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The End Is Nigh


Sir Taffsalot
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Exactly. When I look back and see a couple hundred to thousands hours poured into TDM for one year - and all I get is "oh when are you done with X and when do you start with feature Y", then I really question my motivation. For now I am coming back like a crack-addict every week again - but I am not sure for how long, and if it wouldn't have even been better if I left a year ago for everyone.

 

Aww. That is a bit unfair. What I see in the development threads people thank each other quite nicely after completed tasks. And one should be mindful that players do not necessarily realise to thank the developers. They usually thank the mappers. Mappers always tend to thank the developers and the communities in their map readmes as well.

 

I don't detect the ungratefulness you seem to be referring to. Anyway: everytime you see someone thanking a mapper or a mapper produces a gem FM, a developer should take great pride from it as they indeed enabled to mapper to do whatever he did in the first place. Everyone's work is most appreciated here and I think it shows.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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I would really like to model something, but a simple a-z model guide is missing. I know that Ive asked for the guide before, and there we are again, more work for sbdy.. But if someone skilled just taked 3Ds max and created cube (low poly), smooted a bit(high-poly), showed how to bake normalmap, add texture, create shadowmesh and import all to DM I would be really gratefull. (nosslak promissed to me the guide before, but he run to some problems..).

 

Anyway, Im really, REALLY happy that the Dark Mod exist. Maybe Im just a drop in the ocean, but werry happy drop=) Im trying to spread the word about DM on czech thief forums, Ive transated DM to my language. Just a tiny stuff, but hope that helps.. i really dont want to be someone who is just enjoying work of others and not contributing anything.

 

Thanks to whole team for many hours with TDM. Keep up the good work you crac addicts=)

He was sneeking silently in the night, moonlight was his enemy.

(Im not a native speaker, sorry for all miscleanous caused by my english..)

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I would really like to model something, but a simple a-z model guide is missing. I know that Ive asked for the guide before, and there we are again, more work for sbdy.. But if someone skilled just taked 3Ds max and created cube (low poly), smooted a bit(high-poly), showed how to bake normalmap, add texture, create shadowmesh and import all to DM I would be really gratefull. (nosslak promissed to me the guide before, but he run to some problems..).

 

Anyway, Im really, REALLY happy that the Dark Mod exist. Maybe Im just a drop in the ocean, but werry happy drop=) Im trying to spread the word about DM on czech thief forums, Ive transated DM to my language. Just a tiny stuff, but hope that helps.. i really dont want to be someone who is just enjoying work of others and not contributing anything.

 

Thanks to whole team for many hours with TDM. Keep up the good work you crac addicts=)

 

 

Don't make Nosslak spend his limited time to this. Tutorials are already avaible. If you want to learn modelling for doom3 with 3ds max, then follow trepaning over youtube:

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/trepaning/videos

 

If anyone who wants to go with Blender (freeware), then katsbits will be your guide:

 

http://www.katsbits.com/tutorials/

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You can pretty much use anything to model, so long as the model geometry and uv co-ords are able to be read by assimp, it can be exported to ASE for use in TDM.

 

So if you're not comfy with Blender/3DS, chances are whatever else you find will be good enough.

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So I say the biggest work is done, but still, we need a lot of help.

On that note, what happened to our plan to publicly ask for help on a regular basis? Basically every newsitem on the homepage or at moddb should have a question at the end like: "Would you like to contribute to this project? We can sure use your help in about any aspect of game development: Coding, texturing, modeling, sounddesign, mapping, you name it. We would be happy to welcome you to our active community of fans and developers. Join the dark side! :)"

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I would really like to model something, but a simple a-z model guide is missing. I know that Ive asked for the guide before, and there we are again, more work for sbdy.. But if someone skilled just taked 3Ds max and created cube (low poly), smooted a bit(high-poly), showed how to bake normalmap, add texture, create shadowmesh and import all to DM I would be really gratefull. (nosslak promissed to me the guide before, but he run to some problems..).

Yeah, I vaguely remember talking about making a tutorial/overview for the royal orb that I was making a long time ago. I did run into some problems with that one. At the time I baked my textures with both xNormal (normals and AO) and Blender (basic material colors for masks) and for some reason the textures wouldn't line up properly (I used a pretty intricate pattern on the highpoly so masking the right materials by hand were pretty much out of the question). I had no idea how to fix this (now I do, I unwrap the highpoly crudely and bake the colors to the low in xNormal) but the tutorial I had planned were meant more as a sort of overview where I outlined the steps I took pretty clearly, but you would still need to know how to model some basic shapes and how to navigate the interface. I'm sorry if you were waiting for this tutorial and I forgot to say that I abandoned it.

 

I second the Blender Cookie and Trepaning suggestions as well.

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To any developers who may be feeling burnt out: We understand. If you feel it necessary to take a break, we're cool with that. It is better than having someone get fed up with the project entirely.

 

I have made it a point in the past to not only thank the mappers, but the developers as well whenever a new release comes out.

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--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.

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On that note, what happened to our plan to publicly ask for help on a regular basis?

 

I am almost yelling for help - but almost none comes forth. You can see my long monologues in f.i. the I18N thread, in my (year old) candles thread (eventually I have up, then Badcoog contiued the work on the light entities - unfortunately, he is another developer, not someone new), and in the LOD model thread (again, Badcoog picked up some work, nobody else ever did), and there and here. It seems that whatever sub-project I start, I have to finish alone. Others are in the same boat (grayman is the only AI coder, greebo does DR alone, Springheel is the only animator, we haven't even got a coder for graphics or physics atm, and Noslak and Badcogg are the sole modellers). And none of these people works full-time on the mod - how could they, they got a life, too. Can't blame them :)

 

The best we get sometimes is someone who helps a bit with the code (heh, taaki and serpentine, thanx!) or someone who thinks they help us by either posting links to other texture places (as if we had the time to produce textures and as if it would save so much time to have a good photo source - thats the first step, but who does all the rest of the work?), or sometimes people "dump" some assets on us. That is surely nice, but the tedious task of sorting through them, filtering them, then incorporating them into the mod, then testing them - that still rests on "our" shoulders and we haven't got anyone who can do this.

 

Basically every newsitem on the homepage or at moddb should have a question at the end like: "Would you like to contribute to this project? We can sure use your help in about any aspect of game development: Coding, texturing, modeling, sounddesign, mapping, you name it. We would be happy to welcome you to our active community of fans and developers. Join the dark side! :)"

 

The "fresh people" haven't exactly beaten a path to our door the last 7 years. But it won't hurt to ask again.

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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Aww. That is a bit unfair. What I see in the development threads people thank each other quite nicely after completed tasks. And one should be mindful that players do not necessarily realise to thank the developers. They usually thank the mappers. Mappers always tend to thank the developers and the communities in their map readmes as well.

 

I don't detect the ungratefulness you seem to be referring to. Anyway: everytime you see someone thanking a mapper or a mapper produces a gem FM, a developer should take great pride from it as they indeed enabled to mapper to do whatever he did in the first place. Everyone's work is most appreciated here and I think it shows.

 

It wasn't my intention to do a distinction between developers and mappers here. We are in the same boat - mappers aremore visible to the users and thus might get more attention and praise, but they neither get any help - they are just asked for more.

 

Also, as a developer, IMHO the core mod team has the mappers as the primary "customers" and whatever makes them happy makes the users happy (and in turn the core mod team). The mappers have the players as "customers" - they only care for the developing when it solves a problem for them. And that's perfectly ok with me.

 

As for:

 

What I see in the development threads people thank each other quite nicely after completed tasks.

 

That wasn't always the case. greebo complained bitterly about it, and then I started to make a habit to always at leas inject a thank you into the relevant threads and my feeling is others started to do so, to. Even when the feature is something I won't use, or have not tested, it really helps to at least take a minute and say thank you instead of being silently full of joy :) And still, as mentioned elsewhere, it is still "bad" in the sense that you pour a couple hundred hours into a feature, get 5 thank you's, and then 6 months later someone actually comes around to test the feature and finds bugs and problems. At that point in time tho youhave forgotten what it was about, have moved on to other tasks, and no real desire to revisit that feature again. So it's not all rosy for the developers, either :)

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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but you would still need to know how to model some basic shapes and how to navigate the interface.

 

I know that, I have 4 classes on my university, teaching me how to model and use 3DsMax. Im just confused about baking normalmaps, creating shadowmeshes and exporting all to DR. I understand, that it is better to continue creating your awesome models, than spending time on tutorial.

Thanks for the link, Ill take a look.

He was sneeking silently in the night, moonlight was his enemy.

(Im not a native speaker, sorry for all miscleanous caused by my english..)

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I'm sorry to hear about this. I would certainly help out as far as I can. Either with voice "acting", music/Sfx or anything else that I might have a slight talent at. Both to the core mod or individual maps. I can't offer much, sadly, as I'm not very good at modelling (the more angular it is, the better- seems more tidy to me. :rolleyes: ) The only real coding experience is simple text adventures on the old commodore computers.

 

I realize the extreme amounts of work involved by few people. And it is easy to take all that for granted, perhaps thinking that there's a perpetual joy and fulfillment in the creative process that doesn't need praise or acknowledgement. It is a wrong assumption. There are always ups and downs. I have myself spent more time asking for features than thanking for what's already there. I'm guilty of that, and I'm sorry. :unsure:

 

I've tried mapping myself, I'm still doing it. But I'm also exploring other engines and tools to learn and take new discoveries and inspiration back. But, it is difficult to get things just right and it takes time. Especially when having equally time consuming projects elsewhere, as I assume we all do. I just don't want to release something that's only half way there.

 

But I do think that in the end we all appreciate eachothers efforts. This mod will surely not slip into oblivion. It is too good for that to happen. :)

Where are the REAL brits?! The one's we have are just brit-ish.

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I know that, I have 4 classes on my university, teaching me how to model and use 3DsMax. Im just confused about baking normalmaps, creating shadowmeshes and exporting all to DR. I understand, that it is better to continue creating your awesome models, than spending time on tutorial.

Thanks for the link, Ill take a look.

that seems pretty good about baking textures (AO, normals and vertex colors). It should teach you about most of things you need to know about baking textures. What I don't think he mentioned (I skipped through some of it) is that your low- and highpoly needs to be placed in the exactly same location and the lowpoly needs to have unique UVs (any mirrored parts need to be moved out of the UV-range before baking). But it's not all that hard.

 

If you want to make a shadow mesh you just need to make a mesh as lowpoly as possible but with a silhouette that matches the regular model as closely as possible but is not intersecting at all.

 

To import the models into Doom 3 just follow Trepanings videos and you should be good to go (TDM uses a bit more complex materials but you still only need to change the texture paths and the surface types).

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I am almost yelling for help - but almost none comes forth.

I'd say that almost everyone on these forums contributes something to the mod in some way. I mean, even Shadowhide did. Some are capable and willing to work more on the mod than others, but in the end everyone does his share, even if it's "just" betatesting. Just in the last month, I witnessed something like three or four people stepping up to start contributing, but you can't expect people to directly dive into the hardcore coding stuff you're doing on their first day. By the way, thank you for that and thanks to all other people contributing. :)

 

But my original point I was going to make is that it is important to get new people on the forums rather than trying to make new teammembers from the existing pool. Ask for help in newsitems on the homepage and moddb or at forums like doom3world or Eidos. That's the way to go, I believe.

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@Tels:

 

I think if these tasks were organized and documented somewhere highly visible that would help a great deal. The forums aren't well suited for that with topics constantly getting buried by new topics. A section on the main page or wiki with a list of the assets you need including detailed descriptions and concept art if applicable would be ideal. I have the capacity to help with some things myself and if I can easily refer to a single place to find items that interest me and work on them at my leisure, that's enough to lure me away for the occasional contribution.

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This thread needs love and cuddles and fresh pots of tea I think. :-I

"No proposition Euclid wrote,

No formulae the text-books know,

Will turn the bullet from your coat,

Or ward the tulwar's downward blow

Strike hard who cares—shoot straight who can—

The odds are on the cheaper man."

 

From 'Arithmetic on the Frontier' by Rudyard Kipling

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Looking at our mission statistics, we have three mappers, Sotha, Jesps and Bikerdude, who together are responsible for _30%_ of all our existing missions. That's a ridiculous amount of consolidation.

 

Welcome to the Pareto distribution. Much as hippies and protesting students might wish otherwise, it can be widely found throughout nature and dominates most aspects of human society, popular culture and wealth. In fact, with the top three being responsible for "only" 30% rather than (for example) 80%, I'd say that our distribution is a lot flatter than in many cases. I wonder how the Linux kernel would do if the top 5 contributors were to disappear.

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I think if these tasks were organized and documented somewhere highly visible that would help a great deal.

The bugtracker comes to mind, although it doesn't list what textures and models are still needed etc.

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Just a note on the modeling poss above:

 

1- I wouldn't recommend anyone buying models/textures for the mod.

Typically models that you buy aren't going to be to specs, have good materials, match the game, have shadow/collision meshes, be correct scale... To many things have to align to make it even worth while.

 

If you do want to donate the best choice would probably be to help pay for the servers (web, SVN, etc..) so they can continue to be hosted.

 

2- I've thought about doing a basic 'what your model needs to be in TDM' tut. But I've also tried to give everyone that info on a case by case basis when they ask.

If you search you should be able to find my explanations for it 3-4 times on these forums.

But there are tutorials all over the web for any modeling techniques/programs you need, no need to reinvent the wheel.

 

But it's not complicated:

 

* Try to hit a certain poly budget and texture size (you can always just ask for recommended specs).

* you export collision and shadow meshes with the object. They are just simplified meshes in the basic shape of the object (if a moveable you are limited to like a 7 sided cylinder max), they have shadow and collision texture on them respectively.

* Doom3 doesn't do smoothing groups, so you need to break the mesh at the seams. Also each material needs it's own 'mesh'

 

Those are really the only specifics for most models. everything else is pretty standard modeling.

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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From another team whose main focus is a game, and secondary as a base that other people could hopefully use to build small missions(there is still a small hexen 1 mod community) I can say this. It is much easier to advertise "A New Game" to the general gaming public than it is to advertise "A New Toolset with Fan Missions". The largest chunk of gamers don't care about the tools or random fan missions. You can reach the swath of gamers who just play games with a campaign. You will never hear from this group of people, they won't join your community, they won't contribute, but they will play if it's easily installable, and advertised appropriately.

 

The TDM community is far larger than the Hexen community. We are lucky to have 1 post a week on our public forums but on our last(only) release we distributed some 10K downloads in the first few days and hold a pace of about 1K per month currently. We are lucky to hear back from 0.25% of those people but people are indeed playing the game. They just have no interest in the community as of right now. I have a hunch we, Hexen, can change that with our next extended campaign, standalone, and toying thoughts with some type of mulitplay.

 

Long story short - the mass of general public like free games and they typically care less about tools or mods. Make your mod a game, more outsiders will care.

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