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FM Preview: Shadow of Opportunity


demagogue
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Ok, I posted a thread at CGSociety calling for donations. (In this forum: http://forums.cgsoci...display.php?f=2). It told me because I was a newbie, the thread has to approved before it gets posted, usually within 24 hours. I'll post a link to it when it's up (...if it gets up. I hope they don't consider it spam.) It could be a good template for other modeling sites, if anyone knows any. No sense in just talking about it. If we're going to have a donation drive, let's drive.

 

I personally think the best argument for it is that, people spend 10s to 100s of hours working on models. This is a way for those models not to just sit on a shelf and gather dust, after all that work, but actually get used in a game that 1000s of people will play for years to come and admire that object all the time.

 

Edit: Here's the template (hmm, I lost the links & screenshots in the copy/paste.)

 

 

Hello, I'm a member of the team that made the Doom3 total conversion "The Dark Mod", which just won moddb's 2011 Mod of the Year Editor's Choice Award for Best Community. It's a mission-based medieval stealth game in the vein of Thief. It's a finished game, and more than 50 maps have already been made by community mappers, with many more on the way for years to come.

 

We are currently having a model donation drive where we're going to modeling sites asking if anyone would like to donate any of their models to the game. Naturally medieval objects would be the most useful. Given the popularity and respect of the mod, it would be an excellent way for a modeller to get recognized for their work and get some exposure. But more than anything, this is a way for good models not to sit on a shelf and gather dust, but actually get used and admired in a working game that thousands of people will play.

 

If you have some good models you'd like to donate, please register with this forum, and post a new thread here with some screenshots of your models: http://forums.thedar...i-want-to-help/

Models can be converted into the Doom3 format from most any other format: Maya, 3DStudio Max, Blender, Lightwave, ZBrush, etc.

 

Below are some screenshots of the game so you have an idea of our aesthetic style.

Cheers.

 

(Screenshots go here.)

 

 

 

Honestly... UGHHHHHHHH

 

What happens when someone says I have 20 models you can use, but they aren't correct format/scale, correct materials, no shadow/collision meshes, LOD's, entities?

 

Will YOU do the work required to get them in game? You put the request out there.

 

I already mentioned this before. Would be great to have stuff but unless someone is willing to do the work it's just a pile of work for me/Springheel. Or again, someone is like 'they said they wanted them but aren't using them...'

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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I might be willing to have a go for some practice with modelling if anything gets donated in an unfinished state, although i'd likely pass on anything requiring normal/spec maps.

Edited by ungoliant
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Well, I cant see why that would be a pile of work for anyone, worst that could happen is that the community would get a bunch of models and then they are stored for future use, whenever someone comes around that can do the work. Not only that, but spreading the word might actually result not only in models, but someone that might be interested in working for the mod itself, because they got to know it and like it. I dont see how that could be a problem?

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Honestly... UGHHHHHHHH

 

What happens when someone says I have 20 models you can use, but they aren't correct format/scale, correct materials, no shadow/collision meshes, LOD's, entities?

 

Will YOU do the work required to get them in game? You put the request out there.

 

I already mentioned this before. Would be great to have stuff but unless someone is willing to do the work it's just a pile of work for me/Springheel. Or again, someone is like 'they said they wanted them but aren't using them...'

 

I already covered this in another post above. The contributing modeler is responsible for all of this or we can't use their model, and we make that clear to them when they submit something, that we don't have the capability to do this stuff for them ... Effectively it means that we just put it in a slosh pile until this work is done by "somebody", heavy suggestion that if they really want it useable they can do it themselves, or it's probably going to stay in the slosh pile. (But mappers that really want to object in their maps could do it too, and it's there in the pile for them to take. This is *not* for extra work for the core mod.)

 

Also, to cover another issue, we also make it clear this isn't donations for the "official mod", but put in a repository for mappers to take from for their own maps as custom objects, and then after it's in that, we "may or may not" take *some* of the models from the repository and put them in the main mod on a case-by-case basis. It's not guaranteed. All that's guaranteed is that they'll get put in a repository for mappers to use in maps with the contributor's blessing.

 

I just thought it was better to cover all this in a submission thread here than in the initial thread there. I can take it down or change the wording if we want, or we can see how it plays out, or whatever. I just wanted to get a ball rolling on something, and this was something of a test case to see how donation drives actually play out.

 

If it turns into getting 50 models and contributors complaining "They asked for them but aren't using them", not the worst thing. But I think that's why it's a good idea to play up these aren't models actually for the core mod -- they know from the very beginning these models are "not going to be used" -- but for a repository from which mappers can take models for their own maps, and if they do the leg-work there's a better chance the model will be used, otherwise it's up to the mapper to do it themselves if they really want that model.

 

Edit: If the thread ever goes up, actually I'll edit in exactly those two points, with IMPORTANT headings. If they think the thread is spam and doesn't go up, then we don't even have to worry about it. But at least it got some discussion going.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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Well, I cant see why that would be a pile of work for anyone,

 

I remember back when I didn't know anything about modelling, I used to suggest using good-looking models I found on Turbosquid, and couldn't understand the lukewarm reaction.

 

Now that I understand how modelling works, I can say that most models you see out there are NOT game ready. They're usually way too high poly, for starters. Getting them into a usable format is sometimes more work than making a model from scratch.

 

 

worst that could happen is that the community would get a bunch of models and then they are stored for future use, whenever someone comes around that can do the work

 

If there's anyone looking for that kind of work, I still have some high-poly models from oddity that I've never had the time/skill to reduce for game use.

 

The contributing modeler is responsible for all of this or we don't take their model, and we make that clear to them when they submit something, that we don't have the capability to do this stuff

 

Well, that seems reasonable. Be interesting to see what happens.

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By the way, I do apologize for doing that without bring it up with you guys to discuss it first. I just wanted to get a ball rolling. But I'll be more sensitive to discussing things first.

 

Edit: I'll write out the disclaimers here I'd edit in, if anyone wants to comment on them.

 

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS

 

1. Donations are not guaranteed to become part of the "official" game. They will be placed into a repository that individual mappers can use as custom objects in their own maps with the contributor's blessing. Then the official mod may or may not take some of the donations for the official mod on a case-by-case basis, based on quality and need, but that is not guaranteed.

 

2. The donations will be put under the Dark Mod open-source license [[Edit: Do we have the Darkmod license online anywhere, so I can put a link to it here]], which means mappers can alter them and redistribute them for their own maps, but no one can ever make money off of them. If the model is kept in the repository outside the official mod, then mappers will be asked to give the author of the model credit in the readme of their map as a courtesy (which is always respected in our community; we take giving credit seriously). If a model is selected to be part of the official mod, then it will be entirely under the Darkmod license and the author will be added to the credit readme for the main mod, but no other special credit will be given (the object will be treated like any other Darkmod object). This is an open source game for mappers to make their own levels. A contributor needs to consent to other people using and possibly changing their model before they donate.

 

3. Models must be in a useable form for the game if they're going to be used. This requires a low-poly version (<500 for common objects, <1000 if a special object), the right format, scale, materials, shadow and collision meshes, optionally level-of-detail versions, everything it takes to make a model Doom3 ready. See this wiki page for everything that needs to be done: http://wiki.thedarkm...o_Model_for_TDM. It's a lot of extra work! (...At least making the low-poly version, and make sure textures are a power of 2; most everything else isn't that hard.) Our team doesn't have the resources to do it, so we'd be happy if contributors could do this work themselves, at least making a low-poly version. We will take donated models that don't have these things done, but they will go into a repository and it will be up to individual mappers to do this work if they want to use it in their maps (which means they may not get used at all). If the contributor of a donated model does this work themselves, then there is a much greater chance that their model will actually be used in Dark Mod maps and might become part of the official mod. This isn't a requirement just to annoy modelers. It's just the reality of making models game-ready, and the team doesn't have the capabilities to do it itself. So we need contributors or mappers to do it. But in any event, the game can't use a model unless this work is done first.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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That post and those disclaimers all sound good, but they're too long. At least I think so. They might be read more and understood better if you could find a way to cut the text in half. I'm not sure that can be done, but it might be worth a try. :)

shadowdark50.gif keep50.gif
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Yeah, that part above was just me thinking aloud to make sure I covered everything.

On the actual post I'd want to cut it down.

 

But now it's been like 15 hours and the post still isn't up.

It's making me think there's a chance they're going to think it's spam and not put it up at all.

 

Edit: Now it's been the advertised 24 hours, and the post is still not up. I guess that means all this hoopla was for nothing.

Well if anyone wants to use the template I made above to post to other sites feel free.

 

Edit2: Two days and it's not up. I think that's a wrap.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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Huh, it's for existing models. And look at history. People do like to see their models in games. There's a long tradition at TTLG and here of people making models for FMs, and look in the "I Want to Help Forum". And what good is spending all that time on a model if you just take a few screenshots of it and it's never used again? In a game they live on. I think people appreciate that.

 

Edit: Actually your post makes it look like you don't understand why people model at all. You could look at a Blender tutorial and post the exact same thing you just said. Looking at all the actual work that goes into good modeling, who in their right mind would say "oooh that sounds like fun!" That's the attitude of your post.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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This community tends to be overly critical sometimes, I think it was a cool initiative from demagogue, all that remains now is to find a site where they actually dont have that kind of stupid control where you cant post (whats up with that?).

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Lol, "more"? I don't have one screenshot yet. :D

The reason I was keeping this sort of under wraps is that I'm so busy IRL I don't get to work on it much, certainly not at Biker speeds. That's why I was offering world trivia as a peace offering, since I already did so much writing & world-building.

 

Edit: Such as: The Smugglers are headquartered in the flood-ward is because it provides the easiest access for contraband goods directly into the city, since it's hard to police incoming sea traffic. The Inventor's headquarters is a massive factory complex on the east side of the river, suspiciously

near a morgue

. And the pagan tribes are semi-nomadic but populate areas dotted across the vast northern countryside, often taking raids on the civilized settlements, they have fantastic horsemanship, and many of them are united under a chief warlord that's watching the Builder-Ghazi war with opportunistic interest.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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No, Xen built a room exactly like the OP screenshot on his own initiative just for fun. It turned out great, didn't it!

I'm definitely going to start building my rooms more like it. There's just no excuse to have them blocky rectangles.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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I think the thing with most modeling sites is they are for people to learn to model better. So if someone outside the community makes a post like that and isn't showing interest in actually being involved probably won't get much love.

 

Then they need to be interested in TDM. If not they probably won't care to have their models in it at all. Not saying there aren't exceptions (I asked Jessica if i could use 3 models she made and she was happy to see it done-but I had to do the work), but typically if someone wants to model something AND see it in game they will already have an engine/game in mind. And Doom3 really isn't on the list of 'cool' engines. Hammer (due to the Valve fan boy club), Crisis, Unreal (UDK) get most of the love.

 

Sure a lot of people make models for games, but typically they are interested in the games. There are a ton of models for T2, but I can't say I recall anyone who wasn't playing/modding T2 making models for it. First comes the love for the game, then the desire to see something in it.

 

And from trying to gather models for LowPolyGuild I had troubles even getting people to follow very simple submission guidelines.

zip file structure (:ie: thief/models , thief/textures/txt16) and a 240x320 pixel shot of the object with black background. That is all I asked and maybe 1 person out of 30 did it.

 

We'd probably have a better chance of getting something from someone at Doom3World just because those modellers would be used to the formats.

 

Not trying to be a naysayer, but I've walked 4-5 people through the entire process here that said they wanted to make models for TDM and Nosslack is the only one who ever actually produced anything. And those are people who were 'interested' to begin with.

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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I wasn't ever really trying to accuse you of being a naysayer anyway. I mean you guys that actually produce, you and Nosslack and Spring, I'll trust your word before anything. Thanks for the thoughtful post. I just posted my idea on a lark (that didn't get posted anyway). My thinking was my target audience were people that already made medieval objects, the objects were already there, and they might want to do something with them and think it worth the extra work to make them game-playable. But I'll grant that's probably not how it'd work in practice. Anyway, I gave my idea a shot. Maybe it's at least inspired a discussion of other things people can try.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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One thing that might pay off is approaching mods for other similar types of games, like Oblivion mods or something, that might already have appropriate models that are relatively game ready. They might be willing to share those kinds of models with another, totally unrelated mod. But who knows.

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