About EDDIE - The TFE custom map maker


RJS_Psycho
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As everyone know, the update 3.6 has layed down the ground work for the coming friendly EDDIE (the name the community has unofficially named the map maker, which we're adopting).

You may see some major huge updates (many gigs) in the near future. Please know that if we don't publish a changelog,  its because the update is just project recompiling files to make way for the new folder structure we had to custom build to work with the map maker and do not include changes to any of the systems.

We're going to close signups for the beta of the Map Maker by the 15th of this month, so if you haven't signup yet, find the proper topic on general talk and signup there.

What kind of application is EDDIE and how it will be distributed?

The map maker is an application for WINDOWS only, separated from the game and from the server tool. The map maker, EDDIE, works without Steam and will be able to be downloaded from Taskforceelite.com and other partner websites. The full size of the map maker will surpass 100GB easily, so you might require maybe around 150GB space in your HD to be able to use the application.

What are the steps to create a map?

The map maker will work with "Mods". Each map is a mod. One mod can have more then 1 map, although we recommend to make 1 mod = 1 map, so that it can be shared easily with the community.

You start by choosing a landscape from one of the presets, or you can instead create your own landscape. There will be many tutorials made explaining and showing in video, how to do each step.

Some maps may not require a landscape to exist (for example if the entire map is inside a building or underground). Those maps will be a lot lighter in size.

The best community-made landscapes, with the creator's authorization, can be adopted officially by us, and packaged into the game and the map maker by default, so that that landscape can be used to create multiple new maps without requiring the 700MB each time.

You can start your map by using a preset landscape and customize it, but then it will count as an entire new landscape (thus you may expect 500-700MB file size), or you can use one of our landscapes without making modifications, and in that case the map will have less than 100MB.

You may import custom 3D models for assets, but that MAY cause many bugs and issues for players who play the map. New assets require a lot of work to be game-ready, including colisions, hit on effects, footstep sounds, sizes vs character, LODs, render optimization for higher FPS, the models require UVs and proper texturing made by softwares like Substance Painter. We recommend this for the most advanced users only. So for those more advanced users, whatever is available on the default UE4 editor will also be available in our custom map maker minus some engine features who would conflict, but that are backend stuff and not the tools to create the maps.

However you have already hundreds if not thousand+ of assets to choose from already from our asset pool, with all the proper settings and optimizations. Those assets are organized into collections (props, decorations, vehicles, etc).

Once you have the landscape setup, then you use the content navigator (which is a pop-over window) where you see all the assets as thumbnails, and you can then drag and drop them into the map. Most of the time the asset will be auto-attached to the floor, but you may need to adjust the position, or pull the asset slight into the ground to make sure no part of it its floating in the air. Many assets only have exterior polys and not interior for performance. That means some buildings can only be used for exterior. Modular pieces are provided so you can build your own buildings from scratch without having to import external models. Those modular pieces and modular buildings do not occupy any additional space on the map file, as they're packaged into the game already.

We recommend to use any lighting as movable, so you don't have to build the lighting, but you can also bake it if your hardware can handle the processing and RAM requirements.

Once you place the buildings, roads, vehicles, props, etc and you're happy with the map and want to export it, there will be a "Package mod" option in the map maker that will create a PAK file. You then just need to copy-paste that PAK file into a specific folder in the game installation of the server. You will then need to go to the server tool and , in a new feature we built in, you will require to input the name of the map into the server too exactly as you defined it in the map maker. Once you done that, the map will be auto-detected by the server tool and you can add to rotation. Simple enough.

Players who connect to the server and don't have the map, will auto-download the map on-the-fly while in-game and be able to join the rest of the players. (This is something we're currently still testing).

How to share your map with everyone?

You can upload to TaskForceElite.com new file system or to any partner website, and other server hosts can download from there. Than the process is the same. Download the zip, unzip and paste the PAK file into the correct folder. Go to server tool input the name of the PAK file ("COM_mapname") as you defined in the map maker, and add to rotation.

How to setup stuff like vehicles, TKOTH zone or Outposts?

We have created widgets that are drag and drop, and you just pull them into the map, place them and setup the configs from the available options. There will be a checklist of items you need to add to the map to make it work, from player spawns to death camera.

How to add sound ambience / sounds to specific areas like burning fire or a radio prop?

Sounds are also drag and drop, and we have a list of them available. You can also import your own sounds in WAV format. You then drag and drop the sound to the spot where you want it and set it up one of two ways:

- Global sound (can be heard anywhere in the map and has no attenuation, like wind)

- Localized sound ( specific to a spot, you can then define through the attenuation option, how far the player will be able to hear it from the exact spot the sound is placed. The sound is represented by an icon in the map that only the map maker can see

Can I change the textures of existing assets?

Yes, we make available a wide range of textures 2K optimized (do never use 4K textures, otherwise most players in the game today won't be able to play the map due to very low fps) so you can easily replace the materials of walls of existing buildings if you so wish. Not all assets can be changed, as they have baked textures from Substance, but many can, especially buildings. So you can use the same building multiple times in a map, with different colors, textures, to make it less repetitive.

Will the map maker have any features to support Coop?

Yes, we're planning a few options to make life easier for map maker who want to create coop experiences (Player vs Bots/Enviroment) like specific bot-spawns widgets and 1-life bots. 

When will the map maker be available?

Our current projection place the release of beta version of the map maker in May 2021. But it depends of any technical obstacles we may encounter. So take this date with a grain of salt. However, the work is progressing well and we don't expect major issues to appear.

This seems a bit hard or complex, how easy will be to get up to speed about map making?

It's important to mention that your previous experience with MED or other legacy map makers tools will not translate into EDDIE - our map maker. They are complete different beasts. You may require some time to adjust into our map maker, but we will be making many tutorials for each step, as well as I'm going to do live streams and Q&A Sessions about the features and how stuff can be done, as well as show everyone how easy it is. It's a time-consuming experience at start, until you get familiar with all the tools available, but the interface is very easy to use. I will also be streaming how I approach map making. There are some best practices to take into considerations like not placing certain objects too close to walls, or may cause players to bug or get stuck.

How will I be able to test the map while I'm working on it?

The good thing about our map maker, based entirely on the Unreal Engine 4 editor (we use a very customized version), is that you can play in editor, so you don't need to export the map to test while you work on the map.

What are the requirements to run EDDIE?

We recommend the i7 or Ryzen7 or better, although quad-core Intel / AMD with 2.5GHZ+ will be able to run it. RAM is one of the most important components, I use and recommend 32GB RAM DDR4, although 16GB should be the minimum to be able to run the editor without crashing it. The more stuff is on the map, the more RAM you will need to handle it. I do not recommend the use of just 8GB RAM, its likely to crash multiple times and you lose your work. As far as graphic card, the requirement should be in tune with the requirement for the game itself, so anything above the 1660gtx you will be OK. Minimum is the GTX770. The hard drive is another very important component, we recommend SSD or M2 pci-e (I use pci-e samsung evolution ssd), although normal HD run it, it's very slow. For operating system, minimum requirement is Windows 10 64-bits

How does it look like? 

Similar to this:

Unreal+Engine%2Fonlinelearning-courses%2Fyour-first-hour-with-unreal-engine%2F117-Your-First-Hour-In-Unreal-Engine-%281200x675%29-1200x675-3ba0c73d60c867b2040a2e3fcbb057c40313d515.png?resize=1&w=1400

See a few videos of the default UE application being used:

 

 

Have more questions? leave a reply here and we'll be happy to answer.

Disclaimer: The map maker is a work in progress. Features and systems may change during the course of development as well as release dates.

 

 

 

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Good Info, thanks. Some surprises there  - install size! 

Looking forward to it 

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Great informative post and already like the looks of 'Eddie'. Can't wait!!!!

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cant wait to go at it 🙂 

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You got me pretty confident with my setup. Hopefully I can finish some simple maps hehehe
Thanks for the post, looking forward for EDDIE!

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I had a very little experience with Red Orchestra 2 SDK, this one seems similar and I may have to learn about Unreal Engine again. Looking forward to try it

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Hi RJS_Psycho,

Thankyou for the good feedback. Sounds like I will have to buy another computer and quit work so I have time to learn.

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hehe @TIO Ted, its not as difficult as it looks. I'll be showcasing the basics on stream and video on demand tutorials. You'll be up to speed in no time!

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these look awesome ,cant wait to see them all up and running ,and great work on the game itself you all done a great job 👍🙂

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sweet!

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finally i can justify buying a stupid amount of RAM, had a bit of a shock though that no where seems to stock any DDR3 for my system anymore 😕  
maybe i need to treat myself to an upgrade 😄

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Posted (edited)

@RJS_Psycho 
Which is the biggest terrain in the game so far?  the one with Abandoned Airbase seems pretty big, what's the dimensions?


what dictates the filesize of the terrain?  does it depend on how much detail there is i.e. huge terrain is always big file size? or could a tiny terrain with tons of detail be a huge filesize to? or are there just too many factors that play a part?

Is there any difference in file size between using an existing terrain and not modifying it compared to a map that didn't use a terrain at all?

Edited by PANiC

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@PANiC The terrain can have any amount of detail which do not impact file size. Only map size impacts.  We got the biggest landscapes at 4 KM x 4 KM.

A map without terrain or very small terrain, and official assets, is less than 20-30 MB.

If you use an existing terrain without modifications, since it's already packaged into the game, it loads from memory/existing game installation, do not require download, thus have 0 MB size, as the only thing the map file has is a line of code as the reference to load the asset (the landscape is an asset after all) 

Hope it helps clarify! 🙂

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Appreciate the info, @RJS_Psycho, thanks.

I just wondered if using no terrain would save any filesize, because I would see times it would not be required depending on what someone was making, so thanks for clarifying that. Wonder if not having a terrain would have any performance benefit (I don't know technical details like if stuff is loaded into memory or rendered even if not visible)?

I just imagine some of the ridiculous stuff some are going to make haha 😄 😄 can't wait

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15 hours ago, RJS_Psycho said:

jeje @TIO Ted, no es tan difícil como parece. Estaré mostrando los conceptos básicos en la transmisión y tutoriales en video a pedido. ¡Estarás al día en poco tiempo!

Please make the Spanish version, thank you

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11 hours ago, O J. BAMG said:

Por favor haz la versión en español, gracias.

gracias m8

ENCABEZADO KNIFE TFE.jpg

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What kind of meta data can designers fill out and is it stored in the map file?

For example, for BHD, the map name, map designer and other general information is in the bms file. 
Due to that, I was able to come up with a Perl script that provided real time listing of maps in my server, giving the name and designer.

One meta data I would like to see is a field that a designer could type something in as a unique identifier for the map. The file name may change over time or as it gets passed around, but the identifier would only change if the map maker changed it. This could be used as a way to track different versions of a map.

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On 3/7/2021 at 11:00 AM, PANiC said:

finally i can justify buying a stupid amount of RAM, had a bit of a shock though that no where seems to stock any DDR3 for my system anymore 😕  
maybe i need to treat myself to an upgrade 😄

2nd hand stores will have ddr3 m8  , cant wait to see some duo's team up on maps would be awesome to see also!

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@RJS_Psycho If only default terrain and default assets are used, any idea what the map file size would be? And would it matter how many assets are in the map?

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There's a very slight increase depending how many assets in the map, but understand the file only has references, mostly, so replying to your question, we have maps in the game right now that are 25MB , and others which are 800MB, depending if its using a default landscape or a custom new one

A map using default landscape and default assets should be 25-40 mb

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On 3/14/2021 at 4:42 PM, GraffGames!/Kensta! said:

2nd hand stores will have ddr3 m8  , cant wait to see some duo's team up on maps would be awesome to see also!

stop trying to talk me out of an upgrade 😄 haha
the maps are gonna be nuts m8

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On 3/16/2021 at 1:58 PM, RJS_Psycho said:

There's a very slight increase depending how many assets in the map, but understand the file only has references, mostly, so replying to your question, we have maps in the game right now that are 25MB , and others which are 800MB, depending if its using a default landscape or a custom new one

A map using default landscape and default assets should be 25-40 mb

Thanks!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Any chance we can get some of the CTF maps from BHD remade. Barrens and Tug O' War maps were some of my favorite maps.

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