Mapping for Empires Unity

Discussion in 'Mapping' started by DonMegel, May 31, 2011.

  1. DonMegel

    DonMegel Member

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    As some of you may know, me and Liberal are working on Empires on another engine. For the time being this is mostly a demonstration of what Empires could be if not tied down in Source but it could grow to something more down the road. To accomplish this we are using the Unity3d engine http://unity3d.com/* Unity allows very large outdoor maps that accommodate boats and planes much better than Source. The editor is free to download and there is also a "Asset Store" where you download free (or pay) props, textures, etc.
    *
    The mapping community for Empires has produced some very*good looking*maps and no one in any community is as qualified to make RTS/FPS maps like you guys. So, it makes perfect sense to see what you can do with Unity. I would like anyone who is interested to take a shot at making an Empires map in Unity. I'm really*looking forward to seeing what you can come up with when not trapped inside of Hammer.
    *
    Remember, Empires in Unity*will have*boats and planes so take that into account when mapping. (Island hopping anyone?)
     
  2. RappemongO

    RappemongO Member

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    Any guidelines? Or is it just making something nice looking at this point?
     
  3. DonMegel

    DonMegel Member

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    No guidelines right now. I'm mainly interested to see what you can do. It is hard to test gameplay right now since we are so early in development so aesthetics might be more important.
     
  4. ViroMan

    ViroMan Black Hole (*sniff*) Bully

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    err.. um any links to downloads from you guys... I wouldn't mind looking at what you got.
     
  5. DonMegel

    DonMegel Member

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    Its just code work at the moment. You can see it in the Empires No Limits thread in general discussion
     
  6. Silk

    Silk Mapper

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    Nooooooooooo

    After 16 years this can't be a coincidence anymore.
    Everytime i format my pc, i afterwards tell myself to stop installing software unless i'm almost certain i'll keep using it for a very long time.

    And everytime i say that, a few hours later i have my mouse hovering over a "download" button.

    Must resist !

    Edit:
    sigh, i resisted for only 6 minutes

    Any qualifications we have end there. Planes can get everywhere, drop people everywhere, land everywhere, see everything ... i have no idea how to make a map with planes that doesn't turn out all bad. In empires maps i can direct armies along certain routes, but planes ... they just land on top of everything and unload the army they were carrying right on top of all the cliffs.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011
  7. DonMegel

    DonMegel Member

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    That's true, drop ships can get infantry anywhere. But the maps are bigger and having a guy on a cliff is not much of a problem when you can send a gunship up there to kill him. Look at battlefield maps, they have transports
     
  8. f1r3w4rr10r

    f1r3w4rr10r Modeler

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    keep in mind that all aircraft are still VTOLs by design document, so i think it wouldnt be bad to just say they got a maximum flight height
     
  9. flasche

    flasche Member Staff Member Moderator

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    just create some random terrain with some random terrain creation software, put models everywhere, win ...

    vue for example can create neat terrain, if devs can implement vegetation layers and shit its gonna be piss easy to create maps. its bascially rough layout, then click erosion buttons ...
    [​IMG]
    the PLE is free to use u can export heightmaps ...

    edit:
    hmm i had a PLE that was for free, cant find it atm ...
    ... anyway theres dozens of free terrain/heightmap creation things.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011
  10. Varbles

    Varbles Simply Maptastic. Staff Member

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    are there going to be res node type things?
    also we have no references as to the size of players or vehicles or buildings, or how big the maps should be etc. which makes this kinda futile
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011
  11. Silk

    Silk Mapper

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    Yes a scale of sorts would be nice.

    Edit:
    I can't map for Unity for the same reason that i can't map for UDK: i can't model.

    They offer too few terrain possibilities, so that you need to fill everything up with models, which i can't make.
    Only horizontal terrains are possible, so for every vertical cliff i'd need models.

    If i could find a way to get vertical details into these modern development kits i wouldn't use anything else, but alas. At least in Hammer i could use displacements under any angle. With this (and with UDK) i'm limited to making maps like emp_slaughtered, where cliffs are just raised and severaly stretched horizontal surfaces.

    Long before an area gets steep enough so people and vehicles can't move over it, it's textures become too stretched to use.

    It's a shame, but i was suspecting it. Modern games are all focused on models, too bad i can't model.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011
  12. f1r3w4rr10r

    f1r3w4rr10r Modeler

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    seriously stop whining
    if you have managed to build cliffs with displacements you can model them too

    its not very different
     
  13. Marshall Mash

    Marshall Mash 3D Artist

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    I tried Unity out and made a very simple map, but I think I'll hold off and wait until you guys have got something more to show since I have no idea how far this project has gotten.
     
  14. Silk

    Silk Mapper

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    You've been on this forum for too long, you're slowly turning into a shortsighted dick like most other people here. Calm down mate. I was just stating a simple fact. ;)

    Fyi, i spend 8 months trying to make a map in UDK, more than half of that time was learning how to model. Hundreds of hours went into it, and it was the third time already i tried modelling (though never before did i manage to hang on for so long).
    Results were shit.
    Even if the models and textures turned out "decent", the lighting from the engine would lit them horribly.
    I never even managed to get half decent collision meshes.

    I then looked at the size of the map and the amount of cliffs, and realized:
    - that i needed about twenty different well made cliff models, all of which would have to be copied again and again to fill a map that size.
    - that for big cliffs i'd need thirteen cliff models to stack in piramid shape, because sizing just one up to twenty times it's normal size would mean creating incredibly ugly scaled textures
    - that many of these models would have to be textured individually just to fit the textures on the terrain in that area of the map
    - that basically i needed to put way more effort in carefully planning out maps for model based engines than i ever had to do for Source, AND i'd have to make all of the models afterwards

    If all of these are easily fixed problems, like you seem to think, i just would've stayed with ColdTrap instead of returning to empires, as i used to be very enthousiastic about that project.

    I'm not saying Unity is bad btw. Not at all. It's actually quite good as far as i can see. I'm sure that, with higher res textures, it's possible to make awesome looking levels with it. Just not the type of maps i'd want to make.
     
  15. DonMegel

    DonMegel Member

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    Silk, did you check the Unity Assets store? There may be some cliffs already made that you can use. I love your maps and want to see more.
     
  16. Silk

    Silk Mapper

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    Yeah i checked, but cliffmodels aren't in there.
    I haven't given up btw, i like the material system too much.
     
  17. RappemongO

    RappemongO Member

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    Blender 2.5+

    Add mesh > ANT Landscape > subdivide/multires it some > sculpt it

    Who needs to "model"? :D
     
  18. Silk

    Silk Mapper

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    If someone can prove to me that it's easy enough for the biggest noob ever to make cliffs like this, that work well ingame with decent collisions and texture detail, i'll try it ;-)
     
  19. MOOtant

    MOOtant Member

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    I got slightly more interested in Unity after Elitist tried something in it but it's kind of weird mix: quite decent editor, very little code, closed access to low-level stuff. When it comes to engine code you can modify/use is close to 0 as if you were starting with XNAMath + DirectX. When it comes to editor it's half-assed when compared to UDK and kind of decent when compared to Ogre's editors and maybe Hammer.

    So I looked up how you're supposed to code prediction/interpolation/lag compensation in it and there's literally nothing related to it. Without digging into it deeper I can guess that could be hard without access to low-level parts. (whole game loop controllable by you for instance)
     
  20. TheLiberalElitist

    TheLiberalElitist Member

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    When i comes to networking solutions, Unity does not have anything built in, you need to write it yourself, or use one of the Extensions create for Unity, with other middleware unfortunately

    I chose to go with the 100 person server provide for free with Photon.
    http://exitgames.com/Photon

    but there are several other, like RedDwarf, which may be dead, but is open source
    http://www.reddwarfserver.org/

    Smartfox
    http://www.smartfoxserver.com/

    Scale wise I have not determined a the model scale just yet. I may have to write a simple map editor from scratch so it is easier for mappers to contribute, but I will look into that much later on.

    Right now just working on a single player stand alone vehicle map so I can demo some of the vehicle ideas I had mentioned before, a unity community member had already written most of the FPS code, and was letting people use it for free, so I have been focusing on the commander menu/and Vehicle player positioning. No eta unfortunately on the vehicle map, but estimate probably another two weeks or so, but you can pretty much compare it to Battlefield 2 vehicle physics.
     

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