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Map design?


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Hi there, I am new here and I found this website by looking for some Jedi Academy mods of course. I am very interested in playing the amazing Dark Forces 2 with the Jedi Academy engine, so I'd like to help recreate some maps. I want to say that I am no expert, I only have a few basis and nothing else, but I am willing to learn more. To give you an idea, I started creating a "map" for Baron's Hed, so here it is if you wanna watch it:

Yes, I know, it's probably horrible, but, as I said, I am no expert and I do this on my free time; but I think that with some fixes to the textures and lighting it might be kinda good I hope; and yes, I took the textures from this forum, so let me know what you think :)

P.s. sorry for my english but I'm from Italy

Smoo likes this
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Are you familiar with working with PBR materials? If not would you be willing to bring yourself up to speed with that? We can always use mappers, the thing is that the game engine has been altered quite a bit, mainly the render engine to where we are moving away from the base JA shader system and using more advanced lighting and rendering techniques.

 

@@DT85, thoughts?

Would be tough to have to pass maps along to someone else to build the PBR materials unless you're OK with 1 person fleshing out the architecture while another does the materials.

Mark_the likes this
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Thanks for your reply.

To answer your question: well, no, I have never used PBR materials,but, as I said, I am more than willing to learn. The problem is that with work and life I don't have a lot of free time and it's been a while since I last used GTKRadiant. My interest in mapping came from when I discovered the enginge for the game Amnesia, but, regarding the JK series, something like 8 years ago I created the final level in DFII in which you fight Jerec. Anyways I would like to simply make the basic structure of the level and then let the pros put their talent in it. I'd like to do more occasionally, but my pc isnt the best. I downloaded from this forum the map where you fight Gorc and Pic and the performance of my computer wasn't the best.

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Here's a little update, by the way, with some progress I made today. It's still very very basic but I am enjoying it for now:

Impressive. It does look as if it comes straight from Dark Forces II. Actually, making the maps basic (or very very basic) at first is good. It's like a framework, where you can add the details later.

I think it's better to have "basic" versions of every Dark Forces II map than not having them at all.

SomaZ and Mark_the like this
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Impressive. It does look as if it comes straight from Dark Forces II. Actually, making the maps basic (or very very basic) at first is good. It's like a framework, where you can add the details later.

I think it's better to have "basic" versions of every Dark Forces II map than not having them at all.

 

Thanks a lot, man. I've been looking for a mod to play Dark Forces 2 on Jedi Academy for ages, and then I found out this forum and decided to help out the best I can, because I wanna see this project ended. If it's not too spammy I'd like to upload another video with some other progress, if it's ok; if not I'll remove it

 

 

I decided to put some enemies in order to kinda taste what it's like actually playing in it. I'm really having a lot of fun creating this map, can't wait to see it finished.

Lancelot and TheWhitePhoenix like this
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What we need most of all are map blockouts and all entities set up so it's functional - PBR textures can be sorted out later.

 

The barons hed levels (levels 5 & 6) are unassigned right now, so if you'd like to keep going then we'd love the help!

 

Don't worry too much about textures or lighting as they will be changed later. Focus on the basic map structure and entities (doors, switches, etc).

 

Be sure to caulk your map properly, set detail and structural brushwork properly and mitre as much as possible - there's a tutorial on this site for mitre joints. Now what I've done for nar shadda to save some fps is set up triggers across the map to load npcs as you progress, rather than having all of them loaded upon map load. This also helps reduce the overall entity count.

Mark_the likes this
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@@DT85

 

What we need most of all are map blockouts and all entities set up so it's functional - PBR textures can be sorted out later.

The barons hed levels (levels 5 & 6) are unassigned right now, so if you'd like to keep going then we'd love the help!

Don't worry too much about textures or lighting as they will be changed later. Focus on the basic map structure and entities (doors, switches, etc).

Be sure to caulk your map properly, set detail and structural brushwork properly and mitre as much as possible - there's a tutorial on this site for mitre joints. Now what I've done for nar shadda to save some fps is set up triggers across the map to load npcs as you progress, rather than having all of them loaded upon map load. This also helps reduce the overall entity count.

 

Thanks for the advice, man. I'll have a look at this tutorial and try to apply it to my map, so yeah I'd like to help with this mod. I just want to repeat that I am no professional, so there will probably be a lot of rookie mistakes (as you can already see in the videos), but I think I'll be better with practice. Anyway, is it possible to download and simply try some of the maps that have already been made? Even if they are not complete, I'd like to just take a look; thanks!

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Hey Inigro! I recently started working on level 6 myself, which also takes place in Barons Hed, right after the level you started. I am glad to turn the assignment over to you, if you are planning to work on both level 5 and level 6. Let me know if you would like to see my incomplete version of level 6. It's just the basic layout of the first area, but maybe you can get some inspiration from it. I'll PM you the .map file if you're interested.

Mark_the and DT85 like this
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@lnigro94

Just some inspiration for how you could improve your map(s) in the future, once they're finished. When it comes to recreating or improving the visuals of a map, take an example of FakeFactory's Cinematic Mod for Half-Life 2, where every original map has been redone drastically.

 

 

cm_11_11.jpg

 

 

cm_11_13.jpg

 

 

cm_11_25.jpg

 

 

cm_11_46.jpg

 

 

What I want to say is that sometimes, if you feel a map could need some extra detail, just do it. But first of all, you should definitely keep a backup of the "framework" that you can always go back to.

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@@Jedi_Mediator

I think that, for now, I'll stick to the first Baron's Hed level, but yes I would love to see some of your work with that level, so feel free to send it to me :)

 

I took a little break from Baron's Hed and, in the meantime, I started something else:

 

https://imageshack.com/i/posmCpv5p

 

https://imageshack.com/i/po2TMwvkp

 

https://imageshack.com/i/poMwlZhRp

 

Hopefully, this looks familiar to you

Jeff likes this
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@@Jedi_Mediator

I think that, for now, I'll stick to the first Baron's Hed level, but yes I would love to see some of your work with that level, so feel free to send it to me :)

 

I took a little break from Baron's Hed and, in the meantime, I started something else:

 

https://imageshack.com/i/posmCpv5p

 

https://imageshack.com/i/po2TMwvkp

 

https://imageshack.com/i/poMwlZhRp

 

Hopefully, this looks familiar to you

 

I wouldn't go with the original design, not completely at least.

My general approach with DF2 levels is to focus on what appears in the cutscenes, which only at times is more or less what appears in-game. Although it can cause a lot of headaches, especially adjusting the areas to the right size, I feel the overall result gives a better impression and creates a smoother transition between the cutscene action and the game action.

In the specific case of level 21, I would stick more to what's seen in the cutscene depicting the Core: a large circular area with rings of statues around what looks like a beam of energy emitting from the center of the room. What I'd keep from the in-game Core is only the central tower which pushes you to the top (without those side walls), perhaps slightly adapted to look more like the sculpted rock that the room seems to be carved out of, and perhaps the moving statues mechanic.

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@@Jedi_Mediator

I think that, for now, I'll stick to the first Baron's Hed level, but yes I would love to see some of your work with that level, so feel free to send it to me :)

 

I took a little break from Baron's Hed and, in the meantime, I started something else:

 

https://imageshack.com/i/posmCpv5p

 

https://imageshack.com/i/po2TMwvkp

 

https://imageshack.com/i/poMwlZhRp

 

Hopefully, this looks familiar to you

Please check out the map assignments post, for what maps are currently unassigned. I've already started the Jerec level. :P

minilogoguy18 likes this
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