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Black Void

Outside, ha ha haaaa....

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I can't make an outside area to save my life! Every time I try, something terrible goes wrong or it looks like Mt. Erebus, only on a smaller scale. Does anyone else have this issue? I'm working on a level right now, looks good, I just don't know if I should even take the damn thing outside... X_X

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Personally, I cheat by making my outdoor areas relatively small, and 'canyon'-like (think Slough of Despair, et al.). I also usually make them an addition to a mainly indoor level.

Another cheat is to make the outdoor area rather dark, especially along the periphery, then just have big, dark hills blocking the player from proceeding off-map. Save work on detailing. :P

Lol, maybe I'm not the best person to be providing suggestions.

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I suck at outdoor areas too, but I think I do have one piece of advice. In open areas, let the player see an area they can't reach yet. You could build a tower, with a bunch of textures, that the player can see quite early into the map. Just make it a long journey to the tower, so the player can feel like they achieved something. "I finally made it inside that kick ass tower I saw at the start!"

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just had a weired vision. theoretically, you could terraform dooms floors on a 4x4 unit basis which is relatively small.

now look at minecraft. it's basicly the same principle (on the surface) but the blocks are bigger. (and it's procedural, works with voxels)

but theoretically, with the right algorithm, it should be possible to generate a minecraft'ish landscape in doom.

it looks awsome in my head but i'm not competent enough to write that algorithm. or i steal a sin/cos function from somewhere and try to create hills with that. :) pity, i have to put my current project on hold. :) no, seriously, i will take a look if i can terraform manually on a 4x4 unit basis. will be a pain i guess.

edit: refining my idea. create a big sector (outdoor area). cut the sector by 4x4 units. select sectors manually from 2d view (to create a hill), use the floor gradiant tool.

edit2: yea, the gradiant floor tool didn't work too well, so i had to manually change the height. just randomly mashing the raise floor +1 key.

got this out of ~1 hour.

4x4 units. you see, it's a small area but it already is a little taxing in the editor. now imagine this a little larger, maybe on a 8x8 or even 16x16 unit grid. put some more creativity in and i think you get some nice results.

oh, and i didn't create a large sector and cut it. i created a 4x4 sector and copy&paste until it was big enough. nice and fast. you'll notice delays after you paste 64x64 small sectors. :)

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@ schwerpunk and chopkinska - heeeeey... that's a good idea! =P It blows my mind that in 11 years of editing I haven't once tried that... (Don't judge me, lol!)

@ zzzornbringer - HOLY CRUD. And I always draw free-hand, but this, this is inspiration! Thank you for sharing!

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@zzzorn, yeah that's cool.
I don't think doom can handle that many sectors/linedefs without slowdown (you would need a lot to have a decent size outdoor area). For some reason minecraft can handle that much complexity, wonder why.

I think I could make automated randomly generated hills. I already did similar before (the 2nd insta architecture link) but that just put floor/ceiling to random positions):
I think I could do hills and stuff with the point class I recently made. But I think it'd be lots of slowdown.

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hmmm, really interesting idea, would be easy to make a program to do that too. I think I'll give that a whirl :)

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Memfis said:

btw good terrain generator that uses slopes already exists

Wow, very impressive generated terrain pics.

@ribbiks: wondering if you intend to use omgifol (for python) or what to do it if you still want to try?

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I think everyone has problems with outdoor areas. I have three maps that solve the problem in different ways.

FreeDoom Map09: Canyon with high walls. Because I did not want a sheer cliff the upper edge is recessed. This causes problems with every opening, where this must be reversed because of Doom limitations.

In the mine is the better solution. Make the upper wall extend.
This works within the doom limitations better.

FreeDoom Map13: Railroad tracks that cannot fade into the distance.
Had to add fences to block the view, with open areas behind them to avoid the map edge being too close (because the left and right walls suddenly terminate). Shells of buildings around the map edge. On the street ends, there is a low sector of no height, to bring the sky down to the street.

FreeDoom Map19: Was created with a castle, which gives a perfect view of the sky ground joint everywhere. To the north a river was wrapped around to block access. To the south a deep ditch leading to the river, with a rock face. To the east could not fix it well, so can walk right up to the map edge, but nothing to lead player there. Everywhere have the thin edge sector below the ground with no height, that brings the sky down to the ground.

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Justince said:

Omg shut up you.

Just kidding, I know I'm awesome at outdoor areas. Tech bases on the other hand...

Let me see if I can come up with some more tips...

Black Void said:

...I always draw free-hand...

That can help with Outdoor/natural areas. Real life terrain doesn't follow a grid, so the more freehand you draw nature sectors, the more 'natural' it will look.

If you have cliffs or big walls, split them up into 'steps'. It adds to depth if you don't just have a large single wall. Even if you can't reach the 'step' areas, it gives a more open feel.

That's all I have. Just practice and study other maps. If you see awesome outdoor areas in someone else's map, look at to see how it works and try to replicate it. After you get into the groove of such creation, it will come more naturally and your own style will emerge.

Edit: Oh, a big tip on how to open up even tech bases is to have a lot of windows. I think E1M1 is a great basic example of how to make outdoor areas work. Again, you don't have to reach an area for it to have an effect.

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Maybe this will give you some inspiration it was more have concept test/joke map than anything serious.

It helps to build layers of perspective which in turn generates depth perception of large areas.

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Visplane city. O_o

Looks amazing, though. Especially the detailing on that building in the foreground. Dat red stripe.

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@ Pottus:

Insanity slopes! o_O

@ Wesleyjohnson:

Damn, good example w/ Freedoom! =)

@ Chopkinsca:

And I did the free drawing after taking some notes, it actually ended up looking a lot better as a cave. I'm thinking, I can take this 'cave' somewhere special...

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