Moderators: Huki, jigebren

(current) development pipeline?

Asdam
Sober
Asdam
Sober
Joined: 2:30 AM - Jan 05, 2015

8:20 AM - Dec 26, 2015 #1

Hello,
Newbster aspiring Re-Volt track developer here.

I see there's a lot of effort put towards giving inspired designers the power to create our own "extreme" tracks, but I can't help but feel it's very misdirected because there appears to be no access able and cohesive pipeline to do so. I've been searching through various forums, tutorials and (mostly antiquated) programs/plugins for several days and have managed to find almost no cohesive information about creating extreme tracks or assets (beyond information below).

Even if the information and software is there and accessible while I'm just too blind to find my own information, that still means that the average designer (who doesn't usually have the capability to sift through extensive forums) hasn't/won't be able to follow the necessary steps either, and I think it's fair to say that's a problem.

Now wait, surely I missed jigebren's Blender plugin right? No, I didn't miss that and I'm excited to say that plugin will end this problem once and for all, and I'm willing to do anything within my power to accelerate the development of it. That said, the plugin has been in development for over 4 years with no indication of any public beta planned (as according to this forum and jigebren's website) and unless multi-language scripting is way easier than I think it is, it's going to take a LOT more work to finish the plugin to beta-release-requirements and according to a recent post jigebren is busy adulting and won't be able to commit as much to the project anymore (I'd like to make it clear that I'm not trying to guilt-trip jigebren into rushed development, but there's definitely an issue to address).
It's worth noting that jigebren's project has so much charisma that RV-Frontend's track creation "tutorial" simply instructs to go and ask jigebren for his plugin, and assumes you're simply able to obtain it...

So all that out of the way (*phew*), is there any current asset development pipeline which allows conversion of UV'd (when appropriate) meshes to Re-Volt's formats? (PRM/W/HUL) Including texture-sheet index assignment, and preferably able to go into a world file, instance OR dynamic object. Note I've already tried ZModeler1 which appears to have the options to import/export PRM despite not actually doing so.

Any direction would be much appreciated, along with any information I may not know about internet resources.

Thanks in advance,
-Asdam
Quote
Like
Share

Kenny
Methanolic
Kenny
Methanolic
Joined: 4:18 PM - Jun 01, 2010

11:11 AM - Dec 26, 2015 #2

Asdam @ 26 Dec 2015, 09:20 AM wrote: That said, the plugin has been in development for over 4 years with no indication of any public beta planned (as according to this forum and jigebren's website) and unless multi-language scripting is way easier than I think it is, it's going to take a LOT more work to finish the plugin to beta-release-requirements and according to a recent post jigebren is busy adulting and won't be able to commit as much to the project anymore (I'd like to make it clear that I'm not trying to guilt-trip jigebren into rushed development, but there's definitely an issue to address).
I'm not sure myself as to why he hasn't publicly released it yet, these are the only reasons I can think of right now:
- He doesn't want to release something that still contains potential bugs which would cause more issues in the long run if more people get to use it (though I don't think thats an issue anymore at this point, even if there are still flaws in the plugin (which doesn't look like it), it almost wouldn't matter considering the amount of other buggy software and the quality most extreme tracks end up)

- He doesn't want to give certain people access to a way to easily create their own custom content, possibly making money off of it (*cough* WeGo Interactive *cough*)

- He just doesn't want a public release (don't know why that would be the case but if it is, its his work so I guess that decision should be respected)
Asdam @ 26 Dec 2015, 09:20 AM wrote:So all that out of the way (*phew*), is there any current asset development pipeline which allows conversion of UV'd (when appropriate) meshes to Re-Volt's formats?
Well some other user briefly showed up here some time ago to release another blender plugin (unrelated to jigebren's), though it offers a lot less functionality, it wasn't updated in a long time and I dont know how well it works.
Luckily he released it in uncompiled form so if you are interested in continuing development on that, you should be able to do so -> http://sourceforge.net/projects/revolt-io-blender/
In case you need more information regarding the various file structures of the game I can offer you my help.
Quote
Like
Share

Huki
... as a Newt
Huki
... as a Newt
Joined: 4:01 PM - Dec 30, 2006

11:40 AM - Dec 26, 2015 #3

Well, you said it... the Re-Volt engine - and the patches - provide much creative ability, but we are seriously lacking proper documentation / tutorials, and more importantly, publicly available tools. As you can see from the RVGL project page and its Todo section, I'm starting to consider acessibility a key priority (over writing more code / new features): easy access to both the game itself and coherent and helpful guides that can encourage more content.

I can already recommend following the WIP tutorials in RV Frontend. Then ask for specific help in the forums, etc. Keep in mind that the community is split across 2 different forums. The one that you're on is mostly active for development and testing. If you're into end user stuff, content creation, etc. you'll find more help by asking around in Re-Volt Live.
Asdam @ 26 Dec 2015, 01:50 PM wrote:So all that out of the way (*phew*), is there any current asset development pipeline which allows conversion of UV'd (when appropriate) meshes to Re-Volt's formats? (PRM/W/HUL) Including texture-sheet index assignment, and preferably able to go into a world file, instance OR dynamic object. Note I've already tried ZModeler1 which appears to have the options to import/export PRM despite not actually doing so.
jigebren's Blender plugin is really the way to go. Have you tried sending him an email? You should also get PRM2HUL and WorldCut from jigebren's webpage.
Quote
Like
Share

Asdam
Sober
Asdam
Sober
Joined: 2:30 AM - Jan 05, 2015

6:58 AM - Dec 29, 2015 #4

Kenny @ 26 Dec 2015, 12:11 PM wrote:In case you need more information regarding the various file structures of the game I can offer you my help.
Thanks Kenny, I would love some help. I think I understand the basics, but I don't fully understand the following:
-The role of W files (what they contain, and how they can be assembled)
-How dynamic physical objects are designed and placed (a combination of HUL, PRM, and W data?)
-How texture assignment is stored in PRMs (seems to be per-face somehow?)
-And if at all possible, how these files are compiled/decompiled (I still haven't looked at the source of the plugin you recommended yet so there might be a clear answer there)
Kenny @ 26 Dec 2015, 12:11 PM wrote:Well some other user briefly showed up here some time ago to release another blender plugin
Yes, I checked that one out and it seems to "import" W files, but nothing else (including PRMs). It also successfully exports PRM files, though without more information I'm unable to test them in Re-Volt. Either way I'll check out the source code on that, thanks for the recommendation!
Huki @ 26 Dec 2015, 12:40 PM wrote:As you can see from the RVGL project page and its Todo section, I'm starting to consider acessibility a key priority (over writing more code / new features)
Good plan, the users will definitely appreciate it. Features are easy to see as necessary, but good accessability is underrated.

Huki @ 26 Dec 2015, 12:40 PM wrote:jigebren's Blender plugin is really the way to go. Have you tried sending him an email? You should also get PRM2HUL and WorldCut from jigebren's webpage.
Yes, but it was recent (a few days ago) so I'm sure he's taking a break for the holidays. Anyways, thanks for letting me know of those plugins, those look important :P
Quote
Like
Share

Kenny
Methanolic
Kenny
Methanolic
Joined: 4:18 PM - Jun 01, 2010

6:49 PM - Dec 30, 2015 #5

Asdam @ 29 Dec 2015, 07:58 AM wrote: I think I understand the basics, but I don't fully understand the following:
-The role of W files (what they contain, and how they can be assembled)
-How dynamic physical objects are designed and placed (a combination of HUL, PRM, and W data?)
-How texture assignment is stored in PRMs (seems to be per-face somehow?)
-And if at all possible, how these files are compiled/decompiled (I still haven't looked at the source of the plugin you recommended yet so there might be a clear answer there)
Well I'm not sure if I should go into full detail already, especially since you apparently just recently contacted jigebren for his plugin (if you were to receive it in the near future then all the detailed stuff wouldn't help you anyways).
So I'll just do a short and general description for now, anything above that would be more suited for a documentation anyway :P

- .w files essentially contain the visual information of a world, stored in so called "cubes" where each cube contains geometry (the polygons and vertices) and texture information.
The texture information is stored per face and up to 10 different texture pages can be used in a world, for the game to recognize the texture pages you have to name the files with an alphabetical suffix like this: "[level_folder_name][a-j].bmp", where 'a' is the first and 'j' is the last (tenth) texture page (though the existence of any of them is optional).
I'm not sure what you mean by "how they can be assembled", if you are asking for the raw structure of the file then I can just send you the plain information (but again, it wouldn't be of much use to you once you get jigebrens plugin)

- assuming you mean things like the bottles and the balls as "dynamic physical objects" in the levels, they are not stored in the .w files.
Their geometry/collision data can be found in the "[game_path]/models" folder (though these can be overloaded per-level with the 1.2 custom level folder feature) and their placement is defined in a level specific .fob file where also positions of "non-dynamic physical objects" (like Pickups or scenery objects) are stored.
As to how you mess around with the .fob files, its best if you first get familiar with the in-game "Makeitgood" mode, some tutorials about that are scattered here and there (a good but outdated and still incomplete one can be found here)

- yes, just like with .w files the textures are stored per face where each polygon contains the mapped uv coordinates and the number of the used texture page (0-9 for world files), as well as vertex coloring and flags information

- not sure what you mean by that, if you specifically mean blender scripting/the plugin that I posted I'm afraid I can't help you there since I'm not familiar with either of them (I just knew that a public plugin existed, thats why I mentioned it)
Quote
Like
Share

Huki
... as a Newt
Huki
... as a Newt
Joined: 4:01 PM - Dec 30, 2006

6:47 PM - Dec 31, 2015 #6

Asdam @ 29 Dec 2015, 12:28 PM wrote:
Huki @ 26 Dec 2015, 12:40 PM wrote:jigebren's Blender plugin is really the way to go. Have you tried sending him an email? You should also get PRM2HUL and WorldCut from jigebren's webpage.
Yes, but it was recent (a few days ago) so I'm sure he's taking a break for the holidays. Anyways, thanks for letting me know of those plugins, those look important :P
Oh, and don't use the email feature in ORP, it doesn't work for him. Send him an email directly to jigebren (at) free (dot) fr.

And thanks to Kenny for his detailed answers. :thumbs-up:
Quote
Like
Share