co_Moira --<NEW VERSION RELEASED!>--

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Postby BigDXLT » Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:15 pm

I think I might, have a theory about that frame rate droppage. The problem is I have no way of testing for it (100fps solid for me.)
I suspect it could be a sound in that room, just some of the ambient background noise. I never thought about it before but I got to looking at the exact file I'm using and it happens to be the largest one that comes with NS. (900kb) But while it's a nice sound, it's really bigger than it needs to be... there are shorter ones that sound similar that I'd like to try to use. (for reference sound/ambience/scaryambience.mp3 is the old one, and sound/ambience/b1.mp3 is what I'll use.)

Edit: Amnizu just tried swapping the files, and says it made a good difference for him (30-40fps to 90ish)! I'm hoping this is fixed! (A small drop in fps should be expected as it's likely you'll be going from small efficient areas to large open space, but not a large one like that.) If someone else would like to confirm this for me (by swapping the file names temporarily) that'd be great!
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Postby Florp Incarnate » Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:04 pm

Maybe an expanded Funka shrine would convince him to drop by and say hello :( :( :(
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Postby BigDXLT » Fri Apr 13, 2007 11:13 am

Been making a pile of changes, still hoping to get my next version in on the "official mappack". Nothing too major, just polish mostly.

Changelog:
Version d28:
  • Made some significant detail improvements to the atrium, fixing the fps drop some had (hopefully), improving r_speeds and at the same time making it look better. (Screenshot 1)
  • Vent changes. Added more detail to some. Gave a bit more room to move. Made some more efficient (shorter). Made accesibility easier for others.
  • The little pit saw some major revision. Ripped out the wall to expose it's rocky flesh! (Screenshot 2)
  • Added more light to some of the darker areas. (Screenshot 3)
  • Changed the balcony in the hive so that a marine has less of a view over the hive.
  • Optimized r_speeds overall as well.
Screenshots:
Image
Image
Image
Image

Todo list:
  • Update bot waypoints.
  • Reduce ready room music file sizes.
  • Change the cats litter box... pewwww!
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Postby BigDXLT » Sun Apr 29, 2007 12:48 pm

After a game the other day with CAPS, Nikon and Niteowl, I added a bit more cover to the hive and spread out the spawn points a little bit. It's not a whole lot, but I hope that not being able to shoot through this railing (along with more spawn points on the other side of it) should help. (Small games usually are doomed when any spawn camping starts though...) I've also moved spawn points closer to the ground, and some of the ones in the open I moved closer to structures to provide a quick place to run to.
Image

These shot shows of some of the brighter lighting.
(Before weldable activated)
Image
(After weldable activated)
Image
The idea is to keep the switch useful, but not critical. (Previous versions of the map I played on a CRT that I had the brightness turned up, but this LCD goes to crap colourwise if I turn the brightness up on it. :()

As you may have noticed, I've created additional custom screen textures (more crap to read while killing lorks and fades! Yay!) but that's not all, I've updated most of the old screens to make them look better, created more infestation textures (as seen in first shot) and a few other things as well.

It's not a whole lot different from the current version, mostly just tweaks to make it better on the whole. Aesthetically, I'm growing quite happy with my progress. I'd still like to play it with a whole bunch of people at once to get a better feel for how it's playing out. (And just for folks to know, YES, you can go to the roof in the atrium for excellent lork gas spam, much like in faceoff. This was a feature since version one! I say this because I never seen anyone up there and Owl told me I need a perch for him to look for his tasty meeces!)

I'm still not sure if I want to release this new version just quite yet though.
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Postby Niteowl » Mon Apr 30, 2007 5:19 am

Excellent updates!
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Postby BigDXLT » Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:15 pm

Soooo... I've pretty much been sitting on a final version for the last two weeks now. I'm pretty happy with it, at the moment. The last compile was three days ago to fix a measly stuck spot that popped up out of nowhere. (Overall should better than previous version though.)

So yeah, this is me just saying I'm gonna release it in the next while here. Gonna do a small release first, mostly to test and make sure the stuttering issue is gone and no more bugs have popped up. So, if anyone wants to preview it, just say so and I'll pm a link whenever I manage to upload it.

The ONLY thing I may do first is try to bring down the file size. I never did optimize the music, so those files are still huge. The map size itself is up over 9 freakin' megs (uncompressed) so I might look into doing something about that if I can. I suspect I've accidentally included the ns/ns2.wad files into the map along with my own textures that I want there. Fixing that will require another 5 hour compile unfortunately. :(
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Postby mooseman » Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:37 pm

Hey BigD, if you want, I can compress the sound files if they are in mp3. I have Sonar.

And...I ALWAYS go and sit up on the ledges and beams along the ceiling. Excellent ambush points.

Excellent updates!
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Postby BigDXLT » Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:01 am

I dunno. I figured out that map is so huge because of my use of bright dynamic lights. The only official map that is larger now is Hera, and you'll note I modelled my light usage after it. :D

I dunno about the music though. I'm not sure significant size improvements could be had without significant quality loss. All zipped up, what I have right now is just over 8 megs, barely a meg larger overall than the last version. Close enough.

One of these nights I'll try to upload it I guess!
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Postby mooseman » Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:08 am

With variable compression you can make a big difference without losing too much quality. However, for map download speed, compression is more important than quality, IMHO. I think you can go down to 32k and still have it be useful for readyroom purposes.

It's your baby though. You ARE an artist and have the right to create according to your vision.

Speaking of which, I played Moira last night and this latest version is awesome. A real beauty of a map. The modifications you made to the vent system are great. Love it.
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Postby BigDXLT » Mon Jun 11, 2007 3:27 pm

I was thinking 128k would be my lower limit. Even though there is no voice work, well, in terms of artistic vision, I don't want to go about butchering POKEY's hard work (though that file is in most need of dieting)! The sekret room music though, I could go lower since that was my slapped together rip off a cd. (Yes, the Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy movie sound track is on my playlist.) In fact, I might just re-rip that one myself tonight.

My only concern is based on my experience and what I've heard, compressing an existing mp3 to a lower bitrate rather than going from the original to that lower bitrate results in those screechy little artifacts, usually heard in ye olde mp3's of napster/audiogalaxy/kazaa yore where folks lowering bitrates of existing mp3s to save bandwidth was common.

Heck, if you'd like to try it, be my guest! Send it along and I'll see how it goes! If it still sounds good, I'll throw it in.

(Though I'd likely recommend anyone that already has the sound files to say "no" to overwriting it!)

And thanks for the kind words! Though this next version looks much better IMO! :D
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Postby mooseman » Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:43 pm

Okay, Obviously I have Moira on my HDD, but which mp3 files go with it?
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Postby BigDXLT » Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:29 pm

Should be at:

halflife/ns/sound/co_moira/

And should only be two files in there:
MOIRA.MP3 and banjo.mp3
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Postby BigDXLT » Sun Jun 17, 2007 5:59 pm

Image
The photoshop hack is right! A new version is upon us!

Hooray!

Changelog:
Version: "D3"
  • LET THERE BE LIGHT! More lights and an overall brightness increase (-scale 1.5) makes seeing critters easier.
  • Fixed (I hope?) the atrium fps stutter experienced by some. (Smaller ambient mp3 to decode might have fixed it.)
  • Moved the alien side lightswitch to the area that is affected by the switch (so people don't weld it and say "what did that do?")
  • Reworked particle systems (inotherwords actually spent a bit of time figuring them out), made some custom sprites.
  • Reworked spawn positions for aliens. Closer to cover, better spread and lower to ground. Marine spawns are mostly just closer to the ground now.
  • Redid custom textures, created some new ones.
  • Peeled the skin off the wall in the little pit room to expose the fleshy rocks beneath it.
  • Made vent system a bit more efficient to use. (couple of45 degree corners instead of 90, more passing room, easier to find as well.)
  • Bit more cover in the hive, pulled the balcony window backwards so as to give less of a view out over the hive.
  • Stupid invisible stuck spots should be gone now. Mostly. (Fingers crossed...)
  • More detail all around. Optimizations. Continued my quest to de-blandify some areas.


Screenshots:
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Download:
http://www.simplywicked.net/oldf/co_moirad3.zip

Whichbot waypoints (server ops or antisocial players):
http://bigdxlt.googlepages.com/co_moirad3.wpt
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Postby Amnizu » Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:24 pm

For the next version, as the time goes on, the whole level should become infested, like in the hive.
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Postby BigDXLT » Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:05 pm

Yeah, I tried actually moving the investation more out of the hive (sorta like this sexy map) but there'd be a pile more custom textures to to make.

Definately something I'd keep in mind if I did work on it more.

Kinda hoping to move on to source mapping now though. :)
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