So although I hadn't said anything to you guys, for about a week now I've been looking into creating my own project outside of the X-Ray engine limitations and scrapping this project.
First I tried Unity, which is very user-friendly but can also be a bit fussy and I couldn't modify a few things I wanted to modify. So...I tried the CryEngine 3 SDK, which is great, but they don't allow for any modification of their shaders which is ridiculous and a deal-breaker so that's out. Then I tried Unreal 3 which is not as user-friendly, and then I tried Ogre3D which allows just about anything but lacks the basic framework I'm looking for. So now I'm back (probably) :)
tl;dr: Tried different engines, still a slave to X-Ray, mod still happening.
Anyways, here's some real news:
1) I tested out a Misery 2 beta a bit and was invited to help out a little before it gets released, so I agreed. It's not any big thing, just means I'm going to try and help out if I can and maybe propose some alternate ideas for a few things. Although Misery has never been my cup of tea there's no denying it's a well made and interesting mod. People looking forward to Misery 2 should be quite happy when it's released :)
2) I'm no longer going to go by my earlier "end of summer" deadline for 1.4. It's simply not enough time. I'm working alone, I'm about to start a summer job, and other things prevent that from being possible. In fact if I continue working on this I'd rather go straight to 2.0 and do a few things I'll discuss below.
3) r_populik will be releasing a weapon mod soon which is really awesome. Go check out his ModDb page. I'll be including some of what he's done in Swartz mod as we're already using some of the same models but he's using better animations. He also has replacements for weapons I couldn't find any decent replacements for (Fort-12, Protecta). I already have his permission so some of it will be included :D
4) Bangalore is working on a really awesome mod pack that looks like it's nearing completion. The mod I was working on before I decided to do 1.4 was a small group project and we were going to be using Bangalore's pack as a base for changes. Now that it's getting close I'm interested in possibly going with his maps and forgetting about the vanilla ones. It means I'd lose some progress I've made with quests and some misc. content however at this point I think we're all tired of the limited maps of Call of Pripyat. It's time for something different, so if that get's released this summer I'd like to get permission to use THAT as a base for Swartz 2.0.
5) I desperately want to edit shaders for Call of Pripyat, but I'm not that good at it, the only major editing can be done is on DX9 (due to pre-compiled shaders for DX10 and 11), and it seems there aren't any shader authors working on X-Ray 1.5 or 1.6; everyone who does shader stuff sticks to Shadow of Chernobyl.
If you're the least bit good with shaders and you're reading this I am BEGGING you to contact me. There are a few things I know are perfectly possible to add that I would like done (and I have example shaders with this stuff done already, I just don't know how to write it in a way Stalker understands), and two things I think might be possible and would be a major graphics breakthrough if it is possible IMHO.
6) I'm making good use of X-Ray Extensions and Cut X-Ray Project. Thanks to Setakat I know that the stability issues from X-Ray Extensions has to do with one problematic file, and removing it solves everything (and it's not really needed anyways).
I haven't compiled the new render dll's yet as last time I did they broke the sun intensity in Atmosfear 3, but I'm pretty sure I know how to fix that now.
I'm pretty sure I've covered this topic before, but in-case I haven't here are the features:
- Persistent ragdolls for NPC's and monsters.
- Fix of the error message about "Cannot find weapon in MP ranks" as well as no longer needing to add weapons to that file.
- Fixed 3rd person camera so you aim exactly where the crosshair is (before you just shot progressively further in the air...not sure why)
- Actor hit callback script that allows detection of what specific bone the actor has been hit in (I've already been making good use of this)
- FOV console command, eliminating the need for any FOV switchers
- Key-press and mouse-press detection. It's not possible to add these keys as bind-able in the options menu, but I can use it to for instance use !Sin's quick-grenade script (I tried implementing this in 1.3 and there were problems, but it looks like it's fixed now).
- "get_target_obj" and "get_target_dist" functions. I was thinking of maybe using these to create a laser-aim attachment for some weapons.
- If I get the render dll's working properly it also has a console command for adjusting the grass draw distance, eliminating the need to work with the patcher people use for this.
7) I was going to be getting help doing some skins from Eprodox but he's decided not to I guess since I haven't heard from him. Because of this I'm also now looking for a texture artist/weapon skinner. Please send me a message if you're interested in doing this.
8) Now that I'm starting to get the hang of model editing I'd like to try and improve the details of NPC models. No promises though, I am still a newb to model editing.
And that's all for now. I'm going to be a bit busy now so I probably won't post any more updates for a few weeks.