Do NOT lock down visual assets. Is mod support our "cake" (lie)?


(Nakamura14) #1

Source: http://forums.gearboxsoftware.com/showpost.php?p=5199822&postcount=12

This is absolutely disgusting. If modders will not be able to use the base assets of the game, how can we be expected to add anything at all to a model? How can the majority of mods be re-created?

Is gearbox intending to upset the mod community on purpose?


(Foxtrone) #2

Just a question.

Were those assets given to the mod community with the original games?


(BitVenom) #3

I don’t think saying that the entirety of the game’s visual assets won’t be available in a raw format is ‘anti Mod’ - not in the least.

Nor is the advice that people will need to work from ‘unbaked’ assets unsupportive - it’s frankly more or less the norm for games made this decade.

Nothing will stop Mod authors from doing ‘kit-bashes’ - but that also doesn’t mean direct dis-assembly of baked art. The game is modular for a reason.


(BitVenom) #4

That’s actually a good question - HW1 was open-sourced (though I don’t think the art?) - and HW2 was delivered as ‘big’ files. Tools existed to tear those apart, and people wrote tools to edit the game assets directly. I don’t think raw, uncooked assets were generally ever provided.


(Siber) #5

“Disgusting” is taking it a bit far, I think. Disappointing for sure, and it could limit the possibilities for the sort of kitbashing that made mods like PDS possible. But if the tool takes raw textures and compresses them and then does an AO back and so forth, then extraction, kitbashing, and recompression would be an unavoidably lossy process, and including the raw files in the .big file would be actively detrimental to game and mod distribution by inflating file sizes. I’d prefer to have extraction options anyway, and I suspect the community will end up creating them if they aren’t provided. I also do hope that Gearbox chooses to release raw(er) versions of the assets to allow for a wider range of community graphics tweaks and kitbashing. But I think the state of affairs Bitvenom is describing so far is very far from villainous.


(Multi-Capsed Relic) #6

I can’t think of any game company that has ever provided the studio level assets to a game for modders. I can’t believe how spoiled and entitled today’s modders are. When i started modding we risked legal sanction and had to build our own tools to take apart and edit the assets. What dave has been saying is he is providing tools and they are far from final. Hopefully those tools have the ability to convert into formats usable by common editing suites but asking for the studio master files is a bit much.

/end old man hat.


(Multi-Capsed Relic) #7

No they were not. HW 1 modding was well underway before relic OS’ed the the engine. HW 2 kinda had sanctioned mod support with the ability to load custom big files and they released a couple really primitive tools


(Sastrei) #8

The only “sample” assets we got were the Carrier from HW2, and maybe one other ship. Everything else was yanked out of the game engine without any explicit permission.

The amount of support from Gearbox for the modding community has been fantastic so far!


(Major Stress) #9

I have no doubt that tools will be made to extract the assets. The question is will Gearbox sanction the editing of the assets for mods. Deep Exploration could read HW1 assets natively after the big file was extracted. Not long after HW2 was released someone did manage to extract all of the art assets, and converted them to LWO format. I still use that “model” pack to this day to create renders.

I think if something similar was done gearbox would have no issue as long as it was not released for commercial use.


(Ta Erog) #10

I have lost that pack, do you know a live link? or can repost a copy? I would love to make some renders in the next few weeks just to play around.


(Chimas) #11

When I started modding, I was just a player and haven’t evolved into an artist or a coder yet. Despite of that I went on studying all the things I could. One thing that got my attention was glow maps. After almost 10 years very few opened a MS and notice that Glow maps should have been half of the gradient levels. The majority just set all blue channel to 100% or 255 and the green channel to 255 either.

Now with HWRE things are substantially complex and whatever you edit will result in many different options to decide. Take normal map plug-in and all the parameters to make a normal map as an example. So, to sum up, the next generation, the HWRE modders, they will have to be a new group of people with knowledge much more closer to game devs knowledge. Also, the coding levels of anything will be more complex too, a lot of stuff is “coming out” of the engine, but I’m not qualified to explain or speculate.

So, we will need new people around to make these things happen. I’ve been looking for them for over an year now and have found very few ABLE to do anything and no one WILLING to do anything. Even if GBX gives us a lot, the road ahead is long and painful.


(Ta Erog) #12

Difference is we will have the complete tools for adding all or most of the new content. The new content using MAX and Photoshop should be relatively easy. It is mainly the pulling out of the information not given us that may be hard and we do not know how much that will be.


(Chimas) #13

I understand, but “using MAX and Photoshop should be easy” is not generally applicable at the moment, unless we have a new age of modders joining HWRE. I have seen 3 or 4 guys like you so far, presuming you are all able to deliver.


#14

I am less concerned about them not providing decompiled assets (which is perfectly fine) but more concerned with the following:

[QUOTE=“BitvenomGBX”]Um, honestly most of what we’re doing is making systems to move data in
and out of the engine - and frankly almost entirely ‘in’. For example
with a Mesh, you do not edit the mesh meant for the game any longer -
you have your own ‘raw’ version (a DAE in our case) - and you edit that,
your textures and various sub-assets are all raw uncompressed data.
The tool takes all of that and turns it into a file for the engine. You
never go back the other way. I may even make going the other way
REALLY hard (cutting down on clones of published ships, etc).
[/QUOTE]

Bitvenom implies that he and Gearbox might make the conscious decision to make it very difficult to extract files from the .DAE files, which I assume also means it will be difficult, perhaps even officially discouraged, for modders to write tools in the same vein as CFHoD that allows modders to either extract or edit the stock ship files.


(Foxtrone) #15

They said something about modders being able to earn something from their work. This measure would protect the intellectual property of the mod developers.

let’s not forget these 2 points:

  1. Mod developers can be very creative.
  2. Some mod developers are working closely with Gearbox on the remaster.

I think we should all wait and see.


(Le Sun Tzu) #16

Not being able to mod the original content is the standard for current games. However it would be a step back compared to HW and HW2 and a bit ironic after they explained that they received contributions from mod creators such as Complex that is primarily using modded original content (even if new content was also put in it).

Only 12 days to wait before we can see what the EULA says about that :smiley:


(Chimas) #17

Oh and Btw,
I’ve sent a copy of your light/assault carrier some time back to one of the GBX guys and mentioned you in the process (and pointed to your website). Don’t know if they contacted you though.
Good to see you here LeSunTzu and hope to see it remasterized soon too.
; ]


Greetings!


(Le Sun Tzu) #18

Hi Chimas :slight_smile: I don’t remember about GBX, but that’s ok anyway, because the carrier was free to use (and largely based on original HW2 content by the way^^). I will “remaster” it as soon as I have an idea how to do that. Now I am better at Ps and know how to use 3ds Max, so hopefully it will be within my reach.


(Ta Erog) #19

Um? Photoshop or any image editor is required to edit image content . . not exactly new or new fangled.
I have used 3ds MAX for almost 20 years, also lightwave, and few others that no longer exist. Blender, Miya, modo, milkshape , gmax and wings are also ones that I have played with and allot of people use.
In the end they are ALL 3d editors and you can build your ships in any of them.
It would seem final assembly and texturing should be done in MAX. Depending on the format of your favorite editor can export, retexturing may be a minor job (ie lightwave objects bring over the mapping and textures well)
Maps seem to require the Max flavor of .dae export (but this may not be the case for all programs)

So, content wise they say they are giving us the tools and instructions for porting in the new content. This should be easy for anyone that has moded content before . . . no more guessing!
A total and simplified guess of process.
Make your ship, follow instruction on adding maps and the format size they need to be for conversion (in max or other program). Bring into MAX. Add/move pivot points and linking for dummy objects, Turrets, placeholders for lights etc Per instructions. Export with script. Possibly view through mod tool? or add extras post export (order can change here). bring into game.
Now pulling content is currently not supported (hope they give us the work models!) But even if they do not there are ways to get the objects and textures out, they will have to be rerigged though.
And Scripting should not change in procedure, though I expect allot of change in hooks and functions.

Again I am not seeing the difficulty or for the need of some “new age” of moders. I am a old bastard and am looking forward to the relative ease dev supported moding tends to bring. Sure it will be different but every game is different so adapting is required for any long time moder.
Or am I misunderstanding what you are saying?


(Major Stress) #20

Any image editor that can edit DDS format “should” work. I also found that AMD compressionator is a handy tool to have, because it can produce a better quality DDS texture than the nvidia photoshop plugin (At least for me it does). I would save my originals in loss less TGA, or BMP format then convert to DDS when the texture is finalized.

Also i have learned in Sins modding that you don’t “have” to use the recommended 3d modeling program to make your mesh. Sins used Softimage XSI 6.0 to create its models. XSI reminds me too much of Maya. I know absolutely JACK about XSI, but learned just “enough” to get a model imported into Sins. I use 3dsmax to create my mesh’s. Then XSI to “finish” the model.

I used 3dsmax since 1999. I know a little Lightwave, and XSI, but 3dsMax is my weapon of choice.

The reverse could be done for HW-RE. You use your 3d modeler of choice, but learn just enough in 3dsmax to import your mesh into HW-RE. I wonder if G-Max (the free version of 3dsmax) would work.