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Backwater beta map is ready

Postby Breli » Fri Mar 03, 2006 11:53 am

UPDATE: The final version of this map is included in WQ3 version 2.2 8)

Ok. Here it comes. Backwater first beta. Like Red with Highnoon2, I'd appreciate bug reports, item/spawn placement and thoughts on gameplay if you have any. Please post your comments/suggestions here. Keep in mind that it isn't finished!

Some stuff from me first:

Backwater is, in a certain sense, the opposite of Highnoon2. It is designed to accomodate more players than the usual stock maps and reflects the type of gameplay I like the most. Server admins should set minplayers to 5 or even 6 for this map. It started as a learning map for new techniques and just kept growing while I experimented with new ideas.

Backwater supports all gametypes. So you'll find two new entries in your map list after you extracted it. Don't get confused by that, please ;). I am particularly interested in feedback for the BR version since I never tested BR on this map.

Finally, Backwater is a showcase of new features that are possible with q3map2 and a peek for even more beautiful stuff which is about to come from L3th4l and Red 8O. Beauty comes with a big price tag attached, though. Those of you who have a girl friend know what I am talking about. I worked hard on optimization, but fancy stuff like terrain blending comes at a cost. Nevertheless, performance is good on the machines I use (which are low end machines BTW). If it isn't playable for you, you might want to change the "Particles" setting to NONE or FEW like Red already suggested. If you play in vertex mode, terrain blending will not work (naturally) and it will look like this

*Image removed by moderator*

rather than this

Image

If you still can't play the map: get a new computer resp. video card. I am sorry but that's the way it is.

Grab it here and please provide some feedback whether positive, negative or money donations :mrgreen: or whatever.

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Postby dolny » Fri Mar 03, 2006 3:40 pm

Waiting for the link :)
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Postby ReD NeCKersoN » Fri Mar 03, 2006 4:51 pm

I added the download link to Breli's post at the very top of this thread. :D I'll make a news post about this beta release a little later today. I need to run by my workplace for a little while right now. :x I'll also add this map to the Rawhide server sometime today as well. Good job Breli! 8)
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Postby dolny » Fri Mar 03, 2006 4:59 pm

If the admin won't change the date again we will be setting up a HorseLovers ;) clan server (polish public server) today's evening. I will add the map to the mapcycle.
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Postby Hellrider » Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:57 pm

Great map!
I hope i'll see this map on a server next time....

good work breli!
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Postby ReD NeCKersoN » Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:32 pm

While taking screenshots for pic of the week, I discovered a brush that seems to be textured with caulk. Oh, and if we post bugs about stuff you already know about..... get used to it! :lol:

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Postby dolny » Sat Mar 04, 2006 12:21 am

Umm... I will post some more suggestions later, but right now I wanted to say that BR mode doesn't work on Backwater on the Kowboj server. It works on other br maps. When I want to vote for BR, it says 'invalid gametype'. Dunno if it is the server's or map fault. I guess the map has a bug. Overally, it's too dark, I have to change to max brightness to play it. I will post some screens tommorow or later.

...but after some changes I will really like it as a big map I guess ;)

Edit: You can launch a br game by rcon /map br_backwater - you can't do that with voting. Maybe it's because its name is backwater and not wq_backwater like other maps?

The map has definately too dark rooms (!) and too bright water texture. It doesn't look so good with the rest of the map imho. And we don't know where the second safe is :|
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Postby torhu » Sat Mar 04, 2006 1:11 am

dolny wrote:When I want to vote for BR, it says 'invalid gametype'.

There are actually two maps inside backwater.pk3, wq_backwater and br_backwater. To play BR, you have to load the latter.

Unfortunately, wq3 uses the name of the .bsp file to decide which gametypes to allow, instead of using a configuration file. And yes, this is something that could be improved upon in a future wq3 upgrade.
Last edited by torhu on Sat Mar 04, 2006 1:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby dolny » Sat Mar 04, 2006 1:18 am

Interesting. I have only one file in the archive (+ readme). I checked it now again, really. Weird.
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Postby torhu » Sat Mar 04, 2006 1:23 am

dolny wrote:Interesting. I have only one file in the archive (+ readme). I checked it now again, really. Weird.

Look inside the pk3 file that is inside backwater.zip (the file you put in your westernq3 dir). pk3 files are really just zip files with a different name suffix, so you can open them easily.

EDIT: The reason we put two maps in one file like this, is that the textures are shared between both versions of the map. Saves space, and is a bit cleaner.
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Postby dolny » Sat Mar 04, 2006 1:55 am

LOL. To be honest I'm really sleepy, and I thought AFTER posting this, and understood that you mean INSIDE the archive. Then I saw you already replied. Sorry :oops:

Thank you for your kind reply to my stupid post :oops: :wink:

I think that the map will not be too popular because of the size, but some people like playing DM with bots - so I'm not sure.

All in all, a very nice map. I just think a part of it could be changed a bit and released as a smaller separate map - that could be interesting ;) I saw such thing in other game. That's just an idea.

PS. And yes, I know that .pk3 is just a type of zip archive. I wasn't thinking.
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Postby ReD NeCKersoN » Sat Mar 04, 2006 3:31 am

Ok, voting does work for this map. However, if you have wq_backwater loaded you can't vote for br gametype. Instead, you need to vote for "map" br_backwater. Get it? :wink: All in all the map doesn't seem that much bigger than br_farm, br_ElPaso, or br_mexico? It's just that the buildings aren't closed off like most of them are in the stock br maps.

However, I do have another bug to report. In br mode everyone has the red x so you can't tell who is friend or foe. :?
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I like it!

Postby DeUgli » Sat Mar 04, 2006 3:58 am

Congratulations, Breli. This map is what we have needed, now that WQ3 has gotten popular enough to attract several players at the time. It really is the opposite of HighNoon2, and that is a good thing.

Yes, there are some problems, but overall the map works well. I have an old computer, but I can run Backwater reasonably well. The textures are pleasing, too.
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Postby Breli » Sat Mar 04, 2006 9:31 pm

Thanks for the feedback here and during the game. Let's see what we have now:

- Thanks to torhu and Red the map naming issue is settled
- Caulk surfaces: there are several spots that are visible for specs and even some for players that are caulked. Sometimes you even get a HOM effect. I didn't texture that faces cos of performance. But a few triangles more will not matter much. So I'll probably change that. No biggie.
- Dolny found the second safe ;)
- Health of breakables (bridge and second safe): I can easily change that if you want. No biggie. Make it destructable with dyna then. However, I figured it might to nice to get the money WITHOUT using dyna. Well, I don't mind.
- Water: I'll change that
- Gameplay: I think that the BR round today was balanced. So, apparently, gameplay (BR) is ok? Needs probably more testing, though.
[Edit]
- crosshair: ??? IF that's a bug it's in the code ...
- animated textures (red and sig11): that was really strange. The fire textures wasn't animated. I have no idea ... but it is not related to my map AFAIK. I checked wq_mine on rawhide: same problem.
[/edit]

Well, that stuff doesn't bother me at all. These two, however, do:

- Size of the map: I don't think it is too big. As I already explained, it kept growing while I invented stuff. I think it is fine the way it is. The gameplay is intentionally different from the other maps. We have more than enough medium and small sized maps IMHO. IF I do another map, I'll probably keep it small and cozy ... But this one, no way. It was just too much work to change that now ...

- Brightness: that's really troubling me because the map looks just fine on ALL machines I tested it. I don't want the map to be as bright as the other maps (for instance canyon). These maps increase the light by using the ambience setting. That looks quite ugly IMHO: no shadows, no variation, no nothing. Some people don't care about the look of the map and play in vertex mode and do whatever is necessary to win. Personally, I like to do my killin' in a visually appealing setting :twisted:. Otherwise, I wouldn't have spent days on terrain blending and other fancy stuff. So what to do about that? Red mentioned that this might be an TFT vs. CRT problem. Apparently, it is too dark on CRT's. However, several of my buddies who tested it use CRT's and never complained about that. Nevertheless, Chico and Red told me that they can barely see anything in some places. So I got to increase the ambience a bit :? making everything ugly. Still, I would like to stress that some rooms are supposed to be dark. That gives the whole thing a natural look IMHO.

ReD NeCKersoN wrote:Oh, and if we post bugs about stuff you already know about..... get used to it! :lol:


;) you have been down this road, I know. We'll survive that, Red ;)

So long

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Postby ReD NeCKersoN » Sat Mar 04, 2006 10:14 pm

The crosshair bug wasn't present for me today. All was correct. Maybe I noticed it while playing bots yesterday?

DO NOT use ambience to brighten the map please! Placing a few light entities in the dark places (with low values like 10 or 20) will illuminate them just enough to please everyone I hope and will keep your pleasant lighting throughout the rest of the map intact.

I agree that the size of the map is good and shouldn't be changed...even if that were easy to do. Heh, I for one know it is hard.

I suggest you copy the animated fire textures from my or Lethal's map. You'll need to look at the shader file to get what you need there as well.

I believe you can set the safe to be breakable with dyno only. Look in the entity window for info.

Gameplay was great for me today! :D I don't think I would mess with spawnpoints for br mode a bit.
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