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Thread: Providing between mission exposition without a cutscene.

  1. #1
    Registered: Jun 2016
    Location: The Frozen North

    Providing between mission exposition without a cutscene.

    Hey all, it's been a bit since I've even booted up my latest project but I wanted to ask for some advice.

    Now, I'm just thinking of some more plot to add into it, but since this is a continuation of my first released mission I wanted to link that with this upcoming one by revealing the identity of the person whom hired Garrett in the first place.

    I would love to do this with a cutscene, but am severely lacking in the skills or know-how to even think about creating one. I thought that maybe providing a sort of "Keeper Journal" written by an acolyte shadowing Garrett describing what he's witnessed within the read-me as the mission intro would be good, but I can't bank on every player reading that before playing the mission.

    So, any other ideas? Suggestions? Any and all are appreciated.

  2. #2
    Registered: Apr 2011
    You can have a book be displayed instead of a mission briefing and/or cutscene if you want:

    The Dark Engine will fall back to displaying a book named Bnn.str instead of playing a briefing movie Bnn.avi (nn being the mission number) if:

    • the movie called Bnn.avi does not exist,
    • a book file called Bnn.str does exist, and
    • either a default book art or specific book art is configured.

    Book art is configured in an appropriate .cfg like this:

    ; Default to using parchment (Books/parch) artwork for movie-substitutes
    default_text_bg parch
    ; Mission 24's briefing should use the Book of Ash artwork (Books/abook) instead
    b24_text_bg abook
    If you're targeting NewDark and its FM loader, you can put these configuration options into fm.cfg in your FM's directory. Not sure with OldDark or when using Darkloader etc if there's a better option than asking the user to edit a config file themselves.

    Note that your FM must include the book art for this to work, just having the book art in books.crf isn't enough, for whatever reason.

    (This movie-substitute actually works for all movies. If you delete/rename/whatever the movies directory or use the movie_path or no_movies configuration so the movies won't be found, then you can create intro.str, credits.str, success.str, death.str, Cnn.str and so on to replace all the other movies.)
    Last edited by vfig; 6th Sep 2018 at 17:29.

  3. #3
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Formby, NW England
    Another option is the CamVator, which we first saw in The 7th Crystal. The player is attached to an invisible elevator, and can look around freely but not move. The elevator itself can be made to move, and various events can be triggered, such as AI conversations. There's also a custom script, NVCameraTrap, which uses a regular object rather than an elevator and which can prevent looking around if you want to really control what the player sees. The latter can be used to show the player fading text by making objects fade in and out. That effect was used in Death's Cold Embrace.

    The player can be transferred from one camera object to another. A fade out and fade in effect can be used to mask the transition (there will be a brief drop before the player gets attached to the subsequent object).

    With those things you can easily show a Keeper meeting Garrett and saying things.

    Genuine movies don't have to be very had to make, but it depends on how ambitious you are. If you want a full 3d environment and characters, with realistic fabric, reflections, normal maps, lighting, then it will be very hard. However, you can do a perfectly good movie with a combination of screenshots and text with zoom/pan/rotate/fade effects. My own preference would be to use Blender because pretty much every object parameter can be animated. Anim8or can also do this, but I haven't used the program for a very long time.

  4. #4
    Registered: Jun 2016
    Location: The Frozen North
    Excellent ideas vfig and R Soul, I like the idea of using a book as the starting opener, but I was kinda looking to do some of my own voice-work even. Perhaps I'll attempt to make a cutscene ala the original thief games (which is what I was aiming for anyway I guess). My roommate is a sound engineer so recording voice-overs and whatnot isn't an issue.

    I definitely like the Camvator, but hoo boy, that's so much work.. I've got some thinking to do. Thanks again!

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