The New Direction
I figure that most people will probably skip ahead and look at the images before reading anything, so ill get that out of the way first.
I’m sorry for the lack of video. I had a very basic flythrough of the first level, but lost half of the sequence keyframes after a crash. I’ll put together another one when i get a chance and upload it. I uploaded 30 new images, so i think that will make up for it!
I was also hoping to have a lot more completed for this update, but i had a bit on this week and a few setbacks slowed me down. One more thing, the white dots you can see on the vegetation is an issue ATI cards have when there is fog. This can’t be fixed unless AA is disabled altogether or only on those particular textures, which is fine for ATI users but not good for Nvidia.
Now onto the details of the new direction.
Due August / September.
As you can see, Stage One is an accurate as-can-be remake of the original game using default Crysis assets. There was always going to be some things i couldn’t reproduce, so ive had to create some custom content here and there, some of which is created using – or converted directly from Trespasser assets.
Feature wise, Stage One does not contain any custom features, items, controls or dinosaurs. As of writing anyway.
The terrain is virtually unmodified since it was extracted from the original maps, with just some cleaning up of errors and harsh triangulation. The levels all match perfectly end-to-start, and Pine Valley is the only new addition to the retail line up.
Terrain and some object textures were scaled up to look similar to the low res Trespasser originals. Decals were used for adding additional detail to objects and some decals were imported directly from Trespasser to ensure the levels looked right. Those big patchy terrain decals are a big part of Trespassers distinct look, and made a big difference once they were imported.
Not all vegetation species were replicated, some smaller plants are being ignored to speed up development of this first stage, with a layer of grass painted on all reachable grass areas to compensate. Only the primary larger species are being replicated and there are no variances, just one of each species.
There are no voiceovers yet, im not sure if they will be included in this Stage.
Only if i have time.
I have tried to make as much as i can in the editor using solids. Simple primary shapes such as walls, the beach foundation blocks and monorail supports are easy to make and textures with solids, but more complex shapes like the monorail track and buildings will need to be real models with simple textures applied. By simple i mean single textures for simple structures like monorail supports and track, while buildings will have only what they need to look acceptable, roof, walls, floor.
After fixing my 3D StudioMax 2008 install this week, i had some trouble with models not exporting properly and then not appearing in the editor. This held me up a bit and i was not able to get as much done as i had hoped for this update. I forgive me though 🙂
Due 2-4 months after stage one.
The second stage will see the replacement of all Crysis assets with actual Trespasser models. This will be a great opportunity for me to learn how to make all kinds of models for Crysis in preparation for future stages. Vegetation will be given vertex colours so it animates and moves with the wind as well as from player interaction. Damage and breaking trunks is not a priority, but will most likely be explored anyway if i have time.
Voice overs and ambient sounds will definitely be included in this stage.
Hopefully we have a programmer on board so we can start implementing some new features. The sooner this is started the better. Items, weapons and controls are the priority at this point, there will be plenty of time to work on the dinosaurs later on. Using simple Boid entities, i will experiment with very basic dinosaurs that walk around and follow the player and can be shot, but this will be for decorative purposes more than anything and again is not a priority, only if i have time.
Puzzles will start to be implemented if possible. Key pads and key cards are not something ive worked with in Crysis, so im not sure if they are possible yet. The physics puzzles will be pretty easy to recreate at least.
Essentially, Stage 2 will be very close to a perfect recreation of the original game in Crysis.
3-5 months after stage 2.
Visually, Stage 3 will look identical to Stage 2, but will see the introduction of new areas and levels as well as modifications and updates to the original levels.
The Aviary, Embryonics Administration Buildings, Plains, Swamps. All these locations will be built in this stage. This stage will essentially be the finished project, but will still look like the original game did.
New missions, features, story elements and extra voice overs will be added. Inventory management, weapon reloading, cameras, torches, eating and drinking, all this stuff will be included in this version too. Fingers Crossed!
Dinosaurs will be as good as they can be. How good will depend on how soon a programmer joins the team and starts working on them. The same goes for all the new features in this project. In the two years this project has been actively worked on, i have not received a single notice of interest from a programmer. Hopefully with the release of stage one in a few months and the recent flythrough video, someone will show some interest.
Due 5-6 months after Stage 3.
The final stage will see the replacement of all project assets with original content, where possible, practical or required. This will be a very time consuming stage and could possibly take longer than predicted. In fact im expecting it to.
Using 100% new assets opens up the possibility of using the Free CE3 SDK, but performance, and the engines capabilities to support such a large and detailed map will be a major factor in this. CE3 will open up a lot more possibilities in many different areas, and will also allow the project to be developed as a standalone game.
You need to understand that if i decide to use the Free CE3 SDK, every aspect of the project must be original content. This includes not only models and textures, but also shaders, entities, particles, sounds, menus, icons, absolutely everything. This means nothing from the Crysis games can be used in the Free SDK. This is obviously a huge amount of work and you can see why developing as a Mod has it benefits and why ill be exploring the potential to develop as a Mod for Crysis 3 first.
To clarify the difference for those who dont know. The Free SDK is currently not as advanced as the version of CE3 used by Crysis 3. The new features will eventually make their way into the Free SDK, but there is no official word on when that will happen. There is also no official word on a Mod SDK for Crysis 3 anyway, which would mean the move to CE3 would have to be standalone or a Mod for Crysis 2, which is very unlikely.
I get a lot of emails and comments from people suggesting i start a kickstarter campaign for the project, but i dont think many of you fully understand what that involves.
Firstly, to develop this project commercially, the appropriate CryEngine license would be needed. The final details of licensing for the Free SDK have not been released yet, and last time i checked, licensing for CryEngine was in the Hundreds of Thousands. Yes, that’s a lot.
The licenses and publishing rights to Trespasser would also be required, and this would certainly be a substantial amount too.
This is not an original project that i can choose to kickstart and develop commercially whenever i like, its really no different to someone other than Crytek deciding they want to remake Crysis, or make Crysis 4. There are processes involved. You need money, permission and licenses.
I’m a very open minded and optimistic person, but my priority is delivering a good game. There are obviously a lot of factors to consider, and to be honest its not something i want to burden myself with right now. Im working on this as a hobby and will deal with things as they happen.
This new direction is going to allow me to focus on working towards some clear goals rather than one huge final result. Its much more enjoyable working this way, and you guys will be rewarded with quite substantial releases at the completion of each stage.
I hope you like the look of stage one, its certainly a step down in detail compared to what i was working on previously, but understand that you will get to play through it in a few months time, and i will eventually get back to the level it was at.
Be sure to visit the Flickr page and view all the shots i uploaded as there are about 30 new ones.
I’ll post another update once i have got almost everything from Jungle Road to the Town completed.