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Jacob Byrd
03 January 2008 @ 01:29 pm
So a lot has happened in a little amount of time. I'm not going to make this too long, because i want to stay focused on, you know, actually working on my map. After coming back from Iraq in October, I realized that the "scene" has changed. The Half-Life 2 CTF mod is all but dead, and Counter-Strike just isn't as popular or exciting to map for as it once was. So where does that leave me? I had always imagined my next game to be Unreal Tournament 3, but I actually haven't even played it yet.

I had a couple people tell me they would like to see bedrooms as a Team Fortress 2 map, and I figured this wouldn't be a bad thing to do. I had been working on an updated version of the map for HL2 CTF, but I decided to just port it to TF2. Then, realizing the map didn't have quite the same scope and complexity that TF2's class-based gameplay requires, I knew I would have to do something different. So what I'm doing is taking the former de_bedrooms and doubling it... so now the action will take place across two houses on opposite sides of a street. Because of that, and because it is such a departure from the other bedrooms, I have decided to go ahead and call it bedrooms3. Hopefully it will be the last bedrooms map I do.

So what does that mean for my other projects? Well I guess it means they're scratched. I'm not sure yet what will come after bedrooms3. I can guarantee you it won't be another bedrooms or skydamage map. It's time for me to do something new.

At any rate, I should have new screenshots of bedrooms3 on the site within a couple days, and the map SHOULD be in beta by the end of next week (the 11th). I would like to make a post here about the actual development process, kind of like how I used to, but we'll see how that goes.
Current Mood: productiveproductive
Current Music: DJ Tiësto - Empty Streets
Jacob Byrd
11 May 2007 @ 09:55 am
I know I have neglected this thing, but I have barely had time to map, let alone type in this. Anyway, I have released the beta for de_bedrooms. Feedback has been pretty positive so far, but there are some fixes I have to make.

Anyway, to check out the newest shots, grab some video, and of course get the map, visit the mapping site.

Also, I would like to announce that when the map is finished, I will post a detailed "lessons learned" type thing here. When I start back up on ctf_skydamage4, I will (hopefully) go back to the original style of editing this log while I actually work on the map.
Current Mood: busybusy
Current Music: Incubus - Anna Molly
Jacob Byrd
06 June 2006 @ 11:09 pm
So I guess a big status report is in order, huh?


I finally got around to starting on the CS conversion of bedrooms. Originally I was going to do an almost straight port, but decided that it wouldn't work too well in CS. So I am revamping it, and it will now take place throughout the entire bottom floor of the house. There are some early shots of it on my site, but I have made a lot of progress since those were posted. Look for more info to come.


I was about 90% done with this map when I decided I wasn't happy with it. So I am going back and spicing things up. I am creating my own custom models to give the ship some more detail, because if you look at the current shots, the theme is cool, but the ships are boring.
Jacob Byrd
14 April 2006 @ 10:00 pm
I hare released the updated version of bedrooms. Head over to the site to get it. Read the previous post to see the changes and the reason for the update.
Jacob Byrd
14 April 2006 @ 10:00 am
So I never actually posted about it, because I wasn't sure I was going to bother to fix it, but it came about that there was actually a pretty big issue with the map. In order to get the custom grass that has undoubtedly become peoples' favorite feature of the map, I had to name my material detail/detailsprites, which, when the map is loaded will overwrite the standard detail/detailsprites material, thus drawing my grass instead of the normal grass. All worked fine and well, until after release when I got to play it in a normal server rotation. The problem is that, the Source doesn't reload materials upon map change. So because my file was the same name as another, when the map changed from mine to another one that had grass, instead of using the default grass material, mine would still be there. As awesome as it looks in my map, it looks pretty bad in other maps. Likewise, when playing another map with grass first, and then switching to mine, the default grass would remain in my map, which looks even worse.

So I had to find a way to fix this issue. There is a setting in Hammer to specify which material file to use for detailsprites, but it must not work with the current CTF version, as it would always just use detail/detailsprites no matter what I put in there. So then I tried to just manually placed sprites, but this created a couple problems. One, and arguably the dealbreaker, was that I couldn't get the sprites to react to world lighting, so they were bright even in the shadows. Second, they didn't fade out at a distance, and while this created a more full looking lawn, it impacted performance. After that method didn't work, I gave up for a while and started work on loopback and skydamage.

The other day I was playing around with XSI, and I figured I would try to make a simple model to use with the grass, and see how it worked out. To my surprise the difference is not really noticeable, and performance seems to be just fine as with the sprites. I knew I could use models to solve the problem, but I was honestly just lazy and didn't feel like firing up XSI. I also figured it would hurt performance in a big way, but luckily that is not the case.

So I've also changed a couple more things. Now there is a small brush separating the grass and the carpet where the middle hallway connects with the outside area. I also added the Alyxgun, two more lego heads, and a health charger to each base. I added another airburst round outside because in 1.6 each pickup gave you four rounds, but in 1.7 they changed it to just one. So I added another. Finally a put in another easter egg. At first I wanted to use birds, just like in the original, but I was having issues getting them to just fly around, and then I just stop caring. So I added a couple hidden triggers in the map, and when all three are shot, the egg will appear. Each trigger has visual clues, and all of them are on the same plane. One of them involves the first easter egg.

So yeah, the map is ready to go, and I will hopefully upload it to my site during my lunch break today. After that, I will start work on a Counter-Strike: Source version of the map, as there seemed to be a lot of interest in having one even though personally, I don't think it would play that well.
Current Mood: boredbored
Current Music: Voodoo Warriors of Love - Sweat
Jacob Byrd
10 April 2006 @ 08:04 am
Just a status check. I've made good progress on the map. I have pretty much fleshed out the inside of the main ship(s). I still have to do a lot of detailing, but after that I should be able to put it into beta. I will also get some new screenshots up on my website soon.
Current Mood: busybusy
Current Music: Tool - Reflection
Jacob Byrd
03 April 2006 @ 12:45 pm
I've posted some (eleven) new shots of the map over at my website, however they are already outdated as I have made a lot of progress the past two days.

Open Log: 2APR06

Okay so I did it again... I worked on the map without updating this. But I made a lot of progress. I added some more clouds, created the inside of the middle ship, and set up the wind drag effect. I really like the way the middle ship turned out, but I will continue to detail it (as well as the other ship). It actually is different than seen in the lastest batch of shots. I split the big central wing into two, creating a ramp that leads into the ship. I also added doors on the lower area where the bridge leads.

For the wind effect, I'm using an array of big trigger_push's. This lets me specify the ammount of push in a given area, as well as lets me define areas that have no wind. So if you are inside the ships or behind an object, you will not be pulled by the wind. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the trigger_push's affect ragdolls, and despite everything I've tried, I can't get the appropriate effect. Everything I've read says it isn't possible. It would be cool to kill someone and see their corpse slide off (or go flying off, depending on the death) the ship, but it just doesn't look like that's going to be the case.

I also created three seperate soundscapes, one for outside, one for covered areas, and one for extra windy areas, like on the wings. I will also make the indoor soundscape(s), but I'm waiting until I actually start so I can get a good feel for how it should sound. The other areas, however, sound really good.

I may start working on the inside of the main ship... but honestly I'm dreading it, because it's going to be a monster. I already have the basic layout, but making it interesting is going to be another thing. I'll keep you updated.
Current Mood: energeticenergetic
Current Music: Ragnarok Online - High Roller Coaster
Jacob Byrd
30 March 2006 @ 12:12 pm
Open Log: 30MAR06

So I worked a little bit last night and decided it was time to move on to a new phase. Sicne then, I have started forming the bridge section. I've decided to go with a smaller ship in the middle that will bridge the two main ships. I would like to make the bridges retractable, but we'll see if that is going to play well. For right now, my focus is building the bridge ship. Also, I should be posting some new screenshots at some point today.

Things are progressing nicely. I got a good chunk of the middle ship knocked out. I also got some decent looking clouds flying by. So far the map is not only looking great, but coming along extremely quickly. For the ammount of time I've worked on it, I have gotten a lot done. I'm going to continue filling out the midle ship, and if I have time, I will start working on the indoor area of the main ship. I had actually thought about not having an indoor area at all... but I think I will integrate one, although it probably won't be as involved as I was originally planning.
Current Mood: creativecreative
Current Music: Live 365- Tactical Tranquility
Jacob Byrd
29 March 2006 @ 12:57 pm
Have been busy with the website, which is now done. Go check it out at kidying.com. Hopefully now I can devote more time to actually mapping.

Open Log: 29MAR06

Today I want to get teh cloud particles working, as well as develop the soundscape. If time permits, I would also like to start fleshing out the inside of the ship. I also need to brainstorm a way to bridge the ships... right now I want to have two. I thought of smaller ships in between the two, but platform jumping like that can be annoying. They could also be attached to some kind of smaller central ship. I'll see what I can come up with.

Lunch break. I played with the particles a little bit, and using some env_steam entities, they should look good after a little fine tuning. I'm adding some details to the ship to make it look more interesting. I know I should be focusing more on the overall layout (specifically the inside and the bridge area), but I'm kind of dreading it.

Did some more detailing... but now the env_steam things don't work. I'll try re-adding them from scratch later.

Close Log: 1257
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: Live 365 - Tactical Tranquility
Jacob Byrd
23 March 2006 @ 12:11 pm
Sorry for the lack of updates... I have been busy working on my new site, which is coming along well. I am also continuing work on 1f_loopback (found out the prefix was 1f_ and not one_), but that has been downgraded in priority. But yeah, work has been crazy, and between that and the website, I have not had much time to map.

Open Log: 23MAR06

Okay, so I actually started working on this map again yesterday, but I forgot to post in here. Oops. As you might know, I had actually made pretty decent progress on this map before, but when I upgraded my CTF version, it overwrote the whole directory and I lost this map. So I've had to start over, textures and all. Anyway, I've got an early outter framework of the ship. I think it looks good so far, but it will need some refinements. I have also made the scrolling ground texture as well as the passing cloud texture. The map right now pretty much consists of the ship and a barebones skybox. I still have to add fog, as well as create my own skybox texture.
Current Mood: creativecreative
Current Music: Live 365 Radio - Tactical Tranquility