Why it takes hours to create a givin element of a map

15 Oct

i just thought i would talk about why it takes me so long to create things , and how shortcuts end up taking more time then spending the time to start with.

In the previous post screenshot there are windows as you can probably see they are rather boring,  Just a 150 x200 square cut in the wall ,The only thing that even vaguely makes them recognizable as windows is that they have what appears to be shutters on the sides of them.   i decided i need to do a bit better , so i decided i would add a sheet of a masked window in the opening.

But where am i going to get the texture?
first stop, google image search. turns up nothing usefull,I do   find one masked texture  , but it is a masked png not a color masked file . if i am going to have to repaint the whole image its probably not worth the time , so i dismiss that choice.

next i search . they have windows, but nothing like what i want , and nothing is masked at all .. completely useless,( hosntly most there textures are untilable junk)

at this point i search tho my library of textures extracted from games notably undying , because i seem to remember a perfect metal window frame. Not many good masked windows,But i spot almost what i want in a standard texture, so i take a few minutes and erase the windows  and make them transparent , and save back as pcx, but the transparent colors are wrong and it is solid white useless.palette issues i guess.

so thats about a hour and a half wasted. time for a new plan , I figure maybe i can make a 3d window frame using bsp  in less time, except that i dont want to rebuild the map to tinker , so i create a new map just to build this perfect window frame , convert it to a mesh and mylevel it , then reopen the map i am working on and insert it.Doesn’t fit , had to scale the mesh to fit , ok not bad i guess. but there is not glass still…

so now i come up with this plan: i will use a fake woodenboxen with  the frame mesh , and then use fake woodenbox  panels as glass, this way you can break each window pane , or the whole window. without having to have 128 separate glass break movers, But   i dont have aproper  glass texture, so i use cobwebs to simulate the dirtly old windows, then  i spot a cool window texture in undying and end up using that, first as modulated , then eventully as transperant . after all this work  the shutters are looking more like doors again so they will need to be replaced …..

and that is how you spend 3 hours creating a  window that  after i stare at it this long , still looks like crap

now for the  stairs.

another fine example. there is a center lobby stairway right inside the entry door,   like a square spiral , or that is the plan  a bit hard to explain in words.

to make this easier , i am going to make a single stair set and platform for each floor  as a prefab  so i can just rotate and duplicate for each floor. that seems simple enough, you would think ,  i know basically what i want it to look like , as a matter of fact there is a fully functional stairway in place already. so it shouldn’t be to hard you would think…

To speed build time i copied the stair brush to a new map, and proceeded to add the platform , but was unhappy with the wasted space under it , so i tried to cut in a crawlspace, but it looked more awkward then useful. so i thought i would  just slice the stairs into  stair ramp type sections , and add the platform and be done.

.Now i have the platform as i think i want it , but i need to texture it first before i made it into to prefab, it needs to be kinda ornate, wood, red carpet etc, but simple , needs to just use one texture.. Then when i thing i almost choose a good texture, i realize it needs a wood railing..

I start to make the railing but realize that  there may already be something i can start with in another map , so i spend 35 minutes searching tho  maps i have to find  the railing i think i remember , unfortinitly the railing i remembered  is just a masked cube , and that’s not really acceptable for my mansions grand staircase.

so ya now i dont have a finished staircase  and i have windows that dont look that good , uneven corn and  i wasted almost 5 hours…thats why nothing ever gets done.

things only  get harder when you trying to build a map based partaily on  someone  elses vision and they are  emailing microsoft paint drawings to try to explain what it should look like.While you are trying to explain to them why you cant have a tunnel that slices tho the whole map because it destroys the geometry , and I spend 45 minutes trying to understand why  there needs to be 3  basement levels  with a greenhouse in them.

them there is The fact that a full rebuild takes 45 minutes adds to the wasted time.

it’s especially hard when you do stuff during the day And mabye only have 5 hours you can work on stuff at night ( when   schedules coexist) before you get to the point where it is 1 am or even  5 am and you eyes wont stay open anymore. then weekend come along and unexpected projects come up..

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Posted by on October 15, 2012 in Uncategorized


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