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Total conversion w/ Dark Radiant?


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#1 perki

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 02:14 PM

Hello. I've created a game doc and I'm trying to find an engine that doesn't require extensive or heavy programming knowledge. I'm a 3D artist not a programmer. That is why I'm moving away from Unreal/Unity standard. I'm actually looking into Dark Radiant/Idtech4 engine or Hammer/ Source Engine. Which of these two engines/ editors is easier to work with?

 

The game project I have in mind would be a total conversion not really a Thief-based mission. So I would need an engine capable of bringing in modern weapons/ guns as well as monsters. I'd imagine DOOM3 modding would be more better suited than TDM? If so, I don't own Doom3 so which version would I need to buy? Additionally, I'd be bringing in my own art assets such as characters, props, and possibly my own animations. I have experience in Zbrush, Maya Student Edition, and Blender. Which 3Dapp most compatible in conjunction with using Dark Radiant? I'd imagine plug-ins/tools are available that will help me get my personal art assets into the engine. Is programming required to do this? 

 

Also, how hard is it to enable third-person mode from the start so that when my total conversion mod is launched in-game, I'm immediately presented w/ a character on screen? 

 

Here are some early images of my mod: https://www.moddb.co...project-phantom

 

 

 

 



#2 Judith

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 03:01 PM

Not sure why you're moving from Unreal then, with almost everything UI-based and with blueprints you need less programming background than ever before. Idtech4 isn't super 3d artist-friendly. In ideal situation you'd want to pair up with a programmer, as stuff like shaders, scripts or defs have to be written manually with the notepad.


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#3 freyk

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 03:02 PM

I cannot speak for the editors and engines.
But i know that you need a buy a license when you want to publish something commercial using the unreal, unity or source engine.
(but tdm uses a noncommercial license thingy)
 
You dont have to buy doom 3, to get started.
Create a totalconversion of TDM and you got everything you need to get started.
(like the darkradiant editor, a wiki with modeling content, etc.
See my totalconversion mod "The dark mission", as a example.
Or for a doom 3 mod, Ruiner.

No its not hard to start in thirdperson mode, you can automate that.
Using "pm_thirdperson 1" and autocommands.
And to add a character on the mainmenu, edit mainmenu_main.gui.

Edited by freyk, 06 August 2018 - 03:17 PM.


#4 Snehk

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 04:35 PM

Yep, idTech4 isn't really artist friendly, but it's not that hard to get into it if you're not a coder. There is plenty of reference in the web, such as: idDevNet, ModWiki and The Dark Mod Wiki. Most of the tools You will need to use are built in the engine. DarkRadiant is definitely the best level editor that is available for this engine. There are also many different forks of the engine to consider, I'll describe some of them here.

 

The Dark Mod engine fork is a great choice if you want:

  • highly reactive AI
  • great stealth system
  • advanced scripting (stim - response)
  • advanced item manipulation
  • climbing
  • excellent melee combat system
  • basic yet functional inventory
  • stable and still improved codebase
  • supportive community around the fork's project and game's forums
  • mission and campaign based

 

fhDoom engine fork is a modernised version of the GPL engine fork:

  • many graphical enhancements
  • audio improvements
  • somewhat improved multiplayer code

 

Storm Engine 2 is an improved version of RBDoom3BFG fork:

  • contains most of the changes made by RBDoom3BFG, but is focused more on development of standalone games
  • fully reconstructed flash menus
  • several graphic & audio improvements
  • you may want to use my (incomplete) development starter pack if you decide to use this fork: SE2DevBase
  • it is a discontinued project though

 

OpenTech Engine:

  • based on RBDoom3BFG, slightly less developed than Storm Engine 2 in several aspects
  • Flash menus replaced with CEGUI

You may also consider RBDoom3BFG itself, though it's more oriented towards replaying the original game with improvements. The original GPL engine and Doom3BFG are highly inferior to other forks listed here, it is advisable to not use them unless it's for educational purposes.

 

You may also ask for help here: idTechForums. However, that forum is more or less visited only by several people (including me), so it is much better to ask here if you decide to use idTech 4.

 

 

 

I haven't used Source Hammer (GoldSrc on the other hand...), so I can't tell you what's different between these two editors. DarkRadiant is the best level editor I have used to this day, and I highly recommend it.

 

You can use anything that exports to .lwo for static meshes and moveable objects. For characters and animated objects, you will need something that is able to perfrom .md5 export. Blender, LightWave or 3dsMax will be useful (though Blender is the best bet if you want animated/character models for this engine).

 

Personally, I'm using Wings 3D for static meshes and moveables (non-animated objects with ragdolls/collision models). It matches the engine's scale 1:1, so an object that is 32x32x32 in Wings3D remains 32x32x32 in the engine. It also exports natively to .lwo, and is a nice subdivision modelling software. I'm building and UV Mapping most of my geometry in Wings3D and then export to Blender if I want to make animations. There are .md5 exporters available for Blender, so you can export models with animations into the engine with it.


Edited by Snehk, 06 August 2018 - 04:51 PM.

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#5 stumpy

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 05:54 PM

unity - you don't have to get a licence until you make more than $100,000 dollars in one year.

some of the others have the same or lower amounts before you have to get a licence



#6 Obsttorte

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 01:23 AM

Due to idTech4 becoming open source it is not suitable at all if you want to create a commercial project. The licence doesn't forbid to sell anything created on top of it, but everyone else can also take your work based on the engine and sell it. Only assets created by you would be protected. It is a bit fuzzy. So if it is hobby-based you can use it, otherwise it is not recommended.

 

In addition, if you are really attempting to create a total conversion you'll sooner or later will probably hit a limit of what is possible without at least some basic programming knowledge. DarkRadiant allows for scripts that are programmed, many features in TDM are either scripted or controlled via systems that at least adopt a lot of the basic concepts of modern programming. I often see people here in the forum stumbling about that once they try to get a bit deeper.


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FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild
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#7 OrbWeaver

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 05:21 AM

In my opinion, you are going about this back-to-front. A solitary 3D artist without programming skills is going to find it very challenging to make a total conversion, which by definition requires massive changes to the underlying game which will almost certainly require some programming.

 

First, you need to team up with a programmer who will handle this aspect of the total conversion, while you focus on producing 3D assets. This programmer will then be able to advise which engine and editor to choose. Making decisions up front about what technology you are going to use, then hoping that programmers will appear out of the woodwork who are capable of implementing those decisions, is unlikely to yield much success.


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#8 Obsttorte

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 03:40 PM

Not to mention that you need someone to create the actual missions, voice-artists, someone who is good at writing, someone to deal with sounds etc...

 

Good luck nevertheless ;)


FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild
WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.
Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches
Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models
My wiki articles: Obstipedia
Let's Map TDM YouTube playlist: ObstlerTube
Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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#9 perki

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 05:17 PM

Bummer that I sold my Lightwave license a couple months ago. Didn't know a lot of peeps here use LW. I'm definitely familiar with it, but I'd say I'm more well-versed in Maya. I've worked w/ Blender for some projects too. With all honesty I'm not looking to do an extensive total conversion mod. I just need to play through maps in first person/ or Third person, solve some puzzles (pulling levers, collecting items/keys), bring in my own 3D assets,  and the ability to use weapons to defeat enemies. DOOM3 has the stealth thing going on, which is pretty cool too. 

 

A lot of people on Steam discussion forums are advising against Steam Engine for being outdated. Does the same apply for Dark Radiant? Has anyone made any none-Thief based maps with The Dark Mod/ Dark Radiant? 



#10 LDAsh

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 12:37 AM

You should understand that DarkRadiant is just a variant (although undoubtedly the most advanced) of other "Radiants" out there, which could honestly also include "idStudio", and definitely the editors that shipped with Doom3 and Quake 4 (Prey, etc.), so the only limit is your imagination.  DarkRadiant itself now allows you to completely export your geometry to other 3D model formats that can be thrown into any other engine, so long as you understand how to clean it up and some considerations while actually mapping, being that you won't have a BSP/PROC file that has been carved/merged (although that's also possible to do), so you need to understand that concept while actually mapping.

 

In my opinion, Radiant is still very useful in terms of building environments efficiently because you can just drag out a brush, select a face and slap a texture on it.  Literally that quick.  With the project already set up, the textures are already there and what you've already used is displayed instantly when you load the map.  Manipulating the texture on the surface is also really easy with keyboard shortcuts.  For the sake of speed, I still insist on Radiant being used in the workflow and I don't see that changing.

 

And here's another consideration for posterity - we have a script that allows automatic incrementing/decrementing of all patch-mesh tessellation values in an entire map, but only with values higher than 1.  This means with 1 click, we can make every patch-mesh surface more or less rounded/smooth without even opening Radiant, which means LODing the entire environment is very easy - if you were to export to an engine that can handle that much "inline LOD" (kept in the vertex buffer), = not idTech4.

 

If you make quality content that looks great, performs great and also provides a fun environment to play around in - you will find programmers to help you.



#11 Obsttorte

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 02:50 AM

A lot of people on Steam discussion forums are advising against Steam Engine for being outdated. Does the same apply for Dark Radiant? 

DarkRadiant is just the editor, not the engine. idTech4 is a bit outdated of course, simple due to its age. There is a lot of effort going on to add modern stuff to the engine, like soft shadows or multi-threading, but in the end if you are aiming for a modern engine, you should probably stick to UnrealEngine.


FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild
WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.
Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches
Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models
My wiki articles: Obstipedia
Let's Map TDM YouTube playlist: ObstlerTube
Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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#12 Filizitas

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 02:59 AM

He,

 

I read a couple things so far here and this is what i can add.

 

Everything judith said at the top there is totally what i would add.
Tdm might be nice so far and alot work got into this but... UE4 is the more open way in any regard.
I speak license, copyright and i speak access.

You might be able to do alot with TDM but UE4 is designed for doing alot different stuff.
Dont limit yourself with our beloved sneaky engine :3


Can we have more scary Zombie Horror maps?


#13 OrbWeaver

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 05:16 AM

I just need to play through maps in first person/ or Third person, solve some puzzles (pulling levers, collecting items/keys), bring in my own 3D assets,  and the ability to use weapons to defeat enemies.

 

Be careful with the word "just". Converting TDM into a completely different game with different weapons, art assets and enemies is "just" bringing in 3D assets in the same way that building a house is "just" sticking bricks and wood together.

 

This mod was developed over a decade, with a moderately-sized team. It would be a phenomenal amount of work for a single person to take on.


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#14 Dragofer

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 09:54 AM

Well, if you're content to basically make TDM missions, but with different assets and more puzzles then I don't see much of a problem for someone who's a lay-person in programming. There's plenty of documentation available on our wiki on how to go about implementing the various kinds of custom assets, and we have easy to learn visual interfaces for achieving scripting effects (such as stim/response and premade script entities).

 

The aforementioned interfaces are, however, designed for use in normal TDM missions, so if you want out-of-the-box effects you'd most likely need to get some programming training in order to supplement the existing systems with real coding where necessary. This applies especially if you want to modify the behaviour of AIs.


Edited by Dragofer, 08 August 2018 - 09:55 AM.

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#15 Snehk

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 04:08 PM

This is the best advice if you have really decided to use TDM engine: make fan missions first. You'll get much more experience this way and it'll prepare you for development workflow.

 

I do advise you to check all the possibilities and decide to use The Dark Mod Engine when you are really sure that you want it. There is a lot of tech available nowadays. You're basically a lone artist working on your project, so you may want to reduce the amount of time spent on learning coding and implementing things on your own as much as possible. Some engines are drag & drop + node edititing for game logic (UE4, Unity), and they are probably the most artist friendly engines out there (with not the worst licenses, though UE4 beats Unity in this regard *cough* free and pro licensing *cough*). There is a lot of GPL and MIT technology available as well. It'd be best to check features of different engines and how demanding their workflow is before deciding what to use. Find someone who could help you with programming/scripting and engine preparation.

 

If you really decide to stick with idTech 4/TDM engine, then I'm sure that people will gladly help you. However, you need to make sure that this is really the engine that you want to develop your project on, otherwise you may regret it at later stages of development when you'll hit a roadblock.



#16 perki

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 05:39 PM

Okay thanks guys case closed. I think I will use Unreal Engine. Mods you can close the account.





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