Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Start of Something New


Today, after creating this blog over a year ago, I am writing my first post.  A little background information on myself, I started modding for Battlefield 1942 when the game was first released. That was short lived because after only a few months of learning a few things here and there I moved onto Call of Duty when it was released to try modding it.  I stayed with the Call of Duty series in til the fourth game was released.  During this time, I learned many things including: low poly modeling in Maya, BSP mapping in radiant, model importing, and texture design.  Between Call of Duty 2 and today, I hadn't done any modding of any sort aside from a few model creations in Maya but I hope to change that starting today.  Some of the things I hope to learn are high poly to low poly normal map creation, better texturing skills in Photoshop, module building design, UDK, modding BF2, and other techniques that I will be detailing in the coming months.  My goal is to update this blog 3-5 times a week and keep a nice journal of my work in progress so I can easily reflect on what I have learned and how far I have come.  I also want this blog to help others new to modding to not get discouraged and to stay motivated. Hopefully I can stay motivated!

The first project I will be working on is a map for the popular BF2 mod, Forgotten Hope 2.  For now I will refer to this project as Abbey.  This will be based on the Abbey of Sant'Antimo.  This project will be my introduction to mapping, static mesh importing, and various other tasks that are specific to BF2.  I hope to have this project completed in a time frame of  approximately 2-4 weeks or 22-33 days.  Here is an outline of what I hope to accomplish in a 33 day schedule.


Days 1-2:  Planning & Research, Reference Sheet, Top View & Sketches, Guideline Questions, Background Information & History, List of models I will need to create
Days 3-6:  Blocking in map by creating a base terrain, modeling block out static meshes, placing of spawns and flag zones, and testing the maps gameplay, functionality, and flow
Days 7-8:  Detail modeling of the main focal point
Days 9-14:  Placing models, better shaping of terrain, adding roads, and detailing the smaller static meshes
Day 15:  Spend time making sure gameplay is how is how I want it to play and also doing medium terrain light maps
Days 16-21:  Painting detail textures, using detail models from the FH2 common folder effects such as ambient sounds and effects like smoke
Day 22:  Effects such as smoke and ambient sound
Days 23-24:  Lighting and Lightmapping
Days 25-26:  Post process, configuration of the map folders, and other text files
Day 27:  Beta Testing
Days 28-30:  Editing map based on user feedback and changing anything else that I feel needs optimizing
Days 31-32:  Navigation meshes for bots
Day 33:  Final release

Final Thoughts

I'm giving myself plenty of time to complete each task because I won't have much free time to work on this project this month.  Any days that I do not work on the project, I will give myself extra days to make up for the loss.

Here are some sites that contain lots of useful information that helped me create this blog:
World of Level Design
Forgotten Hope 2 Forums

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