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Ronin

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  1. I downloaded the xprextract program. It works fine. But I need to find a way to create XPR files. So far, I haven't been able to find any information about creating them. They seem to be just compression wrappers for DDS files. But I can't really confirm that. The RSB files for GR contain much more than just a DD surface file. They contain animations and alpha blending and test information as well as material data. I'm looking at how the additional information in an RSB file is setup for GR2. It appears to be significantly different from GR1. I may try to get a look at the GR1 XBox files as a point of reference.
  2. Thanks for the respect. I like to think it's earned and I intend to make good on it. Second, what reservations could you have? I'm a firm believer in open source but the potential for stealing other people's work will mean that the source for this program will not be released to the public nor will I create a program that creates OBJ or 3DS files from the existing [GR] game data. If people want to build on others' work, they can ask for the Max/Maya files from the author(s). I also have no intention of making it easier for anyone to use the game data from this game in another game. Mike Schell has a copy of the source for this program (I send him periodic updates of the GhostView source) but he has no intention of releasing his object extractor for the same reasons I have for not releasing my source. And we are agreed on that. The community could probably improve upon my work and that would be great. But I'm not going to help people steal others' work. So I won't be releasing the source code for GhostView or my plug-ins in the foreseeable future. Cheers, Bruce
  3. Does this guy knows who he is speaking about? Ghost Troop, this is a discussion board. The fact that someone has a different opinion than yours doesn't mean he is not allowed to post here. BTW I don't like it as well, you don't care, someone do. What don't you like? That I'm trying to make it easier for people to make objects and maps for Ghost Recon? I have no intention of making it possible for people to extract "source" data from maps, QOBs or POBs. I wrote this program (and am still working on it) to be sure that I understand the data well enough to be able to CREATE maps, QOBs and POBs using an editor that isn't Max. I've pretty much settled on Maya because the PLE version is free and I have the SDK which will allow me to create map, qob and pob exporters. Do you think that's a bad thing? Or do you think that only the people who have bought or warezed Max should be allowed to make those things? One more time. I AM NOT WRITING AN IMPORTER OR A CONVERTER! Those could be used to take other people's work. I AM TRYING TO WRITE EXPORTERS FOR [GR] USING MAYA.
  4. Here's a software tool that does it, at least to the best of my knowledge. The page that's on has a boatload of tools, and if you are somewhat familiar, should be of more use to you than I. Thanks! I'll check that out.
  5. Just so you know, GR2 is quite different from GR1. In my view GR1 is the better game. GR2 is more arcade like and is more attuned to "run 'n gun" than GR1. Also, if you have a PC you should be able to play the game on your PC. The PC version with Desert Siege and Island Thunder can be had for about $10, now. If you can play with a keyboard and mouse, I think you'll like the PC version better. There isn't much "recon" in Ghost _Recon_ 2. But you might like that better. It's great if you do. But, at least go read some reviews before you grab it. No sense wasting money. They have GRAW available for the XBox, too. It's not much like GR1 at all. Again, I'd read the reviews and play the demo if you can get it. I'd play the GR2 demo if there is one (I don't know if there is). BTW, GR2 never came out on the PC. UBISoft decided it wasn't worth the effort for them.
  6. This sounds pretty interesting. I'd like to know how someone extracted the XPR files since they are compressed. The XQOB files are the game models. It's quite similar to Ghost Recon 1 in that regard. I do wish Microsoft would loosen up the grip on the old XBox since the 360 is out and the original XBox is basically unsupported, now. I can't even find Live cards for mine. My XBox is modded, too. I've looked at the data from GR2. I've been working on figuring out all the data for GR1. That might carry over to GR2 (it looks like it might). My ultimate goal is to create map/object/character exporters for Maya for GR1. If the file formats can be figured out for GR2, we might be able to make new maps for GR2 as well (and new weapons, new characters, new textures, skins, etc.)
  7. The lighting data is stored in external RSB files as well as the final exported version. After the map is exported from max it is raw without lighting information. The creator must load the map into the dark map maker. In this tool the lights are added and the map is exported again to create the final version. Best of luck with your project. Thanks, OSO. If you run the program, you'll see what I mean. The first frame rendered has the textures rendered much brighter than any frame after that. I don't know what's causing that. It uses the same textures on every frame. I just don't know why the rendering gets dimmer after the first frame. Weird, that.
  8. I'm downloading the newest revision of Maya PLE. The one I have is a couple of years old. (I think I downloaded it when I got UT2004). I don't think the dev kit is part of Maya PLE. I think you have to buy Maya Complete in order to get the SDK. I'm looking into that, now. If the SDK comes with Maya PLE, then I think we're golden because I really like Maya. I don't know MEL. But I didn't know 'C' 23 years ago, either... I do know that Maya also has a C++ toolkit (SDK) that allows for major customizations of the program. That might be necessary to do what needs to be done for a working GR map exporter.
  9. I believe the guy you're talking about is Mike Schell. He has been helping me with identifying some of the data from the [GR] maps. Mike wrote some code a few years ago to export some of the geometry and material data from the [GR] maps (and possibly Rogue Spear). Mike's a good guy. Without his help, I would probably still be working on figuring out the geometry. I'd like to see some votes for another 3D modeler to use for building the maps. It has to have an available and (preferably) free SDK for building plugins. It also has to be able to support (fairly basic) animations and multiple textures. It must support materials, not just textures. And the modeler has to be able to group objects and name the groups. It would be preferable if the SDK allows for adding menu options and dialog boxes as well as being able to attach data to existing data structures. I know this is a tall order. But, so far, I think Blender can do all of the above and it's free.
  10. I wrote this program to aid me in interpreting the data in Ghost Recon maps. My ultimate goal is to create one or more map exporting plugins for a 3D modeling program other 3DS Max. 3DS Max is just far too expensive. I think if I can create a map making exporter for another modeler (Blender for example) then more people would be able to try their hand at map making. The purpose here is NOT to allow people to extract maps or parts of them for their own maps. If people want to try that, they can ask the map author for the geometry files. And, yeah, I enjoy doing this sort of thing, too. I've looked at the Rogue Spear format and it's pretty different. Same basic layout, as you say. But it's an "older" version of the maps and internal data chunks. I think it will be possible to add support for those old maps fairly easily. Especially since those old maps seem to be a subset of the data in the newer maps. Thanks for uploading it!
  11. I have been working fairly consistently on the program to decipher the Ghost Recon maps. Right now I'm only focusing on Version 4 maps (this leaves out Rogue Spear maps). I have a viewer program wrapped around my map classes so that I use it to verify whether my interpretation of the classes is correct. This program is called "GhostView". It seems to work on the RSE Ghost Recon maps. I have not tried it on maps generated with the RSE Max plugins. It may not work on those because I believe they use somewhat different versions of some of the data and possibly the entire map. The latest version of the RSE maps is what I want to be able to create with an exporter. So that's what I've been concentrating on. Here is a screen shot from the program showing the Red Square mission from [GR]: I am releasing the binary for the GhostView program. It is by no means finished but it is fairly stable. Folks can try running the program on their maps and see if it works with them. The rendering is pretty dim after the first frame. I don't know why, yet. So don't tell me about it unless you know why it's doing it. The camera controls are documented in the About box. It's a standalone program so you can just drop it into your Ghost Recon directory. Here's a link to the program. GhostView for Ghost Recon maps. This viewer also works with the Sum of All Fears maps since SOAF used the GR engine. You folks can enjoy playing with this while I go back to work interpreting the map data. I'm working on the Map Objects from the ObjectList right now. I've pretty much got everything else worked out. The objects you see in the origin of the map are in the GeometryList but are only supposed to be drawn from the objects in the ObjectList. Once I get the ObjectList data figured out, I can display the objects where they are supposed to be instead of clustered at the origin. It's possible the program may encounter some textures it does not understand and it will not load those. It _shouldn't_ crash, though.
  12. Or, how about using a giant teapot as a hotel!?!? People could get pretty ridiculous, that's for sure. But they could do that now, with Max. And having a Ferrarri in a map wouldn't be so out of place. Or limousines, or other cars for that matter. Making [GR] maps shouldn't be a club exclusive to people who have access to or can afford 3DS Max. There are people out there that just can't afford Max but who could makes maps every bit as good as people who have access to it. Their only recourse to this point has been to steal Max or just watch from the sidelines. Now, sending the Ghosts in to deal with some velociraptors. That might be fun.
  13. Deffered lighting is a part of the draw distance if I remember correctly Also a lot of players, I would say the majority, care a lot about graphics and if the 360 version looks way better than the PC version, which it will do if the PC version don't use deffered lighting (or something tha has the same result) then people will complain bigtime. A lot of people want to be able to shoot badguys from a further distance than 500 m. That would not be possible without deffered lighting. However people also complain about system requirements and AA so in the end you can't really please everyone. The graphics quality of the PC version is already inferior to the 360 version. The muddy and washed out colors on the PC version caused by the over-processed deferred lighting looks awful. Especially when compared to the graphics on the XBox 360 version (or even the XBox version). How you light a level has nothing to do with draw distance. That's determined by your clipping planes, "fogging" and how far away you can practically see an NPC (how many pixels does it take to draw a recognizable NPC). There's also the issue of clarity of the image (which we do not have) with regard to drawing NPCs at distance. When they're just a few pixels it's nearly impossible to recognize them. When they're zoomed in (with a scope or binocs -- what happened to having binocs anyway?) they can be recognized. That shouldn't be affected by deferred lighting, either. The washed out and muddy colors just ruins all the visual effects for me. It's like looking at a comic book drawn by a guy with two crayons. One brown and one gold. Mexico City isn't just all brown. Even with the smog. And the ghost uniforms being gold just look ridiculous. They're supposed to be either desert tan or jungle green, not disco gold. If it was possible to turn off HDR and all the other stuff and still have night vision, I'd turn it all off and leave it off. At least the graphics then aren't quite so ugly, then. On day missions, I turn off the post processing effects just so it doesn't look so ugly. To me, the graphics in GRAW are a terrible disappointment. Especially with the horsepower it takes to run them. For that cost in power, it should look FAR better than it does.
  14. I didn't notice in the article anywhere that they talked about reinstating the old [GR] single player gameplay modes. I loved playing the quick missions. The firefight and recon modes were a lot of fun. Just you against 30 tangos. I don't like having to start an [GR] multi-player coop mission to do the firefight. It should be quite simple to make those work in single-player. I know some people don't care about single-player. Well, there are some of us from the other side of that coin. We don't care about multi-player. We're not as vocal as the multi-player crowd. Those old [GR] gameplay modes are what I want to see in GRAW 2 more than anything else. Randomly placed tangos is also a big deal. Now if they can just get away from the 512 shades of brown in the maps and the gold uniforms... Deferred lighting was a huge mistake.
  15. Why would that be bad? Hello Ronin, First of all, let me just say that anyone trying to push the limits of this creaky old game is ok by me. especially as you are obviously spending a ridiculous amount of time, headaches and eyestrain to do so. Speaking as a modder (albeit a fairly low level and very average one), there has always been a certain amount of security in the fact that the RSE formats were not able to be reverse engineered. This, to a certain degree, prevented theft. That's not to say that certain, unscrupulous people haven't bundled everyones output into mods and released them without permission of the author (I won't mention names here, but it has happened) This has also, meant that the output from modders has been pretty original and varied. The only map. so far, available was the demo/ castle map released in max format by RSE. IMHO, nothing really great has happened as a consequence of it's release. Apart from those same darn buildings turning up everywhere. Which leads me to another worry, this will end up like the GRAW maps, where you keep bumping into the same geometry no matter where you are as its just a set of lego/duplo blocks that everyone uses (is this good?) Even though your intentions are obviously good and well intentioned I'm just concerned that this knowledge will be implimented into a tool that will have the same limitations part of my reasons for this are obviously selfish but I don't see a tool that will enable the import of files as a totally good thing Jeez, am I really this paranoid? That why I like the idea of using GMAX because the interface is similar to full MAX. I did a research last night and in fact you need a SDK which cost up to 7ok.... thats a shame because I believe GMAX have the tools to make a decent map in [GR] also I dont think is posible to write plug-ins for it. Blender, Gmax and Milkshape are 3d modelers not a sand box map tool. Ronin stated above that the only reason for doing this decompiler is to understand Max structure files so he can apply those to other 3d program. sleeper is right, [GR] map making its not hard but its not easy either but I think with a new less expensive tool more people may give a shot because the last time I saw Max 9 cost 3500 and is not compatible with GR and those version are not easy to find. I may give a shot to map making again (I own version 5) You _may_ be able to still get Version 4 of Max. From what I've read, you can purchase a license for the latest version and still get any of the old versions. That may not be true anymore or may have never been true but I remember reading that somewhere. I think it was on Discreet's web site in their FAQ about Max. But it could just as easily have been somewhere else. It could also have been complete ######. As for an importer, there are some things that might be good to import, like the ships from the "Docks" mission or the aircraft from "Airfield" mission. Houses should be easy enough to model that people shouldn't be re-using those. But I don't have any plans to make an importer available. As for it being misused. Well, it's pretty near impossible to have the good without the bad. Nearly every invention or technology has been used for purposes other than that intended by the inventor. I think the good in this case would far outweigh the bad. I don't really want to see cookie cutter geometry in maps, though. Unless they make sense. Having used GMax a little bit (I've made a few very simple models with it) I can't see why people can't make a few changes to objects they re-use so that they at least look a _little_ different. It wouldn't take long. I've read and re-read the announcement on Autodesk's website about no longer offering GMax as a "standalone" product. It directs people to the turbosquid website for official support. But they say that GMax has been pulled so that they can make sure it works with Vista. Why pull it from the Autodesk website in 2005 when Vista wasn't due out until late 2006? That makes no sense to me at all. I suspect that GMax will only be available to licensees of Max and that it will only be distributable by those licensees with the modifications needed to work with the data for their application. They'll probably drop the standalone version of GMax altogether. This fits with the mindset of Autodesk which is basically "screw 'em for every penny they've got, give _nothing_ away, and sue 'em if they try to sell the software if they don't use it anymore". I'm going to try GMax on a Vista machine here and see if it runs okay. It might not be possible to run it if I can't get a key code for it, though. I think it needs a key code anyway. It's been a while since I installed GMax on anything. I'll report back on that. [EDIT] I installed GMax on the Vista machine I have here. It runs just fine on it. I don't think Vista was the reason for Autodesk to pull GMax from their pages and direct everyone to turbosquid as was mentioned over at the TurboSquid forums. In any case, version 1.2 runs fine on Windows 2K and XP already. So I think they have some ulterior motive for pulling it from their main pages. (probably they just didn't want to be bothered by gamers). That "no longer available in a 'standalone' form" phrase means something. But they are cryptic as always. I've tried putting the GR plugins for Max into the GMax plugins directory. As I suspected, it doesn't recognize them. I really wish I could get my hands on the SDK for GMax, though.
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