GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Upcoming Game Mod based on Firefly

POSTED BY: SNEAKER98
UPDATED: Sunday, February 15, 2004 11:59
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 1967
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Monday, February 9, 2004 10:00 PM

SNEAKER98


I hate posting two threads in such a short amount of time, but I did want to let the community know that I'm doing my part to get the Firefly name more well known ;)

I am currently gathering able folk (ie: modellers, scripters, etc) to work on this mod, which will be for the PC game Bridge Commander. I've modding this particular game for almost two years now, so I plan on doing most of the scripting work myself. I will need help with the graphical portion of it, since the best I can do is an oddly shaped stick figure ;)

Storywriters are always welcome. ESPECIALLY those familiar with Bridge Commander's specific structure (which will make for a very interesting story.. a lot of ships, ie: Serenity, don't have weapons. It'll be creative to find ways of making it entertaining without weaponsfire).

Modellers are very needed, I currently have one but I'm looking for maybe two others. Keep in mind that the 3D models would be a minimum of around 10k and a max of about 40k. Also, 3dsMax is used to convert the models to .nif format.

So if anyone is interested, drop me a line at sneaker98@hotmail.com (either email or msn) and we'll see if we can get this project off the planning stage and into high gear.

Thank you for your time :)

"I do the job... and then I get paid. Go run your little world."
-Malcolm Reynolds

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Tuesday, February 10, 2004 6:00 AM

LINDLEY


I'm also working on a Firefly game mod----for EV: Nova ( www.ambrosiasw.com/games/evn ), in my case.

I'm far enough along on it now, that I'm fairly sure it will eventually be finished, and not just dropped. However, like you, my sticking point is going to be graphics----in particular, space stations and ships.

So, if you get your mod off the ground, perhaps we can share some graphics. :) The EVN engine doesn't need 3D models themselves, but 3D models are the best way to make the sprites I need.

Over the past weekend, I finally admitted to myself that I can't rely on others to make all my graphics, and began experimenting with making my own. Using Terragen and LunarCell makes planets and landscapes easy, but I just finished my first attempt at a Firefly ship using Cinema 4D:





Took about 90 minutes. Unfortunately, I'm using the demo version of Cinema 4D, which means no saving. So basically, right now I'm just working on my technique.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2004 9:13 AM

SNEAKER98


Look great, Lindley :) fortunately, I've been in the modding circuit long enough to have a few connections, which is why I have an absolutely awesome modeller ;) I think I can land a few more, but either way I *will* be getting this mod off the ground.

I figure this show has not gotten the attention it deserves, so I want to give it MY attention at the very least. In the words of Jayne "You've been given the shortest end of the stick every been offered a human being in this craphill verse.. but you took that stick... and... and, well, you took it! Well I guess that's somethin"

I should scour the DVD's looking for alternate ships... it's always nice to have too many ships then too few ships. Anyways, keep posting news on your progress :) I plan to

"I do the job... and then I get paid. Go run your little world."
-Malcolm Reynolds

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Tuesday, February 10, 2004 10:35 AM

LINDLEY


My progress so far is:

-I have 80 stellar objects so far, including all but a few of the planets/moons mentioned/seen on the show. I'm going to try to break 100 in total.

-Every stellar object so far has a system. I decided to go for the "spanning the galaxy" interpretation of the planet layout, because its really the only way it'll work with the engine. That's 68 systems so far.

-I've got 10 planet spins (That's EVN-speak for how a planet appears from space), and am working to crank out more using LunarCell.

-I have 44 planet landscape picts so far, mostly generated with Terragen. I desperately need some cityscapes, so if you know anyone who can make those, let me know! I'm going to try to give each planet a unique landscape image, but I might not be able to.

-I've got a decent startup screen, and I have someone working on a menu.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2004 10:56 AM

GUNRUNNER


Lindley are you familer with Gmax? Its a freeware 3D modeling program. You may want to look in to it since you can save your models. It dosn't have all the options that the pay programs have but it gets the job done. I've been able to constuct a Russian "Kilo" submarine with some interor and a room on a US Sub with gmax for a game called Virtual Sailor. Also a lot of people who model for "Orbiter: Space Flight Simulator" use Gmax.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2004 11:13 AM

LINDLEY


I googled GMax, and it doesn't seem to have an OSX version. The alternative program I have is Blender, but that's designed for 3 mouse buttons, and the interface is difficult besides.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2004 11:26 AM

GUNRUNNER


Sorry to send you on a wild goose chase. I thoght there was a Mac version of it.

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Thursday, February 12, 2004 3:50 PM

LINDLEY


Since I'm sure the original poster wouldn't like this thread to disappear into obscurity, I'm bumping it.

To justify this bumping, I'll post the final version of the above ship.


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Thursday, February 12, 2004 3:56 PM

SHINY


That's very Shiny! Since I have no modding or graphics skills to speak of, I'll have to simply contribute by praising all of you big damn heroes helping to spread Firefly fame throughout ETW.

RIVER
Purple elephants are flying.
MAL
Good. Thanks for the update.

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Thursday, February 12, 2004 4:03 PM

LINDLEY


^You might be surprised. Last week, I had no 3D graphics skills. Its not as hard as one might suspect. The above is the result of reading through one tutorial for Cinema 4D, and about 90 minutes of modeling. (I've since spent considerably more time adjusting it, though.)

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Thursday, February 12, 2004 4:07 PM

GUNRUNNER


Thats cool. I can't wait to run some alliance ships with it.

Any idea what your going to call that ship? Looks like it might make a good courier type ship, like the Metroworks V7 Courier or Aerostar Space Industries Clipper of the 1st EV or the Valkyrie or Starbridge of EVN.

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Thursday, February 12, 2004 4:22 PM

LINDLEY


I was thinking it could be passenger liner. But this thread is about the other guy's mod, not mine! ;)

I'll start a thread on mine soon enough.....

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Friday, February 13, 2004 9:19 AM

SNEAKER98


Lol I have a name ;) Call me sneak.

Why not be about both mods? I don't mind, it means both ours get attention. As for Serenity.. I have a *very* talented modeller working on her (i've given him a limit of 50k). I also have a texturer who's perfect for the job... so this is looking to turn out perfectly. I've tested a lot of the music ingame, and so far it's just awesome... it'll take a while, but I promise you all you'll have a game.

"I do the job... and then I get paid. Go run your little world."
-Malcolm Reynolds

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Friday, February 13, 2004 10:52 AM

LINDLEY


^Its good to here you're making progress. When that Serenity model is finished, I'll want to talk to you about borrowing it, to make it into a sprite for my mod.

If you prefer, I could just tell you exactly what I need and have you send me the tiffs (or mov); however, its sort of complicated, so it might be easier to just send me the model and let me sprite-ize it myself. Whatever you're comfortable with. :)

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Saturday, February 14, 2004 11:40 PM

LINDLEY


Regarding the above: I figured out a really easy way to explain exactly what I need for making an EVN sprite. When you've got the ship done, let me know; In the meantime, I'll fill you it on the specifics.

Only one thing: I need static engine glows for the EVN engine. They can fade in and out, but they can't be in motion, unfortunately. That shouldn't be an issue for the side swivel engines, but it might somewhat limit the rear full-burn engine glow. You are, of course, welcome to use as dynamic a glow as you like in your mod; however, it would help me out a great deal if you also had a fairly simple glow for that engine which could look good without moving.

The basic idea is this: Three animation renders as Quicktime movies. For all three, the camera maintains a static position, 45 degrees above the x-y axis, so that its positioned directly behind the ship when the ship is pointing "up". ("Up" should be its position in the first frame of each animation.) There must be no perspective----that can be accomplished either by just turning perspective off, or else positioning the camera very far away and zooming in a lot.

The first animation should have 72 frames, 36 frames per second, the ship spinning clockwise on the x-y axis at 10 degrees per frame, for a total of two revolutions. (This can be easily done by setting keyframes----frame 0, the ship is pointing up, frame 9, to the right, frame 18, down, etc.) The key thing about this animation is that the ship should be fully visible, but the engine glows must be disabled, so they don't show up in the render.

The second animation is the same deal, except only 36 frames----one revolution. During this one, the glow from the side swivel engines should be enabled, but the rest of the ship should be matte black. Not unrendered---it still needs to block out the engine glows when appropriate---but black. This can be easily done by disabling some of the texture settings in Cinema 4D; I only hope its as easy in whatever you're using. (The background color of the render should be black as well.)

The third is the exact same deal as the second, except that the rear engine glow is enabled rather than the side one. The rest of the ship is still matte black.

During all this, the basic lighting setup should be: One sunlike light, white, positioned 30 degrees above the x-y axis and 45 degrees to the left of forward (when the ship is pointing up). Another, more diffuse light from the same region, to make sure the ship is adequately visible as well.

I realize it might be some time before your model is ready, but I figured if I laid out exactly what I was going to need right now, it might be of some help. :)

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Saturday, February 14, 2004 11:41 PM

SNEAKER98


Of course :) Although it wont be named Serenity, it'll be named "Mariner". Since I can't get the actors to do voices (yeah, i WISH!) I've had to make up my own crew. Here are the names:

Captain Nate Brisco
First Mate Lisa Wu
Enginer Hadjet
Pilot Creek
Mercenary Smith
Doc Marina Branner

Similar to the Serenity crew, but with my own touch. In my original script it was MUCH more diverse, but since I have to adapt it for "the game screen" and make it firefly related, well... I'm changing a few things to it ;)

I'm writing the script to it now.. and boy I tell ya. It's gorram hard! I feel obligated to make it Whedon-esque to do it justice, and thats just something only one man can do lol. But I'm giving it my best shot.

*edit*
Whoa! Just notice you posted like a half second before I did! What you require looks pretty complicated ;) I may just send you the 3d model (if my modeller agrees, of course) to get it done yourself. I really know next to nothing about that kinda stuff lol

"I do the job... and then I get paid. Go run your little world."
-Malcolm Reynolds

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Saturday, February 14, 2004 11:56 PM

LINDLEY


It sounds complicated, but its really not. Just set the keyframes once; adjust the camera angle; set the render settings for 72 frames, 36 frames/sec; set the lighting; render. For the other two, just do the exact same thing again, except change a few visibility settings first, and cut down to 36 frames.

The hardest part would be setting the lights appropriately, really.

Still, if you want to send the model, that would be fine too. (What program is he using? I need to know what format to expect....)

About the dialog: I know exactly what you mean. Since EVN has a large textual aspect, voice-acting isn't an issue, so I'm free to use the FF characters. I haven't actually started any writing yet, but I'm dreading it----I have to try to write something halfway as clever as Whedon, at least.

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Sunday, February 15, 2004 4:25 AM

DAEDALUS5


Sounds great!

I'm keen on Bridge Commander MODs myself (and a keen d/loader from bcfiles.com).

Will you be able to do a 'spinning thingy' for the engines - pr just make it light up (a wee bity easier!)?

"Damn you Fox for cancelling my favourite show!"

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Sunday, February 15, 2004 11:59 AM

SNEAKER98


Well, textures in bridge commander can be made to animate to look like the engine spin, so that shouldn't be a problem.

Ever downloaded one of my mods? I've done mvam.. core ejection... inaccurate phasers... plasma ruptures.. the list goes on :)

"I do the job... and then I get paid. Go run your little world."
-Malcolm Reynolds

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