Half-Life DC Modding.

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McGaffryson
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Half-Life DC Modding.

Post#1 » Wed Nov 11, 2020 6:17 pm

I'm about to purchase a copy of Half-Life on steam so I can start learning how to make maps in the GoldSrc engine. I'm going to try to learn the ins and outs of this engine since it's one of the easiest engines to work with on the Dreamcast, so I've heard. Before I begin making maps though, does anyone have any information on the differences between the engine versions? I know from an older thread that HL maps compiled with Source SDK don't work on the DC ver, so I want to make sure that all maps I make can easily be plopped on a HLDC CD-R.

I would use the link provided in the DC Development sticky for help, except that link is 10+ years old and just leads to what I assume is a generic "domain for sale" page in Russian. :| :| :|

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Anthony817
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Re: Half-Life DC Modding.

Post#2 » Wed Nov 11, 2020 6:26 pm

Ah, well from what I understand you need Hammer and you make maps with that just like with any other HL mod. Some mods had the .BSP's seperated from the textures, one mod like this was Operations 1942 so unfortunately that mod was unable to be ported otherwise we would have an awesome WW2 FPS. Literally every map for GoldSrc engine should be theoretically compatible with the DC version unless it uses some stuff like custom .DLL's or the maps textures were separated form the .BSP for some reason.

The main reason we can't have more complex mods on the DC is becasue the HL SDK can not be compiled for DC, so unfortunately we are stuck to only level and model swaps, and other simple scripts.Of course you also have to work within the DC's limited memory, but you can still use the engine to make some awesome stand alone FPS games with retail quality graphics.
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McGaffryson
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Re: Half-Life DC Modding.

Post#3 » Wed Nov 11, 2020 6:54 pm

Anthony817 wrote:Ah, well from what I understand you need Hammer and you make maps with that just like with any other HL mod.


Is it possible to use Jackhammer instead, or does it have to be Hammer? I heard Jackhammer was a bit more user friendly and up-to-date than compared to vanilla Hammer. Also, is it possible to use Seedee's map compilers (link related)? Apparently, these optimize maps a lot better than the ones in the vanilla SDK do, but I don't want to use them if it will make maps incompatible.

https://gamebanana.com/tools/6778

Anthony817 wrote: Some mods had the .BSP's seperated from the textures, one mod like this was Operations 1942 so unfortunately that mod was unable to be ported otherwise we would have an awesome WW2 FPS.


Does that mean textures have to be baked within each BSP with something like Wally, or do I have to replace stock textures in the texture wad with custom ones? I'm assuming Operations 1942 used custom wads?

Anthony817 wrote:we are stuck to only level and model swaps, and other simple scripts.


Good to hear model swapping works. I have some experience with low-poly modeling, so this definitely gives some breathing room. Are custom animations part of this? I have experience with 3D animation, and good animation could help enhance story driven moments, so if that is something that can be achieved, then I'm in business.

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Anthony817
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Re: Half-Life DC Modding.

Post#4 » Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:24 pm

McGaffryson wrote:Is it possible to use Jackhammer instead, or does it have to be Hammer? I heard Jackhammer was a bit more user friendly and up-to-date than compared to vanilla Hammer. Also, is it possible to use Seedee's map compilers (link related)? Apparently, these optimize maps a lot better than the ones in the vanilla SDK do, but I don't want to use them if it will make maps incompatible.


I am not totally sure about that. In fact, I have never modded the HL engine at all. I am pretty much a BF2 modder, and I know how to installmods to all GTA games, and the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series and the Bethesda RPG's, but as far as actually modding HL itself let alone doing it on HLDC I still am trying to get my other projects out of the way before I do. I have had ongoing mod projects for the past 5 years or so and trying to get them all wrapped up before I jump into this. I seem to be one of the only guys willing to try and make new mods with this so seeing you interested gives me a glimmer of hope.

McGaffryson wrote:Does that mean textures have to be baked within each BSP with something like Wally, or do I have to replace stock textures in the texture wad with custom ones? I'm assuming Operations 1942 used custom wads?


Again not quite sure about that but my old HLDC modder friend mentioned that particular mod would not be able to be ported over until we had the source to decompile them and merge the textures on the maps I believe. I am going off of memory from about a decade ago from that HLDC modding forum but that was a problem for that mod at least.

McGaffryson wrote:Good to hear model swapping works. I have some experience with low-poly modeling, so this definitely gives some breathing room. Are custom animations part of this? I have experience with 3D animation, and good animation could help enhance story driven moments, so if that is something that can be achieved, then I'm in business.


I don't know for sure about animations, I hope so but I can't say if I remembered any custom ones, but we have a port of Paranoia and They Hunger and they definitely have all new weapons.

One thing I did forget to mention, is that while you can just add over the PC models and play them, you gain significant performance gains by using the .PVR texture format which is the native format that the graphics deals with. I know there are tools out there for people to convert textures, as the PVR chip was used in the early iPhones and tablets back in the day so there were a few similarities between those different platforms. So I am sure if you google .PVR texture converter you will find something that will be able to handle it.
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McGaffryson
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Re: Half-Life DC Modding.

Post#5 » Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:46 am

Anthony817 wrote:
McGaffryson wrote:Is it possible to use Jackhammer instead, or does it have to be Hammer? I heard Jackhammer was a bit more user friendly and up-to-date than compared to vanilla Hammer. Also, is it possible to use Seedee's map compilers (link related)? Apparently, these optimize maps a lot better than the ones in the vanilla SDK do, but I don't want to use them if it will make maps incompatible.


I am not totally sure about that. In fact, I have never modded the HL engine at all. I am pretty much a BF2 modder, and I know how to installmods to all GTA games, and the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series and the Bethesda RPG's, but as far as actually modding HL itself let alone doing it on HLDC I still am trying to get my other projects out of the way before I do. I have had ongoing mod projects for the past 5 years or so and trying to get them all wrapped up before I jump into this. I seem to be one of the only guys willing to try and make new mods with this so seeing you interested gives me a glimmer of hope.

McGaffryson wrote:Does that mean textures have to be baked within each BSP with something like Wally, or do I have to replace stock textures in the texture wad with custom ones? I'm assuming Operations 1942 used custom wads?


Again not quite sure about that but my old HLDC modder friend mentioned that particular mod would not be able to be ported over until we had the source to decompile them and merge the textures on the maps I believe. I am going off of memory from about a decade ago from that HLDC modding forum but that was a problem for that mod at least.

McGaffryson wrote:Good to hear model swapping works. I have some experience with low-poly modeling, so this definitely gives some breathing room. Are custom animations part of this? I have experience with 3D animation, and good animation could help enhance story driven moments, so if that is something that can be achieved, then I'm in business.


I don't know for sure about animations, I hope so but I can't say if I remembered any custom ones, but we have a port of Paranoia and They Hunger and they definitely have all new weapons.

One thing I did forget to mention, is that while you can just add over the PC models and play them, you gain significant performance gains by using the .PVR texture format which is the native format that the graphics deals with. I know there are tools out there for people to convert textures, as the PVR chip was used in the early iPhones and tablets back in the day so there were a few similarities between those different platforms. So I am sure if you google .PVR texture converter you will find something that will be able to handle it.


That all makes sense. At some point this week, I'm going to try to build a single room using stock assets (A good looking room, of course, but something that can be used as a test). I'll put a new message in this thread once I have that done.

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Anthony817
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Re: Half-Life DC Modding.

Post#6 » Thu Nov 12, 2020 4:02 pm

Awesome! I look forward to seeing what you come up with! It really is the easiest way to get retail game quality graphics from a new FPS. Maybe once you get used to the DC port you can help me understand how to mod it. Keep us updated!
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McGaffryson
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Re: Half-Life DC Modding.

Post#7 » Sat Nov 14, 2020 3:16 pm

Well, I expected to get to this way sooner, but I can safely say that I created a stupidly simple map following a series of two six minute tutorials.

Tut 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwAXmFU9ktM
Tut 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRqV47Pk6pc&t=322s (Though I applied nothing from this tutorial cause I have to go to work in less than an hour :DDD)

It is literally a map with two lights, a door, and some zombies on the other side of the door. It's crap, but it isn't pointless, as this will serve as a basic test on how to load a custom map in to the DC port of the game...only problem is that I have no idea how to decompile a CDI file, so yeah...what do? lol

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Ian Micheal
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Re: Half-Life DC Modding.

Post#8 » Sat Nov 14, 2020 3:32 pm

Mount it virtual and rip the files :) daemon tools thats it

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McGaffryson
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Re: Half-Life DC Modding.

Post#9 » Sun Nov 15, 2020 3:50 pm

Good news. Thanks to Ian's advice, I can peer through the files and look at them. Bad news, it's not at all set up like I thought it was. As oppose to a singular BSP for the map, it seems that maps are split up in to three files. A wad file, a sav file, and a an HL1 file. According to some site, the HL1 files are supposed to be for game saves, and I'm not sure what the other files are for. This is very different from the way it's set up on the PC release, so I'm going to have to do some research on what these files do.

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Anthony817
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Re: Half-Life DC Modding.

Post#10 » Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:00 pm

Also, look at how the files are set up in the total conversion mods like Paranoia and They Hunger. It should let you see how those mods did things and help you figure it out.
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