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What is it about the Amnesia maps that make them feel so much more dynamic and immersive than most maps in mods?

First I thought it was the amount of variety in environment. So I put a lot of different ceilings shapes and walls. Then I thought it had to be the detail. So I loaded up my maps with particle systems and billboards and diverse lighting and scripts that triggered scary sounds / events (like lights going out).

My maps still feel so static and boring.

What's your opinion on the genius in design of the original Amnesia maps?
I think it is diverse map layout, and the overall unlinearity of most of the maps.

Diverse layout as using curving hallways, and an extra set of stairs when otherwise a straight hallway may have very easily sufficed.
Pictures would mean a thousand words if you're looking for feedback/suggestions/criticisms.
(12-14-2013, 05:38 AM)Chronofrog Wrote: [ -> ]So I loaded up my maps with particle systems and billboards and diverse lighting and scripts that triggered scary sounds / events (like lights going out).

My maps still feel so static and boring.

Well, you're the toughest critic. If you know something is coming, it would indeed be boring. I would think that Amnesia's maps however come off the feeling of being immersed, as when you're immersed in something, you tend to let your guard down. Amnesia's mapping and excellence in such makes the feeling of exposure within an unexpecting and at times uninviting environment only increases the sensitivity of the mind.

Although some would disagree, I think one main reason for Amnesia's success is its ambience. Various particles, combined with multiple occurences of "scary" scripts, as well as a fresh and original soundtrack keeps the player thinking something is about to make the experience even tougher. Even the searching music for the enemies is well done, despite telling the Player that they are looking for them.
On a side note, I have a really hard time seeing particles. I currently have 10 area_fog.ps littered around a hall with their colour set to red to give off a bloody tone, but I can't see them in-game at all.
Turn off "Fade at Distance" or something like that in the Particle's Properties in the Level Editor.
(12-14-2013, 07:22 AM)JustAnotherPlayer Wrote: [ -> ]Turn off "Fade at Distance" or something like that in the Particle's Properties in the Level Editor.
Turned out the room was just way too dark. I increased the gamma up to max and then I could see the fog clearly.

Is box light of BRG = 0.15 too dark?
Depends. I have a 0.15 boxlight in one of my maps for my CS and the room looks lit with less light.

But if you're going with small value boxlights you should make the pointlight and spotlights less light too.
BL: 0.15
SL and PL: 0.74

Meeeeh.
I'm not sure if this is bad design technique, but I rarely use anything other than box lights. I do use spotlights for windows, though, but rarely point light. I like to keep my rooms dark to try and create the oppressive prison / storage-like atmosphere. I'm well aware of the negative effects of too much darkness (mainly player gets accustomed to it and isn't scared anymore), so I'd place some lamp entities that are lit at places around the map. However, I see no reason to use point lights to make those lamps any brighter than they already are, especially since point lights are boring and don't cast shadows.
(12-14-2013, 08:15 AM)Chronofrog Wrote: [ -> ]I'm not sure if this is bad design technique, but I rarely use anything other than box lights. I do use spotlights for windows, though, but rarely point light. I like to keep my rooms dark to try and create the oppressive prison / storage-like atmosphere. I'm well aware of the negative effects of too much darkness (mainly player gets accustomed to it and isn't scared anymore), so I'd place some lamp entities that are lit at places around the map. However, I see no reason to use point lights to make those lamps any brighter than they already are, especially since point lights are boring and don't cast shadows.

You should. Even if it's dark, you should add some low value pointlights to add some light in. Do it until you can see faintly. See faintly. Don't make it that you can't see shit.
i didnt even use any pointlights just a bright boxlight in my cs
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