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Sledge (Hammer Alternative) Alpha Build

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Forums > General Discussion

12 Jan 14, 23:23
By x6herbius
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Member
Another question regarding your geometry representation tongue - :P - how do you deal with the fact that none of your faces share common vertices? I mean, implicitly they do, but each face stores its own vertices as far as I can see from your code, which means that translating one vertex of the brush would correspond to translating multiple vertex locations (one for each neighbour face). Also, how do you deal with vertex manipulations possibly causing the vertices of a face to become non-coplanar?

Additionally, in relation to the plugin discussions, the way I was intending Crowbar's toolkit to work was to have everything as a plugin - all tools right down to selection being a module located at runtime, with the possibility of inter-plugin dependencies and of utilising Qt's native support for JS scripts for the less performance-critical plugins. I've also so far implemented a clone of the console from the Source engine, complete with console variables and commands and support for command piping Unix-style, in order to help expose as much of the application to external configuration as possible. I don't know how realistic design choices in this direction would be for Sledge at this stage, considering you've got a fair amount of the core framework done already, but absolutely feel free to re-use any of the console code concepts (albeit physically written in C++) if you feel they'd be helpful.
12 Jan 14, 23:33
By COOBORKY?[kzna]
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Member
oh! i forgot another suggestion (i cant add it to my long-butt post unfortunately otherwise i would) :

i think you should add a mouse sensitivity slidey bar thing in options because mouse movement seems a bit slower than in hammer 3.5.
13 Jan 14, 00:03
By Striker
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Member
Like COOBORKY?[kzna] said about vertex editing, I too have a problem. I am trying to make a funnel-shaped cylinder by scaling down the vertices, but it lets me with invalid solids.

I have to say the improved vertex editing is exciting. Please release this for Source ASAP grin - :D.
13 Jan 14, 00:25
By Penguinboy
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Haha, I died again!
@x6herbius: The vertex tool is a bit more complex because it has to know about shared vertices, but aside from that it's much easier to keep the vertices separate per-face. When transforming a solid, you can simply perform the same transformation on every vertex - the shared vertices that happen to be in the same place will be transformed in the same way, so you don't have to worry too much about it.

In terms of avoiding nonplanar vertices, Sledge currently does nothing to avoid this - same as Hammer. I have looked into auto-correction during VM like gtkRadiant (or QuArK? I forget) does, and I will probably try to add that as an option in a future version.

Regarding plugins and architecture, I'm structuring Sledge in a way that most things are extensible, but Sledge itself contains all the core functionality. This makes it easy to extend with new features (most common plugin use-case), but more difficult to remove/replace existing functionality (extremely uncommon use case, if a developer wants to do this they should create a fork). Cross-dependencies between plugins sounds like a very painful thing to deal with, so good luck with that!

I'd suggest starting with the big stuff (like the map objects, gamedata, file parsing, rendering, and editing) instead of focusing too much on UI niceties like plugins and consoles, simply because you will come across any shortcomings in your architecture while working on those, rather than when working on chrome components. I've been working on adding extra UI in Sledge at the moment and it is blissfully easy and simple when compared to editing or rendering which are incredibly difficult and require a lot of non-trivial architecture refactoring when trying to add new features.

@COOBORKY: Do you happen to have a download link for the WAD that breaks Sledge? I think I have fixed the problem in the next version, but it would be nice to be able to test it for sure. Thanks for reporting the bugs, I will be sure to take a look at them.

@Striker: I'll take a look at this, invalid solids have been annoying me lately since I have been trying to create a sphere brush tool :/
13 Jan 14, 03:47
By COOBORKY?[kzna]
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Member
hey, yeah here you go. hope sendspace is ok!

http://www.sendspace.com/file/pxatcp

and anyone else is free to use it too, its kinda of a big wad.
13 Jan 14, 08:29
By Penguinboy
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Haha, I died again!
Thanks, I'll test it out when I get home from work smile - :)

Edit: well there's your problem: a texture called "|gt01". The pipe character '|' is not a valid Windows path character and it was crashing because I was using the default .NET file path handlers to open WAD textures. Replaced it with a custom function and all is well. This WAD crashes GCFScape with the same error message as well.

13 Jan 14, 08:33
By Xylem
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Member
- Snip -

Didn't see there was another page where my question was answered, sorry!
13 Jan 14, 14:09
By COOBORKY?[kzna]
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Member
ahh i looked through quickly to see if there were weird chars in the wad but i was too hasty apparently! good catch! i appreciate you lookin. also does sledge update automatically or give notifications? or do i need to manually do it myself
13 Jan 14, 20:38
By Penguinboy
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Haha, I died again!
It checks for updates automatically each time it starts up.
14 Jan 14, 01:03
By Captain Terror
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end of line
Sledge is looking good sir! I plan to explore more of it's features soon, as i have a temporary fetish with GoldSrc mapping again =P

Incidentally, I just ported some CSGO brushwork to GoldSrc, using Sledge to open the vmf and Save As rmf, and Whammo! No need to correct any mistakes, and zero brushwork/compile errors! Awesome! =P

BTW there is no favicon for the Sledge Site wink-wink - ;)
14 Jan 14, 01:49
By Penguinboy
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Haha, I died again!
I recommend that you use VMF for all your Sledge editing, regardless of engine, as it is a more extensible format and it will retain more features. Use RMF if you need compatibility with Hammer, otherwise use VMF.
14 Jan 14, 06:52
By GamerX
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Member
Just reporting about this issue (not sure if it's already reported, so sorry). I've seen some strange overlaying of BEVEL texture on textured solids. Take a look at this screenshot:

14 Jan 14, 08:29
By Penguinboy
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Haha, I died again!
Intel graphics by any chance? Once the next version is released, could you check again and let me know if it's fixed? The next version has a fix that should make the depth testing much better on Intel GPUs and fix that weird triangle effect where brushes meet. If it's not fixed then I might ask you to provide more screenshots or a video if you're able to, but if you have Intel graphics there's a high chance it will be fixed so don't do anything yet smile - :)
14 Jan 14, 09:35
By GamerX
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Member
Yes, I have Intel Graphics Card (Chipsets). Sure I'll check, but how will I know if there's a new release is available? Do I have to download every time for new update/release?

Thanks. I'm still waiting for this! smile - :)
14 Jan 14, 10:13
By Penguinboy
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Haha, I died again!
It will notify you when an update is available. I'm still working on it!
15 Jan 14, 10:39
By ninja defuse
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Member
i have just opened my goldsrc map... but i can save it as .vmf, does it convert goldsrc to source engine map?
15 Jan 14, 10:47
By rufee
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Sledge fanboy
The geometry format is more less the same, so yeah it will probably open up in H4 fine.
15 Jan 14, 10:54
By Archie
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My Empire of Dirt
Particularly considering Hammer 4 can open .rmf with no problems.
15 Jan 14, 11:13
By Penguinboy
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Haha, I died again!
Once Source support is implemented in Sledge it will start warning people who use the RMF format because RMF doesn't support features such as displacements, instances, additional map properties, and so on, which cripples a lot of the power of the editor (Sledge will change these back to plain brushwork - displacements into triangles, instances into brushwork, etc). Instances and displacements in Sledge will work in both Source and Goldsource if you use the VMF format.
15 Jan 14, 17:28
By ninja defuse
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Member
can u tell me which part of code is responsible for creating the window where u fill in rotate values for a brush? i can't find the thing in the sledge source
15 Jan 14, 21:11
By COOBORKY?[kzna]
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Member
i know you said you are focusing on bugs and stuff as opposed to like the aesthetics and 'ease of use' (for now), but i just thought of a few more things you could do:

1. make each of the tool icons (whether they be on the left side bar or the top bar) movable individually for 'full' customization. Maybe even have an option to right click on the top tool bar and insert your own little divider so you can group any icon however you want.

2. re-add the shortcut for flipping an object (CTRL + L for horizontally and CTRL + I for vertically) like in 3.5. flipping objects easily like that is very useful and having to go through the tools tab each time is a bit annoying.

3. have the texture browser remember the last selected texture when you re-click the browse button. as of now it just reverts back to the first texture on the texture list instead of the one that you have selected. also it would be helpful to have it remember if you selected a certain wad from the wad list on the left (of the texture browser), as well.

not to bombard you with things while you are focusing on other elements of Sledge but just some things to consider!
15 Jan 14, 21:11
By DiscoStu
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Member
I second #2 and #3.
15 Jan 14, 23:54
By Penguinboy
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Haha, I died again!
#2 is pretty easy to do and #3 isn't too bad, so I will try and get those into the next release. #1 is a bit more complicated and if I did something like that it probably wouldn't work exactly like that, so no guarantees there.

@ninja: do you mean the transform dialog? Look here.
16 Jan 14, 09:27
By ninja defuse
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Member
@up
yes ^_^
16 Jan 14, 16:05
By COOBORKY?[kzna]
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Member
is there an "export to map" feature/button that im not seeing? or do i have to manually 'save as' and then select .map every time?

including this if its not already in there would probably be a good idea as well surprised - :o
16 Jan 14, 17:33
By DiscoStu
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Member
With the ability to save in a .map format right from the save file dialog, "export to map" is redundant.
16 Jan 14, 18:55
By COOBORKY?[kzna]
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Member
yeah but then the vmf or rmf that you currently have open is changed into .map format and u have to re-open the vmf/rmf and thats just another step that can be eliminated by the export feature.

export keeps your current file as is, while "save as" will change the current file into .map, causing me to have to keep reloading the .vmf that i just saved as a .map which is annoying. you see what im saying?
17 Jan 14, 00:04
By Penguinboy
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Haha, I died again!
Good point, I will add an export function that works the same as "Save As", except that it doesn't switch you to the new file.
18 Jan 14, 11:41
By Penguinboy
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Haha, I died again!
New version time! This one has a bunch of minor improvements and bug fixes that have been reported recently. The sidebar is slightly improved now (it can be resized!) to make it ready for new features in the future.

Full change list:

Sledge 0.1.0.17
- Right sidebar changed to prepare for future features
- Sidebar and viewport layouts are now saved
- Fixed crash in the model file browser
- Minor fixes related to multiple FGD files
- Fixed issues related to hotkey localisation
- The shift key must now be held to create a new camera in the camera tool
- Added "Reset to defaults" buttons for the hotkey configuration screen
- Added camera tool hotkey (Shift+C)
- Changed the behaviour of "rotation height" in the torus tool since it generated invalid geometry
- Added arch and sphere brush types
- Arrow keys pan and tilt in the 3D view. Resolves #91.
- Improved the game selection form
- Significantly improved rendering on Intel GPUs
- Added hotkeys for flipping objects (Ctrl+L,I,K for X,Y,Z flipping)
- The texture browser now remembers the selected package, texture, filter, view type, and sort options
- Added "Export" function to "Save As" without switching to the new file
18 Jan 14, 13:28
By Archie
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My Empire of Dirt
the finger - :thefinger: Archie likes this post.

(there's no thumbs up smiley so you'll have to excuse the rudeness)

Edit:
This doesn't come close to being a necessary feature, but I think it'd be insanely cool to see a 'viewport screenshot' button. Take a screenshot of the active - or selected via a popup - viewport in nice high res without having to resize your windows. I don't know how difficult this would be to accomplish, but it has potential for even cooler features attached to it with different render options and overlay options in the future.
18 Jan 14, 14:54
By Striker
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Member
And while you're at it, why not include auto-art features that will transform the screenshot in different beautiful art styles like expressionism(look at this poetic landscape!), cubism(because everything starts with a cube), hyper-realism( instantly enhances your map, thereby rendering any future Source engine useless), and impressionism(for the adventurous mapper that understands all is but light).

Oh, remember that auto-mapping utility, that ancient crap software that was actually awesome?

How about a sprite brush or model brush that helps us instantly make forests and grassy landscapes?

How about an integrated texture super tool that helps you download from popular sources like cgtextures, crop, stitch, blend the seams and create on the fly map textures? (don't forget about bump maps, hehe!)

Heh, but did somebody think of a model exporter like propper integrated in the thing?

An extremely useful tool would be an integrated particle editor that would help easily sculpt the particle in the landscape created.

A performance prediction could be useful, some sort of feedback without compiling the map that can help you optimize the map rendering speeds.

I think I might went a bit overboard here.
18 Jan 14, 16:39
By COOBORKY?[kzna]
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Member
perfect timing on the update PB! thanks for listening to some of my suggestions ^^

Edit: one thing thats still plaguing Sledge is the fact that your cursor goes invisible and all crazy when you open any other window (object properties, texture application, etc) while you are already in fly mode. ive found that it DOESNT do this when the other box is already open and THEN you press Z in the 3D view; only when you press Z FIRST....strange.

but yeah im not sure if this is a complicated problem to fix and you just werent able to work it out by this update or if it slipped your mind. just a friendly reminder!
18 Jan 14, 16:43
By kaffikopp
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Member
Or how about adding support for mind-reading, so that Sledge knows exactly what we want to create, and then it just maps everything for you automatically?

Seriously though, good work. Installed it on my laptop and all the hotkeys seem to work as they should, although I'm not at home right now to test on my desktop I guess it should work properly now.

Don't want to sound entitled, but will you consider implementing some more of the suggestions I mentioned previously? Particularly being able to see the vertex points while using the camera tool, hide the vertex mode toolbox, and changing the behavior of the clipping tool a bit. Perhaps even add an option in the settings for switching the behavior of the clipping tool to that of Hammer? For stupid people like me, who find the three-points clipping tool currently implemented kinda confusing.

Also, while testing Sledge on my laptop, I stumbled upon a graphical/rendering oddity when creating an arch, sphere or torus brush... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nD6bHBgnkI

The laptop (an Asus G73JH) specs are:

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Intel i7 Q 720 @ 1.60GHz
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5800 1GB VRAM driver 8.753.2.0
6GB RAM

Finally, a minor annoyance: when holding down space and left-clicking in the 3D view to move around, if there is something where you mouse-click, it will be selected.
18 Jan 14, 17:42
By COOBORKY?[kzna]
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Member
Hmm im not sure if its an error on my end or perhaps something overlooked but every time i try to export to map and then compile (regardless of compiler) it never goes through and i get this error:

Warning: ::FindTexture() texture ROPE not found!

but there is one for every texture in the map. i know it means that the wads arent located in the correct spot but thing is they ARE, and ive moved them to different locations and made SURE every path is correct in all programs.

now when i googled it, someone mentioned that the paths for all used wads are included in the .map file that is exported from hammer. i checked .map files i know work and indeed i see the line at the very top that names all the wads used and their paths.

however, when i open the .map file exported from sledge (via the new "export" function) in notepad, the wads are not there at the top like in the other .map files. i wonder if somehow this was overlooked? that the new 'export' function somehow doesnt write the wads into the .map file? "save as" DOES include these wads but now that doesnt work either when i try to compile. i didnt change ANYTHING before trying to compile with the updated sledge :z
19 Jan 14, 20:11
By Alberto309
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GTX 660 Ti OC
Great news! I'm gonna try it out asap! As always. <3

P.S.: The Sledge's last update on GameBanana has been updated with the current changelog.
20 Jan 14, 10:50
By Penguinboy
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Haha, I died again!
@Cooborky: The mouse capture issue is kind of complicated to fix so I ignored it for this release. I will investigate a better fix for the future smile - :)

Your mind isn't playing tricks on you regarding the missing WAD files in the exported MAP. Compiling does a slightly different save process than exporting (as compiling clips the cordon beforehand) and the export/save function isn't adding the WAD files correctly. I'll fix it in the next version.

@kaffikopp: Clipping tool behaviour and hiding the window are features in the works, but vertex mode in the camera tool might be quite difficult, I'm not sure how I would go about implementing that with the current architecture. I will have a think about it.

@Archie: Screenshots are a neat idea, I will have a think about it.
20 Jan 14, 13:18
By COOBORKY?[kzna]
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Member
ahh ok cool! i thought i messed something up and was getting really frustrated heh good deal, keep up the great work!
20 Jan 14, 14:31
By kaffikopp
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Member
Fair enough. Just so there's no confusion, I don't mean both tools should be operable at the same time, just that if you enter vertex mode on a brush and then switch to the camera tool, the vertices would still be visible, but not adjustable.
22 Jan 14, 01:54
By Captain Terror
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end of line
There is still no favicon for the sledge Dev site..(and a hole in my bookmark bar wink-wink - ;) )
22 Jan 14, 18:34
By Striker
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Member
Favicons are such neglected details...
23 Jan 14, 04:54
By Alberto309
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GTX 660 Ti OC
Oh come on CT. xD
23 Jan 14, 07:36
By Captain Terror
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end of line
Hey they MAKE the webpage!

Favicon are like the bowtie on a tuxedo! prove me wrong =P


Ok maybe not, since i've just now noticed TWHL has no favicon wink-wink - ;)
23 Jan 14, 08:01
By Alberto309
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GTX 660 Ti OC
Lol. You've just noticed now? xD
23 Jan 14, 08:27
By Penguinboy
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Haha, I died again!
Not sure where you guys are looking, TWHL has always had a favicon...
23 Jan 14, 09:04
By Captain Terror
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end of line
Oh yeah durr, it's right there on my bookmark bar. Stupidly, i was looking for it right in front of the URL, inside the address bar? (did it used to show up there in older versions of Firefox maybe?)

I think maybe i need to go to bed... wink-wink - ;)
23 Jan 14, 11:05
By GamerX
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Member
Worked first time on the Sledge and created a map, partially done. Most of the updates worked and were helpful, however some suggestions I want them to be implemented, as well as some bugs report (not sure if they've been reported/suggested before).

(Suggestions)

1. A speed reduction for 3D camera. As I've set to slowest speed (1000 units/secs) but still, it's moving way faster than I thought. Hammer has adequate speed, I prefer that speed. Due to having too faster speed, I can't properly texture on corners, etc.

2. What about the rendering of entities in 3D view, just like in Hammer? It would allow to quickly find the entity we are looking for, rather than click on each to find the needed one.

3. The Texture Browser, where last used textures are remembered; I suggest to increase the number of textures last used to 5 or more. Currently, only 2 textures are shown which are lastly used.

4. Not a big problem but what about a change in the icon of Camera Tool? I always click on the wrong one when I want to use the Camera tool. tongue - :P

(Bugs)

1. Sledge reported a problem with my map which is "invalid solid". But when I opened the same map file in Hammer, it didn't give me any error/problem like that. Probably a mistake/false report. (If you want, I can show a screenshot about that problem with that solid)

2. Models and Sprites aren't rendering in 3D view.

This is just for now. I'll see if I get any more.
24 Jan 14, 11:28
By ninja defuse
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Member
i have just came up with an idea, it should make easier and faster to rotate a brush 90 degrees

there are 4 buttons, and a square (just to make it clear what is going on)



and something else now:

24 Jan 14, 11:32
By GamerX
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Member
Some bugs I noticed yesterday.

1. When grouped brushes/solids tied into an entity, it gives an error. But when they are ungrouped and tied into an entity, it works fine. So there's a problem with grouping function.
2. The entities still duplicating options. Check screenshot to understand.

24 Jan 14, 12:54
By Penguinboy
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Haha, I died again!
Thanks for the bugs/suggestions guys, I will look into them this weekend.
25 Jan 14, 18:59
By JeffMOD
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Call 141.12
I lost a fair amount of previously on-grid brushwork in Hammer 4.1 today due to decimal loss.
Does sledge operate the same as a VMF on a technical level to prevent this, or have some other way to make it a non-issue?
If not, I know making a workaround would take a fair amount of re-engineering, but I'd like to request it for sometime down the line.
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