Friday, January 23, 2009

School Started This Week

Yeah. Some ups and downs so far. Textbooks are waaaaaay too expensive (altogether, they're easily going to cost me more than $300 dollars, most it from general studies classes - charging that much for BS classes I'm taking just to fulfill a requirement ought to be illegal. But then, I think charging for education that's more or less required nowadays if you want a decent paying job ought to be illegal too).

So, needless to say, mod work may be slowing down a bit. I can't really say at this point, since I haven't gotten any real assignments yet but I know my senior BFA thesis project is going to be taking up a fair bit of my time. If all goes according to plan, however, I should be able to wrap it up and have my show around mid-April which should pretty much give some extra time to mod while I finish up what's left of my classes.

That being said, a lot has been done the past two weeks or so:

- Corrected GtkRadiant errors and successfully resumed mapping.
- Built three new rooms in Narshada, plus cleaned up a few sections that needed some more architectural improvements.
- Gained control of and updated the DFMod website with a new Narshada screenshots gallery.
- Built two levels of the revamped detention center. I'm canibalizing much of what went into the original level so it's moving rather quickly.
- Built test terrain for robotics facility.
- Built the airlock and Moldy Crow hangar for the fuel station.

I'm currently having some problems with weather effects in robotics (it won't snow, more or less) and a new skybox in fuelstation (that's a nightmare that's too long and drawn out to get into much detail). But so far things have been moving smoothly. I'm expecting to reinstall the original game using DOSBox over the weekend and to hopefully gain update access to the dfmod webpage on (although that won't be happing just yet).

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Narshada Screenshots

Eight new screenshots have been added to the narshada gallery section of the official Dark Forces Mod website.

Yes. Your eyes are NOT deceiving you. That's the official DFMod website. We have officially gained access to and will be using the website in the future for major news updates, screenshots, etc. This blog, in the meantime, will continue to serve as a news and updates page with a (from henceforth) more informal style. Think of it as a personal journal on the development of the mod. So it won't be as much of a major source of updates as it will be insights and thoughts on the development of the project. So, keep it in your bookmarks and checkback often.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Progress Update

UPDATE: I just finished a new room in the narshada level tonight. I decided to check it out in game and took some screenshots so I wouldn't have to replay the entire level on the off chance I figure out where the new screenshots are being saved. Curiously, the screenshots I took tonight are showing up in the right folder (but none of the screens I took of the level earlier). I'll see if this repeats itself in the future but tomorrow I'm going to set up an online gallery with a few preview images of the new room (and hopefully more).

First, let me wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year. Come what may, I hope 2009 is great for everybody.

Anyway, on to business. The plan, as of the end of December, was to update with some screenshots of the latest progress on narshada as well as the newest version of the detention center. Much of that level is going to be rebuilt from the ground up and will support much improved architecture, though the gameplay will be largely the same.

Unfortunately, I've been having a lot of trouble ironing out the issues I've been having with Jedi Academy, half of which have stemmed from a busted CD, the other half of which are the result of my upgrade to a new computer which has led to some Vista-related complications with GtkRadiant (the same problems were more or less present in every different build of the editor). With a packed schedule last semester, I didn't have time to comb through all the problems and sort things out and the only used copies of JA I was able to track down on were ridiculously overpriced. As much as I love Dark Forces and want to see the mod completed, I wasn't willing to spend $60 minimum to purchase a replacement JA copy when I don't have a steady stream of income to make up for it. So I managed to make some replacement CDs which I can install the game from with one catch, I can install the game from the replacement CD but I still need the CD to play it. Needless to say, I'm in the market for a working no CD patch or a solution to the error I was receiving with my previous patch (namely, entities would not show up in game when running off the patch).

Regardless, I have the game working for the most part but I can't find any of the screenshots I've been taking. I get the standard "wrote screenshot 0012.bmp" but when I open the screenshots folder in the mod's directory there are no new screenshots added. Until I can figure out where they're going (if they're even being written at all) I'm going to have to hold off on putting together a new gallery. With any luck this won't take long as I'm planning to have my old computer set up with an external monitor so I can test run the game by the end of next week (I just have to clean up and do a bit of household reorganizing first).

On the plus side, I worked out the errors I was having with gtkradiant. I can now save map files and compile lighting without q3map2 crashing on me. So, there will be updates coming in the future.

Anyway, sorry for the long post, folks. I think it's important that I can everyone up to date on the progress/problems/situations we're encountering. Even if we don't have anything physically to show for it yet it's important that you know we're still alive and committed to making some progress. Hhunter6 is working on a revised version of Jabba's ship at the moment and I'm going through his executor map to see what changes/improvements can be made, so maybe we will have some mapping updates sooner that we think.

Stay tuned,