I, Mapping Robot

The map that’ll appear in the singleplayer demo is done, fully lit, and fullvised.

The engine is amazing, the gamecode is splendid. Playtesters love it. We’re practically there.

I, mapping robot, have worked several 14 hour days lately under the pressure of an imminent release deadline. I am groggy; I see brushwork when I close my eyes. My desk around my screen is covered with diverse papers that have notes scribbled on them, barely readable and striked through as I fixed each problem. I have no christmas presents for anyone. I faintly remember seeing it snow outside and even shovelling masses of snow. Yesterday I almost had to throw up after many hours of staring at the computer screen. But it is done.

I’m not the only one who is stressed out. RMQ is a clan, a hive. Some of the most talented people I ever met are writing code, making models, playtesting and recording demos, acting as mental sparring partners, inspirations and correctors via chat, mail and the outrageous TRAC system that serves as our collective memory, and a lot of other stuff, and putting in uncounted hours of their time without getting paid. I have to especially mention Supa, who created large parts of the gameplay and has to put up with an endless string of annoying QC bugs. Without her, there is no doubt that this coming demo wouldn’t be the crazy thing it is. I just put together the brushes, but she made the fat orange guy sing.

This is without a doubt the most craziest thing I have ever done and been a part of.

As for the map, it almost broke Lardarse’s quad core while trying to fullvis it. So in another few grueling sessions, practically every detail was turned into a func_wall to reduce the number of vis leafs. It went from over 12,000 to 3,800 of them. The final fullvis, which mh and Lardarse both attempted, ended up a surprise; the VIS time turned out to be a meager 4 minutes (!) after almost frying a quad core in an abusive 42 hour session before.

I think we do need detail brushes.

As if that wasn’t enough, the map compiler started segfaulting on me once I joined a 2,500 brush map snippet with the main level and thereafter started to create a lot of rather complex func_walls. After reversing some of those changes, the light program also broke down. So I had to switch first the qbsp compiler, and then the light program, and redo all of my func_walls. As a result, my lighting looks different, but OK for the demo, and my nerves are a caffeine-saturated shivering bundle of fear. Here’s a pic of the joining operation:

But we will make it.

Edit 1: mh also almost killed a computer trying to fullvis the map.

Edit 2: Due to the fact that almost half of the map has been turned into models, it brutally r*pes Quake’s model limit.

602 models exceeds standard limit of 256.



4 responses to “I, Mapping Robot

  • mh

    Some day somebody’s gonna write a three-part fantasy epic about what it took to get this baby done, mark my words!

  • =peg=

    Heh, welcome to the wonderful world of mapping 😀
    Hitting various limits and huge vis times is basically the reason why I never got around to finishing my pegdm6 map.. figured I’d wait till the engine and tools improved enough, rather then spending too much of my time in frustration and redoing a lot of stuff over and over.. I can sense the time is near to start working on it again tho 😉

  • jt_

    $ time ./WVis.exe -threads 6 -level 4 e1m6rq.bsp
    —- WVis 2.31 —-
    Modified by Bengt Jardrup
    Multithreading enabled by Willem

    File: e1m6rq.bsp
    3819 portalleafs
    11779 numportals
    testlevel = 4

    Using 6 threads.

    average leafs visible: 186
    max leafs visible: 570 near (64 704 192)
    c_chains: 61608714
    visdatasize: 198 kb compressed from 1782 kb

    Elapsed time : 4:00
    State time : 0:00

    real 4m2.973s
    user 0m0.000s
    sys 0m0.000s

    avg. cpu temp.: 65 C
    Core i7 @ 1.60GHz, 4 hyperthreaded cpus.
    8GB dual-channel ddr3 @ 531MHz RAM
    Windows 7 64bit

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