An open western map and how I suck at optimization

I’m here because my attempts at teaching myself how to optimize with guides such as http://optimization.interlopers.net/index.php? have been less than successful.

Instead of giving vague descriptions of my map I’ll just dump a couple pictures, even if they are hammer.

Exterior

http://filesmelt.com/dl/013.png
http://filesmelt.com/dl/024.png
http://filesmelt.com/dl/034.png[/media]

A couple Interiors
[media]http://filesmelt.com/dl/042.png
http://filesmelt.com/dl/052.png
http://filesmelt.com/dl/062.png

I’ve func_detail’d obvious things (Such as stairs, wooden beams, the jagged edges around holes) and that has certainly helped, but I don’t know where to go from here. I’m going to keep trying several possible solutions and reading other websites, but any help I receive here would be greatly appreciated.

In-game shot’s please.

I’m assuming you don’t need that hint brush on that rooftop, because the area inside is still being rendered regardless.

It also does help placing certain area portals that coincide with doorways (or inside window frames) that is the only opening from one visibility leaf to another.

Here you go, compiled with VVIS and VRAD on fast.

http://filesmelt.com/dl/mh_ridge_010001.jpg
http://filesmelt.com/dl/mh_ridge_010002.jpg
http://filesmelt.com/dl/mh_ridge_010003.jpg
http://filesmelt.com/dl/mh_ridge_010004.jpg
http://filesmelt.com/dl/mh_ridge_010005.jpg
http://filesmelt.com/dl/mh_ridge_010006.jpg
http://filesmelt.com/dl/mh_ridge_010007.jpg
http://filesmelt.com/dl/mh_ridge_010008.jpg

Nice, I think you’re lighting is a little bit bland. Lighting really makes a map look 100x nicer. Good luck on your map!

Optimization wise, looks up the .vmf in the vmf-src file. If you have Left 4 dead, looks up the .vmf in those maps, alot of them are wide open, so you can see some examples, on how Valve optimized wide open areas.

Your wild west map look pretty impressive.

I’ve added area portals to all the buildings and I’ve confirmed they’re working with a fast compile, however my vvis still takes an hour to compile.

Are there any tips on using hints/skips/occluders that someone can give me?

Thanks for the praise.

I’ve already looked at the hl2 sdk vmfs, but I’m going to take a look again. I’ll also be sure to take a look at left 4 dead as well.

Just FYI, I managed to get the compile time down to 18 minutes! This was due to me being a retarded and thinking I shouldn’t func_detail the window frames. It’s fixed now.

Shit I thought it would automerge

You should also func_detail door frames.

Also the glass also.

If you’re setting vvis on fast, you shouldn’t be. Setting vvis on fast causes the calculations for area portals and such to be skipped.

On a personal note, I usually use hints/skips on open spaces, where faces of other brushes would connect with the ones on the edge of my hint/skip brush. Occluders are used to not render (only) models behind certain brushes, where the occluder would be placed inside.

Like, if you have a room, and there’s a wall almost separating the room in half that stops halfway, and behind that almost-bisecting wall, there’s tables and other props and such, I’d place an occluder brush the same size of the actual almost-bisecting wall, so when the player stands behind it, he/she won’t render the tables and other props on the other side.

I’ll draw pictures explaining these if you still don’t get it.

I really like how you used the vanilla wood as vertical wall textures. I bet you could easily convert this to a TF2 eye candy map.