New to creating mods.

Discussion in 'Game Modifications' started by archvilell, Dec 18, 2004.

  1. archvilell

    archvilell Newbie

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    I've got a great idea for a mod and am itching to get working on it. The only problem is... I have no idea what kind of work it entails, the caliber of code-writing knowledge required, or practically anything. I'm worse than a newb in the sense that I don't even know enough to know that I don't know.

    Where does a person like me start off? What pages have great tutorials and are newb friendly? Can it be done by one person or is it the norm to have a team do it? Any tips on anything would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Ennui

    Ennui The Freeman

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    Let's put it this way: it entails a TON of work. You have to make all new models, maps, a game fgd, code everything, design everything down to it's most minute nuances, theres sooo much.
     
  3. archvilell

    archvilell Newbie

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    Hmm. I knew I'd have to make new maps and such, but what is wrong with using HL2 models? I don't plan on selling it or anything, but does it still infringe on copyright laws? My idea was to make Opposing Force 2, and I was going to email Valve to see if it was ok to use their name and models and such. I don't know much about copyrights.

    What is a game fgd? How do I make it? What all do I have to code? (You don't have to answer all these, just a website to go to learn more would be superb.)
     
  4. archvilell

    archvilell Newbie

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    The more I think about this, the more I realize that I know absolutly nothing about C++, and since that appears to be the majority of mod work, I'm getting kinda scared off.

    All I really wanted to do was play new maps with a few new guns, but have the same engine and everything.
     
  5. Ennui

    Ennui The Freeman

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    C++ is not the majority of mod work unless it uses models and maps from a mod. If you just want to make new maps and guns, then you still need to model them and make the maps, which is a ton of work as it is, plus coding for the guns.

    Coding isn't my area, but a few maps and guns is going to be a hefty chunk of work for one person.

    mapping tutorials are great at TWHL: http://cariad.co.za/twhl and Snark Pit www.snarkpit.com
     
  6. archvilell

    archvilell Newbie

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    Well, it wouldn't be completely by myself, as I know a guy is is awesome at Maya and another who knows some C++, and yet another who is good at programming as well as is a guitarist. So I could make maps (the only thing I have experience in) and get some help with the rest.

    That is, if Valve will even let me do this (I emailed them about the OF2 thing).
     
  7. archvilell

    archvilell Newbie

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    Hmm. It seems I'm going to need some new programs to do this. I just downloaded a free version of XSI for people like me who want to experiment with modding, but I think I need "Microsoft Visual C++ .NET 2003 v7.1." According to the SDK documentation, that's what I should be using to code. Well, that program is a hundred dollars... anyone know where I can get a free download (freeware, not an illegal version)?
     
  8. MojoChiba

    MojoChiba Guest

    There's a page that lists information on compilers that have been known to work with the HL2 code, in hopes to find a cost efective way to play with the software.. they include.. oh wait, just found the page.. check it here:
    http://www.defiant00.com/HL2Mods/
     
  9. dawdler

    dawdler Newbie

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    That probably wont be any problem... Most of it is copy and paste, especially if we are talking "conventional" weaponry, like the ones already in HL2.

    Regarding the scope of the mod in general and the "work it entails", its all about how you want it to be recieved.

    If you want thousands of people to play it, rate 90% in reviewers score and have a webpage filled with rabid fans constantly asking "When is the new version coming? When is the new version coming? When is the new version coming?", then yes, that is a crapload of work and you are doomed to fail.

    If its a pet project you dont give a damn about how other people percieve, just do it! You got to start somewhere. Whether it BECOMES something like above is another matter.

    Can it be done by one person? Yes it can, assuming you dont have very high standards, just ambition. You wont be able to do a total conversion alone... Or at least not very good. If you think games 6 years ago, maybe ;)
     
  10. archvilell

    archvilell Newbie

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    I've built the beginnings of my first level. How do I compile and run it. With CS:S, all I had to do was compile and it would autorun. However, with my mod, it opens HL2 (rightfully so, as my game is a mod) but I can't go to my level. If I go to New Game, it doesn't show any chapters. I guess my question ends up being how do I incorporate a work-in-progress map into a playable area temporarily? I just want to check it for bugs and whatnot.
     
  11. Ennui

    Ennui The Freeman

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    make sure its in your maps directory and then open the console and type "map mapname" minus the quotation marks and replace mapname with your map's name
     
  12. archvilell

    archvilell Newbie

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    Thanks a ton. Works now. Got another question though. How would I make a Combine non-hostile and a Resistance hostile?
     
  13. Red15

    Red15 Guest

    My guess would be you'd have to code for that.
    I've read this article [sourcewiki.org] which explains on how to make a basic AI NPC.

    In the code listing you find the point where they set the relationships:
    PHP:
    // Crab hates player, set to D_FR to see it run away from player
    AddClassRelationshipCLASS_PLAYERD_HT);
    Try reading the full article and learn a lot from it.
    The article itself has some problems setting correct collision for the headcrab they're trying to create, but since you are trying to make simple human npc's, their collision fields should be somewhat easier to set (don't look at me for this).

    Also for an overview of the D_* relations I'd guess you could find some header in the sourcecode. Should be pretty self-explaining.

    Hope this helps you started, let me know how it turns out.
     
  14. Red15

    Red15 Guest

    Addon:

    For example, these I found by searching for "AddClassRelationship" in the sdk directory :

    src\dlls\hl2_dll\npc_crow.cpp
    PHP:
    // We don't mind zombies so much. They smell good!
    AddClassRelationshipCLASS_ZOMBIED_NU);
    Also check out src\dlls\ai_basenpc.cpp where you can see this giant statement with all sorts of D_* cases in it.

    *Edit*

    Sorry about this many posts, but i was kinda looking for it myself.

    I've found the defines. :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :thumbs:
    src\dlls\basecombatcharacter.h
    PHP:
    enum Disposition_t 
    {
        
    D_ER,        // Undefined - error
        
    D_HT,        // Hate
        
    D_FR,        // Fear
        
    D_LI,        // Like
        
    D_NU        // Neutral
    };
     
  15. archvilell

    archvilell Newbie

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    I'll reuse this thread rather than start a new one.

    How do I go about changing the HEV model? The original is Gordon's suit (obviously), but I want to make it a Combine's uniform. How would I replace the image, and what program would I use to do it? Once it's changed, how do I change the HUD display color? I have no idea how do this, and any info would help.
     
  16. Red15

    Red15 Guest

    Now for the HEV suit itself, it isn't just part of a model, no wait actually it is but it's put inside a seperate model, in other words : it's not a decapitated Gordon. It's a clone of Gordon gone haywire :p

    So you'd have to duplicate the model of a combine i'd guess and place that model somewhere in the map.

    HUD colors require a complete redesign of the hud then. Not sure if you can edit the colors themselves directly.

    Just my $0.02
     
  17. archvilell

    archvilell Newbie

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    How would I duplicate a combine model, then detach it's head (I'll still need the mask), then resave it as item_combinesuit? Which program would I do it it?

    As for HUD colors, my guess is that is a C++ thing. If that's the case, I'll have to have one of my buddies help me. I've never done anything in C++.

    Thanks for the tips so far.
     
  18. Red15

    Red15 Guest

    Duplicating the model is easy.
    But you'd have to decompile them to be able to edit.
    I'm not sure about all the required tools to do this.

    I might be able to help you out with the hudcolors. But I'm just stepping into that myself right now.
     
  19. archvilell

    archvilell Newbie

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    There's so much I want to do, but have no idea even where to look for answers. So I guess this forum will be my top research site, and people will probaby tire of Archvilell's new topic, but I can't help my inexperience.

    I have another question dealing with models. In the beginning, when Gordon is in Kleiner's teleporter, Barney looks up and salutes him. In my mod, you will play a Combine officer, so other Combine should salute you (just the ones in the beginning is all I have planned for now). Unfortunatly, the salute is an animation Barney has and is not generic. How would I take Barney's salute animation and allow the Combine to do it?

    Like I said earlier, I'm going to be asking a lot of questions. Level mapping is...well not really a specialty, but I'm better at that than anything else. When it comes to scripts, modeling, and programming, to quote a commercial, "I don't even know enough to know that I don't know."

    Thanks for the help so far Red. If you want to help me with hudcolors, I would be grateful.
     
  20. Angry Lawyer

    Angry Lawyer Newbie

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    To give the Combine soldiers a salute, you'll need to decompile them, alongside Barney, and copy the smd that contains the animation in it, before adding a reference to it in the QC. Then, you'll have to recompile the metrocop, and cross your fingers.

    Your best bet is to simply make them have a verbal greeting, unless you want to get your hands really dirty.

    HUD colours are defined externally, as far as I know. Look in your mod's Scripts folder.

    -Angry Lawyer
     
  21. archvilell

    archvilell Newbie

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    What program would I use to do the decompiling and copying? Is that something I do in the Model Viewer or should I use a program like SoftImage?

    Now that I think aboutit, a salute would be kind of tough because I would have to make them be able to go into the salute from every stance they could be in (E.g. if they were crouching, they would have to stand and salute then crouch back down.) If they had a gun in their hand, that would be another animation. That would be tricky (this mod is solo-me-o, except for some minor modeling, C++ help and the guy giving me music).

    I could just have the soldier grunt 'Sir' or 'Lieutenant' as I walked by. How would I stick these sounds into their greeting? As the title says, I'm new to mods.

    Any help is appreciated.
     
  22. Angry Lawyer

    Angry Lawyer Newbie

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    Half Life uses animation blending, I think. It'd probably seamlessly integrate it. If it doesn't, then just put some code in to limit the times they can do the animation.

    Decompiling models is a bit of a toughie, I can't remember what program to use. I'm more of a coder than a modeller.

    If you're doing a one man mod, you've got my respect - you're one step ahead of all these guys saying 'Yeah, I'm a team leader, I need 60 coders, 200 mappers, and a smattering of concept artists', who then reply to the question of 'What do you do' with 'erm...ideas man'.

    -Angry Lawyer
     
  23. archvilell

    archvilell Newbie

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    Heh, thanks. I'm tryin' though. Since it's all me, I have to learn how to do all of this stuff. Well, learning isn't tough. It's where to go for info that's hard.

    Mapping is really my favorite, thus far. I've done a little modelling in high school (I'm a senior). But the programs I used were 3D Studio VIZ (a cheaper version of MAX), AutoCAD, and DataCAD, none of which are decent modeling programs.
     
  24. Graius

    Graius Guest

    actually, this brings up something I'm interested in myself. I'm trying to create an interface for Project: Dervish, based on a modified version of CounterStrike Source's interface coloured blue. I know that the interface is changeable in design as well as colour, I just don't know how to do it.

    Of course if someone is willing to do it for me, even better. (But I somehow doubt it)
     
  25. archvilell

    archvilell Newbie

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    Lol. Good call, Graius.

    I like the interface design, I just want to change the colors to a blue rather than orange (as a combine is primarily blue/black). Well, that's not all I want. Heh, I have a list of stuff to do that is a full page long. It includes stuff about changing HUD colors, the gloves you can see (so they're not orange), the HEV suit model to a combine suit, backdrops, the game menus, the Start New Game menu etc. I definitely have my work cut out for me, but I enjoy it.
     
  26. archvilell

    archvilell Newbie

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    I was reading a tutorial from Valve about weapon models. They implied that a person's hands are part of the weapon model. If that's true, then to edit the players gloves I would have to open up all of the models and change the colors, right?

    I'm also still looking (unsuccessfully at this point) on how to change the HUD colors. I know it will involve some C++. I've never done C++ itself, but I've had a few programming classes so I think I understand how a language is set up. I could probably work from a tutorial.

    The last thing about the Player aspect of the game is the Combine HEV suit. It would look like a normal Combine with its head lying by the feet. Any idea what program to use to decompile the Combine model? Once I have a program name or something simliar, I could use the help files and such to decompile, I just don't know where to start.

    Any tips would be gladly appreciated.
     
  27. Angry Lawyer

    Angry Lawyer Newbie

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    For the gloves, look for the vtf that all the weapons use, and simply recolour it for a quick fix. Of course, you'll need to decompile the VTF...

    As soon as I get a chance to use the computer I'm coding at, I'll have a look into changing the HUD, and I'll tell you.

    Oh, and I'll see if I can find a decompiler for you. I can't promise it works though.

    -Angry Lawyer
     
  28. archvilell

    archvilell Newbie

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    Thanks. Like I said earlier, there's no rush for that yet. I just got started working on lights. It's slow going (school is a waste of my modding time :( ).
     
  29. Angry Lawyer

    Angry Lawyer Newbie

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    Work's a waste of my coding time, too. And alcohol makes the simpler problems associated with coding rather larger. And I tend to look at my code the day after too many beers and think - 'what the hell was I trying to code there??!?'

    As promised, a page with a decompiler:

    http://www.chaosincarnate.net/cannonfodder/cftools.htm

    -Angry Lawyer
     
  30. archvilell

    archvilell Newbie

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    You are my hero, AL. Downloading now...
     
  31. archvilell

    archvilell Newbie

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    Hmm. I've hit a proverbial speedbump. I have the program all set in place. Now it wants me to give it the model to decompile and then I can edit it. But... I can't find the .mdl file. I searched everywhere. The .mdl I can find is some envball .mdl (I used the search function). Then I went and manually looked because the Search thing has to be wrong. I can put in models through Hammer and they have to come from somewhere right?

    Where are your models at? I'll keep looking, but I'm going to sleep now. 10:15 and might be school tomorrow, weather permitting.
     
  32. Angry Lawyer

    Angry Lawyer Newbie

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    The models are in 'source models.gcf'. You'll need a Gcf explorer to get at them though.
    You can find one here:
    http://countermap.counter-strike.net/Nemesis/

    Make sure you put the model in an easily accessible location on your desktop, in a folder, or something, before decompiling. I'll try and step you through what I know about animation messing-about.

    -Angry Lawyer
     
  33. archvilell

    archvilell Newbie

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    Hmm. It looks like the guy's server crashed. Any link I click on brings me to the tops of the page that says his server went down and he lost a bunch of articles. So I tried to register and it brought me to the top again. Any other site that has a gcf explorer?

    Either that or I'm not smart enough to figure out his site.
     
  34. Angry Lawyer

    Angry Lawyer Newbie

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  35. archvilell

    archvilell Newbie

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    Ugh. Why must everything be broken? The link you sent me was dead (at least my browser thought it was), but your telling me what the name and version number was helped me find my own. So I installed it, however it said that it failed to initialize correctly and the program needed to be terminated. So now I get to debug that problem. I'll see what I can do.

    Ok, I think I found the fix. I needed the .NET runtimes (don't know what they are, but I need them) for it to work. So I'm downloading that. Thanks for your help thus far, AL.
     
  36. Ennui

    Ennui The Freeman

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    search for GCFScape Download on google and you'll find something. 's how I got it, when Nem's site was buggered.
     
  37. archvilell

    archvilell Newbie

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    All righty. Thanks Ennui. I got it working now. I just copied the source model file (in case I royally screw something up, which is bound to happen) so I can tinker with that one. I'll let you guys know how that turns out.

    Great. Now it won't decompile right. I copied the whole source models file, went through it with GFCScape, pulled out the Police.mdl and put it in a separate folder, then tried to decompile it. It says it can't decompile because Police.dx80.vtx is unable to load. No reference decompile. Hmm. My guess is I need to find the .vtx file and put it in with the .mdl file. I'll debug this program. If anyone has a fix before I figure it out, I would gladly appreciate it.

    Aww shoot. Well, I posted too soon. It took me three seconds to figure out what I did wrong. I hadn't copied all of the files that it needed. I'll post again if I have trouble again.

    It says now that it had an error opening the thing I decompiled. I say thing because I'm not sure what it is. Where it should have a name or something is all boxes of something. The little boxes look like the symbols that the computer displays when it doesn't have the correct font. Hmm..
     
  38. archvilell

    archvilell Newbie

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    Hmm, well maybe that error didn't change anything. Wait a minute, what am I saying? Of course it did or it wouldn't say it. Oh well. Now I have a bunch of .smd files. What do I do with them? I have given up on the salute animation (not because of the work, but because I like the verbal greeting better) and I'm trying to make the Combine into an item now that acts like the HEV suit. I want to make it limp, as if it were hanging from a hook in between the shoulder blades (head down, toes pointed down, arms limp). What program do I use to change that all around?

    This is a lot more work than I had planned, but I'm getting some sort of odd charge out of learning new stuff. Weird, heh heh.
     
  39. Angry Lawyer

    Angry Lawyer Newbie

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    .smds are the part your after. Each one of them contains either a mesh, or an animation.

    So, what you've got to do is copy the mesh ones, and the ragdoll animation file.

    Could you list what came up after decompile?

    I'm sure Valve have a smd converter somewhere - I'll try to look it up later.

    That feeling you're getting is the mod-spirit. Pretty good feeling, eh?

    -Angry Lawyer
     
  40. archvilell

    archvilell Newbie

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    Here what comes up first as I try to decompile:

    "Loaded model C:/Documents and Setting/Ben/Desktop/HL2 Files/Combine Extraction/Police.mdl"

    That sounds good. Then I get this: (attached)

    I think that's bad. The only thing that apparently is gone is a .qc file. You said I needed the .smd files, which are there. The .qc file shows 1kb file size. I'll show a screenie of what has decompiled.
     

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