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Thread: Help requested: Shadow of Doubt re-edition (Broadsword of Sheol)

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2000
    Location: Paris, France

    Help requested: Shadow of Doubt re-edition (Broadsword of Sheol)

    Hello everyone. I've been working on a re-editions of my Shadow of Doubt campaign for years now and am approaching beta-testing for some missions at least. For simplicity, this thread will focus on Broadsword of Sheol, as it is so far the one closest to beta-testing and release.

    However, there's still some work to be done, and I'm looking for help, as I cannot possibly do everything alone. Below is my to do list for the "Broadsword of Sheol" re-edition. Thanks in advance to anyone who will take time reading through this, and offering help, suggestions or constructive criticism. Also, spoiler warning.

    • Portable ladder problem: In the original release of "Broadsword of Sheol" there's a section where the player must detach a ladder from a wall and bring it elsewhere to climb over an obstacle. I was never completely satisfied with the way I accomplished this at the time. I'm considering different methods to make this more immersive, such as having the ladder as a "junk" item, with the "lugged" property (although I'm finding this to be a challenge to achieve), or perhaps even a weapon which can be used when the player is carrying it. What would be the best way to achieve any of these effects? Put more broadly, how could one go about to improve the mechanism of the portable ladder?

    • SOLVED! Emit broadheads perennity: a very simple question, I assume. I have an Emitrap shoot out broadhead arrows onto a wood surface. The arrows automatically despawn after a few minutes and I can't figure out how to have them remain in-game indefinitely. Can someone help with this?

    • Custom Keys objects and locks graphics: I'd like to implement custom object models for the keys in this mission. I particularly like the custom keys from Eshaktaar's "Broken Triad", and was wondering if Eshaktaar would accept if I were to use the model in my mission. Furthermore, I need several keys to have different appearances, so as to be easily set apart, and would ask a model maker to design at least 5 new key models inspired by Eshaktaar's custom model. The bow of the keys can remain identical, but the shaft, pin and wards must be sufficiently differentiated for each model. Also, I'd need a lateral image of each key. Finally, I'll have to replace the lock grafics on the chests, lockboxes and containers, so I'd be grateful if someone could provide graphics for the keyholes.

    • SOLVED! Custom Lever: I'd like to use a custom lever, a reskinned version of a lever found in Haplo's "Unholy Vivid Innocence" mission. Would Haplo kindly accept this? Actually, I've learnt that the object in question was made by Schwaa and is available on the Thief object repository.

    • Particle effects: In the original release of "Broadsword of Sheol", the player must find a hammer weapon to break some boulders. In my re-edition, I'd like these boulders to be composed of coal, and am trying to replicate and exploding cloud of coal. Could any expert in particle effects help me achieve this effect?

    • SOLVED! Conversion of .3ds file to mesh/.bin .cal files: Several years ago, Schwaa sent me a 3ds file of a custom AI. I don't know it has since been released publically, in any case I have no clue how to convert it into the appropriate .bin and .cal files, so if anyone can help here, I'd greatly appreceate. Here's a link to the file in question.

    • Handling object id limitations: I've currently got way to many objects in my mission. I'm currently reading through the threads in the forums related to this topic and will post if any specific questions arise.

    • SOLVED! Reducing cell count: I've noticed that the overall cell-count of my mission is way over acceptable limits for T1 old dark. I'm finding this thread particularly useful in dealing with this issue, but the process is still taking time...


    If you are interested in betatesting Broadsword of Sheol, please PM me.

    I'll do my best to give credit to all who help upon the release of the missions. Thanks again in advance.
    Last edited by Sperry; 19th Jan 2020 at 14:08. Reason: updated list

  2. #2
    Not sure if this helps or not, but Invitation to Castle Morgoth (by Vlad Midnight) had a portable ladder that worked pretty well.

    Looking forward to the new version of SoD.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2000
    Location: Paris, France
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    Not sure if this helps or not, but Invitation to Castle Morgoth (by Vlad Midnight) had a portable ladder that worked pretty well.

    Looking forward to the new version of SoD.
    I'll chceck it out, thanks!

  4. #4
    DromEd Archmage
    Registered: Nov 2010
    Location: Returned to the eternal labor
    Hi Sperry!
    So, you are still using old Dark TG, right ?
    This might a bit more tricky but as I use to say, almost nothing is impossible.

    Well, I must say I know all the answers of your need. For the models and particles, I can help you without a problem, all I'll need is a more detail description of your locks and keys design.

    The SFX shall be something similar to the explosion SFX made by LGS : a simple fnord with three one-shot round SFX.

    For the arrows, it's something LGS did to prevent arrow flooding since TG. It's linked to one of the script in arrows. However, I don't really know what script is doing this but I bet a trick is possible to remove such effect like corpse/stim. I'm sure there's something simple to do about it if the game is adding some "DeleteTweq" on the arrow as I may suspect.


    For the ladder, it will be a piece of cake for the junk mod. The tougher parts will be about the lugged effect and the custom playerarm.
    If just changing the ladder into a "fake dead AI corpse" is not enough, we will be obliged to use some custom script using "lgs.osm" and the lua API it contains. I know it well !

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Pushing my luck with Dromed
    The first FM to have portable ladders was Ranstall Keep. I can't remember if they used the Lugged script or junk item type.

    The lifespan of emitted arrows is determined by the CollisionStick script:
    https://www.thiefmissions.com/tellia...collisionstick
    Having them remain in game forever would be a bad thing. Consider that some people spend a long time in a mission, and even NewDark has a limit on how many objects can exist.

    Some of Eshaktaar's objects are already available here:
    http://www.hulub.ch/customstuff.php
    There's also a contact form but there may be info in his profile here too.

    I made a coal smoke/dust explosion particle effect in All Torc, miss22. The object in question is in the obligatory underground temple, in a secret area opened up by a switch made from a sword hilt.
    Last edited by R Soul; 31st Dec 2019 at 13:33.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2000
    Location: Paris, France
    Thanks FireMage and R Soul. I am indeed still using Old Dark. Everything is working well enough, so I don't feel it's time for me to move on to New Dark just yet.


    Portable ladder problem: I'll look into "Rainstall Keep" as well. "Invitation to Castle Morgoth" didn't provide any additional information for what I'm trying to achieve. Has anyone here attempted to transfer an obj/ladder.bin file to the mesh/ folder? Could this allow me to create the illusion the player is carrying a ladder? I was cosidering importing the dagger motions from the second CoSaS mission to have the player "poke" enemies with the ladder. I'm currently experimenting with different possibilities in DromEd, and it feels like a chore! :-)

    Emit broadheads perennity: Regarding the lifespan of arrows, I understand what you've said about the Collision Stick script. However, in my mission, I'd like to have placed arrows which player must find as ammo. There are no AI archers in the mission, so there is no danger of flooding. Would there be a way around the timer associated with this script?

    Custom Keys objects and locks graphics: Yes, R Soul, this is precicely the model that I'm inspired by.


    What I'd like to have are a set of 5 differentiated keys of the same style. The player must be able to set them apart by their appearance. I'd like to implement corresponding graphics for the locks. FireMage, is this a sufficiently detailed description? If any of you feel comfortable enough creating such objects, I'd love to see it. I'm absolutely terrible at blender and other 3d object programs.

    Particle effects: Yes, so far I've based my sfx on what I found in the OMs. The result is ok, but I'm hoping to achieve something more convincing. I'll look into "All Torc".
    Last edited by Sperry; 31st Dec 2019 at 12:51.

  7. #7
    DromEd Archmage
    Registered: Nov 2010
    Location: Returned to the eternal labor
    Having the portable ladder as a weapon without using any custom script is not a good idea since first, you'll have to right click in order to attack as dropping a weapon can make the game crashing even in NewDark.
    The best option according to my test for oldDark would be the following :

    -> Place a human AI (the Merchant for example)
    -> Give it your ladder shape
    -> Add the posed-corpse property

    By this simple thing you'll have the lugged effect and a player arm. If the player wants to defend himself, he'll just have to drop the ladder for a second, beat the badguys and carry on.
    For the Arm, just placing an object as mesh is unfortunately not enough because the arm is placed on the player position ie at best it will be not visible because the camera will be "inside" the object model, at worst, it will take 50% of your screen.

    I know how to do such arms so I could do it for you, just tell me what model you plan to use !

    For the Keys, it's okay, I think I got the idea ! You want them primitve, damaged and accurate pattern !

    For the perennity thing, I'll do my research about it

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2000
    Location: Paris, France
    Happy new year, all the best for 2020 :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by FireMage View Post
    I know how to do such arms so I could do it for you, just tell me what model you plan to use !

    For the Keys, it's okay, I think I got the idea ! You want them primitve, damaged and accurate pattern !

    For the perennity thing, I'll do my research about it
    Thanks for all of this.

    As for which model I plan to use, what would you recommend? I'm already using the T2 arm model as this mission includes custom fan-made dagger and hammer weapons.

    Also, I just rememberd I have an extra request (converting a .3ds file to thief compatible ai mesh) which I've added to the first post, above. Here's a link to the file in question.

    Finally, I'm currently struggling with T1 limitations, as I'm getting many "Ran out of concrete obj'ID's" errors, on which the compress_br_ids does not appear to help. Does the resize_obj_id_space command works for T1 old dark? Are there other ways around this? I don't find I have that many objects... The info_window command provides the following data: brush counts 3938 Terrain 1951 object 18 light 163 room 35 flow 17 area -MeOnly'd.
    Last edited by Sperry; 1st Jan 2020 at 10:17.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2011
    Location: Montpellier, France
    For the last one, you can open DARK.CFG and edit the object counts limit. I use this:

    ; object counts
    obj_min -18192
    obj_max 8184
    max_refs 47740
    However this is for a NewDark installation, I don't know if you can go this high with OldDark.

  10. #10
    DromEd Archmage
    Registered: Nov 2010
    Location: Returned to the eternal labor
    Quote Originally Posted by Sperry View Post
    As for which model I plan to use, what would you recommend? I'm already using the T2 arm model as this mission includes custom fan-made dagger and hammer weapons.
    I actually wanted to ask "what ladder model do you plan to use?"
    Since the Custom Arm Model should be for TG, I will simply use the TG arm with a few tweak to make it looking good but for the ladder it will carry, I'll need to know the model name since there are several models in OBJ with different sizes and textures.

    I would be weird to grab a long wooden ladder and see Garrett holding a shot metal ladder.

    EDIT : About arrows, with T2 OldDark, there could be a trick but with TG, I fear it could be pretty messy so if the arrows you mention comes from traps, I may suggest you to make your traps reactivatable by adding "ReloadEmitTweq" in the object property. If the arrows are placed manualy so the player can find and take them, do not use emit stuff, just place your arrow, go into its properties (the object only not the archetype) and remove all the physical properties generated automaticaly, it will works perfectly !

    It would be a lie if I tell you I didn't found a trick to make the arrows sticking on a wall and never despawning but it requires accurate Act/React stuff on the texture properties and the arrows... and you should know OldDark is picky about it... An Highway to random crashes...
    If you really want it, use custom scripts, even if I give an extra help on it.
    Last edited by FireMage; 1st Jan 2020 at 18:48.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2000
    Location: Paris, France
    Quote Originally Posted by skacky View Post
    For the last one, you can open DARK.CFG and edit the object counts limit. I use this:

    ; object counts
    obj_min -18192
    obj_max 8184
    max_refs 47740

    However this is for a NewDark installation, I don't know if you can go this high with OldDark.
    Thanks for the info, skacky. I have one question: what would be the best way to know if modifying the dark.cfg file DOESN'T work? I wouldn't want to override preexisting objects by accident, or make too many modifications before realising that the dark.cfg changes permanently messed-up my mission.



    Quote Originally Posted by FireMage View Post
    I actually wanted to ask "what ladder model do you plan to use?"
    Since the Custom Arm Model should be for TG, I will simply use the TG arm with a few tweak to make it looking good but for the ladder it will carry, I'll need to know the model name since there are several models in OBJ with different sizes and textures.

    I would be weird to grab a long wooden ladder and see Garrett holding a shot metal ladder.
    Ah right, understood. It must be a wood ladder, if possible, i suggest using CoSaS ladders, such as the ones found here.

    As for the broadheads, the mission could work without them, however, it would have been nice to have a few extra broadheads in this manner. I guess I'll have to abandon this idea. Let's concentrate on what's absolutely essential.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    The best way to do that would be to update to newdark and then you will be able to modify it easily

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2000
    Location: Paris, France
    Quote Originally Posted by Psych0sis View Post
    The best way to do that would be to update to newdark and then you will be able to modify it easily
    Thanks Psych0sis, I might do that some day, but not yet. For now I'm sticking with old dark. I've already adressed this issue elsewhere. I'm actually fond of old dark limitations, even though I acknowledge the potential of new dark. Changing now, and getting used to new dary, would be too much work. I find that in the case of DromEd, as in art, it is the resistance of an artistic medium that determines its creative potential.

    Also, I'm still using the same laptop computer to DromEd since 2008, which does not have an internet connection. Because of this, downloading new patches, software, and ressources is a real pain!
    Last edited by Sperry; 4th Jan 2020 at 08:14.

  14. #14
    DromEd Archmage
    Registered: Nov 2010
    Location: Returned to the eternal labor
    Check your PM mate and tell me if everything is working !

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2000
    Location: Paris, France
    Thank you so much! Looks like everything is there. Interesting keys! I'll check all of this in DromEd tomorrow and let you know asap if everything works (this could take a few days as I have a plane to catch).

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2000
    Location: Paris, France
    Thanks FireMage, for everything. Your help and support is tremendous :-) Schwaa's custom mesh now works in game. I might have little tweaks to it, but I'll let you all know when and if this becomes necessary. So solved for now :-)

    I have a small question regarding objects: would it be possible to have a single object having two overlapping textures? For example one lower texture set to replace0 (so I can set a texture from any of the families), and a second overlapping texture, with some alpha and only little details hi-lighting the peculiarities of the object? I'm assuming that would allow one to easily modify the texture on the base of a lever for example, to have it match with the surrounding environmental brushes, without compromising the little details of the lever. So is this possible?

    Also, I've solved my arrow emit problem by simply creating a chest in the mission with the shape of a broadhead, linked it to a proper arrow, and set it to destroy itself when frobbed. Problem solved :-)
    Last edited by Sperry; 11th Jan 2020 at 07:19. Reason: solved broadhead emit problem

  17. #17
    DromEd Archmage
    Registered: Nov 2010
    Location: Returned to the eternal labor
    By two overlapping textures, you mean, having somekind of texture above the other like a filter or overlay? Well, it's possible but the object would need to have a few polys.
    I don't know if oldDark would display it right tho...
    That's something to try out

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Pushing my luck with Dromed
    The best solution for the lever texture is to make a copy of it and add the changes directly, then copy the .bin file and tell it to use the new texture.

    Editing the .bin file:
    https://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=150290

    FireMage is correct that adding overlaying polys could cause display problems.
    If they're too close to the lower surface you'll get z fighting - the effect may only become visible when the player is a few feet away. If there's enough of a gap to prevent z fighting, chances are it'll look too much like a sort of halo.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2000
    Location: Paris, France
    Ok understood. Let's avoid z fighting and other display problems. I'm glad to see that the way I modified textures so far is in accordance with your tutorial, R Soul!

    Also, I'm happy to announce that I succeeded in getting the cell count of my mission from 30000 down to 24500 (just below the limits of T1 old dark). The entire mission is now playable, and the brushwork is entirely complete (except for some minor texture alignments).

    One of the issues I'm still struggling with is the max obj ids, which as of now is still way above acceptable limits. I'm finding inspiration in some of Shadowspawn's comments from 2003, on how to give unfrobbable and inanimate objects properties and scripts traditionally given to unrendered markers in order to optimise object count. Also, I remember reading about other methods to surpass old dark object limits, such as spawning objects with the help of S&Rs. I unfortunately was not able to find this post despite searching for it. If any of you know other ways to optimise object count, please let me know!
    Last edited by Sperry; 13th Jan 2020 at 10:59.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Ireland/Poland
    Also, I remember reading about other methods to surpass old dark object limits (...)
    Hold, on...

    I'm actually fond of old dark limitations,
    Why would you be trying to surpass something you're fond of?!?

    The best way to surpass these limitations is to switch to New Dark. That's what it had been made for.
    Even taking into account a couple of changes this may (or may not) require, it will take you much less time.

    Everyone is on NewDark here since it came out 7 years ago or so - you're literally the last dinosaur here...

    Afraid of changes? Just make this leap - you'll be fine!

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2000
    Location: Paris, France
    Haha, thanks for the encouragement PinkDot. I'll make the leap one day.

    If justification is needed, I've been through quite enough changes in real life to feel justified in wanting something old and familiar, such as DromEd (and this includes the challenge of going beyond it's limits, as absurd as it may seem since New Dark).

    To me, DromEd is kind of like an old security blanket, a teddy bear, old pyjamas, a dogs old chew toy, or even a doormat: its familiarity must be undisputed and absolute, and one can be fond of it despite its imperfections or shortcomings. Also, I find there can be intimate value to it because of how it secretly retains significance and value to me, while appearing old and useless to others. I enjoy working with familiar Old Dark.

    Also, there's the practical dimensions which I've mentioned above (having DromEd on a ten year old computer, without any internet connection).

    Finally, since it takes me so long to release FMs these days, I fear that getting into something new at this point will only further complicate and delay any project. If I'm to make a mission in New Dark, I'd ideally want it to utilise the improvements of what New Dark has to offer (not just avoid some limitations -- such as cell count or object max -- which can be surpassed anyway with some problem solving and a bit of compromise). I like the ideas of "the discipline of building" and "optimized building style" . I know the rules and am properly disciplined with Old Dark, getting back up to date with new software would require a certain amount work with unfamiliar tools which to me today is undesirable. Too much hassle.

    If that makes me a dinosaur, I'm fine with that! Either way, my missions will be playable on both Old Dark and New Dark, so no one is hurt in the process, right?

    But I do appreciate the encouragement, Pink Dot, thanks :-)
    Last edited by Sperry; 14th Jan 2020 at 06:04.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Ireland/Poland
    Ooops! I didn't realize one could have such an intimate relationship with Dromed! I should just step away, respecting your choice, I guess... But I just hope one day New Sperry will become ready to bring the relationship with New Dark to a new level!

    But having said that, I'd like to add a couple of things:
    Finally, since it takes me so long to release FMs these days, I fear that getting into something new at this point will only further complicate and delay any project.
    Well, if you simply switch to ND and don't utilize any new features, you'll be free of certain problems (whose solving takes time) and will appreciate much faster processing time (Portalization, Light maps baking etc...). So, this would save time and help you release quicker.

    Either way, my missions will be playable on both Old Dark and New Dark, so no one is hurt in the process, right?
    Generally true, but there may be things, that may get broken on New Dark. However there are DML masters in the community, who can potentially create a patch for the players, should something gets broken on ND. You'll find it out at beta-testing stage.

    Anyway, good luck with your creations, whatever the tool you go for!

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2000
    Location: Paris, France
    Haha yes I suppose my relationship to DromEd is, in a sense, a somewhat intimate relationship. I'll let you all know when the status of my relationship evolves...

    Regarding Broadsword of Sheol I'd simply like to inform of progress being made.

    The portable ladder problem is slowly advancing as well.

    The custom keys and locks are being worked on.

    A big thanks to Firemage, who is generously helping with his object building skills.

    The particle effect question is advancing as well, but I'm still looking to improve the illusion of breaking a lump of coal, perhaps by projecting small debris and "flinders" (as well as the particle effects)... We'll see.

    Also, after deleting a few specific objects, I no longer have the object max error occur, so I'll now hopefully be able to continue with object placements for a while (I have only 1881 object in the mission so far).
    Last edited by Sperry; 19th Jan 2020 at 10:50.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Lost in the BSP...
    Quote Originally Posted by Sperry View Post
    • Particle effects: In the original release of "Broadsword of Sheol", the player must find a hammer weapon to break some boulders. In my re-edition, I'd like these boulders to be composed of coal, and am trying to replicate and exploding cloud of coal. Could any expert in particle effects help me achieve this effect?
    I have been know to dabble a little. What specific effects are you trying to do? Can you give me a gist of the effect you're trying to get?

    Oh, didn't see this part..
    The particle effect question is advancing as well, but I'm still looking to improve the illusion of breaking a lump of coal, perhaps by projecting small debris and "flinders" (as well as the particle effects)... We'll see.
    Maybe next time.

    Just fyi.

    I made this choppable rock, that corpses into other smaller rocks, then emits a black dust cloud.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/xfo7naorj8...42.28.png?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/pth0n21g2y...42.36.png?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/i9u95icrla...42.40.png?dl=0
    Last edited by Hit Deity; 9th Feb 2020 at 21:44.

  25. #25
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Dragonsreach
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