Wing Commander Prophecy: Secret Ops Model Update Pack

Kevin Caccamo

Rear Admiral
Yes it appears briefly right as the camera pans past the listening post and escorts a tanker toward the Cerberus.

View attachment 8551

I know its related to the Excalibur because there are only two upgraded models in the scene (currently) the Panther and Excalibur. When the game started crashing I replaced the models with their originals and it worked fine, by process of elimination I discovered it to be the Excalibur that was causing the crash, darned if I know why though.

View attachment 8552

As for the cockpit meshes, funny you should mention that. @Dark Sentinel wants to look into tinkering on an upgraded Panther cockpit for the mod.

I don't know what that could be caused by, but I took a look at the original Excalibur model in a hex editor, and it has a BSP tree and REGN/BLCK forms for some reason.
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
Progress continues on the Vampire, texturing is slow work...

I also did some research into the Excalibur issue. Still unsure why there's a BSP tree on it, maybe it has something to do with a conversion from the WC4 asset? I'm going to try and look at making a FrankenIFF tonight and see if maybe one of the extra chunks is the issue. It still makes no sense, the model works fine in any missions you have it in and in future cut scenes like Ella. for some reason its just the intro movie.

I also "solved" another SO mystery today - the incredible shrinking thunderbolt and Excalibur. As we know, the SO assets are about 50% the size they're supposed to be (ie. a 31 meter Excalibur is only 15 meters in SO). It's a game-balance issue. On harder difficulties the smaller assets last a whole lot longer than they do at full size. I ran a few Ella missions with both full-size and mini versions; at lower difficulties there isn't much of a difference in how long the Excals and Tbolts survive, but once you crank it up to ace, they all die within 3-4 minutes, making winning some of those missions impossible when you need to escort the tbolts. The alien corvette is particularly nasty to the full-sized fighters and turrets rarely miss. With the smaller fighters the mission runs as you would expect, difficult, but not impossible. you'll likely lose a few Excaliburs and a Tbolt, but nothing you can't live without.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I also "solved" another SO mystery today - the incredible shrinking thunderbolt and Excalibur. As we know, the SO assets are about 50% the size they're supposed to be (ie. a 31 meter Excalibur is only 15 meters in SO). It's a game-balance issue. On harder difficulties the smaller assets last a whole lot longer than they do at full size. I ran a few Ella missions with both full-size and mini versions; at lower difficulties there isn't much of a difference in how long the Excals and Tbolts survive, but once you crank it up to ace, they all die within 3-4 minutes, making winning some of those missions impossible when you need to escort the tbolts. The alien corvette is particularly nasty to the full-sized fighters and turrets rarely miss. With the smaller fighters the mission runs as you would expect, difficult, but not impossible. you'll likely lose a few Excaliburs and a Tbolt, but nothing you can't live without.
Hmm, didn't I say something along these lines the first time the subject came up? :) Naturally, resizing these ships makes a big difference for their survival rate. However, keep in mind that this doesn't actually explain why the ships are smaller. The missions were balanced with those smaller ships in place - we don't know, however, if the decision to resize them was made in order to increase their survivability, or simply because they would look freakishly huge compared to all the WCP ships.
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
Yeah you theorized it, I just needed to test it. :) They actually don't look that bad compared against other WCP fighters, at least when you see them on the autopilot cam.
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
Here she is, the Vampire! Last of the Confed fighters to be updated. I'll publish some extra shots once I finish conversion later tonight. On to the bombers and support craft.

****EDIT

Added the in-game shots of the Vampire, I also rescaled the Excalibur and Tbolt to their SO sizes (15.06 and 16.3 meters respectively) and updated the ship viewer stats to match. also: Maestro has a potty-mouth.

Vampire_WIP13.jpg Vampire_WIP15.jpg Vampire_WIP16.jpg Vampire_WIP18.jpg Vampireviewer1.jpg Vampireviewer2.jpg Vampireviewer3.jpg VampireIngame1.jpg VampireIngame2.jpg VampireIngame3.jpg

My earlier post was a bit rushed but I should take a moment to acknowledge that the MUP has reached its first milestone: conversion of all Confed fighter craft! So again I'd like to thank everyone whose helped this project out getting here! The next two milestones are also relatively within reach: convert all Nephilim fighters and Confed bombers/support craft.

****

As an aside - I spent alot of this weekend banging my head against the "Excalibur breaks the intro" bug. I'm now pretty sure it isn't the actual mesh.iff that's doing it (BSP tree and lack of FAR chunks aside), and it's something in the intro.mis code. After digging through it, I'm not sure what the issue is (since I'm by no means an expert on mission coding) So if there's any mission coders out there who can lend a hand, consider this a call for assistance (I'm hitting Alt+H)! Considering if I can't get this solved the MUP is basically DOA since the game won't load. Please!!! :)

I did notice something mildly interesting, originally (according to the variables) the Excaliburs were originally Tigersharks (the flight that they're grouped to is referenced as something like Tshark1) I might try replacing the Excaliburs with Tigersharks to see if that fixes the issue once I figure out how to recompile the mission from a WCPascal file to a .MIS file.
 
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Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I recall the resizing from when it happened. I don't believe it was specifically balance-related... just an acknowledgement that the lengths printed in Wing Commander III weren't right (and as a result the ships look comically oversized next to ones with 'realistic' lengths.)
 

Kevin Caccamo

Rear Admiral
Here's two quick hints for using Wing Blender:

If you don't want to include certain hardpoints in the exported IFF file, just hide them in Blender's viewport.

If you want certain faces to ignore shading/be fully lit all the time (like the Midway's engine intakes, or the intakes on the Wasp and the Vampire/Panther pods), duplicate the material assigned to those faces, set the material as "Shadeless", and assign the new material to those faces.
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
I tried the shadeless trick and I must not be doing it right. I create a new material, add the original texture to it (00022030.bmp), set the new material to shadeless, then assign the new material to the faces for the intakes. However when I export the mesh, Wing Blender assigns the default texture slot to the IFF. 00022030.bmp --> 00022000.mat. Anything I'm missing here?
 

Kevin Caccamo

Rear Admiral
Well, that's actually an error on my part. It should work if you have only one shadeless material with that numeric filename, or if you use a non-numeric filename for the texture.

EDIT: Fixed. A new release (1.6.1) is now available.
 
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DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
Can it be the same texture as the rest of the mesh or does it need to be separate: base texture 00022030 and shaderless texture 00022031? Or can they both be 00022030?

****Edit

Got it worked out. Aw man you just made my day! Now I can make glowy Nephilim gun ports...
 
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Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Very pretty! Are the engine pods working ok? Because I see that all the screenshots you took appear to show the engine pods in the default position?
 

Vidmaster

Rear Admiral
yeah! that "updated eye candy" as you call it finally looks like true WCP to me, the previous shoot looked way to purpelish...
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
yeah! that "updated eye candy" as you call it finally looks like true WCP to me, the previous shoot looked way to purpelish...

LOL, thanks! Those first shots in game were in the early missions in Ella (or was it Courage?), which is very much a purple sector of space. :) Luyten is far more photogenic.
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
I was doing some testing tonight because I wrongly attributed a game crash to the unlimited patch (sorry @gr1mre4per) :), not sure what caused it actually, but it hasn't resurfaced after playing the mission where the crash occurred four times in a row. I am now officially sick of playing Luyten 5.UX. On the upside, I played a few more missions in and grabbed a few screen shots from the later mission where you sortie pretty much every ship in the game against a bug blockade.

By the way Gr1m, if THIS didn't crash the game I'm not sure what the issue with the intro mission is...

Luyten_AlphaStrike3.jpg Luyten_AlphaStrike1.jpg Luyten_AlphaStrike2.jpg Luyten_AlphaStrike4.jpg Luyten_AlphaStrike5.jpg
 

gr1mre4per

Rear Admiral
It's OK you can blame the unlimited patch if you want :) Ops doesn't like some of the limit increases. I was originally testing with Prophecy which so far has handled all of the changes without issue. I'm going to move to Ops for testing as is seems more sensitive to changes.

Nice work there great to see such progress, can't wait to see some more cap ships come out. Still looking forward to the concept you had of the Cerberus ;)
 
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