Updated Map Done: Adding a much Better Forest!
The Evil Never Dies Map is now completed as of a few days ago.
Initially the first map with it's beginning improvements I thought was pretty good but, truthfully despite such I later discovered not too long ago that the biggest issues it had was there were still a lot of problems with the AI getting stuck because it couldn't read the navmesh properly due to bad foliage problems, collision issues, and worst of all the map layout created a lot of these issues to begin with.
To fix it this meant I needed to first pull out all of the stops by removing the intial forest even though I could have just hidden it temporarily but it wouldn't have made much sense due to the way the map was being changed. As a result I took out everything except the Altars and the Cabin. I've moved the Altars just to space them out slightly more since a few of them were pretty close together, they're still easy to see though and the cabin is at the same initial location in the center of the map as a key focus point.
A buddy of mine that's been helping me with the programming stuff suggested I make the map much larger than before but, I chose to go a different route mainly because I feel strongly that with enemy-wave games it needs to be a bit closed off without being overly large otherwise this can result in player boredom and the fact that I would have to add a ton more things in the game and even though I could just section it off into smaller levels I don't think that's quite for me just yet. There's the possibility that if the game does well I may likely add onto it or include additional maps to choose from but, right now the goal here is to actually finish the game! In fact, I'm a firm believer in the old saying " less is more " meaning sometimes less is better than more and if you want more it can always be added later on of course.
I've since spent a ton of time learning more about optimizations for level design, environments, and scrapped the original map. I actually made it a little bit bigger this time around but, not too much bigger, I improved the environment design, and completely reworked the map layout sculpting out the land further. I also included some height differentials for some points of interest just to make it a little more special.
There's now new trees, I got rid of the old ones and have replaced them with more lively ones that are reminisk of a haunted forest almost like the ones seen in Evil Dead, tall slender and broken yet not quite. Those are done and ready but, I am going to add in 2 improved stumps, 2 logs, and 2 fallen trees just to bring it a bit more to life. All of them will now contain assigned LODs (level of detail) to cut down on fps drop problems which was very bad from before and I have been testing each to ensure and prevent it from being an issue again now that I know and understand more than before.
So currently, this is where the game stands, I had to sort out the models and whatnot and bring them into the scene, the trees are done and all of the textures for everything are fully ready, now its just a matter of getting in the stumps, logs, and a fallen tree or two and then I am going to add the forest back into the game which should be completed any day now within the next couple of days at the most. I may make some slight adjustments to the map just to suite things a little more if necessary but, that's about it and then we're ready to move onto improving the AI to make it much more intelligent with some drastic optimizations that are much needed too!
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