Ted's RPG Rant

A place to rant about RPG games, particularly the Temple of Elemental Evil. Co8 members get a free cookie for stopping by. Thats ONE cookie each, no seconds.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

KotB Update

Winnings: $728

Stupid overnight shift: cuts into everything, particularly my chance to gamble. A couple hours earmarked for a trip to the club had to be sacrificed for sleeping time before work: not that I minded too much. My cold went down onto my chest, in no small part, I suspect, to that last trip to the club - sitting in a smokey environment drinking grog while overtired from a long week at work (and a cold) and being denied complimentary juice - BASTARDS! - well, none of it is too good for the immune system of course. So I refrained from going out Friday night and likewise had a nap last night b4 werk rather than the club. Am on antibiotics too for the chest thing, they seem to be working well and will keep me off the grog further.

Now... Endarire's NPC, as I mentioned in the forum, is all done bar the shouting. Just renumbering the mp3s (having today off of course - no modding on Sabbath! Church time soon too.) Will have to get them remastered and maybe one or two redone but am holding off sending them back to Endarire til I know for sure (doing decent quality recording is not something for spur of the moment, but should all be done at once and prepared well beforehand. Imho.)

Soooo, that brings us back to KotB, I will FINALLY be able to get back into it!! WOOHOOOO!! I cheated a little and made a start on Lord Axer's .dlg file at work last night: already did something for the 'other end' with the Master of the Merchants' Guild, so should have that whole later-game quest all set to go soon. Now just gotta do the early game ;-) Concentrating on this briefly since Screeg is doing a map for it.

Otherwise, I have to stick in the half-dozen characters or so I did dlg files for during my last lot of overnight shifts, and various other little things I have been tinkering with. Got a bunch more maps to sector (as always) and some lighting, some pathnodes maybe. When I have got the current load of stuff polished up - hopefully not too long - I will do an internal release for anyone at Co8 who wants it. People don't HAVE to download it by any means, since it will be a spoiler ;-) and thats why it won't be any sort of public release.

Doing the worldmap - also a priority for the efforts Sherriff has put in - will mean a major overhaul of the maps. Basically I just happily started adding maps at the end. Now I realise I have to copy over existing map locations and make sure they are all in the same 'area' to get all that functioning well (our ability to mod these things is slight, due to them being 'hardcoded', as they say.) Agetian has suggested we might get some help from Steve Moret in this area but if we can do it as is, makes everything easier. I deeply appreciate how much help Steve has given Agetian in various ways, but I don't ever want him put on the spot since there are always legal considerations. Agetian tried to explain all this to me - Atari have the rights, Troika own the code or some such thing - anyways, I appreciate there are boundaries, both legal and ethical, and I much prefer Steve offering help where he is comfortable rather than us poking him (unless we have some sort of relationship with him as Agetian has built). Hacking the .dll is technically a violation of the EULA and if we can get around it by using the existing ToEE structure for KotB, well, so be it.

It DOES mean a lot of work for me though, redoing any number of things. For starters, it looks like the Keep South Map will now go over the Hommlet map. No surprise there, but it means every door u see on that map will have to have its jumppoint redone. I WILL, of course, miss (or mess) a few on the first run through. Running around the map and chatting to people is fun, but I have already done it many times. Having a few other folks wandering around bugtesting will do wonders 8^)

Another step forward: Agetian has fixed svbs, as u will doubtless have heard on the forums. What this means (for those who haven't gone through it before):

We can't clip. Clipping is done when something moves behind something else and it blocks it out, due to the 3/4-view psuedo 3d effect of the game. Clipping, as far as I can tell, is done in proper 3d (at least to some extent). It is why we have a z axis when placing things with ToEEWB. It also explains y the game crashes if u attack that goblin near the church from above - in the game, u are LITERALLY above him on the z axis, and the engine is not ment to deal with this. Another example: When I sectored the slab in Thrommel's room to be passable so I could lay a vampire on it, he sank into the damn thing! Not literally, but he didn't show up: I had to z-axis him above it. The graphic of the slab, despite being a flat image on a jpg (and passable in the .sec file) still clipped the model. A PC standing there got cut-off at the waist.

Anyways, so far as I am told, this 3d format is proprietary (much like the 3d models that we can't mod, just changing the skins / meshes etc) so we don't know whats going on in there. So we are reduced to using SVBs.

Svbs - or sector visibility blocking - means the model and its circle grey out but still show up, so u can see where the NPC or PC is but its obvious they are behind something. Since it is implemented next to walls and such, it also deals with the issue of seeing through walls - it blocks visibility through walls so when u r outside a room, you can't see in unless there is a line of sight. Brilliant :-)

Sooooooo... once we have proper lighting up (also possible now Agetian has improved the lighting editor thingy of ToEEWB) that should all work. And pretty soon when u run behind walls in KotB, u'll get greyed out and it will look like u r genuinely running BEHIND the walls rather than walking over a painted background :-) Damn that will improve the experience!

What else? Nah that'll do for the moment. O, and the vampire? Well, I will stick him in the protos.tab and can mod him in at my leisure, won't have to hold up either 4.1.0 OR KotB.


At 5:14 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You lost me on clipping. You said we can't clip, but we can gray out characters when they pass behind walls. Isn't that the "clipping" effect we needed?

In any case, if it works, good! I hate to see a group of happy-go-lucky adventurers standing with one toe on top of a nearby, waist-high table.


At 7:15 am, Anonymous Agetiannemar said...

@ Screeg: the game differentiates between complete 3D clipping when the model totally disappears behind a solid object, and SVBing when the model is grayed out behind a solid object and visibility is "blocked". We can SVB, but we can't do full-blown 3D clipping. I believe we don't need complete 3D clipping since the effect is actually weird and does a bad turn in combat. Therefore, SVBing is all we need. :)

At 1:49 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Got it, thanks.

@Ted-- Unrelated: I tried a roulette system when I was living in Melbourne --at the downtown casino with the flaming gas jet towers outside-- but it only worked until the third visit when the whole thing went kablooey.



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