Props

I’ve been making a bunch of mapmodels in Blender. It took me only about 2 days to create more than 20 IQMs. They are really nice to add some detail to a map. Here are a few shots. The sarcophagus tops are by gnounc, actually, I just unwrapped and textured them.

Old chainlink model by urre.

Lantern model by gnounc.

Edit; some books. I found out that an IQM can contain multiple meshes, each of which can use different materials. That’s pretty nice – the books for example use a few meshes with different textures in the same model, as can be seen here.

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5 responses to “Props

  • Spiney

    I wonder what the effect of decals and mapmodels is gonna be on RMQ maps. Are you gonna go in and add some ‘litter’ to the existing maps this way?

  • kneedeepinthedoomed

    Yes, they can be used as free detail for existing maps. Most dungeon walls are pretty bare and you can just slap a few wall rings on them, and a lot of dungeon corners can look more interesting with a couple barrels and boxes in them. It’s very simple.

    They can also be used as part of the map, which requires a bit more planning, but in principle mapmodels can be created to fit exactly to the brushwork. In this case you’d leave a hole in the BSP because you know there will later be a prop in there. For example I knew for a while there would be a little graveyard in e1m3rq, but I didn’t build any BSP tombstones because I was anticipating IQMs to do it for me.

    Same goes for dead trees etc., stuff like that just can’t be done very well with brushwork.

    Finally, you can replace BSP brushwork with props… as I did with the sarcophagus. I’ll probably go and replace a few of the arches and similar architectural features with models, actually, because that allows me to build nice curves. The only caveat is that models, right now, cast no shadows and don’t collide properly, so clip brushes need to be applied wherever you want the player to collide with props.

    That said, many props don’t actually need collision, for example when they’re on walls or on the ceiling etc.

    And there are a few ways to fake shadows, too.

    A huge upside of props is that they don’t affect map compilation times.

    Decals will have a subtle effect, you can do the same thing with textures even in vanilla quake by just painting e.g. blood directly on the texture. Decals are just a little more variable than that and help save video memory since you don’t need so many texture variants.

    Take a look at a Doom 3 map sometime, they’re absolutely full of decals and most people never notice.

    There has been some attention paid to video memory requirements lately, with MH being a driving force and getting people to use fewer textures, smaller textures, and using DDS format (DXT compression) which actually has hardware support on most GPUs. Decals are a way to create variation without using a lot more textures. It’s in the way you apply a decal – there are some optical illusions involved. Very few decals can create a lot of variation and don’t need much texture memory.

    The entire stuff has a practical side. It’s not just craziness on our part – more modern games do it like this for a reason.

    Of course RMQ will never be, and is not meant to compete with the likes of, Rage or Crysis. The technical niveau can’t be much higher than Doom 3 before requiring absolutely fundamental changes that we don’t have the manpower (or the hardware) for and that we don’t really deem necessary.

    In other words, RMQ probably won’t look any more “modern” than the stuff that’s based on Darkplaces, ever. It’s not going to look like Bioshock or anything. But some of the principles behind newer games are good and make sense, and we can profit from that.

  • Spiney

    Decals do seem like a great way for introducing a lot of texture variety.
    I can also understand MH about texture sizes, for quake the original textures were tiled heavily to squeeze everything out of the very limited texture memory, having 1024px wide textures is just overkill in that case.
    And dds compression is generally a good thing for color textures since the advantages greatly outweigh the disvantages.

    Regarding the models, I feel some could benefit from some (subtle) baked ambient occlusion. On the tomb and barrel for instance it would help showing the creases in the geometry. Since Quake lighting is pretty diffuse and nondirectional just baking it in the diffuse texture should look fine.

    I don’t think RMQ should aspire to be a ‘modern’ looking game.
    I’m asking myself more than ever these days what all these odd renderer features are doing in games. They’re all too often not making the game any better, but devs feel like they need to put them in just because they can.
    Just keep it simple and straightforward and focus on making great maps with nice looking artwork. No amount of shadowmapping or ssao is gonna save a game without those.

  • kneedeepinthedoomed

    Yeah, I agree. I like it to look nice, but I’m not really aiming for a “modern” look.

    I will look at baked ambient occlusion. Good idea!

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