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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Rebuilding vanilla levels screws them up. (Read 4724 times)
SFJake
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Rebuilding vanilla levels screws them up.
Nov 28th, 2012 at 7:35pm
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First, I'm no mapper. I hate actually making maps for Unreal, I'm awful at it, etc, etc.

Still, I've been re-touching every map in the game. And the problem I have is simple.

If you take a vanilla map, and rebuild it (in 227, but probably in any other  versions really), there is SOMETHING that will screw up. Heck, in Bluff, I did not even need to rebuild anything - BSP holes just.. appeared! Out of nowhere! And rebuilding causes EVEN MORE hole where things were perfect before!

I try various different build settings but nothing works. Moving things in the map CAN work, but besides the fact that it is annoying, it tends to break even more.


Take DCrater. Its a small map, relatively simple. You rebuild it once, a bunch of things screw up:

-The portal (that teleports you to the mothership) is a warpzone. Unfortunately, the portal's borders decide to go invisible when rebuilt in that spot, which breaks the entire map now the warpzone is, well, the entire outdoor. Thats easy to fix, though, whatever, right.

-A giant BSP hole appears in the mothership. Moving the entire map around seems to fix it.


So... seriously... what the hell... I'd think if they were working vanilla, then they can be rebuilt without much hassle.

Why is this happening? I'm not looking for specific answers per map or anything, just global explanations/tips/something obvious I'm missing.
  
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GreatEmerald
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Re: Rebuilding vanilla levels screws them up.
Reply #1 - Nov 28th, 2012 at 9:35pm
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Two things are happening here:
  1. UnrealEd has never saved its build options. So you can never know, unless by examining the stats and using a whole lot of trial and error, how the originals were built. As a matter of fact, we have no guarantees that the maps were built using UnrealEd to begin with.
  2. 227 adds a feature where all zones that do not have a ZoneInfo are merged into one. That can break old poorly-made maps, and the fix is pretty easy. And before you ask, the reason for the new behaviour is to allow for more fine-grained control over the number of zones in a map. The original behaviour was that if you built a staircase, then added a ledge that clips the stairs, you would end up with a zone for each step. And maps have a zone limit of 64, so it was extremely easy to reach it.
  
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SFJake
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Re: Rebuilding vanilla levels screws them up.
Reply #2 - Nov 28th, 2012 at 11:38pm
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Mmh, #2 might be the cause of a few issues I've seen, I'll have to look deeper, but so far it really seems #1 is to blame most of the time in vanilla maps, if there is nothing else. DCrater has its zoneinfo set up but stuff breaks anyway.
  
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Re: Rebuilding vanilla levels screws them up.
Reply #3 - Nov 28th, 2012 at 11:42pm
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you also have to remember that every rebuild is slightly different and will have different BSP problems if the map is prone to them
  
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SFJake
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Re: Rebuilding vanilla levels screws them up.
Reply #4 - Nov 29th, 2012 at 2:41am
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Yeah, I've noticed that. I've also noticed that the biggest and most annoying holes can decide to just miraculously go away in one rebuild (god forbid you ever want to do it again, though).

I'm still mystified by maps just screwing up without a rebuild, though. Its a case I've only seen in Bluff and SkyTown.
  
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GreatEmerald
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Re: Rebuilding vanilla levels screws them up.
Reply #5 - Nov 29th, 2012 at 5:51am
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If you moved something that warranted a rebuild, like a light, then it's very much possible for issues to appear. If the BSP tree is not updated to reflect the changes, then the engine might get confused. This is enforced very strongly in Unreal II, where you can't even play a map if you moved a pathnode and did not rebuild.
  
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Re: Rebuilding vanilla levels screws them up.
Reply #6 - Nov 29th, 2012 at 2:23pm
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From what we learned and seen, I'm quite sure they did NOT use what we learned to know later as UnrealED. It was maybe some pre version of it, but its also possible that it was entirely different. Also I wouldn't be surprised if they fixed up maps manually (such as editing the t3d files nowadays).
Additionally to that they changed the building routine in between, I know that because parts of the old code is still in the versions I have.

In 227, especially in 227i, I spent a lot of time to improve the building process and to minimize the chance of bsp holes, so you may could give it a try there to compare the results. As long you don't use 227 content you don't need to be afraid that it won't run in older versions, although for 225 and before you need to use a MapConverter (http://www.oldunreal.com/tools.html) like for 226b made maps.

Anyway, I doubt the result will be ever exactly the same as in the original maps.
  

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GreatEmerald
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Re: Rebuilding vanilla levels screws them up.
Reply #7 - Nov 29th, 2012 at 4:04pm
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Yea, overall the 227 builder achieves a lot better efficiency (when you look at the node ratio) compared to what we have in the stock maps. That, on well-made maps, decreases the number of BSP holes dramatically. But then the stock maps are not exactly well-made (NyLeve comes to mind, with the pool area given its own humongous zone that gives nothing but issues, as well as the completely unzoned cave area...).
  
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Re: Rebuilding vanilla levels screws them up.
Reply #8 - Nov 29th, 2012 at 7:43pm
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I've been using 227i since this topic, actually. I mainly noticed major improvements in how pathing is rebuilt (no more reachspecs getting bigger).

The maps with my mod are now 227 exclusives anyway. And your improvements sadly aren't making life that much easier in those badly designed maps so far Smiley

BSP holes I understand at this point.

There's still a few mysteries though. Lighting is one of them.

At least, lighting around movers. Rebuilding lighting changes it in most map, but only slightly for the most part. But when it comes down to mover, is there some trick? If there is a mover, then the light doesn't go under it for example, yet normally there was. So when the mover opens, its completely dark under it, and looks like crap.

That, and movers in a dark area that moves in a lit area that stays dark. These are things I don't understand, how do you deal with that?

And, I don't know if those came with 227i, but rebuild randomly removes a side of a brush from existance. Just one side. Its not a bsp hole, since it doesn't have distortions in it, you just see through it. They are even harder to get rid of, though.

These are things I have a hard time googling for help about.
  
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Re: Rebuilding vanilla levels screws them up.
Reply #9 - Nov 29th, 2012 at 8:22pm
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Three important things in lighting mover : they cast shadows, they can be set to dynamic light (so that they do not cast shadow, and their lighting changes with their postion, and finally, you can choose at which point their lighting is mapped.

Say you mover starts in a dark area and ends up in a lit area. If you set, under Mover, the BrushRaytraceKey parameter, to 1, the lighting calculated on the mover will be the one it should have at KeyFrame 1, whereas by default it would be calculated for keyframe 0 (the starting point). This allows you to control the key at which the lighting is calculated for the mover.

There is an equivalent for calculating the lighting of the WORLD : in the Mover's properties (under the Mover tab too), the WorldRayTraceKey allows you to define for which keyframe the mover will cast a shadow. It allows you to set the mover so that it does not cast a shadow at its starting point, for instance.

Now all these combine might explain some reasons why the lighting changes when you use new building options and if you mess a bit with the actors in the level. The other possibility would be that lighting was build differently/with a lower or higher definiton, and this affects greatly the way shadows are traced.
  

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GreatEmerald
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Re: Rebuilding vanilla levels screws them up.
Reply #10 - Nov 29th, 2012 at 8:44pm
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SFJake wrote on Nov 29th, 2012 at 7:43pm:
And, I don't know if those came with 227i, but rebuild randomly removes a side of a brush from existance. Just one side. Its not a bsp hole, since it doesn't have distortions in it, you just see through it. They are even harder to get rid of, though.


Sounds like BSP holes to me. Go into zone view, then fly outside the level where the "invisible" surface is still visible. If it is of a different colour than the surroundings, you have a polygon that was assigned to the wrong zone (usually the "garbage" zone). To work around this, set the polygon to Forced View Zone.
  
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SFJake
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Re: Rebuilding vanilla levels screws them up.
Reply #11 - Nov 29th, 2012 at 9:04pm
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Oh wow, those are things I wish I knew before! Thanks a lot. Those 2 things are very handy.
  
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Re: Rebuilding vanilla levels screws them up.
Reply #12 - Nov 29th, 2012 at 9:52pm
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SFJake wrote on Nov 29th, 2012 at 9:04pm:
Oh wow, those are things I wish I knew before! Thanks a lot. Those 2 things are very handy.


We all keep learning about this ancient engine. that's part of the fun Wink
  

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Re: Rebuilding vanilla levels screws them up.
Reply #13 - Nov 30th, 2012 at 7:30am
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GreatEmerald wrote on Nov 29th, 2012 at 8:44pm:
SFJake wrote on Nov 29th, 2012 at 7:43pm:
And, I don't know if those came with 227i, but rebuild randomly removes a side of a brush from existance. Just one side. Its not a bsp hole, since it doesn't have distortions in it, you just see through it. They are even harder to get rid of, though.


Sounds like BSP holes to me. Go into zone view, then fly outside the level where the "invisible" surface is still visible. If it is of a different colour than the surroundings, you have a polygon that was assigned to the wrong zone (usually the "garbage" zone). To work around this, set the polygon to Forced View Zone.


I learned that some of these brushes are semisolid and 227i indeed behaves a bit different there, not exactly sure why. But often it helps to convert semisolids, which were often used in the past to fix bsp holes, back to solids, in this case.
  

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Re: Rebuilding vanilla levels screws them up.
Reply #14 - Nov 30th, 2012 at 8:48am
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Semi-solid brushes are still very useful. In some rare cases, converting them to solid does help, but in my experience it can still cause problems elsewhere. Using Force View Zone is a slightly less ugly solution, although even then it is a hack. The real solution is to fix whatever is causing the problem to begin with - add more zones, for instance.
  
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