Jump to content
The Dark Mod Forums

Could The Dark Mod run original campaigns/missions from Thief the Dark Project / Thief II: The Metal Age ?


Recommended Posts

Hello, I just found out about the Dark Mod although being a fan of the original Thief-games since the day those originally came out. Since the title's question is not really mentioned anywhere, I doubt that has never been the aim of this project, but I had to ask. One would wonder would the old maps be even remotely useable by id Tech 4-engine? And once again, apparently not, so could those maps be converted to TDM-maps? Yes proprietary things and all, but naturally one would have to have the original resources available yes.

 

You might want to consider adding a FAQ-section to website.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The quick answer is no.

TDM runs Doom3 .map files and Thief2 runs .mis files.

It's imaginable somebody could make a script that converts .mis files to .map files, but it's unlikely because it might be considered violating IP, and nobody wanted TDM to be threatened with a cease & desist letter that had shut down fan remakes in the past.

All that said, there was a guy that made a few T2 maps in TDM, at least the shells of them, I believe by hand. He never released it, but he released some videos of them. Go to http://www.shadowdarkkeep.com/videos.htm and find "runspeedwide", then watch that.

Oh, there were some people that made some TDM FMs that used parts of T2 OM maps. One of them was of the Bonehoard, but it was never publicly released (this is all I can find on it now), another was Assassins, and recently somebody posted a screenshot of their work in progress FM, and I don't know what OM it's from.

I'm sure there are other examples of OM areas that are in FMs, but I can't think of them just now. I think that's as close as you're going to get to what you're asking.

  • Like 3

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

Legally, a script converting maps from other games to TDM wouldn't be a problem.

But you would not be permitted to release the generated derivative works to the public without explicit permission by the party currently owning the rights on the original maps.

The legally correct way to make such a script useful to the TDM player base would be to add a feature to TDM or provide a standalone executable, wich lets the user select the original map from their legally aquired local T1/T2/TDS installation and generates/installs a playable TDM map from that. The generated map may not be distributed or used in any non-private context (fair use rules apply in countries wich have them though, so letsplayers may or may not still be able to monetize their play time).

For the probable case, that the script's output would not be playable without further adjustments or additions, such adjustments itself could legally be made available publicly as long as they themselves are not derivatives or contain (parts of) the original maps.
Like downloading entire fanmade maps now, there could be map-specific patchset downloads wich contain commands and assets needed to make the conversion results playable. The player would still need a locally installed copy of the original game, but deriving a TDM map, pathing it and installing it in TDM would be automated so for the user it could be almost as easy as playing an original TDM map.

Technically, Building such a converter script is a lot of coding work.
It is highly likely, that the generated output needs further modifications to become enjoyable by the common TDM player - so that project would definitely need a mapper too.
But generating the patch sets from the script result and the final version is a solved problem since the 70ies.
So the hard parts are the converter itself and the post-conversion editing.

Integration into TDM does not have to be present from the start to make the project useful to a considerable part of the community and get beta testing reports.

As a player, i would love to replay the original maps in TDM too.
For me, improved graphics and mechanics do considerably add to the fun and immersion while playing - and the mechanics can't really be improved in a closed engine.

I hereby opt in as a beta tester.
I own T1/T2/TDM on GOG and am able to use the command line to execute scripts for extracting maps and applying patches given to me. I might or might not be able to apply easy adjustments in Dark Radiant to the resulting maps and generate new patchsets from the result.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

That's right, the problem wouldn't be the script itself, but distributing the .map files that they create. But you could make it so that people could run it on their legally owned copy of TDP or TMA and then you could legally play the .pk4 it makes. But then you'd have to do even more work to make sure the script really faithfully re-creates the mission from the .mis file, which would be a tough challenge. It's not just converting the .mis to .map, but all the other things like readables, scripting, objectives, etc. The other thing to keep in mind is that NewDark has already improved the game quite a bit.

I'm not too interested in recreating the missions from scratch, since they already exist, and we already have streched resources. So I'd rather that energy go into new missions. That said, I'd personally love to see "inspired by" FMs where we get to re-visit some Thief OM sites and it has a new story that plays off the old one, within the boundaries of IP allowance (i.e., not using Thief characters or names, etc.).

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

There's also the issue of the D3 engine being an additive engine and the Dark Engine being subtractive.  It's two different styles of construction.  D3 you have a void and you fill it with solids, and in Dark Engine you have a solid in which you carve out spaces.

Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, New Horizon said:

There's also the issue of the D3 engine being an additive engine and the Dark Engine being subtractive.  It's two different styles of construction.  D3 you have a void and you fill it with solids, and in Dark Engine you have a solid in which you carve out spaces.

Personally I didn't knew that, thanks for the info. I'm sure you know but is the same idea Tim Sweeney used for the Unreal 1 and Unreal 2 engines, but if I'm not mistaken, after those Unreal engines are now additive, hell it seems all engines are now additive, it seems John Carmack chose the most future prof system. ;)  

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is already a similar exporter for Ultima Underworld using TDM:

https://github.com/hankmorgan/UnderworldExporter

 

As I understand, Underworld's engine begot System Shock's engine and System Shock 2 had Thief's "Dark Engine". If they did any work to align those

designs there is a good chance that a similar approach could be used for Thief 1/2 games. Sadly, only one developer has dared to try something like this so you

would probably need to get him interested in this topic for any hope of development.

 

 

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, HMart said:

Personally I didn't knew that, thanks for the info. I'm sure you know but is the same idea Tim Sweeney used for the Unreal 1 and Unreal 2 engines, but if I'm not mistaken, after those Unreal engines are now additive, hell it seems all engines are now additive, it seems John Carmack chose the most future prof system.

That's not the same thing. With Unreal 3 and further, there is no void at all. You have one giant, open space you can fill however you like. There are no leaks, and you don't have stuff like skyboxes. There's 'distant art' put in the same space as the rest of the level (e.g. giant 'sky domes').

D3 is only different from other subtractive engines because of the method of isolating empty space from the void (making actual walls that connect and make a cubic room instead of carving out stuff with a single empty cubic brush that has faces only on the inside). But the general principle seems the same.

Edited by peter_spy
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Lol, "only different". From the point of view of making a conversion script, that's a pretty big thing! But there are other differences too. In D3's case, the engine doesn't know what's "inside" or "outside" until you place an object on one side, and D3 also has a system for arbitrary portal placement, and the way portal areas work for culling (leafs), that anyway works differently than the Dark Engine's portalization method.

It's also different from a mapper's perspective. Well this is the best way to visualize how they're different in terms of how the engine is understanding the geometry. In Dromed, you can have an order of operations that add & subtract geometry in succession (solid and air brushes), so you could make a cube, then cut out a cylinder hole (i.e., add a cylinder air brush), then put another solid cylinder inside that, then cut a box out of that, etc. That's more the style of subtractive geometry.

If you wanted to do that in Dark Radiant, you really have to model out the final shape. Okay, there is a "cut out" tool, but believe me when I say it's the most evil tool in DR!! It's like an engraved invitation for the engine to choke on all the triangle slivers and give you the black walls of death. You're better off using the cut tool, but even that's a pain. You see it most dramatically making door and window holes. In dromed, you just cut out the rectangle with one air brush and it's done. In DR, you have to have four brushes and literally "part the curtains" to open a hole among them.

That's really the important difference between the two, practically speaking at least, in my mind.

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was talking strictly in terms of concept of the void and the additive / subtractive workflows. There's no link between idtech4 and UnrealEngine3 and later. In UE3/4 you can place a cube and a player start on it, and the map will compile and start.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, peter_spy said:

I was talking strictly in terms of concept of the void and the additive / subtractive workflows. There's no link between idtech4 and UnrealEngine3 and later. In UE3/4 you can place a cube and a player start on it, and the map will compile and start.

Yes you are right the concept of void doesn't exist on Unreal engines but technically, it is a void that you feel up, the only diference is that idtech 4 still cares about sealing from the void using brush's and Unreal Engine got ride of brush's and doesn't care at all about sealing or carving anything.  So yes is not the same thing but is similar in some aspects.

Now just for kicks and even thou IS NOT totally the way to do real levels for idtech 4 or TDM, if you make a huge "room" in DR and just construct your level inside it, it is the same thing has any modern engine a "void" where you place stuff. But I will stress again this is not usable in any way, with the current way idtech4/TDM calculates visibility, you are required to use portals and divide your level by vis-leaf's using brushes, but someday someone may code a new visibility system, for example a GPU based dynamic occlusion culling (similar to HPL engine from frictional Games) and you don't need to use portals or change almost anything in TDM tool set, even brush's can still be used in such a engine, they just get converted to triangle mesh's any way.

Edited by HMart
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...