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Offline Psycho-A

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Bloodlines SDK: Help wanted!
« on: August 09, 2017, 05:14:31 pm »
Hello all Kindred!

As you know, I'm developing the Bloodlines SDK, the toolkit for Bloodlines modding.

For now, during my troubled life, I have not much time and opportunities to continue deep developing works on SDK, especially programmer's part, in which I'm still not so good enough - so, I just wanted to attract some people that interested in the future fate of the project, and Bloodlines modding as a whole. All other developers had abandoned their works, but the SDK is still have a lot of unsolved issues I can't solve myself - that's why I'll be glad ANY possible help!

Here are list of most important goals and issues:

1) Vtmb's MDL format is different that HL2Beta's one, and it's not enough reversed by us, so it's not possible to view or handle model animations in the Hammer or Model Viewer, and it's impossible to compile animated models at all.

2) We also have some problems with bones placement and hitboxes structures; as result, compiled models have no NPC collitions or have incorrect origins. Only single-boned prop models with Type 0 (uncompressed) may be compiled with limitations for now.

3) BSP compilers can't compile the water brushes (water is not drawing in game). Something's different in water lump structure between HL2Beta and Vtmb, and I can't find, what.

4) Something in Vtmb's BSP structures interrupts to use precipitation particles (like rain) - they just stucks not being penetrate inside the world, like it's bounded with some collision.

5) VRAD map compiler have serious drawback - we can't get adequate shadows from prop_static complex non-convex models, because only convex hull or collision mesh uses for projecting lightmaps (because of this we need to disable prop_static shadows at all, and artificially create brush models with shadow texture around it, to get a correct shadowsfrom objects like gratings, shelves etc).

6) Game's entity data for using in Hammer were obtained just by way of learning existing guides and source .vmf files, so some entities and its properties are still unknown, excess or missing. To made it as objective as possible, the reversing of client and server DLLs data required which I can't do myself as well...

7) For comfort work, the Hammer editor requires the next features from newer Source's versions:
- Auto VisGroups by entity types;
- Sound subsystem for quick realtime choosing required sound from existing file system;
- Built-in model browser for the same kind of purposes (it's really hard);
- Drawing model's wireframes in 2D-cameras.
All of these goals have a source code from src2007, but it's hard for me to port this, especially using Visual Studio 6 (98) which is able to compile the SDK code only.

8) Made ability for Model Browser export models as SMD+QC (for compiler) or .X (for Blender editing).

9) Make FacePoser work and load models with facial animations and gestures to directly manage .vcd and lipsync files.

10) Make Hammer and Model Viewer directly load game content from its VPK files. Source code for VPK format is easy and presented, but it's hard to integrate it for all FileSystem's elements.

I know there are people here that are good in programming, modelling and game reversing, so please, if you have some time, don't pass it by..

The source code is uploaded on the SDK page on P.V., and there is the link to the workable portable VS98 for compiling. Also, there are some instructions in the SDK's readme file. Ask me about anything you interested, I'll answer you all the time.

Thank you for your attention.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 05:21:53 pm by Psycho-A »

Offline Morslyte

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Re: Bloodlines SDK: Help wanted!
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2017, 12:23:32 am »
I don't know either how to program nor how to design, but if there is anything, anything that I can do, I'd be glad to help in anyway I can.
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Offline Psycho-A

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Re: Bloodlines SDK: Help wanted!
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2017, 05:06:14 pm »
I don't know either how to program nor how to design, but if there is anything, anything that I can do, I'd be glad to help in anyway I can.
For now that's all we need to get the SDK complete.
However, if you know well about the game entities and their parameters, inputs and outputs, you just may help to figure out, which each of them does and means. In Hammer editor there are still lots of properties marked "unknown" or "untested". Or you just may look at them more deployed, just opening files with vampire*.fgd files (using notepad) inside of SDKBinaries directory. It's not a programmer's part.

Offline InTech

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Re: Bloodlines SDK: Help wanted!
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2017, 09:12:45 pm »
Tweeted the thread on my Twitter, hope that helps.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 09:15:51 pm by InTech »

Offline Psycho-A

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Re: Bloodlines SDK: Help wanted!
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2017, 04:37:14 pm »
Tweeted the thread on my Twitter, hope that helps.
Thanks! I don't use Twitter, so if there will be some movement, please, let me know.

Offline Morslyte

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Re: Bloodlines SDK: Help wanted!
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2017, 11:07:48 pm »
I don't know either how to program nor how to design, but if there is anything, anything that I can do, I'd be glad to help in anyway I can.
For now that's all we need to get the SDK complete.
However, if you know well about the game entities and their parameters, inputs and outputs, you just may help to figure out, which each of them does and means. In Hammer editor there are still lots of properties marked "unknown" or "untested". Or you just may look at them more deployed, just opening files with vampire*.fgd files (using notepad) inside of SDKBinaries directory. It's not a programmer's part.

I don't even know what that is! XD

Isn't there anything else that isn't techy?
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Offline InTech

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Re: Bloodlines SDK: Help wanted!
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2017, 10:41:48 pm »
Tweeted the thread on my Twitter, hope that helps.
Thanks! I don't use Twitter, so if there will be some movement, please, let me know.

I'm pretty new to it really, so we'll see but hopefully if we spread the net out wide and others do the same on social media we will find interest.
Any chance of this getting Front Paged/Tweeted on the official Planet Vampire social media channels?
« Last Edit: August 15, 2017, 11:23:46 pm by InTech »

Offline Morslyte

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Re: Bloodlines SDK: Help wanted!
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2017, 12:09:36 am »
Tweeted the thread on my Twitter, hope that helps.
Thanks! I don't use Twitter, so if there will be some movement, please, let me know.

I'm pretty new to it really, so we'll see but hopefully if we spread the net out wide and others do the same on social media we will find interest.
Any chance of this getting Front Paged/Tweeted on the official Planet Vampire social media channels?

I have a group for VtM, I could ad it for you there if you want. Send me whatever you need by PM. Or go in there and tell about it. Link is below \/.
Join the Confession Club on Discord, a place for VtM fans and players!

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Offline MadamePhoenica

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Re: Bloodlines SDK: Help wanted!
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2017, 05:56:07 pm »
For now that's all we need to get the SDK complete.
However, if you know well about the game entities and their parameters, inputs and outputs, you just may help to figure out, which each of them does and means. In Hammer editor there are still lots of properties marked "unknown" or "untested". Or you just may look at them more deployed, just opening files with vampire*.fgd files (using notepad) inside of SDKBinaries directory. It's not a programmer's part.

I might end up having a look at these as I explore Hammer editor more. If I discover anything important, I'll post it in this topic

Offline Psycho-A

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Re: Bloodlines SDK: Help wanted!
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2017, 06:51:52 am »
However, if you know well about the game entities and their parameters, inputs and outputs, you just may help to figure out, which each of them does and means. In Hammer editor there are still lots of properties marked "unknown" or "untested". Or you just may look at them more deployed, just opening files with vampire*.fgd files (using notepad) inside of SDKBinaries directory. It's not a programmer's part.
I might end up having a look at these as I explore Hammer editor more. If I discover anything important, I'll post it in this topic
Thanks, it would be very useful help. You better send me your results via PM since it would be nice to keep first posts of this topic quickly available for new readers.

Offline MadamePhoenica

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Re: Bloodlines SDK: Help wanted!
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2017, 01:14:30 pm »
At this point I haven't learned much, anyway. I've been testing out some of those unknown flags, but so far they don't seem to do anything. More extensive testing will be done over time

Online thewarsend

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Re: Bloodlines SDK: Help wanted!
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2022, 07:41:43 pm »
I am just going to resurrect this thread with the hope of someone who can actually fix the SDK may see it.

Offline Psycho-A

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Re: Bloodlines SDK: Help wanted!
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2022, 12:56:03 pm »
I am just going to resurrect this thread with the hope of someone who can actually fix the SDK may see it.
Hi!
Ah, I would be very happy to return to development and solving all these problems if I didn't have so many personal problems, deep depression period, and generally remembered all the nuances of the code and its bugs, that I forgot during all this time :(. I suppose I would have to re-study most of the code now, in order to refresh my knowledge and constructively return to the point where everything was stopped...

And, as I can see, everything's stopped without me too, and noone was advanced a bit in that direction... Perhaps the code is too old for 2022, and there are no old-school Source Engine guys left for now, at least who interested in VtMB. And it's very sad...
« Last Edit: October 08, 2022, 01:04:36 pm by Psycho-A »

Online thewarsend

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Re: Bloodlines SDK: Help wanted!
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2022, 05:18:35 pm »
Hi!

It is great to see you here again.
Like you said, everything here stopped without you. As you know, I tried to dig a little deeper and figure out what causes some of our issues with the SDK, but since you are the only one who understands how to work with the source code we couldn't even test if fixing the things I found would fix the issues with the SDK or not. In your absence, we tried reaching out to a few people, but no one was able to help. On the bright side, if you ever decide to come back to work on the SDK again, I am sure it will all come back to you.

I am only jokingly saying this of course, but finally completing the SDK might even help with your depression, it is your white whale after all.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2022, 08:43:30 pm by Wesp5 »

Offline Norrwin

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Re: Bloodlines SDK: Help wanted!
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2022, 10:07:22 pm »
Hi!
Ah, I would be very happy to return to development and solving all these problems if I didn't have so many personal problems, deep depression period, and generally remembered all the nuances of the code and its bugs, that I forgot during all this time :(. I suppose I would have to re-study most of the code now, in order to refresh my knowledge and constructively return to the point where everything was stopped...

And, as I can see, everything's stopped without me too, and noone was advanced a bit in that direction... Perhaps the code is too old for 2022, and there are no old-school Source Engine guys left for now, at least who interested in VtMB. And it's very sad...
It is good to see you here. I don't know about depression except that it can be very bad. I do know something about how difficult it is trying to return to projects though as I have several mods on several platforms. If feels a little tougher switching around every time I have to do it.
I have gotten a tremendous amount of enjoyment out of modding with the SDK. About a week ago I released an update to one of my mods and this is what I had to say about the SDK in the credits:
Quote
Even more important from a modding standpoint is the Bloodlines SDK and the people who make it. For this version I have to further emphasize how important the SDK was. With this version I pushed the boundaries of what is possible more that before and the SDK supported those experiments with some great tools and features that I had not previously investigated/used.

I do feel like some progress has been made on the VTMB modding scene. I would call it progress on the SDK but I guess that depends on how SDK is defined. I have a video to share where I'm trying to showcase some of what I consider progress. The last guy was a broken VTMB model decompiled into SMDs + VTA + QC, fixed, then recompiled into Alien Swarm with all the VTA data intact, then ported back into VTMB. Sadly, the VTA data was lost porting it back.


 

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