New Prop_Static Entity for WorldCraft

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2 years 10 months ago #344 by Copy-Cat
New Prop_Static Entity for WorldCraft was created by Copy-Cat
So, I have been working on a new SolidClass Entity for WorldCraft 3.5 since it's the only proven last working version of a map editor that supports the Prefab Factory.

The goal is to have 3d objects display in WorldCraft like in Hammer configured for Source engines. So far, it's very promising, using the Create prefab and insert original prefab, The limitations are similar to prop_statics in hammer for source engines, # of vertices, and objects must be created with polygon primitives.

The process is one I have been contemplating for a while now, and what I have come up with uses WC configured for Swat 3. It's a work in progress to get the kinks out, but so far it is functional. This new SolidClass Entity is just a small piece of a bigger program that I am creating and will post about in the coming weeks.

What this means is we can use/create complicated objects created and exported from Maya or other modeling programs and view them in WC in real time to see what it will look like in game, without causing build errors at build time.

Everything from the a small bar of soap to a high poly barrel can be a prop_static, including reference objects(ie:Swat Officer, Missle Launcher), eliminating the need to use low poly objects and the need for those pink decals for small objects. Here are some of the objects I have added using this new SolidClass Entity.
Trash Bag - prop_static/objects/TrashBag
Swat Element - prop_static/refs/Swt_Elem
Missile Launcher - prop_static/Launcher/missle_launcher

I am posting here instead of at the Reunited site because most of the modders and mappers are HERE and check this forum on a regular basis(and because Slippery_Jim doesn't like teamspeak) I would like your input on this.

So now the questions are,
what other objects can we port to this new Entity?

If you know about creating maps for swat 3, you know that for every skin you use, you have to have an entry in your skins.dat, and the gsm and textures somewhere in your mission folder.
Where do we store these entires, gsms and textures so others can use this entity without the hassle of adding these entries and files to their mission folder? or What are some ways to implement these files?


What I had in mind is have a program (AKA: bigger picture) manipulate our files for us, based on the information passed from our .map file. What do you think?

And the final and most important Question is: Is all this worth the effort?

let me know.

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2 years 10 months ago #345 by Slippery Jim
Replied by Slippery Jim on topic New Prop_Static Entity for WorldCraft
Been busy with work on a TV show all this week (12 hour days) but will give this thread the focus it deserves on the weekend. Must go to sleep though now. Exhausted!

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2 years 10 months ago - 2 years 10 months ago #346 by DarkSynopsis
Replied by DarkSynopsis on topic New Prop_Static Entity for WorldCraft

Copy-Cat wrote: What this means is we can use/create complicated objects created and exported from Maya or other modeling programs and view them in WC in real time to see what it will look like in game, without causing build errors at build time.


Don't only certain versions of Maya support the GSM Export Plugin? at one point I must have had 4 modeling programs installed just for toying with SWAT, nightmare.

Copy-Cat wrote: Everything from the a small bar of soap to a high poly barrel can be a prop_static, including reference objects(ie:Swat Officer, Missle Launcher), eliminating the need to use low poly objects


Is there a poly limit per prop_static? and is there an overall limit on polys that can be used in maps? I don't recall ever actually making a map for SWAT so wouldn't know any limits, could you fill a fairly big map with a lots of prop_static and the game would still run it? I'm thinking like a map you would find in say Counter-Strike Source or something, just to compare to another game using Hammer.

Copy-Cat wrote: So now the questions are, what other objects can we port to this new Entity?


Maybe higher poly versions of everything found in the SWAT 3 prefab map (couches, beds, tvs, etc) that seems like a solid starting place

Copy-Cat wrote: If you know about creating maps for swat 3, you know that for every skin you use, you have to have an entry in your skins.dat, and the gsm and textures somewhere in your mission folder.
Where do we store these entires, gsms and textures so others can use this entity without the hassle of adding these entries and files to their mission folder? or What are some ways to implement these files?


Hmm, would a mod folder/zip work? since if a new map came out that was using pre-existing meshes you don't really want them as part of each maps zip file, I worry that mod content doesn't show up in Hammer though? I've no clues how the whole Static Mesh think works for SWAT.

As for where to store all this stuff, most I can come up with is something like GitHub or some form of source control where people can push/pull content to keep everything in sync.

I'm thinking something along the lines of github.com/ukozdan/S4OQ this guy pushes his SWAT 4 HD Textures as he working on them and anyone could download them and in theory contribute though in this case I don't believe anyone is.

Just an idea, I've never actually used GitHub, most I've got setup is a Perforce server setup locally for when I'm messing with UE4, oddly nice seeing a log of what I commit and such.

Does the skin.dat file just take the file name of the .gsm? anyway on launch of Worldcraft you could have it just scan a "models" folder and update the .dat file based on what it finds?

Copy-Cat wrote: And the final and most important Question is: Is all this worth the effort?


I would say it is, if remaking the original maps to look better is an end goal some higher poly meshes are going to beat out stuff built with BSPs, at the very least sounds like a solid learning experience even if it doesn't get used too much.

Do Static Meshes cast shadows in SWAT?

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2 years 10 months ago #347 by Copy-Cat
Replied by Copy-Cat on topic New Prop_Static Entity for WorldCraft
The current programs I have for Swat 3 mapping is:
WorldCraft 3.5 - Mapping
Maya 6.0 - Characters and 3d Prop_Static Models
Wally - Wad Files
Adobe Photoshop Elements - Textures
gskin - GSM viewer

Prop_Static limits are around 5000 polys(triangles). In the Past I remember creating a forest with nothing but LitActors. Seemed to run fine back when I was on Windows XP. As far as Mapping, in WC 3.3 and 3.5 there is a limit in objects you can have in your map, but the new Jack seems to have found a solution to that problem, no more errors. The game has a limit but I forget the actuall limit, i had it down to the nearest vert. the game gets stuck on the loading screen, but the Prop_Static doesn't seem to affect this.

One of the Main Purposes of this Prop_Static is to replace the Decaled objects like a vase, ceiling lights, fire extinguishers, and other small objects. Your suggestions will work also. Currently I have added custom Collision Box Values, that will allow the AI Build to calculate movement around the Prop_Static objects, with an option to select if this object needs one.

WorldCraft can be configured to create the skin.dat file based on what it finds in the map, If we really want to go all out on WC capabilities maybe we should try an open source mapping program. I was thinking Sledge.

Static meshes do not cast shadows, since for the most part, Swat 3's lighting/shadows are not dynamic, a representation of a shadow can be used, based on the angle of a selected incoming light. Remember that flashlights now have sprite data for the shape of the halo, it's an effect that can be applied to any entity(except WorldSpawn).

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2 years 10 months ago - 2 years 10 months ago #352 by Slippery Jim
Replied by Slippery Jim on topic New Prop_Static Entity for WorldCraft
For me the biggest limitation is Worldcraft's 1x1 unit size (which is pretty huge in game) and the fact that you can't slice up the polygons very much without errors. The end result are blocky objects.

The idea of using more static meshes excites me. The idea of having better prefabs also is a great idea but that would involve a lot of work making them.

For instance in the Import Store map the rusted car on cement blocks is ugly and so are the prefab couches. In a perfect world those could be replaced. Besides who wouldn't love a cop car or Swat van to include also in their maps?

I don't mind the way Worldcraft does the character or officer start points. Sure a better system would be nice but during the mapping process this is lower priority. Just dealing with the geometry of the map and the lighting is greater concern for me personally.

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2 years 10 months ago - 2 years 10 months ago #354 by Copy-Cat
Replied by Copy-Cat on topic New Prop_Static Entity for WorldCraft
A Swat Truck?
Like This Prop_Static?






For A Size Reference?

Attachments:

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2 years 10 months ago #355 by Slippery Jim
Replied by Slippery Jim on topic New Prop_Static Entity for WorldCraft
Yeah something like that, lol.

Is that also from Swat 4? I wonder if we should be scared of Activision frowning upon borrowing assets? I would really hate to get a cease and desist letter like some mod makers have got.

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2 years 10 months ago #356 by Slippery Jim
Replied by Slippery Jim on topic New Prop_Static Entity for WorldCraft
Just a thought for a new feature. Not sure if possible since it probably would involve having the map.exe source code.

When the developers first started making maps for Swat 3 they used 3D Studio Max before they switched over to Worldcraft. Back then they could assign a transparency level to .BMP textures. You can still see this sort of thing in MissionA with the transparent curtains in the bedroom. Of course this can be done also in a texture name still (for example with glass). Any way to move that into Worldcraft so you set the transparency level in the editor itself?

Again not critically important. Just an "in a perfect world" kind of thought.

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