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Thread: The Dark Mod released!!

  1. #626
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2008
    There's one thing about the footsteps which I haven't seen mentioned at all. There's a noticeable difference between the player's perception of space while stepping from a stone floor to a tiled one.

    I don't know how to properly describe it but it feels a bit jarring that a room can suddenly start sounding larger, or harder than it really is. The quality of the audio samples are pretty good, but it feels like there's not enough middle-ground.

    Does Doom 3 have any audio tools, like some kind of reverb to match room size?

  2. #627
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    From a technical perspective, you'll need a bit of ambient occlusion in just about all your textures. Like say you make a nice, ornate border with lots of curves and dimples, but the diffuse is just a grey granite without any shadow information on it. That'll look great for the areas of the texture where the light hits it at a slant, but the nearer you get to your light source, the flatter it'll look until you've got nothing left but your diffuse. A good AO will maintain the shape of the underlying normal on the diffuse even under the harshest of lights.

    On another note, here's something I should've said a long, long time ago...

    GREAT JOB DARK MOD TEAM! CONGRATULATIONS!

  3. #628
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Tucson, AZ
    Quote Originally Posted by Fidcal View Post
    I've made a small crash test. Those of you who had the crash when you went into two of Chalice's rooms and one in the trainer I'd be grateful if you could test this please[...] Once in game just turn round to look at the pedestal and let me know if it crashes.
    Oh yeah, it crashes alright. Curse you, foul column! Thou art the spawn of the Devil and... a pedestal...

    Quote Originally Posted by Malleus View Post
    Hmm, I tried this "seta image_useCompression "1"" setting and it fixed the pedestal crashes for me without affecting the loading times. Someone else with the pedestal crashes should test this, maybe it will work as a temporary fix.
    Well I tried to, but the config file resets to its default value once I load the game up. Oddly enough, though, I think my default settings are different from what they're supposed to be. The FAQ shows this:

    seta image_usePrecompressedTextures "1"
    seta image_useNormalCompression "2"
    seta image_useAllFormats "1"
    seta image_useCompression "0"
    seta image_preload "1"

    Whereas all my configs show up as this:

    seta image_usePrecompressedTextures "1"
    seta image_useNormalCompression "0"
    seta image_useAllFormats "1"
    seta image_useCompression "1"
    seta image_preload "1"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ishtvan View Post
    The control system was inspired by the game "Mount & Blade," which pulled it off very well. There isn't any fundamental reason why those controls "just won't work."
    Actually, there is: the default perspective for combat in Mount & Blade is third person. That makes a world of difference when it comes to keeping the player oriented in the battle, not only in terms of a larger field of view but also as far as having the avatar function as a visual anchor point for reference purposes.

    It's true you can play M&B in first person, but in the few videos I've seen of people actually playing that way they're pretty much just randomly flaying about, in comparison to those fighting in third person where you'll see far more skill on the user's part.

    Obviously, you can count me amongst those who prefer a different control scheme for the sword, although melee fighting in the Dark Mod has other kinks that need to be worked out as well.

  4. #629
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2002
    Location: UK
    There's a map in Thief's Den if you want to take a look how they work. Much like single sheet readables. At least one up-coming FM has a map.

    It is perfectly possible to make a snuffer to put out candles. No doubt somebody will make one. But grabbing, pinching, and dropping gets easier with time and of course, easier than wasting a water arrow which is another way to put them out.

  5. #630
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Toronto, Canada
    Oh yeah, it crashes alright. Curse you, foul column! Thou art the spawn of the Devil and... a pedestal...
    That's so bizarre. I've examined that model and can't find anything unsual about it at all. Yet others have confirmed it crashes for them.

  6. #631
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: cesspool
    Quote Originally Posted by Fidcal View Post
    There's a map in Thief's Den if you want to take a look how they work. Much like single sheet readables. At least one up-coming FM has a map.
    A map is in The Crown of Penitence, 'M' button will open it.

  7. #632
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2003
    Location: Southquarter
    Quote Originally Posted by Fidcal View Post
    It is perfectly possible to make a snuffer to put out candles. No doubt somebody will make one. But grabbing, pinching, and dropping gets easier with time and of course, easier than wasting a water arrow which is another way to put them out.
    No biggie, I just originally thought (and instinctively tried to do) that it would work like this: Right mouse click = pick it up, Use = put it out. But I suppose the Use key is bound to inventory management only.

    As for the loud footsteps, it's not as much the loud player, but guards too silent. I could often barely hear them. Maybe tune both areas to come closer to each other?

  8. #633
    Desperately dodgy geezer
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: The Wailing Keep
    On the topic of maps, does TDM support multipage maps, or automapping?

  9. #634
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: ColoRADo
    Quote Originally Posted by Renzatic View Post
    From a technical perspective, you'll need a bit of ambient occlusion in just about all your textures. Like say you make a nice, ornate border with lots of curves and dimples, but the diffuse is just a grey granite without any shadow information on it. That'll look great for the areas of the texture where the light hits it at a slant, but the nearer you get to your light source, the flatter it'll look until you've got nothing left but your diffuse. A good AO will maintain the shape of the underlying normal on the diffuse even under the harshest of lights.

    On another note, here's something I should've said a long, long time ago...

    GREAT JOB DARK MOD TEAM! CONGRATULATIONS!
    True, AO does wonders IMO. But you gotta look at timeline too. 5 years ago when the mod started Ao was barely heard of, a really new technology.

    Then there is also something that unfortunately hurts projects like this IMO. I noticed it ALOT with my stuff. We were all learning new tech as we went. I spent all my previous time ignoring new techniques like normal maps because all my work until Dark Mod was on T2.
    So some of my first models had simple shaders, then as I progressed the shaders or tex became better, or changed, or I remodeled the entire model again...
    Or we figured out the benefits of shadow meshes, and had to go back and revist a ton of objects for better performance.
    Or someone figured out a better glass shader... go back and redo... at the same time trying to push foward and make new stuff.

    I plan on updating some important stuff of mine, namely the door hinges that look flat without light (they have a little AO, but not enough IMO).

    Other things like the door frames and the washboard (really suffers from lack of AO in shadows) I made I was trying to conserve resources as much as possible. So I just reused a base texture of wood/metal. So they don't have a specific map of their own.

    I was trying to figure out how to overlay an AO in the shaders. Then they could have a smaller, simpler texture for shadows and use any combo of stock textures for skins (the doorframes have 3 skins I think).
    But that option for a shader was turning out to be tricky for me and I couldn't quite get the effect I wanted.
    If this could be figured out AO could be added to objects with alot of skins without drastically increasing mod size (and at 1.4 gigs now that's a major concern, especially since the mod is free and that bandwidth costs money).

    So moreso than having alot of perfectly textured objects I was aiming more at a variation of colors textures from stock to give authors a better variety to keep FM's fresh.

  10. #635
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Toronto, Canada
    I just originally thought (and instinctively tried to do) that it would work like this: Right mouse click = pick it up, Use = put it out. But I suppose the Use key is bound to inventory management only.
    That is how they work. Are you saying they're not going out when you do that?


    As for the loud footsteps, it's not as much the loud player, but guards too silent. I could often barely hear them. Maybe tune both areas to come closer to each other?
    Someone else has reported really quiet AI footsteps, but that shouldn't be happening. You should be able to hear footsteps at about the same level as voices. Do you have EAX turned on? Try turning it off and see if that helps.

  11. #636
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2002
    Location: UK
    Quote Originally Posted by Yandros View Post
    On the topic of maps, does TDM support multipage maps, or automapping?
    No, I did favour this but in fact each map is a single sheet and you can have as many as you like so effectively you have multi-map but not in one 'bundle' (that could be easily simulated though just by making a normal bundle of sheets readable with a separate map on each page instead of text.

    Automap plus some other ideas like adding notes was discussed but had lower priority than other things so not on even on the drawing board at the moment.

  12. #637
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2002
    Location: UK
    Quote Originally Posted by redface View Post
    No biggie, I just originally thought (and instinctively tried to do) that it would work like this: Right mouse click = pick it up, Use = put it out. But I suppose the Use key is bound to inventory management only.
    I don't know the default controls but yes, that is how it works. Pick up the candle, press use control to pinch it out.

  13. #638
    Slightly Mad
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Sweden
    Quote Originally Posted by Fidcal View Post
    I don't know the default controls but yes, that is how it works. Pick up the candle, press use control to pinch it out.
    Think redface meant pressing use while it's highlighted, before you frob and pick it up to pinch it out.

  14. #639
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2003
    Location: Southquarter
    Yeah that's what I meant, sorry for the confusion.

  15. #640
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Corvallis, Oregon
    I think many people are forgetting TDM has rope arrows and swimmable water which were the main things missing in TDS. Now the people who don't want to like it are picking apart the maps' designs. Too boxy? you're talking about 97.5% of all games out there! I was working on the mod for a while & seen some amazing maps (WIP) like Dram's Blackheart Manor where it starts underground with stalactites and stalagmites and then goes on from there.

    As far as tech is concerned, D3 is easy to mod where most of the formats used can be easily edited with a text editor. Hell, you could even modify your map file with a text editor if you wanted to. Try modifying scripts or gamesys files in TDS without T3Ed . . . Or use an open source equivalent to UnreadEd . . . wait there is none.

    3d models can be exported from Blender, 3DS Max, Maya, Lightwave, and then some. Texture-wise you can use anything that can save as tga or dds (or even jpg). With TDS you only have 3DS Max 5.1.

    Here are some screens of stuff I did while I was in the mod. I'm not the best mapper in the world:







    What ticks me off is the lack of research people do before they start griping about stuff! C'mon! You can find just about anything with google!

  16. #641
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Quote Originally Posted by redface View Post
    Yeah that's what I meant, sorry for the confusion.
    You were right that the "use" key is basically inventory-frobbing. Anyway, it takes less than a second to pick it up, snuff, and drop it back down. (But it's possible that frobbing future candles may snuff them. That's how some lamps presently work; you frob them and they turn off. But maybe those candles should look different so there isn't confusion.)

    To make multi-page maps probably wouldn't be too hard, even though I think you might have to edit the .gui file by hand. But you could look at how multi-page books are done and it's basically the same thing with a few tweaks here and there.

  17. #642
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Fidcal View Post
    I've made a small crash test. Those of you who had the crash when you went into two of Chalice's rooms and one in the trainer I'd be grateful if you could test this please.
    Well, it didn't crash. And I loaded up the training mission and it didn't crash either. It didn't crash no matter what I set useCompression to. I didn't install any new drivers or anything on my PC since then, and it seems to be working fine now. I just don't get it.
    EDIT: Now I remember, I installed the Painkiller: Resurrection demo yesterday and it did a DirectX update. Could it be related?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc_Brown View Post
    Well I tried to, but the config file resets to its default value once I load the game up.
    Modify the file, then set it to read only, then launch the game, then quit the game, then remove the read only attribute. No, seriously.

  18. #643
    Ascottk - actually I think I'm not just speaking for myself, saying that we all love all the things we got in TDM (mechanics, gameplay-wise), and your screens actually prove my point about shadows and organic look (i.e. the lack of it)

  19. #644
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2001
    Location: Inside at last...
    Guys, I'm getting crash dumps everytime I launch the darkmod through the launcher. Something referring to ctaud2k.sys. I tried twice so I know it is not something else. Or it simply doesn't like Vista.

    It was the first crash dump on this new machine. I didn't see anyone else getting it so I won't be touching the Dark Mod again until I see a solution.

    A nice start i'd say....
    Last edited by Fallen+Keeper; 22nd Oct 2009 at 18:06.

  20. #645
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: UK
    After an evening or two playing around with the various fan missions available, I'm very impressed. Well done everyone!

    I genuinely don't get some of the criticism being levelled at TDM. If people think the levels are too blocky and the textures don't look great, isn't the point that this is essentially a modification for a game engine so that people can make their own fan missions with their own design and textures? Blocky level design, textures that don't fit and so on are "problems" with the fan missions used to showcase the Dark Mod, and can easily be "fixed" when people release their own fan missions.

    The comments about the footsteps volume relates to the engine, which I'm guessing is why it's being taken on-board. I personally would like an "Objectives" key-bind and arrows to be slowed slightly in future releases, but I'll happily play with it as it is at the moment!

  21. #646
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian The Dog View Post
    I personally would like an "Objectives" key-bind and arrows to be slowed slightly in future releases, but I'll happily play with it as it is at the moment!
    I wouldn't be too concerned about criticism, that's normal and to be expected. We're used to it anyway.

    What matters most to us is that, as a team, we said we were going to pull off this task and through some miracle...and a lot of hard work....we did.

    We do wish we could give you all an objectives key bind, but that part of the SDK isn't open to us yet. Once we have open source, for sure.
    Last edited by New Horizon; 22nd Oct 2009 at 18:19.

  22. #647
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian The Dog View Post
    I genuinely don't get some of the criticism being levelled at TDM. If people think the levels are too blocky and the textures don't look great, isn't the point that this is essentially a modification for a game engine so that people can make their own fan missions with their own design and textures? Blocky level design, textures that don't fit and so on are "problems" with the fan missions used to showcase the Dark Mod, and can easily be "fixed" when people release their own fan missions.
    This. Any problems you're seeing with boxiness, flat lighting, ect isn't a problem with the engine or lack of talent on the team, rather a design decision. I'm sure they didn't want to go all out and make some awesome beautiful maps only 3 of you here could run. They wanted to make something everyone could enjoy and get a taste of what the mod could do. For the most part, they did just that.

    You think the lighting is flat? There are no limits to how many light entities you have in any given scene. The more you add, the more realistic it looks. As long as you're computer can handle it, you're golden.

    Think it looks too boxy? D3 can easily handle millions of polys easily. The only bottleneck is, once again, your computer. You don't even have to use brushes. You can construct maps in D3 the same way you would in Unreal2/3, with basic brushes for structure and meshes for detailing. D3 doesn't differentiate between polygons imported from blender or drawn as a brush inside Radiant. Make whatever you want, and add it.

    Textures? Same thing. Make your own. Share em, swap em. Trade em like baseball cards.

    There is nothing stopping you from doing absolutely incredible work here. What you see now is definitely not what you're gonna be seeing a couple years from now when all the Dromeders start giving it a go (and you all damn well better ). The only limit here is how much time you're willing to put into a map. Considering that some of you spend 2-3 years on a map...well...what's stopping you?

  23. #648
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2009
    Location: South Dakota, USA
    Did you MAKE those trees, ascottk?

  24. #649
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc_Brown View Post
    ... the default perspective for combat in Mount & Blade is third person. That makes a world of difference when it comes to keeping the player oriented in the battle, not only in terms of a larger field of view but also as far as having the avatar function as a visual anchor point for reference purposes.

    It's true you can play M&B in first person, but in the few videos I've seen of people actually playing that way they're pretty much just randomly flaying about, in comparison to those fighting in third person where you'll see far more skill on the user's part.
    I played M&B quite a bit in first person (for "research"), and was still able to fight strategically rather than randomly flailing. I agree it is a bit more chaotic and easier to end up facing away from the opponent than in third person mode, but we didn't want to make combat too easy in our stealth game. [edit: Fighting more than one opponent in first person is particularly challenging, but we didn't want the player to be able to take on more than one guard at a time and survive very often.]

    Do you think it would help to have a mode where you choose the attack direction based on where the enemy is relative to the center of your screen?

  25. #650
    Quote Originally Posted by Renzatic
    Considering that some of you spend 2-3 years on a map...well...what's stopping you?
    Oh, yes we do.. But I'm on full halt now - end of publishing season, i.e. lots of work for me and real life in general: lately I'm using the UE editor only to design tiles in my bathroom and the bedroom
    Last edited by Judith; 22nd Oct 2009 at 20:17.

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