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Messages - Fenring

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General Discussion / Re: Mod help Mod
« on: 05-09-2012, 15:09:30 »
In the beginning of BF2 modding we cooperated with POE2, had shared forums, we shared some assets and animations with PR but thats just about it. We are not interested in bf1942 assets, often to low poly and low res textures, we make our own assets and take great pride in that. Altough if someone would like to donate a high quality world war 2 model that we lack, I dont see a reason we shouldnt accept.

Modding / Re: The Basics
« on: 05-09-2012, 15:09:33 »
Some good advice here already!

1) Do you use the in game terrain editor
terrain generators like World-Builder, Terragen, Geocontrol etc.,
a combination of both?

The best way is the semi-procedural approach, you sculpt a basic heightmap in bf2editor, photoshop, mudbox, earthsculptor and erode it in Geocontrol or World Machine. Important is to preview the output in world machine since Geocontrol uses a 2D renderer and not a real time 3D renderer, World Machines rendering is much more similar to BF2's rendering, spiky terrain will not look good with bf2's quite aggresive terrain lodding, especially with larger viewdistances.

You can also easily build the surrounding terrain as well this way, make a 4096 heigthmap render resize to 3075, save as tiff and use bf2hmt v1.03 to get it into your level, you can also do this in editor by cropping your terrain to 1025 save as 16-bit primary heightmap, after save undo in photoshop, so your back to 3075 size again, now resize this to 771x771 save as 8-bit raw, put in root bf2 folder and import with editors import surrounding terrain patches function.

Remember scale here! what youre looking at now if you have 2x2km map size is 6x6km of visible terrain! even the smallest peak will be several hundrer meters long, its very easy to lose track of how your map will look ingame for the little soldier. But its great to get this kind of big terrain so fast. Now you can start to build your level in middle of the map, usually the playable area for infantry even in 2x2km maps is just 1x1km, here you put all your efforts with sculpting cover, roads, paths, hills to make the level playable, its great that all the huge area surrounding this is already done.

Some more tips:
  • We also use world machine and geocontrol to generate slope masks for rocky texture, height for beach level, mountain snow tops etc
  • Use only texture layer 1-3 for the main part of your map, each additional layer 4-6 costs more memory and is only used for detail stuff like gravel, trash, rubble, fine sand and waterpuddles within the playable area layer 1-3 is used for the basics, for example rock, grass, dirt that covers most of your map
  • Good terrain looks are done by combining good heightmap geometry, lighting and fitting textures.
    Dont forget the contrast in the terrain light, to make erosion pop a bit more, use a angled light with darker blue sky and brighter sun to make erosion cuts more visible
  • Play BF2, Bad company 2, Battlefield 3 look at how they did the terrain , get inspiration from textures, light and enviroments
  • Never ever stop until your are 110% satisfied with your terrain, its hard going back when your have placed objects made roads etc, you spend most of your mapping hours on the gameplay area, its foolish to satisfy with half assed surrounding areas because your stuck with them later on.

2) If you use a terrain generator, how much control do you have over the layout of your terrain?  Is it random or is it better to do it all by hand in the in game editor?

See above the semi-procedural technique is great allows huge amounts of control with high realism factor. DICE used this in Battlefield 2, Battlefield 2142, Bad company 1 & 2 and Battlefield 3, here is a good dev blog from them from bf3 armoured kill map alborz mountains and how that was made:

How To Make Beautifull Maps With Geocontrol 2 And Microdem

Has anyone tried this and what are your opinions?

Its a good tutorial, just remember to use Geocontrol 2 version 42 its the last version that works with importing heightmaps and eroding them! Higher versions has a bug that makes this not possible.

Modding / Re: Problem with Bf2editor 1.3
« on: 09-08-2012, 15:08:11 »
Sounds like to bright light settings and/or no lightmaps, do medium lightmaps for terrain and see how it turns out. Change light settings as well to something darker.

You can also go to grid mode (ctrl + f3) to start working on the terrain without doing lights. We work almost exclusively in this mode when building the map: modeling terrain, paths and placing statics.

Can you show a screenshot?

Looking at Bardia's screenshots I can definitely see that flag names on the minimap are much clearer now.

@Fenring: Have you managed to tweak the minimap / map text colour after that "Colour blind problem" post? If yes thanks they look somewhat sharper and more yellowish.

Also will this newly found method of baking the high res heightmap be applied to other maps in the future?

I wasnt aware of that, if something looks better is by pure chance.

Yes definitely!

As regards to crete, that is the surrounding terrain patches, they are only 8-bit resolution and a 512 size texture, but I'll look into it and see what can be done.

Awesome! Probably a silly question, but will this require more CPU?

No, the object density on bardia is roughly the same and the only new things added are overgrowth which
have a lower cpu cost than staticobjects. The map uses slightly more memory but still way below heavy large maps like vossenack.

Sorry missed the mersa matruh bug/annoyance.

Glad you like it!

Bardia will get an visual overhaul in version 2.45 (Originally by Lobo and Vic Colfari, modified and updated by Natty and Fenring)

  • Now with proper eroded surrounding terrain to give more realistic and huge Battlefield feeling and less of Counter Strike map (upsized from 512x512 meters to 1x1 km)
  • Added brand new sky and lighting
  • Brand new terraintextures
  • Improved undergrowth
  • Rearranged some overgrowth into zones so the map looks less cluttered and more visual and gameplay wise logical
  • Smoothed out some sharp terrain that was unecessary and annoying to move over


Not the final final version, but gives a good WIP preview

Up to the last minute our designers and artists tweak the maps to give you guys the most rewarding experience we can offer. We found out a way to get additional terrain detail by baking a high resolution heightfield and merging the directional light into the colormap. This allows for additional terrain detail and realism on the Battlefield 2 engine previously tought impossible. This was applied to the surrounding terrain areas on keren.

note: Keren screenshots are without anti aliasing and final terrain lightmaps

Suggestions / Re: Forgotten Hope 2.4 Community Advertisement
« on: 13-07-2011, 16:07:04 »
Good list, bur you forgot:

Greatly improved sounds and effects.
BF2 Steam version compability and fixing of all shader bugs (will no longer break bf2 settings and shaders, ever. Separated directories)

General Discussion / Re: Guestion about 2.4 patch
« on: 27-06-2011, 11:06:59 »
My Guestion is will we see falling snow ingame?


Announcements / Re: Meuse River: FH2 Update
« on: 16-05-2011, 16:05:32 »
For all maps we always try to keep vehicle and wepons loadouts "realistic" but youre correct that a pershing wouldnt be totally off on this map.

Announcements / Re: Meuse River: FH2 Update
« on: 16-05-2011, 15:05:07 »
Sorry there are more 1 sherman than PZIV my mistake, 2 spawn in main, 2 spawn at outer flags or at main bases depending on which team has the flag)

Also, the jumbo is the 76mm version

Problem axis?

Below you see a typical german tankers reaction after meeting the m36 or jumbo76 on meuse:

Announcements / Re: Meuse River: FH2 Update
« on: 16-05-2011, 14:05:18 »

Thanks for your feedback.

I just want to explain some things about the lack of object density on this map.

Its a large 1024x2 sized map with planes, a map of this size uses double amount of system and video memory like a 512x2 sized map does (all normandy maps are 512x2 except totalize and cobra). A large heightfield/terrain, double size colormap, double size detailmaps, double size lightmaps needs more vegitation etc.

Thus a smaller map can load more objects and textures before you hit the roof, also keep in mind that the normandy and bulge textures are lot more higher resolution (looks nicer espcially on bigger monitors but uses more memory) than vanilla bf2 and the north africa release.

Here is where bf2's engines age really hurts what we can do.
  • Its a 32bit application, meaning that it cannot allocate more than at the very most 1,5-2gb of memory to keep with backward compability of 32-bit operating systems. 64-bit systems manages more but these are not standard by a long shot. Meuse River still uses a total of 1.6gb of RAM on my windows 7 system. Same as totalize and cobra. The map must also be optimized to use at the most 500mb of video ram to keep system requierments within resonable limits. Last check i did it used 490mb of video ram.

  • bf2 uses only 1 cpu core, the number of objects (draw calls) in a level/scene have a huge impact on the cpu but not the gpu. Most people today have at least 2 core cpu's with quads becoming more and more common. We cannot use this extra processing power and it becomes a bottleneck to how complex levels we can make while still maintaining the performance. So you can choose between having many objects and low viewdistance and large viewdistance and fewer objects (to simplify it).

    So this is in a sense a strictly gameplay decision, I wanted to make a big map with a town/city in the middle and planes, i have to sacrifice visual detail to get a higher viewdistance.

For russia we are optimizing our textures to make it use less memory (no detail sheets) and we also made lots of optimizations to the bulge/hurtegen maps compared to normandy.

About the map itself: It has lots of height variation and veritical gameplay making it differ quite a lot from both north africa and normandy. Its sort of in between, not so much cover and grass as normandy but not as open as north africa.

Vehicle layout for the Germans:
1x Panther Ausf. G
1x Jagdpanther
1x Hetzer
2x Panzer IV (+2 spawnable and reinforcements)
1x King Tiger
1x Jagdpanzer IV
sdkfz 251D on mainbases and spawns
1x Kubelwagen
1x Nebelwerfer
1x Mortar position
4x Flakvierilings (in mainbase and on outer flags, dug down)
1x Opel Blitz with Flak38
1x FW190 with bombs (only reinforcement when 1 team has all flags)

Vehicle layout for the US:
1x M36 Jackson
1x m24 Chaffe
2x Sherman M4A3 Condor (+2 spawnable and reinforcements)
1x Sherman M4A3E2 "Jumbo"
1x Rocket Willys jeep
1x M2A2 Howitzer
1x Mortar position
4x Anti air (in mainbase and on outer flags, dug down)
M3 Half tracks at spawns and main bases
1x M3 Half-track with AA
1x P51 with bombs (only reinforcement when 1 team has all flags)

General Discussion / Re: FH and BF3.
« on: 08-04-2011, 10:04:25 »
BF3 will most likely not have any development/mod tools released, so theres not lots of possibilities for a Forgotten Hope mod for bf3.

The first release of FH2 Russian front will deal with 1944-1945, otherwise we would need to make much new stuff (player models, tanks, skins) and would easily take 2 years to make. With this timespan we can reuse a lot of the german equipment and only need to make the soviet stuff.

General Discussion / Re: Forgotten Hope 2 wants YOU!
« on: 23-02-2011, 00:02:41 »
One of the problems with current FH2 is that we made to many maps for each release which delayed other theaters by far to long. We will not add any more maps that feature normandy, custom maps can be great but they still take a great deal of testing time and resources that can be used for more urgent things. The reason I started this thread is not because we have an unlimited pool of developers. But because we are maybe 15 active right now, we would need probably 5 or 10 more to do a good russia release. I'm sorry we simply cant divert more resources.

Off topic discussions on why some people cant be nice to each other will be deleted. Please dont derail this important thread.

What we need most of all is 3D artists.

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