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Team Requests Would Anyone be Interested in a joint CS?
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ObsidianLegion Offline

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Post: #1
Would Anyone be Interested in a joint CS?

Here is my Load out.

Basically, after approximately 6 months of me trying to get Dark Salvation finished, I failed multiple times. However, I didn't want to see the Custom Story community go down in flames over unoriginal story-lines (If one exists at all) in CSs.
Looking at some of the later stuff, it's been really good and I really love the original content that's been splurging out of the forum recently and I want to add a little something a little more.

Would anyone be interested in working together on Dark Salvation to get it sorted and get it out there? I was thinking of writing a base storyline file and giving maps out to people who want to improve them and giving other people the chance to be original in their own right. I don't want this story to go to waste. I really don't. I just don't have the creative mentality to keep this going as a big CS. I think that a community of people would do it good, however.Let me know if you want this done, people! I shall get files and a Notepad file summarising what should be done and give the original story inside of it too. If this should be moved upon, further arrangements shall me made from that point.

"Good men mean well; they just don't always end up doing well." -Isaac Clarke, Dead Space 2, Chapter 12
04-14-2013 02:46 PM
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i3670 Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Would Anyone be Interested in a joint CS?

Give me a map and I'll see if I can do something.

"What you think is irrelevant" - A character of our time

A Christmas Hunt
04-14-2013 03:43 PM
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Rapture Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Would Anyone be Interested in a joint CS?

Procrastination never does anyone any good.
04-15-2013 04:02 AM
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ObsidianLegion Offline

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Post: #4
RE: Would Anyone be Interested in a joint CS?

(04-15-2013 04:02 AM)Rapture Wrote:  Procrastination never does anyone any good.

I know, man. It really does not and I learnt that the hard way.

(04-14-2013 03:43 PM)i3670 Wrote:  Give me a map and I'll see if I can do something.

I'll upload a .zip file to Mediafire with all of my maps in. Take your pick.

The password will be frictionalgames.

(04-14-2013 03:43 PM)i3670 Wrote:  Give me a map and I'll see if I can do something.

http://www.mediafire.com/?54mgs3n0ybapbf1 Here

"Good men mean well; they just don't always end up doing well." -Isaac Clarke, Dead Space 2, Chapter 12
(This post was last modified: 04-16-2013 05:00 PM by ObsidianLegion.)
04-16-2013 04:52 PM
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i3670 Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Would Anyone be Interested in a joint CS?

Okay. I've looked at the maps and my opinion is that they will need a total makeover. This is my opinion. I have quite a high standard when it comes to map making.

"What you think is irrelevant" - A character of our time

A Christmas Hunt
04-16-2013 07:37 PM
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PutraenusAlivius Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Would Anyone be Interested in a joint CS?

In the InnerStorage:
The lights and the billboards seems like they're at different degrees. Light was a bit low and the billboard is a bit upward. This seems odd and it looks like you didn't recolor the billboards. Billboards/Rays of Light is faint. Even though the source of the light is very bright, the rays however, are faint.
And it felt empty. Also, tiling looks a bit too much. This also can be proved on LowerMansion. Too empty, tiling looks horrible, un-logical lighting (It's broad daylight. Why is the billboard blue?), etc.

"Veni, vidi, vici."
"I came, I saw, I conquered."
(This post was last modified: 04-17-2013 06:39 AM by PutraenusAlivius.)
04-17-2013 06:35 AM
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ObsidianLegion Offline

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Post: #7
RE: Would Anyone be Interested in a joint CS?

(04-16-2013 07:37 PM)i3670 Wrote:  Okay. I've looked at the maps and my opinion is that they will need a total makeover. This is my opinion. I have quite a high standard when it comes to map making.

I can tell you it's my first make.

As long as stuff can be done, then it's gravy.

"Good men mean well; they just don't always end up doing well." -Isaac Clarke, Dead Space 2, Chapter 12
04-17-2013 09:08 PM
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CarnivorousJelly Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Would Anyone be Interested in a joint CS?

I'm downloading your maps right now. I'll take a look at them. Can't promise to do much because you need to learn how to do it for yourself eventually, but I'll fix a few things and make comments suggesting how you would go about doing in yourself : D

Proof I'm actually a mapper and trying to do stuff to help you:
Spoiler below!

All of these are screenshots of my maps created within the last four months from most to least recent. This is what I can do with a map, not necessarily the extent to which I will go with your maps. These took me many hours to complete and I'm not sure how effectively my time is being used by working on your CS instead of mine.
[Image: restoreroom3_by_rueppells_fox-d62a2la.jpg]
[Image: the_chemist_by_rueppells_fox-d61grb0.jpg]
[Image: amnesia__2__by_rueppells_fox-d5xacft.jpg]
[Image: aaaaaaaaaaand_last_one__hopefully__by_ru...5wsjch.jpg]

[Image: quote_by_rueppells_fox-d9ciupp.png]
04-20-2013 03:21 AM
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CarnivorousJelly Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Would Anyone be Interested in a joint CS?

Please actually read through this. I put quite a bit of time (9 hours) into composing this for you to read through. Hopefully some of it is useful.

Edit: I am no longer going to re-upload a fixed map. Not because I don't have time or don't want to give you an example of how to do stuff, but because all the uploading sites I know are being stupid and won't let me upload the map. Sorry about this.

Just to shorten the message, I created spoiler tags and labelled them based on the subject contained within.

Don't be alarmed by the length of the message contained in these spoilers. It's not as long as it seems and I did put a lot of time into making sure the feedback is useful for you.

Overall Impression of the Maps
Spoiler below!

Right off the bat, I can tell you that your maps are much better than many beginner maps. On my first map, I had a 4x4 (one wall piece per side) room with a monster, a closet, a desk, and a spider, no light, no lantern, no tinderboxes, no floor, no roof, and no player start area. I had absolutely no idea how to script anything either. It's safe to say you are doing much better than I did.

Beginning of Horror
Note: this is the map I made a few changes to. The things I changed have red text
First impression: "Holy Flying Spaghetti Monster, that is a lot of superfluous torches and candles".
First thing I feel the urge to explain in great detail here: you do not need to put a torch on every wall piece. As soon as I noticed this on the map, I went around and started deleting lots and lots of torches until there were only 7 left and then replaced the torch light with a single dark-brownish yellow boxlight. It's great how you understand that there must not be a single point of complete blackness. That is one common beginner mistake that drives me absolutely mental and so far, you've managed to avoid it. You're just avoiding it in the wrong way. I'll explain what I consider to be the "proper" way under the "Lighting" spoiler tag.

As for the rest of your lighting: your spotlights shouldn't be white if your outside light isn't white. Please don't do this when you know how to change light colour; it makes map developers cry. I changed the colouring on three of your spotlights and added pointlights to them - you can do the rest and change mine to look how you originally envisioned the room to look but please please, please, please, please don't make them white. I went into further detail on how to make the lighting look natural under the "Lighting" spoiler tag as well and I don't feel like repeating myself, so please refer to that section.

I completely redid your billboards on three or four windows. For a window that small, you really don't need to have 16 billboards. I used four - and even that could be considered a little bit extensive. There are already so many good billboard and lighting tutorials out there that I don't feel the need to go super in-depth here (I said this before I typed up the four paragraphs on billboards). I'll place links to them under the "Tutorials and Links" section.

That said, there is something you should know right off the bat: don't make all the billboards parallel to each other. It's honestly just one of those things that's super easy to fix, but a lot of beginners just don't bother. I noticed you used a fixed axis though, which is wonderful. Thank you for not leaving them as point billboards. That would have been atrocious and I would have had to flip my desk in rage and just give up. There are some cases in which point can be used nicely, though. If you wanted to make a hovering sphere of glowy-goo, you could use the torch_halo billboard on point and it would always face the camera, making it look like a perfect sphere. Other than that, Point is generally useless. It's like a waffle maker: you buy it thinking "this is great; I'm going to use this so much!" and for a while, you do and then you start to get bored of eating nothing but waffles and eventually it just ends up sitting in your cupboard collecting dust and making dust waffles... that definitely didn't happen to me (yes it did).

The Point billboard's slightly-more-useful second cousin, the Axis billboard, is more like Christmas decorations. They can be really really nice and awesome and make everything look so much better, but if they are left around inappropriately (during July), they just look bloody awful. When I redesigned your window lighting, I used Axis billboards. The work in cases where you won't be standing directly underneath them, such as for small windows or holes in the ceiling. That said, if you do use Axis billboards, make sure they don't clip through anything at any angle. If they go through the floor, the window, the wall, your pet monkey (just checking if you're still paying attention), a box, a ceiling, anything, then either make them thinner so they don't clip through the objects or replace them with Fixed Axis billboards.

Fixed Axes are the type you used. These can be somewhat difficult to work with when you have no idea what you're doing. Generally, you stick two in an X-formation (90 degree angle to eachother) and leave it at that for square windows or holes in ceilings that you really don't want to put more detail into. For large windows or weirdly shaped windows, or light sources where the X just looks weird, you place them around the outline of the window, throw an axis one in the middle for fun, and add one more fixed axis one slightly in front of the light source that covers it entirely to make it look glow-y.

I also noticed your billboards were completely white and very, very bright. This made me cry a little bit and I almost gave up on you - almost. Then I remembered that you used fixed axis billboards and didn't leave any black-hole-of-death lighting areas so I kept on going. First thing I did was delete all the billboards, remake them, and connect them to a pointlight. In case you didn't know, you can control the colour of the billboards by using a pointlight/spotlight/bananalight/boxlight. Click on your billboard, go under the billboard tab, and click that beautiful little button that says "Connect". Then click the light with the colour you would like your billboards to be. Capisce? I'm going to play through your game when it's done and if I see any white billboards, I'm going to weep. Once you have the colour part down, make sure your billboards don't look like spears of light shooting out like death rays. Real-life billboards are caused by having a light source illuminate dusty particles. I would hope there aren't enough dust particles in the air to make your billboards opaque. Changing alpha on billboards does nothing until you set it to 0. At 0, they become invisible. Instead, make the light they are connected to darker. If the light you were going to use for billboards is the key light illuminating a window, make a new light the same as the soon to be billboard light and swap their places. Really, you only need a 0.25 radius pointlight for billboards and place it outside the walls of your map. If your billboards are connected to it, you can change the colour of your billboards to better suit your lighting without messing up the lighting itself. Usually, billboards are between 15-35% of the spotlight's brightness (divide each RGB number by 100 and multiply by a number between 15 and 35).

Now that the lighting has been somewhat covered, (high-fives for using boxlights) I'm going to completely ignore the exterior environment. Well, not completely, but I won't go into as much detail about it since outdoor environments are my weakest point. There are a few points on your map where I can see the end of your ground plane. This is generally not a good thing to have because it breaks the illusion of a large exterior landscape with castles and trees and skies. The easiest way to fix this is to just cover the border with low-poly trees (the one-sided ones) to make the forest look denser (I didn't do this for you because there are two different options) The other option is to throw in some mountains using the dirt_ mold_pile found under the dungeon static objects. Pretty much, you just scale up the y-axis a ton (15-100x original height should be enough) and then change the x and z-axes as required to make it look mountain-y. Just make sure that whatever you put in is covered by the boxlight. Black object silhouettes on an otherwise lit-up environment look really really weird. As for the things I changed, I deleted your spotlights facing the castle wall and just extended the boxlight along the Z-axis to fill them in. It looks a little bit more natural and the boxlight is dim enough that it doesn't affect the interior rooms.

The layout of the rooms definitely need a little bit of TLC. I didn't change too much because shrinking the rooms would involve shuffling the entire map around and I was way too tired to do that, but I did make some of the rooms smaller. Why would I do that? Why would I take a perfectly good room and shrink it? Well, because they weren't exactly perfect in the first place. Sorry, but they're freaking ginormous! Smaller rooms are easier to decorate and much, much easier to light up. When you have a large room with very few objects in it, it looks even larger. One of the rooms I shrunk from 3 walls by 3 walls to 2 walls by 3 walls. I left the middle (where the door was) alone and made the two walls on either side into half-walls using the "short" cellar wall. This creates the illusion of a well-decorated room. I can see a few cases in which you wouldn't want to make the room too much smaller (hallways) but most rooms could be brought in by at least 1 wall length in one direction or another without any major redesigning efforts.

I think that's all I need to say about this map, on to the next one! And don't worry, these will get shorter each time I move on to a new map. I'm not going to re-explain billboards and lighting, instead, I'll just say "fix your lighting".

Cinematic Intro
First Impression: I have absolutely no idea what the purpose of this map is... that came out harsher than I meant for it to. Sorry. You have three boxlights, each of a different colour. I'm not sure what that's for, but that's okay because it's not doing anything awful and my eyes aren't bleeding. I would get rid of the blue torches if I were you; I've always found them really odd looking and they aren't serving any purpose that would make it devastating to replace them with regular old orange torches. If there's some sort of story behind why they are blue (magic, a curse, the town's designer was also a chemistry major and knew that burning copper is blue-green), then leave them.

Your path is wide enough for an elephant herd to stampeded down it without knocking over a single piece of fence/torch. Either decrease the tile amount of the stones (under "Plane" tab) or make your road about 1/3 the width that you currently have it at. If it has doors on it, I doubt cars will be driving down it so you don't have to worry about whether or not you have enough room for two cars to pass each other while two more cars are stopped in parking lanes on either side of them.

Place a spotlight and billboard in front of each of the house's lit windows. If there's light coming from an object, there should be light around it and a bit of glowing. Just don't make it look like the sun's creeper-staring through the window at the player.

For a moment, I shed a few tears of joy that you got all the lighting and billboards so completely right. Then I noticed you cheated by using the cistern entrance rays and didn't light up the ceiling at all. Cistern entrance rays = fine in this case as long as blue lighting makes sense. Throw in a dim boxlight so that you don't have all those unnaturally black shadows.

You don't need a skybox because there is no spot on this map where you can see the skybox.

Particle systems... that's way too many particle systems. Considering that they are all at least 8 units above the head of the player (the player is ~1.75 units high), the particles will not be visible. Keep the rain, delete the rest of them. If you want to add fog, use a fog area or global fog in this environment. A little bit of fog would look neat, actually. It's raining and I'm assuming it's fairly cold since you're using lighting that suggests night-time, so water would be condensing in the air and creating fog.

Again, the torches. Please, there's no need to have so many of them. Especially since this place is really well lit already. On top of that, you're standing in a courtyard in the rain. Most likely, the torches would be extinguished from all the water. I would delete most of them and leave the majority of the rest unlit. There's also a torch behind your eagle statue. I could kind of understand having two at the front corners, but four torches with one lighting up the side of the eagle that isn't even visible is slightly excessive.

I can tell the area is meant to be an indoor room because it has a ceiling. Since the ceiling has crashed in and hasn't been repaired in long enough to let grass and moss grow everywhere, I wouldn't expect the owner of the place to have cared enough to clean up the debris from the broken ceiling either. Try throwing in some castle stones, bricks, and rocks on the ground under where the hole is. Your grass also looks a little bit odd - don't be afraid to spam grass everywhere on random sizes until it's really thick. The grass has a very low polygon count, so you can put in a lot of it before the game will start lagging. Since you don't have any major script areas or monster encounters in this area either, you can add more without risking crashing someone's computer. Just make sure you turn off the collision so that you could walk through it (you did that for most of them, just double-check that you got all of them). Easiest way to do that is hit CTRL+F and type in "foliage_grass" into the search bar, then scroll through the list and uncheck the collision box on each of them. It's a pain, I know. I had to do that on over 400 grass models before for my map.

When you add more grass, let it vary in height. Since the grass isn't supposed to be there in the first place, I highly doubt anyone's going to be keeping it groomed and pretty looking. Click the Rand. Scale box, throw a 2 into the middle (Y-axis) box under Max scale. After you've done that, click the Rand. Rotate box and throw 360 into the middle (Y-axis) Max Rotate box.

That's it for this one. You could throw in a few moist_wall static decals to make the walls look less repetitive.

Holy sweet mother of all that is good in this world, center that floor ornament! It's nice, it gives the room a bit of texture and interest that it would otherwise be lacking but please center it a little better. No architect in their right mind would throw part of a floor ornament under a staircase. It doesn't have to be in the center of the room, just the center of the area of the room it's in. Make sense? Like, if I had a perfectly square room, I would put it in the middle of the square. If I had a large square room with a square cut out so that it was L-shaped, I wouldn't put it in the middle of the large square. Instead, I would put it in the center of one of the smaller squares that I created by cutting out a corner.

You also used a completely white boxlight in a very large room with relatively few windows. I've played "The Sims" enough times to know game lighting doesn't work like that. You know a white boxlight is wrong. You've changed the colour of boxlights in several of your other maps. Change this one too, please, before the urge to change it for you makes me go absolutely insane.

On the topic of lighting,

Your second floor is too wide and too empty. Give its continued existence a greater purpose or exterminate it completely. In fact, the whole area seems unnecessarily huge. You could get rid of the two wall pieces attached to the right of "special_180_rounded_wall_1" and slide the entire right wall in by 2 wall lengths without causing any detrimental design problems.

I'm sure, by now, you already know what I'm going to say about your billboards. Do something about it and make them stretch all the way to the floor. Also, try using bb_white_halo or bb_lightyellow_lightray the bb_yellow_lightray (the one you're using) doesn't work very well - for anything really.

The ceiling columns could be replaced by a single column stretching the entire width of the ceiling without visible endpoints. It would be much tidier looking.

The fountain in the round wall area's been done before (by Frictional Games, too). Maybe put the flower design in the center of that, throw in a statue (lion, human, angel, eagle, giant head, etc) or something and be original! : D

Inner Storage
Where did your ability to use boxlights and avoid the black-hole-of-darkness go? Seriously. Your level design is quite nice but the lack of boxlight is making me want to cry.

Torches and candles - I've discussed this already, not going to discuss it again.

Windows - again, not going to go into detail. Just fix them.

I found something that I can comment on, however: the support beams. Line them up with the wall welders and delete the half of them that don't line up. It'll look so much better when you do. I forgot that I also deleted half your support beams in the Beginning of Horror map.

Room size - First room could be reduced in both length and width. Replace the two walls beside the door with the short version of them and give yourself a pat on the back for reducing the amount of decoration you need to do. Then slide that huge table thing about one wall-length towards the wall opposite the door (positive Z direction), reduce it's width to about half of what it is right now and move the door wall in by three wall-lengths. You just saved yourself a ton of decorating work by doing this. Go spend the time you would have spent decorating on something you enjoy - have a beer (if you're old enough I suppose - if not, have some icecream) ; in fact, have several beers (or icecreams) because you probably saved yourself several hours.

Same goes for the rest of the rooms in this map - shrink 'em and delete half the lamps.

There are some areas where you have wooden stairs. You can see through wooden stairs - just so you know, you didn't put a floor or wall behind these stairs. That's going to look really bad in-game because the entire area will be a black pit of despair and lack of level design effort. Just extend the floor behind it and throw in a wall. It's not going to kill you.

The rooms are also really really empty considering this is a storage area for a castle. A few bags of bread, potatoes, and money, a pile or two of apples, some giant wine barrels, broken crates, and shelves covered in tools wouldn't be a bad idea. Just go back to the original Amnesia and look at what they threw on the shelves - that's generally a good place to start.

I'm confused. You have a Cinematic Intro and an Intro!? Confusion aside, there's a wall facing away from the only clear window that you will never see and you've put effort into it. You don't need it, it's eating up kilobytes that could be used up on something else, like detailing your environments.

You've used a boxlight that's not white, [insert a million "thank you"s here] but it's too bright. It's pretty clear that this is supposed to be a night time setting, so - I spoke too soon. Your boxlight is a form of white, just dimmed down to 1/3 of its original brightness. First of all, nighttime isn't grey, it's blue-grey. I'll go into this in more detail in the lighting section.

The Gobos on your spotlights are upside-down. Rotate it on the X or Z-axis to fix this (whichever is parallel to the window). Billboards shouldn't be perpendicular to the window unless the sun/moon is right on the horizon. If it's right on the horizon, I would assume that something would be casting a shadow blocking the light from the windows.

On the topic of lighting. Your inside a mansion. There aren't going to be torches on the walls. There might be lights or candles, but certainly not torches. Your ceiling is high enough that you could use the larger chandelier, so use it. The tiny one looks rather pitiful hanging up there on it's own. Also, don't put torches on the highest walls. No one in their right mind is going to climb a ladder all the way to the second floor just to light a few torches. Putting lights near windows is also a little bit redundant. I could understand having a candle on a desk - the type that you would carry around - because it gets darker at night, but fixed torches in the wall make absolutely no sense.

The T-shape of your hallway makes no sense, I would recommend giving it purpose or making it linear. Purpose could be something as simple as just throwing in a couch on either end or a window or just something to make the extra room make sense.

The decoration could use some improvement, I'll go into more detail about how decoration works in the "Room Design" tab. On the topic of decoration, don't mix clear windows with opaque windows within the same map. Different maps in the same game, fine. Same map, same game, the player is going to wonder why they can see out one window and not the rest. You can still put billboards in front of clear windows, they just have to be pale billboards and not stretch outside.

Lower Mansion
First of all, this map is larger than it needs to be. Each room of it is larger than it needs to be. I'm thinking of making my library in my game smaller just because all these rooms are so excessively large. Gigantic, empty rooms are definitely a beginning design mistake. If you fill them, they can look great. The one in TDD is filled with fog, it makes the room look smaller and less empty, allowing them to get away with the huge-ness.

Some of your rooms don't have ceilings. What are you doing, creating other maps while there's no ceiling? Go put ceilings in these rooms before you do anything else. Decrease the tile amount on both the ceiling and the floor. I usually set my ceilings to 0.5, 0.5 or 0.25, 0.25 and the floors to 0.5, 0.4. Make sure you Align to World Coords (it's a box at the bottom of the Plane tab) for ceilings and floors if you have multiple planes. Don't do that on vertical planes (walls) because it causes the texture to go weird.

If you're going to scale the chandeliers, don't leave them lit. The pointlight's associated with them do weird things, such as become shaped like octagons, when you scale them. Instead, place a pointlight right below the chandelier that covers the area you want and make it the same colour as the chandelier's light, then leave the chandelier unlit.

The entire back room, chandeliers or not, seems purposeless. Delete it or at least shrink it and fill it with stuff.

The library area is also way too huge and the bookshelves are too obviously scaled. Set them back to their original scaling and change the room's scale accordingly. You could also decrease the width of the room by 2 wall lengths without making it hard to walk around. Centering the doors in the middle of the rooms looks odd too - I rarely see doors centered in the middle of rooms in reality - usually they're in corners because it optimizes decorating space.

For a second, when I looked at your window, I thought you might have done it right. Instead, you have 7 pointlights with a radius of 1, all white, squished into one window where you could have used one pointlight with a radius of 3. Also, make sure your lighting is consistent throughout the entire map. If the colour of a window light is going to be blue in one room, it shouldn't be yellow in the other room.

You also happened to use over 200 decals to create a trail of blood. That's why your mansion is almost 1 MB. Decals take up a lot of memory, so try scaling them to minimize the number that you have to use, or use the static_blood_pool (under static objects -> decals) since it takes up less memory.

Lower Storage
Before opening: This map is 1MB. Either it's going to be extremely huge and detailed or your have spammed decals, torches and PS's all over the place.

Immediately after opening the file: it's the latter of the two. You know the drill: delete at least half your torches, replace the decals, shrink your rooms, throw more detail into each one individually.

Since this is one of the maps with a monster encounter, do what you can to optimize playing speed and minimize lag. No one likes running through a map while lagging and having Mr. Face chase after them. It tends to lead to multiple deaths and a very frustrated player. The size and layout of this map is extremely massive. If I were you, I would recreate it from scratch and downsize some of the rooms since you know which ones are important and which ones aren't necessary to game play.

Unfortunately, I can't open your last map. The number of torches (I'm assuming it's the torches) necessary to create a file of 3MB and the animations to make all the fire and smoke for all those torches would kill most computers!

Final Thoughts on the Maps
Edit - you also might be wondering how this is of any help to you whatsoever and how on earth this could possibly be considered a contribution to your CS. Pretty much, I'm throwing all my creative goo into a muddle of paragraphs and spoiler tags, telling you how I would go about changing the maps, then leaving you to do it yourself. I'm not changing them entirely myself because, at some point, you need to learn how to do all of this for yourself and I'm really lazy so it would take a very promising custom story to get me working for someone else's benefit. Considering you stated that you've given up on your custom story and are throwing it out to the community to fix, I'm not sure my time recreating your maps would be well spent so I'm not going to do too much with them.

Spoiler below!

Avoiding the Black-Hole of Darkness
Spam torches, candles, and lamps everywhere until the game (and level editor) lags from so many fire and smoke particle systems. Seriously, if you wanted to make a larger level, say, like a 10-floor library, you would crash your computer.

The way I think is right but may not necessarily be right:
Boxlights. Even on your indoor environments, they can be a huuuuuuge help. Seriously, make it something like 0.019, 0.019, 0.016 (RGB - what I used to fix your first map's lighting) 0.196, 0.049, 0.000 (RGB - Deep Red, probably a sunset environment) or 0.017, 0.060, 0.092 (RGB - Blue, probably moon-lit environment) or 0.290, 0.149, 0.035 (RGB - Purple-y, dawn or dusk simulator) or even 0.150, 0.035, 0.074 (RGB - very purple, something to add contrast to a yellow theme). Did you put a boxlight in? Great! Let's start deleting all - I mean most of those torches you threw in.

Windows and Their Spotlights
I know you know how to change light colour. I saw it on several of your maps so there is absolutely no excuse to be using a pure white light anywhere - ever. Of course, there are going to be exceptions to every rule, so when I say "don't use white lights ever", I mean "don't use white lights unless you have a really good reason for it". For example, communicating the sterility of an environment (just type "chemistry laboratory" into google - lots of black, lots of white, lots of light) or to indicate a dream-like state, in which case I would recommend using white fog, and a white boxlight as well.

Aside from just the pure whiteness of these lights, they were also really, really unnatural looking. First, I would recommend decreasing the FOV (Field of View) on the spotlights and increasing the Aspect for wide, rectangular windows. If you have a gobo that's super large and covers the entire room in white light, it's going to look like the sun is sitting right outside the window. Instead, try using a colour similar to what you would imagine the exterior environment's light to look like. On your Beginning of Horror map, I used 0.19, 0.19, 0.16 - the exact same values you used for your exterior boxlight.

After you have the spotlight adjusted so it looks a bit more natural, add a pointlight with a radius between 1.5~3 in front of it in a colour about 80%-100% of the spotlight's colour. Place a second one slightly in front of this one; it should have a radius between 2~6, depending on the size of your previous pointlight, the size of your room, and the size of your spotlight, and set the colour between 50%-80% of the original spotlight's colour (based on what looks good and what your previous values were). Finally, place a third pointlight of radius 6~11 and set it between 15%-30% of the original spotlight's colour.

Spotlight - 1.000, 0.897, 0.618
Pointlight 1 - 0.792, 0.728, 0.564
Pointlight 2- 0.396, 0.364, 0.282
Pointlight 3 - 0.198, 0.182, 0.141
Boxlight - 0.099, 0.091, 0.072
These colours work best for grey-yellow lighting

Choosing a Colour Palette for Your Map
I brought this up in my storm of criticism about your "Intro" map. You can't just use white light for everything. Ever. Please don't use white light. It makes grown men weep (imagine what it does to this poor girl writing all of this for you). I've broken this down into steps for you because I'm a nice person and I don't want to overwhelm you with information.

1. Decide what time of day it is and what the weather is like
Sounds easy because it is. Is it the middle of the day, sunrise, sunset, dusk, midnight? Are there a lot of clouds in the sky, is it raining or sunny or is there a meteor shower? If your map has windows, the external environment is going to be the greatest influence on your map's lighting.

2. Create an appropriate boxlight based on your decision for step 1
This means that your boxlight can't be white or grey or non-existent. Seriously, don't do it.

  • Purple-grey if the sky is completely covered in clouds
  • Blue-grey if the sun is visible (I'll explain later)
Middle of the Day
  • White is OKAY for noon on a cloudless day
  • Pale yellow or grey-yellow works for clear skies as well
  • Blue-grey for cloudy skies
Night Time
  • Blue-grey
Indoor Environment with Nothing but Torches
  • Green-yellow for overgrown environments
  • Red-brown for bloody enviornments
  • Brown-yellow for dusty
  • If none of those work, match the colour of your walls and make it darker
3. Choose an appropriate colour for your spotlights
What colour does your light source appear to be? Base your spotlight colour off of that

  • Golden-yellow, almost white
  • Cloudy, use grey-blue or grey-yellow
  • Purely sunny, pale yellow or white (second time I've approved white), gets more yellow the closer to sunrise/set the time is
Night Time
  • Pale blue but not white
4. Expand your colour palette
Start making colours from your boxlight that are closer to the colour of your spotlight and start making colours from your spotlight that are closer to the colour of your boxlight until you meet in the middle of the two colours. Divide the middle ground into 5-6 sections. These will be the colours of your pointlights. The closer to boxlight colour, the larger the light's radius and the further away from the light source it is.

5. Choose where your light is coming from
Based on the time of day you chose, make an educated decision as to how the light would be shining through your window and which side of the map the light shines directly on.
Windows facing each other should not have the same lighting. This is an example of what I mean - it would look weird if billboards were shining straight down from the ceiling and straight through the window on the left-hand wall as well, right? That's why you choose one direction and stick with it.

Colour Palettes That I've Used
I figured I could add some of my own examples to make this a bit easier for you. The far left is always the boxlight and the far right is always the spotlight. Depending on what I need, I cut out some of the middle colours.

Grey-yellow Suitable for overgrown areas and cloudy mid-day lighting. This was used in the third and fourth image of the above post
R 0.099 -> 0.198 -> 0.396 -> 0.792 -> 1.000
G 0.091 -> 0.182 -> 0.364 -> 0.728 -> 0.897
B 0.072 -> 0.141 -> 0.282 -> 0.564 -> 0.618

Blue Suitable for night time, don't use all the middle colours - only some
R 0.017 -> 0.053 -> 0.061 -> 0.105 -> 0.034 -> 0.122 -> 0.282 -> 0.282 -> 0.551
G 0.060 -> 0.058 -> 0.082 -> 0.116 -> 0.119 -> 0.165 -> 0.690 -> 0.741 -> 0.741
B 0.092 -> 0.071 -> 0.106 -> 0.141 -> 0.184 -> 0.211 -> 1.000 -> 1.000 -> 1.000

Vibrant Orange-y Yellow Good for sunsets if you light intense and dramatic lighting. The boxlight is blue because it looks cool and I'll explain more under a different heading. This is what I used in the second image from my above post
R 0.105 -> 0.196 -> 0.392 -> 0.920 -> 1.000 -> 1.000
G 0.116 -> 0.049 -> 0.133 -> 0.472 -> 0.558 -> 0.660
B 0.141 -> 0.000 -> 0.051 -> 0.121 -> 0.138 -> 0.293

Very Purple-y Background with Cream Lighting Suitable for Cloudy Dawn/Dusk lighting
This is the lighting I used in that first image in my last post. The very first value was used for the billboards, second was boxlight and the last three were spotlights. The rest of the values were distributed in pointlights varying from a radius of 1.5 to 7 around the room.
R 0.099-> 0.150-> 0.198-> 0.197-> 0.300-> 0.396-> 0.500-> 0.500-> 0.750-> 0.750-> 0.847-> 1.000
G 0.078-> 0.035-> 0.148-> 0.156-> 0.121-> 0.364-> 0.311-> 0.379-> 0.569-> 0.659-> 0.694-> 0.845
B 0.064-> 0.074-> 0.141-> 0.127-> 0.189-> 0.282-> 0.369-> 0.299-> 0.449-> 0.518-> 0.564-> 0.618

A Little Lesson on Colour Theory
Follow this link: http://www.apartment-ideas.com/resources...rwheel.png
Of course, the colour wheel could be split up many more times, but that's not necessary to get the point across. Most of the time, split complimentary, complimentary, or just analogous, is the best way to go for lighting in Amnesia. The single colour should be the boxlight and the other two are your light source/spotlight colours if you use split complimentary. If you want a "cold" environment, the intermediate colours between your complimentary colours should shift around the blue side of the wheel. For "warm", shift red.

If you choose green or purple lighting, do not mix the two. It just looks terrible. I've tried. If you're really stuck, google an image that looks like the atmosphere you're trying to create, then go to the colour palette generator (link at the bottom of post).

A Couple of Things to Keep in Mind
1. Don't cross the spotlights with shadow-casting on
This will absolutely destroy even the hardiest of computers. The Amnesia engine is capable of casting multiple shadows on one object, but you should never have a reason to do so and attempting to do so may explode some computers, making your game less playable/enjoyable for any potential players. It's kind of like crossing the beams in ghost-busters except there's no marshmallow man.

2. Alpha
Alpha enhances the specular maps. Translation: it makes things shiny and more 3D-ish. You can put it on 1.000 for certain spotlights and important pointlights, but leave it at 0.000 for boxlights and ambient lights. I usually don't go above 0.300 for the alpha on lights unless I want an object to look wet or really focused.

Room Designs
Spoiler below!

For your convenience (and so I don't go crazy from typing all of this up) this next section is in point form!

Outside Environments
  • Nature is random - set scale/rotation to random
  • Use a skybox
  • Boxlights should cover everything in your map
  • Spotlight for window
  • Excellent tutorials for outdoor environments in link section
Entrance Rooms and Courtyards
  • Extravagant
  • Symmetrical
  • Generally large
  • Very well-lit
  • Designed to impress guests
Guest Entertainment Rooms
  • Well decorated with fancy stuff
  • Lots of (logical) lighting
  • Places to sit down
  • No work-spaces visible (writing desks, kitchen stuff etc)
Studies and Libraries
  • Smaller
  • Contains a few decorative objects
  • Desks are reflections of the people who own them
Kitchens, Bathrooms, and Servant Quarters
  • Simple
  • Not visible to guests, very little in terms of decoration
  • Small
  • Reflect the personality of the owner
  • At least one light
  • Some sort of closet with clothes in it
  • Definitely won't be completely tidy
Some Things to Keep in Mind When Decorating:
  • If it's dusty, add particle systems, decals, and some cobwebs
  • Everything in a room has a purpose
  • Take of grid snapping to make things look more organic
  • Lights are placed strategically around a room so that they are within reach of whoever needs to light them
  • The human brain picks up patterns quickly - don't duplicate a bookshelf with the exact same content on it and place them side-by-side

Useful Links
Spoiler below!

Anything that wasn't covered in my comments will definitely be covered in these links

Please note: one of the links I have provided is the screenshot criticism thread on this forum. From what I've seen, that thread is not a place to slap down a picture and say "fix my map". If you do that, you'll get minimal feedback and a few irritated developers. From my own experience, the thread is very useful even if you just read through the posts and comments from the modders (Hardarm, Acies, Streetboat, Khyrpa, Robosprog, Kman, BeeKayK, Corinthian, Adrianis, and anyone else I failed to mention who posted screenshots in that thread that were delicious and beautiful - I'm sorry I forgot about you). Once you've created a map that you're proud of, take a screenshot and post it. If you decide to do so, remember that it's a criticism thread and everyone there will find something to say about your picture - nice or not (although they probably won't go into as much detail as I did here). If you listen to what they say and actually take their advise, your maps will get better.

One last thing: I didn't intend for any of this to sound like a demand or insult, so don't shoot me.

[Image: quote_by_rueppells_fox-d9ciupp.png]
(This post was last modified: 04-21-2013 02:28 AM by CarnivorousJelly.)
04-20-2013 06:54 AM
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CarnivorousJelly Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Would Anyone be Interested in a joint CS?

I had to make another post to insert some pictures demonstrating what I meant with the billboards and spotlights. Sorry for bumping the thread.
Spoiler below!

[Image: help_by_rueppells_fox-d62f6gl.jpg] See how narrow the spotlight is in the above image? It fits with the window and is angled down so that it doesn't look like the sun is pressing its hot face against the glass. Also notice how only the windows facing the brightest spotlights get billboards and gobo/shadow-casting spotlights. That's because sunlight behaves like a particle in terms of casting light and travels in a linear direction, meaning it will not shine through two windows at a 90 degree angle.[Image: help3_by_rueppells_fox-d62f73p.jpg] This is what I meant by "frame the window with billboards". The billboards are dyed blue (so that you can see them better) and not clipping through anything or leaving gigantic gaps between them. If you were playing the game, the player would not be able to see the billboards from that angle so it wouldn't look quite so odd. Even if s/he could, they are much fainter when not blue, so gaps/overlaps/missing pieces don't look quite as bad. [Image: help4_by_rueppells_fox-d62f7ms.jpg] The above image is what I mean when I say "fill your space". Even the ceiling has something on it of interest - whether that's a spider web or a few decals or a window or just a few interesting architectural features. The easiest way to do this is to turn off grid-snapping (the magnet) in the level editor. Just think, when you're designing a room, what is its purpose? What kind of things would be useful to have on-hand in this particular room?
[Image: help5_by_rueppells_fox-d62f8kf.jpg] An example of the importance of a box light and space optimization. Perhaps also an example of how something you were originally thinking of just scrapping can become quite nice. Originally this map started out as a single room (this room: http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2013/0...5q2l76.jpg) - the one on the bottom right - with a secret dead-end one short wall-length wide and two wall-lengths long. The entrance room was added next with the idea of having a monster break down the door, forcing the player to hide in the secret room. Realizing this was boring and created poor flow, I replaced the secret room with a hole in the wall, leading to the first part of the library and an upper study (accessible by climbing bookshelves). The hallway was added next with the other two rooms following. The bottom-left room is purely aesthetic whereas the top left adds to the story-line and contains important puzzle information.

Translation: the last picture is basically me saying "don't give up on your CS just because I told you to fix a ton of things"

Good luck with your Custom Story!

[Image: quote_by_rueppells_fox-d9ciupp.png]
(This post was last modified: 04-21-2013 02:36 AM by CarnivorousJelly.)
04-21-2013 01:44 AM
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