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My Book, My Curse..

Recon Digest Feb 2007

This is a delicate request so hopefully we can make something successful happen. Sometimes I do things then say to myself (what have I done, lol).....

I am calling out for the following mappers at this time to see if they or if they know others interested.


Good mappers from SCE

Papa6 - other great BDA mappers


Good mappers from TanAtoS

... and any other mappers who are fully capable on doing this.

Had the thought to write a little monthly bit on GRAW to touch base with some topics. AT THE END OF THIS POST. Personnaly I have a couple of coops in progress (AW10 Version 1.0 is out there and a final V1.1 will be released as well as AW10 Day Docks and possibly Delta Force Coops).

One thing I want people to pay attention to is an effort to get some mappers for GRAW 2. This is important and I would like to continue this discussion with replies on people interested and if people don't come forward I would also ask that you nominate some folks who you believe are excellent mappers and may be able to help take this challenge. Starting now will help efforts when GRAW 2 becomes available for the PC. This was succesfully organized for Joint Ops over a year ago and was very helpful to the gaming community so in preparation for GRAW 2 the effort starts now.

As map packs are made and become available I was thinking on playing out the themes for them in a monthly newsletter style to add a little flavor. Each map pack would consist of all gametypes and the newsletters will carry on with postings related to the coops to make a campaign style story play out over the months that GRAW 2 remains popular.

An example is in the link at the top and below along with more information on the efforts to get some people working together on maps. I know this may look like it singles out the beginners from the experts, but the overall goal is important for the community. I am not looking to start a clan or division. This is about getting the expert mappers to map together, talk, discuss, plan, and map in agreement for the common goal. We would all talk about it and setup projects to work on. Once the projects are in place we begin as soon as the tools are available. This is not a 'me' thing either, it is a community thing. The last thing I need is to make more work for myself - that is where a group effort comes in. In the end we should actually be working less but with more feel for accomplishments.

Only issue with these types of requests is some that do not have experience want to be a part and although that is fine, only the finest are those who will be given the green lights to setup the packs. Please don't be intimidated and not reply. If you think you can do this and know the advanced ins and outs of mapping you may be highly considered. I still learn each day. This is not a perfect world so there will be some problems getting this going, but we can work through them. Adults only and no idiots, please. I am not going to sugar coat it. I am easy and very fun to get along with as some of you already know, but there are some that truly do not work well in a group. Lets make something happen, but if you know someone.

Please read and if you need to contact me you can reach me on MSN at tomanger@comcast.net, directly via email at the same email, or at the SCE site link. I frequent these daily as well as these forums. I give it a month or so to prepare then when the game is available we can go forward. If no one wants to work together on these I understand and we can continue to do what we all did in GRAW.

I am an East Coast USA player - work 3rd shift (12-9) so my posts are usually weird times. Mappers of any timezone can be in this, but it may be difficult to coordinate meetings, however, anything is possible. I have my own personal Teamspeak address (I am at work and don't have the address off hand) so we can actually use that if need be to get together and chat a bit on ideas.

That link again:

Recon Digest Feb 2007

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PM's have been sent to those in the post. No Obiligations for anyone on this topic. When I receive some feedback we can look to setup an informal meeting on teamspeak to discuss further for:

1. How we should organize it (how many people do we want/need).

2. Who is willing to give it a try (should require les time than what you are used to).

3. What type of naming convention to use (prefixed, numeric values, for maps, etc)

4. What type of designs we can deem as default styles - needs to be verbally communicated to clarify.

5. Anything else we can each offer as ideas to make something good, fun, and stressless.

An agenda will be put in place where we can add to it prior to the meeting. This will be a group effort and I don't want to spam the ghostrecon forums, but if it is all the same it may help people understand where this is going. For now, let's pursue the potential for this to go forward...

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This sounds like a great idea and I am not opposed to working as a group effort. My only concern is my time. I worry that as soon as we get to something I would be working on that I would get some side work. I do freelance web work, so it comes and goes. It just means that any time table given me could be disrupted.

Also, has anyone heard about the new GRAW 2 editor?

Will there be one?

Will it have more features and lanscapes to work with?

I just read some stuff on IGN about GRAW2 PC, and if they do away with [GR], or even limit the respwning and do not allow infinite respawns, then you can count me out. I don't care to get killed and wait for the next round. My time is more valued that to do that. So GRIN folks take note, I know I'm not the only one.

You can count me in, but it's going to be determined by how GRAW 2 is released. If they botch this one and decide to patch it piece by piece then I'm through. There are plenty other games to play/map, and with less headache.

Do I sound pesemistic? :rolleyes: Did I spell pesemistic right? :mellow:

Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Rav :zorro:

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I would like to know all the tools we will get when GRAW 2 comes out as well...

You make perfect sense to me, but your avatar scares me, lol. I don't know if that is a "Hi, how are you doing", or a, "I am about to snap!!!!", After reading some of your posts of frustration that is the feeling I get, lol. Mine is probably intimidating to, ha ha.

Anyway, the questions I have gotten so far are:

  • Can we still map our own way?
  • Time may be a factor..
  • GRAW 2 isn't out yet so what can we do now?
  • Can we still make other maps off the side on our own?

Stuff like that. The short answer is we will use our own skills to map, but specifics like how dumpsters should look, train tracks, barrels, and a few others we will discuss at a preliminary gathering on teamspeak (TBD). We will figure out the basics to use and we should critique our own work. I am at fault at times for adding too much smoke or fire which for some causes lag so I can back that out if it becomes an issue. You can still make your own maps on the side. This isn't to hire you to do something you don't want to do. It is to bring a set of folks together for a common goal and have fun with it.

Some may finish maps before others, but when that happens we are not to release the pack so that will give those who finish early time to fine tune their maps a bit, work on other stuff, start the next project, etc - or how about this - go play a little, lol. Goals need to be set high so 12 maps in around 6-9 months may not be attainable, but we may get 2 excellent packs (6 maps) out in the end.

I fully understand your cooping nightmares. I have some on my desk at home that I keep trying things on like getting a heli to land, trying to get friendlies to work, etc. I can pretty mich map the basics in coop (vehicle movement, AI Waypoint Patrol, 50 cal usage, etc) - nothing too fancy in my opinion. That is why I am anticipating a 3 map pack with coop (if it allows it) and we figure out a story campaign for it.

To add - with these packs we could also setup tournaments as they are released - like if a pack is released in June, I help setup a multiplayer knockout tourny in August using July for signups. We could also setup coop tournys as well. I see Rocky posted something on the front page that ick is setting up for the xbox 360 and coops. I know ick and may be able to see if he could help me get one setup for the pc.

Anyway - looking for a few more (I have some folks intereseted already) and then in the next week or so maybe an informal get together can be established.

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lol that's good ol' chuckie. he's harmless...lmao!

But I've already PM'ed Rav about the idea I presented to you. Hope fully this will be feasible.

tools? I'm sure an editor!?!

we may need 3dsmax and the plugins for sure to make custom geometries and maps.

photoshop. I'm going out on a limb to say we will use DDS files for textures which is free from nvidia under developer tools or the like.

can you email Grin and let them know initially you are our rep and ask them questions? we need to do this professionally and organised. since this is your idea for a project, you are the PR, contact The grin guys kind of fella.

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lol that's good ol' chuckie. he's harmless...lmao!

But I've already PM'ed Rav about the idea I presented to you. Hope fully this will be feasible.

tools? I'm sure an editor!?!

we may need 3dsmax and the plugins for sure to make custom geometries and maps.

photoshop. I'm going out on a limb to say we will use DDS files for textures which is free from nvidia under developer tools or the like.

can you email Grin and let them know initially you are our rep and ask them questions? we need to do this professionally and organised. since this is your idea for a project, you are the PR, contact The grin guys kind of fella.

My avatar reply was for Rav, lol. We will need to talk verbally before I move forward with GRIN so I will give this until after the weekend and then post up some dates/time where we can all talk. Good stuff man...

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I think its a good idea at least to have a base where we can share info but I think we will have to wait and see what we get before we get our hopes up too much.But if the mapping tools are there i'd probbly be interested in the working with others,maybe even have a data base of work folders so others can make new missions on each others maps theres alot of maps out there that dont match each others style of play .I know some of my maps...most of my maps you arn't gonna go through with one spawn I cooking one tonite that is hopefully gonna be a no respawn map

but ya id be interested in this project.

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If the map editor is anything like what exists now then we are just about there. After this weekend some dates and times will be thrown out there to see what works for folks. A verbal meeting would be best. It is more to get an idea on how long we have been mapping, ideas on what we can choose for default designs like what to expect for dumpster scenes, barrel scenes, etc. Each map will have the individual's design touch, but basics have to be in the maps as well. We will talk about the mapping guidelines and agree on them.

Start researching Mexican and US borders now so that we can get some great ideas to move forward on. We will not be replicating old maps on this project.

For the gathering there will be an agenda to go off of and we will add or change them until the meeting, but it isn't just about make the maps. It is to work together on themes and put forth at the very least maps in threes with a campaign style feel. You also have to be able to map well. We will take the time needed to make them. No visible flaws can exist and strive for perfection using realistic details. If at the very least we will learn from each other and gain skills plus experience. I did this in previous games - should be a win win situation. This effort requires the best of the best - anyone with little experience can also help out with ideas and maps, but the themes will probably be given to those with time to chisle away at the big picture for now. I don't want to sugar coat it. I have a family, churchlife, coach baseball fulltime and basketball part time so my time is also limitted.

GRIN??? A map editor will exist correct??? I don't see too much on that subject but it typically isn't something advertised alot, but please let us know details if possible. Thanks.

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This is in response to the PM from Papa6. I figured posting it here would also bring out persons who know or understand some of the things I am talking about.

I hope I don't sound like a wet blanket, I'm only being practical.

GRIN requires 3D Studio Max 7. I have a friend who gave me a copy of version 8, but you can't make a ver. 7 files with it. He gave this to me when I was all gunho and starting to map for GRAW. I don't know squat about graphics, but I also didn't anything about mapping GRAW and learned.

It was my hope that I was going to be able to create some displacement maps that would create the terrain. This is easy in 3D Studio, from what I see. It’s the editor that has so many hoops to jump through just to get a custom graphic into it. Creating a map with the editor’s stock textures is a breeze compared to getting a graphic into the editor.

I’m working on a map right now that is reusing the texture from mission 6. It’s a pain being stuck with the terrain set just one way. I’m using only the terrain from that mission and the map file size is not nearly as huge as expected by reading some of the posts from GRIN regarding using items from other missions.

I’m not saying it can’t be done, only that it will take a person with experience and patience to design and import a graphic into the editor. If, for some reason, GRIN decides to build GRAW2 with the new Unreal engine, then we got it made. I see that editor coming out when Unreal is finally released. But I doubt GRIN will veer from the one they use for GRAW.

Unreal 2004 is a great example of how a mapping community keeps a game alive. The stock maps get old quickly. The ease of use of the editor made this possible. Here’s hoping the new Unreal engine will be as friendly.

I’m constantly being a pessimist, and I apologize for that. I do like this idea very much. I guess I’m hoping that the GRIN folks will see these posts and pick up on what we want in an editor. It would not only provide us with easier tools, but to accomplish the making of nice maps that can only promote the game, thus more sales. When people realize there is a mapping community making good maps they become more interested.

There are many that will not be jumping on the GRAW2 for PC bandwagon until they are positive it does not have the problems its predecessor had on release.

My participation in this would probably be best used as a coder. I built and coded "Closed Casket", but the design of “Long Black Veil†and “Escape†was from a couple of friends of mine. They handed it to me when they were happy with the way things looked, and then I added and coded the AI from scratch. I made changes to the map only when needed to accomplish certain goals. I’m not saying I wouldn’t make any maps, but if someone felt better about design than coding, then they could hand it to me and I could be the one taking the blame for the map being so hard. (i.e Long Black Veil).

Rav :zorro:

PS: I figured how to put some snipers in the trees. Problem is that the object they are placed on can deflect bullets if approached from certain angles. Nothing grandes can't handle. Also, the use of random is making the maps a lot more fun. This next map will be using random a lot, so it isn't always the same.

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Rav: I have to agree with you. GRAW is a VERY closed item and trying to get custom terrain into GRAW is well...difficult. But here's to hoping GRAW2 will change all of this. alot of xml editing and then unbundling the quick.bundle then rebundle it after you add your items is very difficult and really a drag. going to folders makes it less intense to get at your work to fix or update it.

But let's just hope with the good news so far, that this stuff with modding is added as well.

I'll go BACK out on the limb and say that I would guess that the moddability would be better as GRAW was NEVER meant to be modded and they kinda had to throw this together. But i think this time around we might have a winner or modding that will attract more people. I have had 3 maps in the last month posted and they are hardly ever downloaded which tells me that GRAW has a VERY little following. :unsure:

But I'm still optomistic(sp?) in GRAW2 being better and more what we want. Let's just hope

Added MUCH later. I know about the 3dsmax7, but with 8 and 9 already here, which do we have to use? I can see us using 7 and 8 by choice. the engine and what not are the same. mayeb GRIN can give us some idea.

Edited by Papa6
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Added MUCH later. I know about the 3dsmax7, but with 8 and 9 already here, which do we have to use? I can see us using 7 and 8 by choice. the engine and what not are the same. mayeb GRIN can give us some idea.

I know GRIN is using mainly Max 8 for right now, but also have Max 9. The only limitations will be in what version the exporter plugin (if there is one) works with. So the community will just have to wait and see what ships with the game before we know what version of Max will be required.

As for adding terrain, do you really have to rebundle it? Can't you just place it in the correct place in an "local" folder like I described with the override of original missions? When it comes to the actual implementation, I was looking some at this structure when I was checking if there was another way to allow more objects to be available between the the different tilesets. So I know the diesel is needed for the terrain, and it's XML file defining meshtype, shadow casters, objects to lightmap and such, and the material.xml to define which textures to use on which material set in Max and what shader to use. Besides that I think all you need to do is edit one of the unit XML files so the new terrain will show up in the editor. And then set the correct texture scope when using it of course. IT requires some XML work but it mostly repetitive... especially the material.xml. Maybe I'll be able to write a tutorial on this. Have to check if I can find the time.

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As for adding terrain, do you really have to rebundle it? Can't you just place it in the correct place in an "local" folder like I described with the override of original missions?

Yes, you can but you have to unbundle the quick.bundle file, then add your terrain, and edit some xml's according to the tut's and then rebundle it. then you have to edit the xml's to get the editor to be able to use them.

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For now lets research some pics and possible stories related to the Mexican and US borders. The game kind of brings the 2 together so some simple story planning will be part of the themes. It looks like we have the following interested at least from what I have gotten through emails or PMs

Definitely getting the game, definitely mapping for the cause (if an editor exists)

  • Myself
  • PAPA6

Others who are pending based on if they get the game or if the editor has cooping/scripting capabilities

  • Rampage10.0

So that counts 6 and some of those are questionable.


2-4 more - need 1-2 more willing to help script coops based on the designs setup. I know I can do them in all gametypes from the bottom up so you can also design the map from scratch and then coop it if that is your thing too.

Also - It isn't just mapping. We will need help with some storyline topics, ideas on map styles, environments, etc. When I put out the info on the meeting and agenda next week I am hoping some others will want to at least swing in to hear the discussions and offer advice..... My personal Teamspeak can hold 12, but if we have others interested I will look to use another line. So far it looks like a larger TS is not needed.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Nice thread "Tom"

I hope it works out and you and the crew find the time needed, I am waiting for GRAW 2

and probably the same crashing map editor as we have, but more pieces. I will be back

mapping with GRAW 2 on the 30th March 2007 on. As you didn't know I've been ill for the

last 2 years and had an op in Jan 07 and things feeling better. So you gave me an idea.

With all the resources flying about, maps, scripts, mapping notes and people, maybe

you could set up a central directory or resource centre/ base for all types of info on

GRAW MAPPING. So a bit like your IDEA of touching bases but I'm suggesting that it

extends into all resources. It might make things easier and also if there was a teamspeak

server setup for weekly/ monthly/ daily or whatever, map edit chat.

I don't know if I told you about my wikki from last year but if not here's the link. Use any

or all of the content to your liking, to include or rewrite into a site/ forum or whatever.

Same goes for any maps I made, unpack them or I can send you the DEV Files if you

wanna make a mark II or variation.





I think you know my maps (3 kings (EX), 5 Dragons, Broken Arrow, Broken Arrow EX,

Base 51 EX, Oaklands, Oaklands EX etc.

And I like to help out with this and that, chat mostly, I think your Idea is great, just it

may be too time consuming that's why I thought you could setup a little club of sorts ?

Catch me on the BDA TS or on there forum (viiiper), SKYPE too viiiper.

till later



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The hardest thing is coordinating it so it may or may not fly. People like to map at their own pace and the idea is to have those that map very well such as youself and others plan a 3-map project and spend a month or 2 making them. With more mappers you can pull out 5 to 6 maps in the same time. I know some coop coders wouldn't mind taking the custom MP maps we make and add the AI elements.

Again, tough to organize, but when the game comes out and we all evaluate it I will look into communicating the ideas. I haven't been doing much other than tweeking my last map and rendering for a release. Don't want to spend time if GRAW 2 is the next focus. Custom maps should be made as good if not better than some stock maps. It takes what players want to see and puts them into action, but I don't need to tell you that :-)

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