Author Topic: Devblogs added to homepage!  (Read 7990 times)

Offline atrblizzard

  • Administratrix
  • Methuselah
  • *****
  • Posts: 262
Re: Devblogs added to homepage!
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2014, 11:32:41 PM »
I doubt that! Each time a Bloodlines sale happens on Steam, my Unofficial Patch gets downloaded tenthousands of times which I can only think must be due to new players :). Also there is a real retro-vibe going on with all the old games recreated by kickstarters while modern remakes of classics, like Thief 4, failed hard, and Thief 4 has the same lifeless minimalistic white UI as you show now!
As far as I know Thief reboot has an UI customizer, but I truly fail to see the deal with the older Thief games. I never played them, but judging by their screenshots, they don't have much to show either.

Quote
Then offer a choice between the old graphics and the new ones, or use one in the singleplayer and the other in the multiplayer game.
The concepts you've seen are what they are, concepts, they might change it drastically, or get scrapped. The idea behind it was to gain feedback. But it's obviously not a great move to stick with the original UI and not having something of higher image quality to offer. I don't see an issue offering alternatives that people can use.

Quote
Maybe, but then you should redo the original textures in higher resolution and not change them to something completely different, like with the decals. There were artists working at Troika whose work and style you basically throw away now! Is the next step to replace the unique music because it's ten years out of date too?
Some can be redone, but many are impossible to recreate in a 1:1 replica, which can't be left in their current state. Some of them you can see in the latest devblog below.

Meanwhile devblog #8 is up: www.projectvaulderie.com/friday-devblog-8

Offline Wesp5

  • Administratrix
  • Antediluvian
  • *****
  • Posts: 6267
  • Unofficial Patcher
Re: Devblogs added to homepage!
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2014, 08:43:49 AM »
I don't see an issue offering alternatives that people can use.

Offering alternatives would be okay, like with my basic and plus patch or other things you can select while installing it. You could offer the old UI and old graphics for players, who want to keep the old look even if it is at lower resolutions. Because this does worry people: http://steamcommunity.com/app/2600/discussions/0/540740501374041172/#p3

Offline atrblizzard

  • Administratrix
  • Methuselah
  • *****
  • Posts: 262
Re: Devblogs added to homepage!
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2014, 12:06:22 PM »
The old UI is not something we're going to support, as in will be included be as it is.

On the other hand, here are some of the new development blogs, highlights of these are:

Experimenting with physically based shading, reflective surfaces, ambient occlusion and more.
http://www.projectvaulderie.com/friday-devblog-9/

Weapon system demonstration, remade weapons:
http://www.projectvaulderie.com/friday-devblog-10/

Remade new UI, now with 0% Thief reboot:
http://www.projectvaulderie.com/friday-devblog-11/

Hopefully I'll be able to post some more in-game screenshots of all the maps done so far, including some AI action. It became a bit harder for me to record them instead, with being on a faulty card and such, so it'll have for to for now. As much as I'd love to post as many development videos to showcase all the progress (mentioned and unmentioned ones) so far, I would say you will have to wait for either a technical alpha release or some demo release along the line.

Offline atrblizzard

  • Administratrix
  • Methuselah
  • *****
  • Posts: 262
Re: Devblogs added to homepage!
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2014, 11:22:16 PM »
More updates on the project: http://www.projectvaulderie.com/friday-devblog-12/

I'm pretty excited for the multiplayer part of the game now that we're using a new networking that eliminates a lot of the problems we had, especially dealing with lag compensation and animation issues with Mecanim.
The pier map has also gotten a huge chunk of progress done, and might get most of the buildings redone in the meantime.

Offline Wesp5

  • Administratrix
  • Antediluvian
  • *****
  • Posts: 6267
  • Unofficial Patcher
Re: Devblogs added to homepage!
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2014, 03:01:10 PM »
And another one: http://www.projectvaulderie.com/friday-devblog-13/

I didn't like that burnout announcement one bit. Already burned out with just a handful of SM maps done? And no info whether the Ocean House hotel is already playable because the simple level geometry there is nothing compared to the scripting necessary inside! I don't see them completing the whole game ever at that rate and would really suggest to concentrate on the multiplayer to create some working results before the rest of the team burns out as with so many recreations mods already!

Offline atrblizzard

  • Administratrix
  • Methuselah
  • *****
  • Posts: 262
Re: Devblogs added to homepage!
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2014, 07:02:33 PM »
Seems to me you weren't reading all these blogs throughout, so let me give you the details, as this is going to be a lengthy history piece.

After the project was coming along nicely, Stephen had disappeared, which meant I had to take over everything, and since then it was only Teemu and me constantly working on it. A lot of the progress you've seen in those videos remained out of reach. Since we didn't know what happened to him for a very long time, all those progress were lost on my end. And I don't blame him for it either. The whole project is done in our free time, and on top of that, for free.
While Teemu was only working on the graphical assets, I was working on everything else. Coding basic entities like openable doors, lockpicking, and everything else. You would have been able to know about those from the previous development blogs. There are far more work done than those mentioned in the development blog, before I even started doing those. And a lot of stuff weren't mentioned either. I would definitely show more videos about what's been done, but since my current spare GPU isn't powerful enough, it's out the question.

Now for the maps, they are not the same thing as they were in Source. In Unity and any other modern engine, a map is a scene, which is made out of models. Now as you may know, a model has different ways to work. You can't just simply export a map and expect it to run well. They need to be optimized to work, which in Source's case, it gets taken care of VVIS. In this case, they have to be optimized from my end, combining models that share the same materials, or models made out of brushes, like the crates or doors. All have to be exported separately.
And if you never worked with Maya, I assure you, it's very time consuming, especially with the camera setups Maya has, which are not the same as of a FPS camera, like in Hammer. As for The Ocean House map, I assure you, its anything but simple geometry. Different workflow, different expectations, and so on.
If you have ever decompiled the map, you'd see how much of a pain it is to set up the map in a way that they would be connected all together as separate mesh. There is no skybox brush like in Source where you can create a fake sky setting. The whole sky is part of the map, everything that's in the sky will just be further out the map. Once the map parts are properly optimized, you'll have less draw calls. The less you have, the smoother the game run and the less computations the CPU has to do for the GPU.
Now for the multiplayer, as mentioned above with what happened on Stephen's side, if you have read the previous development blog, I also stated that we've went with Bolt, that a) it's fairly new and b) is more efficient and will benefit all of us on the long run.
Photon is a cloud networking engine. The server live in the cloud, which sounds great because you don't have to worry about creating servers, you just create a room and people can join. But it had two major flaws, a) lag. Photon cloud is laggy, everything goes through clusters and if multiple people join in from the same continent or even the country, they'd never have less than 100ms, which is crucial for a FPS game. And b) price, you get 20 CCU for free. That's 20 people who can play on any multiplayer game, which means nobody else could create or join new ones. You can get 100 CCU for $100 and 500 CCU for nearly $40 per month.
And of course, cheaters, because it's easier to create cheats for it, as all logic exists on client and not the server and that creating a server for Photon is much harder to accomplish as they are regular Photon servers not optimized for Unity and that they also have certain limitations. One of the many reasons why we switched to Bolt, is because of its nature of being very close to Source's networking, as being an authoritive solution, that allows you to actually create regular listen and dedicated servers, and connect to them the old fashioned way. Soon enough it should have a lobby matchmaking feature added, so it'd be very similar to Photon's solution. It might take a while but on the long run, it will worth it.

And finally, on a personal matter, the SM maps are not what burned me out. The project is part of it, but not the main cause. I will not go into too much detail, but there are some major changes in my life that need to be taken care of among my health. But this shouldn't affect the rest of the team, as they can put progress into improving map parts/assets.
And to be fair, I'd rather take off time and avoid burnouts for something that is done for free, and on free time. In the end, it doesn't worth the effort no matter how much work or how big the project is, if I always put my health and everything else on the risk, for something like this. It was enough that pressure killed off Troika and Bloodlines, and I would like to avoid the same fate happening. Once again, this is done by labor of love. Development takes time, and without a proper studio or anything, all work can be thrown away with a simple C&D. Assuming things is always easier than understanding how things work.

I can see there isn't much fate coming from here, and I don't assume that will change much in the future.
Sorry for the long rant, but I had to point out the obvious.

Offline Wesp5

  • Administratrix
  • Antediluvian
  • *****
  • Posts: 6267
  • Unofficial Patcher
Re: Devblogs added to homepage!
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2014, 11:12:27 PM »
Seems to me you weren't reading all these blogs throughout, so let me give you the details...

I was reading all of your blogs, but I might have missed something...

Quote
After the project was coming along nicely, Stephen had disappeared, which meant I had to take over everything...

... at least I wasn't aware of that at all. That sounds like bad luck :(!

Quote
If you have ever decompiled the map, you'd see how much of a pain it is to set up the map in a way that they would be connected all together as separate mesh.

I have decompiled Source maps in the meantime and know how hard it is to edit them in Hammer. I can imagine how much work this is, even more in Unity, which is why I always said you should concentrate on smaller projects.

Quote
I also stated that we've went with Bolt, that a) it's fairly new and b) is more efficient and will benefit all of us on the long run.

I wasn't even aware that multiplayer is not included in the normal Unity engine at all!

Quote
And finally, on a personal matter, the SM maps are not what burned me out. The project is part of it, but not the main cause. I will not go into too much detail, but there are some major changes in my life that need to be taken care of among my health.

I can understand that as I experienced something like this myself recently. But then again this was a reason why I always tried to move you into doing multiplayer first or an expansion or something similar. I always feared that it would be hard for only a handful of people to recreate a game in their spare time which already caused one of the best RPG studios to go bust!
« Last Edit: October 05, 2014, 11:14:48 PM by Wesp5 »

Offline Basquiat

  • Fledgling
  • *
  • Posts: 29
Re: Devblogs added to homepage!
« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2014, 01:11:04 AM »
Wesp5, why not offer them your talent to the project portfolio? It would be completed sooner.

Offline Wesp5

  • Administratrix
  • Antediluvian
  • *****
  • Posts: 6267
  • Unofficial Patcher
Re: Devblogs added to homepage!
« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2014, 10:24:46 AM »
Wesp5, why not offer them your talent to the project portfolio? It would be completed sooner.

I already offered them that they can base the project on the UP which they agreed to do. Besides that I am no programer, have no experience with Unity at all and also believe that this is a project that no small group could finish in a reasonable timescale. I'd rather have them concentrate on multiplayer or an expansion that adds new stuff to the game! After all I'm still fixing the game after almost ten years with no ending in sight, how could it be recreated almost from scratch in a much shorter time?

@atrblizzard: If you get back to the game, why not release the Ocean House level as a demo once it is finished? It works fine standalone and with it's great atmosphere and extensive scripting it should be the ultimate test to convert and could show off how the whole game would look in Unity!
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 10:29:15 AM by Wesp5 »

Offline Basquiat

  • Fledgling
  • *
  • Posts: 29
Re: Devblogs added to homepage!
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2014, 12:50:01 PM »
Quote
I already offered them that they can base the project on the UP which they agreed to do. Besides that I am no programer, have no experience with Unity at all and also believe that this is a project that no small group could finish in a reasonable timescale.

I'm sure that you've already been asked this question, but do you know anyone who would be willing to lend the project some spare time? Maybe the Camarilla Edition  crew could lend time — Tessera, perhaps? Literally anybody?

Quote
After all I'm still fixing the game after almost ten years with no ending in sight, how could it be recreated almost from scratch in a much shorter time?

I believe one core reason motivating the porting of the game framework from the outdated Source engine into the Unity 5 engine, is to completely patch the underlining bugs and whatnot that remain out-of-reach regarding the capabilities of the Unofficial Patch. it would certainly settle the requirement for a nonofficial patch to even enjoy the game. The patchwork via-a-vis the UP  has already remedied the bulk of what plagued game-play originally. 

And if I'm not mistaken—whenever a game is ported the program software is re-written to be used in the desired platform, but the source material is simply updated and transferred; making it compatible, and not entirely done from scratch. If that were the case I doubt we would've witnessed marked growth on the project portfolio. I am sure a number of things will be made from scratch, but I do not think that accurately describes what the Project Vauldeire team is doing. They aren't designing an entirely new game but updating it.

Offline Wesp5

  • Administratrix
  • Antediluvian
  • *****
  • Posts: 6267
  • Unofficial Patcher
Re: Devblogs added to homepage!
« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2014, 01:40:57 PM »
I'm sure that you've already been asked this question, but do you know anyone who would be willing to lend the project some spare time?

I think all of the main modders know about Project Vaulderie by now and would have offered to help if they had the time and knowledge.

Quote
I believe one core reason motivating the porting of the game framework from the outdated Source engine into the Unity 5 engine, is to completely patch the underlining bugs and whatnot that remain out-of-reach regarding the capabilities of the Unofficial Patch.

Of course, but I think they seriously underestimate the new issues that a port alone can produce which then have to be patched all over again. Also another motive was that the new version would be easier to mod, but I don't think this is a very valid reason either because the Bloodlines SDK has been around for some time now and no new levels have appeared besides the two UP map restorations. Compare that to the HL2 community which is still active after the same time! I have the impression the Bloodlines community would very much like to have a sequel or a recreation but indeed few people are willing to do something for it...

Quote
And if I'm not mistaken—whenever a game is ported the program software is re-written to be used in the desired platform, but the source material is simply updated and transferred; making it compatible, and not entirely done from scratch.

That was an advantage when they originally planned to port it to a newer Source engine and while there is some automatic convertion of maps possible with Unity too, atrblizzard's posting above explains that it is much more work to actually add the rest of the needed stuff because the way Unity does things is very different from the way Source does.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 01:50:04 PM by Wesp5 »

Offline atrblizzard

  • Administratrix
  • Methuselah
  • *****
  • Posts: 262
Re: Devblogs added to homepage!
« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2014, 08:30:04 PM »
Incoming long wallpost for clarification's sake:

... at least I wasn't aware of that at all. That sounds like bad luck :(!

The project suffered some setbacks but that didn't stop it from progressing.

I have decompiled Source maps in the meantime and know how hard it is to edit them in Hammer. I can imagine how much work this is, even more in Unity, which is why I always said you should concentrate on smaller projects.

Not all maps are time consuming to port, some are more and some are not. The thing is, when I started porting the maps, I had an awful workflow for it that didn't speed up the process too much. But I have found a very suitable workflow to speed up the process, so it shouldn't take as much time as before.
I even wrote a script in Unity to help me with populating the map with all its props. Which means I don't have to add them manually, which again speeds up the process drastically.

I wasn't even aware that multiplayer is not included in the normal Unity engine at all!

It does, but it's a terrible one. Photon is slightly better, but not as great as Bolt is for its authoritive server approach. Especially not with proper dedicated and listen server.

I can understand that as I experienced something like this myself recently. But then again this was a reason why I always tried to move you into doing multiplayer first or an expansion or something similar. I always feared that it would be hard for only a handful of people to recreate a game in their spare time which already caused one of the best RPG studios to go bust!

Multiplayer wouldn't work without the base components being done. They have to be done simultanously with the single player. While most of them was built with Photon, it isn't too much work switching to Bolt, because the idea behind the networking is similar, they only require additional tweaking. The multiplayer for Resurgence was nothing more than a mere Counter-Strike clone and I would like to not repeat the same mistake again.

After all I'm still fixing the game after almost ten years with no ending in sight, how could it be recreated almost from scratch in a much shorter time?

Having the assets already done gets us far, the only thing that needs to be taken care of is the main gameplay to be fully finished, which means everything code-wise and the scenes to be stitched together.

If you get back to the game, why not release the Ocean House level as a demo once it is finished? It works fine standalone and with it's great atmosphere and extensive scripting it should be the ultimate test to convert and could show off how the whole game would look in Unity!

The original plan for us was to release a fully working multiplayer demo for the Santa Monica map because it was already done, minus the Pier map, but then the back luck hit us and the project underwent on some major changes. There are constant changes that are getting done, in order to get everything going. A lot of things are linked to eachother, but most of them are finished already. Probably the Ocean House as a whole example should suffice it and restore some faith.

And if I'm not mistaken—whenever a game is ported the program software is re-written to be used in the desired platform, but the source material is simply updated and transferred; making it compatible, and not entirely done from scratch. If that were the case I doubt we would've witnessed marked growth on the project portfolio. I am sure a number of things will be made from scratch, but I do not think that accurately describes what the Project Vauldeire team is doing. They aren't designing an entirely new game but updating it.

Absolutely, every asset from Source can be ported to Unity, as Unity works in loose files when working with the editor. Converting the maps isn't a hard thing either, just time consuming for some parts. One of the major problems is the skybox issue, which means that everything that is in the skybox has to be moved and scaled properly to fit the main map. That works well on many maps, except for Ocean House for example. The other being the inner parts of the buildings. Some can be combined to be one building, while others are larger in the inside, which can be resolved with several ways. As for new or rebuilt models, that's the rest of the team and the new recruits to focus on. They will grow substancially, but that's beside my main focus. Once it gets to a decent baseline, then we can consider putting more focus on that.

Of course, but I think they seriously underestimate the new issues that a port alone can produce which then have to be patched all over again. Also another motive was that the new version would be easier to mod, but I don't think this is a very valid reason either because the Bloodlines SDK has been around for some time now and no new levels have appeared besides the two UP map restorations. Compare that to the HL2 community which is still active after the same time! I have the impression the Bloodlines community would very much like to have a sequel or a recreation but indeed few people are willing to do something for it...

I can see why, there are a few modding communities out there who are also interested in Bloodlines. The current SDK tools have certain issues that most likely to drive away any interest. On the other hand, ever since the project switched to Unity, it has received far more attention, especially from modelers, just because of the current map pipeline. Because maps are ported into meshes, they enable far more possibilities to create new buildings or improve the current ones, because the workflow on creating new assets in a modeling tool is far better than of a mapping tool like Hammer. You'd be surprised to know people find modeling easier to create high detailed buildings. But that doesn't mean someone without modeling skills wouldn't be able to create their own levels. There are always tools like Google Sketchup, or free AutoCad software that can be used to create quite impressive results. The possibilities are endless.

That was an advantage when they originally planned to port it to a newer Source engine and while there is some automatic convertion of maps possible with Unity too, atrblizzard's posting above explains that it is much more work to actually add the rest of the needed stuff because the way Unity does things is very different from the way Source does.

Source had a few advantage over that, but there's more to the project than just the maps alone. The biggest focus was put on code, while everything had to be written from scratch, it received far more progress in just a few months than it ever had on Source. There are a lot of features I would like to showcase soon enough, hopefully to restore faith in the project. By contrair, Unity allows a much faster development and pipeline,

I just don't see why this all of this is suddently considered a bad news, development takes time and we are making a lot of progress over these last months, moreso than we ever did with Resurgence. And things are only going to get better from here. It just so happen that we're caught in the middle of progression so to speak. One of the groundbreaking changes and easing our production is the move to Unity 5 once its out, to eliminate the issues we have mentioned in previous devblogs, and added features for Bolt.

Offline Basquiat

  • Fledgling
  • *
  • Posts: 29
Re: Devblogs added to homepage!
« Reply #27 on: October 07, 2014, 02:05:28 AM »
I just don't see why this all of this is suddenly considered a bad news, development takes time and we are making a lot of progress over these last months, more-so than we ever did with Resurgence.

It isn't, Atrblizzard. Wesp5 and Tessera are very attached to the game because they've devoted countless precious hours of their spare-time and almost a solid decade of effort to repair and enhance the game-play experience of an unappreciated masterpiece — even when contending with the contemporary genre of RPG. It is an awesome announcement:

  • 2 new people joined the team;
  • Tier 1 development is near completion

Do you have a trademark logo? I could go around asking help from various moderators and making presentations.



Offline Wesp5

  • Administratrix
  • Antediluvian
  • *****
  • Posts: 6267
  • Unofficial Patcher
Re: Devblogs added to homepage!
« Reply #28 on: October 07, 2014, 09:36:21 AM »
I even wrote a script in Unity to help me with populating the map with all its props. Which means I don't have to add them manually, which again speeds up the process drastically.

That's great to hear! I hope you take the UP maps for this, because over the years I have fixed a lot of props that were floating or had similar minor map related issues...

Quote
Having the assets already done gets us far, the only thing that needs to be taken care of is the main gameplay to be fully finished, which means everything code-wise and the scenes to be stitched together.

But that's exactly what I meant. When I started patching I had the full assets and code and everything too and I still am not finished with removing the bugs that come from it being stitched together badly! Most of the errors where due to bad entity/Python/dialogue/stats connections and as far as I know this is still part of what has to be redone completely for your project because Unity uses other script mechanism altogether.

Quote
Probably the Ocean House as a whole example should suffice it and restore some faith.

That was my idea! After you announced that multiplayer wouldn't be out soon due to Stephens departure, I thought that the Ocean House map is probably the best single player level in the game and would be a good showcase. I'm also curious about how good the Unity engine really can look, because I have only seen some Indie games and Deus Ex: The Fall yet and I wasn't impressed. Certainly not by the facial animations which are so important to Bloodlines! Although sadly you won't see those at all in the Ocean House...

Quote
I can see why, there are a few modding communities out there who are also interested in Bloodlines. The current SDK tools have certain issues that most likely to drive away any interest.

On the other hand there are still dozends of people out there using the same old Hammer editor to create great HL2 maps, so the SDK tools as such are not the main problem!

Quote
On the other hand, ever since the project switched to Unity, it has received far more attention, especially from modelers, just because of the current map pipeline.

Creating models like weapons is one thing, but creating a whole new map is another. Do you know of any current Unity games that already have custom maps?

Quote
I just don't see why this all of this is suddently considered a bad news, development takes time and we are making a lot of progress over these last months, moreso than we ever did with Resurgence.

The bad news for me were that you need to pause because of burnout and Stephen went missing altogether. As far as I know you two are the main guys behind the project...
« Last Edit: October 07, 2014, 09:49:36 AM by Wesp5 »

Offline Basquiat

  • Fledgling
  • *
  • Posts: 29
Re: Devblogs added to homepage!
« Reply #29 on: October 07, 2014, 01:58:44 PM »
I'm also curious about how good the Unity engine really can look, because I have only seen some Indie games and Deus Ex: The Fall yet and I wasn't impressed. Certainly not by the facial animations which are so important to Bloodlines! Although sadly you won't see those at all in the Ocean House...

You must be a difficult man to please then, Wesp5.  :razz:

I've search YouTube and seen a couple of awesome clips showcasing the new Unity 5 engine, and it is nice. I don't see an issue with choosing Unity 5, esp. if it decreases the workload.

Quote
The bad news for me were that you need to pause because of burnout and Stephen went missing altogether. As far as I know you two are the main guys behind the project...

Now that you mention Stephen, he was on the forum a day or so ago, Wesp5. I have no idea why he decided to opt-out of the project, but it may appear that he might return. I realize that the project is something done out of devotion, but it doesn't sit well that he simply left.

It's only fair that Atrblizzard decided to take a break from the project, Wesp5: he has been made to lead the thing. Besides, work will continue during his absence.