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K4thos

[help needed] IWD random encounter areas

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To speed up development of the IWD-in-EET mod I'd like to ask for help with some time consuming tasks, so that I could focus on other stuff. This topic is about BG style random encounters.

Random encounters feature was initially meant to be implemented by @White Agnus (here is a proof of concept video), but since he is missing in action, maybe someone else will be interested in working on it.

I've prepared following graphic resources for random encounter areas. All with 1280x960 dimensions since that’s the size of all RE areas in BG games.

https://imgur.com/a/SGRhntA

As you can see they are based on vanilla areas. Of course if some artist would be interested in editing them or working on completely new art, such contribution would be more then welcome (especially the ship exterior seems jarring to me since it’s very recognizable art from BG2).

I've already prepared TIS, PVRZ, MOS, BMP files. What else is needed:

- IW0001-IW0004, IW0001N-IW0004N: WED file (either need to be created from scratch or extracted from vanilla OH3000 WED file),

- IW0005: WED file (created from scratch since that portion of vanilla IWD2 AR2000 area was not accessible, so doesn't have trees polygon etc.), SR.BMP (same situation, vanilla SR was not usable in this case)

- IW0006: WED file (data can be extracted from the vanilla BG2 AR1607.WED file), TIS/PVRZ files (I know next to nothing regarding TIS water tiles, so I skipped this one).

Currently these areas use empty ARE files, so patching them may also be needed (adding stuff like wind ambient sounds etc.).

Here are current resources for random encounter areas:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/trn1iu7wtevzocf/map_random_encounters.zip?dl=1

In case someone would like to extract data from vanilla WED files, tiles position on the original maps can be checked in xcf files, inside source folder (by displaying layers on top of vanilla image).

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Another task is designing actual random encounters. If someone will be interested in doing so, I can write spawn scripts myself. What would be needed is a list of creature files that should be spawned, with the exact map axis, information for which campaign the spawn is for (IWD1 or IWD2), in which chapter, and on which random encounter map creatures are meant to show up etc. I think the best way to handle it is analysing how random encounters work in vanilla games and designing something similar:

BG1 (in EET with BG, not AR prefix): AR5600, AR5601, AR5700, AR5701, AR5800, AR5801, AR5900, AR5901, AR6000, AR6001, AR6100.

BG2: AR0041, AR0042, AR0043, AR0044, AR0045, AR0046.

Balancing wise, please think about it as if you would be designing such encounters for vanilla IWD1 and IWD2. It may be handy to actually test those encounters with your IWD:EE parties in particular chapters. Keep in mind that the mod will contain optional creature scaling feature.

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edit: thanks to Gorionar's contributions there is a new ship exterior and 10 unique images that can be used for encounter areas.

PNG files: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4cygq6oc1rvox48/Location RE1.7z?dl=1

PSD images with ship exterior: https://www.dropbox.com/s/64e9hm5f2u72704/Ship%2Bwater_0.psd?dl=1

JPG preview: https://imgur.com/a/vK8I6VG

Snowy areas will be converted to BG format by Fluke565.

Edited by K4thos

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Guest GunnerBlack

If I had the skill I would help. You need to be commended for the work you're putting into this, I am very excited for the finished product. 

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These images look as good, if not better than vanilla areas. Really good work. Since Gorionar's upload contains 10 unique images, I think that's enough variety for both IWD1 and IWD2 content, so we can skip IW0001- IW0005 areas mentioned in the first post.

Kexik’s art is also of high quality, but with so many details (trees, lake, bridge, cave) I think it may be better to leave it for someone interested in using it as whole (for example in a dedicated mod for IWD games, where it could really shine), instead of cropping the art into 1280x960 pieces for random encounters.

So the only area art that may still need editing or replacement to differentiate it from vanilla one is the ship exterior.

Of course the work also awaits for someone willing to actually convert these images into proper BG area files, as described in this tutorial: http://www.simpilot.net/~sc/dltcep/index.htm

And there’s also encounter design task described in the first post.

Edited by K4thos

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Upload a new link; I posted untreated pictures there. There is more quality
Edited by Gorionar

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@Gorionar

are you the Gorion that helped Vlad with Nej for the new areas?

These images are amazing.


@K4thos

once again I thank you for all the effort you're putting into this.

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Gorionar, fantastic art, thank you very much for this contribution.

Considering  this area contains water, which seems quite tricky to implement (and in EE engine there are also other changes that need to be taken into account - this is how the ship TIS file looks like in EE), if you still have this image with water present on a separate layer, please share - it will make TIS creation easier (I think).

Edited by K4thos

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Guest Fluke565

If no-one else has started this, I can convert those 10 new (beautiful) pngs to area files. My time is fairly limited, otherwise I'd offer more, but every little helps right.

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4 hours ago, Gorionar said:

No problems. Here's the link https://dropmefiles.com/RkCl1
This is not my job, I just downloaded the free 3D model of the ship and rendered.

thanks! Looks like I was not precise enough, though. What I meant is that in order to create this TIS file with a bit less effort we would need not only a layer with water but also with just a ship + shadow rendered on a transparent background. (or at least that's how I understood primary and secondary tile stuff mentioned by argent in this post - please correct me if separating water from the rest of art is not needed)

3 hours ago, Guest Fluke565 said:

If no-one else has started this, I can convert those 10 new (beautiful) pngs to area files. My time is fairly limited, otherwise I'd offer more, but every little helps right.

please go ahead and thank you :) I wouldn't call it "a little" help - sounds like a major contribution to me.

When it comes to search map BMP files keep in mind that in BG games yellow color, which is normally used for snow, is hardcoded to use "deep water" foot sounds:

OHQmzop.png

It looks like Beamdog is not interested in fixing it, so we're forced to use dark red (1) color for snow (btw. it's used by Beamdog in OH3000 snowy area from Dorn's quest)

Edited by K4thos

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