Despite the fact that GameSpy has chosen to temporarily redecorate our website with an unparallelled amount of PHP errors, I have juicy news for you all. And this time, it really is juicy! Not that the news wasn't necessarily juicy all the times Trestkon described it as so, mind you, but... well, you know... Trestkon is generally not to be trusted. I tell you, the man is dangerous. O_o
So anyway, Jim, being the sort of guy who was given a computer at birth and instantly coded the mandatory "Hello World!" program, has obtained the code libraries of Deus Ex. Don't ask me how he got them, I think at least one person lost his life in the process. With this Holy Grail of Deus Ex Modding in hand, he is creating an ogg player for us. With this program of pure brilliance, we will be able to use music in ogg format for our levels, which means full CD-quality music unrestricted by the need for samples and other limitations of the UMX file format. This also means that our composers will be working much more effectively from now on because they can compose directly in whatever expensive professional composing suite they use and they don't have to convert everything to various samples and track their music afterwards. The only problem: It won't work on Macintosh. So... we don't really know what we're gonna do for the Mac users, but we'll probably be tracking the music for whichever of our levels it seems convenient to do so for, and filling the rest out with tracks from Deus Ex. But it all depends on how much time we have. We may turn out to have time to track an entire score for Mac users, or we may have to use almost entirely old DX tracks for the Mac version. Sorry Apple-fans, but that's the penalty for trying to resist the inevitable world-domination of Micro$oft Windoze.
Wondering how the conversation problems turned out? Well, we've actually managed to work around it. We haven't heard from Al Yarusso yet, and we haven't really extracted any information from the newly acquired libraries yet either, but so far, splitting our AI Barks into two conversation files seemed to do the trick. We didn't even have to split the conversations into two packages. There's still a risk we may hit the arbitrary maximum of speech lines again when we add the last conversations to mission 20 (yeah, 3000 lines of speech for the first mission just wasn't enough for us). But for now, everything works nicely.
Aside from these major news items, some progress has also been made on the actual content of the mod. Phasmatis has had some time to model again lately, so he picked up one of his old models and redid it. He didn't like the result though, so he's remodeling it again. Seeing how his stuff always gets better when he redoes it, this particular model is bound to seriously rock your boxors... when he's done with it this time, it's been remade 3 times.
The voice acting has also been progressing. We've received some really good samples lately, and we've actually started to record the lines of some of the major characters. Not the most important characters yet, but it's still nice to see that everything is progressing in the voice acting department. The coding department is also moving along, even though That Guy is busy with university and work, he's chosen to cut down on his sleep rather than his TNM work, so he's still churning out cool stuff. At the moment, I think he's working on fixing some problems with ConEdit and implementing things which were never implemented properly in the original game (probably because they turned out not to need it). For example, he's implementing ZeroHero's fix to the animation events which will allow us to make our characters play certain animations during a conversation. That'll be fun! Most recently, we also decided to add some more stuff to Trestkon's akimbo pistols, so both Phasmatis and That Guy will be working on that. We're not gonna tell you what it is, but I bet you'll like it. I know I do.
I think that's all for this time. TTYL.