Computer Is Down
otherwise would load this up straight away. laptop cant handle q3 :(
I'm not normally all that interested in Quake 3 maps but since this gentleman contributed a couple of incredible texture sets to Nexuiz (go Open Source!) and Spirit loves his texture sets, I'm going to be sure to load this one up.
It is a quite a professionally looking and beautiful map.
And It Plays Quite Well Too.
I hadn't played Q3 for quite a while, and wow, did this bring back the fun memories. Great fun speeding around the map dealing death...
@nitin, well please let me know what you think when you get a chance to try it on your normal pc not your laptop.
@baker, thanks :) The map source is released free as well.
@pjw, thanks man :)
Well this a small update to all, the background web waffle I normally do on anything I stick on my website is live on the link below.
Background info : http://www.simonoc.com/pages/design/maps_q3/focal.htm
I am not sure if anyone actually reads this stuff I spend ages writing, but if you do and like it or find spelling/grammer mistakes please let me know.
I am glad someone is paying attention around here!
I appreciate all of the background info, too. Especially the line:
"The detail comes from ... the high wall guardians with glowing lights for eyes and long curved noses."
They remind me of Tiki faces :-)
I'm always interested in the thoughts and decisions behind how a map got from A to B. Usually a huge plus if they included old concepts too. Interesting read.
Ah sock, you whipped this one up behind the scenes.. thought u were still busy with your map on the edge of forever? I'm glad I didn't bother entering this competition in the end ;)
@Cardo, yeah it was a quickie born from an experiment with portal skies. Once the technical stuff was done the rest luckily just fell into place. I am disappointed you did not enter the contest, it would have been cool to see another CardO level. :)
Comps Back Up
but no q3 yet. have grabbed this and donkey's noghost map too.
Congrats On The Third Place
Congrats for winning a completely useless item, haha.
Place 1 looks gorgeous.
Have Downloaded Top 3 Maps
now I just need to find my goddamn q3 cd.
Had A Quick Run Through
proper comments when I have some time to play.
But, this map reminded me, is there any particular reason why these cel shaded maps have lighting that looks splotchy? Especially shadows? Is it because of the low res flat textures?
i'm not sure, but i'd guess that the lightmap data isn't precise. ie: the number of levels of brightness is low. think of it like 4bit sound vs 16bit sound. (i'm not talking about the resolution here)
iirc, quake1 only has 26(?) levels of brightness between black and white.
The lightmap is essentially a very low res texture that is stretched to high heaven so when it's applied over top of a flat color wall, it looks terrible. That's to be expected. Lightmaps work best, obviously, when applied to a normal texture with decent contrast and coloring in it.
Can you post a screenshot because the lightmaps and textures are high resolution (well compared to normal) Also what settings are using? screen resolution, colour depth? Does it look like the screenshots I posted? I know different versions of Q3 do different things to lightmaps.
thanks, that makes sense (even to my non-mapper brain).
sock, I have it running at 1280*1024 with 8xAA, 16x anistropy, 32 bit color, everything high. It's not just your map, but every cel shaded map such as unitooldm6. That's why I figured there was a common reason.
As for the screenies, screenshot 5 on your page probably best demonstrates my point. If you look at the dark areas above the roof lights, the splotchiness/banding is most obvious. You can see it in other spots too but its most obvious when a shadow is cast by the lightmap on the texture.
Well the map is not technically cel shaded, it is a texture trick. (solid black lines on the edges) A useful trick for performance reasons so that the map will run extremely well on lower spec hardware.
The banding effect (splotchiness) on my screenshots is from harsh bouncelight passes, my fault partly but also as willem said this is something you never notice normally because the texture is covered with colour detail. This is also the bane of this style, solid colour textures show the inherit flaws of the lightmap system. Maybe the reason why so many people dislike the style, because it is so bare and minimal.
For me the style shows off the structure, it is like stripping away all the detail clutter and really seeing the bare bones of the architecture. IMHO it is the ultimate test for a designer because you cannot hide or mask the shapes behind flat details, you actually got to create detail variety with architectural edges.
Harsh Bouncelight Passes?
dont get me wrong, I like the style. I was just wondering since I always notice the banding effect on cel shaded type maps (or geocomp maps) but no one else ever mentions it, so wanted to make sure it wasnt something at my end.
But I guess most mappers know what you and willem have explained so never bring it up.
"Harsh Bouncelight Passes?"
I think he means he didn't use too many bounces in the lighting pass (Quake3 has radiosity? I can't remember). The final map probably had a higher number of bounces used on it...
It's cool, I am not upset or anything, I just wanted to explain a bit more about the style and my thoughts on minimal textures coupled with interesting architecture.
I mention the harsh bouncelight passes because in order to make the 'banding' less obvious I tweaked the q3map2 light parameters and scaled up the lightmap density (_lightmapscale) so the shadow edges are sharper and closer to the geometry lines. I also spent a long time trying to reduce light bleeding artifacts on inside ledges hidden by sky light. As Willem mentions the lightmaps are always stretched over large surfaces and often look strange with no background texture detail.
The competition version I did has really high lightmap values and this caused IOQ3 to fail to load all the lightmaps. The second version (my own) has lower resolution maps in various parts of the map in order to squeeze the total lightmaps down to an acceptable size so that IOQ3 can load the map correctly.
It is also worth mentioning that the competition version is FFA ONLY. Don't make the mistake one of the judges did and load the competition version in CPMA and play it tourney, it does not work, it is FFA only.
Similar to a mini fr3dm1 in some spots
I was told this by one of the judges and marked down for it, I personally don't see this but I know alot of people here know Frictions map and maybe can shed some light on this statement.
It is funny how people perceive stuff based on what they see first, it gives them a frame of reference so they can describe it easily, but in reality everything is always inspired by something else. The style for me is very much a geocomp/cel shade style which has been around in Q3 maps for years. (I actually entered the first geomap contest!) I was told the map is very Warsow style ... :P
if it is similar to a mini fr3dm1, why is that a bad thing?
And I still have Monolith installed, love that map.
Anyway, will play this over the weekend.
Gave This A Play:
This is a very solid map, but I did have some issues:
IMO, it would've looked a fair bit better if 1 more major color was added to break up some of the monotomy and add variety, while keeping the overall idea and theme. I think brown for example, would've worked pretty well if it was used on some parts of floors and ceilings.
The narrow bridge going up to the Megahealth should've been a little bit wider, I would've made it go all the way to the left wall. I also had an issue with bots blatantly ignoring some of the armor pickups for some reason.
Loved the ambience and the tidy brushwork.
What Jago Said
its a solid map, but I really did feel lost a lot of the time while playing. You can use the central area as a point of reference but its a bit hard to navigate in the middle of a fast game.
A few color variations in either texturing or lighting would have helped here.
Otherwise, love the overall color scheme and brushwork and it also has a reasonable layout.
Old Pointrelease Problems
It was hinted to me by the competition organizers that the map *should* be compatible with Q3 pointrelease 1.16n (Most of the noghost servers are running this version) and that version has serious problems with total amount of shaders. The map suffered a lot visually because half of the original textures were removed in order for the map to load correctly.
I tried to make each area unique with different architecture and lighting styles, but there is only so much you can do with a limited texture set. Luckily the map layout is very circular so eventually you come back to where you start and being a small layout you can find combat quickly.
any chance of seeing the unrestricted version?
btw, I think this should have been ahead of at least donkey's map. It's also better looks wise than stormshadow's but that looks like it owould play better. Havent tested it yet though.
there is no unrestricted version. All the texture variety and high resolution sky textures were deleted. The only other version I have is one without adverts and multiple item layouts. (FFA/1v1)
Been playing a bit more, its definitely more fun than the 2nd placed map which is excessively cramped.
Worked very well.