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Ghost Recon: Heroes Unleashed


ApexMods
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FYI, every single map takes at least a couple of days (and sometimes weeks) to fully integrate into HU. It starts with a single map file, then the corresponding mission file gets cleaned up (or recreated) and imported for development.

After that, all file dependencies are resolved, any required textures, effects, models, sounds, weapons etc. are converted, renamed, imported, and adjusted where necessary.

Once all the files are in place, environment is set ( default/desert/jungle, day/night), and lighting is checked in game, to see if sun/moon position and shadows correspond, and fixed if they don’t (99.9% of the time they won’t). This regularly requires changing skybox models, often a new one needs to be made.

With lighting resolved, date and time can be set (according to position of the sun), and maximum draw distance is measured for the map, which means running around looking for the longest possible line of sight, sometimes for hours.

When max draw distance is established, fog settings follow. Color is adjusted according to skybox, distances and density depend on map weather, layout etc., and all this gets tried and re-checked in-game again and again, until it is realistic and looks natural. In the end, spotting distance is measured and set.

Then the texture work begins. Every single file gets corrected surface, transparency, and other RSB property tags, and those that need a facelift or change (e.g. to fit the maps locale - can’t have an Arabic sign on a Cuban island) are either touched up or replaced. Again, everything is tested and verified in game.

When all that is done, we have working visuals, and established mission date, time, location, and weather go into the briefing for both 

Which brings us to the briefing maps, map shots, and briefing images, which are all newly created once visuals are complete.

The same goes for the command map, which sometimes takes hours in Photoshop to “fix” for HU.

Finally, it’s Igor time. Game zone setup for all SP and MP game types and missions (placement, orientation etc.), briefing waypoints, map room properties, sound zones, and - most importantly - proper sound effects setup (with e.g. authentic bird species actually living in the real-world location).

Again, a long series of in-game testing to re-adjust e.g. team base locations, enemy spawn points, central area, recon infil/exfil positions, and again sounds, sounds, sounds, and more sounds.

When all is said and done, the map has the HU mission randomizer script attached and map and mission get their name and number.

Probably forgot something, but this should at least give you an idea of the process. 🙂

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Layer range and height determine the size of the opaque strip of fog color covering part of the skybox sides / horizon. The quotient of their values sets the percentage of coverage, e.g. range 100 with height 20 will cover (the bottom) 20 percent of the skyboxes’ sides. You get the same result for e.g. range 500 with height 100. The ratio determines the size.

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I really wonder why no one has used the HU mission script templates to create a custom campaign, or at least a mission. I know, the documentation a little is sparse, but as the entire HU campaign is done with the template, it’s missions can serve as an example that should be easy enough to follow. With the exception of helicopter cinematics, Igor can be quite fun to use.

Hope I get around to this myself, soon.

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A good deal of experience is needed to become a competent mission maker. Getting there is laborious, drudgery, full of researching  and disappointment.
I have made a few and they were passable but they took so much time. There are no shortcuts, no copy and paste in the broad sense. Everything is long hand so to speak.
Other then that it is easy. 😉
 

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I understand. But the template can serve as foundation, to get all the repeated script mechanisms like rocket or demo count, objective and mission completion or failure triggers, etc. out of the way, so your free to script your heart out where it really counts.

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Oh boy, what have I begun?!? Started super-scaling textures with various new AI driven software solutions. Amazing results. About 20 smaller maps done so far. May do them all. Total map texture budget grows by a factor of two to four.

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Retexturing in full force. My poor old Mac is sweating bullets due to AI upscaling’s huge performance demands. Don’t have a dedicated GPU, and just an old i5 CPU, so cannot use the best software and routines, as those would take hours for a single texture on my machine. It’s a compromise of smaller beautification at higher speed. Don’t like it too much that I cannot go all-in on this, but I guess it’s better than nothing.

Dug up an even older Mac to work on other HU stuff while the other one is processing textures. 🙂

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On 05/09/2020 at 21:03, ApexMods said:

Oh boy, what have I begun?!? Started super-scaling textures with various new AI driven software solutions. Amazing results. About 20 smaller maps done so far. May do them all. Total map texture budget grows by a factor of two to four.

THIS IS YOUR 3000th POST

CONGRATULATIONS!

 

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