Author Topic: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?  (Read 51428 times)

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Offline karajorma

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
Now that Diaspora is out, I can point out one other thing I couldn't before. For a little while, we should get a steady stream of users who played Diaspora and then discover TBP. That's another reason I think a new release would be a nice idea. If you can get one ready for Diaspora R2, I've got no issue pushing users over in your direction via the "Other games you might like" route.
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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
I was *this* close to closing it.

Split might still be a good idea...
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

==================

"I am Curiosity, and I've always wondered what would become of you, here at the end of the world." - The Guide/The Curious Other, Othercide

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nyrissa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline Slasher

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
So much for the early summer beta release.  You'll see it in November of this year, or my forum name should be changed to something appropriately humiliating. 

It's been a few months since I did any real work on it and even longer since the last update.  The main thing that's changed since the last update is that almost all the explosion effects have been upgraded, with the exception of a few missile explosions.  This increases the size of the effects pack significantly though. 

 

Offline Slasher

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
Still running things through the debugger but I hope to do a test release with the effects done so far before the end of the week.

There is one thing I was wondering about.  I've reduced the chance of a "death roll" to 25% for most fighters.  Is there any reason to think this would have an effect on gameplay?

Here's the change list so far:

Weapon Effects:

EA 42mm Plasma
EA 40mm Pulse
EA 45mm Pulse
DH Light Neutron Gun
EA Light Rail Gun
EA Phalanx
EA Plasma Launcher
EA Medium Plasma Turret
EA Heavy Plasma Turret 1
EA Heavy Plasma Turret 2
EA Heavy Plasma Turret 3
EA Adv Plasma Turret
EA Medium Pulse Turret
EA Medium Pulse Turret 2
EA Heavy Pulse Turret
EA Light XRay Laser
EA XRay Laser
EA XRay AAA
CR Light TwinArray
CR Medium TwinArray
CR Heavy TwinArray
CR Ion Cannon
CR Mass Driver
CR Battle Laser
NR Light TwinArray
NR Light TwinArray 2
NR Medium Plasma Turret
NR Heavy Plasma Turret
Drazi Medium Pulse
Drazi Light Beam
Brakiri Medium Pulse
Brakiri Heavy PUlse
VF Anti-matter Cannon
Minbari HNeutron
Minbari Neutron
Minbari Fusion
WS Neutron Beam#player
WS Neutron Beam
DH Neutron AAA
DH H-NeutronAAA
DH M-Neutron
DH H-Neutron

EA Panther
EA Bulldog
EA Vengeance
NR T'Kor
CR Palos

Fixed model firing points:

EA Midwinter
EA Olympus
EA Omega
CR Primus
CR Secondus
CR Vorchan

Misc:

-Starfury countermeasure effect changed (WIP, will eventually change for all species' fighters)
-Much lower chance of "death roll" for fighters, much higher chance of instantaneous explosion upon 0% hull integrity (tentative)
-Several new explosion effects, new particle/damage spew animation, some new impact effects
-Large capital ships (destroyer size and up) now flash when exploding (partially blinding player if looking at them)
-Beams can now leave glowing burn marks on ships, and "exit wound" damage effects
-Flaming debris from ships that have broken apart (works well with HTL modpack and Zathras 2.2 beta)


 

Offline wesp5

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
EA Light XRay Laser
EA XRay Laser
EA XRay AAA

So what have you changed about them? Now that I know how to do it, I will try to remove the yellow core and make them more red on my system to be consistent with the show.

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CR Battle Laser
Drazi Light Beam

As discussed in the other thread, I suggest these should be yellow, at least the last one can clearly be seen as being yellow in Shadow Dancing. I will make my Brakiri beams yellow too.

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Minbari HNeutron
Minbari Neutron

I will make these more green on my system, especially to make a clearer contrast to the yellow-green "Vorlon kind" Neutron beam of the White Stars. Or did you already do this ;)?

 

Offline Vidmaster

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
We see one large vorlon vessel firing in the shadow, when it destroys the shuttle in "Deathwalker". Its charge bubble is clearly yellow there, the beam is green but with a yellow stance.
http://media.avclub.com/images/articles/article/81/81843/B5_3_swing_and_a_miss_jpg_627x1000_q85.jpg

In "Interludes And Examinations" we unfortunaly do not see the Dreadnought firing but its charge is a lot greener there. Either way, the shot effect that we have in game is laughable, it is just the fighter one recycled (which fits well by the way).

I replaced it in my Fortune Hunters missions with something that had more kick, one of the First One Beams. Does the thing way more justice!
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Offline wesp5

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
We see one large vorlon vessel firing in the shadow, when it destroys the shuttle in "Deathwalker". Its charge bubble is clearly yellow there, the beam is green but with a yellow stance.

This is the main reason why I want the Minbari beams to be greener. The Vorlon beams were clearly more green-yellow in the show. And I agree with you that them firing at Deathwalker is not a good representaion of their power, I rather imagine something more powerful than the destroyer fires in Shadow Walking.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 12:07:12 pm by wesp5 »

 

Offline Slasher

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
Here is the link for a test release of the effects worked on so far: [see latest test release]

You will need a 3.6.14 .exe to use it, preferably a debug build.  If you insist on not using a debug build then might I recommend one of the "shadow" builds available.  If you're going that route be sure to grab Col. Fishgut's HTL pack from the Public Dev. forum.

You will also need the Zathras 2.0 patch at the very least.  The development 2.3 build is recommended since you get more debris, though I have not had time to port over the corrected firing points to the updated models in the latest test patch. 

This release has many of the younger races' weapons upgraded.  I haven't gotten around to the First Ones yet, or the Minbari for that matter.  Everything can be considered a work in progress, etc. etc.  I'm probably forgetting some important points but I have to get up in about three hours so I'll have to remember them later.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2015, 03:27:40 am by Slasher »

 

Offline wesp5

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
This release has many of the younger races' weapons upgraded.

Okay, I just tested this quickly on 3.6.15d with Zathras 2.3 and MAGs Shadow Dancing mission, which has a lot of fighting going on. First let me say that I really like the cutting-beam-leaving-traces effects :)! I don't know much about the projectiles of the younger races, so I won't comment on those, but the X-ray beams still looked not-red-enough to me and while a look into the vp file showed that you intended to make the Drazi beams yellow, it seems you forgot df_b3.dds. I would also again suggest to give Centauri and Brakiri the same yellow beams as the Drazi! You may want to take a look at the effects I will change in the next Starfury Missions patch, attached below. Vorlon, Minbari, Spitfire and one Drakh effect included.

[attachment deleted by a basterd]
« Last Edit: November 30, 2012, 02:30:36 pm by wesp5 »

 

Offline Slasher

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
The X-ray beams the Brakiri use are still using the old (non upgrade) effect.  The new  X-ray effect only applies to the EA beams right now.  That effect is probably final for the time being.

The Drazi beam should only have two sections right now.  What error message did the game give?


 

Offline wesp5

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
The X-ray beams the Brakiri use are still using the old (non upgrade) effect.

Okay, but do you plan to make the Centauri and Brakiri use the Drazi beams at all?

Quote
The Drazi beam should only have two sections right now.  What error message did the game give?

When I run it with the 3.6.15 debug build I actually get a crash before I can see the Drazi fire (Assert: fireball_type < Num_fireball_types File: fireballs.cpp Line: 794), log attached, but in the release build the Drazi beams were as red as before, and while one can argue, that we never see Centauri and Brakiri fire their beams in the original show, we clearly see that the Drazi beams are pure yellow in "Shadow Dancing". Also I would use as an argument that both EA and Narn fire their red beams out of orifices, while Drazi, Centauri and Brakiri fire their beams from poles, like the Minbari, so they are obviously more advanced than those of the EA and Narn, which I think is a good reason for them to be yellow!

[attachment deleted by a basterd]

 

Offline Slasher

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
Code: [Select]
ASSERTION: "fireball_type < Num_fireball_types" at fireballs.cpp:794
Int3(): From c:\code\fs2_open_0\code\globalincs\windebug.cpp at line 963

Thanks for the debug log.  It will be a few days before I can take a closer look at the problem.  I may have messed up when writing the fireball.tbl.  If you happen to have a 3.6.14 debug build on hand, do you get the same error running that too, or is it just the 3.6.15 version?

I'm thinking the Drazi beams are still red because I gave the files for the Drazi beam graphics the same filenames as the vanilla ones, which is a big modding no-no.  The vanilla TBP 3.4 stuff is probably overriding the upgrade stuff, which is exactly why I should be using unique filenames.  :banghead: 

Oh, if I'm looking at the debug log right, the effects_upgrade.vp is in the core TBP directory?  Have you tried moving it to its own folder and loading it as a mod in the Launcher, like Zathras?  If not, try that and let me know if the Drazi beams are still red.  Don't disable Zathras to do this, just add something like "-mod effects_upgrade" to the command line options, assuming you haven't already.

Argh, so many things I should have mentioned.

These screenshots are 9 days old (I can't take more current ones right now) but I don't think these particular effects have changed since then.  If things don't look like this even after loading the effects as a separate mod then I'll have to recheck the tables and the .vp structure.










« Last Edit: November 30, 2012, 07:37:47 pm by Slasher »

 

Offline wesp5

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
Oh, if I'm looking at the debug log right, the effects_upgrade.vp is in the core TBP directory?  Have you tried moving it to its own folder and loading it as a mod in the Launcher, like Zathras?

I moved the file into the Zathras folder and everything looks great :)! No more crash and the Drazi beams and the Brakiri beams are yellow now. But honestly, I like the Brakiri ones better and I think the Drazi should use the same effects. I know the yellow Drazi beam in Shadow Dancing looks a bit wobbly, but this is due to picture distortion in my opinion. When looking at the Drazi ship front when it comes out, it looks quite normal and I think it should do this in TBP too. You could use the cooler woobly effect for the First Ones ;). Also the Centauri are still firing red, so please consider giving them the same yellow beam! They are clearly yellow in The Lost Tales...

Before you start working on the Minbari and First Ones, take a look at the folder I attached. I made the Minbari beams greener the same way you did with the EA beams and I also included a green-yellow Nial beam. For the Vorlons there are unused cool beam effects in the core file, I just reassigned them to the main guns in the ship table and added a new fire effect for the dreadnaught which looks close to what we see in the show. I also made the Spitfire projectile a little bit violet on the corners, the Drakh scattergun blue and I will try to make the Dilgar scattergun pink. If this all ends up in Zathras, I can remove the optional effects from my next patch :)!
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 03:23:58 am by wesp5 »

 

Offline Slasher

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
The Drazi beams pretty clearly have a distortion effect to them. 




I haven't tried yellow beams on the Centauri.  However, most of the Centauri's weaponry seems to tend towards red or orange, so at the moment I'm inclined to go with those colors. 

 

Offline wesp5

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
The Drazi beams pretty clearly have a distortion effect to them.

Hm, maybe you are right. Only with TBP the distortion effect comes out much too clearly in my opinion! I also noticed that you added a pulse to the main Drakh beam. I can't find a video of the battle between Drakh and Whitestars right now, but I can't remember that to be so obvious. Also didn't the Drakh fighter use beams and not projectiles?

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I haven't tried yellow beams on the Centauri.  However, most of the Centauri's weaponry seems to tend towards red or orange, so at the moment I'm inclined to go with those colors.

I suggest a more yellow color because of the Lost Tales (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0t0i4iFs6ck, 2:30 min), although I agree with you that in some scenes they fire more orange (unless this is because of bad YouTube quality). Still it should be a different color than the EA and Narn pure red beams, more yellow-orange at least...
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 08:02:51 am by wesp5 »

 

Offline Trivial Psychic

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
Also didn't the Drakh fighter use beams and not projectiles?
The Drakh "fighters" that we have in the mod are somewhat non-cannon.  The only ones we see in the show are beam-equipped ships.  In "Lines of Communication", the fighters have fairly bright and cohesive beams, while those seen in "A Call To Arms" have less bright beams with sort of pulses contained within them.  One could argue that these were the fighters encountered during ACTA, and it was from this scene that the fighter+pulse was derived.  I prefer to think that it was a simple artistic choice by the effect creators, and that these ships were the same class as those seen in "Lines".  By that rationale, I submit that the addition of the "Fighters" for the mod are based on a balance necessity for non-cannon missions.
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Offline wesp5

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
The only ones we see in the show are beam-equipped ships.

So I remembered this correctly, and it makes sense too, because the Minbari have beam using fighters as well.

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In "Lines of Communication", the fighters have fairly bright and cohesive beams, while those seen in "A Call To Arms" have less bright beams with sort of pulses contained within them.

In such cases I would always go with the earlier version, because it should be obvious to everyone that CGI and effects consistency was lost more and more from Babylon 5 to Crusade.

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I submit that the addition of the "Fighters" for the mod are based on a balance necessity for non-cannon missions.

I'm fine with the fighters like they are right now, but couldn't we just make the beams weaker in that case?

 

Offline Slasher

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
Someone actually brought the Drakh beam problem to my attention earlier this year, which is the whole reason I made giving them pulses a priority.  Here's the link to video, oddly with the scene where the Whitestar is destroyed cut: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfDPB7spGoU




It should be noted these are from "Lines of Communication."  If anything, the pulses are the most distinct part of the Drakh beam effect. :)

Only with TBP the distortion effect comes out much too clearly in my opinion!

I'm really hesitant to make changes based on these kinds of observations, simply because different people use different monitors with different brightness settings.  By simply upping the brightness and contrast you can get a different looking effect:



Therefore I think making minute adjustments to the effects at this point, when they are unnecessary, is a questionable use of time. :)

 

Offline wesp5

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
It should be noted these are from "Lines of Communication."  If anything, the pulses are the most distinct part of the Drakh beam effect. :)

We don't see the mothership fire, but I agree with you that it should use the same beams. So will you change the Drakh fighter weapons too?

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Therefore I think making minute adjustments to the effects at this point, when they are unnecessary, is a questionable use of time. :)

I can understand this, I just wanted to state my opinion. Somehow it looks too powerful that way for a "small race" like the Drazi ;).

More questions: Why are their projectiles green and not yellow? Could this be seen on the show? Also what weapons have their fighter? And would it be possible to let the models in the info window fire to make this easier to check ;)?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 02:15:53 pm by wesp5 »

 

Offline FUBAR-BDHR

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
You know with all this talk about this weapon color being canon or this ship using beam being canon have you ever stopped to think that they could all be canon?  What is there to say that these ships don't have weapons of different types that are different colors?  The Narn and quite a few of the league species bought and sold weapons to each other.  Hell seeing a Centari beam on a Brakiri ship wouldn't seem to be that uncommon.  Narn reverse engineer the weapons and sell them.  The Drazi sold ships, weapons, and parts to just about everyone if I recall.  Heck I'm amazed the EA isn't seen firing multiple beam colors from the same ship especially in the EMW when things got desperate.   

Anyway my point is why not leave the existing beam colors and give new optional ones as well.  Let the mission designer decide.  Not sure where we are on weapons count (probably not good) but there should still be some room. 
No-one ever listens to Zathras. Quite mad, they say. It is good that Zathras does not mind. He's even grown to like it. Oh yes. -Zathras