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Hordes of the Underdark Revisited (archive)

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rjshae

Hmm, seems safe enough...

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kamal
Needs ground and angled versions :)
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rjshae

I tried tilting the billboard orientation vector by 15 degrees, but it had no effect.

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kamal

So it's a vfx then?

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rjshae

Yes, as that allows me to have full grayscale without a glow. Unfortunately that also means I can't rotate the effect. Instead, I have X/Y/Z orientations.

Here's a copy for anybody who wants to experiment with the effects (or use them).

The above is a view of the updated hallway. It's not perfect, but I think it's good enough for my purpose. I was surprised by the performance. I thought there may be some rendering issues because of all the transparent textures, but it seemed to be fine. Maybe it'll show up in combat though?

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PJ156

it's looking very good RJS,

A worthy project me thinks.

PJ

 

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rjshae

A quiet little monster's abode in some forgotten corner of Undermountain:

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kamal
Thats a nifty purple vfx thing in there
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rjshae

Thanks. In NWN the fountain emits some glowy purple blobs, but it doesn't do anything. Seems like a waste. It might be fun to have drinking from the fountain have some amusing deleterious effect, maybe?

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kevL's

keep it like the original

unless you really don't want to

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Sabranic

keep it like the original
unless you really don't want to

_________________________________________

I chuckled.  And concure.  Make the game you want to make!  I for one will just be happy to fianally play what I have heard is an excellent NWN1 module.

 

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kevL's

i'd find it extremely hard not to put in some Easter Eggs here & ther

the purple bubbles might be the place ...

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rjshae

Yup, I'm working on it. This particular area is taking longer than I thought, but it's nearing completion now.

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rjshae

First level north of Undermountain is finally a wrap, so now it's on to the south area. I roughed out the south area this morning and found a pair of additional tiles I'm going to need. There's not much else that's new in this area; perhaps one or two additional placeables needed. It's mostly a matter of grinding my way through it and trying to keep it interesting looking. After that, it's time to start thinking seriously about the look I want to implement for the second level.

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rjshae

With the second level in mind, I decided to revist the Classic Dungeon tileset and see if I could find out why some of the tiles weren't loading properly (or in some cases not at all). I think I've got that resolved now; all it takes is a little manual massaging of the model files to fix duplicate trimesh names and packets with NULL bitmaps. I believe I can proceed now.

Here's a sample image of a tile that previously wouldn't load:

I really like the textures with this set -- they look very 'dungeony'. Looks like some work is needed on the UV mapping here and there.  Even with a complete tileset though, I may still need to create additional tiles to include the pit openings. I'll see how it goes.

Meanwhile, work continues on the south area. I've got the tile variants completed so it is now fully blocked out. I worked on a couple of new placeables that hopefully I can show you a shot of later on.

Ed.: I'd forgotten that this set comes with pit tiles, so problem solved. It may need some additional variants though so it doesn't start to look too bland. But I'm only up to the 'g' tiles thus far, so there will be more in store...

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Sabranic

I can hardly wait to play this - it will be my first time as I was deep in a very unhealthy MMORPG addiction when the first NWN came out.

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rjshae

Here's the next dungeon tileset first light test:

I've got the lighting cranked up, so it looks much brighter than it will be in the game.

The subset of tile models I plan to use have all been ported over and collision meshes and walkmeshes added, so now I can view it in the toolset. However, there's much work yet to be done before it's ready for use with area building. Those edges are a little too sharp, so I'm planning to add bevels (which will at least double the poly count). Also, the textures need to be remapped to swappable texture files. Finally, there's all sorts of little issues that need fixing with the floor texture, walk mesh, and so forth. So... work continues.

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Sabranic

Ahhh perfect new tilesets!

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Trinital

Super excited for this.. Looks amazing.

Also - I vote in favor of adding small surprises / easter eggs for players.

 

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rjshae

Thanks. I haven't really added much to it thus far. Just getting the parts working has been enough. Hopefully there will be enough new eye candy to make it an interesting experience.

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Sabranic

Then of course there are those of us who never played it the first time around!  :)

My first experience will be your module.

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rjshae

Work continues on the second level tileset, making it a somewhat tedious and time consuming activity at the moment. Each of the tile parts needs to be carefully UV mapped to the new texture, and with the current pass I'm just modifying the roof and floor sections. The sharp edges of the floor are receiving small bevels, which makes them look more worn and gets rid of the surface smoothing shader defects. I'm nearly done with that pass now, but then I need to take care of the walls, which is a bigger task. It is looking good though and I'll enjoy putting it into the game. Hopefully in a month or two I can wrap this up and start making more progress on the final first level area.

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Trinital

This module looks so sexy.. heart

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Sabranic

The end of the beginning of the end.

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rjshae

Hmm, let's see. After testing the new tileset inside the game, it turns out I messed up the UV mapping on the side columns, so they don't line up properly. *sigh* It sticks out a bit, so I've had to go back and redo large parts of the walls for a good chunk of the tiles. Ah well, so it goes. Tilesets can be tedious to work with after a while. But they are looking decent once the bevels are added and the tint maps inserted.

Anyway, I've been taking a break from area building for a while because it was getting a little boring. I hope to get back to it soon, once my motivation is restoked. Having a variety of different side projects helps in that regard. Just two more levels to go and I'll be able to wrap up Chapter I.

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kamal
That reminds me of when i hqve been working on a campaign and realize that I really need something to make it work, then have to go off and figure out a whole system, or make an entire tileset in your case, before proceeding.
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rjshae

Meanwhile, here's a little experimental vfx:

A random dungeon map taken from the internet was slimmed down to 256x256px, desaturated, tinted in faux old parchment (hue = 35), the edge trimmed and rendered transparent, then applied as an fx skin to a slightly randomized model file to provide some irregularity.

I figure it can't hurt to have a set of lightweight old maps for decorations.

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Tarot Redhand

I figure that you can extract graphics from an NwN 1 hak file. That being the case you are welcome to use any of the 127 pre-rendered 256x256 maps in my micro maps v2 package if you want.

TR

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rjshae

Thank you for the offer, Tarot. I do have a set of images ready so I was going to try those first.

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Sabranic

I love doo-dads and placables like this. 

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brothermutant

Wasn't there a lot of horror/creepy stuff like hanging cages in Misery stone? Who made that?

Lub U ;)

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rjshae

The second level tileset is now (more or less) complete. Finally! I may yet discover a few more defects that still need fixing, but for the most part it's working properly. This was a fairly complicated tileset to work with, so it was a lot of labor to get everything textured, bevelled, and aligned properly. It's nearly all tintable as well. In the shot below I've tinted the floor a light shade of gray; the untinted floor seems too bright. (I have turned up the lighting for this shot, so it's brighter than normal.)

At least now I can get back to building up the areas. Phew!

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Sabranic

The level of detail you put into those environments is really sweet.  I like the fact that others using your tilesets down the road have pleanty of options to customize the look of it.

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rjshae

Thanks. Well I wish there were more stuff to decorate a dungeon with. There's only so much of that around. I end up having to build little odds and ends just to fill in various bare stretches.

This weekend I drafted the five 2nd-floor areas, which allowed me to see what tiles I'm missing. Turns out I need a couple of hanging wooden bridge variants and some hanging chain barriers for the edges of the open gaps in the floor. (At least if I want it to look somewhat like the NWN version.) Overall though I was pleased by how it turned out. For the hanging bridge, maybe I'll "borrow" some parts from Callister's Dungeon tileset...

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kamal
I have hanging wood bridge pieces, in my tileset construction kit i think. They were made out of one of the tilesets you converted.
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Trinital

@rjsahe is there any gaps in custom content that you want or need? Any items / weapons / armor / objects / animations / creatures..?

 

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rjshae

@Trinital: Not for me personally; 4760 was working on the NWN creature ports I needed. For other builders though, the most popular downloads seem to be the nature-related stuff, such as rocks, plants, skyboxes, and grasses. Anything for the wilderness or underdark would probably be of interest. There's plenty of gaps in the content.

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Trinital

I was planning to do a re-imagining of drow stuff.. Have you given thought to that as part of your second act? Or are you gonna use flipped NWN1 stuff?

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rjshae

> I was planning to do a re-imagining of drow stuff.. Have you given thought to that as part of your second act? Or are you gonna use flipped NWN1 stuff?

Probably a mix. I've done a few new Drow placeables and will include those I've already ported. I usually only add a new placeable when I feel an area needs it, so I'll probably worry about the rest when I get there.

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rjshae

Okay, the first level is complete. Here's the den of the fairy queen, complete with trees.

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Kalister68

Nice ! The raised slabs around the trees are an excellent idea !

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rjshae

Here's my concept for the chain link fence around the second level tile pit areas. The posts include safety spikes to first maim anybody trying to slide down into the pit.

I've been finishing up another play through of Pillars of Eternity, this time with the White Marches add ons. It's been fun.

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Trinital

"Safety Spikes" To prevent people from falling by maiming them first.. Sounds like Halaster's Dungeon to me!!

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rjshae

On the second level is a Flesh Golem of Halaster's called Berger that has a scripted interaction with the party. There isn't really a realistic Flesh Golem model available, so I'm debating what to do. One possibility is to use Kamal's "fresh" zombie reskin and perhaps add some suture lines in various places. Another would be to use a shirtless saga model and fiddle with that texture. The third option is to use one of the other golem models instead, giving it a different tint. None of these are really satisfactory. The NWN flesh golem is kind of ugly, so I'm not sure a port of that would help.

Hmm... how to proceed? Maybe for now I'll use a substitute monster and hope I come up with a better solution down the road.

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kamal

dannj made a flesh golem as a reskin, how about that?

https://neverwintervault.org/project/nwn2/model/creature-model-reskins

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rjshae

I saw that, but... to be brutally honest, it doesn't look anything like a flesh golem. I get a better match with a ghoul.

Ed.: I'm thinking now of a ghoul reskin, although the texture is pretty dinky at 256x256. I think I'll blow it up to twice that, air brush away some of the sunken flesh look, then try to overlay stitched seams. Hopefully it'll work out. Not sure about the bolt through the neck though; maybe I can fiddle with the normal map?

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kamal
Bolts can be normal mapped in pretty well, that's what I did for the bladerager troll.
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Sabranic

We used a re-colored ghoul for our flesh golem summonable, it worked ok - but we'd be interested in any dedicated "flesh" golem you all come up with, that's for certain!

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demoix

Wow, that's so awesome!

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rjshae

One of the Undermountain mysteries...

 

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