This total conversion aims to recreate the upper Shinra tower as shown in the 1997 RPG Final Fantasy VII in full 3D.

Report article RSS Feed Version No. Change & Various Updates!

Rectifying (unintentionally) misleading version numbering, testing out parallax and environment mapping, music, planning and more!

Posted by JigsawPieces on Mar 11th, 2012

New Version Numbering

Basically, I screwed up. I started the releases at 1.x when I should've started at 0. The reason this is a mistake is that 1.x in software / games is typically used for finished releases which Mako Dawn is currently not. Henceforth the format 0.x.x will be used until the mod is fully completed. All previous releases will be renamed; that is, 1.0 will become 0.0, 1.1 will become 0.1, and so on. I apologize for any confusion, but I think it's best to rectify this earlier rather than later (or never). Now, onto the fun stuff!

Testing Ideas & Planning for New Plates

The current plates are obviously not finished. The buildings are too big and the color scheme isn't right. Here's an image of a little test I did experimenting which much smaller buildings and a different lighting approach:

It's just floating above the current plates which is why it looks odd :P IT'S ONLY A TEST CALM DOWN. It's not indicative of the final quality, I just wanted to get an idea of how big the buildings should be. Ultimately the scale of the buildings on the plate determines how 'big' Midgar is - the smaller they are, the bigger the city is.

Anyhow, here's a layout of a plate sector I created:

Remember the orange parts are blocks, the buildings haven't been plotted yet. The gaps between are roads/streets, there's also exposed rail which isn't marked, but... I know where it'll be, haha. You have to use your imagination a little to picture what it will all look like. Hopefully it'll work out nice. The photoshop file is arranged so that I can switch zones on/off to create different configurations for each plate if I choose to in the future.

Additionally, there's now new outer plates:

They're roughly 300 less polys than the original outer plates, but they're more detailed. Currently it’s only one form duplicated; they’ll all be original on the final product. The screenshot is from in Blender, I have some layers turned off which is why the Shinra Building is absent.

Parallax and Environment Mapping

During the first week of March a lot of my modding time was spent on learning how to use these two techniques. For those unfamiliar with them:

  • Environment mapping simulates reflections based off of a texture map you point it to - this texture acts as the 'environment' around it.
  • Parallax mapping creates an illusion of depth on a flat surface similar to normal mapping. It uses a grayscale height map for its calculations.

My conclusion for environment mapping is that I don't like it :D I dislike making those maps; they make my brain hurt. Still, I'll probably get used to them and eventually use them for something. I didn't take any screens because my tests looked very ugly, haha.

As for parallax mapping, I do like it and find it easy enough to use, although it seems unlikely I'll need to use it much since that sort of depth isn't really needed many places. Fallout 3 apparently only uses it for bullet holes. I was initially going to use it for faking buildings on the plate, but it didn't seem suitable for that after some testing. Here's a screenshot of a test wall I created using normal and parallaxing mapping together on a flat surface:

For those interested, here's the parallax mapping by itself and the normal mapping by itself.

New Musical Arrangement


I've created a new arrangement of FFVII's 'Prelude'. It also contains parts of 'Opening - Bombing Mission' and 'Holding My Thoughts in my Heart'.You can download it here.

It's not the final quality, only the arrangement is finished. There's a short snippet of an FFIX melody in there too, see if you can identify it ;)

New Moddb Profile Design!

Lastly, there's been a profile design update to our moddb page! It's also a bit more informative now. I have ideas for a better design, but I feel it's best to wait until there's prettier screenshots to use.

Oh, and the download now available (v0.2.1) has only minor changes (a few test objects, minor texture changes), so don't download unless you're happy with only minor updates since last time :)

Post comment Comments
retnu16
retnu16 Mar 12 2012, 3:38pm says:

Too bad, they look very good together like that. Is that model flat?

+1 vote     reply to comment
JigsawPieces Author
JigsawPieces Mar 12 2012, 8:30pm replied:

Yes, the surface they're on is flat, the model is just a six-sided rectangular prism.

+1 vote   reply to comment
TheUnbeholden
TheUnbeholden Mar 14 2012, 1:46pm says:

This looks pretty dam amazing. I haven't played much fallout 3 mods, but this is reason enough to start the game up.

+1 vote     reply to comment
JigsawPieces Author
JigsawPieces Mar 15 2012, 12:01pm replied:

Glad you like it ;) Hopefully I can do another more substantial release soon.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Post a Comment
click to sign in

You are not logged in, your comment will be anonymous unless you join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) which we encourage all contributors to do.

2000 characters limit; HTML formatting and smileys are not supported - text only

Icon
Fallout 3 Icon
Platform
Windows
Game
Fallout 3
Contact
Send Message
Release Date
TBD
Mod Watch
Track this mod
News
Browse
News
Report Abuse
Report article
Related Mods
Mako Dawn (Fallout 3)
Mako Dawn Fallout 3 - Single Player Role Playing
Related Games
Fallout 3
Fallout 3 Single Player Role Playing
Related Groups
Electric Illuminations
Electric Illuminations Developer with 2 members