BUILDING TIPS #1

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BUILDING TIPS #1

Post  DM Ramen on Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:18 pm

Quoted from Cheezydoodle


1. Placeables: Avoid putting placeables on tile edges or intersections. For sake of simplicity, I'll explain why in the most basic of terms. A placeable that crosses a tile edge forces the game engine to load that image twice. If you are putting a placeable on a corner that intersects 4 tiles... yep, it loads 4 times.

Also, for best performance, attempt to use only 2 placeables per tile. This is more important in areas where you spawn mobs, less so in rp areas such as towns. (For example it's hard to place a table and chairs and not use more than 2 BUT you can avoid any of them touching an edge.) Be creative, use your terrain choices to 'liven' up areas.


It takes a little more work to make your area pleasing to the eye and easy on the game engine, but the result is lag free areas.

2. Walking Waypoints: NPC's that move around don't cause lag. Walking waypoints can cross as many tiles, edges, corners as you want, they don't 'load' so they don't cause lag.

3. Placeable Sounds and Animations: These ARE placables and use the same rules as any other. If you have them overlap or cross tiles your forcing the engine to create 2 or more, depending on how many intersecting lines you have. I will often place more than one of these effects for 'effect' but never in areas where lag is going to cause death.


4. Area Size: Variety! It is much more interesting as a player to enter into areas of different sizes, shapes, etc. Best to keep map size 16 x 16 or less.

5. Realism in Geography. A water fall shouldn't drop off a ledge to land in a small pool of water. It should drop into a lake or a river, or something of that nature. Water flows downward, so once you have a map with an idea of mountains, elevations, etc., you'll have a better idea of which direction water should flow.

Areas should transition with some sense of realism as well. A desert giving way gradually to a rural area makes more sense than a desert changing instantly to a jungle.

6. Roads: Roads should be restricted to civilized and/or trade areas. A road in a jungle inhabited by only lizardmen with no history of settled civilization doesn't make much sense.

7. Transitions: Transition should be "framed," meaning that trees, cliffs, or other barriers that bar passage off the edge of an area everywhere there is not an area transition. Draw them large enough to be seen easily. Nothing more frustrating than tiny transitions. Transitions over uneven surfaces are tricky and larger helps with this.

8. Tags: I strongly suggest naming all doors and triggers with a name that is logical. For instance:

Finding the door that matches foamingmugexterior1a when you look on the interior map and see foamingmuginterior1a is a lot easier than door1 and doorupstairs... on the map you have for your interiors. Use some logical way to ID these doors and triggers that make it very easy for the next guy to look at and figure out. Shorthand is fine as long as it's VERY easy to figure out. When in doubt, type it out!

9. Adding Seating: I love benches with more than one seat and use invisible seating often when building but one thing that makes my face screw up like a prune is to walk along as a pc and find a bench with "invisible seats"! Remember to change the invisible seat name to something logical like bench, chair, etc.

10. Export and Save: After having lost my hard drive and ALL my work recently, I can't stress enough how important it is to save your work somewhere else than your main hard drive.

I actually cried my eyes out when my new hard drive failed and I lost a large project and had to start over again from a very early save I had. Get in the habit of saving, exporting and keeping your work somewhere you can get to in case you have major computer failures. I've started saving all my work on my personal Gmail account being they don't limit your file size. Don't be stupid like I was! SAVE your work somewhere!

11- work as a team with definite leadership.

11a. When building your area, keep notepad or wordpad open and as you add a new resref, script, other changes, etc. note it right then and there. Once it's time to export your map, you can copy and paste those notes right into the export comments.

12. By toggling the “Static” box or check marking it, your placeable becomes part of the tile where it is located and no longer interacts in the module in any way. Scripts assigned to a static placeable object will not run. It is strongly recommended to have all placeable objects that were placed in an area only for an aesthetic purpose to be made “static” to limit the usage of your engine memory.

Plot locking an object is that it makes it indestructible such as if someone casts a fireball your bench doesn't disappear. Also it automatically sets something to a 0 buy/sell. It's very useful on those placeables that are used or have inventory to keep them from being destroyed.
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