Editing / Modding Tools - WCSecret Ops

PANI

Spaceman
hi everyone

i'am looking for some good tools to make a secret ops mod like standoff or unknown enemy. what i need for that? how can i make sequences ...and so on.... where are tutorial for this stuff.

i want a mod like standoff in the wc3 timeline - maybe i can make it on my own *lol*

i want to try modding / editing secret ops, so can anybody hlp?

regards
 

PopsiclePete

Mission programmer
ChrisReid said:
Secret Ops is more difficult to mod. Standoff has a fairly big team, and it's been in the works for more than four and a half years, and the development team still has a ways to go before the final game is complete.
IMHO, in it's first years Standoff didn't progress too fast not so much because of engine complexity but more because it was mainly Eder making models. I personally joined some time after Unknown Enemy was released (somewhere in 2003) and was quite busy at the time. As for the "fairly big" team, Standoff has many people to credit because many people contributed to some degree to the project, but the development team itself is not that big... currently we're 5 active members + 3 testers... and out of these five I am the only mission coder. And we have lives too. That explains the development time, not so much the engine.

You also have to keep in mind that much research had to be done for the modding of many aspects of the Vision engine that were thought to be unmoddable in the past; making movies, new in-flight comms, new menu screens, in-game fiction, new mouse cursor, changing in-flight and gameflow fonts, the SAR ship for the SAR/death sequence, the character name in the callsign screen, etc. When we started working on Unknown Enemy we didn't even know how to make capships for SO, nor briefings. We've come a loooong way to where we're now.... now we've gotten so experienced at it we stopped researching how to mod things but rather started expanding the engine's capacity.

The main factors that has to be taken into account when starting a mod is not so much about the engine but rather:
  • How much time are you willing/able to invest in your project
  • How ambitious you want your project to be
  • How good your story is, and to what level you can/want to flesh it out
  • How many dependable people are willing to work with you, because you can't do everything by yourself.
 

Eder

Mr. Standoff
PopsiclePete said:
IMHO, in it's first years Standoff didn't progress too fast not so much because of engine complexity but more because it was mainly Eder making models.
Yes, Standoff was pretty much just me writing ideas in notepad and making models and textures until after UE's release... which means it's started its development into a game about three years ago.

That's when Quarto (who had already been helping me for a few months, but more giving me advice on SO editing, which I knew very little about at the time, than working on Standoff per se), Pedro, and Pierre joined up, and we started turning a near-complete WC1/2 shipset for SO into a game.

Right now we've got about 5 active members, and 3 beta testers (not counting all the voiceover actors, of course)... and that is still one man short of our ideal lineup, but we hope that Tango will be able to get back to Standoff soon.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Yeah... IMO, the biggest problem with the WCP engine is not the engine itself, but rather the people that try to use it. It always goes the same way... they announce that they're gonna start learning and make a new mod, they mess around with it for about a week, and then, upon realising that no, the game does not in fact mod itself and actual work is required, they give up, complaining about how difficult WCP is to mod. It's pathetic.

I would very much like to see someone come in here with the kind of dedication that we were able to muster, and that Tango (who, when he joined us two years ago, only needed about a month to reach the point where he was coding new missions all by himself) was found to have. We had to learn everything from scratch - anybody coming in now will have a much easier time, as they can obtain (admittedly, very limited) help from us, they can look at various docs, and of course at the UE source code.

This stuff should be more than enough for someone to start making a mod like UE or Standoff - we know this for a fact, because these are all things we didn't have when we started making UE... and we did finish it.
 

PANI

Spaceman
hm.... its not easy to find a "perfect" path to begin with a mod - there are so many wishes and ideas for a very good storyline. but there is still live. and i cant do all the work allone, because i dont know how to make rendering (max3d)

i take a look at killerwave's tut's but i think there must be easier ways to start a mod.... may i test some tut's.... thank's
 
Sorry if it seems I'm tooting my own horn, but why don't you try Vegastrike? it's intentionally made to be easy to tweak. :) And you're welcome to use the ships we already have punched in for WCU, just give back in the same way please.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Last I checked, Vegastrike is useless for a mod with a storyline. Try coding a cutscene...
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
spiritplumber said:
Sorry if it seems I'm tooting my own horn, but why don't you try Vegastrike? it's intentionally made to be easy to tweak. :) And you're welcome to use the ships we already have punched in for WCU, just give back in the same way please.

Stop advertising your stupid mod in every single thread you post to.
 

eddieb

Vice Admiral
PANI said:
hm.... its not easy to find a "perfect" path to begin with a mod - there are so many wishes and ideas for a very good storyline. but there is still live. and i cant do all the work allone, because i dont know how to make rendering (max3d)

i take a look at killerwave's tut's but i think there must be easier ways to start a mod.... may i test some tut's.... thank's


spiritplumber said:
Sorry if it seems I'm tooting my own horn, but why don't you try Vegastrike? it's intentionally made to be easy to tweak. :) And you're welcome to use the ships we already have punched in for WCU, just give back in the same way please.

A direct answer to a question. With Vega Strike, you could go to any computer store, and find a box with Vega Strike advertised on it, and buy it, what an honor. Each of the 3 families (Vega Strike, Vision, and my own) of engines has their own plusses and minuses, so read up on each before deciding, and see what best meets your requirements.
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
Quarto said:
Last I checked, Vegastrike is useless for a mod with a storyline. Try coding a cutscene...

What about Howie's engine... I don't know if it supports cutscenes, though.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Dyret said:
What about Howie's engine... I don't know if it supports cutscenes, though.
To quote the WC Movie, you're talking about an engine that never existed :p.

Seriously - until WC Pioneer actually has an engine at all, it's pretty futile to talk about using this engine in a mod.

Besides, while I don't want to offend the Pioneer people by suggesting they're going to fail, I'm sure they'll understand if I remain highly sceptical. It takes about two years for a professional team to put together an engine from scratch all the way to release-readiness. Here we're talking about a team of amateurs (as I understand it, Howie Day has professional experience... but he's not the programmer) who want to make an engine with a feature list that rivals and (in terms of graphics) exceeds Freelancer. Assuming they succeed, and everything goes as they planned, their engine will be ready right about 2008.

I really, really hope that Pioneer is made, and that it's every bit as great as the Pioneer team promises it will be (and I also really hope that upon reading this post, they won't get discouraged by my scepticism, but rather become determined to prove me wrong :)). I wish them all the best of luck in their work... but I don't see any point in discussing their engine's modability until there's anything at all to discuss about it.
 
LOAF: It's not a stupid mod. Don't call me (or my stuff) names and you (or your stuff) won't be called names back.

I was just pointing out that for more "causal" modding using an open source engine may make life easier since if you want to change this or that behavior, you can instead of having to come up with workarounds.

This said, it is true that Vegastrike doesn't lend itself well to cutscenes... we need to take care of that at some point :)

Re Pioneer... I do get the idea that the engine has been under production AND under wraps for a while. I personally predict that Pioneer will end up shorter than WCU but a lot more polished.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Ok, now... I don't want to get into a situation where I'm always praising WCP above all the other options, but this open source thing definitely needs a few words.

Open source does not, in and of itself, make modding easier in any way. Vega Strike is not easy to mod because it is open source. If you think that it's the opensourciness of Vega Strike that makes it so moddable, then tell me, why isn't the FS2 engine as moddable? Even when something is open source, you still need to have skilled programmers to take advantage of the open source - otherwise, you can't implement any of the additional features you like, open source or not.

Secondly, there is another danger of open source (a danger - meaning, it's not something inherent to open source, but rather a temptation that open source opens up). When you can change the game any way you like (and you think the users can change it any way they like), it's very easy to get into the mode of thinking where you're constantly looking for new features to implement. Even worse, you shut down the part of your brain that's responsible for critical thinking - you assume that you can throw in absolutely anything, and if the users don't like it, they'll just fix the game for themselves. And that spells disaster - because it's not a big thing to start a mod. The big thing is to finish it... without leaving all the important decisions to the users.
 

PANI

Spaceman
how how how.... i thing we all should work together.... :)

i try to get some files from wc3 tre files - not easy - anyone ideas?
 
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