PART 2 : at the link below:
I've also written some other tips and points I wrote awhile ago as a summary with another perspective on making levels for avp1 I may revise it in the future, but as is it will cover some other areas.
Hi everyone, my name is Bladeghost and in these tutorials I will be instructing you on how to make mod levels for the PC game aliens versus predator 1 using windows XP, 3ds max r3 and the official fox editing tools along with avp fastfile explorer and Photoshop with the techniques I use to make them.Let's begin by making sure we have the proper tools to begin with, starting with the game itself aliens versus predator. AVP1 comes in 2 forms one being the fox version from 1999 and the steam version avp classic. The method and techniques I will cover is for using higher resolution textures for the steam version, for the fox version just use 8-bit 128x128 textures and you should be fine overall. What I will be teaching will be a bit more advanced but with more satisfying results.You will need the game of course, 3ds max r3, the official avp fox editing tools, fastfile explorer and an image editing program, you can use ifranview for a substitute for Photoshop if needed. And maybe leadworks as an alternative covered in another tutorial.First, let's begin with avp classic 2000 on steam running on windows xp. You will need to take the game and make a mirror copy of it in program files. Make a folder in program files name it fox in lowercase letters then inside that add the folder aliens versus predator Make the A and the P capitol letters the v will be lower case. Now take the contents of the aliens versus predator classic folder and transfer a copy to the fox directory.
If you have both versions fox and steam this step can be skipped.Once that is done install the official avp fox editing tools. In both copies of the game separately. This is necessary because of the way the game reads the files.Once that is done install avp fastfile explorer for working with textures.With everything installed we can begin with building our first level.Now understand that there is a file directory arranged for levels and texturesThe dir for levels is the avp_rifs folder and the textures are in the folder labeled graphics, all in lower case letters. Each folder has sub-directories and let's cover that first.In avp_rifs you have 2 places for levels. One is the default levels and a custom folder which contains multiplayer and skirmish levels.The graphics folder contains sub directories with an Envrnmts folder, misspelled intentionally and with a capitol E letter. And in Envrnmts are sub folders with folders named for each level, here you can add your own and use custom textures here. I will cover that using fastfile explorer. Custom sounds will be covered in a separate tutorial.Once we have our file structure and files and apps in place we can start with our first original custom level using 3ds max r3. In the newly installed tools folder of avp find the 3ds max plugins and place them in the plugins folder of 3ds max r3. now start up 3ds max r3 and make a box 1 wide 1 long and 2 tall, and label it hudson this will be the scale reference the game needs to initiate the build. Next you will need to add a dummy object and label it nucleus, these two essential items need to be centered to 0, 0, 0. All levels and rif files have one set of these two reference items. The height of hudson is the height of the player character in the game so use that for reference in making ceiling heights accordingly. Now we can start with building our geometry. Create a box and divide it up with some segments. The game uses vertex lighting however there is a threshold of how many polygons are allowed in a certain given area.So keep the polygon count to low as possible. Later you can be more elaborate once you understand the basic fundamentals. Now make and or add more rooms with connecting doorways separate from each other as separate objects, you can name them as you like, be sure to take the time to name them as they will be easier to locate in larger scenes. These will become area modules and the areas the player will explore. Once we have some geometry made we can now texture them in 3ds max open the material browser and locate the graphics folder in avp and find some .rim files.
See (FFL_TUTORIAL) *sorry not posted yet""""".Apply a texture and UV map it.With higher resolution textures this will be arranged differently in the directory used as it will be applied from the fox dir used and referenced from the steam dir and exported to the steam dir. Example.After your level is made and textured and named you can now export it to avp. Remember to give your level a short unique name then Select file/export and choose .rif as the file type to the avp_rifs/custom directory in avp.There will be a series of option windows you need to navigate for exporting.The first can be left as default and so can the next one, the last one is like a final check for keeping or removing geometry or items. After that a .rif file will be written in the specified avp_rifs/custom directory. Now we have to use the fox tools to enable our newly made level playable.Open the avp_rifs/custom folder in windows explorer and locate your new level you made from 3ds max. double click on it and an internal rif editor called inteng will open up. Inteng is short for internal engine. Inside inteng the first thing to learn is camera navigation, using the arrow and A and Z keys these keys will be your basic camera movement for navigating the geometry. (These will be forward, backward, left, right, up and down) the num pad keys will angle direction and the num pad star key will level out your view to a flat and level plane. Initially the geometry will be rendered in wireframe and you'll be in the center at position 0, 0, 0.Inteng's menu system is accessed by moving up your mouse cursor to the top of the screenAnd a tool bar will then appear. Here you will access different modes of operation divided up into separate functions. Like texturing, lighting and module rendering as well as object manipulation and some other things.
I recommend checking out the help and keys selections of each to explain the different functions each separate mode has to offer.Let's begin with module linking select module linking from the top menu , using your camera keys move away from the spot you were in so that you can see your geometry more completely, then left click on your first area until it's highlighted. Here you will be using 2 keys to enable the rendering and visual linking. The ‘S key and the ‘N key.With the first piece selected hit the ‘S key to set it and it should now turn blue to indicate it has been initiated. Then select the module next to it and hit the ‘N key to link it to the first selection, this will turn yellow to indicate it has been linked to the first selection.Now repeat the same on the other one in reverse. Example set #1 link to #2 then set #2 and link to #1 and in succession keeping mind where and how far the player can see, there is a mode in module linking where you can use filled polylines to assist in view distances, that is in the top menu bar as an option. To help understand this place yourself in the rooms' geometry and imagine what the player sees, anything not in the line of sight doesn't have to be linked and may remain white.Once all your modules are linked properly exit out of module linking mode and then select lighting mode. Here we will be adding some lights. The lights in avp come in a few different variations and they are ambient, runtime and destructible lighting. The destructible lighting has a few features like flicker and strobe and color change, that ambient and runtime lights do not have. Ambient lighting will light up geometry only, runtime lights highlight the players hud weapons and arms. And destructible lights use both. Ambient and Runtime lights are invisible emitters where destructible lights are object based which means they are placed objects placed in object mode and adjusted in lighting mode.For now we'll just place 2 lights one ambient and one runtime, navigate to a position within the room and hit the ‘D key to ‘drop a light in place. This light will have full default values meaning it will be at full bright intensity. Each light has a variety of options to choose from.Now to adjust your light to the desired state needed deselect your light by hitting the ‘U key to ‘update it and then using the navigation keys move away and then reselect the light triangle cone. Here you will see a variety of settings like brightness, range, color, direction and other options.
Play with each setting to make your preferred settings, this will show in real time but will appear too bright until you turn off the camera headlight by hitting the ‘B key and see how your lighting will actually render. This is important to see how it will appear in game. Toggle the ‘b key again to turn the camera headlight back on if you need to see where you're going and find dark geometry. Once you have your lighting set you need to save the settings from the top menu then you can exit.Now we go to object placement mode to put in our starting point with weapons and stuff.Navigate to an appropriate place and direction in object placement mode and choose in the top bar create/generator once placed deselect by hitting backspace then navigate away from item since you'll be in the center of it and won't see it until you move away from it.With the green ‘G selected hit the ‘E key to edit it's properties. Mark the checkbox multiplayer start choose ok. to move the green G select it and hit the ‘F key to enter ‘fly mode and use the camera movement keys to move the object, hit the ‘F key again to go back to camera mode to adjust your sight and if need be use fly mode again to finish adjusting the placement of the spawn generator. The generator should be half it's height above the surface for placement. When finished hit backspace to deselect then in the top toolbar hit save then hit exit. Before you exit inteng select recalculate normals and extents and then you can quit inteng and load up your level in avp to test in skirmish or mp.If you would like to use and add other properties of the game like adding facehuggers and marines you'll need to use the default sp names in the avp_rifs folder for your levels but before doing so make a backup of the default levels then those options become available when placing enemies in object mode.In object mode this is where you place your enemies using the selection avp bad guy, and editing its properties appropriately. Then after use adjacent modules mode for AI navigation using the same method as in module linking, when you sometimes get a warning asking if you'd like to delete the newly linked adjacent module select no to keep it linked. It's a pain but necessary.Once those have been done you can have something to shoot at that will attack you.
These are basics so far as there are and is much more functions and options like sky rendering, area switches, doors, object variables, option flags, and AI Flags, virtual objects, mission objectives, texture animation, texture alignments, and volumes and more. Inteng is quite a package and will take some time to learn all it's abilities.Be patient!The official avp fox editing tools comes with a help file called the avp bible I strongly recommend reading it fully to learn from as well.Take the time to plan what you want in a level and what you would like to have and see.Most of the level starts with 3ds max so most geometry options should be considered there as there is no way to create geometry in inteng. This makes more sense if your using a later version of 3dsmax making a 3ds fileAnd then using leadworks Then inteng But that's a whole another tutorial.In3dmax you can re-import your level and re-work what's needed and then re-export and continue your work.
To be continued:
HERE'S PART 2.......