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Ued2 | The Outside Area

The contents of this tutorial were written by those at http://www.birrabrothers.com/drac/dmain.html


To create a level where players can move around with the feel
that they are outside is not that difficult.
What is difficult is to limit the players to a specific area and
still let them have the feel that they are outside.

To start off, the ‘outside’ is actually no other than a normal
room but all walls/polys is check as fake backdrops.
The outside look is then created with a skyzone.
(Check my skyzone tutorial on how to create one).

Now here comes the problem.
If you would play just this you could easily run to the end
of the room and bump into the invisible barrier.
The same will happen when you start shooting wildly into the
‘air’ and see that they simply hit something that is very close to you.

To create a feel of ‘real’ outside you need to create a very large room.
So when someone shoots rockets and like, it looks as if they
go far into the air and then simply go off without hitting something.

The problem now is that players are able to run far far far away
and in the end they still hit the invisible barrier.

There is alot of ways to create the level and keep the players from
running outside the actuall area.
Large walls and mountains might be it. Isolated island might also be a solution.
Take a look at a few levels and check how it has been done.
You will realize pretty fast that most of them create either island type
of levels or levels that is only partly outside.

Here is a picture on how the ‘outside’ could be done.

As you can see on the room to the left is pretty large and has the walls
as fake backdrops.
The small brush to the right is the skyzone.
In the middle of the large brush you can see what is supposed to be
the actual play area.
It has been limited with two walls and two sand dunes.

There is no rules or specific ways on how to create open outside levels.
Take a look on other levels and see how it has been done and try to create
something similar.

I will try to give you some information on different situations and
possible ways to create them in UED.

Mountains:
A base or a crater in the mountains is maybe the easiest way of creating
the outside look.
The skybox is also pretty easy to create because the player would normally only
see the roof of it.

Imagine a courtyard of a castle and it is all surrounded by large mountain walls.
By creating a fairly wide and long skybox you can limit players view to
the roof of the skyzone only.
The castle could be built into the mountain to limit players to the front
and inside the castle, and allow you to build as far into the mountain as
you like.
(It doesn’t need to be mountains, you can use city walls the same way).

Levels with this look: AS-Mazon, AS-Frigate, AS-Rook, DOM-Condemned

Endless seas:
To create enless seas of water, lava, acid or anything that is supposed to
be used in the ‘endless’ look.
A horizon maybe?

This is could be pretty hard to do, depending on the theme/setting you want.
The problem is if you want daylight or night, and if players die instantly or
not if they are able to fall into this ‘endless’ body of water, lava or what it
is you create.

The skyzone will be more or less the same anyways, but a pretty wide and long
but not too high skybox will give you the feel of seeing the walls far off
into the horizon.
If you want a more ‘round’ and planet feel to the skyzone you might want to
create it cone-shaped. (It will however be more difficult to work with though).

If you want it to be night just make sure you avoid adding lights to the sides and
corners of the skyzone.
If you want daylight there might be problems.
Players will be able to see the sides and the ‘outside’ will suddenly look
weird.
A possible way to avoid that is to the let the walls be black and create
a star lit sky.

If players are able to ‘fall’ into the water, lava or what it should be
you need to think on how they should be able to get out.
If they die on impact all you need to do is to create a large zone portal
close to the ‘bottom’ and all falling down will simply result in death.
If they fall into water you might still want them to die but it takes longer time.
To do this you could create a zone portal close to the bottom and make it a warpzone.
players will be warped to another zone which is entierly filled with water and
drown.

Take a look at DM-KGalleon and CTF-LavaGiant, both use this type of look.

Levels with this look: DM-KGalleon, CTF-LavaGiant, DM-Barricade, DOM-MetalDream

Worm holes / Moving levels:
For the fast looking walls you need to make them move, using U/V -pan and then
simply adjusting the speed.
What can turn out to be difficult is, if players should be able to fall
off and die.
If that is the case you need to zone specific areas and make them harmful.

Levels with this look: DM-Oblivion, AS-HiSpeed

Asteroids and Islands in space:
This is maybe one of the easiest to create.

By creating a very large room all you then need to do is to build your island
in the middle of it.
When people fall off you need to have a zone portal and make a vacuum-zone.

Levels with this look: CTF-Face, DM-Phobos, DM-Morpheus

Page last modified on July 31, 2006, at 05:50 PM