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Alpha 17 is near


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While milking I realized that Alpha 17 release is not far away, mere 3 weeks to mid of August.

As there are still features like conversion missing, we have to conlcude that it will not be a Beta . That triggered my recent mod info file update run as now we know the version number of the upcoming 0AD release: 0.0.17 .

If it had been a Beta, then it'd been 0.1.0 instead.

3 weeks to go. omg.

Radagast looks for the gas pedal ...

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I pick the

1) blender addon, this week beta production release. Only after that I can decide the pace we can achieve.

2) playtesting and fixing of Aristeia issues,

3) committing the Han China storehouse.

4) After those I will focus on capturing.

5) Han Chinese hero: Liu Beng's face.

6) Assyrian simulation templates using Zophim's design document.

7) Assyrian art rush using the blender addon of 1).

8) Han Chinese hero: Han Xin.

Trigger maps somewhere inbetween. As the animation conflicts with Sander's great garrisoning visualisation.

This post will be edited.

Edited by Radagast.
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That garrison animation anomaly? I have no idea so far and not heard any opinion of Sander yet.

I also figured I should add Liu Beng + those bamboo gates and different lengths before the Assyrian faction. Both should not take more than a day to create but I'm busy with the addon today.

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Can anyone give quick advice on AO texture creation. Which steps are required in blender, I want to automate it as I thikn there is no manual UV island moving necessary? I've no experience with AO maps and I don't know how RAM instense those are.

What other missing things you think we will be able to add? We have already tidied up almost all of our mods over the last weeks. Lion has created new UIs, logos, civ emblems and all. I think if you focus on Medieval Vikings to finish them off, might that be possible or what do you wish or plan to work on as our master?

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@Stan:

I meant to automate it. I mean the Storehouse is a bunch of hundreds of objects I all have to treat and what I do is automating all that treatment like resolving group instances, applying modifiers, eventually applying scale for UV or is this no good idea?, joining the objects, analyzing object parent-child hierarchy to generate all the actor xml and .dae automatically of both props (the child objects) and the main object (the highest level parent within the blender object selection).

e.g. for a Helmet:

- actors/helmet.xml

- meshes/helmet.dae

- textures/skins/ao/helmet_ao.png|jpg

and its props: (those objects that are parented to the helmet object in blender are recognized by the addon a prop)

- actors/helmet_feather.xml

- meshes/helmet_feather.dae

- textures/skins/ao/helmet_feather_ao..jpg

...

Do you get the scope of the addon? That's why I need to keep back that storehouse. Its complexity motivates me to create that addon because I don't want to create all those files myself manually. That's why I couldn't commit the storehouse yet.

Or do you think it's not possible to automate the AO texture creation because there are manual processes involved? To switch ambient occlusion setting in blender on via script and to trigger a render and then export the rendered image should be possible in blender.

@Druide Gaulois:

ok, we can. Historical accuracy is nice.

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I wonder if the Base variant group in the Actor XML has to be the first. In my understanding yes, but perhaps someone has more info?

The engine picks a variant from each group, which means it picks all the default values of the base variant group.

Then later this can be overridden. Or is group order arbritrary?

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The addon had another positive effect. I have a better understanding of how the winter summer variants could work.

Of course the props will be reusable, i.e. I will center the prop objects (those objects parented to another object, yes, it works recursivley).

Prop points will be automatically inserted.

AO texture export automation is still TODO.

Is it ok if I use the ao_parallax_spec material as default? We can still edit the exported actor XML later but I wish to automate as much as possible.

I'm still at work (currently had to look for a modem and wait for the printer to finish and thus had some time to check the forums) but will be back at 16 or 17 o'clock and will continue to work on it.

I will probably first work on the Chinese Hero + Gates or walls then. Because those are the quickest tasks and starting with the quickest solutions might be no bad idea?

Don't we have guidance for the vikings in terms of all those viking re-enactment websites that have been linked throughout the forum? Or do you mean concepts?

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Thanks.

Blender 0AD Export Addon made progress but still has to be debugged and things are missing.

Have also fixed the Aristeia issues with th exception of:

{civ} is not replaced by the entire civilization but always shortened the civ name to exactly 5 chars (== count({civ})) - no matter which civilization code is defined in civs/<civ>.json.

This is responsible for most of the remaining errors and warnings.

Let's see what we can do, probably we have to switch from

consequently using the full civilization form (e.g. egyptian)

to

consistently using the short form (e.g. always the 5 first letters of the long form => egypt).

We won't do the mix like it is in 0AD as it is a unnecessary complication and a showstopper for automation of xml derivation (in 0ad we currently have to create redundant xml files for all the garrison flags of all civs while we could easily do it with one file only for all civs at once. using {civ} which will be replaced by the simulation with the corresponding civilization).

Edited by Radagast.
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What it exports

For each object and group instance* it tries to export:

  • meshes/<optional_chosen_subfolder>/mesh.dae
  • textures/skins/<optional_chosen_subfolder>/texture_assigned_to_blender_mesh.png|jpg|...
  • [textures/skins/<optional_chosen_subfolder>/ao/texture_derived_from_mesh_UV_map_ao.png|jpg|...] if possible
  • actors/<optional_chosen_subfolder>/object_name.xml

Group instance

* group instance in blender is the unofficial assembly equivalent for engineers using blender. I often use it to exchange all bolts at once, e.g. exchange M3 bolt with M4 bolt.

Example

For the 0AD exporter we need group instances for a special convenience:

e.g.

  • create a wooden structure out of individual planks, which may be linked, use modifiers or other features (but not being a group instance itself for now)
  • group those planks, call the group e.g. "wooden_tower".
  • Now instead of having to apply all modifiers manually and join all used objects to one mesh, add a group instance of this group to the scene. (Group instances will be automatically joined prior to export to 0AD.)
  • Select this group instance and all the other objects that shall be exported, optionally props too. Props are identified by a parent-child relationship and you dont have to add an empty for it (the addon will add this empty automatically when exporting the main mesh).

No need to care for XML creation

All the steps the addon automatically performed will be undone as the last step the addon performs, such that you don't realize anything and can immediately change things, e.g. move a propped (read: parented) object and reexport. (without having to deal with empties at all. Also you don't have to move the prop-object to the center of the scene, because the addon handles it)

I still need some time to properly debug it .

Caveats

Also note that it's crucial that you select all main things you want to export if you want to export several objects at once, e.g. a storehouse and a market. If you don't parent the prop-objects to the main object, then you won't get any props assigned in the main object's resulting actor.xml.

If you don't assign a texture, then you won't get a texture.

Variants are not supported yet and I need at least the week end to release it. It's all a bit hectic recently.

Edited by Radagast.
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Rada, maybe you could make a drop menu ?

Sorry, you mean reading all objects from art/meshes/ into a list in blender and then allow you to choose one of those objects as prop and import its COLLADA file to ease reusing of objects?

Also, you may also get object names in the scene so that props are recognized as such ?

True, the empties should be named "prop-objectname" or "prop_objectname".

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  • 1 month later...

Trigger map is finished. It can't be included into A17, because some 0AD files had to be modded. We will thus distribute it as a mod.

Next is the surrender system, I'll add a component for it. (it'll take just 1 day)

I'll focus on the blender addon + Han dynasty storehouse after the mapping contest. I've already playtested all maps and must say, they are all promising.

A17 will be a great release.

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Creating a trigger AI is easy, it's essentially an AI that does nothing. I'll add it asap. But please don't expect that you can have all mods enabled at the same time and expect it all to work. That's not the case as each mod that modfies public 0ad files, has at least a meta-reasonable reason to do so.

As Niek said, mimo's thoughts on trigger plugins might be valid, though that won't make it into A17 and taking out the AI as I did in the Gallic Wars Scenario is the only way to prevent the AI to interfere with triggers currently.

I'll add the AI and change the map settings to use this AI or you can do it if you like.

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Trigger map is finished. It can't be included into A17, because some 0AD files had to be modded. We will thus distribute it as a mod.

[...]

Some work on the painting side needs to be done (the grass area around the village needs some work).

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