I help HappyCheeze?
How big is the asset collection now? Are most/all surfaces getting normal maps or will that be more conservative like HL2 (or somewhere between)?
The forums are back online :)
FYI: They are revising the main site so the TDM forums are current down...
Happy Birthday TDM!!!! 2yrs!
This is the original version. Version 2 is a drastic overhaul of this mission.
To close the loop, Business as Usual does not have relighting behaviors in place but the author may tweak it again for v1.07...
Download links at the main site have been updated. (Added to the article)
We made a Mac version just before you passed away.
You probably never knew about the Mac edition of TDM
You probably never knew that we gave your users a Thief style game to play...
Oh wait! Siege Shop definitely has relighting! I remember putting out the torch on the roof and the AI went to fix that. :)
I don't recall seeing any relighting in either of these but I will check with the authors.
I agree that relighting should be incorporated in more missions.
I have been a big advocate of using Dynamic Ambient light through the "Location Settings" framework and using the SEED system but the adoption for these new features has been slow in the mapping community... If examples were added to the Start Mapper's Guide or.. a really high profile mission had something folks wanted to emulate... then that would probably speed adoption. Folks stick with what works and are very careful not to upset the apple-cart too much I guess.
I requested that they be put up. The developers are a bit busy though. You can get the new versions in the in-game downloader or at these links:
The Siege Shop (Redux):
Business as Usual (v2):
I am not sure how long those will stay active... These missions are good enough where it wouldn't be a problem to upload them here as well I suppose...
Thanks for your support Argoon!
I'm afraid that The Dark Mod and Desura are currently at some sort of philosophical impasse right now. The lead developer, Greebo, spent a great deal of time getting a "mission download" feature and "auto update" feature working well and meeting with the approval of all the nationalities who use the mod and their ISP rules. These features have really made the mod into a luxury experience for those that get past the initial install barrier.
Now Desura has requested that we remove our updaters from the mod because it may add additional confusion and conflicts with their methods. It does make sense. If joe end-user launches a Desura update for TDM at the same time he opens the tdm_updater tool, Windows will throw a fit and there will be errors about file overwrite problems. In reality, the Desura user is unlikely EVER to visit the actual mod folder so both positions are a little silly to war over. (But The Dark Mod devs paid blood and tears for their part).
What really needs to happen is for TDM to make an executable installer that will seek out the Doom 3 folder for the end-users. Then we will cut down on the confused user ratio. But I'm sure most would rather see that coding effort placed elsewhere, eh?
Now what I wanna know is what Desura would say to a commercial game that has an updater in it. Will they claim that mods for that game are impossible to support because Desura has an update feature too? What? HL2 updates itself all the time and potentially can conflict with inbound Desura updates? How did they resolve that problem?... Hmmm? ;)
The biggest performance offenders are:
Soft Shadows, DOF, and SSAO.
Because there is no direct access to the z-buffer, modders like Sikkpin have to use a hack that causes Doom 3 to paint the z-buffer into a texture then use ARB shaders to decode that texture into depth values. It takes a lot of CPU resources because you are essentially doubling every frame render. It takes a lot of GPU resources because of those depth calcs. The trick that Sikkpin did was to front-load that work so it only needs to be done once. So if you enable Soft Shadows, SSAO won't be that much more expensive (etc).
Bloom and HDR should not be hard on the CPU, AFAIK they simply use falloff image manipulation on the GPU.
Yeah, I may be a tinfoil wearing fool but I've always suspected that many Doom 3 mods have been made by ringers who work for either Nvidia or ATI. Humus, one of the folks who did the biggest "fix" for Doom 3's specular performance on ATI, was hired by them and his fix was added to their driver. Since then many Doom 3 mods have gone haywire on ATI hardware with Catalyst AI enabled. But some do work, Dafama2k7 (for example) found a drop-in replacement for the shader in Denton Mod that fixed the "upside-down" issues for Bloom. I don't necessarily think Sikkpin works for Nvidia as much as I think that he built his body of work from mods that did come from Nvidia employees. What choice is there though, Nvidia was far more generous with OpenGL example materials (and has always had the performance advantage for this game). It has attracted more Nvidia friendly developers. Sikkpin did actually implement some of Humus's other astoundingly cool shader methods in one of his shader packs but I wish that Humus himself had taken a more active role in the Doom 3 modding scene given his skill. Humus is one of the rare OpenGL experts who likes ATI's version of OpenGL better than Nvidia's and knows how to make their hardware rock.
Congrats on the release BTW. (Good luck with all those ATI users...)
Disable Catalyst AI (if possible) or set Catalyst AI to "low" then Disable "Surface Format Optimizations".
Some have also reported that the latest drivers produce a crash with Doom 3 mods if your CCC is "not present\disabled".
A worthy victory.
While the first version of Winter Harvest did have it's share of problems, I have a bad feeling that ShadowHide may have unfairly lost some points because of his behavior in the forums.
The jury is still out because of his language issues, but it seems pretty clear that he is often outright rude to forum members, mappers and even the TDM developers.
That should not be a factor in a contest though. Yes, we always hope that mission authors will also be genial but if they are providing free goods then why get upset over their attitude. I would like to see ShadowHide add a poll to his thread for Winter Harvest v2 so that we might see cooler heads voting on it and maybe gauge it's ranking more realistically.
The quality of this model is beyond compare! Who's the artist again?
The process to get the audio levels and quality into shape is pretty time consuming and is done primarily by Springheel (who is often tied-up with other tasks like making new AI characters... etc.).
We have several new voice sets in-progress but feel free to offer any assistance if you have audio editing or voice acting skills:
The Dark Mod is composed of many contributions from both active and inactive members many of whom are no longer in contact with the team. If you are referring to a commercial release, then some arrangement would need to be made to compensate those contributors.
If you are simply referring to making the mod "standalone" (meaning that it does not require the Doom 3 game to legally distribute), the that is something under consideration but would require replacing many of the art assets, animations and custom scripts (etc) that the mod uses. It would be a pretty large task so we are hoping that the combined efforts of the Doom 3 community can overcome this barrier for all Doom 3 mods to go "standalone". The Dark Mod is doing it's part in trying to replace these assets but there is limited staff and they are spending more time improving the mod which is considered a higher priority task for now.
Anyone who'd like to help may stop by the forums and post in the "I want to Help" forum (here):
The specular is a bit toned down where only ambient light is present. The "ambient world" light is supposed to represent pure dark or shadow in the game yet allow the player to navigate... so what would specular look like when almost completely dark? Perhaps there's a better method but this one looks quite good when BOTH real and ambient light hit anything.
Better options will be available when the Source Code is release of course. Hell, Sikkpin showed that you can do HL2 style Ambient Cubemap lighting (even now without the source code) but you'd have to replace all your existing light assets.
I need a faster PC to capture this well with FRAPS running though...
We are about to collect the votes for our Seasons Contest entrants and post the winner.
Of course, more missions are cooking so you shouldn't have to wait too long for a new one. ;)
A couple of points of clarification:
1) The Dark Mod is a "Total Conversion Mod" which is as far from "simply a mod" as you can imagine.
2) The SDK was released in 2005. Source code the for AI, Physics, and Game systems was made available back then as well. We are awaiting the source code for the remainder of the engine (renderer, sound, collison, etc) later this year.
3) The Dark Mod cannot be released "Doom 3 free" unless the art assets used by the mod (textures, models, particles, animations) are replaced. We await help from the community for this very large task. A cooperative effort between Doom 3 mod developers to embark on this project has been discussed...
4) The Dark Mod now (as of v1.06) supports multi-mission campaigns. You will likely see large "full game" style experiences in the future as several mission authors have committed to large projects.
I know that "Thomas Porter 1: The Knighton Manor", "Return to the City", "William Steele 1: In the North", "Thief's Den 4: The Alchemist", "Tears of St Lucia", and "Thomas Porter 5: Phrase Book" were in there.
I think that part of "A Score to Settle" is also in there but don't quote me on that one...
One think folks can do to assist the TDM team is to contribute to bountysource tickets for general improvements to the vanilla Doom 3 source code.
I have opened an example ticket here:
What graphics card do you have? Do you have the latest drivers installed?
If you have an nvidia card, have you disabled "Threading Optimizations"? If you have an ATI\AMD card, have you disabled Catalyst AI?
What OS are you using?
Do you have UAC disabled?
Perhaps you have a corrupt install. You could try using the tdm_updater tool (available here at moddb or at the downloads area
for www.thedarkmod.com ) to verify that all files are correct.
Congrats on the release, and good luck with your indie aspirations.
This version is out.
Over 60 missions are available to play!
The road map shows that 1.08 is practically finished but one of the lead coders has been tied-up with outside obligations. It's hard to predict whether the rest of the team will wait for him to return or forge ahead with the release (and delay any of his big patches for 1.09). If I were a gambling man...
"there's a certain anniversary around the corner..."
Not yet... The TDM team is working to make the project standalone but it will take time to replace the Doom 3 copyrighted art assets with new versions. The upcoming v1.08 can already start many missions without any reference to the Doom 3 asset locations but some of the mod included material may be modified from Doom 3 material so that will need to be carefully reviewed.
Here is a progress overview from our wiki:
Folks are still playing missions for the original Thief games so being "behind the times" is kinda relative to the audience expectations.
That said, the Doom 3 engine is Open Source now so (provided the coding skills) the sky is the limit for what modern features you wish to add.
The TDM team have made some nice (conservative) improvements to the engine in the upcoming version (which is now a consolidated executable), and (hopefully) as future iterations evolve, more engine-side fixes or enhancements will arrive from within or outside the team.
(If anyone has rendering code knowledge and would like to contribute, please stop by the forums and and create a thread in the "I want to Help" section.)
Already the Quake 1 coding community discovered an optimization that helps make the shadows render 1.5x faster (or better in heavy scenes). With help from the Doom 3 coding community things are likely to improve further from the GPL code changes. With regards The Dark Mod team, they should be able to reduce some of the performance overhead for the light-gem and ambient light system at least.
Incidentally, I found that v1.07 improved the performance for a couple of missions I tried.
Looks great on my work monitor.
It was a little dark at home (CRT) but day-time does that. I found the shots are brighter than the actual game and comparable to some of your other recent brightened shots.
Let the whining begin.
Also, since this was submitted after the contest deadline, it is not eligible for contest votes. Only the original version is eligible.
Some of the initial bugs were addressed but, yes, there are still some issues. As a new mapper, ShadowHide isn't doing too badly here though... Many have played and enjoyed this one (even the initial release).
That's yet another player rating this in the top leagues...
(several forum posters put this one "up-there").
I'm sure Sotha never expected such acclaim for something he constructed so quickly...
Quote from out texture expert Serpentine:
Well, since I've worked on the other moldings, let me try give you my approach to this. Do note that I have taken to doing things very manually and it does take a bit of time.
First of all you need to come to terms with what you are trying to work with here. Lets do it
* Take the diffuse you are making the new normal for, blow it up to double size - because when remaking something, why not make it last?
* Take the old normal and throw it into njob, convert normal->heightmap.
* Overlay it on the diffuse.
* Does this heightmap seem correct? it wont be perfect, but does it reflect the depths and levels which the diffuse shows? Keep these things in mind, and take a look from time to time to make sure you're avoiding the mistakes you saw.
* Chances are it doesn't, so hide that layer.
* Make a new folder in your layers, starting at black, layer on the different levels, working your way up to white, do each one as a separate layer, start out with rough shapes and once all the layers are there you can work to match it up to the diffuse by overlaying it with low opacity.
* Avoid blurring/smudging to make gradual height until you're satisfied everything is in place, when doing gradiant slopes merge the two layers and using whatever tools, usually a bit of blurring and smudging try to match the expected results.
* Once you think it shows the basic layer of the texture, copy a merged version of the heightmap and throw it back into nJob, convert height->normal.
* Test it ingame, does it show up the areas you want as you would expect? Does it miss depth in specific areas?
* If you need to increase heights or blur hard edges, its easily done with the layers, much easier than using levels to adjust specific parts.
It's a great mission from what I've played.
The "Seasons Contest" entrants will have quite a task to live-up to the weather effects in this mission.
(Contest reminder link)
I think they authorized the article in the middle of the evening so it got lost in the shuffle. I can at least temporarily get The Dark Mod at the top of the "Mods" tab... ;)
I usually am put-off by this much of an effect but your shot composition is impeccable and the mood here is undeniable AH. :)
(On behalf of The Dark Mod team...) Thanks!
Wait until all the revised normal maps and textures appear in v1.04 (only a portion of the planned texture updates made it into v1.03).
This mod has nearly every possible real-time dynamic lighting effect that could possibly be applied to Doom 3's unified shader system. While this is not practical (performance wise) for every class of hardware it is a tremendous technical achievement and should be acknowledged as such.
I hope Sikkpin reworks these effects when Doom 3 goes Open Source as squeezing these abilities from the current system shows Sikkpin is in a rare stratosphere amongst the best of the Doom 3 ARB shader programmers.
I just spawned her in the Training Mission for visual inspection.
(I also see that the video looks much darker than when I previewed it at home...)
Yep. We need to keep the pressure on GameDevGoro to work on the sequel.
We made it to the Top 100 :)
If these details were released earlier it might've boosted our standing but The Dark Mod team goes through extra trouble to ensure that the features they are listing are fully workable for a large number of beta testers before promoting such features. For example, the improved Object LOD system was delayed for release v1.04 due to last minute issues seen in beta.
Player's Choice MOTY hasn't yet been announced so... fingers crossed...
AFAIK, the settings are very tweak-able so this may just be AluminumHaste's specific preference. Plus the fresnel lighting changes dynamically depending on angle so it may look more natural in motion.
We do have a "City Reference Pictures" thread stickied in our "Editors Guild" forum that I see many mappers visit and update so that might be a nice place to start (and I'm sure Jesps has taken a peek there as well)...
AluminumHaste has an SVN build of the upcoming v1.03 release... ;)
I've got both this one and the old self-contained demo version installed (partly so I can play Closemouthed Shadows). I like comparing the two versions and seeing how just updating the mod base has a dramatic effect on the look of the missions. It will be cool to see some of the enhanced textures, normal maps, models, etc... show up in old missions in the upcoming releases.
I'm surprised you haven't bling-ed your profile out to look like "The Keep of Metal and Gold"
Someone should upload all 900 Thief FM's to the Addon's section for the Thief Moddb profile... (Hint Hint)
(ROFL if that happened...)
This mission is not currently compatible with The Dark Mod 1.0x versions. To play this mission you must install the old "Thief's Den" demo.
This demo version has been replaced by a proper installable "Fan Mission" version that is compatible with The Dark Mod 1.01 and higher.
I can't wait to see screens with evidence of your new endeavors...
You're welcome! (another one is on it's way...)
LOL... Alrighty Biker, you asked for it:
1)That freakin' MOVING solar system model up there in the picture says otherwise.
2)AFAIK, a more accurate term for someone who has a "natural gift" for something that "usually requires deep thought and study" is "idiot savant". If I used that phrase in place of "prodigy" at least half the readers would think I was insulting you.
Now take a bow and enjoy the well earned appreciation you humble kook!
That's high-praise from a Crysis modder.
Never doubt the power of Id Tech 4, it'll surprise you all the time...