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Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #163777] Tue, 06 November 2007 02:48 Go to next message
lisac

 
Messages:92
Registered:July 2006
Location: Austria
Improving Original JA2 graphics

[Updated on: Thu, 15 May 2008 00:33] by Moderator

Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #163778] Tue, 06 November 2007 02:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lisac

 
Messages:92
Registered:July 2006
Location: Austria
OK people, waiting for your opinions Wink

Also, can someone sticky this (if it gets popular at all Very Happy)
Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #163783] Tue, 06 November 2007 03:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2041
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
Hi lisac didn't realise you were into Fallout as well until I wandered over to the NMA forums recently!

I like the idea as its something JA2 deserves. The only request I would have is that the scale be increased a little as with the higher resolutions detail is lost. If it cannot then don't worry but definately make the multiple image sprite. The ultimate way would be using dcc from D2 as that allows for easy modding and the engine doesn't need to do all the colouration. Failing that FOT would be fine.


Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #163784] Tue, 06 November 2007 03:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
tbird94lx

 
Messages:686
Registered:April 2002
Location: ohhhhhh canada
this is the sorta thing i've been hoping for..in would allow for at the very least..a community version of ja3 using updated graphics etc etc and keep within the style and feel of what a ja should be to some of us..go for it lisac..bring us in to the mid-90s please Smile


Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #163786] Tue, 06 November 2007 03:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2041
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
Late 90's tbird I am sure...

D2 was 2000 and FOT was 2001.

We have only had 3D for the last 9 years though...

Edit: Also a question for the coders. Would it be possible to upgrade to 16 directions rather than 8? That would allow much greater flexibility for animations and also looking around. Unless it negatively impacts the game.

[Updated on: Tue, 06 November 2007 03:44] by Moderator



Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #163787] Tue, 06 November 2007 03:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Marlboro Man

 
Messages:1199
Registered:October 2005
Location: USA
Hey Lisac Smile

Nice to see your still kicking. And your idea is really great. I guess I need to get a copy of Light Wave 3D or equivilant. I had also been thinking "not too hardly though" along the same lines that you just expertly described above. This is great, and hopefully a few people will jump on board.


No need to wait to sticky this. I'll do it now. I know it there will be alot of feed-back. "I hope".


Peace


Edit: Dammit...now I got an urge to install BOS again. Smile

[Updated on: Tue, 06 November 2007 03:43] by Moderator



Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #163794] Tue, 06 November 2007 04:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
tbird94lx

 
Messages:686
Registered:April 2002
Location: ohhhhhh canada
i got the urge to install my Diablo 2 and add-on Razz


Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #163795] Tue, 06 November 2007 05:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mordul

 
Messages:6
Registered:June 2007
This all sounds great to me, and even better, I actually understood it all. The only thing I can see being an issue is the scope of it. Replacing the way the sprites are managed seems like it would be quite a task, though I don't have any experience in coding myself. Anyway, I offer my (moral) support, and I hope this project gets off the ground.
Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #163813] Tue, 06 November 2007 12:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lisac

 
Messages:92
Registered:July 2006
Location: Austria
Thank you all for showing interest about this thread.

Kaerar
The only request I would have is that the scale be increased a little as with the higher resolutions detail is lost.
Sorry, but no. We'd have to rescale the tiles too, and that would be a lot of work.

Kaerar
The ultimate way would be using dcc from D2 as that allows for easy modding and the engine doesn't need to do all the colouration. Failing that FOT would be fine.
Yes, that'd be nice, but we can't use other formats than STI (legal reasons and what not). Once again, the message to the coders: we need to force the JA2 engine to use ("emulate") layered sprites, which would be made from several (4-8) normal STI sprites.

Kaerar
Also a question for the coders. Would it be possible to upgrade to 16 directions rather than 8?
Good question, but I think this would be humongous amount of work, since the whole game is set to work with 8 directions... I wish I'm wrong.

Mordul
Replacing the way the sprites are managed seems like it would be quite a task...
Completely right. Don't expect this to be finished over night, it's a lot of graphical and coding work. Probably months.


Also, I'll get into sorting out existing merc/soldiers animations today. Wish me luck Smile
Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #163814] Tue, 06 November 2007 13:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sibben

 
Messages:16
Registered:October 2000
Location: Sweden
I really think that JA2 deserves an overhaul like this, but the scale of this is quite an undertaking, and the complexity is quite easy to underestimate.

But, more importantly, if the characters are updated to a quality similar to FOT for instance, the rest of the game will look really bad. It would need to be accompanied by a complete overhaul of all tile sets and maps. That I guess is less of a risk in term of complexity, but it would take enormous amounts of work. In essence building the game again, which is something SF did not do for instance.

And, I personally think the quality of the characters is the least concern. It's the rest of the game that looks really dated in places. But, I'd love to see major things done with the game, and I'd be more than happy to help out.

BTW, lisac, that was a really informative post and some impressive research.

[Updated on: Tue, 06 November 2007 13:41] by Moderator

Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #163815] Tue, 06 November 2007 13:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
zed

 
Messages:43
Registered:November 2006
in the way we can add new engine that will give more power and options (multi levels buildings, 4 views (like in commandos), etc...)
there is a free one that is very close to the fallout so we can try it out together with the new graphics
the link is :http://www.fifengine.de/
Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #163818] Tue, 06 November 2007 15:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2041
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
Trouble is with fife is that it emulates the Fallout style engine. Even though its similar its weapon handling is at best rudimentary compared to JA2 original let alone 1.13. Its a good engine but wouldn't work with JA2 system unfortunately.

The engine I believe best suited to an overhaul is the Cryengine2 for various reasons:
1) It can be set to isometric viewpoint as a fixed level (which can be made dynamic according to player position)
2) It has accurate size dimensions. A gun that fire 200m will do that ingame.
3) Destructible everything...
4) Massive flexibility - you can put your own HUD (think bottom bar in JA2) for starters
5) You can use the strategic screen like a frontend and have multiple maps OR
6) Have one huge map that encompasses the game and have a grid referencing system.

I could list more but this is just off the top of my head. Other thing is its free to create games on as long as you don't sell them. The 3D setup would look amazing with a fixed Isometric viewpoint and allow lots of neat tricks too. Traps could be far more complex. Claymores would work Very Happy

Just my 2 cents




As for the sprites redoing that would be great just to have different armour, guns, headgear, etc...

I wish I had the time to join in Sad


Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #163836] Tue, 06 November 2007 21:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
zed

 
Messages:43
Registered:November 2006
for 3D engines there is the OGRE and there are some for but i think we are missing the point - imeplementing everything from scratch in my opinion is out of the scope - unless we can create a convert script for the maps or something like that to give backward competability.
creating all from the start is something very very hard to do.
another option is to enhance today's engine, take example from other engines and port it to the engine code. at least this is my idea.
BTW,
i have looked at crytek web site i didn't see that it is free for non profit use - maybe for academic use
Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #163847] Wed, 07 November 2007 00:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lisac

 
Messages:92
Registered:July 2006
Location: Austria
Sibben
But, more importantly, if the characters are updated to a quality similar to FOT for instance, the rest of the game will look really bad.
That won't happen. The characters might get more detailed, but the degree of quality shown in FOT is far far away from the concept I'm suggesting (anti-aliased sprites are almost impossible to achieve with current code).

Sibben
And, I personally think the quality of the characters is the least concern. It's the rest of the game that looks really dated in places.
Right... But we need to start with something, and I've decided to try this (sprites) out first.

zed
the link is :http://www.fifengine.de/
I'm quite familiar with it, actually the FIFE project leader is my long-time contact. It's a nice alternative, but I'd like to stay in the "JA2 modding frame" for now.

zed
another option is to enhance today's engine, take example from other engines and port it to the engine code.
Couldn't have it said better myself. Maybe not a classical "porting", but borrowing of the ideas/solutions for sure.


Anyway, I've updated the design document with (still incomplete) table of all animations, check out the end of my first post in this thread. In a few days I might come up with the first graphics... Depending on my free time Smile
Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #163851] Wed, 07 November 2007 01:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Gotthard
Messages:4
Registered:May 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Changing the number of directions from 8 to 16 shouldn't be much of an issue code-wise, but from the posts I've read, it is exceedingly time consuming to create a new animation. Even just changing it seems to take a while, so because it doesn't add much game play wise, I'd recommend leaving it out.

It's an excellent idea, and ambitious, but saying someone can pick up the coding (I'm still dusting off my c++), how time consuming would it be to remake every animation in the game? I believe it is possible to code new animations in already, yet we have few new animations implemented... would this sort of problem carry over?
Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #163857] Wed, 07 November 2007 02:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lisac

 
Messages:92
Registered:July 2006
Location: Austria
Gotthard
...how time consuming would it be to remake every animation in the game? I believe it is possible to code new animations in already, yet we have few new animations implemented...
I don't know, but I guess a skilled coder might use parts of the old code and (hopefully) upgrade it. How long would it take - only the coder assigned to the task could estimate it.

The other path would be implementing a new animations code, which would probably take longer than the previous option.

I really don't see any of our current coders expressing their opinions about this, but let's be reasonable - they got other things to do, and the whole concept is still fresh. Patience, my friends Smile
Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #163860] Wed, 07 November 2007 03:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2041
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
Yes a project like this will take a long time, but the end result will be worth it Very Happy

Keep up the good work Lisac

PS are you intending to allow for multiple layers to be implemented over the same body type. Thus allowing far greater variation in guns and armour etc?


Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #163895] Wed, 07 November 2007 15:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lisac

 
Messages:92
Registered:July 2006
Location: Austria
Kaerar
are you intending to allow for multiple layers to be implemented over the same body type. Thus allowing far greater variation in guns and armour etc?

Exactly.
Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #163902] Wed, 07 November 2007 17:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Gotthard
Messages:4
Registered:May 2006
Location: Houston, TX
What I mean is that it sounds like the problem with new animations currently was that it was a huge PITA to make them, not to implement them code-wise. So even if we had new code for the animations, if there are new animations, it's a moot point. Good code changes have been made, but it seems there hasn't been as much work done with animations. Is it due to difficulty or lack of interest?
Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #163904] Wed, 07 November 2007 17:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lisac

 
Messages:92
Registered:July 2006
Location: Austria
Gotthard
Is it due to difficulty or lack of interest?

Both.

I was just sorting out the old animations and making descriptions for each of those, and it's quite a mess. There are those that are not used/implemented, while others repeat 2 or even 3 times... Some animations doesn't exist (e.g. female Kung-Fu fighting), the palettes (colours) capacity usage is at ~50% and the naming conventions are hieroglyphs. It's really hard to work with the mess the devs left behind.

The new sprites system should bring more structured animations, more colours, clear naming conventions and (the most important and the hardest part at the same time) - the layered sprites.

Edit: Just finished the default merc (S_MERC) table of animations, it can be found in the design document.

[Updated on: Wed, 07 November 2007 18:42] by Moderator

Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #164040] Fri, 09 November 2007 02:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lisac

 
Messages:92
Registered:July 2006
Location: Austria
OK, the new version of the design document has been released. Switch to the first post in this thread to download it.

What's new?

- updated info about STI files, palettes and coordinates
- new, higher quality example images
- updated the new sprites/animations system chapter
- one new milestone set

Hope you won't mind my grammar Razz
Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #165470] Thu, 22 November 2007 20:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Pustekuchen
Messages:4
Registered:March 2007
Location: Bavaria
hi lisac,

very tasty idea.

recently i
Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #165472] Thu, 22 November 2007 20:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

 
Messages:1836
Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
pustekuchen

edit explosiondata.xml to use any custom made explosion animation in 1.13
Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #165483] Thu, 22 November 2007 22:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Pustekuchen
Messages:4
Registered:March 2007
Location: Bavaria
thx scorp

i wrote a reply in your rr discussion, interested in new explosions?

[Updated on: Thu, 22 November 2007 22:31] by Moderator

Re: Improving Original JA2 graphics [message #165491] Fri, 23 November 2007 00:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lisac

 
Messages:92
Registered:July 2006
Location: Austria
Hi Pustekuchen,

Unfortunately, my RL obligations left me zero to none time to keep working on the sprites right now. Hopefully it should change in a few weeks.

Thanks for the "contribution" (discovering the limit of the fixed frame rates and number of frames), this will probably be investigated and included in the design document.
this project sounds great.[message #165543] Fri, 23 November 2007 19:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
redgun

 
Messages:190
Registered:March 2007
Location: Austria
I'd like to contribute to it (but i can't code C++).

Does the Engine allow to zoom out? sometimes i'd like to see a bit more of the surroundings. a zooming out feature would also be useful, if the 'big maps project' gets realized.

changing to 16 or 32 directions would also sweet, but i guess thats going to be just too much work.
Re: this project sounds great.[message #165893] Wed, 28 November 2007 15:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lisac

 
Messages:92
Registered:July 2006
Location: Austria
Sorry for the late answer... Better late than never, I guess.

I can't code either, you know? If you want to contribute, you might begin by downloading the design document (see my first post) and reading it.

Zoom function? Out of the scope.

16 or 32 directions? Yes, probably too much.

On the other note, I'm still working on the list of animations needed for the new sprite system.
Re: this project sounds great.[message #165897] Wed, 28 November 2007 15:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Khor1255

 
Messages:1821
Registered:August 2003
Location: Pleasantville, NJ
I like this idea a lot. I would go for a much simpler approach at least until we see where we can go.


I think my favorite part of this system is the idea about having different weapons and armour appear on sprites. To this end I would offer participation maybe and animation guidance definately.

I like the whole idea but I am more of a crawl before you walk kind of builder especially when the idea is so far from the conventional.

I really like this and hope to see some progress.
Re: this project sounds great.[message #166490] Mon, 03 December 2007 21:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dekar

 
Messages:7
Registered:August 2007
this would be a big change in the whole graphic rendering engine...
maybe you should completely rewrite it instead of patching the old one Confused
you could add more features like free zoom (and dynamic texture scaling).
maybe an alpha channel for softer edges and free to use transparency?
the scaling feature would make it completely resolution independent!
i think the graphics could be pre-scaled when setting the resolution option
so the game could use the pre-scaled ones while playing.
(could pre render several sizes for different zoom levels)
maybe my whole idea sucks and resized graphics would be ugly,
i'm not into this stuff and i've even skipped most of the thread.
this was just everything i had in my mind after reading the first post Wink
Re: this project sounds great.[message #166524] Tue, 04 December 2007 02:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lisac

 
Messages:92
Registered:July 2006
Location: Austria
Thanks for your opinions, people.

Implementing features that Dekar has suggested would mean implementation (possibly invention too) of a new graphic format and a lot (and I mean A LOT) of megabytes containing additional graphics (for each level of zoom). Also, we'd need a coder who's mastering the graphical segment of the JA2 source code better than Houdini the escape from a chain-wrapped and tight locked chest thrown in the water.
Re: this project sounds great.[message #167174] Mon, 10 December 2007 15:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Luftzig

 
Messages:18
Registered:November 2007
Wow, that's cool. It'll specially go well with the new inventory system, as sprites will be able to represent the items carried by mercs or enemies.
I really wish to help with these, but I'm no programmer (despite my endless attempts to learn) and I have rather limited experience with computer generated graphics of any kinda. On the other hand, I really do want to help with these, and my current bad health leaves me with considerably a lot of free time.
Cutting things short, I'll do, just show me how!
Re: this project sounds great.[message #167321] Wed, 12 December 2007 02:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lisac

 
Messages:92
Registered:July 2006
Location: Austria
Thanks for offering your help. Too bad I can't dedicate myself to it right now, give me a few more weeks (my job along with the university is trying to kill me).

You could start learning Blender or obtaining Lightwave3D somewhere for the start... I'll provide support for LW3D later, but skilled people shouldn't have problems using 3dsmax, Maya or Blender along with it.
Re: this project sounds great.[message #167340] Wed, 12 December 2007 08:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dekar

 
Messages:7
Registered:August 2007
I could help with 2d stuff, I've been working with Photoshop for years...
I'm not that good in programming, but this will hopefully change since I just started to study computer science Wink
And if the traffic would be a problem... just pm me, I've got around 2gb free webspace with unlimited traffic and around 900gb unused traffic per month on my dedicated!

greets Dekar
Re: this project sounds great.[message #167350] Wed, 12 December 2007 10:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Luftzig

 
Messages:18
Registered:November 2007
well, I'm not quite sure now that I really could help as much I thought. Appearantly, JA2 doesn't work on wine as well as I thought, And I don't have any plans involving a second OS on my computer... Well, I guess it could work out somehow, just need to figure out how.
Re: this project sounds great.[message #167356] Wed, 12 December 2007 12:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Telpscorei

 
Messages:13
Registered:September 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Hey, I'm very interested in making this project a reality, and have just downloaded the design document. Still, I was wondering, what is JA2 coded in (I'm thinking C++ based on these posts, but is there any other languages I should be aware of) and where can I get a peek at the source code / development kit? My coding skills are fairly rudimentary, but I'd like to at least have a look and see if I can be of any help.
Re: this project sounds great.[message #167550] Fri, 14 December 2007 03:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaiden

 
Messages:507
Registered:September 2003
Check the 1.13 homepage/wiki for a look at the source code/tools/sdk.

If you want the most up-to-date, then you'll have to install the SVN and keep it updated.


Re: this project sounds great.[message #167555] Fri, 14 December 2007 08:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
zed

 
Messages:43
Registered:November 2006
hi kaiden,
i have looked all over the wiki no desing doc.... the most importent thing for me is to understand the layering in the code and the interface between them.
i have allready the latest SVN and it is compiling. two question though:
1. how can i get the SVN of the MAP editor - i think it will be the easiet way to understand the graphics engine from it.
2. where can i find more details on the tile engine of JA2 - i have read most of CNC_GUN post and started to go over the source code.

[Updated on: Fri, 14 December 2007 09:00] by Moderator

Re: this project sounds great.[message #167556] Fri, 14 December 2007 09:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kindred

 
Messages:121
Registered:September 2006
Location: Australia, baby!
I know it's a lot of work for little gain, but would it be possible to make a BigMale bald set of sprites for Bull. He looks like he shaves his head in the portrait, but in the game he looks like he has a full head of red hair.

[Updated on: Fri, 14 December 2007 09:10] by Moderator

Re: this project sounds great.[message #167567] Fri, 14 December 2007 10:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

 
Messages:1836
Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
sure it would be possible. Even without editing any sprites. you require ja2pal editor and define a hair color that is identical to the skin color bull uses and then in proedit assign it to bull's hair.

i know it's not what you wanted to do, but it might cause a similar effect.
Re: this project sounds great.[message #167571] Fri, 14 December 2007 11:02 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
Kindred

 
Messages:121
Registered:September 2006
Location: Australia, baby!
I'm open to any and all suggestion. Thanks Scorp, I'll look at doing that.
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