level design - common workflow


#1

Hi,
I am aware that this is vague and general question, but my knowledge about this is also vague, so couldnt make it more precise…need some answers in order to find out what are the things that I dont know, and focus on them…

I would like to know what are general steps needed to make my own level for quake in 3d max

suppose it is something like this

1 modeling+texturing in 3d ap
2 exporting it to some md2/3 format so will end up with level.md2 ?
3 editing that md2 file ? if so how and where ? and what are tasks in this editing ?
4 opening it in game ?

does this makes any sence ?
and, what would be the steps for making ut level or cs or whatever ? same but with different exporters/tools/editors or what?

thx

M


#2

Well, Quake actually uses BSP for levels, and the workflow isn’t as bad as you suggest…
You can use a free editor like Quark and a map-compiler like GTKRadiant (I think that was the name).
You just compile the map, then add the files it produces in the pak3 file (it’s actually a zip file, just open it with WinZip or similar)


#3

quake, ut, and halflife (cs) have their own editors to make levels with, the workflow is primarily focused on those editors and not on other tools like 3dsmax
youre always going to need to use the editors, you cant make everything with max

for example in ut and cs your result could be also very buggy if you use too many complex 3dsmax made brushes, those games their levels are really aimed at being made almost solely by their own level editor (geometry light etc included)

quake=radiant
ut=unrealed
cs=i believe hammer is most used

for games like doom 3, or ut2004 you can use a lot more 3dsmax if you want too, they support it far better but even then you will always still need to use their editor at some moment (to place spawnpoints, weapons, additional geometry, lights, particles, extra special things, moving objects like doors, etc)
if you want to make a level for any of those games id say forget about max right now and first learn and focus on the game’s editor


#4

For Q3A you can use Gmax + Tempest Gamepak, and GTKRadiant to cleanup brushes and do a BSP compile. Dont use Tempest to compile, though there is someone working with Discreet to fix alot of Tempest’s issues.

For Gmax Questions, the Gmaxsupport forums have been transplanted to Turbo Squid.

Aswell as Level creation you can also make md3 models to use in Q3A.

These were all done in Tempest. ( Image compression has flattened the colors )


#5

Hi,

thx for ur responses…
at first, couldnt understand much of what you were talking about, but after a few days of reading&searching now got it a bit more clear…

@plasma “You can use a free editor like Quark and a map-compiler like GTKRadiant (I think that was the name).”

isnt radiant editor as well ? any reason for using quark ? better, easier ?

@hourences “for example in ut and cs your result could be also very buggy if you use too many complex 3dsmax made brushes, those games their levels are really aimed at being made almost solely by their own level editor (geometry light etc included)”

if there are some rules about unitsetup, grids, “concaveness” and others, and if I obey to them, will I still have problem with max models ? …mean there are lot of plugins/scripts for max export to dif games, that it is pitty if they are not useful…am aware that must put game content inside editor, but levels geometry would be really nice to make in max…

@muffin “For Q3A you can use Gmax + Tempest Gamepak, and GTKRadiant to cleanup brushes and do a BSP compile”

same dilllema as with quark…both u and plasma refered to radiant as to map compiler, but suggested other tools for editing…does this mean that radiant is worse for editing tasks ?
or am I missing something here…?

thx


#6

you are meaning with UT 1 right ? and not UT2003-4-whatever number
because with 2003 and above its far and far more supported so that would really make it easier for you if you really want to create everything or a lot in max

now for the original UT you can do 2 things with a max mesh, you can make in an unreal mesh but this will give a terrible result most of the time and gives only decent result for tiny details
a low poly chair, a plant, a tree, a tv, etc
for anything bigger its very bad, -slow -only very simple collision possible -totally smoothed -terrible light because of the smoothing

if you want bigger things you can also make them a brush, i did this a lot for some of the caves i made in UT1
make it in max, lets say 100 poly cave or so, export as DXF (doesnt save UVW coordinates…its possible to preserve them but forgot how and it wasnt a very fun process), in UED top menu Brush take import and done
grid anything, 256 max units=256 unreal, mm or meter or inch to my experience doesnt mather, triangulate it if its not convex yes, and edit mesh and stuff
i THOUGHT UT1 supported quad polys on imported brushes so that can lower the polycount a little

now those things are not -that- important, the biggest reason why its buggy is because of BSP holes and/or HOMS, like leaks in quake. Just faults in the way the engine draws it, or collision faults etc, but they can get quite terrible if you go off the grid too much (select brush, type actor align in command box to snap all vertices to the grid afaik, been long), have too many weird angles, too high poly, etc
and those bsp errors are just more likely to happen with max made brushes if you go too far…
even a 50 poly cave can create probs, not because of polycount but because its so random=random face directions=random cuts=weird cuts=not fun for engine

UT1 is really low poly, i dont get why you want to use max for that, UEDbrushes can do low poly shapes decently too, will save you (some) headaches


#7

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