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Posts posted by OrbWeaver

  1. 1 hour ago, ddaazzaa said:

    * I'll look at adding some faint light around the windows to add a bit of diversity to the lighting

    That's not exactly what I mean — I am referring to the fact the the whole mansion interior seems to be lit at a fairly constant level, even without any visible light sources. The line about "I need to get the lights on" falls a little flat when I can already see perfectly fine with the lights off. Maybe I'm just playing with a much higher brightness/gamma than expected, although I haven't noticed this appearance in other missions.

    I wonder if it would be creepier if the interior was almost pitch-black, except around windows? Perhaps those weird noises would be even weirder if you can barely see anything outside the radius of your own hooded lantern (which in turn makes you visible and vulnerable). There would then be a more significant difference (and sense of relief) when you finally get the lights on. Of course this would be a dramatic change from the mission as it currently is, but might be worth experimenting with.

  2. Well good luck to you, but don't underestimate how much programming time will be required, and how much this is likely to cost.

    A competent programmer working alone might be able to produce a reasonably decent game in six months. Based on average programmer salaries in the UK, this would cost in the region of £20,000. You could try a site like Freelancer.com and find some delusional guy in Delhi who hasn't actually read the brief telling you he can do it for $150, but that's not going to work out well for you.

    • Like 1
  3. 5 hours ago, LDAsh said:

    I was under the impression that MD5/PROC/etc file formats are proprietary and belong(ed) to Activision>Zenimax>Bethesda>Microsoft, whoever...  Unlike MAP files, those are specific to idTech4 and compiled to binaries.

    A few misconceptions here:

    • Neither MD5 nor PROC are binary formats.
    • Even if they were binary formats, this would not affect licensing. Intellectual property does not generally make a distinction between "binary" and "text" formats, which are technical not legal terms (and not particularly well-defined even in the technical world). Being "specific to a particular engine" is also not relevant, particularly when that engine is itself open source.
    • There are several open source MD5 exporter plugins available, and PROC files are generated by the id Tech 4 map compiler which is also open source. So even if formats could be proprietary, it is difficult to see how these would qualify, being entirely producable by open source tools.
    • As stgatilov says:
    4 hours ago, stgatilov said:

    @LDAsh, format cannot be intellectual properly, only its software tools and documentation can be.

    Even Microsoft under Steve Ballmer could not prevent open source tools from loading and saving .DOC files, which is considered a "proprietary format" because it is not publically documented, not because it is actually illegal to read or write it.

    You can't in general "own" a way of organising data in a file, although you could:

    • keep the specification secret (e.g. DOC files)
    • apply a restrictive license to the documentation or SDK required to read and write it, forcing open source developers to use reverse engineering to create their own, possibly non-compliant implementations (e.g. FBX, VST plugins)
    • in certain jurisdictions, take out patents covering particular aspects of the algorithm (e.g. most recent video codecs, MP3 until fairly recently).
    • require a valid file to contain a large block of trademarked or copyrighted content (such as your company logo), making it legally impossible for third parties to create files which your own software would accept. I believe some of the consoles have used this to prohibit third party games.
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  4. You're mixing up a few different things here.

    DarkRadiant is just the editor. Its source code is fully GPL, but if you're just using it as an editor to create maps, the license doesn't matter — you can release those maps under whatever license you want. DarkRadiant isn't in itself a game engine, so you can't really make a game out of it, although you could use it as your preferred editor for producing maps with your own game.

    The Dark Mod source code is the game engine, and it is GPL. It is not unlawful to try to sell a game based off it, but it would be commercially rather difficult — why would people pay for your game when they can just download the source (which you are required to publicise, according to the terms of the GPL) and build it themselves for free?

    The Dark Mod assets include all of the textures, sounds, models etc used in the Dark Mod, and the majority of these are released under a non-commercial Creative Commons license. This means that it would be unlawful to use these assets in a game that you wish to sell commercially.

    What you could do is use the Dark Mod GPL code as your game engine, then release a commercial game using 100% original assets that you create yourselves, and require people to pay for the game which includes your assets (while they could still download the engine source code under the terms of the GPL). This is essentially what ID Software did when they made Doom 3 open source: you can download the game engine code for free but you still need to buy Doom 3 if you want the full game including all of the content.

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  5. Age ratings are a joke.

    Every time I go to the Elder Scrolls Online website (or its store page on Steam) I have to enter my age into a combo box. It's not a horror game, there's no porn involved, but some Think Of The Children bureaucrat has nevertheless decided that a standard fantasy MMO is somehow too dangerous for the children, and further decided that children are too stupid to enter a fake age on a website, so we all have to jump through this ridiculous hoop just to read some patch notes.

    The developers of Elite Dangerous, on the other hand, don't even respect their customers enough to offer an opt-out from the kid-friendly censorship. Ship names are silently censored (visible only to other people — you have no idea if your own ship name has been changed), starring out not only obvious swear words but even foreign language words that appear in the middle of other words, as well as totally harmless words like "hell" which are only considered offensive by Bible-thumping rednecks. Presumably this embarrassingly broken automated censorship is imposed to comply with some age ratings agency, because I'm pretty sure not a single player has asked for it.

    • Like 1
  6. 15 hours ago, totallytubular said:

    I'm gonna keep the R2f disabled in the shaders I'm farting with.

    That sounds like a good idea to me. If content creators want lights to shine more strongly downwards than upwards, they can set the Z falloff texture to accomplish this (by having brighter grey values in the bottom half of the texture). It certainly shouldn't be done in the shader for all lights, regardless of light texture or positioning.

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  7. 11 hours ago, totallytubular said:

    I was looking over the default TDM shaders again (now that I have a better understanding of what's doing what), and there's a variable called "R2f" in interaction.common.fs that shapes light to make it seem like lamps cast more light downwards than upwards (b/c their glass / metal hoods block some light).

    Admittedly I'm only a newb when it comes to shaders, but that seems very odd to me. Why should the global interaction shader make assumptions about the directionality of in-game light sources, rather than having this controlled by the falloff textures which can vary from light to light?

    If you can have a per-light interaction shader I suppose this would make sense, but if there is such a mechanism in game I certainly don't know how it would be configured in DarkRadiant (I suppose you could have a "shader" spawnarg on the light entity itself).

  8. 5 hours ago, greebo said:

    Hm, I guess the resource models are missing, you're likely seeing the "model not found" NullModel in the preview. There's a new folder install/resources/ in the source tree that needs to be copied to the runtime data path, like the XRC files and the scripts. I probably missed to adjust the CMakeLists.txt to copy these over to the install location.

    That makes sense. I'll have a look tonight to see if the CMake script needs updating.

    • Thanks 1
  9. I'm seeing something weird with the Material Editor on Linux. It seems from the thumbnail icons that the images for a material are loaded correctly, but all I see in the preview window is a "shader not found" cube. It does not appear to be a problem with render previews in general because the preview in the model selector is working fine. But I don't know if I'm doing something wrong or if it's a problem with my installation in some way.


  10. I don't know if it's the same issue or an unrelated one, but I just got this weird artifact after entering the basement sewer area of Blackgrove Manor. It's red rather than black, but does appear a similar shape. It started on the left and sort of spread across the screen towards the right.


    UPDATE: Further experimentation revealed that Bloom is the cause of this particular artifact. If I disable bloom, the red boxes disappear. I then noticed some much smaller patches of the same red colour which were not affected by the bloom settings; these disappeared when I switched color depth to 16 bits rather than 64 bits.

  11. 1 hour ago, stgatilov said:

    And yes, nobody cares to fix it. Probably AMD does not have too much people to fix everything, so they prioritize. Whoever uses cool modern GL features would prefer Vulkan and DirectX over OpenGL.

    Regardless of who is ultimately responsible, if it doesn't work correctly for a significant number of players, I suggest it isn't the default (but can still be available as an option). If the game doesn't work out of the box people will ultimately blame the mod developers for releasing a buggy game, and may not even look at the forums to learn whether it is actually a case of AMD drivers not implementing an extension correctly (they'll probably just rage quit and delete the mod entirely).

    Are we absolutely 100% sure that it is actually a case of a broken driver? Could it be that we are not using the extension exactly as the specification demands, or are exercising some edge case that AMD aren't expecting most games to use?

    • Like 1
  12. I just finished this mission. My feedback:

    • Very nice architecture and creepy atmosphere.
    • I enjoyed the puzzle of trying to find a way in to the manor. Not difficult, but more interesting than "pick the first frobable door you find".
    • The background music is nice and atmospheric, and well balanced in terms of volume. Good job.
    • Lighting is very flat and uninteresting. It looks like the whole mission is lit by a single ambient with no bright or dark areas, giving the impression that I am walking around with night-vision goggles or something. The architecture would be brought to life by some more varied and realistic light sources, even if it was just moonlight shining through windows.
    • Several local sound effects are too loud and with too small a radius. The crickets chirping outside sound like a smoke alarm going off in my ear. It would be more realistic to make them quieter and larger in size, so they gradually fade in and out as you walk around.
    • I had no performance issues outside, but I did see the LoD hedge models popping in as I approached them. I second the suggestion someone else made to just use brushes for these. If brush-based hedges don't look good, just make them walls or decorative balusters instead.
    • There is audible background noise on some of the spontaneous sound effects. It does detract from the creepiness somewhat, because it makes it obvious that it's just an audio file being played behind you, rather than a ghostly happening in the world.
    • The jump scares were effective, but would be made better if the "visible thing" appeared for longer. It seemed like only a fraction of a second before it was gone, which is not really enough time for the brain to process the image.
    • I'm not a big fan of one-way valves in missions. There were parts of the mansion I hadn't seen, but once the "climax" was reached it was no longer possible to do anything but escape, and I hadn't reached the loot goal.

    Some of this may seem like nitpicking but I'm only raising such things because I think this mission has the potential to be something great, like the next Shalebridge Cradle or Rose Cottage, and smoothing off some of the rough edges might help to get closer to that level of quality.

  13. I just started a new installation of TDM on Windows 10 with AMD Vega 56 (drivers 2021.04 or thereabouts) and got the green textures problem.

    I recommend that r_useBindlessTextures is not enabled out of the box, since it's clearly causing problems for many people.

    • Like 1
  14. 47 minutes ago, Dragofer said:

    By the way, wasn't there a possibility to use arrow keys for moving the camera? I remember being able to both scroll the mouse wheel and holding down an arrow key for quickly getting between various sections of my maps, but the arrow keys don't do anything for me anymore in one of the recent versions.

    I experienced that problem the other day, and I think it was solved by switching to a different tab in the properties widget. Possibly the arrow keys were being swallowed up by the Textures panel or something.

  15. On 4/21/2021 at 11:04 AM, ddaazzaa said:

    I have visportals around the manor although I don't know how optimally placed they are.

    If anyone knows if there are better ways to visportal/optimize the exterior I'm happy to try and create better performance.

    I recommend Springheel's video series on mapping, in particular the video about designing your map with the placement of visportals in mind.

    From the screenshots @stgatilov posted, it looks like some of your portals are worse than useless. Portals are not a magic fairy dust that you can just sprinkle over your mission in a criss-cross pattern and hope that they will automatically improve performance — they won't (and might even make it worse). A portal which never closes, and does not substantially restrict the visibility of objects behind it, achieves nothing whatsoever.

    If you specifically want an outdoor area which does not lend itself to visportalling, you might need to consider other techniques for performance optimisation, such as reducing draw calls by simplifying models, reducing light counts and shadow-casting objects, etc.

    • Like 1
  16. Sadly making minor tweaks to these ambients is not really practical because they were only submitted as compressed .oggs, without any accompanying WAV or FLAC sources, which means that any edit and recompression would necessarily introduce generation loss. The only real choice is whether to leave them in the list or deprecate them.

  17. That's the strangest "ambient" I've ever seen/heard. It's a 3.5-minute sequence of completely unrelated sounds (with too much dynamic range for a background ambient), interspersed with long periods of silence.


    The sounds themselves are of decent quality, but they have not been combined into a coherent loop which actually makes sense as an ambient track. I wonder if the contributor made a mistake during the export, or had just never heard what Thief-style ambients sound like.

    It looks like this is actually a companion sound: mansion_tense01a.ogg contains the same sequence of sounds, but ties them together with a continuous drone in the background. I'm not sure why there are two different versions; perhaps some mappers particularly like having "gappy" ambients, even if it sounds weird to me.

  18. 5 minutes ago, Dragofer said:

    The main problem that's holding me back from using this feature more regularly is the performance. I was getting 2500ms per frame for this view, with the rest of the map hidden, on an Intel i5-9400F with Intel UHD 630 that rarely goes under 40 FPS in TDM FMs - even though the lights cast no shadows. Showing this view ingame (from the void with lights enabled) would be very demanding too, of course.

    That's rather expected unfortunately. The DR renderer is nowhere near as optimised as the real game renderer, and the only culling we have is very crude (view frustum and far clip plane, that's it).

    Occasionally I've looked at it in a performance profiler and there aren't any obvious low-hanging fruits, just various operations which take up a few percent here and there but can't easily be avoided. The last thing I noticed was that brushes are quite slow to render due to using old GL APIs rather than proper vertex buffers, but even that was only about 20% of the time and improving it (while a good idea) would not reduce it to 0.

  19. Just to mention a couple of notable renderer changes which users might not have noticed in the lengthy change log, and which should hopefully make the preview renderer slightly less useless.

    Attached lights are now rendered as actual light sources, so you can see what is actually being lit by those torches and fireplaces (currently only attachments built into the entityDef are shown, there is not yet support for adding your own attachments with explicit spawnargs).


    Ambient lights now render correctly as non-directional, and light up all sides of brushes not just those facing the light. Also visible in this image is the removal of an extra 2x scale factor for light brightness, which was causing lights to appear far too bright and completely burned out around the light origin.


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