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Thread: Improving some low-quality original objects?

  1. #151
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Gloucester, UK
    Hi NV,

    Well, as I've maintained for a while, Dark Metal is a re-imagining of the Thief world, not an 'enhancement' as DEDX was. I expect most of my new models won't be useful for the enhancement project because they differ so much from the originals.

    For the benefit of anybody who doesn't know what I mean by 're-imagining' - Dark Metal kind of exists in a 'parallel' Thief world. In Dark Metal, mechanists look different, their technology looks more HG wells rather than art deco and industrial...

    Rob

  2. #152
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2000
    Location: Finland, Earth
    Rob - that sounds like a fine goal and I'm looking forward to seeing the new look you've created.
    However, the conceptual differences do mean it's a little irrelevant to keep saying "Dark Metal already has an upgraded version of X" about things that are brought up in this thread, since as you say your versions aren't drop-in replacements.

  3. #153
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    But you also say that Dark Metal 'can run Thief 1, Thief Gold, and Thief 2 fan missions'.
    Now, I didn't release a mission with that three-openable-drawer CabinetTable, but someone else might have done something similar...
    You almost have to play through all existing FMs with Dark Metal to see what (if anything) is adversely affected...

  4. #154
    Member
    Registered: Aug 1999
    Location: terrible canyons of static
    I do recall Rob saying that any FM with its own .gam file doesn't work, obviously.

  5. #155
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Gloucester, UK
    Spitter's right on this. Obviously, I cannot account for custom stuff in DM, simply because there's so much of it and it often conflicts. When a T1, TG or T2 unstripped mission (or a FM if it contains minimal custom stuff) is opened in the DM environment it will work almost immediately. There will need to be some cosmetic tweaking here and there (e.g. the famous backwards torches, but also things like particles, which will need to be updated).

    Vigil - I'm only mentioning the things that are conceptually the same as (or very similar to) the originals.

    EDIT_______________________________________________________

    A night's sleep and a new idea. Dark Metal is bound to annoy just as many people as it pleases, simply because of the re-imaginings ("Boo" to quote ZB amongst others who have PM'd me). And I do see what they mean - I can hardly claim that DM allows play of T1, TG and T2 missions all in one gamesys when things will change to match my own concept. At the moment, as DM stands, changes to the original concept are inherent (if, for example, you decide to load 'Soulforge' into DM then the mechanists, cameras, robots, etc, all change to my vision by default. Naturally some people will not like this, but will still want access to DM's game improvements (e.g. guards who draw weapons from belts, improved SFX, the T1G object heirarchy implemented in the T2 gamesys, etc). Anyway, here's what I'm thinking...

    Release THREE parts to DM.

    PART ONE 'CORE' : Stands alone. It's simply the T2 gamesys with the T1G object hierarchy implemented. Additionally, the sound files, models, textures from T1G which are required to do this. Using the core, people can load in T1G2 OM's and custom-lite FMs with almost total compatability (maybe 100% when Telliamed's conversion scripts check out). And, the Enhancement project can slip nicely on top of the core.

    PART TWO 'CUSTOM PACK' : This is the above gamesys, expanded to include all the nice new AI's, textures, models (pretty much like DEDX).

    PART THREE 'REIMAGINED PACK' : Contains the 'altered' versions of T1G2 models and AIs for people who like a new look.


    Now, if I do this, it will set DM back a month or so, and build a new gamesys for the 'core' (because my current DM gamesys contains everything), but I do believe this is a solution that will keep everybody happy. Building the core gamesys shouldn't be too hard - I've already sorted all the schemas, textures, missing models in the process of building what I have.

    Thoughts?

    Rob
    Last edited by Rob Hicks; 22nd Jul 2005 at 05:50. Reason: Had an idea---

  6. #156
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Formby, NW England
    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless_Voice
    I thought I included the flinders for the basic crate; might have forgotten those objects.
    However, by default all Thief crates/barrels use the same crate flinders.
    I actually have some explosive barrel flinders that I made for my own mission, but since they need to be set up in the gamesys I didn't include them.
    I think flinders for all replacement objects should be made available separately for those who are prepared to set them up

  7. #157
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    A pity if it will take you longer, but I think that's probably the best idea.
    I'm not sure if the core / custom objects need to be separate, though. Also, you could include 'enhanced' models (eg. those that look almost identical to the originals, and are texturemapped the same. For example, my old tables, but not my apples).

    Making those custom flinders is very easy, as I have some custom flinders already and just need to reskin 'em.

    Which reminds me of another point I wanted to make: most of my Enhancement Pack models are not directly based on the originals - I only used them as size / appearance guides. So, there would be no problems with using the models in other games (the Dark Mod, for example), if anyone wants to do so...?

  8. #158
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    I've been working on the metal doors lately, using the 'use a render of a high-poly version of the object as a texture for the low poly version' method - with the help of some textures from Lemog textures.
    Still a lot of doors in need of work, though.

  9. #159
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Rob, at the risk of sounding totally clueless, what exactly does your idea entail from the not-very-technical p.o.v. of the casual user or casual dromeder (if there is such a thing )?

    Is this like, a player just d/l's & installs DM ... and then when loading an OM or *any* FM, everything will take care of itself ... so that an T1G2 OM & FM will retain original features? And a DM FM will use the DM features without any trouble? (or is this whole issue beside the point, b/c the download will contain all the DM features & DM gamesys as part of the d/l package, so the maker does not have to be concerned that player's have not d/l'd DM)?

    What if a player *wants* to play an FM or OM with the DM *vision*, will that take some amount of work on his/her part?

    I'm still a little unclear what's going to happen with custom-heavy FMs here. You have permission to explain it to me like I'm a 6 year old.

    Are DedX1 FMs in any way affected by, compatible with DM? What about them?

    How much extra work are we talking about for dromeder's that have to choose between this 3 tiered system, e.g., if s/he wants to adopt your vision vs. just adding a few drop-in features, etc... Will it be more or less like it was for adding custom DedX material?

    Again, sorry if I'm just asking clueless questions ... You're idea sounds worthwhile, but I'd like to know what the basic issues are in very simple, not-so-technical terms and how your plan plans to makes things better all around, and what sorts of demands it will make on your run-of-the-mill dromeder. Thanks.

  10. #160
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    I just tried to run Christine's FM 'The Curse of the Falcon' using my Enhancement Pack, and ran across the first 'too many palettes' error/crash.
    I had always been a bit skeptical as to the existence of that error, as I had never encountered it before now (which just proves the proverb "Tell a man that there are 300 billion stars in the universe, and he'll believe you.... Tell him that a bench has wet paint upon it and he'll have to touch it to be sure.").

    I'm not really sure what I can do about this. That FM uses 232 palettes by itself, leaving only 23 palettes free for use, and no matter what I do the Enhancement Pack will always need more than that. I've already changed most of the textures to share a palette with at least one other, but that still leaves me with a lot more than 23.

    Now, I could easily make a 'patch' for 'The Curse of the Falcon' by changing some of its textures to share palettes, as practically none of them do at the moment (I'll have to put my hand up here and point out that I'm certainly guilty as far as my models are concerned.), but I'm not sure if that's a good idea, or particularly viable for that matter.
    There are probably quite a few other FMs that suffer from this same problem, so if I did decide to make 'patches' I'd have to make them for all of these, too. Which would entail people manually modifying the archives of various FMs, since I'm fairly sure that neither DarkLoader or GL will fail to extract over more recent files (eg., those included in the EP just to fix these problems.)

    Any suggestions?

    Also, does anyone know any other FMs that use an ultra-high number of texture palettes?

    - NV

    On a side note, I just installed Rebirth for SS2 for the first time, and realised how bad all the Thief AIs look. But I think that's a goal for another time...

  11. #161
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    Location: Vermont
    That's not good, it would be time consuming to make a patch for all of those FM's. How much exactly does the EP cover? Maybe if it did everything you could eliminate that palettes that the original Thief uses and replace those with the new ones. I'm not sure if it works like that though.

  12. #162
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: Renmark, South Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Ottoj55
    not a replacement, but much nicer are these from the clocktower,



    http://www.jasonotto.net/objects/fences.zip
    Hey Jason have you got those polys down with them big fences I still get those darn too many polygon in queue errors i might have to use them small ones and space them out a bit.
    Add me as a friend on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/shanemullan
    Karras (Rust In Peace)

  13. #163
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Formby, NW England
    NV: As if the palette limit didn't cause enough of a headache, you should also consider what can happen when an FM contains more than one level:
    (go to post #5)
    http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=49263

  14. #164
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Yes, I know what you mean.
    The first mission of Calendra's Legacy works fine, but when I try to run Midnight in Murkbell... I think you can guess.

    But somehow I don't think there are that many FMs which have this problem... we'll see...

    Speesh' idea might have some merit, too. Most of the original txt16 textures share palettes, but not all.

    I've just spent a while redoing most of my own objects to use shared palettes... haven't updated them on my site yet, though...

  15. #165
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Here are some examples of the rusty metal textures I've been working on:

    Rusty metal door:

    Rusty metal turbine:


    And here are examples of some original Thief textures that need improving:
    Anyone want to volunteer?

    Gold Chair: (Back, leg, and side of seat)


    Cheap blankets:

  16. #166
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Eshaktaar; any plans to build a new ElevatorButton? That one still urgently needs improving.
    Also, I notice that you didn't make a new version of the Ramirez button, but that's not very important since it's only used in 'Assassins'.

    I'm going to see about throwing everything I've done so far together into a proper public release 'beta' version; should have it done by next week.

  17. #167
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: The Rogues Den
    I can make you one if Eshaktaar is busy. That's a weird button...does it go in a metal housing or something? It's just a big red plastic square, lol.

    BTW, I made a coupla zombie/haunt types. Not exactly what you were asking for, but it's something.

  18. #168
    I already made new elevator buttons but forgot to upload them. I'll make them available later today (maybe with an updated Ramirez button included, as well).

  19. #169
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: The Rogues Den
    So how do FM authors use them? I don't remember when I saw an elevator in a mission last. That button has no housing or plate or anything. You just stick the button on the wall?

  20. #170
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless_Voice
    Here are some examples of the rusty metal textures I've been working on:

    Rusty metal door:
    Yikes. Nice texture, but it looks like someone threw a bomb at it.

  21. #171
    Quote Originally Posted by Targa
    So how do FM authors use them? I don't remember when I saw an elevator in a mission last. That button has no housing or plate or anything. You just stick the button on the wall?
    There's a terrain brush texture just for the elevator buttons to fit into.

  22. #172
    I uploaded a new version of the switches pack: NewSwitchesV1_2.zip

    Here's what's new: Elevator button, Ramirez button, control panel.


  23. #173
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    ZB: Not quite sure what you mean there. Too rusty?

    Esh: Those look very nice; downloading now. (That metal on the control panel looks remarkably like my new 'rusty metal' textures, but I don't think I've uploaded those yet...)

  24. #174
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Well, the original texture just looked like some greyish metal with red rust all over it. The new one looks like the original door, but covered with black scorch marks and white crystallization.

    By the way, it's probably possible to upgrade this door to two stacked 256x256 textures. Normally there's a visible seam when this is attempted, but since the center appears basically the same as the top and bottom, you could most likely hide this artifact entirely.
    Last edited by ZylonBane; 4th Sep 2005 at 11:10.

  25. #175
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Two stacked 256x256 textures? An idea I was considering for paintings, but I saw a candle holder with no texture on it in an OM yesterday, and was wondering if maybe all these hi-res textures have eaten up all the video memory...? (Or maybe there's some more mundane explanation, like the texture map got deleted somehow. I wasn't quite paying attention at the time, so can't remember which texture it was.)

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