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Terrain Pointers for Campaign

Discussion in 'Terrain & Level Design' started by Cienfuegos, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. Cienfuegos

    Cienfuegos

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  2. Wraithwynd

    Wraithwynd

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    All of the maps are flat, no variation in the height. Then you have used cliffs, the default cliffs are not good for that much use. They should be used sparingly - if at all.

    Your 'shores' are cliffs, you should make smooth shores, don't know how, ask.

    The first thing I did is open up your object editor to see what doodads and destructible you have edited and how many custom ones you have. A small handful is all you have. I do not care about the units at this point because we are only talking about the terrain, the background upon which you are painting your story.

    If you are going to use only one type of tree like the brown fall evergreens, then you need at least two other versions, one that has a scale range larger than your default range, with a larger pathing, and more HP if your units are going to harvest them. And then one that is smaller than your default range, with smaller pathing, and for games decreased HP - less wood from smaller trees, more wood from larger ones.

    But then trees rarely, if ever, just grow on dirt, even dead ones will have something more - dead grass, brown 'rushes' (the grassy ones look like grass, you have to place them individually without the cattail thingy). your canon is only dirt - fine and great, but those trees on just the dirt just does not work.

    On your first map you have evergreen trees that look like you set them in like a tree farm, they are in straight rows, cultivated, not natural.

    Greater Good 'canyon' you could have mixed up the trees with the browner Dalaran Ruins and Fall cityscape trees. I would have thrown in a few of the bare canopy trees from Northrend maybe darken their tinting a bit to give the appearance of very old dead wood. I would definately use the brown rushes (without the cattail things, turn off 'place random variations' on the left side previewer. Yeah you can spam them with the #2 or #3 brush, but then you need go go back in and fill in the holes. Personally I make a patch of 'grass' out of rushes, then copy a square of that then paste, paste, paste going back with individual ones to fill in between and to smooth out the uniformity.

    Spacing of trees is also very poor. You just spammed them in using the larger tool brush. While that may work as a line of trees as a BASE to start your woodlands on, you failed to take it further by placing variations and extending the wooded areas with wider spaced trees.

    I'm attaching images of my current map project, it is by no means finished. I've been working in my spare time for the past month on it, you can figure there is at least 10 hours of terrain work in there (doodad placement, doodad customizing, terrain raising, lowering, water creation, blah).

    Images 1 and 2 below show my work in progress. the first has one side (right) just as the terrain the other side I am using rock chunks, enlarged with no pathing used as ramps and made walkable, I used pathing blockers at the front (river side) to prevent units from 'jumping' of the 'cliff'. Later I will be placing extremely flat waterfalls (with a z of .01) all pointing down river making a rushing river look.

    That structure way in the back of the first image is a stone bridge. My bridge and the dam is in the last image.

    Image two shows my use of rocks, the use of various rock textures, and in the background you can see the hefty rock chunks.

    Again this is a Work in Progress (WIP) I have been working on the terrain ONLY for the past month on this one medium sized map. It is not finished, there is going to be a lot more background stuff put in.

    I'm including a few other images to give you an idea of how to use doodads to your advantage.

    Mind all of my buildings have been enlarged, I took a tall villager unit and placed them at the doorway of the building, then I enlarged the building until the doorway is actually tall enough and wide enough to actually allow him to walk through. I am using the cathedral, I removed the pathing, increased its size to where a unit can walk through the door, it is the centerpiece for the village. I used the pathing blocker for both air and ground units, the door only blocks air units.

    Variation and individual placement is important when it comes to trees in forests, no you do not have to place each and every tree individually, you can 'spam' the map with a few variations of a clump of woodland that you did place individual elements. I make 3-5 'base' clumps of trees, using a variety of trees and tree sizes, then I copy and paste and paste and paste, mixing up my 3-5 clump types until I have a basic 'forest' then I go back and place individual trees to fill in the gaps.

    If pathing is an issue then make trees with larger pathing, I have my 'boarder trees' copies of the default versions with larger pathing, I place those inside of my loose collection of trees. I use the Darlaran Violet Tower to block ground and air units, I use blacksmith to block just ground units. These are large pathing maps, you will most likely need to hold down the dift key to place trees closer to these boarder trees.

    The third image attached shows the pathing, note the tree on the right (behind the stone wall) has a 'huge' pathing, also note how I have smaller and larger trees in use and how I mixed in the Italian cypress looking city scape trees with the canopy and tree wall trees.

    Around the wall I took tree versions of river rush, light green, dark green and default brown, without using the cattail thing I made 'clumps of grass' that look like they are living.

    The forth image attached shows a 'cliff' of height tool cuts out of raised terrain, I used modified pathing blockers using one of the larger pathing maps to make it unwalkable. I used the lumpy grass and the other thick grass at the top, it 'hangs over' the rocky steep side, at the base of the cliff I use grassy dirt the over all effect is that the cliff looks like a cliff, you get a good idea that the lumpy grass is high, and the grassy dirt is low.

    Note the houses are pathed with small pathing blockers, the doorways have no pathing. I have regions at the door ways that allow NPC units to walk in and out, but disallow player units, a player unit walks in it is stopped by a trigger, set back a tiny distance and the message "How dare you enter a strangers house without their permission!" pops up.

    Inside of those houses I have gold mines - modified small mines that are hidden from the players but the NPC villager peasants are harvesting. I have building units inside of other buildings that have the return gold and lumber ability. In game it looks like villagers are going from building to building.

    The villagers are copied peasants with the villager male and female and the high elven female models, they have the harvest ability and will harvest gold for the NPC computer player all by themselves. If you want variety in that - meaning they go from building to building then set in regions, using triggers set the amount of gold in your customized mines to 10-50 gold, when one dies in one building a new one is created in another building - then you order one or more of the villagers to harvest the last created goldmine.

    Got crops in a field? Then use a destructible tree, using the wheat or corn model place that inside of your wheat/corn field and order your NPC villager to harvest in that area - make a barn unit and add the return lumber ability to it.

    That fountain in the center of the town is a unit, not just a doodad, it has both life and mana regeneration - it fits much better in my village center than the default springs of mana and life.

    All of those images are from one map, just one. I have carefully considered where I am placing things, I set in my mind exactly what I wanted that map to do, what the atmosphere and environment should 'feel' like.

    I modified the tiles, I started with Ashenvale, removed the vines and leaves, and used cobble stones, Dalaran ruins marble. I also used the World Editor Unlimited to add a few more tiles to my map.

    I also use the Ultimate Terrainer's Map to use some of the doodads/models to help flesh out my map things like the birch, I have three varieties of those, one has an extreme roll and pitch, that means on steep hills it will lean far over. One is the default tint, the other is slightly greener the other is slightly darker when used in combination that one single model looks like it is in infinite natural diversity of form. Other things like the rope bridge are from that map. There are blocks and beams and a few other useful doodads that you can build things with, I built a dam and a bridge with these 'extra' models.

    Go through your Blizzard Maps, open them up in the editor, and look at how they used a mix of doodads and terrain textures and heights to create an environment. Also go through this forum and look at pictures and read the comments of those who replied, you will find the same tired remarks about diversity of terrain, the use of cliffs and the use of fog for atmospheric conditions.

    The possibilities are perhaps endless, all you need to do it commit yourself to spend a lot of time on each map. Triggering alone takes a considerable amount of time, doodad customization requires a hella lot of time. placement of those may require one or two attempts.

    Reading through the comments on your submission I suspect your number one problem is that you threw this campaign together in as quick of time as possible.

    Great you have the basic idea, your 'rough draft'. Now its time to go back and spend a few months, maybe even a year on the details.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Ziggen

    Ziggen

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    :O

    Wraithwynd, what map is those pics from? :O:O
     
  4. Wraithwynd

    Wraithwynd

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    A game I am currently working on, a cross over between Tower defense and a civilization kind of thingy. it has 'rounds of creeps' while you attempt to build up your civilization while protecting the well.

    I most likely will scrap the idea, the player keeps losing at round 8 no matter what minor adjustments I make to the balance between abilities and strength/hp of the creeps.

    Either that or I just don't know how to play my own game. LOL

    Last night I took out about a 1/4 of the map's doodads, I didn't like how the 'dark forest' corner was looking.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  5. Qab

    Qab

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    You make the map start out as under water, then raise height till land goes above sea level.
    You can make better terrain simply by adding random terrain(Grass, Dirt, Rock, Etc.) all over the map, plus Add doodads, My favs are shrub, rocks and flowers, with some tents and barrels in camps. This will make your map terrain at least not noticible(Instead of "Look at how ugly that is!") but not "Holy Cow!" for that you need a bit more talent and experience. (I'm still working on that last bit... :smile:
     
  6. Wolfhelm

    Wolfhelm

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    @ Wraithwynd your post is EPIC lolz, my attention span is too short to read even half that but i know its full of good advice. You need some special title or icon, im gonna wright a letter to whoever is in charge of that stuff...