map maker woes....
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4 years ago#1
I've used (don't laugh now) Timesplitters 2 & FP, which taught me fairly enough in designing maps. Sooooo many times I'd think YEAH! try em myself, and go yeah they're neat. But others would try them, and they'd break the map, or get stuck, or die too easily etc..... It took a long time to fully tweak that logic system to do what I wanted it to do. Try and set up mutlipe intergers and the game would fall apart. You'd have to go round the houses to get it to do what you want.
I thought FP's system was a big improvment over timesplitters 2. 2 wasn't really made for, 'story' maps. just quick little objective blasts!
And then the biggest problem: Memory. Frigging memory. I liked designing maps that seemed huge, even if you couldn't get to all the places. Map Maker let's you do that, no problem. well. as long as we're not talking any objects. even windows and doors. They seem to take up barely any of that memory. yippee! And bots or enemies, take up a very small amount! Yippee again!
However. when you start adding story objectives and actions, the memory no longer seems unlimited. I mean, I didn't think I wanted too much. Just a timer that would start when you reached a certain area, stop when certain things happened, but then then reactivate if something else happened, and if it reached 0 this would happen, and if you got here, the timer would stop compltely, oh and let's not forget DISPLAYING the timer, you want the timer to no longer be displayed after you've done the certain thing....and you don't WAT it to be displayed, until you've reached that area requiring it to be displayed.... On top of all the normal things like enemies, helth, ammo, oh yeah and the actual level itself, memeory seemed to go in a snap.
I'll be honest, I was cheap at sometimes. In order to save memory, I'd let most of the ammo come from the enemies you killed, rather than waste memory putting guns and ammo spots in the level.
Then the lighting. You have to make sure at night, obviously the outdoor levels look dark, and sometimes you might want a flashing light to stop......You might even use colour to guide the players at times. I know I did.
All the time memory would run out. I'd have to go back and cut cut cut. A few times the level got split into two levels because they were just so big, other times I'd reuse elements that I'd wanted in one level, in another level instead.
Sometimes it would come down to the wire. One door could make the difference between the memory being allowed (for story mode LOGIC purposes). So you cut that door. But hold on. The level has been designed very very tightly as it is. that one door cannot be replaced. There is not enough memory to just change the tile so it no longer requires a door. Besides that door is needed to stop you from going on too far before you're meant to.
Aha, so I'll just cut a few enemies. 3 enemies are not enough for the door. so you cut 10 enemies. Now you can place the door.
But....you just cut 10 enemies. There was only 30 enemies to begin with, and you've cut a third of the offense. Now what? You try the level, and it's......ok, but a little too sparse. Really you need about 7 or 8 more enemies back. Really. Hey....maybe....you can shave that big three layer winding staircase into a simple slope? Yeah. ok. But you can't go back up slopes. So they won't be able to go back and get the armour if they need it.
on and on. Suffice to say it would consume me. I wouldn't be able to stop working on the map until the problem was resolved. I also became addicted to that map maker music.
I didn't even know you could get the outside walls to disapear. wish I'd known before!!
There should be more sequels to arcade games. I'm waiting for The Simpsons 2.