New Mod/Conversion: GEAR COMMANDER

New Mod/Conversion: GEAR COMMANDER

Discuss game development here, from a distinct game project to an accessible third-party mutator, down to the interaction and design of individual units if you like.

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centurion-1
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New Mod/Conversion: GEAR COMMANDER

Post by centurion-1 » 31 Jan 2006, 22:56

GEAR COMMANDER

Release date: TBA :)


Hello all!

This is my first post at the TA: Spring forums, so I understand if you view me with some suspicion. :wink:
I stumbled upon TA: Spring just a few days ago, and being a avid TotalA fan I really got excited about the possiblities this engine seemed to offer, for free no less. Well, like all of you probably I was really impressed by the capabilities of the engine and realised that this might be the platform I had been looking for for a project I have been wanting to do for some time now.

So who am to think I could pull of a full fledged TC for Spring then? Well, I am currently studying computer games development (graphics, first year) at the University of Sk├â┬Âvde in Sweden, though I'm originally from Finland. I am a really big fan of TA and the DP9 Heavy Gear franchise, both the computer games and the other stuff...

...Which brings us to the topic of this mod: A 'full' portrayal of the DP9 Heavy Gear mecha in the context of a RTS. This might seem like an awfully big undertaking but for the foreseeable future the goal of the mod would be the portrayal of the Confederated Northern City States vs. the Allied Souther Territories. I envision the project being very open ended and public in the spirit of TA: Spring, and openness and frequent public betas is something I very much believe in. To keep both the team and the public interested there needs to be stuff to show and stuff to play with. For those unfamiliar with the Heavy Gear mecha you might want to check out dream pod 9s homepage, http://www.dp9.com. Very good stuff, in my humble opinion.

Now, being a professional games artist in training I would think that I├óÔé¼Ôäód have the graphical side of things fairly under control. To at least try to prove my competence I have a picture of a Hunter medium gear of the CNCS side I modeled, uvmapped and textured in the last two days. The polycounts being rather low in Spring allows modeling work to be swift and not too picky, and texturing is the part I personally consider myself to be best at.

The stuff that I├óÔé¼Ôäóm not that good with, however, are the technical aspects. In between modeling, school, sleep, eat and all that other stuff, I├óÔé¼Ôäóve been trying to read up on how a TA:S mod and units works and I think I├óÔé¼Ôäóve gotten a hang of it, somewhat. Ofcourse, I lack experience and thus without help the progress would be slow in the beginning should I not get any help. Especially the scripting part and animation deters me somewhat, so any scripters, unitmakers or other technical fellas would be welcome. Naturally I don├óÔé¼Ôäót crave any commitment or such, any help is welcome!

Naturally, all help is welcome, so if you├óÔé¼Ôäód like to pitch in in any field, be it the artsy part (modeling, texturing), mapmaking or whatnot you are more than welcome.

I plan on doing the mod in iterations, which coincidentally is the way we do our game projects here at the University and they ensure you get something playable up soon and don├óÔé¼Ôäót tangle youself up in too complex goal. For the first public release, which would be soon I hope, this is what I envision

Side 1: CNCS
Kodiak Commander Gear

Basic Gear Facility
Hunter medium gear
Cheetah scout gear
Jaguar heavy gear
Grizzly fire support gear

Forward outpost (metal extractor)
Field generator (energy facility)

Side 2: AST
Cobra Commander Gear

Basic Gear Facility
Jaeger medium gear
Iguana scout gear
Mamba heavy gear
Spitting Cobra fire support gear

Forward outpost (metal extractor)
Field generator (energy facility)

Naturally, as things go along the mod would evolve and the more advanced gears would be moved to facilities of their own and things would get expanded upon and the sides less symmetrical, even though they are very symmetrical according to official DP9 papers.

So, I hope I haven├óÔé¼Ôäót lost too many people in this very long rant of mine, here is the very first render from 3d studio MAX to please your screenshot appetite :) Hope you enjoy!
(bear in mind, Work In Progress)


Image
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j5mello
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Post by j5mello » 01 Feb 2006, 01:00

seems like an interesting concept. though implementing anykind of melee comabt will be difficult. i only briefly browsed the site u linked and there doesn't seem to be alot in the universe though its good to see it is not just mechs that are listed.

i say go ahead. we need some mods that have little to no legal conflicts, esp if ur doing ur won custom skins.
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smoth
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Post by smoth » 01 Feb 2006, 01:10

wow, dude.... I have higher poly models... please up the poly count, spring can handle more then that.

Outside of that...I love the war game and good luck to you. Most of the people around here hate anime mods.

The model looks nice, but please more polies.. we can handle it.

As far as the texturing. I looks ver much like a beginer texture. Try and expose more metal also bear in mind that cammo is rather pointless considerin the size of a gear.
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Masse
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Post by Masse » 01 Feb 2006, 01:17

i love heavy gear <3

all big mech games are close to my heart... hopefully this project gets more ppl to it :wink:
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smoth
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Post by smoth » 01 Feb 2006, 02:09

centurion.. if you want help...

PM me with the following:

Actuall experience, either mods completed, maps complete, models, or projects you have assisted with.
Actual grade level/major if you have one...

dependant on these things will determine how much help you will get.
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Zoombie
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Post by Zoombie » 01 Feb 2006, 02:34

Seeet! Heavy Gear kicks ASS!

But add more polys! ADD MORE POLYS!
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FizWizz
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Post by FizWizz » 01 Feb 2006, 02:36

I remember Heavy Gear, it was good fun back when I played it. That doesn't guarantee that it will make a graceful transition into RTS form, but I wish you luck.
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centurion-1
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Post by centurion-1 » 01 Feb 2006, 10:33

Hey all, and thanks for the welcome!
Well, I should've mentioned that the hunter is still very much WIP, and I purposefully modeled it as low poly as I could, as I figured the boxy hunter is probably the lowest poly count we're gonna get, ie. it's gonna rise from there, no doubt. Bear in mind that this model still lacks weapons, so thats gonna be another 150 polies. I actually went with some polycount recommendations I found around some TA editing sites. And as far as the camo/texture goes, it is still WIP, but i wont leave a camo texture out in favor for some kind of chromeish TA-like texture :) , as that would IMO go against the spirit of HG.

I've tought alot on the basic concept and it is my hope that with a little effort you could make a really nice HG based RTS. I always kinda liked the Mech Commander games (hence the name) and while this obviously will be dissimilar I still think I could be successfull.
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mecha
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Post by mecha » 01 Feb 2006, 10:40

Hell yeah! Heavy gear was epic! I really liked the idea of a mech inbetween powered armour (difficult to build/fragile) and a mechwarrior style mech (way too big of a target). Particularly the nimbleness of the gears appealed with the ability to lie down and crawl through cover being cool.

Heavy gear was part of the reason I became an automation engineer! (such a sad life I know). Anyway good luck
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Maelstrom
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Post by Maelstrom » 01 Feb 2006, 10:41

OTA poly count recommendations are pointless for Spring. Spring can handle ALOT more polys than OTA could. As long as you dont use excessive amounts of poly's, Spring will be able to handle it fine.
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centurion-1
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Post by centurion-1 » 01 Feb 2006, 11:42

Thank you for the support, glad I'm not the only one who remembered Heavy Gear :lol:
I think I'm gonna up the poly count a bit since the general concensus seems to be that 700 polies is pretty low end. I'm actually glad thats what you think, means i can spend some more polygons on the head and engine pack.

Does anyone know any good tutorials for setting up a hierarchy in 3d studio Max, for the animating bit? I'd like to get this baby in game ASAP, but since we use Alias Maya in school i really havent done any animations in 3d studio max.
Later today I'm gonna try to post some shots with updated model hopefully an also some differant camo options so you can vote for the default northern camo. Para units, elite gears and so will probably have their own scheme but i think for the sake of identifyability the basic northern gears will share textures/ camo pattern.
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Argh
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Post by Argh » 02 Feb 2006, 11:46

Spring does not use Max for animations. Animations use a scripting language, based on C, called BOS. Please read the Wiki for more details.
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centurion-1
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Post by centurion-1 » 02 Feb 2006, 14:41

Actually, I am aware of that. But because of the forward kinematics animation scheme a hierarchy has to be set up, right? Well, i think i know how to do that now. Stay tuned for some updated pictures later :)
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smoth
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Post by smoth » 02 Feb 2006, 15:25

Looking forward to it centurion
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centurion-1
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Post by centurion-1 » 02 Feb 2006, 19:58

Here it is, the (for now) completed hunter model!

Image

Now, it's all fine and dandy but I'm having a slight problem with the arms. I've linked all the objects in the arm in a chain with the upper arm being the uppermost object in the hierarchy, and it works. The only problem is that when i rotate the upper arm, and with it the rest of the objects, they kinda scale oddly, becoming longer in the process, so when the arm points strait ahead the autocannon is quite long. Does this problem export to TA or can i just ignore it and it'll work fine in TA? My legs dont have any such problems..
Here is the hierarchy also, so you can take a look at it:

Image

Thanks, and hope you like the hunter! It's not that high poly but i think I'm gonna stick with a lowish count, it is after all the most basic of the gears and once they go up in size and tech they should have larger polycounts. Also, the paint scheme is new, now it's a kind of a low contrast splinter scheme, and I'm thinking of sticking to it for all the "basic" northern gears, unless you all think it stinks :lol:
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centurion-1
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Post by centurion-1 » 02 Feb 2006, 20:05

hmm.. while importing my texture into upsrping i notice that there are only two texture slots, does this mean that only two textures per model are supported in the s30 format? Cause that kind sucks as i had planned to have many differant textures per model but alot of sharing for optimal efficency. Oh well, guess I'll merge them together a bit, no big deal.
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FizWizz
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Post by FizWizz » 02 Feb 2006, 20:51

centurion-1 wrote:hmm.. while importing my texture into upsrping i notice that there are only two texture slots, does this mean that only two textures per model are supported in the s30 format? Cause that kind sucks as i had planned to have many differant textures per model but alot of sharing for optimal efficency. Oh well, guess I'll merge them together a bit, no big deal.
Nope, I'm afraid you're wrong about that, and it's a bit worse than you think. There's only one real texture for the model. The second texturemap uses the green and blue channels for reflection and self-illumination.
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centurion-1
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Post by centurion-1 » 02 Feb 2006, 21:10

dang.. well, guess that means even more cramping together shit and texture sharing. I should be alright tough still. on the 2048x2048 texture swapmap there should be space for 64 256x256 texturemaps. If an average of four units and buildings share texturemap, that should give me 256 units and building. I guess that is plenty :)
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FLOZi
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Post by FLOZi » 02 Feb 2006, 21:21

My understanding is that the 2048 limit does not apply to s3o texture maps.
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FizWizz
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Post by FizWizz » 02 Feb 2006, 21:21

huh? If you are doing these models in .s3o, with UVmapped textures, there is no limit to the combined sizes of all the texturemaps... Either you are mistaken, or I am confused about what you are saying.
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