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Thread: Playable Viewer for Terra Nova

  1. #1
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2023

    Playable Viewer for Terra Nova

    Dear fellow fans of Terra Nova,

    I am more than happy to announce the release of UNIVTN: the Unofficial Noncommercial Incomplete Viewer for Terra Nova! It is a rather faithful reimplementation of parts of the game engine that reads the original game contents and allows for playing it in full HD and also in VR. It can be downloaded for free on

    https://schmittler.itch.io/univtn

    There is also a readme that gives more details about the project. I hope you have fun with it!

  2. #2
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    That's excellent - looks like a lot of effort has gone into creating this.

  3. #3
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2023
    Thanks AI_B! You're right: it took quite some time to get the project that far and I learned a lot about how complex and how much effort it is to deliver a full featured game like Terra Nova. And that's the reason why it is called incomplete ;-) However that makes me even more happy that UNIVTN is finally in a state where I can share it and hopefully others can enjoy it too.

  4. #4
    I won't have a chance to check it out anytime soon, but that sounds really awesome.

    I've always loved this game, and it makes me really happy whenever I see people working on projects for it.

    Thanks for sharing this, and for all the hard work that's gone into it.

  5. #5
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Whoa, does this update the controls as well? If so, that's great!

  6. #6
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2023
    Thank you shadowcat!

  7. #7
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2023
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    Whoa, does this update the controls as well? If so, that's great!
    Yes, controls use today's standard: mouse look/aim plus WASD on keyboard (and some more keys). Alternativly it can be played using Xbox controller.

  8. #8
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Alright, I tried it!

    -Yes, using WinCDEmu to open the GOG CD .img file did work.
    -it runs smoothly and the 3D menu interface works well enough.
    -how about adding 2560x1440 resolution to the list?
    -jumping just makes you jump super high, instead of the expected jetpack functionality. I'm assuming this will be added?

    Are all the physics just driven with Unity rigidbodies? If so I could help out with getting the jetpack feeling right and improving movement, if you want some help. I've actually thought at times about doing some kinda Terra Nova remake/tribute myself.

  9. #9
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2023
    henke, thanks for trying it out and writing your feedback! Good to know that using the GOG-version works well with WinCDemu. About the jump jets I have to admit that they were added quickly a long time ago and were tagged "good enough" on my list. However after your feedback I guess I have to make them more true to the original game. By the way I don't use Unity's physics engine as most things were simply coded "oldschool". I'll come back to you when I had some time to make any changes.
    Edit: I just played the original game again and yes my jump jet implementation is way off...
    Last edited by joerg; 13th Nov 2023 at 17:02.

  10. #10
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Heh yeah. The jump jet is a big charm of the original gameplay for me. I'd say there's an initial burst of upwards force if you're standing on the ground, and small increases to the upwards force when holding the jump button in the air, which depletes your energy. Adding some jump-rocket particles would be appreciated as well, so when flying backwards you'd see the trail of smoke arching through the sky.

    I also noticed you've got that issue where you move faster diagonally than when moving directly forwards/sidewards. I solved this problem myself recently making this game, by clamping the movement vector with Vector2.ClampMagnitude.

    Here's the relevant snippet of code:

    MoveVector = new Vector2(Mathf.Lerp(MoveVector.x, InputSide, Time.deltaTime * 10), Mathf.Lerp(MoveVector.y, InputFwd, Time.deltaTime * 10));

    MoveVector = Vector2.ClampMagnitude(MoveVector, 1);

    transform.Translate(new Vector3(MoveVector.x * MoveSpeed, vertSpeed, MoveVector.y * MoveSpeed) * Time.deltaTime, Space.Self);
    A lot of old games had this issue, including the Thief games. Heck, maybe Terra Nova had it as well, but it's an unsightly bug, and I'd get rid of it.

  11. #11
    My memory says that fast diagonals is correct for SFC-issue PBAs :) I'm pretty sure I always used that to get places faster...

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2003
    Location: Sweden
    Really cool. So now i can do that texture mod i guess (some people suggested this game in the "which game to retexture" thread i made).

    The game has almost no nostalgic value to me personally, i remember trying it, that's all. But it could be fun to do a texture mod anyways. the ground texture doesn't look like its tiling though, so it will just look like garbage if i make a 1024 texture of it.

  13. #13
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2023
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowcat View Post
    My memory says that fast diagonals is correct for SFC-issue PBAs I'm pretty sure I always used that to get places faster...
    Yes, Shadowcat is right. Just checked it with the original and movement speed forward is not affected by moving sidewards simultaneously :-)

  14. #14
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2023
    henke, thanks again for your comments and thoughts! By looking on your itch.io-page (by the way: cool stuff ) I understand how important physics are to you. I did a quick update on the jump jets (version 1.01 of UNIVTN is up). The parameters are not perfect yet, but I hope it is better now. Adding smoke is a good idea too, but that will take a few days until I'll have time to work on the project again.

  15. #15
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2023
    vurt, about retexturing Terra Nova, there are two issues: the first you described as "ground texture doesn't look like its tiling" and that's because Terra Nova uses small patches for each terrain tile (of 3m x 3m) and each patch can be oriented in four directions. This allows to have the same texture patch on adjacenting patches and if they have different orientations it does not look like the texture is repeating. This method also allows to have rather convincing transitions between different ground types while only using small amounts of texture space. The second issue is how UNIVTN is implemented: A single texture atlas is build containing all terrain patches (of the current planet) and similar another texture atlas for all 3d buildings, one for the trees (including shading), etc. This implementation is not suited to have different texture resolutions than what the original game used. However changing the textures itself while keeping the resolution works.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2003
    Location: Sweden
    Quote Originally Posted by joerg View Post
    vurt, about retexturing Terra Nova, there are two issues: the first you described as "ground texture doesn't look like its tiling" and that's because Terra Nova uses small patches for each terrain tile (of 3m x 3m) and each patch can be oriented in four directions. This allows to have the same texture patch on adjacenting patches and if they have different orientations it does not look like the texture is repeating. This method also allows to have rather convincing transitions between different ground types while only using small amounts of texture space. The second issue is how UNIVTN is implemented: A single texture atlas is build containing all terrain patches (of the current planet) and similar another texture atlas for all 3d buildings, one for the trees (including shading), etc. This implementation is not suited to have different texture resolutions than what the original game used. However changing the textures itself while keeping the resolution works.
    I see, what's the px size of those texture atlases right now? it's not a big issue if it can handle e.g 8192x8192 or something :P

  17. #17
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2023
    vurt, I have some ideas, but I need to check them. Could take a couple of days though.

  18. #18
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2023
    vurt, unfortunatly your retexturing project won't work with UNIVTN. I investigated several alternatives but simply put for all kinds of textures (terrain, trees, enemies, special effects,...) I use texture atlas' that make use of the fact that textures are not larger than in the original game. UNIVTN was designed to reimplement exactly the features of the original engine just with higher display resolution and alternative input methods. However changing the textures while keeping their size will be fine.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2003
    Location: Sweden
    No worries! Thanks for looking into it

  20. #20
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2023
    Just uploaded version 1.02 of UNIVTN that includes jump jets that should feel more like the original game and they also do emit a trail of smoke. I also addressed the issue with the movement speed. However since diagonal movement is faster than running straight in the original game, I changed the "Cheat Player Speed" to allow for the following settings: "original", "real" (diagonal movement does not give extra speed), and several "faster" settings that increase the movement speed while keeping it "real". For those who are curious, if you enable the Frames Per Second display also the speed (measured only horizontally) is shown.

  21. #21
    New Member
    Registered: Mar 2023
    Somewhat random question. Would you be able to share how you extracted the original textures? Am hoping to rip some of the HUD elements and some of the Terminal Review elements.

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