To ensure our judges see your map in the exact same setting as you have locally (i.e. color, brightness), you can optionally submit your client's config. Just look in your baseq2 directory for one of these files:
I catered toward the settings I used and thought looked good back in the day when I played vanilla Q2: intensity 2 gl_modulate 2.3 vid_gamma .85 (note: This applies the gamma to the textures in VQ2)
Since my map is a bright outdoor map, setting gl_modulate much above 2.5 or so causes most of the shadows to disappear, but making the ambient sky lighting darker caused some areas to be too dark to see or look unnatural.
As by map rules maps for the contest should work on the original engine, i tested it on default brightness settings on the original engine with 3.20 patch on, so most of you'll probably see my map bright and washed up, from what i have read this last months in this forum about what settings people use.
EDIT: i did not notice this till now, but my maps were tested in the original engine with the original engine's brightness settings except that i raised gl_modulate to 2.5. With the default gl_modulate (1) the maps are too dark and some parts look very bad.
But the issue is that posting this won't help us much, seeing that most people tested it on their own choice of engines. First for all the issues Spirit pointed out. second, what Null pointed out in Giftmacher's thread about each engine having its own way of dealing with brightness. Third, i noticed something related to the second issue: apart from each engine having its own way of doing things, Q2Pro's gl_modulate does a very different thing to what it does in the original engine. In the original engine it only affects dynamic lighting, so in the original deathmatch maps that means that only or almost only items will be affected, having a small importance, almost aesthetic and up to what each person likes , but in Q2Pro it affects static lighting instead of dynamic, hence affecting almost everything on each map and being a major command. And if it happens in this case, there is probably many other cases in Q2Pro and other engines, adding to the problem.
So, to summarize, it will be even worse than what Spirit pointed out, not only each map has to be played in a specific configuration, but has to be played on a particular engine for it to look as intended.
For the next contest maybe would be better to put an exact engine and settings as a rule, as long as you want for maps to look as intended, which isn't necessary, and its a pain in the ass, as pointed out above.
Last Edit: Mar 30, 2015 3:52:05 GMT -5 by cocerello
That's not exactly true, cocerello. It's not quite as bad as you think. gl_modulate, in every Quake2 engine I've ever seen (and I've looked through the code of at least 6 or 7 of them, including q2pro) is a multiplier for lightmap sample values, and is applied in two places:
1) At map load, all raw lightmap sample values are multiplied by gl_modulate before being cached for mesh lighting lookups, and before being uploaded as texture data to the video card. This yields your baseline static lighting color for every sample on the map. 2) During mesh entity lighting lookups, gl_modulate is _again_ multiplied by the cached lightmap sample value to yield the shading color for the entity.
You may have already noticed an error in the above. Quake2 basically applies gl_modulate twice to mesh entity lighting values. It's a bug that players tend to benefit from (entities are brighter than they naturally would be), so hardly anyone bothered to fix it.
What's more, a lot of players setup their client to load the map with a "reasonable" gl_modulate value (say 3.0), and then immediately after map load, set gl_modulate to 100.0 without issuing a vid_restart. What this does is cause the static lighting of the map to look normal, but entities to basically be full-bright.
Anyway, in my experience, if you tuned your map to look like the baseq2 levels with the default lighting settings, you should be fine. I wouldn't sweat it.
Yes, it isn't a big deal., but i prefer for things to be clear, and learn more.
About what you are saying: I don't know about the code or about all the new engines out there, as i have tried only a few.
So. explain this to me, then.
Try again with original engine in 3.20 patch in q2dm1 for example, preferably on a dark room (machinegun one or rocketlauncher ones work the best) and put gl_modulate 1 (default), gl_modulate 0 and gl_modulate 6 (values higher than 6 don't give any noticeable change). The only thing that changes in those maps are the items and player's hand and weapon, period. Tested it on a clean install of the game, so no external factors can be accounted.
Description: The brightness of a texture while it is being affected by dynamic lights.
Note: If the value is less than 1 then the texture which on which the dynamic light is displayed will be darker than it's normal color. If the value is more than 1 then the texture will be brighter. This variable is mostly used to brighten up the lighting in the game without changing any gamma information.
Which explains the behavior on original quake 2 engine quite well.
If you say you have checked many engines and haven't found this behavior, my guess for now is that most new engines use a different gl_modulate from the original engine's one and you got so accustomed to it that forgot how the original worked (quite common on the Quake and Quake 3 communities), so as you say, the issue isn't as bad.
Last Edit: Mar 21, 2015 8:46:39 GMT -5 by cocerello
cocerello, you have to issue a vid_restart (i.e. reload the map) in older Q2 engines to force gl_modulate to re-calculate all lightmap brightness. That's why the trick I described earlier (load map, THEN set gl_modulate 100) works. Q2Pro must be applying modulate in a shader stage or something. Go ahead and issue a vid_restart after changing gl_modulate in 3.20. You'll see a difference.
I've been hacking on the Quake2 game code since 1999, the engine since 2005. I know it probably better than most folks. I wouldn't lead you astray
Last Edit: Mar 21, 2015 11:44:09 GMT -5 by jaydolan