TF2MAPS.NET community project: Second try
Okay, I'm sure most of you remember the old community project, and of course the fact that it is now dead should be coming to mind. Due to a large amount of community enthusiasm, I have decided to start up a second community project with the goals in mind to fix the small problems with the old project. First of all, we will probably be working on a smaller team. Be advised that if your section is made and someone else does not like it, they are permitted to make their own (assuming that there are no other vacant positions on the map). There will be a vote-off between the segments, and if you happen to lose then your portion will be replaced. This is probably the best for of quality control we can manage, so keep it in mind when you join.
Co-ordinator (3-6) this position, while it seems a bit excessive to have 3, important. Your job will be to keep in contact with all participants, and make sure that everything is running smoothly. If possible, we will be exchanging screenshots on a daily basis and you will also be in charge of running vmfs of the current version as frequently as possible back to me. By keeping a running record, mappers can make sure that the map blends as smoothly as possible.
Blocker/base designer (2-9) You will be blocking out the map's initial structure. We want strong, reputable mappers here because this will decide the map's entire gameplay experience. Because this task cannot divide easily (explanation of the number of people below) you will need to completely block out a very large portion of the map. If time runs long on this portion, an extremely simple version will be put out, as which point the details can be divided among other blockers.
Art and lighting pass #1 (8-24+) This is where the bulk of the mappers and man-power will be devoted. You will each be assigned a portion of blocked-out map to detail and light, and you will be given the contact information for your 4 neighbours. Keep in constant contact with them, swap screenshots on a daily basis and co-ordinate about your themes.
Optimisers (3-6) Theoretically, a very simple job. Slap down areaportals, apply hints and generally raise the fps. This role comes after the first art and lighting pass because the optimisers need to keep in mind where the detail is, as well as applying prop fade distances. Clip brushes and all other forms of optimisation will be added as well, such as lightmap optimisation, file size, organisation and physics optimisation. This role may come before the art and lighting pass, or it may be done before and looked-over afterwards.
Second art pass and final organisation (4-12) Just patching up the general map, organising the custom content and readying the map for release. Playtesting should be well over by this stage, and all should be looking like a finished, publishable map.
Custom content (As many as possible) Any and all custom content is both recommended and encouraged. Keep in mind, though, that custom content will not be added until the second art pass, unless it is necessary. Aside from destroying the file-size, issues between modeller motivation and organisation can cause problems. Stand-ins will be used during playtests. If a model or content is available by the first art pass, it will likely be used. If you plan to release content (particularly large pieces) after then, your productions should be designed around the map.
As you can see, organisation will be key to this project. The map's gametype has not yet been decided, but it will likely hinge somewhere towards multi-stage assault, because that is the easiest to divide between a team. This is why the numbers of required people is so variable. If we decide to make a KOTH map, the teams will be drastically shrunk (or split into 2 or 3 maps). Anybody willing to help organise, or who know any good ways that we can organise (project-managing sites, image sharing sites, etc.) you are welcome. The way that work will flow is as follows:
1) the blockers, working on stages or half-stages block out the structure of the map
2) each detailer is assigned 1024 x1024 (subject to change) which they must detail. They are to reference the main vmf, the constantly updated vmfs of their neighbours, along with constant exchange of screenshots. The detailing is to be build onto a vmf which they are provided, which also has the borders blocked in.
3) optimisation is done in stages or half-stages
4) same with the second art pass
People wishing to add their name to the participant name should state their
1st choice of task
2nd choice of task
3rd choice of task
Any other notes/requests
Any disputes will either be decided by the co-ordinators or a poll thread, as the issue may warrant. As for the current gametype, it will be 3-stage assault or koth, with a third option being added to a second poll if enough people request it. Please feel free to post with any special requests, suggestions or questions.
The password is tf2maps, and you should make a folder by your name, or if you would like to share pictures by a different method, please post it. I will make a steam group as soon as steam is working again. If you have any sketches or ideas for the layout, start posting them now because we will need everybody to get a really good idea very quickly. As Radaka already mentioned, the blockers will need a moderate knowledge of optimisation, so that the optimisers can get a decent fps going. Make sure that all blockers get a good look at http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=1560
optimization! it's my only choice.
i can barely coordinate myself and I tend to suck at making a working layout so... yeah, optimization.
note: I think we might want to start off simple with a koth rather than a multi-cp.
a koth is a small job for such a team tho.
Second Art Pass and Final Organization
Wow way to go Tapp you beat me to the punch :P
2nd Art Pass
The blockers need to be the ones optimizing, as layout design usually needs to have optimization integrated into it. If you don't design a layout correctly, there are cases where optimization is no longer effective at keeping fps reasonable.
I'm not saying combine the two, just that the blockers do need to know what they're doing (just like the original post says; I'm trying to emphasize the importance).
I'm up for optimization.
There's a reason why these things never work - I don't know what it is, but I'm just not very optimistic about this project's chances.
If this takes off and I see some content come out of you all, I'll consider doing some models for this.
If you guys can get an a1 out, totally playable, everything working. It'll maybe be the first project like this to work.
I wish you luck.
(PS Do KoTH, and if the team works well you could then possibly progress it by doing more maps, getting larger as you go along)
art and lighting #1
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