Space stations

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eos
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Space stations

Postby eos » Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:27 pm

In a small mod I'm working on at the moment, the player is required at one point to defend the bridge of the D.D.O (Darwinia Defence Orbital), The Argonaut, against the gribbly boarding forces of Revelation. So far, I have been thinking of building it using the guide grid, with the bridge in the center. However, I'm not sure how to build it. Putting separate paths to close together will result in the Reds trying to cross where there is no bridge, while making the level too big will get me flamed. Any ideas?
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Postby Krion112 » Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:13 am

That's pretty interesting for a mod. I've got 2 suggestions: 1, simply make it large, yes it might be a little slow or laggy, but most people have settings to play on large maps. Or 2, you could get a shape for the wall (multiwinia wall shape is good) and place them in the way. Usually Darwinians will bounce around them.
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Postby eos » Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:53 am

I liked idea 1, I just wasn't so sure about it in case people didn't like it. Thanks! Just for help, where can I get the MW wall shape? And (although this may be pushing it), the FW UFO?
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Postby xander » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:59 pm

All of the shapes used in Darwinia are in main.dat (extracted, of course), in a directory called, oddly enough, shapes/. To use them as simple shapes, place a StaticShapes into a level, select it, and simply type the name of the shape file in the box provided. Unless the Windows editor is significantly more skilled than the Mac editor, the shape won't be immediately rendered (you will have to save the level, exit the level, then reenter the level before it is rendered properly), but it will still be there. If you want to use custom shapes (e.g. ones you make yourself, or shapes from Multiwinia), you will need to create a directory within your mod called shapes/, and place any .shp files there. They should be accessible to Darwinia, again, as StaticShapes.

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Postby briceman2 » Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:28 pm

A few comments and a suggestion:

1) the wall shape, or any other shape, will never be 100% DG-proof if you place more than one wall next to each other. There is a bug / feature in the old engine that creates "holes" when shapes come too close to each other or overlap. Only affects DGs, not squads or engineers or officers. They see the "real" building / shape instead of the proxy circle the DGs see.

2) in the editor you can place a bunch of shapes by creating one StaticShape with the correct file name (including the ".shp" extension) and then "Cloning" that shape to all the right places. Clone is in the menu box thingy with Rotate, etc. The first StaticShape will not be rendered, as xander points out, but each cloned copy will be rendered. When done, simply delete the original StaticShape -- the original one should still have the "focus" after multiple cloning ops.

3) Instead of wrestling with the grid editor, I'd recommend the technique IV used in the Ants level: place many small land tiles until you build up the overall pattern you want. Much much easier to control than the jittery & touchy grid editor. The total number of tiles used will not affect map performance except at startup, and then *only* if you use hundreds of them. Also, you can dial down the map "density" by increasing the CellSize for each map. This is the grid spacing number. Default is 12 which means one triangle pair per 12 distance units (or something like that). Fewer triangles on a map means less CPU drag. You can make HUGE levels this way. Dial up the map size (keeping X==Z) and also dial up the CellSize to keep total number of triangles manageable.

Try playing with a large map and lots of smallish tiles. You can tweak the tile data (seed, height, lowland smooth, noise period & scale, etc.) to find tiles that fit your look. You can clone tiles and tweak to get similar stuff without looking identical: try changing the seed a bunch of times first -- the seeds are somewhat cyclical in "style".

Good Luck!
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