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Tutorial: Creating a map with TGE & ModWizard

Modding questions, answers, help.....

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Tutorial: Creating a map with TGE & ModWizard

Postby Triv on Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:31 pm

This is continuation for the age old installing TGE tutorial which should be completed successfully before continuing with this tutorial as it assumes that you have finished it.

This tutorial's aim is not to create huge modded terrains but to create quality playing fields which are good sized for fun games.

1.1 - Preparing
I have created a sample terrain which you should download and start editing from it.

RE-UPLOADED, DOWNLOAD SAMPLE MAP! - UPLOADING.COM

  • The terrain size is already restricted to correspond -256 -256 512 512 which is the stock size of the maps. You should only reduce the terrain size to smaller which I very much recommend you to do. The terrain resides inside a red box which is the -256 -256 512 512 size. Going across those red edges will kill you. Keep that in mind and watch that your terrain doesn't overlap with the red edges.
  • I have picked the texture editor to use three different textures. You can create pleasantly looking maps with only three textures. The sample terrain is grass textured. You should use fewer textures when possible because that will keep the file size smaller and will be faster to download in-game.
  • Fog level is set at value 20. Fog level value should always be equal with floor value. Floor value is the kill level. The terrain can be at the lowest in value 0 that means you should focus on raising the terrain as you barely can excavate it any lower.
  • I have added by default one spawn point for both green and blue team in the middle of the terrain. They are the white-greyish octahedron's on the map. This is to make sure that you will spawn on the terrain without dying.
  • There don't exist any outer islands as visual candies which may possibly raise the performance.

1.2
Place the two sample files from the download into Torque/game/data/missions -location.

1.3 - optional
Before starting TGE as introduced in installing tutorial. I recommend adding more brushes in to the editor. This is totally optional part. I enjoy having a greater choice between the sizes. Also there is an unique 2 x 2 brush. Which edit the terrain the most lightly from all the brushes. And it is perfect brush to blend two textures together which can't be done with other brushes.

Guide for adding more Brushes

2.1 - Terrain editing
Start the TGE from the modded batch.
FPS game → Check create server → Run.
Press F11 → File → Open mission → Sample_Rename_Me.mis
Again F11 → Now F8 → Last time F11
Camera → Fastest
Press F6 (fast route for Terrain Editor)

2.2
Editing the terrain to the shape you wish it to be is up to you. Can't really offer much help in it and I don't think it would be good idea. As it is way more fun let your own creativity to flow. Before you start editing it is good to have some sort of idea what type of map you're going to make. Make sure your terrain has varying elevation with open areas, hills, rocky and bumpy sections and perhaps even a mountain. Good visual help tool is to texture the areas that will be hillier sections.

Remember frequently relight the terrain by pressing Alt + L. You will then notice the terrain changes easier.

You should occasionally check out the terrain in TTanks, because the terrain always seems much smaller in TGE than it's in reality when you're driving on it with your tank.

Remember to create a password protected room when you're checking out the terrain. And do not share the terrain file until you're fully happy with it and won't be doing any changes to the file. If you go changing the terrain file later. Anyone who had downloaded the terrain earlier will receive an error message while trying to join your map. You don't really want that, right?

2.3
There are many ways to texture the map but one nice way is to texture by elevation. Lowest level being ground, raising to grass and on top rocky area. Or maybe grass being as the ground texture and rough edges being as rocky texture. Up to you.

2.4
Remember still the fog and floor connection? Now is time to make them match with your new map.
Open up Window → World Editor Inspector → Sky → Fog → FogVolume3 → you will be changing the last number, value 20. Keep applying it higher so long until you find when the fog appears in the middle of terrain. Then go closer to the terrain and start lowering the fog until you can't see any fog disappearing when you lower the value by one. I usually after that lower the fog by one more just to make sure that when driving to that spot you won't suddenly die or if the flag bounces there it won't re-spawn. You should later in TTanks stay on that spot some seconds to see if you will die or not. Put that fog level value in your mind.

Go into Mission Area → Dynamic Fields → Change the floor to the same as the fog level was. Apply to save the change.

2.5
When you are saving your terrain. You should give the terrain file an unique name. Such as using few first letters of your player nick and then adding number after the letters. Or naming the terrain by the name you will call the map. I prefer use the first way as it will be much easier to find all your maps and will help others to know whose map it is. Do not name the map as TTx_x way, please. (Where x stands for any number.)

3.1 - Object placing
After you have checked out your map in TTanks and you're happy with it. It is time to start placing the objects on the map. So open up Window → World Editor Creator → Static Shapes → game → data → Shapes → e.g. Green. I use TGE for placing all static objects. You could use also ModWizard but I find TGE gives you much more control how you want things to be. I start by placing trees pretty much always only on the grass texture. And placing rocks on the ground texture and few on grass texture. I like creating unique combinations from few rocks. I find that makes the map look much nicer. While placing these objects you should already plan little for your map in sense of TBM, TS or both. Will some of these objects work as cover shield from enemy fire? Can some of these objects to be used to bounce inside the goal? Also think where you want to create arrows, so don't place any objects straightly on the way of the arrow.

- Keep left mouse button pushed down and you can drag around the object from it's box.
- Keep Alt pushed down and you can rotate the object from XYZ axises.
- Don't use this one. Keep Ctrl + Alt pushed down and you can adjust the objects scale which makes the object bigger or smaller. You either grap the XYZ axises or from the sides of the box. The changes you adjust won't show up in TTanks. The object will still look normal, but there will be a large shadow if you made the object huge. That will work as an "invisible blocker". Only good to use in mods to restrict movement to certain areas or possibly creating invisible walls around a map so no one call leave the arena.

3.2
After the objects are placed it is time to import your map into TTanks. Copy the uniquely named .mis & .ter files from Torque into TTanks/game/data/missions -location. Rename the mission file into TT1_5.mis (If 5 doesn't work. Then whatever is next available number.)

Start TTanks → From Create server menu you will find your map → Run

3.3
Last job is to place all the functional objects into the map. Start by placing spawnpoints which will also act as goals in scrum. Now you should finally make a choice which type of map it will be more TBM or TS. And make the map more friendlier to your choice. Press Ctrl + Y combo when ModWizard is activated it will show all the goals.

When you place the spawn: the direction your tank is facing will be the direction tanks will be facing when they spawn. As a general rule: place all the spawns while looking towards the middle of the map. You should at least minimally place five spawns for both teams. Make sure you don't mix up the spawns: so one green spawn is in the middle of blue spawns. Also avoid placing goals too near edge as the scrumflag will easier fall off from such places. A few goals can be placed closer to the edges and even in them there are preferable little raise on ground just before the terrain edge. So the flag could possible bounce inward. Keep also in mind while placing the spawns/goals. Could some of them be bounced in from nearby objects? Save the map after spawns has been placed. ModWizard should likely save the map as MWa_e.mis

Go find that file and open it up. Still remember the two extra spawns we had since the start in TGE?
We are going to remove them now. They will be the first SpawnSpheres right after GreenPlayerDropPoints and BluePlayerDropPoints. You can be sure they are correct ones if there reads in rotation = 1 0 0 0. Next go thought all the spawnpoints rotation information. There will be numbers in four different sections. Just check out the two first number groups. Make sure there reads e.g. 0.046457 or 0.024643. Make the first two numbers zeros if they aren't and maybe the third one a smaller number. This will make sure that none of the goals will look lopsided. Trust me it will look much better in-game. Save the changes and replace the TT1_5.mis with this new .mis file.

3.4
Let's continue now by placing the reload-gate. Preferable somewhere in the middle of the map so it will be fast to access it anywhere and that neither of the teams will have full control of the gate. If you're making fully TBM map you should place one gate for both teams.

Next go sprinkling the power-ups across the map. I prefer to place about 5-8 powers in one map. You shouldn't go much higher than 10 power-ups as it will start to be too much. Find interesting locations to place the power-ups. Later you could do the same thing for the power-ups rotation as you did for the spawnpoints.

3.5
Now there only left to place arrows and jumppads. When placing the arrows make sure you can't fly from one arrow to another one and gain too much speed and fly over the edges of the map. Also make sure you can't fly off the map just from one arrow. When placing the arrows test them at least in three direction: Straight forward and you shouldn't hit any objects from that direction. Then test left and right side there can be objects on the way as it wasn't meant as the main way to use the arrow. Test out many times the arrows and jumps. Maybe make few goals possibilities from them. Either from jumping/flying in the goal or bouncing from an object after the fly. The latter you shouldn't really bother to test too much if you can't make it in to the goal. Just give it a possibility that it could work. After you're happy how the map is playing save it up or perhaps even visit in TGE to make some extra small tweaks to the map.

4.1 - Final touch
After the terrain and all the objects are done. Let's look at the mission file more closely. This is for Lush based map. Let's start by giving your map a name if you haven't already. There have been named lots of maps so try to make it unique.

You can lower visibleDistance and fogDistance values if you like. It will gain some fps (frames per second) but it will reduce how much playing area you'll see. You don't really need to touch them. I had pre-set alright values for both of them. (visibleDistance = 800 and fogDistance = 300)

You should replace the Sun section with Lush Sun settings if they don't match already. It does have noticeable effect as in example how large shadows some hills will cast.

Code: Select all
   new Sun() {
      direction = "0.57735 0.57735 -0.57735";
      color = "0.988000 0.985000 0.980000 1.000000";
      ambient = "0.500000 0.500000 0.500000 1.000000";
         position = "0 0 0";
         rotation = "1 0 0 0";
         locked = "true";
         scale = "1 1 1";
   };


Other than that you don't really need to touch anything if you aren't trying to create something special. You can start playing your map.

Bonus
If you're creating a MOD which needs a large playable terrain. You need to adjust the information how far you can drive without dying. You find this info in TGE from Window → World Editor Inspector → MissionArea - MissionArea → Dimensions → area → Change the area into this -1024 -1024 2048 2048 that is the largest unique terrain size you can play with. After this the terrain starts to repeat itself to all four directions.
Last edited by Triv on Fri May 28, 2010 11:04 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Tutorial: Creating a map with TGE & MW

Postby Metal on Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:37 am

Dude everything you post is useful, I read this and I copied it to a text file so I can do it after I repair TT.
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Re: Tutorial: Creating a map with TGE & MW

Postby Triv on Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:53 pm

Added how to adjust the objects to your liking.
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Re: Tutorial: Creating a map with TGE & MW

Postby 00E on Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:20 pm

Triv Amazing However When I did the TGE thing with your sample map when I went to test it it was like I Could move around and turn but there was no Terrain and I added hills and all but I never at any point went up or down if you could help that'd be great!
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Re: Tutorial: Creating a map with TGE & MW

Postby 00E on Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:54 pm

NVM IT WORKS FINALLY AFTER YEARS OF TRYING FINALLY TY TY TY Triv!!!!!
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Re: Tutorial: Creating a map with TGE & MW

Postby rOOts on Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:37 pm

i was trying it
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