because it contains a lot of info that any future mappers should know if they plan to make it an official map along with optimization tips.
Oh yeah, the map has a great feel and I'm not saying to touch that. But I think you could keep that feeling while improving the gameplay. The thing is, you have SOOOO much untapped opporunity here for AMAZING vehicle gameplay. I mean think about it.. you've basically built an entire city on a size and scale that we've never seen before. What makes GTA2 so fun? It's the feeling of zooming all over this city in a super sweet car! This could be Subvein's first ever true GTA2 style map, truely showing off the vehicles and how much fun it is to zoom around in them. However when I played it I was crashing into stuff all the time. There's stuff all over the roads and the roads are only like 6m wide etc, so it's really hard to steer and drift around corners like a boss. But imagine if they were 15m wide how much smoother it'd feel. I wanna hop into a Roadster and go FULL SPEED zooming all over this awesome city of yours, but alas I cannot. Don't get me wrong this map is already very cool and I'm sure will be amazing for Outbreak, Extraction and perhaps even War mode. But I'm just giving some feedback about the insane potential for awesome fun vehicle/Checkpoint/GTA2 style gameplay you have. It's already great, but with vehicle support could be truely amazing
On another note there's a technical issue about featuring this map in the official download that you need to consider. I know this is going to be a huge pain in the ass, but IF
you want me to include this map in the official download it's going to have to change the texture file back to the default bencelot_01.png file. I know I said I'd include it in our PM but I was at work then and didn't realise that this map required an 8MB texture file to work. I simply cannot justify including this extra 8MB to the official download for a single map, especially
when this texture is basically just a copy of the bencelot_01.png texture anyway. If you had a brand new set of textures like swiss01.png without any duplication then I could add it because then the file size wouldn't be as large and it'd add a lot of new stuff, but I just can't officially support your current custom texture. Sorry, but it's just too big and takes up too much space for a game that's meant to be quick to download/install.
However there IS something we can do about this. I've been looking at your texture file and like a lot of the new things you've added, and as you know I have plenty of space in my bencelot_01.png texture. So if you want I can shift a lot of your textures across to the bencelot_01.png file. I'll try keep as many of them as I can in the exact same place so you won't need to redo them when you switch the texture file. There will be some changes needed though.. for example I can see you've replaced the snow tiles with a wall covered in graffiti. This graffiti wall will need to be placed somewhere else in the bencelot_01.png file meaning you'll need to update the tiles in your map that use it. Furthermore there are some tiles in your texture that I just don't want in my bencelot_01.png file, such as the cars, the drawn tank thing and perhaps a few more tiles that are too fuzzy/blurry to be of official quality. Anyway I think I can copy the majority of your textures over and hopefully you won't need to change that many tiles in your actual map.
With a map as large as this though it's still going to be a huge undertaking, so perhaps you don't want to do this at all. I'd understand completely if you'd rather maintain 100% artistic expression and control over the look and feel of your map, in which case you're free to leave it as it is and keep using your custom file. But I'm just letting you know that I'm willing to transfer a lot of your textures across as they look nice anyway and will not only support your glorious city but allow other map makers to use them too
Anyway have a think about it. Do you want it to be included in the game or do you want complete control over how it looks? Pros and cons to both, and the choice is yours.
Now moving on to making it official. All that talk about textures above was simply to include it in the actual download file.. but to make it an OFFICIAL map it'll need even further polishing. Again a map this huge is going to take a lonnnng time to polish up to official standards and you might prefer to simply keep it unofficial so you have complete control over how it looks/plays. I'm already amazing you've even created a map this huge and would gladly have it in the game even as an unofficial map just so we could bust it out from time to time and explore your marvellous city. But it'd be even cooler to make this an official map, though quite a few changes would be necessary. I'll quickly go over my main points in a bit, but before I do just remember that you don't need to do any of this stuff. You map is already awesome and will get plenty of playtime even if it's not official.. but I AM trying to set a pretty strict standard for official maps and have to be nitpicky. I've even dropped official support for a few of my own maps (Cave) because they just don't seem well designed enough. These points are very critical and would probably take you forever to do, but at the very least you can consider this feedback and if you actually have the time to implement them the map might become official! Just remember that the map is already awesome and I'll gladly include it unofficially in the game (if it uses bencelot_01.png) simply because it's so damn cool! Anyway my suggestions:
1) Too many lights. The loading time is simply too long for it to be official. Large maps will always take longer to load but if you want to make a massive map you need to make some sacrifices with your lighting and optimise the lights and tiles to the max. Anyway you can fix this in a few ways:
1a) Remove the dynamic lighting. As soon as you use phase 2 lighting the map needs to calculate all the lighting TWICE. This doubles the loading time for your map and considering that your dynamic lighting is just a few flashing lights here and there it's simply not worth it. Dynamic lighitng is fun and pretty but if you want to make a map this big you need to make some sacrifices.
1b) Replacing multiple medium intensity lights with 1 high intensity light. I'm not talking about light radius but light intensity. In general 1 light with 100% brightness will look exactly the same as lights with 50% brightness but will calculate twice as fast. Just keep this in mind.
1c) Remove as many lights as you can. Obviously keep a light if it adds to the feel or whatever but if you think you can remove a light do it. For example the headlights on cars could be removed if you're going to remove the cars.
1d) Use the tile lighting properties when possible. If a tile is indoors use the tile property that ignores directional light. This saves us from having to calculate it. If the tiles are way out at the edge of the map use the tile property that receives no light at all so it doesn't need to be calculated. If a tile texture is pitch black to the same as it's not going to lighten up anyway.
2) Polish the edges of the maps. You should never be able to see the black edge of an official map. If it's night time you need to fade it to black (like I've done in Supply), if it's day time you need to make it wider than normal weapon vision (like I've done in Farm), and if its indoors you can just make it black (like I've done in Asylum). For your map I'd suggest putting up a few barriers at the ends of roads and changing the tile properties to fade it to black.
3) Fix the big open areas of nothingness. Either fill it with buildings or make it black or something, but atm it looks unfinished.
4) Remove the clutter. This map is already huge and amazingly detailed and doesn't need it. I know the feeling your going for is post apocolyptic where stuff is lying all over the place but it just looks unprofessional if you have too much of it. There's nothing wrong with a well placed box here or there, but just running around it looks like random stuff has been added just for decoration with no real purpose to it. This not only hampers gameplay (especially vehicle driving) but looks messy I think. If you want to achieve a 'messy' look for a run down city it's better to do this with non-intrusive textures than random boxes. The thing is when I run around your map now I just see these 2m tall 1x1 tile blocks all over the place and have no idea what they're suppose to be. I can figure it out if I study it hard enough and eventually realise that it's meant to be a traffic light or something, but I shouldn't have to do that. We need to accept that there are limitations to the Subvein map editor that everything must be done in 1x1m blocks and some things simply will never look good. Traffic lights in real life aren't 1x1m blocks so we simply shouldn't put them into the game. At the very least try and remove all 1x1m blocks from the map. They almost never look good. Even 1x1m wall don't look good. Maps look a lot better with big, simple shapes.. not random clutter all over the place.
5) Lose the cars. It's a great idea and very creative, but alas it just doesn't look professional enough to make it into an official map. Again this is why you need to think about if you want your map to be official or not. The cars certainly add a cool feel to the map but they're simply too blocky and remind players that they're playing in a blocky game. Again we need to work within the limitations of Subvein's engine. Subvein is limited to 1x1m tiles and for that reason you'll never see me make a map of a jungle.. it just wouldn't work. Subvein can't handle curves or fine details and so we shouldn't even try them. But Subvein does handle simple square shapes quite nicely and if you play a good map you won't even notice the blocks. This is why I don't like curves in maps, or diagonals either. Again, the traffic lights add clutter that reminds us how blocky the game is and we don't want that.
6) Widen the roads where possible. This might be a bit tricky in some areas and not the biggest deal but it'd be really great to have wide open roads to drive vehicles over.
Anyway this has taken me agges to type up so I'll leave it there for now. Remember that you don't need to do any of this stuff as the map is already great. But huge maps require huge amounts of polishing, so hopefully this has been useful :p