Map: Sand Castles

Map: Sand Castles

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Saktoth
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Map: Sand Castles

Post by Saktoth » 18 Mar 2012, 10:31

Springfiles download link.

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So I've been learning how to make maps, and I felt like remaking Castles. Castles had a heap of cool stuff- a nice defensive fort feel, a decent 4-way FFA map, which we don't have enough of, while still being viable for teams, really soft sand that really shows up deformation and different deformation rates between its brick and its sand so that you can sometimes have bridges stretching intact into a totally destroyed (or now underwater) landscape.

Of course it had stupidly epic metal in the centre, which was underwater and hard to get into but always won the game, the castles were very spider and air vulnerable from all angles, it had a cloud metal map, and its defensive walls were often hard to use effectively.

I've been using Spring map editor because it is so incredibly simple and I am an impossible noob, sorry Behe. :( I've tried to get into mapping a dozen times but the tools always take too long to adapt to and there was no streamlined export process, SME just made it too simple.

Anyway, one thing I really love is (KaiserJ's?) preset pieces. They are perfect for a thing like Castles, and if you know how to use them, they can do amazing things to prevent your ground LoD from stuffing up your sharp edges, another problem that Castles had in spades. This is one of the reasons for all the black, it blends into the water and hides the LoD, but the only reason this is possible is the way the preset pieces work:

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You can see the ramp starting to stuff up (and just how low the detail really is!) but the turrets stay intact.

I also didn't bother baking in any shadows or shading, because this map is all about deformation: I used some harsh sun settings and a lot of fine heightmap detail so that the landscape can really react dynamically.

Anyway, feedback from more experienced mappers is appreciated.
Last edited by Saktoth on 18 Mar 2012, 13:25, edited 1 time in total.
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SirArtturi
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Re: Map: Sand Castles

Post by SirArtturi » 18 Mar 2012, 10:37

Looks pretty good, as a first map?

I could give better critique if I could get a closer look.

One thing:

trees grow towards sun, upward.

So upwards=1; (iirc the tag correct)
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Antero
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Re: Map: Sand Castles

Post by Antero » 18 Mar 2012, 10:56

SME friggin owns. (Just wanted to defend SME)

If only it supported ATI... :)
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Saktoth
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Re: Map: Sand Castles

Post by Saktoth » 18 Mar 2012, 13:23

Springfiles link added.

Thanks Artturi, I noticed that but shrugged it off, will keep it in mind for an update.

SME only recognises .tdf (o_o) so i had to make my own feature defs.
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Forboding Angel
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Re: Map: Sand Castles

Post by Forboding Angel » 19 Mar 2012, 05:09

This is gorgeous! However, you know what my next comment will be... That's right :-)

Y U NO SSMF???

Tbh, using sme for settign up the heightmap/metal/texture is fine, but imo you would be a lot better off using the techniques listed in http://springrts.com/wiki/Map_development (I rewrote it all recently), and the end result would be fantastic.

Kaisers prefabs are great but the sides are empty black, so I would suggest pulling the texture into gimp or photoshop and putting a dark grey concrete texture on it. Doesn't need to be fancy, just greyish noise, darker than the tops of the castles (for purposes of looking shaded of sorts).

This is a great remake though. I like it quite a lot (that's saying quite a lot coming from me because I despised the original castles map :-)
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smoth
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Re: Map: Sand Castles

Post by smoth » 19 Mar 2012, 15:21

neat! aside from a lack of shadows and ssmf it looks neat.
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Pxtl
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Re: Map: Sand Castles

Post by Pxtl » 19 Mar 2012, 16:16

Perfect. Remaking Castles is a fantastic idea, and it looks like you've covered all of Castles' gameplay flaws.
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CarRepairer
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Re: Map: Sand Castles

Post by CarRepairer » 19 Mar 2012, 17:02

Looks awesome. I also hated castles, but your change made them less castley but still keeps the look of "some civilization was here." Great job.
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KaiserJ
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Re: Map: Sand Castles

Post by KaiserJ » 19 Mar 2012, 17:54

looks like a lot of fun; big improvement over the original from what i can see! great work
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Forboding Angel
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Re: Map: Sand Castles

Post by Forboding Angel » 19 Mar 2012, 23:10

Well let me be honest, w/o the skybox I would think it was ugly (no ssmf really hampers it), but with, it's just so pretty. Simple, deserty, and more important, it LOOKS like fun.

It needs loving, but I quite like it.
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knorke
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Re: Map: Sand Castles

Post by knorke » 19 Mar 2012, 23:46

map is all pink/red ingame. i think that happens when you rename the wrong files in maps\
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Saktoth
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Re: Map: Sand Castles

Post by Saktoth » 20 Mar 2012, 05:59

Yeah, i mucked it up (I don't even know how so many people managed to actually see the correct version, or maybe they are just juding from the pictures).

I'll be releasing a new version soon, where jumpers cannot jump onto the turrets from the low ground, the middle hills are slightly flatter, the middle oasis is land-pathable, the turrets all have sloped (non-black) edges, etc.

Anyway, what exactly would I do with SSMF here? Or would not changing it at all and making it an SSMF really improve it?
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Forboding Angel
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Re: Map: Sand Castles

Post by Forboding Angel » 20 Mar 2012, 06:02

Don't change it, just add ssmf detail textures.

This page basically holds your hand through it.
http://springrts.com/wiki/Map_development
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knorke
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Re: Map: Sand Castles

Post by knorke » 20 Mar 2012, 07:07

Kaisers prefabs are great but the sides are empty black, so I would suggest pulling the texture into gimp or photoshop and putting a dark grey concrete texture on it.
The sides of prefabs are textured.
I think the sides appear black because of how Spring renders underwater terrain:
It seems the watercolor influences terrain texture and on sharp cliffs the over/under waterline is not always excact due to LOD and bla. So parts that are actually over water can get recolored by mistake.
This map has black water -> black color on the cliffs that are in water.
On this map I had something similiar:
http://h13.abload.de/img/giantassclawthingmctb.gif
(warning: slightly disgusting commander in background, only have this picture where effect is visible
The vertical wall has a grey texture but Spring colors it green/blue-ish due to its proximity to water. Without water, the wall has its normal color.
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Saktoth
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Re: Map: Sand Castles

Post by Saktoth » 21 Mar 2012, 13:57

No, that black was deliberate, because the walls are perfectly straight, any texture would warp as the walls got slopier, picking up more and more of the texture from the water area. If its all black, no warping.

New version is going to have sloped eges, -with- texture. Thus:

Image
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Pxtl
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Re: Map: Sand Castles

Post by Pxtl » 21 Mar 2012, 16:03

Beautiful!

Stick a fork in it, that's done. Ready. Roll with it.

ZK seismic missiles are going to be hella-fun on this map.

Next, make us an 8-castle version.
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Anarchid
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Re: Map: Sand Castles

Post by Anarchid » 21 Mar 2012, 16:06

Another satanic map featuring inverse crosses!
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Forboding Angel
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Re: Map: Sand Castles

Post by Forboding Angel » 22 Mar 2012, 00:22

Saktoth wrote:No, that black was deliberate, because the walls are perfectly straight, any texture would warp as the walls got slopier, picking up more and more of the texture from the water area. If its all black, no warping.

New version is going to have sloped eges, -with- texture. Thus:

Image
Excellent! I'm a fan. PLEEEEEAAASE ssmf it! :mrgreen:
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smoth
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Re: Map: Sand Castles

Post by smoth » 22 Mar 2012, 00:33

I don't like the ramps being angled to enter, that makes units slow down.
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Petah
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Re: Map: Sand Castles

Post by Petah » 22 Mar 2012, 03:06

smoth wrote:I don't like the ramps being angled to enter, that makes units slow down.
It is a turtle map is it not?
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