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JGZinv:
Figured it was neigh time to put something up since our public section doesn't see much
activity (we tend to do more over PM/IM/internal).

Well how do things stand?

I guess I'll start with the bad news first:

Angelus made several models for us, a bouy, a satellite, couple turrets, and some other WIP items.
His HD died and wiped all that out. Evidently his work has been taking him all over the globe, so trying to
get back in touch has been very difficult as of late.

I've lost contact with most of our mod team, save for Shadow Z (Angelus being kinda/sorta), Nutritious, and Backslash. Razorskiss is not able to
spare time to add things to the mod, so for all intents & purposes I'm leader for now. I've tried several times to contact missing
members and there's no reply. Bax has pretty much been on leave due to some private matters. Nutri's got several projects, including
Infinity: Earth that he produces original music for, so until we have a world / more mission sets built, he's sort of waiting on us.

I got to work on a "classic" Gal Span HUD replacement for the FS2 HUD, got about 40% of the way done and hit a wall due to the HUD code
not quite having the features yet. So that's had to be set aside for a while now.


Ok how about some good news?

Due to our ever present lack of modelers and crew, I decided to see if the original Tachyon model extractor could be fixed. The original author
of that has expressed an interest in updating it. So we may be able to get all of Tachyon's original models ported if that is completed.
I don't necessarily think the models are all that bad looking, as much as the very detailed textures were stretched far beyond what they
were capable of. If we can get models out of Tachyon, it'll be easier to build up a game world and over time have people contribute updated
versions that can be swapped out - and the tables/etc will be done already.

Shadow discovered a few of our large models had errors in geometry and had to go back to optimize and fix them. So Fenris in particular loads
better and won't melt your computer to slag. He did also get most/all of the powerups and a buoy taken care of.

I'm also working to see if some people can't open up the old SBF format sound files from Tachyon, so we can get better samples of the music and dialogue.
Delta Force also used SBF, but no one ever got the files playable.

Did find a program that could render Tachyon in wireframe mode, as well as spit out full textures and partially mutilated models. So it does some things, doesn't
do others. Kinda / sorta useful. We couldn't get complete textures out of the original model extractor, so that's something. Tried to talk to the author of the tool,
but doesn't seem like he's interested in fixing his program's problems - no reply.

Tachyon's multiplayer has been picking up a bit. We're looking at possibly 6 players in tomorrow, maybe 7 after that. Not bad for a game with no significant mods,
no updates, and 11 years still ongoing.

I may have found a job, should know something this coming week. Yay for paid employment.


That's how things sit for now.

JGZinv:
Well what a difference a month makes...

First off on the positive side of things we have had a number of breakthroughs.

1. Thaeris and myself have slowly been going through old models and making them
usable for FSO. In a basic sense this means as long as we work on them, we should be able to
get nearly everything we need for world building. There's a little snag but more on that later.

2. Angelus has returned and is attempting recovery of his HD before making models again.

3. The old SBF format used in Delta Force and Tachyon, a format no one in over 10 years has made
playable, was shown to us how to be converted and played. This allows us to hear samples of Tachyon's
audio without having to capture direct from the game anymore.

4. We are joined by a new team member, Grishnak, who is helping with coding related features.

5. The Tachyon Facebook group has been active for some time as well, if you're interested in that sort of thing
here's the link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tachyon-The-Fringe/184709132945


There's not per say any bad news for a change, but I am making a important request.


Although we have been able to get these old models usable geometry wise, the conversion process
means we lose the UV map. The models were spat out as problematic OBJs, then converted to 3DS, and through
a couple programs in transit. We've got all the original textures fortunately.

Bottom line is that we don't have anyone familiar with UV mapping. Back when this mod started,
and the models were used, I simply reapplied the textures and we did what we could. So I'm not
great at it either. I've been going over UV tuts from here and else ware, but it doesn't seem like the
tut's described result and my own efforts yield the same result. We've got a handful of models ready
to get a UV map, I'd rather it not pile up any further and become a bottle neck.

So I'm asking if there's anyone that would be willing to help UV, and/or advise a little bit so that at least
one of the existing mod staff can do this properly (probably me).

The models themselves are not particularly complex either. Think original FS2 retail or under 1,400 polies for
a complete fighter.

If anyone's interested, feel free to leave a post, PM/IM me, or hop on our IRC channel.

Thanks folks.

JGZinv:
Guess I really should update this thing eh?


Well let's see, since May we have:


1. We've added Dev / Arioch to the team, he is working on retexturing the old models.
Dev's one of the original Tachyon clan leaders.

2. We obtained the source code for the old model converter, so Grishnak has been working on
converting that to Python, from VB6. There's quite a lot of problems with the code, particularly the UV mapping
and texturing code is barely there. If there's anyone with experience in that area, we'd appreciate your
wisdom in figuring that out. Needless to say, having a working exporter would be a unbelievable help to the project,
as we could quickly fill in the content gap we've been fighting for years.

3. Thaeris is still working on model geometry here & there, fixing up what we got out of the old exports.

4. Angelus sort of vanished after my last post here, but came back this last week. He'd been laid up
in a hospital for some time due to a car accident. We're glad he's back in one piece.

5. Shadow Z has been fixing some geometry problems on some of the Fenris components, and poly chopping
where possible to reduce their bloat. He's produced a couple new models as well in between all that.

6. The FringeSpace.org forum has been deactivated due to a constant barrage of spambots posting
all over the board. Unfortunately I don't have high enough rights to upgrade or change the board
to repair the problem, and the number of spam posts doubles every day. So instead of wasting more
and more time, I've finally made the choice to just turn it off until arrangements can be made to upgrade
the forum and possibly the whole site.  A couple topics have been moved here so Tachyon folks can get
at the info.

7. Darixita (one of the Italian Tach players) has been aiding us in searching around for additional help for
the mod. As above we're doing better than we have been, but we can still use extra hands in the areas of
modeling, UV or texturing, and coding. If you might be interested in doing just 1 thing, or a few things, we
could still make use of the help.

8. As for myself, I'm working intermittently on learning C programming, texturing 3 ships, working out a fix for
the Base Wars mod pack for Tachyon that has a few problems, and trying to find a job.

9. Also I'm working on a small surprise that should be a bit more "solid" if I can get some things to fall in place
here in the next week or two.

So yep, short and sweet. We're still plowing forward in incremental steps.

assasing123:
can't you use a directx 3d ripper and just open the game, take a snapshop of X scene and then get the model with all the materias and stuff applied?

JGZinv:
There's only one ripper out there that even attempts to go back as far as DX7, and Tachyon was written in DX6.
What it spits out amounts to a great deal of trash.  I've asked the author to work on support, even offering payment,
but just like all the other people asking him to fix the program, he's content to be lazy and not bother with it anymore.
He also flat refuses to make it open source...   So that's a dead issue.

My thread showing it's export results if you're interested - http://www.deep-shadows.com/hax/forum2/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7203

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