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      Important PSA: W3D Hub 2018 Roadmap Announced!   04/03/2018

      W3D Hub's roadmap for 2018 has been published! This important update outlines W3D Hub's missions and objectives for this year as well as provides a large amount of exicting updates! Click on this announcement to find a link to the post!    

Raap

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Raap last won the day on March 26

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About Raap

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    Engineer
  • Birthday 09/04/1988

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    The Netherlands
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    Raap
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  1. Good to know it is an option for down the line. The way I always look at these things is, how can W3D assets and environments be improved from an aesthetic point of view, knowing we currently lack very modern engine options, so when I run down a list of what I believe to be high impact "bang for the buck" enhancements, then new material movements would be a major aspect of filling user screen space, since most maps contain a lot of foliage which we could finally animate properly. Next in line would be more painful I imagine; Replacing vertex lighting with a more modern lighting form, including improved terrain shadows. Dynamic object shadows already work fine but a typical "scene-killer" is having a little object sit on a terrain vertex and causing it to create a giant "shadow" post-light solve. I've so far always had to work around this by adding unnecessarily many polygons to meshes in an attempt to smooth out the vertex light solve. Naturally two different W3D contributors could have a discussion and come up with two entirely different priority lists, but when it comes to pure scene aesthetic improvements without 2018-era fancy stuff, then creating a more living environment via materials and lighting would be something I'd push for. My rationale here being that I have played some arguably dated looking games (outside of W3D!), but their aesthetic identity was carried heavily by having a strong lighting model that added a lot of character to the world in almost a stylized sort of way.
  2. It is hard to see in the video but does your new map system include live updates on vehicle/infantry positions? Interesting to see it functional either way! I always wanted to see a map system for APB to replace the current building status page with, and instead have the buildings with health bars appear in their XY positions on a map, along with map objectives and whatever else is important to show on such a screen. I remember Saberhawk made a neat camera transition from 1st/3rd person to isometric top-down view and back again, that would have been brilliant for this.
  3. Random question of the day: With new plugins, would it also be possible to create new mapping types (stage 0/1)? New UV movements in particular are of interest to me. Let's say Sine movement but a version that only moves the upper region of a texture - stretching it. Such a specific movement would be very useful for foliage wind emulation, something we've currently always had to do by animating the mesh, which is extremely inefficient. Animation on a material-level allows for a much greater optimization.
  4. Something tells me that isn't the intended artistic direction of a game. Literally any game, ever.
  5. I wouldn't know where to begin when it comes to composing music, the best I can do is mix/edit things using Audacity! Your track does fit quite well in the library of classic C&C music, even if it is a little short!
  6. @GraYaSDF I don't know if these tools support core Renegade (the code related changes got a fork a while ago between classic Renegade and W3D Hub), so I suppose that is a good question for the team. How many people still work on Renegade and the older scripts as opposed to the W3D Hub branch? Consider me curious, I haven't really been in touch with those things.
  7. I think it's safe to say that if W3D hub had the manpower/resources, a "redo" would have been pursued on quite a few things. All I can do is highlight my own issues as a user of the tools. The inner workings, put simply, are well beyond my skill set. But then again, this is why updates like this should occur more frequently. I doubt that there is no one out there that would be willing to contribute to W3D as a platform, as long as things remain clean and controlled. So perhaps "W3D Hub" should promote a development platform for non-profit multiplayer games more aggressively than just the games themselves. The games can be a showcase of engine flexibility, but to attract the right people, you got to change your strategies.
  8. Having such things fixed and better documented would help, like what types of materials are affected by translucency? Not even I know that and I worked with this engine for literally over a decade.
  9. Very fair point on the CPU usage, and I imagine we'll not see any changes there, anytime soon. I have two more comments regarding the plugins and editor. Firstly, could you suit up both the plugin and editor with as much informative tooltips as possible? If you want to attract new contributors to W3D projects, it would help if they knew what the various material settings did. Good tooltips often include examples such as saying "enabling this causes X and disabling this causes Y". Maybe make a pass on obsolete features as well. AFAIK "shininess" and "translucency" both do nothing, and in the shaders/texture tabs there is a trainload of settings with dubious purposes. Secondly, the editor itself, would it be possible to upgrade the script attachment window? Search function, easier to use input fields, the ability to link objects in reference directly instead of using ID's (meaning as well to add 'go to object' and 'add selected as reference' buttons), easier translation database references (we really should end the practice of adding strings as script parameters), etc.. All mostly to make scripting easier and allow for bug tracking from one window frame instead of script attachments on several individual objects... Hell, maybe make scripts smarter in general by detecting bad input and flagging it before you can export a level. It wouldn't be visual scripting by any means, but just general QoL improvements.
  10. I will take your word for it! Ultimately only the end result is most relevant to me, not the road taken to get there (unless said road is a muddy trench through which traversing is difficult). I look forward to testing the new editor... The W3D plugins will have to wait since I'm still stuck with 3DS Max 8 for now.
  11. How do you intend to solve character animation in W3D though? From my understanding using video card memory is a very outdated method and newer cards don't care for it much - correct me if I am mistaken here. As for the actual animations, well by eliminating WWskin on the modeling side, and utilizing a more mainstream solution, wouldn't that, theoretically speaking, open the door to motion captured animations? I'm also not grasping how you can make W3D understand non-WWskin animated meshes, I presume that engine-side developments are to be paired with this? As for the forum, let me show you the bug I hit consistently: Post-submission anything below certain quotes become embedded into an area within the quote that cannot be edited or touched, or not even deleted, the post is just completely broken when this happens. Using Chrome.
  12. And this is why I hate this forum software: I cannot edit the above post properly anymore... The "Edit" isn't what Pushwall said but something I added below the quote, but this forum added it to the quote post-submission and in a form that is completely un-editable. Just to clarify, I hate miss-quoting. Try moderator editing that TLDR line... You cannot even access it because it is embedded into the quote frame itself. This is what I asked source view for a while ago! ... Anyhow, infantry models are a pet annoyance for me. I consider it the doorway into any W3D game, it is the first thing players get to see. In a perfect world, WWskin is removed and a new animation system entirely is created. With WWskin out of the way, the door is opened for much more infantry detail and mechanics.
  13. I think Pushwall summarizes it pretty well so let me quote him on this;
  14. I don't know that game, so no. (Edit: I just realized that cactus's in real life always grow straight, woops!) Edit2: I have long intended to make a project of my own, and while my current focus is merely a prototype on another engine, if I could find a dedicated C++ programmer to help me out then I wouldn't shy away from using W3D as a platform over something else. There are a few 'ifs' linked to that though, aside of locating a programmer. My main concern with W3D, as always, is the network code and specifically the infantry component, as well as the severe limitations of how W3D handles infantry meshes. But I think we can all mostly agree that W3D has a pretty strong heavy ground vehicle departement, in contrast. Closing note; Working with a non-W3D engine has benefits, but I've certainly learned to appreciate the open-book nature of W3D by working with something that is not W3D. If only the platform had more hands on deck to push it forward.
  15. Great roadmap guys, and yes I am absolutely interested in new tools. I might not have mentioned this, ever, so this may come as a surprise to some, but I actually, really, bloody hate the current tools and their bucket full of issues! I figured I'd mention it, you know, in case I never have before. A new W3D asset plugin would be great as well. Saberhawk was dreaming big, too big perhaps, when he intended to effectively change how materials and meshes are set up. Sure, we need additional material features such as normal mapping and so on, but surely this can be achieved by updating the tools and engine separately rather than making some giant unwieldy mega system akin to current-era, massively funded, engines? The only merit I saw in his proposals, was making sure the engine didn't call materials of the same name more than once, which would mean materials would probably best be made in a universal collection, stored somewhere, and referenced through the 3D modelling plugin. I'd also be interested in a Blender version. As mentioned, Blender is "free", while current-era 3DS Max is "holyshitthatsexpensiveeverymonth" and realistically only accessible to students these days who get free access. From a purely financial perspective 3DS is making itself obsolete, which is a darn shame. Lastly, the "freelance" work style is more or less what me and Pushwall already arranged in not nearly so many words. I am currently working on a different project which has some slight urgency attached to it (here is a small preview of that, this is a demonstration level background, and not an intended play space), but I fully intend to do further contributions for APB/W3D after that. By the way, you are missing something in your roadmap: We found a way to clone Jonwil&Team!
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