Hi all! Finally there is an update. But this one is going to be quite long!
I got help from another great modder out there - SPLinT_CeLL. He is famous for creating mods for CoDWaW. This time he gave me a very valueable help in texturing the German paratroopers. I added his name into Back2Fronts mod summary as well as into "MOD CREDITS".
These guys were my project for the past 2 weeks. That's right, it took TWO WEEKS to make! Pretty much huh? Yeah, but take a look at them below, I think the time was worth it, right? Here you can preview their development history:
This is the first test I performed. They didn't have their correct helmets yet and their skin weights had a lot of issues. Texture is just one and default CoDWaW.
These are from the second test. They have a quickly made correct helmets but their skin weight is still quite buggy. Texture is still just one and default CoDWaW.
There are pictures from the third test. Not much to say, the only improvements were slight changes in skin weights.
This NCO officer is from test number four which has been a major improvement - it had the new textures applied and a new more detailed helmet. The skin weights are quite good.
The test number five is the last one. Textures were reworked into a better tone. The skin weight values are pretty good. They still have some small bugs but nothing noticeable at first sight (funny fact - this kind of bug have even some original CoD2 characters :-).
The time schedule was approximately as follows (chronological order):
- 2 days - creating the model itself (geometry, UVs, normal shading)
- 3 days - creating the texture templates (one for body, one for equipment, one for head/hands)
- 1 day - creating the skeleton (rigging) and attaching the model to the skeleton (binding)
- 6 days - endless skin weight editing
- 2 days - testing & error corrections.
I kept in mind the need for variety. So I created 3 model variations:
- complete (they carry breadbag, canteen, zeltbahn, messtin, gasmask and pistol holster)
- basic (they carry breadbag, canteen and pistol holster)
- officer (they carry just the pistol holster, also they are decorated with knight's cross)
They all have the pistol holsters because all German paratroopers were equipped with a pistol, no matter what rank they were.
Thanks to SPLinT_CeLL and his work with textures these 3 model variants can use 3 uniforms - the standard Luftwaffe jump smock in field green-grey color (1938-), the jump smock in Splinter B pattern (1941-) and finally the latewar Water camo jump smock (1943-).
The last but not least thing are the ranks. There are up to 5 ranks to encounter in battle:
- Jager (Private) - they got 1 white wing on their yellow collar tabs
- Gefreiter (Lance Corporal) - they got 2 white wings on their yellow collar tabs and a single triangle on their left arm
- Obergefreiter (Corporal) - they got 3 white wings on their yellow collar tabs and a double triangle on their left arm
- Unteroffizier (Sergeant) - their yellow collar tabs got thick white outline and 1 white wing plus they got 1 wing on their left arm
- Feldwebel (Staff Sergeant) - their yellow collar tabs got thick white outline and 3 white wings plus they got 3 wings on their left arm
Before I started work on Fallschirmjagers, I was playing with the Russian medium machine gun - the Maxim PM190. You have seen it already but I improved the gun carriage, added wheels and fire controls to it and corrected some minor bugs (positioning, AI usage, animation problems). To see the improved model - check out the video about weapon stance movers - the Maxim can be seen in there (at 0:30 minute).
I am pretty happy that this has been finished. A large ammount of realistic data which I gained has been finally transfered into the game weaponfile scripts. The weapons behave much more naturally now but they are also much more deadly so beware! No more running around the "poor" German soldiers with "weak" Kar98s!
Here is the brief list of most important/notable changes. There are more but the news post would be too long.
1) Hand-held weapons:
- Names. I decided to rewrite the weapon names into more realistic ones. New names consist of 3 main parts - the name of the weapon itself, the name of its attachment (scope or silencer) and the fire mode icon which describes the weapon's operation mode. Lets take a scoped Lee-Enfield rifle as an example. Its name in Back2Fronts is "Lee-Enfield No4 Mk1T + No32 x3". The fire mode icon consists of a single rifle bullet and a scope. Now the explanation: The "Lee-Enfield No4 Mk1T" is name of the sniper weapon itself, "No32" is name of its scope and "x3" is the zoom-value. The rifle bullet image in the fire mode icon says that the shot from this weapon will travel through multiple enemies (so you can accomplish 2,3,4... kills on one single shot). The scope image in the fire mode icon says that it is a scoped weapon. This form of weapon naming gives you not only a good impression but also a valueable tactical info - you pickup a weapon and immediatelly see what it can do.
- Weapon idle. I added more random idle motion when the weapon is in "hip" position (=not aiming) and "ads" position (=aiming). It is a simulation of player breathing and muscle shaking.
- Rate of fire. I included realistic fire rates for each weapon.
- Realistic loadouts and magazine capacity. I searched for usual/standard loadouts for each weapon and included these values. The only exception are pistols which have more loadout ammo than in real life (due to gameplay and because I am a pistol-lover type of guy :-)
- AI accuracy. I put a lot of attention into tweaking the AI accuracy. In my opinion, the Germans were too inaccurate in the original game (in contrast with the super accurate allies). So I decided to put the things into a ballance. As a result your allies will die much more often so you can collect their ammo. But also YOU will DIE more OFTEN :-) Watch out for enemies with MP44s, they are killer machines!
- Player accuracy. All CoD games have too accurate guns in my opinion. The player is like point-accurate. Well, no longer. In order to shoot properly you MUST AIM DOWN THE SIGHTS and FIRE IN SHORT BURSTS.
- Weapon zoom. Another thing that bothered me a lot. I had to decode the CoD2's zoom system first because they define zoom using the field of view. I disabled the zoom for all non-scoped weapons (and created proper aim animations for them). Also, I set correct zoom values for the scoped weapons. As a result the sniper rifles differ quite a lot: Kar98 (x4), Springfield (x2.5), Lee-Enfield (x3), Mosin-Nagant (x3.5), G-43 (x4), FG-42 (x4), MP-44 (x4), Garand M1 (x2.5), SVT-40 (x3.5).
- Stance movers. These are the controllers for weapon motion during walking/crouching/prone. If the player crouches with the weapon, it will go closer and higher to the player. If the player goes to prone, the weapon will lay aproximatelly in the line with his eyes. Weapons will react very dynamically on the player's movement (especially when in prone position). Check out how it looks in the video below.
- Chamber reload. Some weapons in real life can hold rounds not only in their magazine but also in the chamber. This gives you ONE EXTRA SHOT. I included this feature into the mod. It works as follows - if you deplete the whole magazine you will reload just the magazine ammount of shots. But if you reload mid-clip, you will get the extra round (because the weapon wasn't empty yet - so it had a round in chamber). Such weapons are: AVT-40, Beretta M34, Colt M1911A1, G-43, HDM, Luger P-08, M1/M2 carbine, MP-44, Walther P-38, SVT-40 and TT-33.
Check out how it works in the video below.
- Realistic damage. I had quite a "scientific" approach on that. I calculated the damage values from kinetic energy of the weapon's projectile to be fair. I used quite same way to determine the melee damage (kinetic energy from the mass of the weapon's body). As a result there is a big difference if you are hitting enemy for example with a rifle or a sub-machine gun.
- Movespeedscale. Simply said, it is the speed which you travel with a particular weapon. It is based on the weight of the weapon. Beware! You are really slow with heavy weapons like machine guns or anti-tank weapons! The "weight" of the weapon has the effect on the sprint as well. If you hold a heavy weapon you will sprint much slower.
- Ammo pickup sounds/Shell eject sounds/Dry fire sounds. I made a set of unique pickup sounds for each weapon class (pistol, smg, assault, shotgun, rifle, mg, anti-tank, grenade, stick grenade, etc.). I added new shell eject sounds for more variety during firefight: 15 for pistols/smgs/assault, 10 for rifles/mgs, 5 for shotgun. Also, there are 7 different dryfire sounds.
- Melee swing & hit sounds. I reworked the melee swing and hit sounds and added few more. Also pistols have different swing sounds than other weapons.
2) Grenade weapons:
- Grenade damage. It has been calculated to fit the hand-held weapon damage. Please note that SMOKE GRENADES cause DAMAGE too!
- Realistic throw distances. I calculated it from real life values.
- Realistic blast radius. I calculated it from real life values.
- Grenade cooking and realistic fuses. Some grenades enable "cooking" which means to activate their fuse before actually throwing them. It is useable if you want to make sure the enemy will not throw your grenade back at you. But it has also a disadvantage - the grenade will explode in your hands and kill you instantly if you don't throw it away in right time (this applies for smokes as well!). You can count the time by using the crosshair - it is ticking the seconds for you. Second thing are the fuses. Some grenades have time fuse and some other impact one.
British frag grenade - fuse: time 4s - cooking: no
German StielHandGranate - fuse: time 4.5s - cooking: YES
Russian stick grenade - fuse: time 3.6s - cooking: no
American smoke - fuse: time 2.6s - cooking: no
British smoke - fuse: IMPACT - cooking: no
German smoke - fuse: time 7s - cooking: YES
Russian smoke - fuse: time 2.5s - cooking: YES
Check out how it works in the video below.
3) Static weapons:
- Accuracy. I decreased the accuracy on machine guns a bit. The accuracy on artillery depends on weapon, for example the Tiger's main gun and Flak 88 are very accurate guns in contrast to the Flakvierling.
- Realistic projectiles speeds. I calculated them from real life values.
- Realistic damage. It has been done the same way as for hand-held weapons (from kinetic energy). The only difference is that I adjusted the damage values by armor piercing values.
- Machine gun turrets have tracers and impact effects - aproximatelly every second shot.
Loop vs. single shot sounds
I decided that it is strange to have completely different loop and single shot sounds for same weapons (30cal, Flakvierling). So I made a loop and single shot versions of the same sound for better and more realistic feeling. Cooldown effects are of course included.
Unique AI rechamber sounds
The original CoD2 had just one generic rechamber sound for all bolt-action rifles. I found a way how to create an unique rechamber sound for each bolt-action weapon. As a result, when AI rechambers the Kar98, Springfield, Mosin-Nagant, Lee-Enfield or shotgun - they have their correct rechamber sounds. Also, I made a unique round-by-round AI reload sounds for scoped bolt-actions. Check out the video below how it works:
I decided that it would be nice to have more unique sounds for the vehicles. As a result I made 6 versions for tank moving/idle so you can tell which steel beast is coming. Same thing is for turret moving - there are 5 turret movement sounds. But most importantly, I created a recognizable fire/reload sounds for tank/artillery fire. Each tank has its own.
Plus a lot of new miscelaneous sounds like doors, bush walk, gear rattle, headshot impact, various rubbles, etc. This is still not finished.
Breda M30 (light machine gun)
Old stuff - I did a research for the reload operation cycle and created a reference GIF animation. I also finished the model itself. Mod's co-animator, Jessejoydb, is working on the ingame animation.
Here is the reference GIF:
Greasegun M3A1 & Winchester M1897
Old stuff - both weapons were imported from (as you know) multiplayer. The textures are improved quite a lot. I did not touch the models (although I want to in future). AI usage has no problems except from the one esthetic bug - singleplayer CoD2 does not have a 3rd person animation for shotgun. You can collect these 2 decent weapons from your dead allies.
Random AI system
Old stuff - enemies and allies spawn with mostly random weapons which gives the player more complex experience, allow more replayability and gives a powerfull mean how to add custom weapons to AI. This is still UNDER DEVELOPMENT.
Old stuff - hands shifted a bit nearer to the camera to make the whole feeling more realistic-like and make the hands motion not so evident, 4 new hand motions added for larger diversity and increased the speed a bit, final sprint's HUD.
Cheers! Martin a.k.a MCh2207Cz