Wing Commander Prophecy: Secret Ops Model Update Pack

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
CIC20.jpg


And of course the present! Here's the latest version of the MUP! Download and enjoy!
 

Sordid

Rear Admiral
Great work! Really enjoying the new models. Two questions though:

1. I'm trying to play in 4k (my native resolution) but I'm only seeing a section of the whole image. 1440p works fine, though.
2. How can I easily add the DVD cutscenes without having to use the old enhancement pack?
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
Great work! Really enjoying the new models. Two questions though:

1. I'm trying to play in 4k (my native resolution) but I'm only seeing a section of the whole image. 1440p works fine, though.
2. How can I easily add the DVD cutscenes without having to use the old enhancement pack?

I think both of these are better fielded by the GL team but here goes:

  1. Currently the max resolution the open GL launcher is 1440 - but it should be able to support higher resolutions. can you post a screenshot? it might help us troubleshoot better.
  2. The current GL supports the DVD movies without running the installer - you would still need to download the movie files themselves and place them in the proper directory
@PopsiclePete or @Pedro can probably help further.
 

PopsiclePete

Mission programmer
@Sordid , @DefianceIndustries : The launcher calls a Windows API to fetch all supported resolutions. If you think it doesn't, could you give me more info so I can research ? Sreenshots of the resolutions dropdown selection lists form both Windows and the launcher would be a good start, but if you have any more information to help us understand the issue, it would be great.
 

Sordid

Rear Admiral
Thanks for the help!
My first problem, playing at 4k, has disappeared by starting the game using the exe without GOG Galaxy. Still rather strange.
I've placed the DVD cutscenes in the movie folder but all I get is the sound and a black screen. Using Win10 I have installed the mpeg2 decoder just in case. Still no luck...

Edit: Cutscenes working fine now using ffdshow and the newer wcphr.dll from 2013. Thanks guys!
 
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DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
Hi all,

This is one of those long overdue "under the hood" updates. Over the last year or so we've gotten a number of requests on feature improvements for the Vision engine via this project. We do listen. I thought I'd take a moment to share a sample of the enhancement list the MUP team is working on. It's also worth noting that while the new assets are the most visible aspect of the MUP's improvements (and this is really the vehicle driving changes into other components), a boat load of work goes on behind the scenes to enable us art guys to make shiny new Hydras and the like. A few of the upcoming features from Pedro and Popsicle Pete will include big GL enhancements for normal mapping, iridescence, and a host of performance enhancements to reduce load times and improve the launcher. The Unlimited patch under Grim is researching some very cool changes including possibly and finally being able to replace a base dead capship hull with a destroyed mesh, as well as correcting bugs that shipped with the game like corvettes not properly showing shield effects when hit with their shields up, or correcting the corvette hit box issue (where damage is applied to the wrong face)...and yes 16:9 support is on there. :)

MUP_Enhancements.JPG


As mama used to say: It doesn't have to be flashy to still be sexy. (Ok, my mom never actually said that)....
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Cool stuff!

A random thought: at some point, you're going to need to get a 3d animator onboard, and re-render all the external FMV scenes, because you will reach a point where your upgraded in-flight models put the original high-def cutscene models to shame, particularly given their resolution :).
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
Cool stuff!

A random thought: at some point, you're going to need to get a 3d animator onboard, and re-render all the external FMV scenes, because you will reach a point where your upgraded in-flight models put the original high-def cutscene models to shame, particularly given their resolution :).

Well, if we're going to go that far why not just build a fan-based WCP 2?
 

Pedro

Admiral
Well, for that, we'd kind of need fan-made live action FMV, too :).

The official sequel didn't bother with it so...
I'm personally not too interested in fan continuations however - not until I give up hope of a true sequel entirely (I'm close, so very close). I'd rather more standoff style titles that allow us to play with the known history of the franchise.
 
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FekLeyrTarg

Rear Admiral
Well, if we're going to go that far why not just build a fan-based WCP 2?
Something like "Collateral Damage"?
JasonRocz has become more active recently. Perhabs we could ask him whether or not he accepts any assistance in continuing work on CD.
Star*Soldier offers a lot of interesting stuff regarding the Nephilim war on which fan-projects can be based on, like "Collateral Damage" and "Defiant Few".
So I'm very interested in exploring the Nephilim war further.

I'd rather more standoff style titles that allow us to play with the known history of the franchise.
I like the sound of that.
There are many barely explored parts of the Wing Commander Universe's history, like:
-the Fall of the Steltek Empire
-the Kilrathi-Mantu war
(-the Pilgrim Wars)
-the early years of the Kilrathi war (McAuliffe Ambush from a different POV, Enyo Engagement...)
-the time around Custer's Carnival
-the 10 years between the Destruction of the Tiger's Claw and the Invasion of Gwynedd
-the fate of the Kilrathi rebels
-the time between the Battle of Baka Kar and the Border Worlds Conflict
-the time between the Border Worlds Conflict and the Nephilim war
-as suggested above, the Nephilim war between Proxima and The Burning Battle (VN-day?)

I think any of these time periods could be seen from any POV, be it by a pilot of the Confed Space Force or ISS, Border Worlds Militia, Landreich, Kilrathi, Pirate, Black Lance Remnant, Steltek, Mantu, Nephilim,...
 
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DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
Well, for that, we'd kind of need fan-made live action FMV, too :).

Given the costs involved in getting a decent green screen set up with lighting, costumes, etc, not to mention the time involved to even go WC3 style with full CG sets. Live FMV is kind of unlikely. Also doing cg characters with mocap is only slightly more likely but I don't have a rig and the cost is still fairly prohibitive. More likely would be to go old school and hand animate it, but the time spent there would be pretty long. So we could do machinima, or maybe strike out in a different direction and do parallax 2d art cutscenes. Ship & space animations are easy, good character animation is hard...

Not that we've been discussing any of this kind you...:rolleyes:
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Given the costs involved in getting a decent green screen set up with lighting, costumes, etc, not to mention the time involved to even go WC3 style with full CG sets. Live FMV is kind of unlikely. Also doing cg characters with mocap is only slightly more likely but I don't have a rig and the cost is still fairly prohibitive. More likely would be to go old school and hand animate it, but the time spent there would be pretty long. So we could do machinima, or maybe strike out in a different direction and do parallax 2d art cutscenes. Ship & space animations are easy, good character animation is hard...
Indeed, live-action seems pretty improbable. Especially given the difficulties of getting the likes of Mark Hamill on the screen... not to mention the great star himself, Steve Petrarca ;).

But in terms of machinima, that is definitely a viable option. The easiest way to do it would be to pick an easily-moddable RPG with character creation - something like Skyrim or Fallout 4, but maybe half a decade newer ;). Then you import sets, costumes and props, and create setpiece conversations to record in the engine. I think that could potentially work very well indeed.
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
Indeed, live-action seems pretty improbable. Especially given the difficulties of getting the likes of Mark Hamill on the screen... not to mention the great star himself, Steve Petrarca ;).

But in terms of machinima, that is definitely a viable option. The easiest way to do it would be to pick an easily-moddable RPG with character creation - something like Skyrim or Fallout 4, but maybe half a decade newer ;). Then you import sets, costumes and props, and create setpiece conversations to record in the engine. I think that could potentially work very well indeed.

I'd probably have to buy a hearty food contract from Mr. Petrarca as I think he runs a catering business now.

In terms of a future project - I personally like the bugs as villains so if I were to continue the WCP story line I'd jettison the Midway and associated characters and create a new hero ship and crew so you would be free of any constraints in trying to splice existing dialogue together to create new lines from Casey, Maestro et al. Either that or maybe revisit WC1. both of those are fun times to play with. the 8 years between WC4 and WCP are good for a political thriller story - maybe some kind of CIA-esque covert ops missions against an internal adversary, but it's kind of limited for grand space opera.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
You know what could actually be a neat project for experimenting with FMV? Secret Ops. Now, granted, it would mean replacing all the voice talent with new people, but hey - changing actors for a character is hardly anything new in WC. But it's a perfect test case, because it's already a part of the upgrade project anyway, and because it would only require changes in terms of FMV. The missions could remain entirely unchanged, while the FMV scenes could be planned out based on the original fiction. I mean, Secret Ops was kind of charming in that "1990s high school" feel, where a bunch of teens living in the same town communicate mainly by email (the only thing missing was IRC :) ), but really, it would be so much better if the team actually met instead of just trading emails.
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
but really, it would be so much better if the team actually met instead of just trading emails.
Which is ironic because the MUP team is totally international. :) Although we have much better tools for real time communication these days.

We are kinda exploring that option actually. Making CG based FMVs for SO, although the initial scope is basically a shot-for-shot remake of the existing scenes with better effects. I suppose we could recast Rayak and Cavazos, they're sort of generic anyway. Casey wasn't even Petrarca in SO so that works. It'd be hard to recast zero or maestro since they have distinctive voices. Alternatively we could "remaster" the originals and add additional scenes from the fiction that are couched in TCN segments.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I'd just go the whole hog, I think. Don't worry about the distinctiveness of Zero and Maestro - think of it like the change between WC2 and WC3, where all the voices changed. Or between WC3-WCP and the movie. And even Zero and Maestro are hardly very famous characters. Nobody cares about them, and it's literally twenty years (wow, yeah! I mean, this is August 2018, so it's exactly twenty years) since they appeared in Secret Ops, so really, again - nobody cares about them by now :).

With regards to what to change, replacing existing scenes is a start, but when you get to it, you'll realise that it needs to be more than just shot-for-shot with better effects. I mean, hey, I've made in-engine scenes in Secret Ops, I know just how limited they were with their camera options and ship controls. You were fine if you wanted to show ships flying in a straight line. Anything beyond that was rocket science. We did a lot of amazing in-engine scenes in Standoff, but if you look closely, you'll see how primitive they really are. With CG versions of SO's scenes, you'd want to make some big improvements in the ship flight dynamics, and just generally make the scenes more interesting, because right now, most of them are just a bunch of nothing happening. And then - since inevitably, your ambitions would grow with the project's development, you'd want to add cockpit interior shots, at which point you'd be producing character models. Once you reach that point, adding on-board scenes is no longer a huge leap into the unknown :).

What I'd do, if I were doing this (and I wish I was - I mean, there's nothing but the lack of time stopping me from joining you guys, but lack of time is lack of time), is add some sort of lounge room to SO, and make those sort of two-three-person conversations we had in Standoff. I wouldn't bother too much with TCN - apart from maybe having something about Blair's funeral, I'd just weave any important news into the conversations, and leave the rest in small on-screen text tidbits. I mean, the fiction viewer code is there, so why not use some of the text fiction? :)
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
You have done a good job illustrating how deep the rabbit hole goes...Join us....Joooooiiiiiiiinnnnnnn uuuuuuuuussssss! :)

I'm sure we'll get there. I mean it is a logical progression after all.

Dark Sentinel has already done a few early FX tests with replicating the bug vortex and transitioning ships - and we've discussed in-cockpit shots already so we're at least 66% of the way there. ;)

Now I'm going to have to bone up on my script-writing skills, I haven't even attempted that animal in at least 15 years...
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
Actually doing Green Screen shots is farily cheap these days. Starting from flat nothing, you can put together a moderately decent sized Green screen set for less then $200. Of course I'm not starting from scratch. I actually already have a couple lights and the green back drop so would probably just need some basic mounts to put the screen on and a location to shoot with.

All of that being said, I think Quarto's idea is the better approach. Trying to do shoots with live people would require a level of logistics involved with working with people on location that I would rather not get into.
 
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