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Author Topic: Adding NPCs --- Gonna be Modelin'  (Read 3964 times)
Trikitiger
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« on: February 03, 2011, 02:23:40 pm »

After when I get done with my Capstone in about a month, I want to keep working on my modeling work by creating some more NPCs for Savage (There's a... very small selection of NPCs). I have the 7Zip and IZarc Archivers, so there's really no problem getting the models OUT, but I'm planning on getting models IN. Before I can jump in and just create models for the hell of it, I need to know a few things for making these NPCs.

1) Do NPCs need specific Bones? --- I've seen birds, Chiprels (Are they groundhogs or something?), cats, and humanoids, which to me says they don't need specific bones, just a bone naming convention (Base spine bone needs to be B_Spine1, for example)

2) Npcs have texture and specular/bump maps --- What Files types do these need to be in and what does Savage support? (Only Bump maps, only Specular maps?)

3) How many Polygons/Triangles? --- I can make anything over 15,000 tris or polys, but there's a limit to NPCs, I'm sure, which I need to meet the criteria, so that I don't over-do the details and make it well above the limit (Try having your game render out a 15000 poly character along with environment and other objects without any kind of slow-down, I dare you)

4) How are animations accounted for? --- I can create attack animations, running, walking, idle, scratching its ass, whatever I want, but are these animations saved as files or in the obj (object) file? If it's in the obj file, then does it need a specific timeline for certain actions?

5) How do I determine how the NPC spawns and what it does? --- I know this involves scripting, but I want to make NPCs that do a whole sort of things. What if I want a dragon? It should be extremely hard and give a lot of gold right? Or if I remake Kongor to do more than just throw boulders that break apart and sound like pots (like punch you if you got close), also I may want the NPC to be a 1-time-only spawn, where if you kill it you get a ton of gold (like max 15000), but it's extremely hard to kill (like a Behemoth but tougher O.o)... Not that I would do anything that hard, but it's just an example. How do I determine that stuff?

--------------------------------------------------

NPCs on the mind:

A Hell Hound --- Yes I've been saying I'd make a Hell Tiger, but Hell Hound is more recognizable. The NPC shoots fireballs (ember) And has a permanent firebuff, but slower (deals 1 firebuff damage over the time it would take 4 or 6 hits of a normal firebuff). It's run speed is an oschore (Not a gerkat! My god that would be horrible!) limited spawn like a Bearloth

Dragon --- Why the hell does this FANTASY game not have a freakin' dragon!? A 1-time spawn NPC that has a massive claw attack (like a predator's swing), Shoots fireballs (literally fireballs) and possibly can fly (only when provoked). Gives a lot of gold due to difficulty. It's movement speed when running is that of a Kongor (Big, but slow and bulky) And its fly speed would be that of a gerkat.
Fly kills the creatures stamina (if it has one) and needs to land in order to continue flying (out of stamina) or attack.***

***Once again, may not use fly due to being broken

Zizzards, remake --- Zizzards are unused due to their lack of animations. I will freakin' make animations for them. Attack would need to be as tough as a monkit due to the gold they drop (700), but be melee instead. Being a lizard, their tongues lash out in a slightly downward motion (mainly a lance-thrust like motion). Also I'll recolor them and give them bump-mapped scales (I did it with a snake, it's actually EXTREMELY EASY with Mudbox! :3)

Another cat-like NPC --- Just going to re-use the gerkat model, spruce up the animations and textures and make them the alternate Gerkat (Not a one-time spawn and -NOT- used to temporarily guard stuff). Not a one-time spawn would be the only difference.

Ice Entity --- Just thought of it, it'll use Frost Bolts! :3

I"ll keep thinking them up, but I won't work on them till I finish my capstone. If you have feedback on the NPC ideas, tell me. But definitely let me know the requirements of NEW NPCs!... I wanna make them!
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2011, 03:01:31 pm »

1. naming conventions for the npcs don't matter at all.  If you want the mesh to deform though it needs to use the physique modifier in max.  The only time your joint naming comes into the equation is when you're mixing animations... on the nomad when you're moving and attacking at the same time it mixes the leg animation with the upper body animation.  Then you need to stick to the old s2 naming conventions - which I think are just the default biped names.

2.  I usually use tga's for everything.  Unless I need something alpha'd then it'll be a png or s2g.  Npcs can take a diffuse, normal, and colored spec map.  I try to stick to the older naming conventions
so diffuse - filename.tga
normalmap - filename_normalmap.tga
spec - filename_gm.tga
mat file - filename.mat
the mat file is where you'll feed in the path for the spec and normalmap.  plus set a few other variables like double sided and spec exponent.

3. for triangle counts I'd recommend keeping it relatively low and based on the size of the npc.  so a chiprel would need a lot less than an oschore.  The original savage models were something like 3,000 tri's i think?  so just a ballpark figure I wouldn't go over 8,000 for npcs at most.  That would be for something like a kongor or bearloth that is taking up the entire screen. 

4.  No specific timeline.  When you export the animations you'll export either one long .clip file or a handful of clip files.  my workflow is to create all the different cycles in the same file walk, run, attack etc and just have them spaced out and list off where they start end.  Then in max the exported will only grab the frames that are currently on the timeline... so your walk cycle is from 10 to 50 export the walk.clip then attack is 60 to 100 set the frames to between 60 and 100 then export the attack.clip.  Then you'll also need to edit/add a .anim file which is where you actually tell what animations to fire off when.  Check out some of the older npcs for examples. 

5. don't know how much the ai scripting has advanced recently.  for just general behaviors you can edit the .object file of your npc.  that will set just basic stuff like when the npc will be aggressive, if it'll try to use melee or range, or there's the fun suicide option as well.  just check out the old npc .object files and that should give you an idea of the actions they can perform. 

hope that helps.
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2011, 07:00:00 pm »

I had a full tutorial but piratepad deleted it Sad.

NPCs are around under 1000 polies tho Wink.

BBL with more info.
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Trikitiger
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2011, 11:27:11 pm »

I had a full tutorial but piratepad deleted it Sad.

NPCs are around under 1000 polies tho Wink.

BBL with more info.

Cool, I would really appreciate any information that I need to build them to the correct specifications. I could make a creature that's 2000 polys, but if 1000 is the max for NPCs, then no more than 1000 for NPCs (not that hard really :3 I'm used to limiting my stuff, poly-wise)

[snip]

hope that helps.

Yeah, any information helps, because I know how to make specular, bump, diffuse maps, I know how to make animations, I know how to make custom bone rigs, I know how to limit my models to specific tris/polys, but I've never made anything FOR an existing game, so I don't know what its requirements are.
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Mohican
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2011, 02:21:35 pm »

Here are a couple of important points:
(1) if you plan to have more than 2-3000 polys for npc, then make lods. Check the nomad folder for example.
(2) you can tweak your materials by creating a .mat file. Check the catapult for example.
(3) to test your npc in the editor, create a .objdef file (in /models/)
(4) the game characteristics, like respawn rate, attacks and gold are defined in the .object file (/game/script/standard/objects/). To test your npc, add it to the file XR.objlist, then play an XR_ map.
(5) with XR 1.0, which is available to testers, you can program advanced npc behaviour with a .gs file. You could make them roam around on the map for instance. Clemens is using this for the SH npcs. I will give you an example tomorrow. Do you have the XR tester version?
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2011, 03:45:59 pm »

Mohican, it's rather simple...
Does is he a newerth donator tag/stars? No?!
Then it's pretty unlikely he has XR test version.
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2011, 05:20:36 pm »

make an armoured super chiprel with lazers
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Trikitiger
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2011, 07:29:58 pm »

Mohican, it's rather simple...
Does is he a newerth donator tag/stars? No?!
Then it's pretty unlikely he has XR test version.

Yup, I dun have the test version, but I'm not worried about what I have client-wise at the moment anyways. Once I finish my capstone I'll start working on the models in order to build up my 3D profile. Right now, all I have is my capstone project and a couple of other little odds and ends here and there. Other than that, it's my first time getting into modding (or technically planning on adding content), so I don't know everything there is to modify anything... yet.

Though it would be nice with the tester version, I haven't donated anything. I am planning on donating NPCs to the game's entirety (only stipulation being that I can use that content in my portfolio), but you can't exactly determine me as a donator until I actually create and submit content.
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2011, 01:25:47 am »

Mohican, it's rather simple...
Does is he a newerth donator tag/stars? No?!
Then it's pretty unlikely he has XR test version.

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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2011, 01:09:05 pm »

btw, do you have any experience with coding and modeling ?
it would be cool to see some reference stuff...
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Trikitiger
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« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2011, 02:29:23 pm »

btw, do you have any experience with coding and modeling ?
it would be cool to see some reference stuff...

Yes and Yes, I'm working on a 3D game for my capstone. But because I'm the only person working on it, it's only a prototype and because of a shadow limitation on the free version of Unity, I've been using the cartoon shades. Also I'm using an old model for the main character. I wanted to use a different model, but consensus said to use the old model. Though I've worked on high-end projects as well (one of which I need to restart once again due to learning a better way to create clothes and now I have mudbox). I wonder if I still have a couple of pictures of that show where I was on that project... Yup, here it is (as attachment).

Unfinished, but I need to restart it once again. Body is wrong, head's ok (needs to be fixed anyways), and clothing needs to be fixed again. It's so badly on the high-end, that to render that image in 3DS Max, it takes 15 seconds (that's just rotating and moving the camera to get better angles). I don't have a computer that can render that well (one core doesn't cut it). Lets see, do I have something a bit more recent... Oh yeah I have the other model I was working on for my own game, the one I wanted to use but was told by a consensus not to change the main character. 3500 polys, however I stopped that project as soon as, when I asked, was told to keep my old model (a good 3 years old now), I was going to start clipping polys that were hidden. But also that's a main character and I planned that to use, my other enemies were no more than 500 polys.

Yeah it's not much, I worked mainly in 2D art (drawings), so my 3D profile is small compared to what I have for 2D. I do have an animation with voice acting (Taichi), and 2 previews of the game I'm working on, on Youtube (Trikitiger = profile name). The videos show my animation work more than my modeling work.

Can't think of anything else I'm missing, my other models aren't even creatures or people.


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Helping XR Completion --- Starting after Capstone --- Agreed to help out with model making for main units
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