Program assisted map making vs writing by hand

Questions and answers about the how and why of making maps.
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max_power
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Program assisted map making vs writing by hand

Post by max_power » Wed Oct 03, 2007 1:15 am

Do "simpler" maps , mainly those written by hand, have any game play speed advantages over more complicated maps? I've been playing around with building maps in both Wings3d and by hand and have wondered about this issue. Does a simple map like viper offer "better" game play over, for example, louman's Desktop*?

Thanks,
max

* If you haven't played louman's Desktop yet please go try it right now (search for "desktop" under servers). It's like playing in a piece of art work. Absolutely amazing. Also try jumping on the eraser. =)

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Joe-Schmoe
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Post by Joe-Schmoe » Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:06 am

I once built a map with BZEdit that was just a 400x400 grid of boxes, each at different heights. As soon as I turned to look towards the center, the framerate became unusable. So yes, in extreme situations, a map can simply be "too complex".

However I don't think any maps such as Desktop (which I agree is a piece of art) differ too much from things like Passion, because while the former is much more complex than the latter, the difference probably isn't enough to make a huge effect on processing speed :)
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blast
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Post by blast » Wed Oct 03, 2007 3:14 am

There are both complex mesh maps and simple box maps that offer great gameplay.
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Tedius
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Post by Tedius » Wed Oct 03, 2007 1:19 pm

The game speed (I think you are referring to framerate, (press 't')) should be taken into consideration by anyone making maps. A well made modeled map, like those of Louman's, can often be more efficient than one made in BZEdit or by hand.

In general I don't think simply adding textures will slow down the framerate. The main issue is the number of polygons being drawn on the screen at a given moment. If you have to stack 30 meshpyrs to create a structure that could be done with a single simple mesh, then you would be much better off with the mesh. If you are modeling a cube, it would be less trouble and just as efficient to create a meshbox.
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Post by blast » Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:25 pm

And the 'box' object is faster than the 'meshbox' object, while still allowing textures and physics drivers. ( assuming a version of bzfs newer than 2.0.8 )
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L4m3r
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Post by L4m3r » Wed Oct 03, 2007 3:32 pm

Tedius wrote:If you are modeling a cube, it would be less trouble and just as efficient to create a meshbox.
Actually, a modelled cube (or a plain 1.x box) has 12 triangles, while a meshbox has 16. ;)

Anyway, there is a LOT of optimization that can be done, especially with mesh maps. Sparse, simple maps probably run best, but Louman's modeling is optimized to a degree that works fine in most clients.
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Post by CUPCAKE » Wed Oct 03, 2007 7:01 pm

Tedius wrote:The main issue is the number of polygons being drawn on the screen at a given moment
I have a problem with this on my maps so far... Its quite hard to keep the map simple for certain things.

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