Staredit Network > Forums > SC2 Custom Maps > Topic: Seeking feedback for detail-oriented terrain
Seeking feedback for detail-oriented terrain
Jun 7 2016, 1:49 am
By: Pr0nogo  

Jun 7 2016, 1:49 am Pr0nogo Post #1

Using years of Brood War terraining experience and blizzard's own campaign maps for reference, I'm developing detail-oriented terrain for campaign missions and I'm seeking feedback. I'll be posting screenshots of my efforts, along with a brief write-up of the biome and the intended effect of the terrain pieces. I'm looking for any constructive input that will allow me to create great terrain. If I'm on the right track, I want to know that so I can stay on that track; similarly, if I'm doing something wrong, I'd like to correct that mistake as soon as possible.

Please let me know what you think. The first map I'm working on is below.

Aiur - Lonely, overgrown temple

This out-of-the-way temple is perfect for a band of insurgent protoss to hide out. With nature enveloping the structure in the centuries since the Aeon of Strife, the location of this old shrine was soon forgotten by much of the Conclave, allowing trespassers and squatters to have free reign over the temple grounds.

The inspiration came from the desire to create a believable hideout for a group of dissident protoss. As they are a grim reminder of the loss the protoss race suffered during the Aeon of Strife, the Conclave is unlikely to have retaken many of their ancient temples, even centuries after the conflict's conclusion - but a lack of groundskeeping has come at a cost. The temple is overgrown, its effigies in disrepair and its foundations riddled with flora and fauna. While not quite a respectable place to call home, the shrine's central courtyard is shrouded in trees and old statues, creating a thick fog that further improves the secrecy of the region.

As this map is my current focus, I'll continue updating the thread with additional screenshots as I complete more areas. Thanks again for taking a look and seeing what I have to offer. I hope to use the feedback I gain here to improve my terraining capabilities.

Jun 7 2016, 2:57 am Pr0nogo Post #2

Here's an updated shot of the base in the first image.

Jun 7 2016, 4:35 am payne Post #3


The wines give it a great feel.

Jun 7 2016, 11:45 pm Pr0nogo Post #4

You should send me some wine, maybe it'll make it into the map.

Jun 8 2016, 2:49 pm TF- Post #5


I like it a lot, I notice a serious attempt to have coherent colors and more realistically-sized doodads.
The random notes of glow at full brightness that Blizzard litters through some doodads are really jarring to me, they usually don't fit the environment and are ultrabright even if they did, not a lot of alternatives here besides using different doodads or removing the glow textures from the models (last time I did this the fastest way was through hexediting rather than use the retarded Texture Declarations feature)
Also some of the plants' sizes could still be addressed maybe by making them a little smaller, they just don't have enough detail to look good at a large size even if Blizzard may have intended them to be gigantic alien foliage, this is a pet issue of mine though so whatever, I always felt foliage in SC2 should be smaller in size and more numerous which kinda goes for most doodads.


Jun 8 2016, 3:48 pm ClansAreForGays Post #6

Looks really good.

Jun 8 2016, 4:36 pm Pr0nogo Post #7

Unfortunately I have to balance performance with looks, since sc2 is one of the most poorly-optimised 'modern' engines I've ever worked with, so at times it pays off better to have fewer, larger doodads than countless smaller ones (even though I agree that the latter option looks infinitely better).

I appreciate the feedback, from everyone. I'm going to continue on this map later today and will hopefully have more areas to show once the temple grounds are complete.

Jun 10 2016, 7:21 am Pr0nogo Post #8

A shot of the temple's northwestern courtyard.

Jun 10 2016, 8:54 pm Pr0nogo Post #9

Someone pointed out that flags and banners could be useful in reinforcing the setting. As a result, I've begun adding flags to certain areas. It's just a shame that I can't apply my own decals to them.

Another recent focus of mine has been making sure that the transition from temple to jungle is as seamless and believable as possible. There's a lot of visual storytelling with the crumbling walls and statues, but I want to start off with clear borders where the temple was constructed, and then work my way backwards with the ruined, overgrown themes in order to create a realistic feel. In other words, rather than simply constructing an overgrown temple, I want to construct a temple, and then create the vines and the foliage and the ruins, so that it seems more genuine.

This is an example of where the temple starts to recede and the jungle starts to take over. There's a clear separation of where the temple was constructed, and where the jungle was left unpaved and untouched. My objective is for players to be able to 'see' how and where the jungle began invading the temple, so to speak.

Another concern of mine is performance. My computer is more than capable of running the game at max settings, but I'm unsure of how to properly optimise the map for gameplay, aside from upsizing doodads and using less of them in general. If any of my terrain draws any red flags for people who are more knowledgeable than I about such things, please let me know what I can do differently.

Thanks again to everyone who's posted so far. I look forward to everyone's feedback.

Jun 11 2016, 12:00 am Pr0nogo Post #10

I've completed some work on the complex.

A close-up shot of the first structure.

And the second.

The main goal here was originally to provide an implied entrance into the temple, but I couldn't find any doodads that would suit that purpose. I'll continue looking and hopefully stumble onto something that I can use. Of course, if anyone has any recommendations, feel free to make them known.

Jun 12 2016, 6:42 am Pr0nogo Post #11

With more work comes more screenshots.

The southeastern courtyard is overlooked by statues that, while old, remain intact, for the most part. Nature has begun eroding both them and the natural cliffs that reside beyond.

A recent installation, this landing pad serves as a dock for any of the dissident faction's vessels.

One of the two canals that run underneath the temple grounds has been claimed by nature, although the water contained within still flows.

This structure houses the entrance to the underground. If the door still had power, it would allow travel throughout the bowels of the temple.

I'm still iterating on certain doodad selections and trying to figure out pathing/performance, so as always, feedback is greatly appreciated!

Jun 14 2016, 8:04 am Pr0nogo Post #12

A new area of the map has been completed - a distant shrine more thoroughly enveloped by the thicket.

On the approach to the shrine, a riverbank gives life to the jungle

The shrine itself is pictured here - a once-great place of worship that has fallen into ruination since the Aeon of Strife.

A direct shot of the shrine.

Worth noting, too, is that the lighting was changed between the last set of screenshots and this set. It's a cloudy day in this part of Aiur, what with all the rain, and I wanted to represent that more directly with the lighting. Please leave any feedback you have for the terrain - I look forward to hearing what you have to say!

Jun 14 2016, 8:59 am payne Post #13


That one feels like you could almost fit a waterfall coming off from that hole in the middle top of your structure.

Jun 14 2016, 9:31 am Pr0nogo Post #14

Like this?

Jun 14 2016, 3:11 pm payne Post #15


Quote from Pr0nogo

Like this?
Yes, I like it.
There's also another smaller hole, if you want, just a bit bottom left to that one you've just used.

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