Enjoy my array of slightly assorted but otherwise uncategorizable other content.
When Kell released Contract Revoked, a hidden area at the end revealed a link to a page he put up indexing all of the secrets in the pack, many of which are pretty crafty. I enjoy hiding things in maps as much as he does, although I'm not sure I measure up in cleverness. Still, I decided to index the secrets in LunSP1 in a (disturbingly) similar manner.
Mouther is a MEL-based system of my own devising for saving, blending, and keying skeletal poses. It was written with the aim of overcoming Doom3's lack of blend shapes - all faces are rigged with joints and painted weights, faces included. In order to animate facial expressions and lips to spoken dialogue in a timely fashion I needed some way to replicate blend shape-like behavior in Maya that could then be baked out to ordinary keyframes and fed to Doom3's importers.
Lunaran's Deathmatch Encyclopedia
Back by popular demand (and because they were showing up the most in the 404 log) these are a number of dated and poorly organized articles I wrote many many years ago on multiplayer level design, specifically Quake and Half-Life deathmatch, because that's what I made maps for. When I became interested in level design I took an analytical approach, picking apart maps that the community regarded as the best and trying to develop the strongest definitions I could of the common level review terms like 'balance', 'flow', and 'connectivity'. Bear in mind that these make up a snapshot of my complete knowledge of level design circa 2000, instructing the reader in how to develop a map that supports decent gameplay without actually contributing to it. If I were interested in keeping this site design-essay-centric I'd probably rewrite a lot of it (some of it is actually rather dumb), but instead they're here in their original unmodified forms, with only minor adjustments made for sound and picture quality.
This explains the concept of balance in a map layout by analyzing player behavior and movement in greatly simplified examples, and touches for a moment on the role of items therein. This article has stood the test of time much better than the other sections I wrote, and its only real flaw is that it doesn't carry the concepts far enough.
This covers directing player movement through a map, and incorrectly asserts that dead ends, forced indirect routes, or other things that slow players are essentially illegal (if used correctly they can create risk around critical points like strong items or make it more difficult for a player to dominate an entire map). Otherwise critical information for beginners.
This also covers directing player movement through a map, and probably could have been merged easily with Connectivity since they're largely the same concept anyway.
This covers creating a map layout, listing different layout "styles", and treats them as if they're mutually exclusive. The only architecture-related information is some short bits on clipping near the end.
This goes into placement of items in a map, and tries to train the reader to create a 'neutral density' of item worth across a map, so that movement and action aren't too lopsided. This is a sound principle, but doesn't work in a vaccuum: some imbalance creates pull or draw in a deathmatch, and contributing or opposing imbalances in the layout can be designed around this, which encourages more interesting player decisions and combat scenarios.
Herein I explain the differences between level design in Quake and level design in Half-Life, only indirectly arriving at an exploration of the degree of realism inherent in each.
When Team Fortress Classic arrived for Half-Life I wrote a (very) shallow exploration of the gameplay ideas to be had in the designer-accessible goal system. Probably applies to any more 'faithful' port of TF (like Fortress Forever), but doesn't have much bearing at all on TF2.
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Design and all contents © 1999-2019 Matt 'Lunaran' Breit, except where specified otherwise. matt at lunaran dot com
Dry cynicism and other opinions professed herein are solely my own and do not reflect, and quite often run completely counter to, those of whoever I worked for when I wrote them.