(Probably typical) Beginner's problems

There are no stupid questions, just stupid answers.
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Captn. Jinguji
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2020 10:10 am
by Captn. Jinguji » Thu Dec 03, 2020 3:12 pm
Development-wise, I'm a total noob with T3D, but moderately experienced with other programmming languages and even some 3D game engines.


I'm not implying that those issues listed below "don't work" in the engine, rather, I'm assuming that they are most likely to be attributed to my lack of knowledge of T3D.

While in the past, I have occasionally attempted to start with T3D, but never got very far since life got in the way, I can now dedicate much more time to get to grips with it. I must say I'm pleased with all the options T3D has to offer, and even useful information / documentation can be found on (most) non-self-evident options. BTW: I own the three books by Ken Finney (yes they seriously overlap each other, I know ) and have more or less read diagonally through all of them over time.

In the long run, I have three different projects in mind, basically scifi/fantasy-themed, with differing orientations towards action vs. rpg between them.

But currently I'm running into a few quirks I can't find solutions to:

1) Probably an easy one: Where can I change the footstep sound in the desert template level ? Currently, it is a hard "clonk-clonk" as if the player were walking with metal boots on stone ground ? While I'm able to change the footstepsound for - say - Materials assigned to buildings, I can't seem to find an option for terrains.

2) The footstep sound on Materials can obviously be set with "Advanced options" in the material editor , only, more often than not, T3D seems to forget this setting ( and the impact sound setting also) from one moment to the other, or doesn't save them at all (yes, I confirmed the selected sound by pressing the Enter key and explicitly clicked the disk-symbol on the materials window).

3) sometimes, say : if located/spawned on top of large buildings, the player character suddenly develops a nasty habit of falling through ceilings, walls, and floors until he hits the ground, especially after reloads of the level in World Editor, and sometimes the game, too. I set the player drop sphere a littleabove the floor, so the player experiences a visible, tiny "fall" on respawn.
Of course "player step on shape" is set, as well as "collision" being set to "shape"; the obnoxius behaviour can only be remedied by actually changing to "playing the game" once for a short time.
The effect also occurs when I change some object settings of the building.
The level is based on the empty desert level template. This also happens when I use the stock twin tower building of T3D.

4) I have a model "Aztec Maze Pyramid", acquired from a model shop on the web, originally in .x-Format, converted by me both to .dae as well as .dts using Milkshape and the latest dts+-Conversion plug-in (which seems to be working great for most of the other models I got from there).
Now, with 8 stories/levels in the pyramid, even in broad desert daylight, the second level from the top should already be dark, let alone the deeper ones, but the whole interior of the pyramid is lit medium bright. If I play around with the sunlight settings, I can get some walls down to pitch black, but the walls
on he opposite site and the ceilings remain medium brightly lit.
In Milkshape, I have set "emissive", "spotlight" to "black", so, the material should not be responsible for that excess brightness.
I can't seem to identify any parameter to get the interior as uniformly dark as it should be.

5) Setting the "cast shadows flag" with the sky/sun settings results in casting a circular shadow zone of ~20m perimeter around the player, which even moves with him.
How can I remove that, and why is this happening at all, in the first place ?

6) Back to the pyramid: using point lights works pretty in the room where the light is located, only, those lights are shining through stone walls and ceilings ?
Reducing the range of the light is not a good option, because then, the room doesn't receive enough light in its corners. Surely, there is a better way?


Hardware employed is: Intel I7 on both machines, NVIDIA GTX780m / GTX 980m. 16 GB RAM (not using the built-in Intel 4xxxx Graphics Cards) on both

Software employed is: WIN7Pro/WIN10Pro, T3D 3.10.1 binaries from the official WIKI pages, WIN and NVIDIA software on current patch level.

(Currently, I'm still shying away from compiling the T3D binaries myself, because I'm still exploring the basics of T3D in all directions, and most things I need are working well.
Also, I'm not sure which development branch to follow right now; I would even be willing to go down to a lower T3D Release if the said issues could be circumvented that way - well aware of the implied compromise on other functionality, that way).

BTW: I also - along time ago - officially acquired the TAIK, the UAISDK and the RPG-Kit; I think they were meant for T3D 3.3. Are there any detailled instructions how to convert them to T3d 3.10.1 ?

Thanks for your advice in advance.
Duion
Posts: 1648
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:51 am
 
by Duion » Thu Dec 03, 2020 6:58 pm
Solution for 1 and 2:
https://github.com/Duion/Uebergame/blob ... terials.cs
You need to create a TerrainFX and then create a regular material that will be assigned to this TerrainFX which has the soundID set within it, to avoid the issues the sounds not saving, just write the materials in text editor like I do, just copy my materials as a template and change them with how you need them.

This system is a bit confusing and it is planned to make terrain materials behave like other materials somewhere in the next update, but god knows when or if ever this will be released, so for now go with my solution.

Solution for 3.
Yes you have to place the spawn a bit above the floor to avoid falling through, the other stuff like falling through when changing something cannot be prevented that easily, because when editing something the engine has to update for a split second where some settings are disabled and reloaded into the engine, but you are not supposed to play the game and edit the game at the same time, so that error is not that much of an issue.

4.
This is complicated, because Torque3D has no build in lightmap baker, so you can only use the ambient scale to define how dark things should be when no sunlight hits them and then the sun brightness defines how lit things are that are hit by sunlight. Otherwise I would have to see screenshots, if you fucked up somewhere, with the model or material settings.

5.
Again screenshot needed to see what is happening, maybe the blob shadow option, which is quite old and outdated.

6.
Same issue as 4, point lights cannot be blocked, you have to reduce the radius, or use shadow basting lights, but they use too much resources and are bugged.

Regarding the rest, don't compile the engine yourself and don't touch any development branch, use the latest stable 3.10 or whatever release it is for development for now to save yourself trouble. Torque 4 is currently broken and unusable to develop games with. Only try compiling the game if you really need to change the source code or plan to release your own game, for this you should have your own compile of the binary, but otherwise there is no reason to compile it yourself.
Captn. Jinguji
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2020 10:10 am
by Captn. Jinguji » Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:31 pm
1. Thank you for your quick and valuable response, Duion.
2. Damn, I had worked out a long reply, actually so long, that my session got cancelled without alarming me to the circumstance, so it got lost.
Will reassemble and post an adaequate reply tomorrow, alongside some screenies.
Jason Campbell
Posts: 364
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:51 am
 
by Jason Campbell » Fri Dec 04, 2020 6:42 am
For number 4. another way to control light within a building or cave or whatnot is to use a zone. There is a setting that controls it. Something like ambient.
Captn. Jinguji
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2020 10:10 am
by Captn. Jinguji » Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:05 pm
Thank you too, Jason. I'll try that, too.
I know from reading the forums that you obviously are well versed with Bryce's TAIK. May I contact you when I tackle that Kit ?
Captn. Jinguji
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2020 10:10 am
by Captn. Jinguji » Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:14 pm
Thank you for your time and insight. I don't feel so stupid anymore.

Question out of the book reader's ivory tower : Could it help to define the entrance to the pyramid as a portal (in respect to the ambient lighting problem) ?

Here are some screenies;
the first two are describing that ominous circularshadow when "cast shadows" is on/marked (#2).
#1 was the view with cast shadows off, but I was only allowed to upload 3 pic - and EVERYBODY knows what the unmarred desert template looks alike.
While producing the screenies, I found that this shadow does NOT pertain to the player but to the camera, I only thought it
is around the player, because most of the time I'm looking through the player camera.

I also found out that if that circular shadow went away, I'd be in a much better position inside the pyramid.

The 3rd pic shows the inside with "cast shadows off", and the floor (every floor) is almost blindig white.
Other than that, most things are as expected/wanted,

The 4th pic shows the inside with "cast shadows ON", and only the upper side of the ramp at the entrance
is not lit properly (and hence, there is no reflected light on the wall where the ramp ends ), most likely because of the ominous shadow as shown above. I.e., if that went away or could be reduce to a very small diameter, I might be happy again.

Attachments

4_InsidePyramid-CastShadowOFF.PNG
4_InsidePyramid-CastShadowOFF.PNG (152.98 KiB) Viewed 1672 times
3_InsidePyramid-CastShadowOff.PNG
3_Upper Level of Pyramid w. view of the entrance, CastShadow off
3_InsidePyramid-CastShadowOff.PNG (133.02 KiB) Viewed 1672 times
2_UnexplicableShadowCone.PNG
2_DesertTemplate CastShadow on in scatter sky, shadow around the cam, unshadowed desert beyond
2_UnexplicableShadowCone.PNG (112.78 KiB) Viewed 1672 times
Duion
Posts: 1648
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:51 am
 
by Duion » Sat Dec 05, 2020 1:34 am
Second image looks correct, so where is the problem? Third image still no idea, maybe something with the shadow distance, since shadows only render somewhat close to the camera, you can enable shadow cascade debug view, then you will see.
Captn. Jinguji
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2020 10:10 am
by Captn. Jinguji » Sat Dec 05, 2020 10:27 am
Hi Duion.
The problem with the second image is, that outside, it is generally as bright as in the default desert template, the sun is located in zenith. thus, the ramp should be as brightly lit as in the other image.
I'll check whether I can fake the sunshine on the ramp by the shine of a carefully placed spotlight not attached to a visible source

Question:
I have yet to dive deeper into scripting. The downpassage to the next level is another ramp. Is it possible to lower the ambient lighting per script and trigger, when the player gets near that ramp ? That way, it would at least be possible to achieve the desired effect that deeper down in the pyramid, it gets as pitch black as it should, when the player isn*t carrying a torch ? This probably still carries the problem that in a multiuser game, the other players will also experience reduced ambent light, but on the other hand, I'm of course a long way from that becoming a real problem.
Captn. Jinguji
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2020 10:10 am
by Captn. Jinguji » Sat Dec 05, 2020 10:59 am
Hi Duion,

thanks again for your advice, One more image to explain the unwanted shadow, taken from "eight miles high" (well, almost ;) )
The shadow seems to be sphere shaped ( bottom zone shadowed wall to wall, Pyramid bottom left largely shadowed in its higher parts, pyramid upper left 10% shadowed in its top part, pyramid upper right (almost) not shadowed at all (it was the first pyramid conversion version, it's darker due to different material settings in Milkshape, but all pyramids have identical geometry).

I'll havbe a look how to do the "enable shadow cascade debug view" thing -
but for the moment, I'll give the problem a rest.
The important thing for me is that I did not overlook something obvious;
some things are as they are, and, to my knowledge, there is no engine available where you don't have to make compromises or find workarounds.

OT: I had a short look at various levels of ÜBERGAME, and although I am no fan of "pure" FPSes, I like what I saw graphically, and I felt confirmed that I should proceed with T3D for my three projects. Best regards from Witten/NRW.

Attachments

5_UnexplicableShadow.PNG
Obviously sphere shaped shadow zone
5_UnexplicableShadow.PNG (150.37 KiB) Viewed 1621 times
Duion
Posts: 1648
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:51 am
 
by Duion » Sun Dec 06, 2020 3:54 pm
Now things get a bit too complicated, but what I can see as a first impression is, that your scene is probably an aesthethic nightmare, meaning the settings are all over the place. For example the sun should not be located in zenith, that even looks like broken rendering in reality. And the default template is really bad to begin with, no idea why that was never changed, but nobody cares anyway. In your place I would just take my models and place them into a complete aesthetically good scene, like the levels I did in Übergame, then you can see how things should look like, I had to spend a long time on finding the right settings for my scenes and adjusting colors, lighting etc. I made a pure FPS, because that is the most simple thing to make with Torque, so wheter or not you like that, you should start with an FPS, that gives you fastest results, later you can change it into something else.
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