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Author Topic: Issues Getting Started with Custom Objects  (Read 1246 times)

jamesmthomas

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jamesmthomas says,
« on: October 30, 2019, 06:56:10 PM »

I'm incredibly new to the Sword of Moonlight tool. I've read through the tutorials, and I've had success creating a small game with the included asset. My issues have been with creating my own objects and assigning them textures.

Using MetaSeqouia I've successfully created a simple cube that I've been able to insert into the game with x2mdo and ObjEdit, but I cannot for the life of me get x2mdo to generate a texture file from any BMP I've thrown at it. The tutorial I read said to just make sure the .x file and the .bmp file have the same name and are in the same folder as x2mdo but I get the error "\cube.bmp could not be read." when I attempt to run it. A .mdo is generated, I'm able to create a .prf with ObjEdit, but when I put it in SoM I have no textures.

I'm probably making a complete noob mistake, but any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Holy Diver

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2019, 05:23:17 AM »

Hi James. I think From Software's DLC tools may only accept 24-bit BMP textures. I'm not sure. The bmp2txr tool may be more flexible. I struggled for many years to get the X tools to do anything because they want a specific kind of X file. So at least you don't have that problem to contend with.

Did you get the files here set up? I am moving the website right now, so it could have some hiccups in the coming weeks. If you are not using the files here (most don't) you'll have a wrong impression of SOM and do yourself no favors.

Once you are ready to make animated models chime in so I can give you the best tool set. The possibilities for making custom models should open up very shortly since it's what I'm focused like a laser on right now.

You're the first to sign-up/sign-in in a very long time... or at least since I disabled some spam defenses a while back that may have been keeping visitors out (They can always track me down and email me. Anyway, SOM is a no man's land. Good luck.)

SOM doesn't have a killer-app yet, which is I think holding it back from getting the attention it probably deserves. In its case such an "app" is a game with original art that takes full advantage of its capabilities. Right now there's so many new features that haven't been used. I'm rebuilding King's Field II right now to release it next Christmas.

There is an early King's Field II demo here:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/23273769

There is a demo for a very old version of Moratheia here:

http://www.swordofmoonlight.net/bbs2/index.php?topic=154.0

Oh, and Welcome! by the way :thumbsup:

Holy Diver

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2019, 07:02:40 AM »

EDITED: Another possibility is that the tools are limited to 256x256 images.

Others use 512 somehow. I'm not sure which program they use to do that.

jamesmthomas

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jamesmthomas says,
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2019, 01:04:24 AM »

I am using the files from this website, and I've gotta say the UI is much more user friendly. I'm having an issue though with playing what I've created. I can get the original version of SoM with the translation patch to playtest and everything works fine, but when I attempt to playtest on SoM Ex nothing pops up. It looks like it tries to load something, but I never actually see anything or get to see the map I've created.

I was also able to get my textures onto a model by using the x2mdl tool and that worked flawlessly from what I can tell.

I'll probably try re-downloading and installing SoM Ex to see if that fixes my playtesting issue. I just find it strange that I can run the old jankey vanilla SoM but not Ex.

My interest in this started as a joke where I would make a little meme game for my co-worker because he loves King's Field. I was a huge fan of playing with the Morrowind Construction Set and the old RPG maker games on playstation so this seemed right up my alley. Hopefully I can muster up enough skill and knowledge to make something a little more involved than the joke I'd originally intended.

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Holy Diver

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2019, 06:28:34 AM »

x2mdl is for animated models. It uses a PlayStation like format that puts the skins inside the model file. So, it's not ideal for nonanimated models, and I'm working toward transitioning it into an animation format instead the model format, since its models are different from the MDO and MSM ones, and more archaic, less well suited for display.

I may have a new version of x2mdl. I don't know if the one available is up-to-date... historically it's just a little experimental side project I did to entice people to make original art. But it didn't get enough use to warrant further work. It is used by Moratheia, but its author doesn't communicate with me enough to be able to ensure they are using it correctly and improve on it. I recently added code to it for making morph-target animations, but it doesn't yet accept an input format other than KF2's. I can quickly add code to it to convert X files that use skin animations. But I'm working on pathways for doing proper morph-target work, which means arbitrary animations.

I've worked on SOM for 10yrs, but art tools have only accounted for maybe 1% of that work. I've mainly, personally worked on preserving the art that comes with it, so haven't had need to develop assistive technologies, and haven't had collaborators that would make it worthwhile to do so. The problem is calculating if it's worthwhile to spend time doing that if it won't have dividends in the long run. Without a healthy community base there is no dividends from developing art tools. Time is better spent making SOM viable, since there's no need for art with a nonviable platform.

The goal right now is to not have to deal with the proprietary formats, since it's a hassle. The workflow I'm angling for is to have the player manage a cache and convert art on the fly to whatever internal representation it is going to use. This has been a long term problem because there are not good candidate file formats for that purpose. So I've split my work between SOM and developing COLLADA, which is a failed technology, in order to build a professional noncommercial platform. Noncommercial resources for 3D development are nonexistent. When it comes to open environment 3D games SOM is probably the vanguard.

If you need to make larger TXR files, I think the Somplayer.exe program may be able to save to TXR. But I don't really know. That program is defunct unless I revive it. But I did use it last year to clean up the map textures.

"PRF Editor v1.6.exe" is probably how people make larger TXR files. I don't recommend going over 512x512. I can upload it if necessary. Note there are better PRF tools now built into SOM_PRM, but they don't do BMP to TXR conversion. This tool, also called "Enemy PRF Editor v1.0.exe" can also make SND files.

I've never heard of difficulties using the play-testing feature. Sometimes people make the set up process way too complicated, and get things crosswired. I can't remember how they do it, but they find very creative ways of shooting themselves in the foot so-to-speak.

You have to use the "Prepare" step obviously. And the triangle shaped (play) button does that automatically. You can make a shortcut to SOM_EX.exe run the game independently from the project folder by using the argument som_db followed by a two-digit map number:

"C:\Users\Michael\Sword of Moonlight\tool\SOM_EX.exe" SOM_DB 00

SOM_EX has a lot of icons to choose from to make these shortcuts standout. You can make shortcuts to everything. They are probably documented somewhere.

If that doesn't work your game is not starting. It's probably missing something. If you haven't, make a new project, and see if it works. Then copy your other project over it.

It's hard to carry over projects if you started with JDO's conversion because they renamed all of the profiles. It's possible but I recommend instead just starting over and reassigning your profiles in SOM_PRM. Put custom files in your project data folder. If they are in the public files they will get clobbered. You can share data folders between projects and map your old SOM install's data folder to your project.

http://en.swordofmoonlight.org/wiki/SOM_file

Most would-be SOM creators don't make it far. Forgive me if I'm reluctant to take too much time out of my schedule to assist you. It's time thrown away. Unless you make something of yourself. Demonstrate you aren't just going through a passing phase.

EDITED: The New Project function copies a default extension INI file (Ex.ini) from your language-pack with recommended settings. The following URL has a near complete list of extensions.

http://en.swordofmoonlight.org/wiki/SomEx/list_of_extensions

do_missing_file_dialog_ok is something that often comes up. It may not be on by default, in which case the game will likely show missing file popup boxes. It's best to satisfy those. But if it's too much, use that extension, and deal with it later to identify files your game is missing prior to publishing it.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2019, 06:43:10 AM by Holy Diver »

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Holy Diver

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2019, 03:50:47 PM »

EDITED: Since you are using x2mdl already, know that if your models in SOM_MAP look like they are broken into their constituent pieces and dumped on the ground around 0,0,0 that's because your exporter puts them all at 0,0,0 which is not how SOM's files work. In the game it works the same, but SOM_MAP just shows the unanimated model. x2mdl has a command-line option to tell it an animation to use, that it will use to convert your animations so that it looks right in SOM_MAP.

I didn't used to publish x2mdl but after a while it made more sense to just put it in the TOOL folder I think. For a while it was just source code for preservation sake. It's never gotten to the point I felt it should be published. And probably it will be obsolete before I do so.

I only found out this year that the MDL formats use a scale of 1024:1m where I previously assumed 1000:1m (millimeters). The PlayStation format uses 1024 because it uses fixed-point encoded real numbers. So what I'm trying to say is if your models seem a little off you're using an older x2mdl. I remember 10yrs ago being told the models were too small. But no one would follow up so I didn't have a reason to look further into it. It's not enough to just complain. I suppose for Moratheia it never became a problem. I think it wouldn't unless you are trying to fit a door into a frame for example.

Speaking of that, know that no one has ever cracked doors (figured out how they work) but I will get around to it before very long. I've never had cause to. Others (with more cause) have neglected to pursue the matter. All and all SOM remains a black box in many respects. I've plugged away at it full-time for 10yrs, and that's about it. Obviously there's more ground to cover than one person can, but it's slowly coming into its own. It's a tortoise versus hare story. I think in a world where everybody had healthy interests and free-time to pursue their heart's desire it would be an irrelevant footnote, but since that's not the world we live in it will likely become an important platform, unless it fails to capture the world's imagination.

Holy Diver

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2020, 04:39:58 PM »

For the record, this (http://www.swordofmoonlight.net/ex/help/#comment-8122) comment reports the same issue and for that I tested a New Project. I found that it worked after using the Prepare step and before so the error message is pretty clear. Please tell me if that's not your experience?

BTW: I noticed the do_st extension is in the default Ex.ini file. It's certainly easier to get started that way but I don't know if that's ideal. My game test was in Japanese but I think that's because it's Window's legacy region setting on my system. There's an extension to change the "locale" that's used to select the game's translation text.