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W3D Tools and SHP Palette Analyzer
August 20, 2019 - 07:20
Hello again! I know this week many of you might be paying more attention to Gamescom rather than modding. I was personally interested on Age of Empires Definitive Edition for Steam, although the closest thing that resembles modding in this version of the game should be its scenario editor. For the Command & Conquer fans out there, there is no Command & Conquer in this edition of Gamescom, at least nothing that matters.

Anyway, in regards to modding, we had two tools that deserve attention:

1) W3D Tools, which includes a W3D Exporter for 3DS Max 2017, has received an update a couple of days ago, from the W3D Hub crew. Version 1.30 comes with the following changelog:


Quote:

   Fix so that the material properly defaults to "opaque"
   Add new surface types for Blue Tiberium, Red Tiberium and Tiberium Veins. Only available for Renegade-based mods on recent builds of Scripts 5.0.
   Fix an issue where certain meshes containing multiple passes were having their materials exported incorrectly.
   Fix an issue where the code was incorrectly handling bone weights of 0 in some cases



If you have 3Ds Max 2017 and mods Renegade, Generals or Lord of the Rings: Battle For Middle Earth I or II, head to W3DHub to download it.


2) SHP Palette Analyzer is a tool that was recently conceived by Lin Kuei Ominae. Don't let its rushed name deceive you since SHP files doesn't include palettes. It is a tool that counts how many times a specific "color" (pixel value, actually) is used by a group of SHP (TS) files in a directory. The picture below has a good sample:



Visit this topic at the Editing Tools Forum at PPM to download it.

Mammoth MK2... Reborn!
August 11, 2019 - 00:16
Hello everyone! Last Thursday, the crew from Tiberian Sun: Reborn posted a new update of their Mammoth MK2, which took into consideration the massive feedback it has received, including our own. The final result is displayed in the video below. Fear it!






For more information, check W3DHub and the original news post.

Hello everyone... again. During the last week, we've seen more updates on our home promoted tools for Command & Conquer modders. So, here is the news:


- Open Source SHP Builder support for SHP (TD) files has been improved. The version 3.38 Beta 24 opens any of them, even if its original compression is so bad that it would smaller if it is not compressed. This weird situation seems to happen with some of the original SHP files from Westwood Studios. XCC Mixer, OS SHP Builder and, especially the Engie File Converter generated SHP (TD) files do not seem to suffer from this problem.

- CnC Maps Renderer received several patches recently from E1 Elite. The lastest one is from August 1st, 2019. Here's a merged changelog of them:

Quote:
- Sequence entries are now read from Art.ini for infantries and its Ready values are used for facing calculation.
- Added parameter for modconfig.xml to enable infantry facing randomization.
- Fixed: Crash caused by SHP addons like bibs in the infantry facings code.
- Added parameter for modconfig.xml to crop the map bottom during the image rendering for local size option. Values can be in a range of 0 to 16.
- Added parameter for modconfig.xml to adjust map lighting with comma-separated values for ambient, red, green and blue. This delta value is added to the values obtained from the map's lighting section. Decimal values can be in the range of -1 to 1.

Note: The cropping of bottom rows is applicable for image rendering (JPEG/PNG) only with local size option. It does not affect the preview window or preview map pack generation or when used with full-size option. When the bottom rows of the map have some height, it shows a vacant portion. To avoid that, there is a cutoff logic which will override the modconfig parameter for cropping the bottom rows when its number of rows to crop is higher.



- Image Shaper was also updated recently by Lin Kuei ominae. Version 01.01.00.18 has the following changelog:

Quote:
-(update) support for RGBA JASC palettes
-(update) Euclidean color conversion with Alpha-channel support
-(update) [Options] menu added
-(update) "#Worker Threads" setting moved into [Options]
-(update) "Output Folder" setting added to [Options] to define output folder for SHPs
-(update) support to save/load a palette setup. Select "ImageShaper Palette Setup" as fileformat in the Load/Save Palette Dialog.
-(update) Console command line functionality added. Run ImageShaper.exe ? for help.


The crew over Tiberian Sun: Reborn have recently posted an update with the new look of their Mammoth Mark II and some other bots as well. As a first-person shooter game, bringing the Tiberian Sun atmosphere to the Renegade engine, you'll be able to drive these beasts. And that must be fun, isn't it?

Here's a family photo:



And a solo one, showing the beast moving in 3Ds Max:




Their whole news post, showing up more goodies than the ones above is available at their forums on W3D Hub. I don't know if we will be able to drive this little guy in a low term since it is a very complex project to develop. Anyway, if you've got interested in this project, head to their Official Forums for more information.

We had a couple of interesting updates for two of the tools we promote here.

Starting with CnC Maps Renderer, E1 Elite has posted two patches in this month. These versions come with a generic TS Client version of the tool and its source code. Here's a merged changelog of them:

Quote:
- Editable dropdown of the start location marker size can now draw the markers with decimal value sizes except for the Tiled marker type.
- Fixed: Cases where the renderer button won't work for more than once without restarting the application.
- Fixed: Facings corrected for SHP vehicles where its ART.ini section won't have WalkFrames=1 specified.
- Fixed: Shadow problem(s) fix for rendering the first instance of a 32-facing SHP vehicle placed on its first or last 8 directions.

- Walls placed as buildings in maps, now connect with its adjacent walls of its type (building/overlay), gates and walltower.

Note: TSClient version now comes with an extra mix file which contains the tunnel top graphics added to the tunnel floor tiles.



The other tool that has surprisingly received an update recently is the OS SHP Builder. The version 3.38 Beta 23 brings a fix for the SHP (TD) saving feature, especially for OpenRA users. So, you don't need to convert your sprites using XCC Mixer anymore. However, we need someone to test it and provide feedback to confirm that this fix is not an accident or a fraud. If you already have OS SHP Builder, use the Update OS SHP Builder option at the Help menu to get this version or you can just download the latest version here. Post your feedback at this topic at OS SHP Builder support forums.


And one very last tidbit is that our friend Kerbiter is working on a feature for Voxel Section Editor III to import models from Magicka Voxels, as he requested before and I am too much overloaded with my Thesis to focus on it right now.

Recently, Jim Vessella, producer of the upcoming Command & Conquer Remastered and Command & Conquer Red Alert 1 Remastered has shared some bits about their progress with the production of both games. It seems that they have playable prototypes from both games, including a playable campaign mission, which he did not mention which one is it, neither if it is from Nod or GDI. But they already have the 4k assets for cinematics from it as well.

Anyway, this time, Jim is looking for some feedback on the visual aesthetics of Tesla Tank. He wants to know if it should have one or two rings at the Tesla ball because it only has one ring in game and two in the cinematics. So, should it match the game or the cinematics? Honestly, due to the low resolution of the original MS-DOS version of the game, it should match the cinematic. But there are better things in life to argue with, isn't it true? Anyway, here are the original words posted by Jim Vessella on Reddit about it.


Quote:
Fellow Command & Conquer fans,

Positive momentum continues and earlier this month we completed our first production milestone. This milestone included several key improvements to Tiberian Dawn, most notably delivering our first Campaign mission to full Alpha quality. This means all the mission visuals are now showcasing the 4k assets from Lemon Sky, and the mission can be completed with all the core gameplay mechanics. I’ll admit when playing this full mission experience, the game started to transport me back to when I first played C&C, and I hope it does the same for all of you when the game is released.

However, one of the more exciting accomplishments of this milestone actually had nothing to do with Tiberian Dawn. That’s because we were able to get Red Alert playable for the first time. We are now able to load Red Alert missions, and the game is already being populated with several of the remastered visual assets. That’s because even though Red Alert just became playable in the software, Lemon Sky has actually been creating assets for Red Alert over the past several months. So to celebrate this first step for Red Alert, we thought it would be fun to share a preview for one of the most iconic Red Alert units - the Tesla Tank.

In the same fashion as our approach of the structures, our primary goal for units has been to maintain the authenticity of the original in-game asset. In an effort to take advantage of the 4k resolution, many of our earlier unit concepts included extra widgets and details, but we often found this compromised the unit’s readability at camera game height. So we continued to iterate, and over the months we’ve begun to hone in on these elements, and feel like the Tesla Tank here strikes a good balance between readability and those added details. Of note, we only interpreted one Tesla ring from the legacy in-game asset, but there’s already been a healthy debate with the Community Council whether the Tesla ball should have two rings to match the cinematic reference. Perhaps we can get feedback here from the greater community to help decide this unit’s final look : )

Thanks for your ongoing support and participation, and looking forward to sharing more details as both games now become more playable.

Cheers,

Jim Vessella

Jimtern




A new version of Shattered Paradise has been released. This is a modification for OpenRA that introduces Tiberian Sun factions, including Mutants, CABAL and Scrin.

Version 20190623 introduces several bug fixes and balance changes. There is a list of changes of this version available at this public Google document. A recent stream from FiveAcesCheckmate shows this new version of the mod in action.






You can download the mod by visiting its GitHub section.

For further information on this project, Shattered Paradise has forums at PPM and a Discord Channel. Have fun!

Hello everyone! For those wondering what's going on recently at PPM, this news is here to help. Apparently, there was some progress on some tools made by our community fellows. Here is a quick round up into that:


- Red Alert Online Decrypter: BySc has made a script that, when used together with QuickBMS, allows you to decrypt files (especially textures) from the Red Alert Online game from Tencent. Head to this topic for a guide on how to use it.

- CnC Maps Renderer 20190618: E1 Elite has posted a new version of this tool, that renders maps from Tiberian Sun and Red Alert 2, with the following features:

Quote:
- Added show tunnel path lines option.
- Components are made optional. Either generate PNG/JPEG/Thumbnail or use modify map features or use a preview window.
- Few UI changes, a clear button for log and main application remembers its location.


- G-E's RA2 INI Scripts Pack: G-E has also been updating his tools once in a while. The latest changes were done with the AICHECK 6.5 that checks for smudges, overlays and terrain objects for missing data/art.  It also improves the way it logs errors, it removes some redundant error conditions and it does some other optimizations.


And finally, it is also worth mentioning that Ares 3.0 is being developed and it has several new interesting features. But, as usual, it needs feedback from testers. So, if you are working on a Red Alert 2 mod, take a look at it.