WC4 Remake

Pedro

Admiral
10701

This is the camera Defiance originally intended (I'm now loading the cameras from the model files he provides so you don't get stuck with programmer settings). This would be the default view closely mirroring the original. The joystick and throttle were primarily meant for VR, so for any players opting for a more traditional view the hands/ legs wouldn't even be visible. We'll add them but will prioritize other things.

Anyway the reason I'm setting this up is my next focus will be the cockpit camera and it raises questions. Quarto suggests looking to WCP's cockpit - that rolled the cockpit without impacting the ship or the HUD. Again it's the most recent example of a WC title but it's still 2 decades old. Would anyone object to moving the camera instead of the cockpit and having the reticule adjust accordingly? This seems to be what RGO, Star Citizen and other titles do.

Just for my own knowledge (no promises on what options we'll add) but what cockpit settings would people use if available?
HUD only (classic style)
The above minimalist cockpit
WC3 style cockpit with joystick/ legs visible (note that in 16:9 this will mean even more lost screen space)
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
To be clear - my intention here would be that the default view would be the above image, however - the player could still look around the cockpit using a hatswitch/D-Pad for snap views/free look. More like what you see in a modern flight sim; because why bother building the full cockpit otherwise?

For the headshake question above, it depends on how we interpret the HUD in WC4. If we assume the HUD is projected onto the helmet visor ala WCP, then the cockpit motion would follow WCP-like standards (ie, the HUD is static and doesn't move) this is a potentially reasonable assumption based on real-world helmets today. However, if the HUD is projected onto a plate or holographically rendered in a single fixed-forward position (like gen 2-4 fighters - which is equally reasonable) then the thought would be that high-g or extended maneuvers would possibly pull the eyepoint out of alignment with the HUD (not drastically, but more like the pilot's head is being pulled by the forces acting on it) making aiming for the ITTS pipper more important.

The FMV doesn't really give us alot of HUD imagery to draw from regarding the actual HUD and how it's rendered in a Hellcat.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I think it comes down to what's more realistic (and less nauseating) for the player. A small amount of movement helps for immersion, overdoing it can become an annoying distraction. It's hard to say what's best here without seeing it in practice, but I would lean towards a static reticle and dynamic cockpit (I guess like WCP?).
 

Pedro

Admiral
Thanks, it's hard to tell if that's the cockpit or the eye because the effect is so subtle, but the end effect is similar to RGO.

I actually took a look at the recent release of SC and it's a lot more in-line with what DI suggested based on flight combat games so I'll probably discount the reticule they had in earlier releases.

EDIT: I wasn't expecting this to hit the news as there's nothing new to see. I'll try and hold back my updates until there's something of note
 
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ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
EDIT: I wasn't expecting this to hit the news as there's nothing new to see. I'll try and hold back my updates until there's something of note
As surprising as this may be, there are occasionally slow news days in the world of Wing Commander in 2019. :) On those rare days, the threshold for newsworthiness could be lower than usual, and even relatively minor updates are helpful then.
 

Pedro

Admiral

So a few details on the CIC birthday video.
1: Nothing had a second pass, so the particle effects lighting etc are unchanged (but both are a high priority). The two things tweaked are those mentioned in this thread; cockpit motion and shield appearance

2: We did the damage hud elements with 2D images but realised too late the more sensible thing would be to render wireframe models instead to potentially allow us to animate them a bit.

3: It may be subtle but there is cockpit motion. Playing RGO I realised perhaps it was more subtle than it needed to be at the last minute so one of the clips has it dialled up higher. We went for wcp fake cockpit motion in the end (I don’t think it ended up applied to the zoomed out cockpit, something I didn’t think about until after recording the video as it was a last minute addition).

All will probably be quiet for a while as we go back and improve the workflow.
Whilst everything is first pass I’d love feedback based on what is seen here. One of the motivations for throwing in features quickly was to get opinions before going too far in one direction.
 
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gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
I like a lot of the stuff I see, espacialy the light and shadows effecting the cockpit and the cockpit itself.
What looks odd to me is how slow the laser bolds are flighing. At least they looks slow to me and something else is odd but can't figure out what it is.

As for the cockpit motion, I don't realy need it to be to strong. I like the very suddle effect.
 

Pedro

Admiral
Thanks. I've been down with real life stuff lately so no real progress; that probably won't end until December.

No speeds have been tweaked yet; the reason being I want to load them from the original data. Infact no gameplay has been tweaked at all, that's all still to come. Definitely think of what is there as a proof of concept rather than representative.
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
Just read your first post and tell me if I get it right.

What you are doing is writing a new engine that loads the Data from WC4 but replaces the graphics with what you have resulting in a WC4 with updated graphics. Still you would need to own WC4 and have it installed as well?

If that is so it sound pretty much what the guys do for X-Wing (virtual X-Wing something...forgot the name)
 

Pedro

Admiral
Just read your first post and tell me if I get it right.

What you are doing is writing a new engine that loads the Data from WC4 but replaces the graphics with what you have resulting in a WC4 with updated graphics. Still you would need to own WC4 and have it installed as well?

If that is so it sound pretty much what the guys do for X-Wing (virtual X-Wing something...forgot the name)
Pretty much the same yeah, I agree with a lot of their reasoning for developing in this manner.
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
What reason would that be, except that you don't have to worry much about balanceing or recreating the experiance as close as possible because it is the original with just better graphics?
 

Pedro

Admiral
What reason would that be, except that you don't have to worry much about balanceing or recreating the experiance as close as possible because it is the original with just better graphics?
Less work, more authentic, on less shaky legal ground, and more fun.
Plus down the road it’s a 2 for 1, once we have 4 it’d be very little work to support 3.
 

st3lt3k

Rear Admiral
I saw that the STAR WARS™ - X-Wing Special Edition mod people went into detail on their legal reasoning. Since it might help the Wing Commander community somehow, here it is:

"Aren't you going to get a C&D letter from Disney?
There is always the chance that someone somewhere misunderstands the nature of this project. But as we see it, Disney or Lucasfilm Ltd. have virtually no reason to feel concerned about this. These are our reasons:

  • We aren't creating a derivative work based on their IP. We are just giving their customers an external tool to make use of their existing game at higher resolution, with better graphical and audio quality, and with more input methods. There are hundreds of mods that do exactly the same, even with other Disney products, and they have been there for the past decades.
  • We aren't distributing copyrighted assets. The user purchases the product from Disney's distributors, and the mod makes use of those assets included in the product for the convenience of the user.
  • We aren't claiming ownership of the intellectual property, or the assets included in the product. We aren't removing copyright or trademark claims, logos, credits, neither we are adding any of our own. The user is not misled about the ownership of the product or the IP.
  • We aren't pursuing any commercial exploitation of the product of any kind or manner, neither we are taking or accepting any form of reward from the users, requested or freely offered.
  • Where new assets have been created for the necessity of the revamp, they aren't copyrighted materials, but originally created by our team. We claim no intellectual property on those assets, and we acknowledge that they are fan-made depictions of Lucasfilm's or Disney's trademarks. In some cases, assets are borrowed, with permission, from the X-Wing Alliance Upgrade Project, a mod to another LucasArts game that has been available for more than a decade now, that has basically the same goal than ours, but targets a different game.
  • Disney, EA, or other partners aren't suffering loss of sales because of this mod. This mod targets a product that is currently being sold by Disney, X-Wing Special Edition. If anything, this mod should increase interest on that product and drive sales for it.
  • No third party is benefiting from the Star Wars IP through this mod. This mod isn't recreating X-Wingin a third party's game (unlike many other projects have done in the past, with this or other IPs), possibly driving sales for that third party, in detriment of Disney or EA, by using the Star Wars IP. This mod targets one of Disney's own in-catalog, products and merely allows to use it in a way more up-to-date.
  • This mod doesn't compete with EA's products or those of other Disney partners. No more than Disney does by having X-Wing Special Edition in catalog. The X-Wing game series is fundamentally a different sort of games and cater to a much different (and by comparison, tiny) niche of users than any product currently marketed by EA or other Disney partners.
  • This mod doesn't permanently alter or modify the original product. The user can always run the product afterwards without experiencing any change.
  • This mod doesn't make use of decompilation, disassembly, or other reverse-engineering techniques over the original game executables. No member of the development team has ever had access to the original source code. The development of this mod is documented as an iterative process of guesswork over several years, sometimes using descriptions of the asset formats that have been publicly available, in some cases since as early as 1993."
 

Dorjé

Veteran Spaceman
I still love this project so much! BRAVO. On the question of cockpit for me: minimalist version. (sorry for my english, i'm french)
 

Pedro

Admiral
Been out of action with flu, work craziness and most significantly moving, I haven't even had chance to set up the server again yet so I'm afraid I've made very little progress... but with the extra deskspace I got a new monitor so I can start testing Ultra Wide resolutions and HDR.
 

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Pedro

Admiral
All has been quiet on the WCIV remake front. That doesn't mean we haven't been hard at work, just that it hasn't been very visual work.
Still with the CIC birthday coming up again we've taken some time out over the last month or so to correct that.
Here's a peak at one of the new features, adaptive screen spaced ambient occlusion. Although a very subtle effect it adds a lot of definition to the models.


As most models are static a lot of this could be baked in to the textures, but animated models like the Dragon or joints between turret and capship mesh will benefit from the real time nature of this effect.

You may also notice that we have added some film grain so the in-game scenes match the FMV.
 

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