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PR Highlights Highlights of what work the Devs are currently working on

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Old 12-06-2011, 09:54 PM   #1
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Default Operation Marlin (2km)

Later this month Project Reality will be releasing a map pack for version 0.973 of its highly acclaimed modification to Battlefield 2. The map pack will be chock full of maps, with 4 brand new locations and 3 old favorites that have been given fresh, new updates. This highlight introduces one of the new maps as we wait for the upcoming release in mid-December.

Name: Operation Marlin
Factions: Canada vs. MEC
Size: 2km
Location: Beirut, Lebanon

We're also happy to share portions of a short interview with the map's creator, [R-CON]billoute, by PR's media guy, [R-CON]psychickactivity.

Hello Billoute, I am glad to see your map "Operation Marlin" in this map pack. Could you tell us how you feel now that it's almost released?

I'm really happy! It's two years worth of work which is now being rewarded. I feel I've found peace of mind looking back at all those hours spent imagining and building this new playground and I realize now that Operation Marlin can live on its own now for the greatest pleasure of Project Reality players (at least, I hope so)! I think it would have been a big disappointment to see all this work scrapped. Fortunately that isn't the case and, I suppose like all the other mappers who have produced content for this map pack, I'm very proud to see my work being released.

Photo the the map's creator, [R-CON]billoute

How long have you been working on this map and did you encounter any problems that you had to overcome?

The adventure started more than four years ago when I started to work on Alcazar (a vBF2 custom map). I didn't know anything about the BF2 Editor and I learned on my own, making mistakes and getting help from the forums, but there remained some kind of motivation within me that never made me want to give up facing all the crashes and bugs that can occur while developing a map.

Aerial view on left and "Alcazar" 500m map on right.

Then I converted Alcazar (500x500m) into a new map, Operation Marlin, with a new location (Beirut, Lebanon). This took me two years, and the main issue has always been the balance between the number of statics placed on the map and in-game performance (fps/lag/amount of data to load, etc). This is a tricky thing to do for a city map, since this kind of map requires a lot of details and performance can drop massively if you don't handle this with care. I had to make a lot of sacrifices to follow the standards. Despite everything, I always tried to make the map as realistic as possible.

With that intent I created a road system, which isn't the standard squared one, but more sophisticated and took longer to make. I had to make the proper groupings of houses and buildings and make convincing urban districts. And not to mention, placing the whole thing on sloped terrain! The most repetitive task would have been to place one by one all the olive trees in their fields with different line-ups and rotations... I'll let you count all the trees on the map.

Converting the map from 500m to 2km

Satellite view of Beirut on top and Operation Marlin on bottom

Other difficulties were more technical: I had to learn and understand Photoshop and all the subtleties of .dds texture files with alpha channels, which was something new for me. The creation of all those new textures to customize Operation Marlin took a lot of time. It required a lot of curiosity and above all, patience.

The same thing happened when creating the shadows on the objects, called lightmaps. Once again I had to learn using a new software (3ds Max) to be able to generate and optimize those lightmaps not able to be created by the BF2 editor. Actually, to be a good mapper, you have to be able to bear boredom beyond the limits of your endurance for hours and hours.

Can you describe the content of your map, such as where it takes place, which factions will be on it for the map pack and which factions may be on it later?

The map is set in Beirut (Lebanon), more precisely in the North-Eastern part of the city in the industrial harbour during national elections; hence all the posters and billboards on walls all over the city.

In the current version you'll find the Canadian Forces fighting the MEC. MEC forces invade Lebanon to establish a more accommodating government. The UN send elements of the Canadian Forces to stop this invasion. I chose the Canadian Forces because this army has always been here to defend peace with the UN.

The final version will feature the French Forces pitted against the Israeli Defence Forces. The background will be slightly different. The Hezbollah win the national elections and Israel, out of fear of terrorist activities, invade Lebanon. The UN is against this operation and send the French Forces to free the country. The outcome of this battle of course depends on you!

Anything else you'd like to add?

Yes, I'd like thank all the people who helped me with their advice and support to carry this project to the end, especially the [R-DEV]s and [R-CON]s of the mapping team, the members of the French Forces faction team who are doing their best to be in v1.0 and all the others (Team VIOC, Team HeroS, ...). I hope you'll have as much pleasure playing this map as I had creating it.

This highlight is part 3 of 4 for the upcoming 0.973 map pack.
Be sure to check back in a few days for information about another map and mapper.

AFsoccer is offline
Old 12-06-2011, 10:38 PM   #2
PR:BF2 Developer
Default Re: Operation Marlin (2km)

It looks great! I'm so happy these community based maps are finally seeing fruition
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:19 PM   #3
Default Re: Operation Marlin (2km)

My interest in PR is rising with each of these map threads.

Haven't played PR since a few days after the last update came out.
ebevan91 is offline
Old 12-07-2011, 12:37 AM   #4
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Default Re: Operation Marlin (2km)

great map! awesome good work billoute.


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Old 12-07-2011, 02:01 AM   #5

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Default Re: Operation Marlin (2km)

Damn, It's awesome!
Cheers! Can't wait!
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: Operation Marlin (2km)

Great map, fighting for the Mt. Suribachi lookalike in the top right of the map was hilariously fun.
Looks very authentic inside the city as well.

ReadMenace: "...Could be wrong, the 6th soldier could be in the fetal position in the trunk. Or on the driver's lap. "Is that your radio poking me SL? Oh.. Ohgod.. It's not!"
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Old 12-10-2011, 06:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: Operation Marlin (2km)

Can't wait to play this map. Even more when the French Forces are ready.

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Old 12-10-2011, 06:50 AM   #8
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Default Re: Operation Marlin (2km)

Pfft them Frenchies will never be ready. You keep teasing me with those awesome sauce pictures every now and then.
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Old 12-10-2011, 07:19 AM   #9
Default Re: Operation Marlin (2km)

Hello guys , and girls , the French are going to be here and i am happy , VIVE LA FRANCE !!

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Old 12-28-2011, 08:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: Operation Marlin (2km)

Originally Posted by [R-CON]psychickactivity View Post
Hello guys , and girls , the French are going to be here and i am happy , VIVE LA FRANCE !!

I'm very happy as well.
Map looks amazing.

Zulnex is offline
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