#1 2017-07-29 21:16:56

Blindabuser1
Member

Fantasy Castle VI

Map Logo
Castle Intro

SYNOPSIS:

It's been seven years after my last map. I see many things have changed, but besides tedious health problems not leaving me much room for games lately, here I am anyway, with something new to share. This sixth installment of my "Fantasy Castle" map series, also the largest and most detailed of them all, is mainly a proof of concept. My goal was to push the amazing Tesseract Engine to the edge (which I have found about two years ago) attempting to achieve the best possible results, especially in aesthetic terms, hoping to prove that this game deserves much more than being just a side project (I know: Cube 2 is not a democracy, but I'm stubborn).

I've built new high-res textures, along with several mapmodels. I have also made sure to keep the right proportions to allow, for example, shooting from the battlements, and I've took inspiration from real Italian castles, specifically the ones built by the Scaliger family back in 1200/1300. Main mode is CTF, with four flags (credit to RaZgRiZ for the idea) that I have tried to distribute evenly. I'm well aware that this map is not even close to what could be actually achieved, but I've been alone in this challenging project, so I hope you can still appreciate my effort. Enjoy! :)

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MULTIMEDIA (Hi-Res Links):

CTF Tactics Video
The Castle Courtyard
The Windmill (with animated blades)
The Pine Forest
The Watermill (with animated wheel)
The Castle Keep
Muuuuuuuh!
The Cabin
The Bridge
The Rowboat
The Dungeon
The Whole Map

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LICENSE AND DOWNLOAD:

This map and some of the included textures and mapmodels (specifically the ones within "\texture\blindabuser" and "\mapmodel\blindabuser") AKA "the files" have been created by Gabriele "Blindabuser" Magurno, are copyright-protected and are released under a Personal-Use-Only license. (Please, refer to "KNOWN ISSUES" below, to get to know more about it, or read "fc6.txt" included within the package for full license and credits). For all the other files included within this package, please refer to the readme/license which can be found in their respective folders.

You will always find the latest revision of the map here (305Mb).

WARNING: THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!

The first time you load the map, to prevent aesthetic issues, it is necessary to press E to enter edit mode, then T and finally type:

/exec media/map/fc6.cfg

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KNOWN ISSUES:

As I hadn't actually considered the idea of sharing this map when I've started it, since it was just a diversion from my daily health problems, issues which began to arise later in the making (either related to bugs I couldn't solve or licenses not allowing free distribution) eventually forced me to restrict the use and sharing of this map. Here in detail:

1) HORSE MAPMODEL FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY:
this is the only one, between many I've tested, with historically accurate horse tacks, working textures, low poly and a properly formatted obj (which Tesseract could recognize). Needs replacement.

2) CRUCIAL TEXTURE FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY (OR ELSE PAY $79):
I might be wrong, but when I've downloaded the original photograph, the site's terms of use allowed free distribution for noncommercial purposes. Later I've discoverered that it was not like that, but I had already used that texture everywhere and it looks damn good.
         
3) GRASS SETTINGS ARE GLOBAL VARIABLES:
While I understand the possible reasons, having any grass-related variables set as global is a mapper's nightmare, especially in my case: this map makes extensive use of grass, and if I'm unable to change its features via .cfg, the whole map will look pretty bland. I'm on a 7-years-old machine running Windows XP SP3, with a NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 video card, and I can play on this map flawlessly, with 2x AA and anisotropic filtering enabled, getting a peak of 110 fps or 60 constant fps with vsync enabled. Hope this can be changed as I hardly believe there exist computers older than mine, really.
   
4) TEXTURE ARTIFACTS ON TESS-GENERATED MAPMODELS:
Being incapable of using 3D-modeling software understanding why 3D-modeling software must be so complicated, I've attempted making most of the needed mapmodels directly in Tesseract, but it was too late when I've discovered that, unless one aligns the model to the texture origin and avoids using vscale/voffset/vrotate as much as I did, before exporting, it will be inevitable to end up with poor results, which I can't fix, since I didn't keep the original geometry and I'm no 3D modeler.
         
5) POSSIBLE LICENSE ISSUE WITH KHORNE MAPMODELS:
I've downloaded and used the (great) mapmodels included within the popular "Skyrim HD Flora Mapmodels" at Quadropolis but, besides that old forum screenshot, I haven't been able to find a valid license file. I guess issues might arise in the case this map would (unlikely) be included.

6) HORIZONTAL LINE ON BOTH WATERFALLS:
I haven't been able to get rid of that annoying artifact, but it's just what happens at the meeting point of the x and y axis of a bent geometry with valpha enabled... or so it seems, I guess.
       
7) ROCKS ARE INTANGIBLE AND YOU CAN GO THROUGH THEM:
I really got mad trying to adjust the bounding box of those rock mapmodels, but you'd either float in mid-air, or partially go through them without half-measures. Disabling mdlbb didn't help either, as the automatically-generated bounding box was even worse. I guess this is due to the irregular shape of the rock models, but it's one of the map's biggest flaws and I don't know what to do.
         
8) THE MAP ISN'T OPTIMIZED FOR GAMEPLAY:
First off, it's too big: you have to walk a lot (I mean, seriously) in order to reach any of the flags, that's why I've added four of them. It gets quite boring, after a while. Perhaps this map would fit better in a RPG game, but I doubt such feature has ever been ported. Also, the whole medieval theme doesn't really match the playermodel's textures and weapons. An alternate skin, maybe? Last but not least, so much open space means almost instant kill.
         
9) YOU GET WARNED FOR EDITING A MAP, IN AN EDITING-BASED GAME:
Well, I know this hasn't much to do with the rest, but I got really pissed-off when I've attempted testing the map online and my friend always ended up being set as spectator for "editing the map" (which is something he never really did). Seems an excess of zeal, to me: in a game where editing is the main feature, sounds quite demential counterproductive. Fortunately, not everyone loves to cage themselves for the sake of a false security, so I've set the "/modifiedmapspectator" variable to 0 both in game and in my server (thanks Calinou!) and I got rid of the problem.
         
10) THE SIZE OF THE MAP PACKAGE EXCEEDS THAT OF THE GAME.
Not much to add, here: it's pretty self-explanatory and it's also the main reason why I was reticent about releasing this map to the public. I did it mainly for demonstration purposes, and to give a chance to play this map to those brave enough to download it.

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CREDITS AND SPECIAL THANKS:
  • Lee "Eihrul" Salzman, Shane Nieb, Kevin "Hirato Kirata" Meyer for this fantastic engine, which I've enjoyed much, especially while mapping.

  • RaZgRiZ and Lord Kv for the (involuntary) help with the waterfall's scrolling texture and transparency, plus the multiple flags idea.

  • Calinou, for (unknowingly) pointing me to the /modifiedmapspectator variable, helping me to solve server issues while testing the map.

  • All the sites and people who kindly provided the third-party photographs, textures and mapmodels I've used in this map (see fc6.txt)

I dedicate this map to the good people I met in the old (best) days of the Cube 2 Engine, among whom the following players, mappers and coders: Lee "Eihrul" Salzman, Shane Nieb, Robert "baby-rabbit" Pointon, Quinton "Quin" Reeves, John "Geartrooper" Siar, Roland "rocknrol" Krüger, SWATLLAMA, Noobalicious, SkinnyPup!, Killasmurf, RaZgRiZ, MeatROme, MakkE and many others I miss.

Last edited by Blindabuser1 (2017-08-05 00:46:04)

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#2 2017-08-01 15:14:38

RaZgRiZ
Moderator

Re: Fantasy Castle VI

Not sure if i should say "welcome back from the dead you magnificent bastard" or "holy balls he still does the thing" but take them both. :P

I have work in not too long so I can't have a look right now but i will be having a look later and you can expect me to nitpick things and ask many unrelated questions such as what happened to you, where did you disappear, what have you been keeping an eye on this entire time and are you still interested in Tesseract as an engine - oops, kinda listed them all.

In any case, i'll share this with a few people so we can take a look, and you can take time off your next lunch break to answer these questions before i get mad you took off the radar just like that :D

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#3 2017-08-02 00:55:26

Blindabuser1
Member

Re: Fantasy Castle VI

Hey RaZ, it's been such a long time, indeed!
It's a pleasure talking to you again (also nice reference to the Evil Dead... or did you mean the X-Files?)
Glad you've been the first one to reply: coincidentally, I have a few scripting issues which I'm sure you'd solve in seconds.... No, I'm not that opportunistic, really! However, since I've thanked you so many times in my post (which is why you replied first, right?) expect some requests from me, later! XD

Thanks for your interest in my humble map. I've tried to cover most of the (many) issues directly in my post, but I guess there are others I've missed which I will (not) be glad to answer, haha. Now, to your questions:

1) I moved from Italy to Argentina (where I still live) back in 2010, then I've faced tedious health problems which confined me at home, so, to avoid getting bored, I decided to check if anything positive had happened about Sauerbraten (one of the reasons I disappeared was the usual reluctance to introduce new features to a game I was playing since 2005) and... Boom! I've found this amazing novelty (bows to Eihrul in awe).

2) If I weren't interested in Tesseract, both as an engine and as a game, why would I have spent seven months of my life building this huge, useless map? I doubt I'll make more stuff for a while since I feel pretty nauseated and tired at the moment, but if there will be enough requests, I'll replace the only copyrighted photo and release the whole texture pack as CC0: I guess it'd be worth sharing. :)

I have read the interview to Eihrul, the issues he had to face (I'm sorry to know) and his decision to keep Sauerbraten as the main project. Needless to say, besides the fact that he's free to decide anything he wants in his own game, I wholeheartedly disagree with such choice, as Sauerbraten now looks so obsolete (I hate my old logo/loading screen with passion) while Tesseract is so full of potential and would be the right replacement, while still keeping Sauer alive. I know this has been discussed ad nauseam but I felt like expressing my irrelevant thoughts too, as an ex contributor to this wonderful game.

To me, the gameplay is the perfect balance between the speed of Sauer and the slowness of AssaultCube. Add a couple more modes, weapons and the ability to bend materials (!) and I'm confident this game would quickly lead the whole Open-Source scene. Right now, what it lacks the most is content; the engine and features are almost all there already. Oh, speaking about content: I've (partially) re-textured test_ctf to my taste and also made a (quick and poorly textured) CTF remake of the classic "space" which I've always found as one of the funniest maps ever... but I guess you are too young for having ever played it. :P

This is becoming a text-wall, I'm sorry. I just wanted to add that I've installed and tested your wonderful ALUI mod, and while I feel more comfortable with the original menus, speaking about the generic ones, I have been amazed by the ease of use and the ergonomics of the editing part. Great job, really. I've also played many times the Anticube 2 map that you and Lord Kv have made. I'm speechless, both concerning aesthetics, gameplay and scripting. Needless to say this should be one of the main features of the next release... just to show off its potential. :)

Last edited by Blindabuser1 (2017-08-02 04:41:36)

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#4 2017-08-04 03:45:40

RaZgRiZ
Moderator

Re: Fantasy Castle VI

You know I'm all up for cubescript questions! I'm sure you're all pent up after so long so just shoot the whole load, I can take it. >_>

1) Ouch, wasn't aware you were dealing with such a thing. Uhh.. uhm. Get well soon? :) Nah but seriously, hope it's going at least a little better for you lately.

2) It is kinda absurd to pay $79 for a single picture. Not even museums charge that much. We shall replace it. For Earth.

Red Eclipse is working into porting existing maps and menus over to the Tess's engine, look forward to that! Also i'm helping out with the remake of Revelade Revolution (i still think the name is weird) in a similar manner and i'm further developing my AL.UI mod there! :D

Lastly, why I ought to spank you for saying you like the original menus better! I mean sure there's been some artistic liberties and others are a bit half done *cough* options map browser and player menus *cough* but it's definitely a step up! I have to say though that the changes to the editing controls are by far the biggest QOL so far. Now if only particles were better.

Haah, you should come hang out with us on discord man, drop by and say hello!

https://discord.gg/vP8FKdm

Last edited by RaZgRiZ (2017-08-04 03:47:21)

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#5 2017-08-04 21:27:49

Blindabuser1
Member

Re: Fantasy Castle VI

Thank you RaZ, for your kind suggestions: even though I've been always focused on the main project, I think maybe it's time to follow your advice and take a look at the new opportunities if Tesseract's development keeps going slowly. It's a pity, though, as this game already has almost everything I like. I've tried connecting to Discord but my browser is too old, and I can't upgrade (it's pretty long to explain). Right now I'm in the middle of a (long) scheduled backup, but I could either download their Windows client or Android app later, perhaps. Thank you for the invitation! :D

Concerning my health, I appreciate your concern. I've learned not to worry, since unfortunately it's worsening year by year and there's no ultimate remedy, but we all have to die at some point, and I am at peace with myself. As for the picture needing a replacement: sure, if there'll be enough interest (after vacations, perhaps? Now it's just us two, it seems. But if YOU want it, I'll make an exception. :P)

I haven't said I like the original menus better! I said I'm more comfortable with them (and I talk only about the main menus). Habits, you know? I have also said that I'm truly impressed by the editing part of AL.UI, which should replace the original, IMHO. On your part, instead, I haven't heard anything about my fat, useless map.... I'm afraid it's worse than I thought. XD


RaZgRiZ wrote:

You know I'm all up for cubescript questions!

Thank you! Maybe we're going off-topic but you're a moderator, so, if it's OK for you then I guess it's fine. Also, there doesn't seem to be much activity out there... so, here are my questions (excuse me for the lenght):

1) In Sauerbraten, I used for years a nice HUD script found at Quadropolis, which unfortunately doesn't work on Tesseract ($gamehud missing) since some syntax has changed and I have no clue how to fix it. Basically, it constantly displayed the player stats on a single row at the bottom of the HUD. It'd be very useful.

gamehud = [ result (format "%1^f1Frags: ^f3%2  ^f1Deaths: ^f3%3  ^f1Acc: ^f3%4%%  ^f1KpD: ^f3%5%6" (? $arg1 (format "^f1Name: ^f3%1  " (getname))) (getfrags) (getdeaths) (getaccuracy) (substr (divf (getfrags) (max (getdeaths) 1)) 0 4) (? (> (getmode) 10) (concat "  ^f1Flags:^f3" (getflags)))) ]

2) This one, to me, is pretty complicated. I have much fun slowing down or accelerating the gamespeed when I play with bots, by using the mouse scroller like this (very poor code, I know):

bind "MOUSEWHEELUP" [gamespeed (if (= $gamespeed 100) 25 100); echo "gamespeed is" $gamespeed] // changes gamespeed to play slow-motion
bind "MOUSEWHEELDOWN" [gamespeed (if (= $gamespeed 100) 150 100); echo "gamespeed is" $gamespeed] // changes gamespeed to play fast-motion

..which (sadly) breaks the following default code (I guess it's because I overwrite the "ums_delta" binding):

editbind "G" [ums_setmodifier 1] // Set grid size 

3) Last one (I hope you're not hating me :/): I'd love to port the Sauerbraten "postfx menu" (<= line 826) in Tesseract, but again, syntax has changed and I have almost zero scripting knowledge. Every effect still works, apart from the bloom stuff, which could be ideally replaced with:

bloomsize 10 // default = 9
bloomtreshold 0.3 // default = 0.8

It was all, I think. Thank you in advance, hope you can help me... and I do not expect you to answer right away. =: P

Last edited by Blindabuser1 (2017-08-06 00:45:30)

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#6 2017-08-08 20:13:49

Cisoun
Member

Re: Fantasy Castle VI

Damn son... Nice work !

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#7 2017-08-08 23:50:05

Blindabuser1
Member

Re: Fantasy Castle VI

Thank you, I'm glad about your appreciation! I also wanted to tell you that the water settings in your "Steam" map helped me overcome a screen tearing issue that I've encountered before upgrading to the newest SVN release. :)

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