We have become fascists.
It happened slowly
We saw red, instead of black, and there were no swastikas
so we didn’t recognize the fascists
but they are fully in power here now
no one works unless they work for the fascists
no one gets credit
only the fascists
and their genocides
like those before
have laughing police
It should be something women come to expect from their men.
It’s easier to convince him if:
1. The device is smaller by an inch than his dick.
Pulling out the Giga Ass Blaster is probably going to scare him.
2. You can demonstrate how easily it fits in and out of your own pretty ass.
Still he won’t go for the ass blaster, make it smaller than his dick.
3. You have fed him nothing but smoothies and wine.
You might be able to do this to him unawares and pop the question at him right after you’ve showered him off.
4. You may find it easier if you get your boy really high on his favourite drugs too.
5. You may find it hard to get rid of a boy you’ve pegged. He will love you soooo much.
6. Pegging a boy may increase your telepathic resonance with him. It is a known side effect and you can happily ignore it while you evolve.
7. Its easier with some boys to distract them with a secondary pussy in their face.
If suitably distracted your boy might allow you to plow him into someone else.
8. Your boy will be very scared if you do not have copious amounts of lube in his eyesight.
Put a large tub of it by the tub. You won’t need it all, but he will be reassured by its presence.
9. If he “owes you one” it is much easier (along with him being high and full of smoothies).
Let him stray 2-3 times so you can poke him in return!
10. Like in Hitchiker’s Guide, have a towel. Some boys do pee themselves silly when poked by a pretty girl they luv.
Good luck and happy pegging!
I’ve been trying to get a modding/game design core single player base to work from.
I was using Valve’s SDK for a long time,
but it’s expensive if you’re successful, so there’s no profit motive. It’s also got a lot of steps to work with textures.
The deal breaker with Valve was Steam tho.
I would have my dev box working, all set up, in the middle of something, I’d run a test after surfing the net, and Steam would update and reboot.
Then it would refuse to let me work until it had the internet again. Which was really spotty.
I could not work offline consistently with Valve and after about the 10th time of that in 3 years I uninstalled the source SDK and probably will never install it again.
I abandoned that for UDK 2 years ago. When I had A DECENT RIG.
Unreal Development Kit (UDK) from Epic Games is FREE and is here:
It really is fantastic. On a better rig I would actually be using UDK 50% of the time.
I LOVE UDK, BUT…
I have a piece of fucking crap rig that limps. 512 megs of ram feels like I am on acidic time distortion. Press. Wait. Smoke. Look at floor. Drink coffee. Look at monitor…
NOT DONE YET
Drink more coffee, smoke. Wait.
What really kills UDK is that the core SDK won’t install or run on older hardware. We have good hardware perhaps, but 3\4 of the world is still using XP. They really are. I am. Valve Source can be made to run at DX8 level using the orangebox engine from 2009(hl.exe -dx8). Except it has that steam affliction.
That is actually something to consider. That is a huge possible user base (read customers to buy your creation) that has 10 year old machines and they usually play farmville or peggle.
UDK needs pixel shader support so it won’t install on your Grandma’s rig or mine, so I need to go backwards to find an engine that will work, that isn’t like using stone tools to cut steak.
The problem for me and other single player designers, other than the shader mode 3 necessity in UDK is that there is no easily placeable AI entities and no NPC codemonster entities, no patrol guards, snipers, rocket monsters, police. In Valve you would have the entities from the game you own.
You can’t get any from anywhere else, you can’t copy over scripts from previous versions and modify them so you just have BOTS. Bots fight different than monsters and act differently and don’t have good scripting arrangements for cinematics really. In UDK its nodes not scripts.
I look at really popular games from the past that intrigued us with so so 3D. The game was more important. The game. The story about so and so and things you had to find to learn more about what was happening. How many hundreds of hours did I walk around Myst or Planescape or the Forgotton Realms of Baldur-s Gate, skulked along the corridors of System Shock 2 with about 2% health, a jammed weapon, and the knowledge that there were at least 2 of those slow dumb happy kamikaze robots between you and the tiny little health item 2 hallways away. And it was about 4 blocks of virtual backtracking to the nearest health behind you. It was so ugly looking but we were actually engrossed by the activity and the balance of things, the complexity of our tasks and the map of the ship that we began to memorize as we walked through it.
So I don’t care too much, personally about particle effects and procedural shaders.
Textured environments, stories, and simple logical systems really are at the core of single player games.
Dumb AI can be deadly if it’s placed right and has the right animation in a standard campaign game, and for more adventure or mystery there doesn’t even have to be any physical conflict.
Weapons can be replaced with tools and tool actions. The process is well documented.
If you want to create Single Player 3D games, there isn’t a good code/engine/graphics framework to work with unless you go way back to games that were interesting but ugly. Angular characters and spaces, crappy lighting, blocky textures, low color palettes. But many of them are extremely moddable, because it was Quake and Half Life in object oriented c++ that began the whole modding thing, really. That was when it caught on. But the engines suck. You can rip apart all the texture sets in System Shock 2 or Quake2 with Xnview and replace things to your hearts content but you can’t overcome the lighting and mesh limitations of the engines.
IF you have System Shock 2, and you have applied the major texture mods (there is a non illegal torrent of all the mods that are really good combined with inconsistencies between the mods worked out), then I HIGHLY suggest that you go throught the datamods folder with xnview and find the image sequences and place your own 5-10 frame animated image sets in there instead in png format, then play the game.
It is a great and easy introduction to retexturing that is fast since you simple open what is there and replace it with something else you make or just adjust the contrast or colour, put embossed labels on doors, change the med sci animations, etc. Its very easy and fun, and doesn’t require a number of steps in an editor, you simply replace the files with new ones in png 32 bit format, and since they are mostly planar mapped you can resample most of the textures larger if you want to make sharper graphics. Just start up the game and walk around, the monitors will be different, there are lots of small image sequences and textures you can alter.
If you want to do this, copy the datapermmods folder after you’ve fully patched ss2 and applied all the mods or the big modpack. Then open the .crf files in the data\res folder with winzip since they are zips renamed crf. Extract all of those into a new empty datapermmods folder in the main SS2 dir. Delete the crf files.
Then copy the contents of your datapermmods bkp onto that and overwrite. This way you will have one image file per asset, and all of the assets in one place. Trust me. Then you can edit the images to your hearts content. I’m trying to make the von braun look like a geiger bosh jofra nightmare. I think I can ickify the intro to the many cutscene with only image replacement. Its more fun than it sounds like.
To my knowledge no one has succesfully managed to open a SS2 .bin 3d file and change it then resave it and have it appear in game. You can retexture it in minutes though. Just editing the files in Photoshop and anytime you open a .pcx comvert it and save it to PNG and notice that png transparency works fine.
But there is no PNG in UT2K4. Hmmmm.
If you have a pretty good rig, with 4-5 year old graphics, you can use Unreal Tournament 3 and have all the things I am going to talk about next, plus normal and bump mapping, and transparent texture support.
But it is a lot more complex to modify if you are just getting into this. I really like to use UT3 for modding, but it is too laggy on my pathetic box here, even with the smallest of landscapes.
If you REALLY need transparent textures (think chainlink fence texture on a flat plane – 4x3d points and a texture to make a whole fence you can see through) and normal maps, there is a super crappy pair of games that you could use. They use Unreal Engine and the Unreal Editor, and they came out about 2 years after UT2k4. They are Pariah and Warpath. Warpath is a slighty more tweaked engine, and pariah has a bit more single player entities. They use UE2.5+ so they have those two extra things, which, for your particular application may be necessary, as normal mapping and transparent textures are very useful in creating atmospheric scenes with low geometry. These run on my rig but smaller designs are necessary. They both come with the Unreal Editor, and it is the same as in UT2K4 so all your workflow procedures will go back and forth easily. They just let you import transparency and normal maps.
You won’t really be able to release it to any large community since both games tanked, whereas UT2k4 players (millions of them) could potentially play your SP mod/level/game if it is UT2K4 based.
I finally settled on Unreal Tournament 2004. Which is not designed for Single Player, but read on.
It has the graphics with basic uv layered textures (but unfortunately no normal mapping).
A number of cool monster packs based on the monster code from the first Unreal single player games years earlier are available, lots of them, plus there are bots, vehicles, ingame messages triggered by using things*think PDA story parts) and landscape objects with landscape tools. It can also import static meshes of fairly high triangle counts and bitmap textures in 32 bit color. It has a mesh Terrain Object with a really excellent set of landscaping and layered texturing tools for the terrain. Huge terrains and rooms are possible. And you get a bunch of vehicles. I like vehicles for SP games.
It will install on a DX9 gfx card, works with 512 megs of ram.
If you install a mod called the Single Player Framework, and another called Vehicle DM, then you get
xPawns from unreal with updated monster code and reworked monsters from the first unreal game (faster, smarter, better shots), unlocked drivable vehicles , and a number of triggers/objectes/keycard/ingame store/inventory/persistence code for single player stories/activities. These are called Actors, and they are also known as “Entities”. If you add the UT2K4 mega pack with the updated patched engine, and its additional 20+ maps, you get 3 new vehicles which greatly change gameplay. For single player flying missions and modding I prefer the Cicada to the Raptor as a base to work with. You may like it as well, and the Paladin is a good class to base a land vehicle off of. The editor patches in the update are essential though, if you want to use Matinee flying camera scenes. (Hint: in the editor you have to load OnslaughtBP.u if you want to place a Cicada or Paladin or SPMA in your level, BP stands for bonus pack.).
I KNOW there is a Max Cicada file for the bonus pack version, not the UT3 version which is MUCH more complex. I remember it. It was rigged and had all the sockets named correctly in Max. Can’t find it now, email me if you do.
UDK doesn’t come with a lot of that (it does come with a souped up cicada), but it gives you better graphics and realizm. And Complexity. It’s a tradeoff.
The Monster and xPawn entities/actors are c coded with simple behaviors that have been modified over the years, unlike bots, which have a different form of AI that works on a pathnode logic system. If you build a game in UDK your enemy actions are complicated networks of kismet programming nodes. Not my scene really, and they don’t give you any templates or base NPC’s so it’s actually a bonus, the scripted monsters, because you can get tweaked monster code in basic patrol here press alarm then attack flavors..
With the UT2k4 Source from Epic and notepad++ or uncodex (I use notepad++ more, but uncodex is really indispensable) you have a good available base of code you can peruse for your enjoyment if you swing that way. So you could open the different files and read the well commented code, adjust it, and even recompile it. If you have a rudimentary knowledge of object oriented languages and headers or linked dlls you can read the main scripts for each significant actor you want to learn as well as their parents, and you can extend, say, a new weapon/monster/item from a similar existing one and make changes such as a new model/sound/fire animation, etc. without affecting the upstream parents and retaining the qualities of the parent objects that you do not explicitly change with our child object. Keycard can be extended to become MetalKey and be necessary to open a door perhaps.That’s the short version of scripting uses.
The recipe is as follows:
You take the script source
unzip it to a folder that isn’t UT for now to keep yourself from getting confused, as you might “export the scripts” from unrealed later but I suggest you do that in a separate folder and place a different uncodex there.
Place Uncodex in that folder and have the classes folder there, then add the codemasters classes from the spframework which will be in a folder called codemasters in your spframe directory if you installed spframe right, or it will be in your main UT2K4 folder if you did it wrong.
Put the two folders of classes side by side in your development folder somewhere away from UT, they do not have to be but you could end up with 30,000 duplicate classes in your UT2K4 folder if you export the source from unreal ed into the same place. Put those folders in the uncodex settings and let it build the class tree. Install notepad++ and bind it to .u and .uc files.
Browse the classes in uncodex, the blue links in the code browser will take you to that class as you browse through each script. You can open each class that you are browsing into notepad++ and then you can have the upward object tree for any child class all opened at once in tabs there. You can then extend the child classes of the source and modify them, creating new .u scripts which you can test and even compile for your UT system directory later, where they can be loaded as necessary to implement your coded child class and its game representation or effect in a running level.
You don’t need visual c++ installed or any c++ ide and compiler, since you can use a tool called ucc.exe oryou can link a small compile program to uncodex and notepad++.
If you want to you can get an extension for visual studio express that will properly section and highlight UT2K4 code.
Which will make sense to some people, and others just got an immediate migraine. Sorry about that. I shoulda warned you. I had to give the starter code geeks a bone though since I am focused on the story and graphics here mostly, the application of the tools created by the underlying code, and the useage of software applications to create or process original asset and structural content. Somewhere some geek just figured out they can sift UT code with less than 20 megs of space and a set of programs smaller than 10 megs, and have everything they need to manipulate their nasty little code snippets. Grrr. Programming sucks kiddies but there you go.
You then have every tool available in a game like Quake 1/2 or Unreal.
Tools for a single player game. And you actually can do the whole thing without typing any code at all other than names of objects or filenames.
If you go section by section through the two connected example maps called Parser and just try to recreaate each trigger/even setup you will see by the end you have most of what you need to tell most stories.
You can use minus to take the hud away. I’m trying to find out how to set it that way at the start of the game, no hud. They are very short, but the 20 or so objects used can all advance your story nicely.
The only thing that isn’t there is some kind of Deus Ex 2/System Shock 2 inventory system with combineable items. And personally I would like a coop non deathmatch adventure using the SP tools, where in SP mode I could control one of 4 or 6 characters like in the ugly but interesting Project Eden. The source is There. I really would like a fling probe and remote vehicle controls too. Project Eden used Quake 2 c++. If they could accomplish it, it is possible in UT2k4. C++ is C++. There is a way…
Graphics wise, in UT there is a LOT of modding support, which is good for artists because they are NOT coders usually. It takes a different Brain for lines of text than for 3D modelling and level construction usually.
I found an essential tool. For older Rigs.
If you are on XP using Dx9 and you install Dx10, 10 will fubar 9, and max and modtool, which can hold the actor x plugins for mesh and animation export of UT, both choke.
It can be fixed using dxerad.exe (dx eradicator) and only reinstalling dx9c, but some things will never be the same. XSI Modtool will repair itself this way tho.
If that happens then you don’t have max (Max 7 works great and natively supports .ASE mesh format!) or xsi modtool working suddenly and then you NEED an .ASE converter. Or you get no static meshes.
Max/Maya/XSI really are OVERKILL for most needs in your game design adventure.
I gravitate to max a lot. When its accessible. I enjoy working in ModTool more because I started in 3D with LW and Softimage 3.1 (the irix->NT port). There is an actor X plugin for max, maya, xsi, and the xsi works in modtool. All of those tools however will immediately botch and be unuseable if you install direct X 10 on an XP machine that is at DX9c. They will work before that. XPsp3 with DX9c will install and run these 3 applications. If you install DX 10 for any reason on that development box, your DX9 is wratched and all 3 cease to function. DX10 on XPsp3 requires a complete rebuild of the os patched to dx9 and don’t add the dx10 again. If you don’t care what you are building things in as long as you can do it, then you can just move over to a tool that works for you on your crappier rig.
At which point you can use C4D, Lightwave, Silo, Milkshape, etc. LW works on almost anything. Keep in mind these games you love were made with tools from 10+ years ago. The core tools for low poly and uv have been standardized for more than a decade.
So anyway, for UT2K4 I needed this tool.
Nothing else worked.
with it I can model in Silo/c4d/max or anything else and convert to .ASE
It’s called Biturn, and was made for Final Fantasy 7.
Imports Obj and a bunch of other formats, and exports clean .ase files.
This is the guys page:http://mirex.mypage.sk
There is nothing else, other than the max/maya actorx plugins which are picky for just static meshes, and not everyone has max or maya. So now you have this!
With those things you can build a single player game that is graphically superior to at least 20 games that made over 10 million each. So you can’t really bitch about it not being enough. Pretty much everything is tweakable at that point.
Another very useful file utility for me is dragon unpacker, and notepad++ to read uc and u files.
and I HIGHLY suggest you get the Extended Toolbar, which you can customize with the toolbar creator.
Why? Because you can click a button and select all lights, or all actors, or all stat meshes. You can customize your own tool buttons too.
I actually use the toolbar creator alone now because it will actually build the toolbar into UnrealEd once its set right.
All these monsters are available in UT2k4 if you take the time to import them, and you can load them into an editor and look at their design or modify them.
I stick with the ones in the SPFramework first (the original unreal xpawns), some of the packs are twitchy and you have to fix them.
The unreal reference animation sets and meshes are here:
This is the most important one for animators (use google)
as it has all of the base animations for the 5 character types
so it has the dodge ani, the fire ani, the crouch ani, etc.
There is a base mesh too, but you have to detach it from biped as those are max files.
The editor is a bit hard to get into, but for cheap/free level design you can’t really complain. Save lots, don’t push it too hard.
On my crap rig I can work with a 40k terrain and 30 monsters with 6 vehicles on the map and a bunch of interactive items.
I don’t need that much space, but that’s the limit where framerate drops.
If I don’t use a terrain object, and just carve out the world with the BSP builder brush, I can make a set of spaces 10+ kilometers in size connected by hundreds of passages, since the bsp compile will segment the rooms by visibility. That’s more than I need. I can build the Rickenbacker or similar sized ship/complex in one level with different zones to pull the entities out of ram until I enter different zones.
You can build huge complexes that you have to drive around in.
They are hard to light though, so stick with smaller rooms connected at first.
But what more do you need?
Every monster or character mesh made for UT2004 can be modified and reskinned by clearly defined processes. All character animation sets can be loaded tweaked exported reloaded and packaged. All inventory items can be renamed and remeshed. UI elements can be reskinned. Ogg or wave can be triggered at will with stereo placement. Text messages, even small vids or audio can be embedded in consoles. Monsters can be spawned. Bots can be spawned. Keycards and quest items can be gathered. Vehicles (and Turrets) can be placed. Sculptures, models, artwork can all be imported.
You can even build your level corridors using the base Silo/c4d/max cube and extruding faces then exporting, but you have to resize and change the orientation in a very odd way in Silo/c4d/max before making your OBJ for conversion by biturn to ASE. It works, and Silo or c4d have very intuitive face extrusion tools.
You might NEED to flip your normals too. Double sided materials make light do weird things in game engines. I used to dislike C4D. Now I do not. Meshes from it import well in UT, its base scale is close to UT, and most of all it will open old lightwave hypernurb sub-d objects. Which I actually have quite a few of since lightwave was great for spaceships. But nothing else opens them. Lightwave itself is fine for this work in games, though it is usually a film/tv rendering tool, the modeller is great with these meshes, and UV texture display is excellent. Lightwave 9.0, not 9.0c will work after a dx10 in xp botch. Max/Maya/Modtool will not, even if they worked before the dx10 addon to xp. Max 7-9 and modtool will work on most older hardware, and max has a software renderer built in for backup. UT2K4 will import single layer lightwave static meshes as raw .lwo, and they will show nicely with collision and uv mapping and smoothgroups by mat. I don’t know why. I don’t see any mention in the history of Unreal where they specify having used anything but max, maya, or xsi, but there it is in your static mesh import: would you like .ASE or .LWO?
I honestly think you get better speed with standard room squares and corridors by using the BSP Subtract/Add tools and then populating the spaces with Static Meshes (the sculptures and models you make in other packages and import). If you don’t delete the end caps and use the interior, I believe you can also convert a room system to a Brush then use it to Subtract if you are using max.
The main advantage of using builder brushes where the user goes is that wall sections can be selected by rectangular brush face and given a different texture. Static meshes can not be retextured in the editor so you have to texture in Silo/Max/ModTool/etc. and save all your maps as massive TGA files until you can import. If you don’t texture stat meshes with UV you will have to link up every texture on wall faces instead of just to a single UV map. I say this because I have avoided modelling in BSP as I was using UDK which is Additive and supports FBX. UT2k4 is subtractive and only supports triangulated ASE meshes. It affects your texturing flow in the editor, so if you build corridors as stat meshes you have to texture them well before importing and properly uv map them unless they are perfectly planar mapped. In BSP you just select a wall and change the texture. Stat meshes don’t drop and have pretty good auto collision on import, even archways and domes. Faces and the Normal directions matter very much if you use Stat meshes for the corridors, so surround sections with BSP blocks or antiportals.
Zbrush models I’ve made with the default sphere can be very detailed, comparatively, and poly painting/textures exported with the multi map exporter are great, although I didn’t dig auv tiles, they made seams.
The polypaint to texture had no seam. I found meshes at level 2 were enough, 3 caused lag, but textures of 2048 on a level 2 mesh export straight through biturn into ase and are very fluid and interactive. Thats at about 16000 tri’s exported per model for good speed, you could probably go step 3 on a better rig, but 16k is pretty good for a sculptural showpiece in the center of a room or a fairly detailed console or something.
Transparent textures are not supported EXCEPT with TGA,
but you can live with it. You get entities in exchange.
create zrush/max/silo model
in zbrush export multimap tx 2048, mesh exp at level 2
in max/silo/c4d/modtool export a uv mapped .obj mesh and texture
convert obj to ase with bturn
convert zbrush psd or tiff to bmp or tga
import mesh to your meshes testpackage in UT2k4
import textures to your textures testpackage in UT2k4
save both packages
“actor properties -> display -> drawscale” to resize, 400 works good
rotate the model
“actor properties -> display -> skins” add skin
select imported texture or a Shader Material with multiple textures combined in it
the texture appears in the field
and on our model
build all, play
The packages must be saved before you play,
they do not need to be saved before you build.
It is that easy. You could resize and flip in your 3d application. The mesh on import will always flip the same way, so learn to adjust for it and get the origin of your objects right to make rotating/moving easier.
Zbrush is beautiful, but difficult, expensive and a ram user, and BodyPaint I believe costs even more. Sometimes I feel like I’m using a bazooka to create a simple texture map.
This FREE software I offer a link to is tiny and, well, FREEEEEEE.
I can load a 3ds of a ut2k4 vehicle pulled from the package with some extractor, coverted to 3ds, I can load the manta in to this Tattoo prog, both materials are still assigned, I can paint away, save out the textures, it saves png and paints symetrically.
I can then load the 3ds manta into LW/Silo/Zbrush/etc. and have an already applied uv with 2 pngs.
Did I say that it is free?
And 1.2 megs!
It’s called Tattoo:
Save it, pass it around. Good things like that tend to disappear suddenly.
I have 2 backups of it.
This is great for g16 terrain heightmaps
At this point someone might ask why I haven’t extolled the virtues of the mighty Blender.
I have 2 versions, the latest, and one around 2.4 or earlier.
I use them for occasional file conversion.
I can’t stand Blender. Can’t stand it. Big clunky interface or inscrutable blah.
My screen is MINE. Get your damned geeky buttons that mean jack shit off of them. Give me back that big grey blob of wasted space in the corner under and around the boxes with 30 pixel spacings and those huge massive pixel robbing bands of menu that never stop f$%@%@#ing replicating. You bastards.
Blender really makes me mad.
When it has a skinnable interface that we can reorganize and ungibberish I’ll consider it,
until then feel free to jizz in the open source.
One day there will be an alternative. To Blender. I’ve been waitng a decade.
|Yes, before the emergence of the
windows pixel robber at the top of our screens
(not my model of course)
Don’t tell me it is a gem under a turd splash,
I don’t care.
I hand built an NT machine so I could install Softimage 3, and used Lightwave since version 3 on the Video Toaster.
I used a f@%$%@#$%ing Video Toaster, the wierdest Amiga doodad that worked ever.
I can decipher a wierd interface.
Blender isn’t wierd, its an asshole. It doesn’t want you to understand it because you’re not fucking ‘leet enough. Or something.
The things that work they remove and they fill in more crap. No manual you can download? A wiki? f@#$@%. Grrrrrr. Inscrutable geekshit.
That being said, I use it for some kind of conversion or test at least 10 times a year since it came out. I just don’t model in it.
The SMD export works in 2.6 and you can still activate .lwo import, so I do use it for file generation and conversion.
Well. The SMD SORTOF works.
It shows you how great things COULD be, auto importing all meshes from the qc, SOME of the animations import, but then, after being somewhat excited you realize that it doesn’t like the source .bmp’s and so you need to convert all your textures to jpg and replace them in each material.
On the redesigned high def loader that’s 30+ image files that need to be hand linked after conversion.
f%#$$%#ing ‘leet geeks. What do you think people want to use blender for?
They want to mod games. HL1 and UT2K4 hav huge user bases, but we get half cooked tools because all the geeks are jerking off on subsurface scattering and python crap that has no fucking value to 80% of the people who would LIKE to use blender for real production work. Sure milkshape is an ugly piece of shit, but at least it doesn’t make me load 30 f%$%#^ing textures requiring 120 f^%$^ing goddamned mouse clicks to do it with for every f^%&^ing <bleep> model I want to work on.
Milkshape, XSI, Max, even the HMLV will load the fucking textures with its whopping 20 meg size.
Go code us some more high end shit we can’t really fucking care about and we’ll go back to using tools we don’t have to fucking fight with or try to decipher.
I guess that’s mean. But its been 10 years.
Do I sound mad? I hate inefficiency. If I have to repeat a task over and over with multiple mouse clicks then the process is NOT WELL DESIGNED and I rip the software from my pipeline or relegate it to what it is doing well without fighting me. That goes for shortcuts and interface.
When I work, the things I need should be there, around me.
Not stuff I don’t need,
not stuff I have to click through and down and into like %$#% textures
5 clicks from an object to reach image import and I can’t batch load my 30 images into the list? Why do we bother with that. Grr.
Yes, python is cool, but it breaks,
import export, mesh optimization, armatures and animation
are the core of work,
rendering and physics,
is really an external process
to 90% of the work
we would be using blender for.
modelling, texturing, rigging, animating.
Shaders are a render things.
Dynamics and physics are an engine thing.
I can model with it
it’s the little things that suck.
Like mouse controls that make no sense
and dialogs that constantly pop up
just to ask me if I really wanted to do that simple thing that I have an undo for
or the nested tree of 20 clicks it takes to get at a specific component
oh, and I mentioned the massive interface I think
I expect it from softimage xsi, the bloat
I don’t want it in Blender.
I can’t believe it won’t import a BMP from source.
that’s just lame. So lame. Its bmp.
too ‘leet for bmp, even though that’s a core format for a dozen different media pipelines. I know it sucks but that’s what I’m working with let me load it.
If its up your alley, great. Yee haw.
Check KatsBits for tips on blender and .map
Anyway, I’m foaming and ranting.
If I’m stoned out of my gourd and a bit drunk will sit down and open Zbrush or Lightwave or Silo. All 3 are symetrical box modelers in operation.
Silo rocks but lacks some basic material functions and occasionally won’t work for a particular application without tweaking points or normals.
Lightwave is slightly less wierd than Blender, but to anyone who has taken the time to learn it is worth it and a dozen movies and sci fi series have used it.
On lightwave I generally start with a 6x6x8 edge cube, centered, symmetrical modeling on, and tabbed into hypernurbs, and then constant extruding or faceted subdividing selections. I use the subdiv weights painting to sharpen edges, bridge to connect separate object layers, and spin quad to fix bridges. Before Silo, I could not find this workflow anywhere else.
I like the separation of LW Modeler and Layout
I personally like the segmentation of apps
I would like something open source that was like Motionbuilder
I think that would make everyone happier
especially if you could smooth retarget and edit bvh and asc motion libraries
I bet an open source motionbuilder clone could run on less than 100 megs and have input mapping, retargeting, advanced and simple armatures, control rig and biped/multiped/wheeled/tracked motion skeleton templates
instead, when you want to animate, you have these massive 2 gig I wanna show off every dynamics and shader trick I can find suites
when you just want to make the arms move on the mesh you made in something else. That’s all you wanted to do, just a little walk cycle or two, with maybe an attachment. How many buttons do you need for that?
not 300 that’s for sure.
I don’t want render menus and texture menus when I’m animating
and I don;t like navigating around render tools and things when I’m modelling really. I want my screen space more than all your pretty geek buttons
put them in a folder and I’ll put them on my toolbar
if I want them only.
There really should be nothing on my screen except the tools I am using and some menus to get to the others.
I’ll stop bitching and dreaming about impossibilities now.
I use lightwave for mechanicals and ships, zbrush for organics mostly, and silo is kind of inbetween. There is a great Silo scene with 12 heads you can find.
Well, I couldn’t find it but I had it once so its out there to study.
Open Source is a great idea. When I’m rich and can be a philanthropist I will give $1000 prizes to people who contribute significant code to open source video editing, 3d animation, 3d modelling, 3d compositing, and motion tracking software. I’m not rich and I’m stingy so you do it. I personally think it’s a disgrace that we can fly people to the moon, encode the library of congress on portable media, and yet we have no fast good slick free swissarmy knife nonlinear video editing/compositing system, 3d rending animating modelling system, and top notch open source game development software that is cutting edge. Our evolution is chained to our profit motive and we have become lazy fucking sated ipod monkeys or vacuous wage slaves, take your pick. Hmmm.
Ok. Back to our wondrous Single Player Experience.
Adjusting the texture map in photoshop is fine but it will not import if it is not multiples of 512, 1024, 2048 on the sides. One pixel off and it will choke. Bodypaint is the cat’s meow, but anything that does uv textures properly works. Obj is standard between programs but you may wish to keep them in your original application format for editing as all meshes end up triangulated. If you triangulate it yourself, in your fine tuned 3d application, then UT will not do its own thing on you. This only really matters on meshes with bones in the end as all quads just get split but if you do it yourself it won’t change your work.
Maybe one day the stingy bastards at Epic will release a set of engine updates (I bet they even have a bunch of SP code they could stop hoarding) to support simple normal mapping in UT2K4. Probably not. It sucks that a Quake engine replacement, Darkplaces, will render normal maps and png files, but UT2K4 won’t. System Shock 2 supports png!. TGA files are huge things. Anyway. That’s not a drawback if you build small spaces for showing off particular meshes, I have had extremely high density meshes for showpieces in testmaps. The Terrain object used more resources than the super subdivided model I imported.
Oh well. Normal maps are not really required for a story driven game, which is my personal interest.
I have enough to work with, as do you and your small team, or cat.
There are LOTS of tutorials for every asset of Unreal Tournament 2004 modding, and the SPFramework with the VDM code snippet is stable.
Now, that all aside, that isn’t your game.
The game part, the story, usually is built with a text editor, a pen and paper, an excel workbook, a flowchart editor, a logic diagrammer like visio, Yed, etc.
Did I say Pen and Paper?
Or your BRAIN.
That’s where games come from, really.
Coffee, cigarettes, beer, pot, putzing, playing games
thinking, using your Brain, Creating, having Opinions about what YOU like in games you play, incorporating techniques you observe to expound YOUR story.
That’s really where it starts
before all the committees get involved in the process…
Working with a level editor is actually a lot
like using an old typewriter
just get into the rhythm of it.
People used to do that you know.
They didn’t have power and they wrote books on mechanical typewriters.
They all got ripped off by rich fuckers too.
But the point is
you can make a book with a typewriter
games can be made with sheets of paper (D&D)
And you can make both with an average computer
You don’t need weapons, or “weapons” don’t necessarily need to kill or cause blood. You have audio and text messages you can trigger, say, when a character finds a book or pda or computer. You can have the character trigger video events as textures on tv sets/monitors, you have outdoor and indoor environments available. Anything can be modified visually.
So where do you start?
We’re back to our trusty pen or simple text editor, or maybe we have something more elaborate in spreadsheets or diagrams.
creating lists of the items needed sequentially to finish each section or “quest”area.
roughly sketching out the text of what will happen or what will be said/heard/seen
Many people create a backstory or project bible
lots of others fly by the seat of their pants
If your gameplay isn’t focused on killing or violence,
then what is the story about?
What tasks need to be performed?
Do you need tools? keys? parts? more knowledge?
If you ignore building the tool meshes and animations, and focus on defining the story and the need for the tool, you can build up your story and not get bogged down where everyone else does
in the asset creation, which really should come last
if you have the lists of things and the sequences that will need to be completed all in a rough sketch format, you will be much farther ahead, as you will be able to make placeholder ojects in the world for things you will build later, yet still be able to work on level construction.
What about location?
Space is cool. game characters don’t really need air, so you can go between inside and outerspace pretty quickly. Oceans, or islands, with level transitions and lod level streaming the illusion of vast spaces can be achieved with very fast frame speeds. Especially if it’s just your character and not 32 deathmatch players.
What do you like to see in games?
I like it when I am searching around for a particular type of ammo instead of universal ammo. I like inventories and vehicles. I don’t like picky jumping puzzles.
SPFramework mod team forum:
UTX gaffer for quickly browsing the texture packages:
DXT and DDS tools including a windows explorer thumb view extension:
The ever incredible and essential picture browser that’s free and converts to bmp with a right click:
Gimp Normalmap plugin
an I couldn’t even count the number of times in the last 15 years I’ve gone searching around in my stuff to find this tool for a particular project or that. Useful with games, images, mp3, massive asset datastores, 500 image sequences, etc. Strange to learn, addictive to use, its…Albert’s REnamer.
for when you have 30 images rendered out in format myrender0000.bmp and UT wants it called myrender_a00.bmp
just so you can have a bunch of animated stuff on a monitor, or lets say a background? Prerendered background components with moving textures on planes? Hmm. Like shuttles flying into bays, or moving machinery. 10 512×1024 images in a sequence can create huge amounts of moving detail with low overhead.
of course, 90% of an average factory scene can be done with simple movers, but getting beyond what the starting point is and creating something new that will move on old machines is a challenge.
some more links:
Www.Hourences.com is a good place to go, he has some really excellent tutorials,
and another good one is Angelmapper.
For UT3 but useful to read:
The simple tips I should give you:
When you build your first subtracted big room box, if you want the Sun light object, you must make the walls and ceiling surface properties to fake backdrop.
When you create a landscape object, you MUST texture it, you MUST save the package with the texture if its imported, and you need to select the terrain objects editor icon to move it, not the terrain mesh itself.
Spend time with the landscape object and get to know how to make a heightmap, and at least 3 texture paint layers so you can paint pathways and rock face edges in the landscape editor (very quickly your landscape will look good if you can do that), then make yourself some simple textured rock shapes in a 3D app that you can use to sharpen the edges of cliffs with, as Terrain doesn’t make hard edges for cliffs. The terrain is the base, but the edges and wall sections are all mesh rocks, that’s they way to have edges and ledges. Only a couple sets of rocks are used, and instanced all over the level in different rotations to achieve rockiness. I have a “bunch of rocks” prefab.
I was suggesting people look at ONS-Iguazu to see this rocks with terrain example in a vertical style map, however you need to have ONS-Dinora as the Iguazu designer used some textures from Hourences Dinora packages.
A terrain object’s mesh density is directly related to the size of the heightmap in pixels.
a 128 px HM is 1/2 as many QUADS (which render as tris) as a 256 which is half as many quads again as a 512 pixel heightmap.
Crappy rig? 128 px landscape heighmap is fastest. Later you could just upconvert your HM to a higher resolution for more detail, but usually you just use Terrain for the major form of the land and static meshes for the edges and details.
This image below is a 70k (in Unreal editor units) square room 26k high. There are 8 similar rooms in the level with identical dimensions. 3 have the walkways and I plan to test the map with every room filled with the walkways. Just for shits and giggles. It has no Terrain objects, so it is very fast, even at it’s current size.
The vehicles at the bottom are specks. Down in the right at the bottom of the room you see a little square, that tunnel is large enough to drive the flying raptor through. Its roughly 6 times the character size. There are 3 rooms here with the same walkway grid.
The walkway is one section made in cinema 4D (which sends extruded shapes to UT better than Silo, but at 10 times the price tag). It is copied and pasted multiple times rotated grouped, copied, pasted again and again, so it looks like a maze, 8 levels high, from one static mesh imported. The grey ones were a bad texture wrap, the brown ones were properly uv textured in cinema 4D first so the textures are better, not that you can see any from this height. The walkways are actually too big for a person. but the test is to check lag with lots of simple extruded walkways made externally with 3d modelling, not in-editor additive csg brushes, which are really difficult to fully remove and move in this version.
A test with railings would probably be next.
Very ugly I know, but the point is, its only one static mesh, referenced a bunch of times.
On my celeron 1.4 I can fly all around in this between the rooms and walk all over the walkways or drive on them and I get NO LAG. Theship I’m in, and me are smaller than that tiny square. 4-5 of the Raptors I’m flying would fit side by side on each walkway. It’s really big, and there are 8 rooms as big, but each room is separated by the BSP space, so they are basically self contained, when you are in one the others are not calculated at all. It’s too much space. But it’s a good thing to know, you can fit a lot of stuff and a lot of stories into 1/4 of that space. Designing for vehicles in your single player requires larger sizes though so you need to do these kind of “how big can I go without introducing any lag on this target playing device”.
I think that’s cool. That’s probably why I am a computer geek.
You don’t need more room or complexity than that to tell a story. That’s a lot of room.
You don’t need a better this or that or anything,
OK, well. Someone has to get a decent inventory system going at some point.
If a P.O.S. like SS2 or Fallout 1 can have one, it can be done
I don’t want to code. Me and code are like cats and full bathtubs.
Also on my wish list> trunks for the cars so I can stash things from my inventory into the trunk
I think it should be a standard
SP/Co-op with swapable inventory and vehicles with trunks.
Forget the implant to give us more slots just give us all the f*ing slots at once at we’ll all descend upon the Template to rip its holy words apart and use them in our own creations.
Personally, never liked the conversation systems, but a framework for it in UDK at around the time of UT 2k4 was in the game Pariah, so it could be implemented in UT2k4.
the normal maps might be nice, but once you move up to UDK you have no single player entities and you must build them from scratch as there are no templates.
There’s also only 2 vehicles, and the complexity of the vehicles is much greater,
they have more bones for motion and sockets for coding rider entry, weapons, engine exhausts etc.
in UT2K4 a similar vehicle will have less than 1/3 of the bones and sockets and will have accessible code for you to read the socket comments in the program script as well as more readily accessible meshes and animations.
(you can learn more from a UT2K4 model quicker)
So UT2K4 might be better for you to get into the design of a Single Player game.
I prefer to study the Onslaught gametype maps for ideas, and for a suggestion, amongst the many many maps you could download for UT2K4, you really need to get this small one:
Yes. You fly or drive around and blow up bots in cartoon land.
It is a stunning example of a non realist modeling texturing effort.
If you are initially frowning on UT2K4 as an engine because of the mainly war themed textures
This shows you how all of the standard tools used to create a realist environment can each be cartoonized.
I played it quite a bit. The cartoon water is very soothing when your tank is starting to spew smoke.
I highly suggest the UT3 weapons and vehicles in UT2K4 mod, to get a look at how much the textures can be tweaked in the current engine. But if you install the Bonus Pack from Epic and update, or install the megapack with everything, you get a vehicle upgrade as well you might want to look at. And an editor upgrade.
All the bonus packs and the 3 UCMP map packs have admirable work to look at,
A very simple VCTF map that I like is VCTF-Marsbase-3000.
It is a simple terrain that works to test your own ideas in. It also has some pretty gnarly botpathing, but something like that could be an opportunity to see a simple path network and maybe adjust it. It works better with the Vehicle DM actor placed in it before you path, the bots see the vehicle paths better. I don’t know how, it’s one of those geek code things that I don’t really do but appreciate.
Botpathing isn’t necessarily essential at all in a single player game.
No bots in Myst. Still spend 3 months staring at it.
Writing down clues.
At the start of this article I was slagging Steam.
I REALLY love Valve Source. I actually like it more than UDK.
But that Steam “I always need to be online or I’m gonna cry” thing bites.
It just bites in development boxes, because it will update itself no matter that you tell it not to.
Anyway, I have to clarify something for you since I was slaggin the delivery system, not the engine or the SDK itself (other than its extravagant cost). I actually prefer to work in Source, but UDK is more flexible and convenient with file formats. I want you to pay attention tho:
If your rig won’t even run Unreal Tournament 2004, or perhaps you just like a more simplistic but not crappy engine, the re-released Halflife one on GOG based on the gold src is available to you.
You can get a build that will run without steam installed, and the Hammer Editor 3.4 is still around. Its less than 4 megs and the game is less than 600. I mention this because it is the Hammer version you want that has gcf support, but not the not the Source SDK. As soon as you use steam you will get that problem if you aren’t connected, but with an offline GOG install of HL1 and the Hammer editor you can actually fire out levels extremely fast, and it has all kinds of necessary things for a first person shooter. I have to mention this, because as bad as Half Life 1 looks, it has great lighting and texture support, and the scripted scientist things are actually pretty easy to make. I have to mention this, because as much as I hate Steam, I love Half Life and the Hammer editor was how I originally got into Q1/Q2 editing and I find it REALLY quick and intuitive for a starter with lots of easily placeable stuff . The editor is arranged well, and once you get the feel of it, it is easy to crank out nice complicated levels, that run extremely fast on new hardware. It doesn’t have as nice static mesh support and is a bit blocky and overbright, but it might work better for some people, just because. You can, if you look for it, still find the “HL1 SDK”, but all you really need is Hammer.
Half life is a great start to look at how assets in a single player are laid out. If you extract all the GCFs or Wads into folders you can look at the arrangement and the audio files for this particular game are 3/4 of the game story. The triggers for the most part are well named if you open up the valve level s and the hammer properties editor and material/entity browsers you will be able to organize and create things very quickly, with very quick build times, lots of interactivity and some pretty hard enemy AI for smaller quarters.
It’s also a great deal better than it was originally, and with proper design you could remake a lot of the NPC’s and Monsters with your own meshes attached to the Valve animations, or even just reskin and reweaponize them. The inclusion of wandering NPC’s who babble and can be “used” to do things is a considerable code bonus for you. It can add immense depth to a story, and you can extend the NPC entities with your own names and just a mesh and sound cues changed. Voila. Wandering characters that will say important things about your story. Suddenly you need a voice-over artist unless you got it all covered.
The engine is better than System Shock 2 and half a dozen other titles that made millions. I just replayed half of it. There’s a lot to work with, and it could theoretically be reskinned like the Toon Country example above, or something approximating it (without the tanks). If you make maps for goldsrc Counterstrike you will actually have people play them as well..
If you use Source or Goldsrc, the XSI ModTool is the way to go, and I personally always have and install both 6 and 7.5 because of some exporting issues and 7.5 requires Steam to access some of the Source Noesis ref meshes for HL2 which are included in 6 in a folder.
I love softimage
and it is the biggest fucking ram and interface screen space stealer on the planet. Yuck.
The interface is actually bigger than blender these days.
But, if you are lucky enough to have a dual monitor setup with lots of vid ram and widescreen 92 dot lcd screens running at over 1280 it really is the cat’s meow.
I can run modtool on my celery. but I have to stare into space a lot a wait.
I hardly even animate with it, but it is my 3rd preferred next to motionbuilder or max biped. I like it for modeling and tweaking triangular meshes, which I generally despise. It makes a hard job easier with the tri’s.
I really do suggest that anyone involved in any way of studying video games get the modtool 6 and 7.5 and study the valvesource addon scenes.
6 will let you use them without steam, 7.5 has some feature enhancements, but some export functions work better in 6.
They both have working buggies, swamp boats, and first person arm/weapon combo scenes for half life 2 all rigged up and working. You’ll learn a lot, if you can run it. Really. For everything. This is the core that you need to look at. A couple of working vehicle meshes with the nulls that are named for the engine. Human figures boned and skinned for the game, and first perosn weapon models and animations to work on and learn from. There are similiar files for UT2K4 or UDK but they are all over the place. Everything that is graphically/texturally necessary for modelling/animating for an FPS engine is in that addon, really.
Modtool is the preferred tool to extract an SMD into obj as it retains vertex weighting nicely and maps. Milkshape is very useful, but everything can be done with just modtool and some other modeler of your choice. You need to actually locate the obj export plugin though for 7.5 as smd’s won’t export natively.
Regardless of that
anything will work once you’ve translated an mdl to an smd then fixed up the textures a bit, closed a few holes and random polygons, merged/freezed/collapsed the stack or whatever and made an obj then any tool will work
With milkshape or xsi modtool you can decompile, recompile, modify, and translate the model and skeleton, make animations and meshes, import them back into either one, and create a new smd set, edit your.qc to point to all the mesh and image bits, compile in studiomdl, and you have a character.
When you come down to it,
The same game model, extracted and ported to 5 different packages for manipulation or as a base guide:
I can do it. So can you.
The above examples are on a CELERON 1.5 with 512 megs and a 64 meg shared ram onboard laptop video card.
Yes it is fucking slow, donate me a new one,
but as you can see, it doesn’t matter if the machine is crap or what you use
as long as you have the ability to read and think
and click and drag
I’ve been using 3D packages for 15+ years
but if you focus on one or 2 applications and follow the trail of google tutorials left by others you can accomplish this too.
To get to the point above required about 1.5 days to have the helmeted and non helmeted versions in 7 file formats fully textured with proper uv’s and about 4 hours of mesh tweaking that wasn’t necessary, but made it cleaner.
So you, young jedi
or old crotchedy jedi,
you can do it too
From knowing zip you could get to this basic point of having a model from your game in your editor to tweak in less than 3 months.
Faster if you are a smarty pants.
Yes 16 year olds learn it faster
but, grandma can do it too if she’s so inclined
(see tooncountry example)
You need one copy of hammer to edit HL1 and its mods updated to 3.4 so you can see the static meshes instead of colored blocks and you can get an unofficial 3.5 update from Sven’s Co-op that gives all the entities labels in the 3d view.
It can be moved around, it’s not really a picky program, but the 3.5 has to plunked onto a folder full of the 3.4 for it to work, so you can have a 3.4, and a folder with 3.4 that you overwrite with the 3.5 fixes
If you can’t stand the unmarked entities (which is the only real suckness to the editor) then you could try this Hammer rebuild which puts nice labels on every entity. Along with other tweaks.
You can run them in two separate folders, the 3.5 has to be plunked onto a folder full of the 3.4 for it to work, so you can have a 3.4, and a folder with 3.4 that you overwrite with the 3.5 fixes and use the sven fgd and supplied hammer browser models to get a nice set of little icon models..
You need an .FGD file for each of the goldsrc games you wish to edit so the editor knows what entities it can interface with. It is also an important file for you to look at since it contains everything you interact with in Hammer in each dialog.
So if you have HalfLife, BlueShift, Opposing Force, and HalfLife:Decay you need an fgd for each and have to choose one as a base, but you can import meshes, textures, and code from the others into it.
FYI there was a torrent that had all four with the HD meshes all applied. It was a 250 meg package, SO TINY, to hold 4 games. It’s 15 years old no one will mind I don’t think. You know. About the torrent. Or you building a great game off it.
Buy the GOG and download the torrent for its ease of use since all the games are built into it as mods with the gcf’s already extracted. You can access all 4 games plus team fortress. Lot’s of base materials, code, and entities to workwith and aome really excellent hi def packs you can patch all of them up with. As a modder the torrent file has it set for you to go and you need to take much less steps to set up your environment, as it is also moveable your dev machine around without breaking registry settings.
You can also Create Quake 1, Quake 2, Counterstrike, Tribes, Max Payne 1, etc. levels with the same editor. Or you could use netRadiant I guess. NOT. At least not for me.
You need GCFscape, Wally to extract stuff from wad files, Quark, theres a tool to pack wads of textures properly, etc.
Most is here:
or at Nem’s:
Milkshape costs $35 bux, but it might do something you need at one point if you use this dev environment:
Milkshape does .SMD, the Valve model format.
When everything else dies milkshape works. Clunky, but it works.
It imports a lot, including fbx/dae, and outputs smd with multiple uv textures linked. compiles for you in milkshape.
XSI and Max have Source SMD plugins
Blender 2.46 and previous support .MAP natively.
Blender 2.6 doesn’t. But there’s a new smd script link below.
To get a simple static mesh without animation but textured, into hammer, is a feat. It will take you have a day if not half a month to do it.
textures as flat 8 bit bmp (ugh) they can be adaptive
export .smd model.
copy the .smd 2 times in folder
name one reference.smd and one sequence.smd
3 .smd’s and one or 2 materials in bmp format in folder now
create .qc file which is a simple file to tell the model compiler that you have these 3 .smd files, named this, in this folder, with the bmp’s that are referenced in the .smd in the same folder, and other material flags if you want to add them.
drop the .qc on studioml.exe and a .mdl with the original .qc name should be there next to the smds and bmp’s.
copy the .mdl to your hl/mod/models folder
place an info_generic and browse to the .mdl file
run and see your model in the level!
Notice it has no collision box
It is much more difficult to import a simple unmoving uv textured mesh in goldsrc, but the qc/smd system is actually fairly useful, just time consuming.
They should have made a full gui for mesh import,
oh right they made something called sourcesdk…
Creating an HL1 NPC: http://twhl.info/tutorial.php?id=175&page=1
this dev texture wad totally rocks, and if you look you can find something similiar for UT2k4:
At this point you realize it is easier to get a static mesh into the UT2K4 editor.
but you also see that it is nice having an .mdl file that has its textures and even animations all inside the one file, and that specific materials like metals, shiny, glowing, can be used in the .mdl using the compile with materials as well as textures. For GoldSrc, ValveSource is more complex with the textures and vtf, but goldsrc is still operating on basic image maps with uv.
You don’t need Source tools, Source is different than GoldSrc and c++ source, the file and mesh formats supported are different as well, and animation is not the same. MDL, and bmp/tga, in paks and wads. It is limited graphically and texturally, but it is small, fast and fun to build with GoldSrc using Hammer.
The code is much easier to understand than a modern hundred programmer game for those kind of people, and it also doesn’t require any expensive IDE to work with it.
I don’t think they(Valve) will hoard it forever, it should become open source goldsrc one day. Nice shiny stuff in ogl mode.Of course, they MIGHT be stingy about it forever.
If you can run HL2 and the modern SourceSDK on your awesome rig, then you might want to get Black Mesa if you wish to have some of the Half Life 1 monsters and scientists to use for your stories. Source SDK is a great storytelling environment, its Face Poser and Choreography/Gesture tools rock for actually getting characters to speak properly and show facial emotion.
And to anyone who would take the time to read this my recommendations of other single player story driven games you could look at for inspiration in story or asset creation:
System Shock 2, Myst (I suggest realMyst 3D), Deus Ex 2, Baldur’s Gate 2, Planescape Torment, Portal, Half Life (all of them), Doom 3, Quake 2 and even Q1 with the glquake or darkplaces engines, Arcanum *of Steamworks…), Max Payne 1, and Grand Theft Auto Vice City.
Which all should play on your machine, if you can run Unreal Tournament 2004.
Adding to my Valve statement above, which was just shy of gushing I guess,
Half Life 2 will run in DX8 mode, the orange box engine source 2009.
Which means it will play too. On a crappy machine.
Half life 2 (and Portal) are very easy to create and edit complex maps in.
I own Half life 2 and can legally dl the sdk as anyone who owns a game based on Source can
actually Source Base SDK is free with like 5 models or something,
but it’s better to start with a game that is close to what you are trying to create.
You can get offline versions of HL2, but you cannot get an offline install of the Source SDK.
So then you have Steam. You really can’t edit HL2 without Steam and an internet connection, but if you have both, it is of course an excellent framework for a single player adventure.
Noesis is the place for Source tutorials, I highly suggest both the version 6 and version 7.5 of the XSI ModTool Which has some valve base meshes in it to work with. Like a working buggy, cop, and airboat. You can use something else of course.
Whatever engine or development environment you choose, the first thing you should do is create a basic 30k box with just your character, the sun light entity, and maybe a vehicle if there is one. Save it as a template and make a copy.
Do the same again with a terrain object if your editor has one, then look at the simple SKYBOX demonstrations for your particular editor and make one for your basic 30k space and save that as a template.
Start from there. you have your BSP tunnel type stuff or outdoor skyboxes. Mixing them comes later. But you can mix terrain and underground levels in a large map if you segment all of the zones nicely for cutting out unrenderable things for the engine.
Partly related, but not quite, if you are interested in facial animation that doesn’t use bones as in UT2K4′s impersonator system, you should look at Facegen modeller. It generates nice head meshes with rigged eyes and mouth, and will export a whole phoneme set of Shape Morph Targets in one shot, which you can then load into Max or Maya or whatever and you can practice BLENDSHAPE animation using max’s morph mixer or Maya’s blendshape tools. Not very useful ingame, but for creating animated head cutscenes or a simple exercise they are great.
Maybe someone could donate me a better rig when they upgrade!
Then I could use UDK or Source like everyone else,
Till then I settle on UT2K4
Exactly what you would expect from someone who spent 4 of the last 6 years outside eh?
If you are truly a geek, I tell you
those Stargate assholes are rip off backstabber mofo’s.
But no one cares because I’m not a pretty 15 year old with perky tits, no police would help her either, they sure won’t investigate what happened to me…they only investigate crimes against rich people
I actually know my shit.
They are the reason I was living outside.
Read this again. Follow along and put all these parts together.
I find it easy, just time consuming on my rig.
Probably 4 out of the hundred or so people I worked at Stargate with could even get close to putting that together, and not in 4 days.
I set all this up in 4 days and tested it thoroughly.
On a Celeron 1.4
I’ve done this setup hundreds of times.
I could write the same thing about non linear video editing and the important components of a small set.
The only reason I’m not doing anything is not laziness,
I need a proper Doctor, and these Stargate fuckers,
Robert Cooper, Brad,
The whole GANG of them
Owe me some decent money.
I should have a house and car and some extra at least,
if not a lot more
you backstabbing prick fucks pretending to righteous while you slut about the sci fi conventions
fucking shithead moron fuckwads.
You are fucking redneck neanderthals.
I have been holed up for 4 days with a celeron trying to get all my tools in order.
I have successfully changed images and textures in System Shock 2 while replaying it.
So fantastic. Especially with all the fixes and visual mods you can apply to make it nicer
A game people replayed even though it looked crappy, because it was the story, the hunt for things, so many things, and the neat little touches like the research, chemicals, pda’s, combinable inventory items, nano augs, and tons of little story lines all with great spooky soundtrack that constantly makes you feel paranoid.
You may laugh and point to Skyrim. But that is 25 GIGS.
This game started a lot of it out more than a decade ago, and it’s still replayable.
Unmodded it is 520 megs! With the eye candy applied its 1.2 G.
So much scarier.
That nice tense scary.
I study games that were big, ones we don’t think of much now, Fallout 3 and Skyrim have made them into grand cinematic textural masterpieces with hundreds or thousands of ants building them bigger.
What gets me about a game like SS2 or deus ex, is the small tiny size
Really, all the flash is nice, but you only need a small toolset to create games.
Someone asked what I would do when I was sellingthem one of my instruments.
I lifted my hand and said
“It is in these, not that.”
I spent 2 days importing static meshes properly into UnrealEd for Unreal Tournament 2004
Which I have modded on my machine to build single player maps and eventually a conversion of the game to a single player story that is not really about killing.
Games are affecting us strongly
we spend so much time in them
My personal mission, which I have had for many years amongst my bazillion other eternally broiling ambitions
is to make a game,
a 3D FPS with almost no shooting.
Not really any enemies
Just things to do and look at in order to progress.
I’ve talked to people about this,
people interested in game design
They thought I was nuts
everything is twitch these days
twitchy gibby blood spattered amigdyla spazzing shockfests.
Its exciting. For a while.
I remember Myst.
Not when it came out, later. I got into the 3D one not the mac hypercard bs.
It took 2 months without a manual.
I actually remember no personal computers of any kind.
I remember the startling joy of a 1 gig hard drive.
Not a terabyte. 1 Gig.
I remember computers with no hard drive other than the os and you had to have a disk or you couldn’t save.
I programmed apple basic, pet, trs-80. Well. Actually I copied the instructions from the magazine letter by letter which was how people did it before you could buy floppies. Originally we used cassettes to record. Or we typed it in, and retyped it if the power glitched.
But now I bitch because I only have a celeron 1.4, 512 ram and an integrated 64 meg video card which feels like the stone ages. But I can play and mod Unreal Tournament 2004. I bitched at my Dad when the kid down the street got an atari with no cartridges, it was hard coded for pong, breakout, and tanks. You toggled a switch for the games.
Now I can build a landscape and meticulously plan the puzzles.
Searching for things.
That’s what I like.
Not really murder mysteries
You see, some of the most groundbreaking games, that made their creators rich and changed the face of our lives, they were made with 5-15 core people, sometimes starting with only one or 2 collaborators.
very intricate games, games that intrigued us for months
were made by very small teams.
Hollywood and its northern compatriots make movies
flash bang whiz
Big games are movies
Movies are about investors and money and action and gangsters and fabulous people.
Roll them in shit and wipe them off with money.
These small teams made games that were films
Like Repo Man.
That’s a film right?
Not a movie?
I have no desire to make movies
I will make Films.
Science Fiction Films.
2001. Film. Definately.
Gattaca, Equilibrium, Brazil,
and I’d like to make games
I keep returning to Myst, Baldur’s Gate 2, Planescape Torment, Quake 1-2, Arcanum: of steamworks, divine divinity…
So many hours
looking for things, finding things, learning more of the story.
I will be writing a how to of 3D game modding. Maybe you’ll like it.
Or not care.