest faces in 3dsmax, I advise you to keep a certain amount of "lost faces" to be sure the fog will be applied correctly on your map's textures!


Under Construction (this post may still be updated in the future)!



Intruder
Edited by Intruder on 29-11-2012 12:08
  x 2  x 1
 
Intruder
How to apply "shadows" on your dynamic objects:
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Well, it seems that the "shadow tree calculation" is seldom used on maps but, in my opinion, it is essential to calculate them to obtain the best "immersion"!

- The "Shadow Tree calculation" is the tool to use to calculate (and have) "shadows and lights" applied on your "dynamic objects", like the characters, guns, med packs (...) when you will go in an area without sun lights (under a tree, in a house, a tunnel...).

This is what is written in the the Editor's help file:
Shadow tree is an auxiliary grid positioned in the 3D space around the scene or its selected part. Each cell contains information regarding light intensity including cast shadows. This information is then used for dynamic object lighting calculation. Dynamic objects include characters, weapons, "grow" type objects etc.

Depending of your settings, these shadows will be sharper (to use for maps with a nice and sunny day) or not (to use for "darker maps", with rain or fog)...

- To have that nice effect in your map, select your whole terrain and, in the "LM panel", click on the "Export selected" tab, to select your settings for the calculation...
Simple, no? Wink


Notes:
- From my own experiment, the effect seems to work correctly ONLY if you select your terrain as a "whole and unique" object!
- The file containing the "Shadow Tree" is the SHADOWS.SHM file in your ldt map folder, and you can't calculate that file "in parts" like with the lightmaps, for example...
- The "Shadow Tree" is also sensible to "transparent files" like those used in the database to simulate the fog ("ldt_mrak" object), even if that file is far away the area you are with your character... For "the little story", it took me DAYS of searches (if not WEEKS! lol) to understand that those files, around the NuiPek map (in this case), were "blocking" the "light rays" I should have had on my character in the "opened areas" (the original NuiPek map HAS the bug)!!! I corrected the bug by temporarily moving all those "ldt_mrak" objects under the map before the "shadow tree" calculation (use a value easily to remember like -50 or -100).

I hope it has helped... Smile


Under Construction (this post may still be updated in the future)!



Intruder
Edited by Intruder on 23-09-2011 11:31
  x 2  x 1
 
Intruder
How to create an "healthy" terrain:
----------------------------------------------

- When you will start to create your terrain for Vietcong, you will have a certain amount of "fps credit" that you will have to use wisely. That "fps credit" will mainly depend of the power of your pc: "the better, the higher"; but also by the number of polygones you will use: "the higher, the worst"...
Because we don't have all a powerful pc, it's very important to keep the fps of your map as high as possible by having the lowest number of polygones...as possible! If you don't, most people won't be able to play your map because the fps will drop under the ~17! If your terrain is already "eating" all your "fps credit", you won't have enough fps anymore to add all your objects, bushes and bots to create an immersive world!
Knowing that the bots scripts are already taking around 10 fps from your map, you shouldn't go under the 30 fps when you will test it without them, but with "all the rest" already on the map (30 fps with a rather "weak" pc only!)...

- To have an "healthy" terrain, I advise you to create a plane (in 3dsmax) with sections (grid) of 4mx4m. This is, in my opinion, the best compromise to have a detailed map with still a reasonable amount of polygones... But such a terrain will also help you in all your texturing work. Indeed, most of the Pterodon's textures have a size of 512x512 wich represents...4mx4m!
So, if you want to create a road on your map, just select the "squares" (polygones) on your grid, to apply the "road texture" on them "by default" (without to change the size of your texture). Knowing that the textures' size are already optimized to look "correctly" in game, you can be sure you won't have the bad impression to be a liliputian walking on a giant environment! Once the road (texture) is on your map, you can now move the vertices to model the "bumps and heights".
A grid of 4mx4m is also much easier to edit for the smaller textures (512x256), like those of the little paths. Select your vertices and move them + or - 2 meters "left or right" to prepare your grid for those smaller textures! Once the "main parts" are textured on your map, you can move your vertices to have an "homogeneous" grid again, to apply your "general" grass or dirt textures.
And don't forget to optimize your terrain by deleting the polygones you don't need anymore, or transform a section of 4 squares into one of 1 square (for example)...

I could say a lot more about "the terrain" but I hope you already understand what I mean. It's "up to you" to adapt the "theory" into the "practical work", depending of the terrain you will create... Wink


Under Construction (this post may still be updated in the future)!



Intruder
Edited by Intruder on 23-09-2011 11:31
  x 3  x 1
 
Intruder
How to correctly set the lighting of an object:
-----------------------------------------------------------

The symptoms:

Once your terrain is ready for the Editor, the first step is to set the general lighting of your scene...and normally, those settings will be applied on all the objects you will add into your map as well. However, with some objects, it will just not work "as it should" and you will have to set the lighting of those objects "manually and individually"! For example, if you place bushes under a big tree wich creates a wide shadow on the ground, they will be too "bright" because they will take the "general" lighting of your scene but NOT the lighting of the "shadowed area"! You HAVE TO correct this if you want to have a realistic map! Moreover, most of the time, the bushes and trees' light (textures) will be too bright compare to the scene lighting you will have chosen anyway...


The fix:

So, to correctly set the lighting of an object, you have to:
- Select the object you want to edit.
- Press the [Home] key to access the "Select" window properties, and be sure the "Show subentities" box is checked in the "Display" panel.
- The object's parts to select are those with the "red circle" in front of the name (use the [Ctrl] key for a multiselection) (0).
- In the Properties tab (Editor panel), you can now modify the "object properties" that will be, in our case, the "Dirlight multiplier" and the "Ambient multiplier"... I advise you to reduce the "Dirlight multiplier" FIRST to let's say 10% (for a plant placed in a shadow behind a wall for example) and then, decrease the "Ambient multiplier" only if the object is still too bright at its place...


Notes:
- In some cases, objects (sort of) are reacting differently to the lighting. You will have to adapt the lighting to their "specifities" by using "un-logical numbers"!
- Sometimes, on maps with A LOT of objects, the [Home] key won't direct you to the selected object (bug?), to allow you to select its different parts... In that case, move your object UNDER the map to let's say -50 meters and make a multi-selection by "sliding" the mouse (keep the left mouse button pressed) to create "the frame" that will select all the parts. Don't forget to pass the "subentity selection" for that action!!! Once the lighting of that object is set, move it to +50 meters so it will reach its original position again! Putting the object under your map will prevent you to make "undesired" selections!
- Certain parts of a plant, like the njk_lojza "serie" can be set individually for "fine tuned" lightings.
- The lighting of an object can be "sensitive" to the Lods (level of details) of that object... If ALL the parts of that object don't have the same settings, you will see visual bugs (with the bushes in particular)!
- Don't show the dummies when you work with the lightings (un-check the box in the "Show type" -> [Ctrl]+[H]), otherwise you will have troubles to access the lighting settings.

1) Before the correction (original version by Pterodon): (1) - (3)
2) After the correction (VC_map version by Intruder): (2) - (4)


Be WARNED, the "lighting correction" can be A VERY LONG and BORING TASK to do (depending of the type and the number of your objects)... Prepare yourself to make hundreds (if not thousands!) of "clicks" to have a good looking map! Wink


Under Construction (this post may still be updated in the future)!



Intruder
Edited by Intruder on 29-11-2012 12:15
  x 1  x 1
 
Intruder
How to fix the "njh_dracerabig" plant:
--------------------------------------------------

The symptom:

More than once, you will note that some plants from the data base aren't free of bugs... Usually, those plants have lods (level of detail) troubles that make some parts disappearing at a certain distance; which is the case of the njh_dracerabig object in our example (1) - (2)


The fix:

The fix is rather similar than the one used for the lighting of an object...
- Select the object you want to edit.
- Press the [Home] key to access the "Select" window properties, and be sure the "Show subentities" box is checked in the "Display" panel.
- The object's parts to select are those with the "red circle" in front of the name (use the [Ctrl] key for a multiselection) (3).
- At the bottom of the Properties tab (Editor panel), select the "Lods" value to "Set a new LOD distance" (I advise you to chose your scene view distance to avoid any clipping) (4).


Notes:
- Make the correction for one object only and duplicate it for the others, it's easier and faster!
- Everytime you will encounter such kind of LOD's troubles with a plant, "the solution" is rather "close" to what we have done for this njh_dracerabig plant; but sometimes, you will have to change the value of the LOD dummy instead. It will mainly depend of "the way" the object has been created in 3dsmax. Each case is rather "particular" for the fix.
- Polygones of that plant are rather high; don't abuse of it on your map!


Under Construction (this post may still be updated in the future)!



Intruder
Edited by Intruder on 29-11-2012 11:47
  x 1  x 1
 
Intruder
Feed your imagination in books:
------------------------------------------

To feed your imagination for your Vietcong's maps (not only!), let me present you 2 of the most "well known" books publishers that will help you to find "ideas"... Smile
Such publications aren't really cheap, mainly due to the rather "confident" number of copies printed; however, those books are very valuable if you're interested in military subjects! And if you're in the "moddeling world" as well, you probably already know them!
Note that many more exist but those 2 have my "preference".

Those 2 publishers are:

- Squadron Signal Publications
- Osprey

The Squadron Signal books have mainly pictures, with a "succinct" but informative text; and the Osprey books have a more "complete" text but with less pictures (but still useful).

I already advise you those books "because" of their Vietnam subject... Wink
Some may not be published anymore but you should still be able to find copies in books shops, specialized in military subjects, or on the net.


Squadron Signal Publications:

- Ground War - Vietnam vol.1 1945-1965
by Jim Mesko ISBN 0-89747-251-9

- Ground War - Vietnam vol.2 1965-1968
by Jim Mesko ISBN 0-89747-288-8

- Riverine A Pictorial History of the Brown Water in Vietnam
By Jim Mesko ISBN 089747-163-6

- Armor In Vietnam A Pictorial History
by Jim Mesko ISBN 0-89747-127-x

- Gun Trucks
by Timothy J. Kutta ISBN 0-89747-359-0

- War In Laos 1954-1975
by Kenneth Conboy ISBN 089747-315-9

- LRRP's in action Combat Troops Number 11
by John Burford ISBN 0-89747-312-2

- US INFANTRY - VIETNAM
by Jim Mesko ISBN 089747-151-2


- Walk Around UH-1 Huey Gunships Walk Around Number 36
by Wayne Mutza ISBN 0-89747-479-1

- Walk Around AH-1 Cobra Walk Around Number 29
by Wayne Mutza ISBN 0-89747-438-4



Osprey:

- Khe Sanh 1967-68 Marines battle for Vietnam's vital hilltop base
by Gordon L. Rottman ISBN 1-84176-863-4


Under Construction (this post may still be updated in the future)!



Intruder
Edited by Intruder on 30-11-2015 00:44
  x 2  x 1  x 1
 
Intruder
How to add an Ambient sound in your map:
-------------------------------------------------------

An "Ambiant sound" is a sound that will be played all the time, wherever the area you will be on the map. That sound is very important because it will give a "natural" atmosphere to your map. Without it, she may be "insipid and without colours"...
But be careful to NOT use a sound, that won't match your map's graphics, just because it's a "cool one" (a "common" mistake)! And how to know it will be "the right sound" to use? Simply close your eyes to imagine the world that will correspond to the sound you're hearing... If, when you open back your eyes, your map doesn't look like to what you had in mind, try another sound! Wink

During its installation, the Editor will also install (in the "dev folder" of the game) a "default" sound.c file (that will be used for your map during the compilation), because a map NEEDS such a file to work correctly! However, that sound.c file has been "disabled" and it explains why most of the custom maps have NO ambient sounds.

So, to enable an ambient sound, you have to REMOVE, from the script, the // signs in front of those 2 code lines:

#include <inc\sc_global.h>

int ScriptMain(s_SC_SOUND_info *info){

switch(info->message){

case SC_SOUND_MESSAGE_INIT:

//SC_SND_SetHearableRatio(0.85f);
//SC_SND_Ambient_Play(617);

break;

}// switch(info->message)

return 1;


}// int ScriptMain(s_SC_SOUND_info *info)

...and place your sound.c file in your scripts folder.

The available sounds are:

Vietcong:
`snd 1521 stereo\hillbase.ogg // HILLBASE
`snd 1533 stereo\potoka.ogg // STREAM
`snd 1534 stereo\crash.ogg // CRASH
`snd 1537 stereo\potokb.ogg // BAHNAR RAZED A
`snd 1538 stereo\rivil.ogg // RIVIL
`snd 477 stereo\night.ogg // NIGHT
`snd 301 stereo\serpentyny.ogg // BIG VALLEY
`snd 310 stereo\tunel1.ogg // UNDERGROUND
`snd 311 stereo\tunnels.ogg // TUNNELS
`snd 617 stereo\potokc.ogg // THREE CANYONS
`snd 440 stereo\ambush.ogg // AMBUSH
`snd 441 stereo\campday.ogg // BASE CAMP DAY
`snd 443 stereo\campnight.ogg // BASE CAMP DEFEAT
`snd 444 stereo\campnight.ogg // BASE CAMP NIGHT
`snd 445 stereo\temp.ogg // HQ
`snd 1001 stereo\french.ogg // FRENCH ROUTE
`snd 1002 stereo\hillbase.ogg // RADIO RELAY
`snd 1003 stereo\campnight.ogg // COLLECTORS
`snd 1004 stereo\campday.ogg // PILOT
`snd 1005 stereo\reka.ogg // BIG RIVER
`snd 1007 stereo\outpost.ogg // OUTPOST - normal
`snd 1008 stereo\outpost.ogg // OUTPOST EVAC
`snd 1009 stereo\temp.ogg // JARAI EVAC
`snd 1010 stereo\medicpatrol.ogg // MEDIC PATROL
`snd 1011 stereo\medicpatrol.ogg // ROAD
`snd 1012 stereo\escape.ogg // ESCAPE
`snd 1013 stereo\storm.ogg // STORM
`snd 442 stereo\bahnarb.ogg // BAHNAR RAZED B
`snd 2376 stereo\flight1.ogg // CONQUEST FLIGHT
`snd 3028 stereo\halong.ogg // HALONG
`snd 1975 stereo\drill.ogg // DRILL CAMP
`snd 2268 stereo\diorama-dest.ogg // DRILL CAMP
`snd 2269 stereo\diorama-silnydest.ogg // DRILL CAMP
`snd 2701 stereo\campday.ogg // BASE CAMP
`snd 3207 stereo\rain.ogg // BOURE
`snd 3208 stereo\rain2.ogg // BOURE

Fist Alpha:
`snd 2530 stereo\ambi_1.ogg // DEATH VALLEY
`snd 2532 stereo\zabky.ogg // AMB. 2
`snd 2541 stereo\bomber.ogg // BOMBER
`snd 2542 stereo\indian.ogg // INDIAN C.
`snd 2543 stereo\bridge.ogg // BRIDGE
`snd 2544 stereo\jarai.ogg // JARAI
`snd 2578 stereo\campnight.ogg // BASEATTACK
`snd 2585 stereo\nvacko.ogg // NVA

...and so, for your tests, replace the (617) ID number by one of the list above!


Notes:
- Don't forget to add soundswitches to your map if you use an ambient sound!
- You can test the result of an ambient sound + soundswitches in my VC_Storm_II map, by going "in and out" of the bunker (use the Discovery mode)...

An Ambient sound is a MUST HAVE for the immersion of your map, don't miss it! Wink


Under Construction (this post may still be updated in the future)!



Intruder
Intruder attached the following file:
xsound_160.zip [40.44 kB, 531 Downloads]
Edited by Intruder on 09-03-2017 13:25
  x 1  x 3  x 2  x 1
 
Intruder
What is the best "scene view distance"?
---------------------------------------------------

When you will create your map for Vietcong, you will have to determine what is the best "scene view distance" of it. It's a rather important decision because she will give a major "mood" to your map.

- For me, the best distance is between 50 and 70 meters...
- Use 50 meters if your map is rather very "bushy" because it will help to maintain the fps low, and you shouldn't be able to see much further "all those bushes" anyway. But don't go under the 50 because 40 meters is around the distance you will be able to throw a grenade, and beyond that view, it's impossible to kill a bot which is not "drawn" on the screen yet.
- Use 70 meters for a more "common map" but I advise you to not go much further because you will start to have graphical bugs, like the "saw teeths" on objects, or the dead bots will start to disappear from the scene when you don't aim... -> Note that by using the VCStarter program, made by Brchi, the "saw teeths" effect has now been fixed.
- If for "some reason", you want to use bigger distances (+70 meters), you have to "think" your map to avoid those graphical bugs or low fps, like avoiding direct views on the whole scene and objects (check my VC_PoTlongKarai or VC_NuiPek maps for longer scene view distances)!
- Note that if you don't set the view distance of the bots in their scripts, they will start to SEE you at the same distance than your scene view distance!

- Once your scene view distance "set", I advise you to ALWAYS use a fog for your map. The fog don't need to be very present or deep to be "effective", but it will help your eyes to evaluate the distances between you and the objects/bots. By "definition", an object more "in the fog", will be farther than the one with less fog on it (0).
- The lack of fog in a scene (partly) explains why it is soo hard to spot the bots on some maps because the whole scene has the same "colour tonality". I hope you see what I mean because it's hard to explain with words! lol

- To correctly apply a fog in your scene, I advise you to set the end of your fog to the same distance of your scene -1 meter!!! For example, if your scene view distance is set to 50 meters, the end of your fog should be set to 49 meters! Why?
- If the fog is "physically" present for human eyes, it doesn't exist for a bot! It explains why they can shoot you through without you can see them. The more that "dead zone" will be big, the more the bots will have the time to see and kill you! If you don't pay attention to that, the gameplay of a map can be totally ruined because it will be impossible for the players to SEE the danger! That "dead zone difference" of -1 meter is JUST enough to make the bots appear in your scene without to give them too much advantage to see YOU before you can SEE them! All the objects "behind" the end of the fog (distance) are completely covered by the fog (100%) and so, invisible to human eyes!
Note that it's also a "common mistake" to believe that the more you will add fog in your scene, the better your fps will be!

Now that your "scene view distance" and your "fog end" have been set, you will probably have to tweak your map for a better and nicer look.
For this, you have to "fade in" your "fog objects" into your "fog sky", to avoid to see them appearing when you advance... But because the World sector fog is only applied on your objects/terrain, and your Background fog is entirely applied on your sky, the moment "both fogs" will match together, your sky colour may have already disappeared (grayed sky effect)!
- To avoid this, I advise you to create (and increase) a "fake fog" of the same tonality/colour at the bottom of your sky textures with a paint program (like Photoshop). By doing this your objects/trees/bushes/bots should appear smoothly in your scene without to see them "poping".

Sky example: original (1) - edited (2).

You can also check that effect on my VC_Storm_II, VC_FrenchRoute_A and _B, and certainly my FA_Moorland maps...

Good mapping! Smile


Under Construction (this post may still be updated in the future)!



Intruder
Edited by Intruder on 09-03-2017 13:24
  x 1  x 3  x 1
 
Intruder
How to delete an invisible wall:
----------------------------------------

The symptom:

Sometimes, for "x" reason, it will be necessary to delete an invisible wall from an original map (Pterodon version). For example, you can increase the "area of operation" on the Ambush map by deleting the invisible wall(s) between the islands.


The fix:

- Press [Ctrl]+[H] to tick the box "collision object", in the Collisions option. Now, you can see the invisible wall(s) in "pink".
- Select the entity/sub-entity selection tool (up in the toolbar, like a target icon) and select the invisible wall (now surrounded by a yellow frame). Note that only one side is "selectable".
- You should now be able to put it "under" the terrain (Z: -50 or 100 meters).
- Rebuild new invisible wall(s) by using the "kolizepomocna" object in the editor...
Don't forget that kolizepomocna "wall" is one side active only. If you still can pass through it, just rotate it 180°.

Note that sometimes, the invisible walls have been build FROM the terrain, and so, it's impossible to delete them without to mess the terrain also! You CAN'T delete those invisible walls and will have to do with them...


Important:

We have to use the entity/sub-entity selection tool to move the invisible walls of a Ptero map (if possible) but if it's working "simply" with them, we have to be very careful with objects beeing "part of the map" (those we can't select the "normal way", like trenches or rocks). Because in that case, we will have to "move" the texture AND the collision separately but "together", otherwise we will create bugs by moving the object (the texture) but NOT its collision (check the collision box to move this last one)!!!

In this picture (1), the object isn't really "part of the map", but you can see what happens when you accidently edit the coords of an object with the entity/sub-entity selection tool selected! The collision (yellow frame) doesn't match the texture (green frame)! No wonder that object won't protect you from the enemy bullets in the Ptero map version! lol
Note that this bug has been fixed in my VC_PoTlongKarai map version... Wink


Under Construction (this post may still be updated in the future)!



Intruder
Edited by Intruder on 05-10-2013 08:39
  x 1  x 1  x 1
 
Intruder
How to correctly set your modes:
-------------------------------------------

The symptom:

Sometimes, by selecting a map in the "create panel", you will notice that the modes are displayed in the wrong order (in the drop down list) (1). It's not only very "logical" but it's also not what you remembered to have seen in the editor by creating the modes. So, what happend?


The fix:

In fact, even if the editor is displaying the modes in the "right order", the game will display those modes in the order they have been created! So, you first have to START (create) with the mode(s) you want to see at the bottom of the drop down list, and end with the mode(s) you want to see on the top of it (2)!
By doing this, you can display all your modes in the order YOU decided to set (3)...


Note:
In the third picture (3), the ATG Coop mode should be written ATGCoop (it's a mistake I made). Think about it if you want to create such a mode!


Under Construction (this post may still be updated in the future)!



Intruder
Edited by Intruder on 09-04-2012 11:05
  x 1
 
Intruder
How to fix the "missing fauna":
----------------------------------------

The symptom:

For still "unknown reasons", your fauna may stop to work in your editor. She will "simply" disappear from your map! Usually, it happens with the butterflies, dragonflies, flies...but all the fauna may be affected by this bug anyway.


The fix:

Apparently, when it happens, you have to place an object (solid) next to the "fauna dummy" to oblige the editor to re-calculate the collisions. The fauna needs those collisions to "collide" (or not) with its environement (that option can be set in the fauna settings).
To have tried myself, it's working but NOT all the time (yeah, it would have been too "easy"! lol)...


Notes:
- This fix has been found by Ando!
- This bug is STILL under investigation! lol


Here is a complement of informations kindly provided by Ando (and with some notes added by me):

!! When one fauna object don't work, then all newer fauna objects dont work too !!

There is four kind of fauna.

1. Butterfly, Drgonfly, Wasp, Fly:
At least one waypoint must be placed near Fauna object, probably help to identify ground collision.
You might not see result before you move, place or delete some objects. I just copied one random object and then F8 and later deleted it.
you will see working fauna after F8

Settings:
Create radius -
Count -
Upper hemisphere only - dont notice any difference
Max Flying height - height from Fauna object


2. Frog:
Need linked waypoints. Frogs are respawned to waypoints inside "Create radius" area, and move along linked ways inside that area.
When player is closer than about 3 meters then frog is moving away from him and can go outside of the "Create radius", but will return back there when player is gone.
visible after F8

Settings:
Create radius -
Count -
Step Over Radius - don't notice any difference
Predator Radius - don't work
Shot Radius - don't work


3. Parrot, Dove:
Will respawn and fly away when player is entering "Predator" area
visible after F8 > F9 and enter to "Predator" area

Settings:
Create radius -
Count -
AI makes alert - not tested
(working with my tests)
Predator Radius - will respawn when player enter to that area
Shot Radius - will respawn when player shoot inside that area
Respawn time - not working
(working with my tests)


4. Rat, Duck, Hen, Buffalo: (Buffalo only with RedDawn or FistAlpha)
Looks working without waypoints and visible after F8

Settings:
Create radius -
Count -
Step Over Radius - dont notice any difference
Predator Radius - will move away from player when closer than that
Shot Radius - not working
(working with my tests)



Under Construction (this post will probably still be updated in the future)!



Intruder
Edited by Intruder on 04-10-2012 12:55
  x 3  x 1  x 2
 
Intruder
How to fix the "njk_liska03 (and 04)" plant:
---------------------------------------------------------

The symptom:

More than once, you will note that some plants from the data base aren't free of bugs... Usually, those plants have lods (level of detail) troubles that make some parts disappearing at a certain distance; which is the case of the njk_liska03 and njk_liska04 objects (trees) (1) if you try to increase their LODs. Those LODs are set by default to 40 meters, which is way too "short" for most of the maps created.


The fix:

The fix is a little more complicate than the one I explained for the njh_dracerabig object.
- Select the object you want to edit.
- Press the [Home] key to access the "Select" window properties, and be sure the "Show subentities" box is checked in the "Display" panel.
- The object's parts to select are ONLY those with the "red circle" in front of the name, like in the picture (2) (use the [Ctrl] key for a multiselection).
- At the bottom of the Properties tab (Editor panel), select the "Lods" value to "Set a new LOD distance" (I advise you to chose your scene view distance plus 2 or 5 meters to avoid any clipping). In our case, the default value(s) is set to 0:15.00 and 1:40.00 meters. So, if your scene view distance is around the 60 meters, you can set the second value to 1:65.00 (for example).
- Now, select the DUMMY of the tree which has a "ClipDist" set by default to 15 meters (3), and increase its value to the same you chose for your second LOD (65 meters in this case). If you don't, some parts will disappear before the rest of the tree!


Note:
- Apply the same fix for the njk_liska04 object.


Under Construction (this post may still be updated in the future)!



Intruder
Edited by Intruder on 04-10-2012 13:07
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