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Bossk

Creating Massive Levels in Worldcraft (or some other mapping tool)

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First post! THIS SPACE FOR RENT [Edited by - Bossk on August 15, 2004 2:43:19 AM]

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Worldcraft is limit to 8192x8192 because that''s a limitation of the Quake engine. At least that''s how it was when I was into that sort of thing

You''d be better off either creating a custom tool, or maybe using a modelling program like 3D Studio or Blender and exporting in a file format useful for your game.

As for creating "bumpy" terrain, I''d say either write a tool yourself, or do it in 3D Studio and export it...


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I''m having the exact same crisis. I first started making a worldcraft .map parser, but when I started getting results I could see that this kind of map would not suit my ideas for what I want in my game. I did not want to make heightmapped terrain because of the loss of any ability to easily make overhangs of any sort.

Since then I have been looking at making a quake 3 BSP viewer and so far have been successful, but the problem still exists that the terrain is too quickly traversed for my liking.

The problem could quite easily be solved by making your worldcraft geometry smaller, thus fitting more into your world and making camera movement slower so that it takes longer to traverse the world. This though still leaves a lot to be desired. So I''m hoping to work on a heightmap/BSP engine that works using both methods.

Roughly what this will involve I think, will be adding to my BSPs a level exit entity. I will allow the map maker to place a level exit texture on any piece of geometry in the map, then when I come to render my map, any items with this texture wont be rendered or taken into account with collisions, therefore allowing the player to treat the wall as a level exit. These exit entities will also mark the point at which my heightmapping comes into play which is what will allow for much larger levels.

Basically the heightmap will form the larger scale map, the BSP levels will form the detailed areas of the map where things like overhangs will be necessary. As for quite how exactly the two will merge together I''m not yet entirely sure, but I''m working on it. I did post a topic a while back on exactly the same kind of question, so I''d love to hear some more ideas as I got no replies

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I''m not using the Quake Engine, so the maximum map size limit is purely on the Worldcraft end... my game SHOULD be able to handle it (I''m using Crystal Space).

I''m not really interested in mixing between height mapping and regular levels, because there will be some places where I want details AND terrain together, and I don''t want the user to constantly have to switch between a heightmapped and a bsp version of the map... that would make them load maps way too often for my taste.

I guess there MUST be a way to do it, or else how would games like Operation Flashpoint (the islands are HUGE) or Endless Ages be made? Those games have zero load times between places in the environments, so they must all be one big map, right?

Any further ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for the replies.

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quote:
Original post by Bossk
I guess there MUST be a way to do it, or else how would games like Operation Flashpoint (the islands are HUGE) or Endless Ages be made? Those games have zero load times between places in the environments, so they must all be one big map, right?



Sure it''s possible, but the Quake engines are meant for small indoor type maps so were limited to 8192x8192 units in size, and hence worldcraft also limited you to the same thing.

Like I said, use a different tool (Blender is good and cheap too) which doesn''t have limitations like this and you''ll be fine (as long as you''ve got a good world-space partitioning algorithm, like oct-trees or BSP-trees in place, which I assume you already have)


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Hmm, I dont know. Obviously levels of that size are not BSPs or the like. BSP type levels so far as I know just cannot handle levels of such enormity. So that leaves heightmapped terrain, but the terrain is obviously not entirely heightmapped as it features buildings you can walk into (ie overhangs) so unless there is a combination of techniques going on, or something compoletely new, I wouldnt know what to do to achieve a similar effect, though I''d love to know also.

My best guess is still a combination of heightmapping and models placed manually at points on the heightmap to simulate the overhangs the heightmap cannot deal with.

If it''s something completely different, someone please tell me!!

(note that wasnt sarcasm, I just really do want to know!!)

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I know that Serious Sam has good level editor(I''ve worked with it a bit) which could be suitable for you. Most levels in this game are outdoors and really large.
Though you will have to figure out how to convert SS maps to Quake or crystal space level format yourself. I don''t think there are any public tools avaible for this purpose.

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OK, I though you already had that part figured out

Well, BSP-trees can make levels as big as you like, really. The reason it works is because it helps you to only draw those parts of the map that are visible. However, BSP-trees are only really good for static, indoor enviornments because lots of almost-co-planer triangles (like a terrain) would store very ineficiently in a BSP-tree.

The way I''d do it is that I would use a portal engine for the indoor areas and a height map (or something like that, maybe you can do a ROAM terrain, because you can get ROAM supporting overhangs, it''s just a bit tricky to create the maps with overhangs. The reason heightmaps are so popular is mainly because it''s really easy to create heightmaps). You just make the doors which go outside a special type of portal...


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I took your advice and installed Blender, but I have just one more question. Do any tools exist for converting maps made in Blender to MAP format? Or will I have to write my own?

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Why dont you just download an open source quake map editor (Q3Radiant / GTKRadiant), and modify the max dimension sizes?

-----------------------
"When I have a problem on an Nvidia, I assume that it is my fault. With anyone else''s drivers, I assume it is their fault" - John Carmack

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