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Author Topic: Bloodlines Santa Monica  (Read 6843 times)

Offline Signothorn

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Re: Bloodlines Santa Monica
« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2017, 06:45:38 PM »
That's my point. Going through 'proper channels' is always a mistake. What do people expect, that the corporate lawyers of the huge corporation answer 'yes' when people ask to make use of their IP, even if they're legally allowed to do so? Of course they say no; even if only to cover their ass. At least sending a actual Cease and Desist order has legal risks and proactivity, so it's less likely to happen.

Well, it was being heavily promoted, and CCP had already taken notice. As I said, I'm not certain who started the dialog, but it needed to happen. If you're saying AtrBlizzard should have tried to sneak out a new version of Bloodlines on a new engine under the radar without Activision noticing, I'm glad he didn't: 1. Follow your advice and just ignore the rules and the underlying spirit of our longstanding community. 2. Bust his butt with his team to complete it with many more man hours, only to have Activision shut it down after, as they had complete publishing rights. 

The result of this dialog has actually brought about some potential good things in the future that I cannot discuss yet, and we also got accepted into the Dark Path. Again, our community would never have tolerated your proposal, and it wouldn't have ended well for AtrBlizzard or our community.

Offline SCO

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Re: Bloodlines Santa Monica
« Reply #31 on: April 29, 2017, 12:50:40 AM »
If you idear was true, scummvm would have 'asked for permission' of lucasarts back in 2001 after it started, got told 'no' by a conservative out of touch lawyer team and then they'd have lost the opportunity to collaborate with lucasarts much much later after they proved they had the right stuff to put out the right product (DOS rereleases of monkey and some others use a version of scummvm DOS).
Another example is Beamdog hiring gemrb people, though i hear they kind of regret getting hired eheh.

Not asking for permission doesn't invalidate asking for collaboration later (admittedly, in this case it would be difficult to monetize, because 2 entities would be involved). It in fact makes it more probable because the product actually exists.

Fan projects like these should always always not get lawyers involved because their whole approach is to minimize risks and be conservative. If you have to approach someone, go straight to the top if you know the person and he or she is a cool dude or dudette, otherwise you're just increasing by 400% the chances of getting shot down. Especially with big corporations.

As a aside, i find the idea of 'asking for permission' for stuff that is consumer rights, kind of pedantic. Own two games and want to port levels from one to another? Fair use unless assets are distributed. Porting uses patch process that doesn't distribute assets? Fair use.

But ok, sure this discussion is not constructive because this is ancient history. Agree to disagree and all that.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2017, 09:16:10 PM by Wesp5 »

Offline _IZAC_

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Re: Bloodlines Santa Monica
« Reply #32 on: April 29, 2017, 09:02:48 PM »
It's interesting to know what happened, but yeah its history. Regardless, if it where me I would certainly go down the path of staying under the radar. Once something is out there on the internet that's that.

Offline Wesp5

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Re: Bloodlines Santa Monica
« Reply #33 on: April 29, 2017, 09:38:34 PM »
Regardless, if it where me I would certainly go down the path of staying under the radar.

If I remember correctly atrblizzard did this as first, because there were several iterations of the Bloodlines remake that nobody cared about. Only after switching the engine and asking for donations CDC reacted! Whether he contacted them before or not I don't know, but he did talk with them afterwards and he did talk with the current IP holder Paradox/WW. And hopefully something better than just a remake will come out of it ;)!

Offline atrblizzard

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Re: Bloodlines Santa Monica
« Reply #34 on: April 30, 2017, 10:21:47 AM »

I think it's high time to clear some things out that I have been holding back for a reason. While donations might or might not be the reason why we got a C&D, as they were to keep the server up for both the website and the multiplayer backend service we had in place.

During that time, I had contacted a former Troika member to ask a few questions regarding cut content and some technical engine related questions. Hours later I've got a C&D letter from CCP Games. I am still not 100% convinced if this just pure coincidence, because I personally woudn't believe a former developer who worked on the game, not to mention who has shown interest and support for us in the past to have had anything to do with this.

Lastly, there are various things I clearly can't talk about for the time being, but the case isn't completely shot yet, just that there's no proper middle ground at the time. All I can say is, when you get in contact with the company who owns the IP, you do want to find a mutual solution that benefits everyone, not to mention ensure future collaborations. And I still support the idea of going through proper channels because it definitely brings great benefits just for the project alone, ensuring proper support for the future and ultimately being more than just a fan project. There's clearly a lot of hate message with Activision as I can see, but things aren't as grim as it might seem, which again I cannot discuss.

Offline IanW

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Re: Bloodlines Santa Monica
« Reply #35 on: April 30, 2017, 01:53:24 PM »
This is about where I expected things were. Thanks! Keep us in the loop when you can. :)
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Offline Uradamus

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Re: Bloodlines Santa Monica
« Reply #36 on: June 09, 2017, 05:30:48 PM »
I love the idea of remaking some maps from Bloodlines in Blender and importing them into Godot! I've been a hobbyist 3D modeler for about 16 years now and Blender has been my drug of choice for the past decade or so. I've also been following the development of Godot since before it was released and am really excited about its future with the 3.0 update to the backend that will bring us some pretty sweet modern 3D rendering features.

I'm more of a scripter when it comes to coding, so not sure I would be much help on setting up the character controller or physics stuff, which has been the big reason I haven't dived to far into Godot myself yet beyond getting acquainted with the basics. But I might be able to help with some of the other stuff, like event triggers and what have you.

Though I am more interested in the graphical assets side of things. Lately I've been messing around with getting more into digital sculpting with Blender and I also spent the past few days figuring out how to get models/anims/textures out of Bloodlines, so I have access to most all of the assets for reference now, (though I am a long long ways from getting everything imported to .blend files).

So if you are interested in collaborating at all, I'd be down for helping remake some stuff. I can do high poly sculpted models to have something to use for baking out normals and such, as well as retopo them down to low-to-mid poly game ready models.

Creating original textures is an area I don't have much experience in, but I do have a graphics tablet and a decent working knowledge of most of the big open source raster programs (MyPaint, Krita, GIMP). It is an area I really want to finally tackle properly, so it could be useful to have some goals to work toward with existing props and buildings as reference to work against while practicing my skills.

Offline _IZAC_

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Re: Bloodlines Santa Monica
« Reply #37 on: June 23, 2017, 02:23:02 AM »
That would be cool man. I havn't used any previous godot versions, so it'll be a jump into the deep end with 3.0.

In an attempt to keep my goals realistic, at the moment the intention is just Santa Monica without anything else - graphics and music only.

It would be cool to get some of the bloodlines characters models in there though. So far my extraction attempts have left me with multiple models (all the different levels of detail) stacked one upon the other with no easy way to separate them.

Side question for you - what's your experience with sculpting in Blender been like? I've stuck to the old fashioned box modelling for characters though I mostly do pretty geometric environments without much organic stuff. The one time I tried sculpting in Blender (many years ago) it was pretty fiddly and slow.

Offline Uradamus

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Re: Bloodlines Santa Monica
« Reply #38 on: June 23, 2017, 01:55:02 PM »
I've recently started to sculpt with Blender and I really like it so far. I've tried a few times in the past and had less than stellar experiences like you. But it has got a lot better at some point since then. Plus I forced myself to use my graphics tablet for sculpting which made it far more enjoyable. I've mostly been messing around with more organic sculpting using dyntopo.

I also use the blender sculpt tools addon; it has a number of useful shortcut features. It basically gives you faster access to a number of things that normally take several steps, like applying mods to everything selected, access to boolean operations without having to set up a modifier. You can just select a couple shapes, hit the union button, and boom you've got a single mesh with all intersecting bits deleted and the intersecting edges stitched together. Plus some other assorted tools thrown in for good measure, it can be found here: https://github.com/MadMinstrel/blender-sculpt-tools

The following is a great intro video going over sculpting and it was where I first heard about the above mentioned addon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZnUgt659oI

Character models and animations are actually one thing I've had some decent luck with getting out of Bloodlines so far. Surprisingly enough, Crowbar seems to do a pretty good job of converting the character models and animations. They will take a ton of work to setup properly for use in Godot, and I would probably have to redo the physics bits on skirts and what have you from scratch, but otherwise all the models I've checked out so far have imported cleanly with rigs intact and imported animations worked just fine. I did have to manually add in textures, but the UVs were already in place. The materials can be a bit of a hassle though, since they seem to use alpha channels to represent different things. The main color textures some times have an alpha that is meant to be used for glowing bits, but most of the normal maps have an alpha as well. I'm not sure what, if anything, those are used for. A lot of the models have kinda crap weight painting too, especially around the hands, they are good enough for their own animations, but most would likely have issues if you tried to do custom animations or use a lot of the more complex generic shared animations with them. One big issue though is expressions, I have no idea how to get those converted to Blender shape keys so far.

The maps are what I've been having the most trouble with, getting BSP files to SMDs with proper UVs that I can import into Blender has been proving difficult. The best I've got so far is having a map imported as one big mesh with tons of empty vertex groups and no UVs, they give me a good idea of the basic layout/proportions, but without being able to easily get them textured properly, they are of limited use. They also don't come in with any sort of markers telling where props/npcs belong, so all of that has to be found manually in those files that list the props and their positions. I've also had mixed results with importing props, some I can convert properly and get them imported, but others come in with screwed up proportions, like having all z values zeroed out and weird stuff like that. Though I had better luck when I tried using the converted prop files I was able to pull from a copy of Resurgence I came across, which luckily enough covers all the Santa Monica related maps.