Ae'gura Additions

General debates and discussion about the Guild of Writers and Age creation

Ae'gura Additions

Postby Nev'yn » Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:29 am

Question: Is it possible to open new parts of the city? (Like the palace courtyard?)

Or are we restricted with just creating places that seem *like* they are new parts of the city?
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Re: Ae'gura Additions

Postby Annabelle » Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:38 pm

There's something you can do in your own personal offline install...

Chacal worked few years back on some additions. He literally opened up a lot of places for exploration by adding solid grounds where Cyan didn't. They show up with a huge age and only 2% of it is explorable...a pity. Chacal's additions are not comparable with those of let's say CoD on TOC MOUL but they are already great.

Let me find the thread back, I'll post it here for reference :)

Here's the said thread: http://forum.guildofwriters.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1100&hilit=chacal

______________________________________________


But I've just realized I didn't answer the question you asked Ne'vin... Some guys more knowledgeable could answer you but my feeling is that you cannot modify assets made by Cyan. You can add new ages but not make permanent modifications on Cyan's Assets.

You can do:
1) create a new age
2) modify temporarily an age made by Cyan (Magic effects) whether it's for an event (let's say the upcoming Jamie's event) or for testing

Now for the CoD in TOC... I have no idea frankly. I'm guessing that having a complete D'ni-Ae'gura on that shard is enough to say, we didn't change that age. I could be wrong.
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Re: Ae'gura Additions

Postby Sirius » Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:30 pm

Depends on which version of the game you want to do it...


On a technical point of view, modifying existing files to add/remove collisions in some places isn't hard, regardless of whether it's a MOUL-based shard (like Gehn) or PotS-CC (like DI).
Replacing existing models (to add lighting or edit textures/mesh) may be harder, depending of how you do it.


On a legal point of view, modifying existing Age files from a MOUL-based Shard is not possible. Reason: doing so means redistributing existing Cyan assets, which should only be obtained through MOUL.
On a CC based Shard, it's possible since Cyan doesn't care (not officially, though). Which means you can simply redistribute parts or all of a resource file (PRP) from the city, which is what Chacal did in his great mod.


There is a way to circumvent legal issues on MOUL-based shards though. Cyan forbids modifying existing resources files, but you can tell the game to load a new resource file alongside all the others from the city (there are roughly 50 resource files, generally 1 location = 1 file). This means you have to import the existing file you want in Blender, edit it to your likings, and export modified objects in a new PRP file.

Now, you have new objects in the city, but you also need to disable the old version of these objects in Cyan's resource file, otherwise you won't be able to access your new areas (and you'll have weird visual overlapping if you modified visual objects).
Since you are not allowed to permanently edit Cyan's files, you have to tell the game to disable the old object. The trick is to use a Python script to tell the game to not show these objects when you link in.
This solution is used in the Offline-KI to avoid redistributing too many files (and automatically apply changes to an existing location if you converted MOUL content to work on CC, for instance adding sparklies to Gahreesen, Er'cana, etc).
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Re: Ae'gura Additions

Postby GPNMilano » Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:20 pm

In addition to Sirius' example there is, technically, and legally, a third option. You replace the existing age entirely. This takes a helluva lot more work, however you get the added bonus of once the work is done you never have to worry about editing python scripts to make additions and subtractions etc, and leaves you free to make more and more changes as time goes on. The reason this technically easier in the long run is once you replace the age you can make whatever changes you want to it. And the reason that it's "legal" is that Cyan has already said publicly that their assets for Uru remain within the Plasma engine, thus why the ages can't be ported to another engine like Unreal or Unity. They have also made it clear that they're okay with fans using their assets so long as those assets stay inside the Plasma engine. So, if you an import an age, and wish to take the work to retexture, rewire, and properly light the age you've created new prps that are not identical to Cyan's, and thus can be redistributed even though they contain Cyan assets. But again, those assets can only be used in the Plasma engine.
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Re: Ae'gura Additions

Postby Annabelle » Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:42 pm

GPNMilano wrote:... you've created new prps that are not identical to Cyan's, and thus can be redistributed even though they contain Cyan assets. But again, those assets can only be used in the Plasma engine.


So if I got this right, CoD in TOC MOUL is OK because the TOC team over there took the Ae'gura's PRPs reworked them & renamed them Cityofdimension's PRPs. They are redistributing them with their shard which is using the Plasma engine.
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Re: Ae'gura Additions

Postby Deledrius » Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:13 pm

Well, there are two ways to accomplish changes... There are things which are actually fully legal to do, and then there are things you can do and probably get away with because no one cares but it's technically infringing on Cyan's property. ;)

Nev'yn wrote:Question: Is it possible to open new parts of the city? (Like the palace courtyard?)

Yes, but you wouldn't want to see them. The parts of the city that are open are pretty badly unfinished, and if you see the places they didn't give us access to, you'd know why. We could add our own, as described in this thread, but there are two problems with this method: it's a lot of work, and Cyan didn't build the city to be expanded very well or very easily. Most of the spaces are... cramped and poorly-built. Because of this is becomes difficult to add things without touching their stuff in a way that would require infringement.


Nev'yn wrote:Or are we restricted with just creating places that seem *like* they are new parts of the city?

Not at all, it's just much harder because we don't have the originals, and because modifying the existing parts can't be distributed legally. That hasn't stopped some groups for doing it, and frankly it seems Cyan doesn't care (so far) but it's a line which is best not being pushed when possible. Good faith breeds future stability.


I was working on the possibility of creating some new spaces in the Neighborhoods a while back, and while it's easy enough to add new places to visit, it's almost impossible to access them because Cyan never cut out the walls behind the doors, and the rock wall (and its collision) is all one giant mesh making minor replacements practically infeasible. It becomes almost an easier task to create a replacement Neighborhood, as Chloe suggests, which is something I've been working on since...

Sirius wrote:There is a way to circumvent legal issues on MOUL-based shards though. Cyan forbids modifying existing resources files, but you can tell the game to load a new resource file alongside all the others from the city (there are roughly 50 resource files, generally 1 location = 1 file). This means you have to import the existing file you want in Blender, edit it to your likings, and export modified objects in a new PRP file.

Now, you have new objects in the city, but you also need to disable the old version of these objects in Cyan's resource file, otherwise you won't be able to access your new areas (and you'll have weird visual overlapping if you modified visual objects).

This is essentially the method used to add Tre'bivdil's linking book to Gehn. We had the coordinates for the book stand (thanks to Kaelis!), popped a new book in that spot in a new file, and added that new GehnAdditions PRP to the load list for the Neighborhood. Then I fixed the Python script for the books to actually be flexible for any books we want to add to those stands, along with the new stained-glass. This was all relatively easy because it's adding something new and self-contained in an open space (and the only other thing that goes in that space has SDL-controlled visibility); the hardest part is just making sure it's lined up correctly.
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Re: Ae'gura Additions

Postby GPNMilano » Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:54 am

Annabelle wrote:
GPNMilano wrote:... you've created new prps that are not identical to Cyan's, and thus can be redistributed even though they contain Cyan assets. But again, those assets can only be used in the Plasma engine.


So if I got this right, CoD in TOC MOUL is OK because the TOC team over there took the Ae'gura's PRPs reworked them & renamed them Cityofdimension's PRPs. They are redistributing them with their shard which is using the Plasma engine.


Nope, the CoD falls into the darker areas of the "legally" grey spectrum. Mainly because they took existing compiled data copied them, and then changed the names of the files and the sequence prefix of the age. But when you look into the prps you can tell that they were not created by anyone at TOC. The SceneNode name doesn't match the age file name is the dead giveaway that those files were just edited from existing Cyan ones. The method I mentioned is reverse engineering the original prps by importing them into a 3d program and recreating them from there. I for instance have made versions of both Laki and Direbo for MOULa from the Myst V prps. By doing it that way I was able to remove all the Myst V related story stuff (The Take's the Keeps, slates etc) as well as make additions to them so that they feel more like ages restored by the DRC.
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Re: Ae'gura Additions

Postby dendwaler » Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:59 am

it's almost impossible to access them because Cyan never cut out the walls behind the doors, and the rock wall (and its collision) is all one giant mesh making minor replacements practically infeasible


I believe it can be possible to make some additions with a minor addition to the existing mesh.
How?
Make a very small region just in front of a door. Force the avatar to be into first person view ,just before entering this area.
The area will act as a warp zone. you will be warped instantly to a new mesh outside the existing mesh.
This new mesh will be build completely into a new prp file.
This new area can contain the inside of a building you want to enter and in fact can be much bigger inside then can be seen from the outside.

Make inside this building another warp zone to warp you back to where you came from.
The warp itself can be very, very fast, so it will give you the feeling that you entered the building.

I have done this trick inside the cathedral i am building, its part of a puzzle there.
But i know that this works, because i have done it.

Putting in just an entering region in the city must be possible , it can be part of the new prp, but may be not allowed either.
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Re: Ae'gura Additions

Postby Deledrius » Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:26 am

dendwaler wrote:
Deledrius wrote: it's almost impossible to access them because Cyan never cut out the walls behind the doors, and the rock wall (and its collision) is all one giant mesh making minor replacements practically infeasible

I believe it can be possible to make some additions with a minor addition to the existing mesh.
How?
Make a very small region just in front of a door. Force the avatar to be into first person view ,just before entering this area.
The area will act as a warp zone. you will be warped instantly to a new mesh outside the existing mesh.

Sure if you start messing with the camera and warping players around you can do all sorts of things, but obviously I wasn't talking about using hacks to fake additions. It's kinda silly to do that just for a door that is otherwise fine, and still isn't always feasible in some places. It also has the unfortunate side-effect of breaking proper functioning of things like the KI's GPS.
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Re: Ae'gura Additions

Postby Nev'yn » Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:16 pm

Okay...so the long/short of it: Yes, in theory, new parts of the city could be opened...But, not really because it would be troublesome and legally grey at best.

So really, opening new parts of the city that just *seem* like they're within Ae'grua is the way to go? (Plus new hoods, ect.)

Lest I forget:
GPNMilano wrote: Nope, the CoD falls into the darker areas of the "legally" grey spectrum. Mainly because they took existing compiled data copied them, and then changed the names of the files and the sequence prefix of the age. But when you look into the prps you can tell that they were not created by anyone at TOC. The SceneNode name doesn't match the age file name is the dead giveaway that those files were just edited from existing Cyan ones. The method I mentioned is reverse engineering the original prps by importing them into a 3d program and recreating them from there. I for instance have made versions of both Laki and Direbo for MOULa from the Myst V prps. By doing it that way I was able to remove all the Myst V related story stuff (The Take's the Keeps, slates etc) as well as make additions to them so that they feel more like ages restored by the DRC.


Huh....Nifty. Hope to hear more from you about this someday!
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