Am I missing something?

Darkmatter

Rear Admiral
First off, congrats on bringing such an ambitious project to life! I was a WC fan right from day 1 when I read an article about WC1 before it was even released and still am a fan today. I think you guys have done a great job of not only remaking the game but adding features along the way.

I do have a couple questions that may just be me not understanding the config.
From what I've seen so far, the models and textures seem VERY basic. I just find this hard to believe since its so obvious that so much work has gone into making this game. FYI I am using the PC version and I am using VBO, extreme detail, and reflective per pixel lighting. Maybe this is just how it looks. I'm not trying to be insulting or to take away from what you've done, I just feel that the project is so ambitious that I'm suprised that the models and textures aren't more advanced.

Thanks for reading.
 

hellcatv

Swabbie
Banned
perhaps you're just used to modern eye candy
feel free to make better models..there are guidelines at the top.

I suggest you not use experimental VBO options---drivers break those regularly these days ;-) Displaylists are almost as fast and easily 10x as stable.

as for the looks...they're just models...the ones in teh old game were pretty basic too...
 

Darkmatter

Rear Admiral
Wow your up late. :) I know the originals were pretty basic, but added details could still be added now without compramising the overall original design.

Im curious to see just what the models look like. Are they in the game directory in a format that I could open up in Max?

Thanks
 

MamiyaOtaru

Spaceman
They are stored as bfxm. Using the included mesher.exe you can convert them to .obj which I imagine max could load. Search around for some posts about how to use the mesher.
 

hellcatv

Swabbie
Banned
yes...units/centurion/centurion.bfxm
you can use bin/mesher.exe to convert
allow me to demonstrate

mesher ..\units\centurion\centurion.bfxm ..\units\centurion\converted.obj bxc
that will make you an obj and mtl
 

Darkmatter

Rear Admiral
Unfortunatly I can't seem to open the models using the formats provided by the Mesher program. Any other suggestions?

About the textures... I was wondering what sort of effects can the engine handle? Specular, bump, etc? It looks to be pretty limited which is to bad since it really limits what can be done... I'd love to have seen the game with some of the new effects that are out there.
 

BradMick

Vice Admiral
hellcatv said:
as for the looks...they're just models...the ones in teh old game were pretty basic too...

quit saying this....no they're not...

darkmatter...look in the model thread stickied up there...you'll see work i've contributed to the project. a lot of the models in use by the remake are from eons ago projects which use under or at 1k tris....i've been working (slowly, due to real world stuff) remodeling everything up to a new standard..but i'm only one man.
 

Darkmatter

Rear Admiral
Thats great that your updating the models. What about the textures? What can the game even handle for textures and special effects?
 

BradMick

Vice Admiral
i've primarily been focused with modeling. 1024x1024 are the usual sized textures i do when laying out the uv's. nice and big for nice detailing.

as far as effects go, not sure. hopefully daniel'll pop in here and let you know.
 

MamiyaOtaru

Spaceman
Darkmatter said:
Unfortunatly I can't seem to open the models using the formats provided by the Mesher program. Any other suggestions?
It would help if you said what went wrong. Did you tryfollowing Hellcat's instructions? If so, what sort of message did you get etc etc. I can gaurantee that the mesher succesfully converts bfxm to obj. Looking at his example, you might try
mesher ..\units\centurion\centurion.bfxm ..\units\centurion\converted.xmesh bxc
instead.
hellcatv said:
as for the looks...they're just models...the ones in teh old game were pretty basic too...
BradMick said:
quit saying this....no they're not...
Well that's just the thing. There were no models in the original game. There were sprites (of complex models) but they didn't show detail *and they weren't models*.
 

Darkmatter

Rear Admiral
All I get is "File Open Failed" which is the standard error message. I've also tried importing the file. I've tried opening an .obj file and a .xmesh file.

BTW does anyone have any info on my questions about the the game engine and textures?

Thanks!
 

MamiyaOtaru

Spaceman
Wait, you are saying you cannot open the files in MAX? You got the mesher to work then?

If max can't open .obj files (wtf?) use some program like Deep Exploration to convert from .obj to .3ds

And google.
 

Darkmatter

Rear Admiral
Ok I've taken a look at a few of the models and I agree that they could be improved a lot. And from what I've seen some of them could stand a lot of optimization. On top of that, the textures could use a fair bit of work. Some of the work on the textures is simply a default filter.

Here is a perry texture...

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/Fireflyx76/PERRY3.jpg

and here is a shot of Craquelure filter...

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/Fireflyx76/Craquelure.jpg

One thing that the textures could use is the appearance that they are metalic and shiney. Even if the game can't handle actual metal materials you can always fake it.

Also, I'd like to make a comment on the lighting. I've only played the game a bit but in the Troy system I was docking and because of the placing of the Sun, the Mining Station was completely black on the angle I was coming in on. While in our reality the dark side of a station may be pitch black in the distant future there would almost certainly be flood lights on the dark side of the Station so that incoming ships could see everything. Even if you don't believe that, I don't think that any game designers would leave such a major object so totally dark on one side. Especially when the player needs to see the object to interact with it.

Lastly I'm not sure, maybe you've already added this, but what about nebula? Obviously this isn't in the original game, but neither is hiring wingmen and other things added to this version.

I just wanted to add this 1 disclaimer. I am not saying any of this as an insult, only as suggestions and opinions. I've always been a big WC fan and I want to see WC live on forever.
 

dan_w

Spaceman
Smoke trails in WC Prophecy were pretty cool, and I would agree that volumetric effects for nebulas mixed with fog tricks could add a lot of visual candy. I can just imagine a system where there are asteroids AND fog... Ouch!

EDIT:
WRT the dark side of mining bases, floodlights, etc. Here's a suggestion: Maybe ships could be upgraded with a front light one can toggle ON/OFF with Ctrl-L, say. This would not only solve the parking issue, but it would also address the problem of navigating asteroid fields in dark places. I'm still in the early oxford missions, but I went to Rygannon and started exploring the delta/gamma whatever systems for fun, and I found some of the asteroid fields there pretty dark; I thought I could have used a forward light... ;-)

SECOND EDIT:
Yeah, I was wondering that myself: Does the Vegastrike engine use plain old OpengGL, or does it use shaders? And, either way, can it do bump-mapping? Asteroids would benefit a lot from embossed bump mapping. And, if using shaders, the brushed metal effect could be used for some of the ships and stations. The Centurion would look super cool using brushed metal, rather than a texture. Shadows might also help under the ship, when it's parked at a base. In fact, ships look the most natural when parked at agricultural planets due to the fact that the landing platforms there have 4 light spots on them, which leave a cross-like shadow in the middle that the brain can easily assume to be the shadow of the ship.

Well, I guess this is a lot of work, and maybe I should be giving a hand rather than just talking, but then again I'd probably be better at giving a hand with programming than with art; but here it goes for whatever it's worth: Far from suggesting using actual 3D models for the bases --no, I'd leave them as they are-- but a 3D model for each base could help generate environment mapping cube-maps, to put around the ships parked at the bases, to make them look like they are really there.
 

hellcatv

Swabbie
Banned
shader support, and hence bump mapping will get added no later than august and no earlier than july unless someone other than the lead VS developer, myself, does it
 

dan_w

Spaceman
Well, I must confess, the furthest I've ever gone with shaders was to do the exercises that came with an early cg version. And the thing right now is I have a Radeon9000; not sure whether cg works with it. Second confession: I used to do a lot more programming when I had VisualStudio 6 sp5 installed; but I burnt the cd one day, after one internal compiler error too many; so last week I installed an open source IDE that comes packaged with mingw, but I only tried the demos. I forget now what it's called... Code Blocks IDE, and comes with built-in CVS, which, 3rd confession, I only used cvs once and I'm still trying to recover. I'll take a look around.
 

scheherazade

Rear Admiral
brad <

i have to say, you're an angel. i personally love your work. i'm frustrated when people complain about WIP's. you are just one man. i wish i had more time to help you :-/. i really appreciate what you've contributed.

darkmatter <
max doesn't open obj's, it _imports_ obj's. :)
use that option instead of open :)

-scheherazade
 

dan_w

Spaceman
hellcatv said:
it's pretty tricky to compile vega strike in windows with anything less than visual studio .NET 2003 (7.1)

MinGW is gcc, so it should be as good as .net. Actually .net is the most compliant compiler as per boost's regression tests, I admit; but gcc isn't far behind.
 
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