Now onto bigger things

30 08 2009

With my ability in Hammer now up to the point where I can actually map, it’s time that I really get back to my Moai Caldera project. I’ve actually thought up better ways of creating it instead of what I was originally going to do, to the point where it might not even be a Caldera anymore. In addition I also think I might make it a King of the Hill map instead of Arena. This seems a lot easier than it sounds seeing as how the arena map Nucleus was easily given a KOTH variant in the latest TF2 update. Essentially you take arena and add a few more rules to it (like respawns and a time limit on the control point). The only problem after that is making sure it’s balanced. Well…that and actually…building the map. But you get the idea. I hope to have something to show progress on in a few days. I still have to play KOTH maps a bit more to make sure I have the mechanics understood but beyond that I don’t think my orginal design will have to be altered too much.

And so…It was finished!

26 08 2009

Despite being quiet the past few days I was actually hard at work on my minimap. Well ok that’s not entirely true it’s been done since Friday but only now did I have the time to make a quick little video tour of it which you can see on my new YouTube account. Why a video tour? Because I felt that’d work a bit better than just a bunch of static screenshots. Here’s where you can see the video. Feel free to comment or whatever it is you do when you’re critiquing.

Holy crap another screenshot!

19 08 2009

So yeah…I’ve been busy the past day or so with this map, as you can see:

Houses! Lighting! Trees! Random Truck!

Houses! Lighting! Trees! Random Truck!

Granted it’s not done, there are still a few things left for me to do such as soundscaping and particle systems. And if I figure it out in time, detail sprites. But I probably won’t. That’s a minor problem really though.

Map Contest Entry update: Now with a screenshot!

18 08 2009

Ok so today I finally achieved two things. I finally finished learning how to use displacements, and I added water. Oh and I added textures, so that’s three things. Oh and how to do blending on displacements…four things! (our chief weapons are fear, surprise…I’ll come in again)

Anyway the point is I now have a screenshot of what to show so far. Not that it’s much

They said it was daft to build a map of a swamp!

They said it was daft to build a map of a swamp!

I still have a lot left to do, some more landscaping and of course addition of props and details. But I’m getting very satisfied with my work so far. Mostly because regardless of what happens I’ll have learned a lot about mapping with Hammer.

Pride Goeth Before Fall

16 08 2009

Ok so my previous announcement about understanding displacements was premature. apparently I can’t sew them together right because of certain…ways that I built the map. No matter, I’m just tearing it down, rotating it a bit, and trying again. I wasn’t really expecting to win anyway so at this point any compromises I have to make are just part of the learning experience.

Update on Swamp MiniMap/Detailing Contest Project

15 08 2009

As I said a while back I was working on making a swamp minimap as part of the contest. It’s actually going a lot better than I even expected. I finally understand how to use displacements as well as how to paint geometry without having it undo all the sewing I did. Since I still have 10 days left to finish sculpting the map, texturing it, and then adding effects, I think I should finish this in no time. After all I’m going for form over function.

DLC Review – Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta

12 08 2009

A couple weeks ago, having found that I had 900 or so Republic Credits Microsoft Points, I decided it would be a good idea to grab the last DLC pack that Bethesda has released for Fallout 3. I am of course talking about Mothership Zeta, which probably takes you the furthest possible distance in any Fallout game since you wind up in space.

Hm, must've taken a wrong turn at Rivet City

I’m going to try to avoid spoilers but be warned there might be a couple here or there. So read on, carefully.
(the truth is out there, click to find out)

Small Update on the Mundane

10 08 2009

Since is having a mini mapping contest for their new swamp theme pack, I decided I’d use this as a way to reignite the part of my mind devoted to level design (located just behind the part of my mind devoted to enjoying the band Rush way too much) and try my hand at building one. This works out since I’m working on something small-scale and nonfuctional, which will allow me to experiment in an almost miniature form before going back to work on Moai Caldera. Since I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do (a map with a fair amount of water leading off into an impassible dropoff), it’ll also help me learn how to use displacement maps and water, as well as a few other things like soundscapes and particles. After all, the swamp pack includes those and I figure I might as well use them if I have them. Now I am by no means expecting to win, especially since I only have about 15 days to finish and submit something and the contest is 10 days in already. This is more of an exercise to see what I can do and sort of build up some level of self-confidence in my ability to use hammer.

“Video Games At the Movies” or “Asteroids was really the best they could think of?”

4 08 2009

So a while back it came to light that somebody, for whatever reason, thought that Asteroids would make a good movie. Now I could have sworn this already happened with Michael Bay’s explosion-and-anachronism sandwich known as Armageddon, but I guess someone thought that having one rock pales in comparison to having many rocks. Knowning Hollywoood they’ll probably get Shia LeBoeuf and his stammering to headline such a picture. But really. What in the world is the plot going to be? Many rocks threatening earth? Many rocks threatening a space station? Considering that the threadbare plot of the game was that your ship basically got trapped in an Asteroid field with UFOs by accident, it doesn’t exactly leave much to work with other than “Independence Day meets Armageddon”

That being said I can think of 5 other arcade games from the early 1980s that would make a better film than Asteroids, so here we go, in no particular order
A list, you guys.