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Lack of weapon mods


larocket83
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Back in the day, when GR1 was in its prime, there were people pumping out weapon mods left and right. I was one of the dime-a-dozen modders that wasn't exactly a pro, but thats beside the point. Is there a reason why we see so few weapon mods for GRAW? I'm not talking about modded XML files here, I mean new models, new everything.

I've been on a hiatus for quite a while, but I've returned, and I was expecting mods galore. Are we lacking resources, or interested individuals? Snow made that m4, and sap has created the ak47, so its obviously possible. What's the deal?

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It's quite simple really, GR:AW uses that bodyawareness system right. So in other words everything is linked to the characters animations, even something as simple as going from aiming using the ret to bringing up the sights is animation controlled as the "view camera" is linked to the characters head.

So to make a new weapon we are either faced with having to make brand new animations, something we don't really have the tools for, or reusing original GR:AW animations.

Reusing old ones are pretty straight forward aslong as your new models LOS (Line Of Sight) is identical to the old models, if it's different then the sight picture just won't line up properly. For the M4 I used the already excisting animations from the SCAR's but as the new LOS didn't match with the SCAR's I had to use some simple workarounds to get it to work, sightraiser for the aimpoint and I needed to raise the ironsights slightly.

I'm sure I could easily put things like a HKG3, G36 or FN P90 into the game, their LOS would be close to the MP5SD's, XM8's and MRC's respectively but the rest of the animations just won't line up properly. The easiest weapon to add would most likely be something like a standard MP5A3 as the MP5SD's anims would match perfectly, I'm suprise no one's done this already.

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True, but in most cases where mod support is given it's just a technical challenge. Ie, you have to learn new techniques like normal mapping and also animation.

Other than the obvious animation problems with GR:AW weapons mods and also the unified .xml files (mod_data.xml and weapon_data.xml mostly) GR:AW isn't really that hard to model for once you have the technical knowledge.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Yeah, I guess I didn't think before posting that. It's obvious that the more in depth a game gets, the more parameters there are to modify, thus being more difficult to modify.

not really true, depends on the game, as long as the support is pretty good at explaining some technicalities and supplying working files to properly animate and such it shouldn't be much more harder then GR was. Just more time consuming which kills a lot of mods.

if support is bad... well that means a lot of trial and error to get things right which means more time spent which means less mods made. Since most moders start a project and just cancel them when they get frustrated.

other then that anything graphical as long as the moder is used to their software suite they should be able to learn new techniques fairly quickly.

Edited by pz3
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Let's not forget that GR1 didn't have any support for modding weapons until after Desert Strike. We didn't have any exporter until then and no documentation about helper points to rig them. And still it took a few more months, about a year in total, before the GR1 weapon modding had really gotten untangled fully, tutorials made and weapon mods where becoming very common.

For us that where modding GR1 from day 1 in 2001, most of the frustration seen in post about modding GRAW is very familiar from back then. But now people take everything in GR1 for granted, like it was there from release. :lol:

EDIT: I should add that there where more people trying and experimenting with GR1 though, like SnowFella and Brettzies, mostly because Rogue Spear had gathered up such a big modding crowd that was still around when GR1 was released. So that helped in figuring out things faster then with GRAW. The current GR modding community doesn't have as many people that dig into the unknown.

Edited by Wolfsong
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Let's not forget that GR1 didn't have any support for modding weapons until after Desert Strike. We didn't have any exporter until then and no documentation about helper points to rig them. And still it took a few more months, about a year in total, before the GR1 weapon modding had really gotten untangled fully, tutorials made and weapon mods where becoming very common.

For us that where modding GR1 from day 1 in 2001, most of the frustration seen in post about modding GRAW is very familiar from back then. But now people take everything in GR1 for granted, like it was there from release. :lol:

Didn't Desert Seige come out about 3-4 months after the release of the main game? I never did any modding for [GR] save for an mp5sd with butt stock kit icon(my favorite gun) so I really don't know if it was difficult or not. Judging by the tutorials, and I realize they didn't exist at the time, it looks pretty straight forward. The graphical part of the weapons in [GR] is just way less complex, so naturally, it would be easier to mod. You are not dealing with fpv of the weapon either. It's not that difficult to get a solid silohette of a weapon in 3rd person and have it come off descent looking.

GRAW is more complex to mod, even when you start to figure out what's happening. That's to be expected with regard to all the attachments, removable mags, etc. More then anything it's time consuming. Aside from the aiming animations, the only complaint I have about it is all the redundant xml editing. To the devs credit, it is very organized and once you grasp what they have done, it makes sense where things are. The more you do it, the more you remember what needs to be done. And from their point of view, they know everything about it, so there's no mystery about why something is in a location. However, I think this organization, while good in one sense, makes the game overly cumbersome to edit. Perhaps they have tools that automatically generate all the xmls and dirs, but it seems a unnecessary to have each texture file gets its own folder even right down to diffuse and bump, 3rd and 1st, plus corresponding xmls, etc. One dir basically holds 2 files, and one of them is just saying, "hey see that other file in here, that's a texture file!" The whole point of dirs is to group similar files together, they chose to group similar dirs together. For finding/searching purposes, it's great, but for working purposes, it's just cumbersome. Not only is each thing in it's own dir, but then each one has an xml saying where that dir is? I think they could have gotten rid of the whole 3rd person structure all toghether, probably the diffuse and bump thing as well. Unifying some of the xmls would help too, but it's their game, they get to do it how they want.

EDIT: I should add that there where more people trying and experimenting with GR1 though, The current GR modding community doesn't have as many people that dig into the unknown.

More people definetly helps because it's much easier to get answer to questions. Someone may have already run into and solved the problem someone else may be having. Even if they don't have the answer, sometimes they can just trigger an idea or another way to do something. But, I think the complexity of the xml editing combined with the overall lack of interest in the game as a whole has led to a smaller user base which leads to an even smaller modding base.

The ironic thing is, if you like doing weapon mods, it's really the best system of any game right now. Time consuming, yes, but completely free(aside from the aiming thing). You build a weapon and do all the attachments for it, and it's all seperate. Most games do this thing where each weapon is wholely seperate, even if it has a silencer and/or scope - easier in the long run, but limiting as well. R6 is the exception, but where is modding for that gone since Rogue Spear?

ps. there are also no clear tutorials on how to get the weapon out of max correctly. No offense to Digitally, he outlined what was already known at the time, but glazed over the parts which will give people the most hiccups in regard to the weapon_base - the skin modifier. You dont' actually have to skin the gun and animate, but you do need to add the modifier and at least attach it to the skin_root.

Edited by Brettzies
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