WC4 Mod For Homeworld 2 In The Works (June 5, 2006)

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
Given the detailed "chatter" thats used in HW2 - do you think theres enough soundfiles to extract from WC4 to use in this mod? Especially given you're implementing how many races - 3? 4? Do you guys plan on making your own in addition to those extracted from WC4?
 

BrynS

Mr Kat says...
FROM: BWS Kingston Naval Space Station, Tyr System, Vega Sector

TO: UBW Naval Cadets, Class of 2672

DATE: 2673.091

SUBJECT: Welcome to the UBW Defence Fleet



Greetings Cadet,

The Union of Border Worlds Navy prides itself on rugged and proven capabilities and the strong frontier spirit that bonds us and on which the worlds we defend were founded. You have my admiration and the support of all Union citizens in your decision to join the UBW Defence Fleet, where I have every confidence in your performance and abilities.

As I'm sure you know, our proximity to Kilrathi space and the activities of criminal organsations operating in and out of our territory is a constant concern to the Union government and policing our large borders is increasingly being transferred from overburdened local militia and in-system security to the Navy. The Great War may be over, but hostilities remain and the UBW Defence Fleet stands firm as the thin blue line protecting the sovereignty of the Union. Apart from the the recent upswing in pirate activity and small-scale Kilrathi raids, political tension is growing between the Union and the Confederation and we need to remain vigilant.

Our peace-time fleet has undergone an extensive rationalisation process, but is still a potent force and with continuing rolling-upgrade contracts and our established local defense industry, as well as strong Union government support, we have the will and the way to protect the independence of the Union of Border Worlds. Our very successful Banshee Light Fighter programme stands testament to local ingenuity and expertise and our recent Strike Cruiser modifications, amongst many others are set to extend the capabilities and useable lifetime of our capital ships considerably above their Confed counterparts.

Our pilot corps draws upon the experience and skills of numerous veterans of the War, many of whom still fly frontline craft or continue to pass on their expertise as instructors and we count many confirmed Aces in their number. Our pilots gain experience in a wide variety of craft, from the venerable Ferret through to our new designs coming online, such as the Banshee or Vindicator and regular border operations provide considerable live-fire engagements to test one's mettle, rather than relying on the simulator.

I wish you all the best in your posting with the UBW Defence Fleet and have confidence in your desire to uphold the freedoms and independence of the Union. If you qualify for deployment on the Intrepid, then may I say that the crew of the Evil I is the best in fleet and that we look forward to having you aboard.

Please familiarise yourself with one of the following holovid transmissions of recent fleet manoeuvres in the Tyr system:

Priority I Secure High-defintion Burst Feed

Priority II Secure Standard Feed

Priority III Secure Low Bandwidth Feed


Sincerely,

Raul Dominguez
Captain, BWS Intrepid CV-06, Flagship UBW Defence Fleet
 

Attachments

BrynS

Mr Kat says...
LeHah said:
Given the detailed "chatter" thats used in HW2 - do you think theres enough soundfiles to extract from WC4 to use in this mod? Especially given you're implementing how many races - 3? 4? Do you guys plan on making your own in addition to those extracted from WC4?
I've haven't started cataloguing the comm chatter in Game Audio Player yet, but scanning through the clips that it can open successfully (which I'd estimate at about 60-70% of the audio that GAP identifies) then I'd say there's probably enough for each faction.

We'd need to make a decision though on whether to include the big personalities as voices for generic craft, i.e. using Blair or Maniac's comm chatter for the Banshee or similar. Looking through Maniac's clips, there's probably enough variations where he doesn't refer specifically to Colonel (Blair) where his voice could be used as a more generic talent, although obviously Wingnuts would still recognise his voice.

There's quite a few different pilot voices, likely attributable but not immediately recognisable to most I would think, that could cover the large majority of fighters and shuttles/utility craft across the three factions in the mod. Naismith's and Sosa's comms could be used for the Confed carrier and UBW carrier respectively, and there's a few others we could probably put to use on other capships and facilities.

I've mentioned tapping the community for voice talent to Aaron, but until we get to that stage of integration it's hard to be more specific, although I'm sure it's a possibility and it might be better to go the bespoke route to get away from the "small universe syndrome." :)

I've included some "contact sheets" below from the UBW Preview that show images taken every 10 seconds or so to get a peek at what's in the UBW Preview. I'm working on an UBW "Combat Operations" video next, which should be ready in the next day or two. :D









EDIT: Another thing about the UBW Preview. I realise the Vindicator was listed as a medium fighter in the game and I erroneously listed the Banshee as a light fighter in the video (I know it is a light fighter in WC4), but in the current build of the mod it fills the UBW medium fighter role, while the Vindicator fills the heavy fighter slot. We want the mod to be as close to the game and/or novel (where complimentary) as possible and will obviously be amending these listings while testing continues, as mentioned in the note at the beginning of the video. :)

Cheers,


BrynS
 

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BrynS

Mr Kat says...
gevatter Lars said:
Question...will this mod also work with multiplayer?
I'm fairly certain it will, but can't say for sure yet. I tried getting a multiplayer match running between the two PC's on my LAN at home a few weeks back and they were connecting fine, but just after both players warped in, the match would end with victory conditions being achieved by one player. I assume it's workable, but a few scripts need to be changed first.

If I have time in the next few days, I'll patch up the build on the other PC and give it another bash and I've also added the question to my list of queries that I'll be sending to Aaron shortly for confirmation. :)


CataclysmX said:
Maybe we can make an "Confed Alpha Bug" post when this release comes out?
I don't know, I think it's pretty cool having the whole mod develop out of a single thread! :p Well, two actually when you count the Relic Forums thread too. More seriously though, it would probably be a good idea to branch off the feedback/bug reporting into specific threads when the first release is available. :)

Hopefully if the multiplayer issues can be ironed out, I can't think of a better way to stress test Confed's finest in the first release than to have Wingnuts duking it out online!

Cheers,


Bryn
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
BrynS said:
I've haven't started cataloguing the comm chatter in Game Audio Player yet, but scanning through the clips that it can open successfully (which I'd estimate at about 60-70% of the audio that GAP identifies) then I'd say there's probably enough for each faction.
Good, good. I do worry, however, that the "chatter" may not be specific enough, really. Theres really no coms I can think of that would go with, say, harvesters.

However, I remain completely impressed by the work put out in this mod. It got me to go back and reread the WC4 novel for the first time in over a year. I'm really honestly excited to see this mod finished!
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
I had a few issues I wanted to address here regarding sheilds and what was discussed in the Relic forum. I know that sheilds on capships aren't being implemented. Yet, where did you guys come up with the idea of hull-hugging sheilds? Even in the WC4 movies the sheild hits (note the scenes near the end between the Intrepid, Vesuvius, and St. Helens) the sheild flareups are many feet above the hull and extend past the hull even at times. They do follow the basic contours of the ship but these need not be comlex. And why would we dismiss the effects seen in WCP for example?


When this image is taken in conjunction with the one from the scene of the big gun firing I think the kinds of sheilding are pretty clear. So having simpler shields isn't a problem. But having localized weapon hit effects might be more complicated.

Regarding torpedoes, was there an issue there as well? I don't remember who was talking about them hitting the sheilds and the hull, but Of course I'm sure you guys (Bryn, Ton, and Czacen) are aware that they don't touch the sheilds at all (they scan them resulting in the long lock time) and pass right through hitting the hull.

I'm sure a lot of stuff is being done to mitigate the lack of physical sheilds for balancing and maybe it's simpler to just include a sheild flare in the weapon hit-effect for guns when they hit capships. It might be possible to have a different effect without the "sheild flare" for when the hit-points get below a certain level.
It would certainly be more resource friendlty than actually needing to model shields but doesn't have the advantage of being regenratable I suppose.

Another question: We do see auto-repair systems in WC. Do ships repair themselms to a small degree over time? Is this possible in HW2?
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
AD said:
Do ships repair themselms to a small degree over time? Is this possible in HW2?
Several of the larger ships - destroyers, battlecruisers - repair themselves VERY slowly. Theres really no point in letting them, since you can send in two or three harvesters to repair a ship which takes a lot less time.
 

BrynS

Mr Kat says...
Yeah, some good questions there, AD. It's late here and I need to be up early tomorrow, but I'll clarify the issues you brought up in more detail tomorrow. :)

Cheers,


Bryn
 

czacen

Spaceman
hello all, homeless modder checking in for the week. finally made the down-payment on a flat and started moving my gear. but its going to take a while yet to be up and running. maybe a week. net connection might take longer at home. alot of stuff to read here since ive been off the web for the past 3 days. bryn has been handling questions perfectly. a few things though:

1) hw2 doesnt have dynamic audio. what i did to remedy this is take 8 tracks from the wc4 game, split them into 2 groups of 4 with a variation of audio i.e. sad music , victory music and battle music, and then composed them in audacity on my own. hence there are 2 long audio tracks with mixed music that play through the levels. one track plays on levels 1,3,5,7,9... and the other on 2,4,6,8,10... however this numbering is done by hw2 and not me. but the result is a great adition to the wc4 feel as you have seen in the vids.

2) AD what you described about the shields being a few feet off the surface of the ship and that how they follow the basic contours of the ship is exaclty what is meant by hull hugging shields in the hw2 engine. hull hugging does not mean the same exact mesh and body of the ship. the WCP shields are entirely different though and i didnt want to use it for reference since not only was the effect different but the graphics for it aswell.

3) about the comm chatter, i think there are plenty that we can use after extraction and clean up. no worries here, just need the files. can someone mail me gap, and a quick tute or how-to on how to get it to play the audio off the tre files without extracting them. my email is justice.gundam@gmail.com

also i'd like to notify ppl that currently just bryn and i are working on the mod. ton_viper has been out of action and contact for a while with his office workload and issues with the internet its kept him away from the mod for some time. however i lookforward to having him back on board when hes ready. right now bryn is tester and director of all preview videos (at which he is a specialist :)) , mod spokesperson and expert feedback handler. while all game content, models, textures, coding, sound and graphical work is being handled by me. im glad everyone likes what they see so far and its exactly this energy that keeps this mod going. thanks to all for their support. will try the hardest to get you guys something extremely enjoyable to play with soon. please bear in mind that there will be many many tweaks as releases come out. there will also be constraints from the hw2 engine for certain things. as long as this is kept in mind then the gameplay will be really rewarding.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
czacen said:
what you described about the shields being a few feet off the surface of the ship and that how they follow the basic contours of the ship is exaclty what is meant by hull hugging shields in the hw2 engine. hull hugging does not mean the same exact mesh and body of the ship. the WCP shields are entirely different though and i didnt want to use it for reference since not only was the effect different but the graphics for it aswell.
I guess my point isnt that it should be the same color or effect look from WCP but rather that the sheild system is basicaly the same. In one case we see a greenish borken glass effect and In WC4 though we see a blue-white swirl-type effect. In both cases it's similar to what you would see on a fighter in-engine in wc4 except that it's more flat from being spread out on a larger surface. Are you planning on cheating the look in there without having a sheild system or are you dropping it all together?
 

alfredator

Spaceman
Cant keep quiet any longer!
Have been following this MOD since the 1st page of this thread to today.

You guys have my heartfelt thanks for bringing this mod to what it is today.

Really appreciate your hard work, thanks! :D
 

BrynS

Mr Kat says...
Thanks for the comments, alfredator. I hope the mod introduces or reacquaints many with Wing Commander!

AD said:
I had a few issues I wanted to address here regarding sheilds and what was discussed in the Relic forum. I know that sheilds on capships aren't being implemented...
Just to add to what czacen mentioned a few post back, we were focusing primarily on the WC4 shield references (which for the discussion in the Relic forums are described as "hull-hugging."), as it's obviously the current faction era of the mod, although the WCP references were also considered.

The WCP lattice shielding-effect is pretty neat and while it may be possible for WC4-era phase shielding to react in the same way as the Midways' shields do in the plasma weapon cinematics (i.e. the shielding appears to normally be "hull-hugging", but can be extended outwards to a specific area and/or create a larger protective bubble around the Midway) I don't believe there are any references that confirm WC4 shields operating in this way. WCP shielding is presumably more advanced than WC4-era shielding anyway and the visual discrepencies and modelling considerations were such that it made more sense to pursue WC4 shielding.

I haven't actually seen the test implementation for shielding in the mod that Aaron was working on, but for the moment anyway, shielding has had to be postponed for various reasons.


AD said:
...So having simpler shields isn't a problem. But having localized weapon hit effects might be more complicated.
Yeah, although unfortunately Aaron was having various problems with different shield implementations. The current HW2 blue "plasma burst" effect that's been in the mod since the first update and which is ably complemented by the WC shield impact sound fx does a decent job ingame of somewhat making up for the lack of shields. These bursts are generally very much localised (although directly to the hull) and are clearly attributable to individual fighter blasts; they're not just a random effect.

Still, it doesn't make up for a working shield system, but in the middle of a frantic melee, with torpedo's and capital ship missiles flying everywhere and fighters darting in and out capships, while you're still trying to protect far flung mining operations and keeping your shipyards busy, the lack of a shield effect on those incoming cruisers becomes a minor concern -- you're still going to need to some need major firepower or a few wings of Longbows to take them out! :D


AD said:
Regarding torpedoes, was there an issue there as well? I don't remember who was talking about them hitting the sheilds and the hull, but Of course I'm sure you guys (Bryn, Ton, and Czacen) are aware that they don't touch the sheilds at all (they scan them resulting in the long lock time) and pass right through hitting the hull.
No, I think the issue here (as it cropped up in the Relic forums) was with a discussion about the implementation of CSMs (which as far I recall don't bypass shields, but try to overwhelm them) and what damage modifiers they would need in HW2 to work. In the earlier test versions, torpedoes were setup to reflect realistic damage as per WC and were just waiting for the shield system to be integrated. As Aaron mentioned here, torpedos were like glorified dumbfires until recently because capship hull values were increased considerably to the their combined hull and shield value.

The latest update has significantly increased torpedo damage to reflect a realistic WC dynamic. I'm not sure of the exact damage value of the torpedo in the latest update, but they're rather potent. A single torpedo will destroy a frigate and I think about 4-6 direct torpedo hits in quick succession will destroy a Concordia class carrier. Obviously, gameplay considerations need to slightly temper WC realism at times, but things like torpedo damage can and will likely be tweaked in future. I should have some clearer numbers (of torps) and hopefully some video of this soon.

I've mentioned to Aaron the possibility of releasing an older video I compiled a couple of weeks back of a Longbow bombing run using the old torpedo damage values. It was crazy on the one hand seeing 16 Longbows launching torpedos against a single cruiser, only for them to do about 20% damage (with some weird torpedo movement AI to boot), but very cool seeing a prolonged attack with their rear turrets blazing and them emptying their fulls guns at the cruiser during each pass. :D


AD said:
I'm sure a lot of stuff is being done to mitigate the lack of physical sheilds for balancing and maybe it's simpler to just include a sheild flare in the weapon hit-effect for guns when they hit capships. It might be possible to have a different effect without the "sheild flare" for when the hit-points get below a certain level.
Yeah, another effect for weapons impacting once the capship has reached it's hull value could be a possibility. At the moment during combat, depending on their condition, capships will start to show different levels of damage such as smoke billowing from damaged systems and fire in some areas. The latest update also appears to result in destroyed or scuttled capships leaving a permanent debris field in their stead. :eek:


AD said:
Another question: We do see auto-repair systems in WC. Do ships repair themselms to a small degree over time? Is this possible in HW2?
In the previous testing version they were slowly auto-repairing and that may still be the case in the latest update -- I'll have to check that out. Confed now have a Repair research upgrade in the latest update, but I've been focusing on the UBW videos lately and haven't thoroughly tested the repair implementation out yet. I suggested to Aaron that capships should only be repaired in drydocks, while fighters/bombers could only be repaired on carriers, HQ or space stations, although the implementation may change for balance/gameplay reasons.

It might be neat to give the Border Worlds an advantage in ship repair, e.g. all their ships could perhaps be repaired in "the field" or give them a repair speed advantage to reflect their pioneering/make-do existance?

Cheers,


Bryn
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
BrynS said:
It might be neat to give the Border Worlds an advantage in ship repair, e.g. all their ships could perhaps be repaired in "the field" or give them a repair speed advantage to reflect their pioneering/make-do existance?
Thats a really good idea. The UBW would be known for being able to patch things on the fly, so emphasizing that would definitely not only work as a good modifier but also keep with the WC4 universe.

On the other hand, I'm not a major fan of sending ships back to drydock for repair. This would lead to players building four or five drydocks and repairing fleets en masse - not a major issue, until you realize that you later have to take down those same drydocks to cripple the opposing war effort. If the drydocks are anything like the HW2 shipyards - it takes a great deal of firepower to destroy one of those.

In the original HW, there were repair frigates instead of the harvester repair mod. Perhaps something similar? Such a ship would allow repairs "in the field" but also risk losing a low-armored ship...

Another stupid thought - have you guys talked about using UBW MIPs/Spam Cans? They might make for an interesting alternative to the Marine Frigate.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
LeHah said:
Another stupid thought - have you guys talked about using UBW MIPs/Spam Cans? They might make for an interesting alternative to the Marine Frigate.
Hmmm, that is interesting. It might also work to the UBW advantage if both the assault shuttle and MIPs were used. Could it be possible to decide what Kind of action would be taken allong with a variable for success? For example, firing a few MIPs would hardly be effective in taking over a Concordia class ship though it could certainly be effective for sabotage. Yet a few marines probably wouldnt have to hard a time comandeering a transport. Would it be possible to use the MIPs to steal techs from a more advanced enemy or even fighter designs if launched at the right kind of instalation?


Another idea: Have you guys given any thought about implementing Leech cannons / missiles? Could it be a different attack stance (along side agressive/ passive/ neutral etc )?
 
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