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Thread: What to Do About Crap High Res Texture Mods?

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: LosAngeles: Between Amusements

    What to Do About Crap High Res Texture Mods?

    I just took a look at my mission through the eyes of a clean Taffer Patched install, and discovered that the MODS folder installs an NTEX directory which has purported high resolution versions of OM textures. Unfortunately some of the textures included vary significantly from the OM textures. Two that immediately showed up in my mission as just plain wrong are CITY/CRIS07 and CORE_1/ROBBLOC.

    CITY/CRIS07 is particularly egregious. It has wood/stucco in places where the original has window glass, and it went from a lit window glass effect to a dark window glass. In effect it totally reinvented CRIS07 rather than being a higher resolution version of it. The one on the left is the replacement, and the one on the right is the OM. They only look vaguely alike.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This seems true for most of the replacements; they only resemble the originals rather than being higher resolution versions of them. If you use a small section only of the OM texture, say the lit window, there is no guarantee that the section you are using is the same in the higher resolution version, totally changing how your mission looks. Double grrrr!!

    So, is there any way that a mission author can disable mods when a mission is loaded? I don't want someone else's interpretations of the OM textures screwing up the way my mission looks.

    Oh, here is a compare of ROBBLOCK. As you can see, they are virtually identical, right?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by LarryG; 2nd Aug 2017 at 05:16.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Formby, NW England
    I think the only way to guarantee a desired look is to include any texture whose appearance is very important. I think EP2 is the best source because the vast majority of the resources are respectful of the original content.

    The other thing (and good luck with this) is to put something in the readme suggesting certain mods be disabled.

  3. #3
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    What you can do is lobby the TafferPatcher maintainer to remove or replace any inaccurate textures that it includes.

    For some reason I thought nobody used NTEX anymore, that it had been superceded by a better terrain texture project.

  4. #4
    Zombified
    Registered: Sep 2004
    yeah, NTEX is a better than nothing kind of deal from times when EP2 didn't exist yet - I did suggest kicking it if memory serves (and a few other fixes as well) to DJ Riff via pm, but never received a reply.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: LosAngeles: Between Amusements
    Worse than nothing, IMHO.

    Also, when you are up at the limit of resources already, adding in even EP2 or some of the water or sky mods can cause crashes. It does that for me.

    So no way of shutting it off from my side? The best I can do is warn folk in the readme, hope that they read it and shut stuff off? Sigh.

  6. #6
    Zombified
    Registered: Sep 2004
    unless you'll make a custom patcher that will kill the NTEX folder or replace the mod_path in cam_mod.ini, no. hmm.. I think including a custom/no NTEX cam_mod.ini with the FM would override the one in the game root, but that would be a very evil fight-fire-with-fire thing to do. //nope, doesn't work.
    Last edited by voodoo47; 2nd Aug 2017 at 11:58.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    If you're using stock textures, you could just make renamed copies of the textures you're using, and package them with it instead. Not like it'll bump the filesize up much if it's the original pcx files.

  8. #8
    Zombified
    Registered: Sep 2004
    that will work, but it would break any proper hd texture pack, should the user attempt to load it - again, it's fighting fire with fire.

    making a note in the FM readme and pestering DJ Riff about kicking NTEX out of the patcher are the best options.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: LosAngeles: Between Amusements
    Quote Originally Posted by nicked View Post
    If you're using stock textures, you could just make renamed copies of the textures you're using, and package them with it instead. Not like it'll bump the filesize up much if it's the original pcx files.
    Yeah. That's what R Soul suggested and I was planning on doing if no better option presented itself.


    Quote Originally Posted by voodoo47 View Post
    that will work, but it would break any proper hd texture pack, should the user attempt to load it - again, it's fighting fire with fire.
    Not really. It will guarantee that the look I want for my mission is preserved. I honestly think that mods should only apply to the OMs. That's where they are tested (if they are tested). If a mission author wants high resolution textures, then the mission author should include them. Otherwise the artistic integrity is compromised.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: X:0.0000; Y:0.0000; Z:0.0000
    I agree with you on the mods. Take one of my FMs "The Unknown Treasure" for example. Using a texture mod on it will result in some texture scaling issues. Also, I'm pretty sure that some of the material effects will get compromised. (ex: fake reflections, light grit, etc.)

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2011
    Location: Montpellier, France
    Glad I'm not the only one bothered by texture mods. I always find it a bit insulting that all your careful work on texture combinations and alignment is somehow not good enough for some people and they play a bastardized version of your mission with some texture packs. Case in point, most of my texture work on Endless Rain is thrown into a dumpster fire when you play it with Thief Gold HD. Some textures are so completely different and have such different texture alignment/orientation that the level just looks godawful and completely unlike my vision. Not only that but these textures also clash with the other custom ones I used which, while higher-res than the originals, are still somewhat low-res.

    I won't lose sleep over it but it still annoys me.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2001
    Location: 210x200x64
    Never bothered with tex mods mostly for the reason skacky pointed to. Didn't want the hassle of disengaging this or that to play a FM and certainly didn't want to superseded a designer's intention as I understand just how much effort goes into making one. Plus I don't really revisit the OM's very often so I have little interest in an upgrade. But I do think that the new packs must bring a lot to the table and dress up the old girl especially for those who are new to the game and might be put off with the original lo-fi look.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Quote Originally Posted by nicked View Post
    If you're using stock textures, you could just make renamed copies of the textures you're using, and package them with it instead. Not like it'll bump the filesize up much if it's the original pcx files.
    Just out of curiosity, do they have to be renamed? Won't drop-in replacements do the trick? For example, copying texture folders from root T2 folder into your FM folder. Theoretically, it should override any mod.

    I personally prefer even OMs in vanilla look.

  14. #14
    Desperately dodgy geezer
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: The Wailing Keep
    I wonder if someone who talks to DJ Riff could point him at this thread to see the opinions being expressed by the FM authors about this.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Texas
    Is it really necessary to use Tafferpatcher? I simply installed Thief 2 and then I unzipped each version of NewDark into my Thief 2 folder as they were released. The only mod I added was the water texture. Everything else is stock and I never have any issues with gameplay or how a mission looks.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2011
    Location: Montpellier, France
    It's not necessary of course, but a vast majority of people just install TafferPatcher/TFix without disabling the bundled mods. TFix doesn't have anything like NTEX but it does have T2 replacements for quite a lot of T1 textures that just look plain wrong imo.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: LosAngeles: Between Amusements
    Quote Originally Posted by marbleman View Post
    Just out of curiosity, do they have to be renamed? Won't drop-in replacements do the trick? For example, copying texture folders from root T2 folder into your FM folder. Theoretically, it should override any mod.

    I personally prefer even OMs in vanilla look.
    If the user uses the uber_mod_path configuration variable, then, no, drop-in replacements won't work. The only way to guarantee not having a mod override the textures is to avoid OM texture names. And that includes things like water and lava.

    Quote Originally Posted by john9818a View Post
    Is it really necessary to use Tafferpatcher? I simply installed Thief 2 and then I unzipped each version of NewDark into my Thief 2 folder as they were released. The only mod I added was the water texture. Everything else is stock and I never have any issues with gameplay or how a mission looks.
    That's how I got into this trouble late in my mission development. My working setup was just that, a manual NewDark implementation. But I wanted to test how TafferPatcher differed since so many fans use it for their installs. And I was unpleasantly surprised by the result.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    So the only way to guarantee the look is to import all original textures that you use as custom ones and intoruce all of them to the gamesys? Sounds like fun

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: LosAngeles: Between Amusements
    That, or trust in the fans reading the readme for your mission where you tell them that your mission is NOT COMPATIBLE WITH any mods (or with mods A, B, C, ...) and that any attempt to use those mods while playing your mission will cause their PC to explode and hatch a kraken which will proceed to eat them and their entire neighborhood before your local militia is able to turn it into sushi.

    Seriously, I'm hoping that someone will take fmsel, the "demo" fm selector application whose source is included with newdark, and upgrade it to detect the use of mods and a special note in the readme (format TBD) of an FM and warn/prevent the fm from loading until the user allows the fm selector to temporarily disable the mods.
    Last edited by LarryG; 3rd Aug 2017 at 11:53.

  20. #20
    Desperately dodgy geezer
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: The Wailing Keep
    Instead of a note in the readme, it should just look for a config value in fm.cfg, something like "disallow_mods", and disable mods in that FM install folder.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: LosAngeles: Between Amusements
    Better idea! Now we just need a programmer to implement it.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    So, let me get this straight: the fan patch for Thief 2 installs a non-canon texture mod by default?
    And also, possibly (needs confirmation) places it into an uber_mod_path so it it overrides all other resources from FMs?

    That's terrible. If it's really doing that, we should get the mods to take the patcher down / unsticky the thread until such a time as it's fixed.

    I guess the problem is that the people who are competent enough to spot this kind of thing are all the ones who don't use patchers and just install the games manually (or, never uninstall them in the first place), so the problem hasn't been properly noticed until now.

    I went to a lot of trouble when making the EP, and collecting the EP2, to make sure that all the objects and textures both looked as close as possible to the originals, and also that FM resources would cleanly override them without issues. A lot of the other mods didn't go to that trouble, so I can just imagine the nightmare this could cause.


    Allowing the FM selector to disallow mods is no solution either. That has its own set of problems, including not being able to make patches for FMs, let alone a lot of annoyed players forced to play with ugly, low-res original objects just to preserve the author's "artistic vision".

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: LosAngeles: Between Amusements
    TafferPatcher puts it in the mod_path configuration variable, not the uber_mod_path. But when the mod is not like EP2 and the textures included are distinctly different than the OM textures, or there are additional frames for moving textures which cause the fm to exceed the number of handles allowed, then there is no simple solution.

    I was not advocating that the selector prevent anything. Only that it warn and offer an option to disable the problematic mods for that fm only. If the player wants to go ahead, then fine. (Shouldn't patched be loaded via the fm.cfg file?)

  24. #24
    Desperately dodgy geezer
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: The Wailing Keep
    I agree with you NV that fixing TP is the best solution. It should either install the EP/EP2 or no mods by default.

    Larry, patches are usually handled via DML files, not fm.cfg. I don't know if a disallow_mod config variable could be done such that it prevented mods but allowed DMLs.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Right. It's really easy to make a mess by using more textures than the original models did, or different filenames, even if you're not intentionally trying to change the appearance of things. I ran into that problem a lot in the EP. I think there are still a few instances of that kind of thing in there, but thankfully not that many.

    The problem, of course, is all those people who've already installed their game with TP. Not really sure what can be done about them.

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