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Ifafudafi has contributed to 95 posts out of 421535 total posts (.02%) in 1,639 days (.06 posts per day).

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Quote: --- Original message by: teh lag

Ifafudafi has been taking time to work with the 100% final BSPs to pretty up their environment textures and shaders, so that they look nicer with DLMs enabled.

After X years of staring down both h1 forerunner and what's become our unique spin on that style, it's equal parts wonderful and frightening to have to completely recalibrate my mental model of what it's supposed to look like, now that we have the means to make forerunner metal look like Actual Metal. Not too long ago I was running around panicking that it was too much and we'd never get it right, but today I'm bouncing in my chair waiting to take care of the next BSP's set of materials. "Breakthrough" is a word whose meaning has bcome sort of muted over time, but no other will do.

Will a demonstration of the difference make its way to the thread in the coming days? We'll have to see how quickly the lighting process goes

happy december

Lighting progress for our BSPs is illustrated here. When the lighting is finished (and we do a playthrough of the map afterwards to ensure nothing is broken) the map is finished. Again, I want to stress that this really is the last thing -- if we could somehow magically be done with the lighting tonight, then we'd be releasing tonight. (but we won't be done tonight, and so we're not.)

The UV cleanup is a very long, very tedious, very painstaking multi-day process. Once it's done for a BSP, the BSP takes ~2-3 days to render. If a mystery error pops up after that render, another re-render is necessary to fix it (although we do have a couple of other tricks if the error is minor enough). This is the cost of squeezing the kind of visual fidelity we're aiming for out of a 13 year old unsupported zombie engine. We'd like it to go faster but we're only a mod team for said zombie engine, and don't have access to huge render farms or oodles of qualified and trained worker drones.

As before, time spent waiting on renders is applied to further optimization and polish work. I've said it before but I'll say it again: we're just as eager for this thing to be finished as you guys are

since it's been a while

basically the real Thing left to do is lighting. the process for generating and importing custom lightmaps -- they're necessary for directional lightmaps, but we'd be doing them anyway as they're far superior to the debug tool/sapien lightmaps -- is an extremely convoluted, error-prone process with hour-long iteration times, and we're doing it across 10 BSPs that run the whole range from dark and ominous to bright and sunny.

the good news is that we've more or less locked down the sun and sky, which takes care of the vast majority of the exterior stuff. the interior stuff is going much more quickly, as not having to account for an omnipresent sun & sky gives us a lot more control to nudge and fudge things here and there until it's just right.

"but when will it be done" the downside with long iteration times and error-prone processes is that it's basically impossible to make an accurate prediction. take comfort in the fact that with our critical to-dos complete, me and lag have been taking almost every day to continue combing through the level, finding and polishing whatever we can. (in the past week alone, there have been 64 TSC:E-relevant source control commits made.)

and in saying that, I should re-iterate that other than the lighting (and the new crashed pelican model, as noted on the to-do list,) the map is done. every area, every encounter, every weapon, every unit, every music cue; 100% playable and complete, front-to-back, across all difficulties. with each day, it only gets even more polished

Quote: --- Original message by: slashrat
I'm up to my neck in lighting work, but things are definitely moving forward. It will happen.

true story: after about 2-ish weeks of nonactivity and unreachability from ^, we had to hire a private detective to find out what happened. the guy's rates were insane but he did his job and found that silicon (why does he go by "slashrat" here? is he trying to hide?????) had been picked up off the street in Kansas and brought to the nearest asylum (lag had to pretend to be his brother so we could get in and sneak him out of the place.) I took a picture of his room:

don't worry; we've made sure now that he won't be going anywhere until he's done
Edited by Ifafudafi on Nov 3, 2014 at 03:45 PM

Quote: --- Original message by: xnx
Is the TSCE team planning on some hype building when you guys are finally prepared to release the map? You know, trailers, yt videos, etc. word spreading

Since we're not a bigmajor corporation with a dedicated marketing team, everybody working on TSCE is spending pretty much all the free time they have working on TSC:E. (Seriously, think about all the things you might do when you're not at work or school. Now imagine doing literally none of those, because you are working on a Halo mod instead. Every day. That is what life is like for most TSC:E devs right now.)

Fortunately, since we're not a bigmajor corporation who needs appease shareholders by pushing as many pre-orders and launch week sales as is possible, we can shift the trailer-making and mod-hyping to after the map releases, at which point we'll actually have the time to do those things. TSC:E won't suddenly disappear or self-destruct within 7 days or whatever, and it's a lot easier to "sell" a free mod for a 13-year-old zombie game when we can point to it and say "you can try it now!", alongside footage and info about the entire map -- as opposed to currently, where we're trying our best to keep cool surprises under the lid and assure everyone that yes, it's coming, just be patient,

Quote: --- Original message by: RabbitFood
Just to clarify, I believe I heard that the DMR will not be in TSC:E?

We had DMR in the core set for a while, but it never really found a place. For context: our BR is better suited to groups of weaker units -- the burst-fire makes headshots easier to land, and a single burst can punch straight through higher-ranking Grunts' helmets. By contrast, our Carbine's automatic accelerating rate of fire and higher accuracy make it a bit harder to handle, but (alongside the higher mag capacity) enable it to more effectively pummel down Brute armor and Elite shields. (Our Pistol easily outdoes the both of them in handling and DPS, but the penalty to accuracy at high rates of fire causes it to lose effectiveness in the situations BR & Carbine are best suited to.)

DMR kind of floated in the middle; the straightforward interpretation of power + accuracy led testers to always dive straight for it to the exculsion of all else, seeing its general-use nature as it-can-do-everything-the-other guns-can-do, regardless of whether it practically led to more effective play. Trying to temper those qualities (by reducing accuracy at higher rate of fire, for example) then led to testers finding it unsatisfying to use, seeing it as everything-else-can-do-what-it-does-better.

Rather than trying to fight how much players liked it, we even tried converting it to a power weapon by amping up the damage and accuracy even higher, at the cost of reduced availability -- but that just led to it being treated as a sub-Sniper Rifle, and so it was ultimately dropped in favor of just sticking with the BR/Carbine for core longrange situations, and the Sniper Rifle for a superpowered superaccurate specialty weapon; so, no, DMR is not in the TSC:E weapon set.

On the other hand, if you were to open the current TSC:E build in HEK+, you'd find a fully-populated dmr\ directory. Hmm...

Quote: --- Original message by: justiyt
So your "Normal", your lowest difficulty level possible, is analogous to regular Halo:CE Heroic? I understand some people like difficulty, but sometimes it's just fun to rampage through the Covenant without having to worry about your weapon choice or where the next health pack is.

I don't mean it as EVEN NORMAL WILL KICK YOUR NUTS 'TILL THEY BREAK; just that the usual "yeah it's called 'Normal' but it's really just for babies" preconception that tends to float around isn't applicable here -- we have three main difficulties to pick from, so we want to make sure we're making proper use of them. If you're familiar enough with Halo that you're on this forum, you have a working legal copy of HCE, and you're able and willing to install OS and the custom map, you'll be fine. It might not be an autopilot breeze, but if you just want a challenge-free stomp then cheat_omnipotent is right over there

(I use "should" across the post not as in EVERY MAP SHOULD DO THIS, but as in if we're accomplishing what we want to accomplish, these are the things that should happen)

If I get too into things I'll take up the rest of this page, but the main thing we're trying to do with difficulty as a concept is drive the player to expand their tactical palette rather than shrink it. Obviously, butt-stupid suicide tactics will work less and less the harder things get, but we're just as cautious about players falling into a Plasma Pistol/Battle Rifle endless-repeat -- if things go right, falling back on a select few supereffective options will become less viable as difficulty increases, rather than more; or, the "easiest" way to play the map is also the way that has player using the widest variety of tools and tactics.

Get good enough with a gun and we're okay with you "breaking out" of an optimal set of solutions and taking down encounters in an unexpected way -- open areas like the security pit have multiple side routes that can let you circumvent the more straightforward long-range approach, and there's nothing stopping you from landing chain headshots up-close with a Battle Rifle other than your ability to compensate for the clunky shortrange handling. The threshold for how effectively you have to use a tactic in order to ignore others is raised higher as difficulty goes up -- if you habitually play other Halo games on Legendary, you can probably stick with just a Carbine or just a Plasma Rifle throughout most of Normal. If you want to use nothing but a Battle Rifle on our Legendary, you're going to have to land every single shot on the head, and grab just about every bullet from every dump on the map

You could consider it like this: good aim is one of the lowest priority things we're testing for. If you're really good at hitting what you're shooting at, you can probably make it through the map riding only that one skill on Normal. Heroic should then drive you to play smarter, rather than just "better;" more tools, more variety in tactics. Legendary then should require players in any reasonable skill range to use basically everything available to them over the course of a playthrough if they don't want double-digit death counts. It's not so much that the map is straight-up "harder" as it is requiring you to exercise a much broader range of skills and tactics than you might otherwise be accustomed to -- if you want to just run on autopilot with your grey headshot gun of choice, things are going to get real hairy, unless you're performing well enough on a low enough difficulty to circumvent the many other options that would make your playthrough a lot easier.

It's for that reason that...

Quote: --- Original message by: RabbitFood
If I beat TSC:E on Legendary first try with a 3-death margin of error, can I have SPV3 Beta? :3

...I'm recommending starting on a lower difficulty, because ultimately we want you to enjoy yourself, and if you're diving straight into a difficulty intended only those who are practiced and very familiar with the level design, equipment population, weapon behavior, etc., you probably won't enjoy yourself. We are not impressed by the oh so macho guy who's so manly he hasn't not played SLASO in years -- I would be much more pleased seeing a video of somebody doing a really fun and varied playthrough of Normal than a first-time player grinding and grinding against Legendary just so they can say they beat it. (although I mean, if you find more comedy than frustration in that kind of thing, then hey, ok, but,)

Quote: --- Original message by: Zetren
Will OpenSauce v3.2/v4/v4.0.0/v69/v420/v9001 be released before Evolved or on the same day? Does Kornman00 have a definite date of release?

The newest OS will release no later than when TSC:E releases. OS guys haven't given a timeframe for (I assume) the same reason TSC:E's just using a to-do list instead of an actual time estimate, i.e., anything with sufficient precision would just be a blind guess, and would consequently have at least a 50/50 chance of being totally completely wrong, which wouldn't make anybody happy

Quote: --- Original message by: darkrider400
That reminds me, how much different is "everything" since this video has come out (a year ago) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzMloaw58zw

And by "everything", I mean textures, models, map geometry, etc. :D

Like the pit, that was a pretty stable area. Some significant changes were made to some parts of the layout, but those parts weren't shown in the video in the first place and I can't really say more than that without giving away too much

The things we highlighted last year were highlighted in large part because they were some of the more stable and complete areas we had at the time. Things that were in need of more significant work (and thus more likely to undergo major changes) weren't shown because they still needed significant work!

Quote: --- Original message by: RabbitFood
I've been thinking of starting to plan out my attack on the area when I do my Legendary runthrough.

You're going to want to do the map on Normal or Heroic first. That's not a boast; it's just a helpful hint. If the main-series Normal assumes a baseline of semicasual frat bros as the "average" audience, our Normal assumes that our average audience has been regularly playing Halo for years. Heroic is then a big step up from that.

Legendary is designed a bit different from analogues in other games. Almost every encounter has at least one significant alteration that changes the way it goes. Good aim, consistent shooting, and proper management of health are just the entry fee; what we're really testing is your ability to do all the other stuff. We don't expect a player to clear the CQB canyon with a Battle Rifle any more easily than we'd expect them to be sniping their way across the security pit with a Shotgun; the notion of "primary" and "secondary" guns needs to go out the window if you're planning on having a chance -- and even then, we're expecting players to both know of and be able to properly budget the ammo/battery and health packs from every single equipment dump on the map.

If you can hop into the map on Legendary and clear it fine on your first run, we haven't done our job right.


Since it's been an oh god it's been a month since we announced the delay, some words:

-The map has been 100% playable from the opening cutscene through the ending cutscene for some time now, and all gameplay-relevant map geometry is finalized

-All encounters (on all difficulties) and all weapon behavior is essentially finalized, at the very worst seeing some extremely minor 2-minute tweaks if the last rounds of testing find adjustments necessary

-We just finished one of the last outstanding BSP tasks and are well on the way to getting the rest taken care of very soon; the first phase of the lighting process has been completed, and is only pending confirmation of final scenery placement before moving on to the next of four. (Lighting will almost undoubtedly be the last thing we finish, and this is a very good place for it to be relative to our progress in other areas)

-The remaining 16 items on the to-do list really are all that's left. Just reading the number may make it seem like a lot, but that's 16 out of literal thousands of completed tasks. I'm not exaggerating -- we moved to formal source control 9 months ago, and in those 9 months there have been over 1,000 TSC:E-relevant commits. Consider that kind of pace over the map's entire 2.5-year development time, and it's easier to see that we really are on the very edge of having this thing finished.

if there was any way to even semi-accurately measure how much time it'll take before we're done, we'd have done that instead of posting the to-do list
Edited by Ifafudafi on Sep 20, 2014 at 06:25 PM

Quote: --- Original message by: RabbitFood
Does TSC:E feature Armor Upgrades, and if so will they be different from the SPV3 ones? No need to go into specifics if you're keeping secrets.

I'll go ahead and hit this head-on so it's not a surprise:

TSC:E isn't including Armor Abilities/Modules/Upgrades/Whatever (I'll just call them AAs because that's what they are). This isn't because we don't think they're a good idea; properly executed, they can broaden the game's tactical palette and provide the player with a whole new range of tools, increasing the number and likelihood of cool emergent systemic intersections that are such a Halo trademark. A prototype system was in place at one point -- but, it never made it to testers.

The main reason: AAs didn't come together until pretty much all of the map's level design and encounters were set up. Since everything was designed to work without AAs, simply dropping them in wouldn't allow us to execute them properly (i.e., broading player's tactical palette):

-AAs need to drive the player to do more, not less. A substantial version of at-will camo can enable the player to just skip past nearly all of the map's encounters (as we've tried to avoid unexplained hard-locks to the player's progression), for example -- the point is to increase the amount of tactics the player deploys, not shrink it. (A less substantial version that can't be used like this is then too ineffective to open up any new tactics for the player).

-AAs need to be equally attractive to the player, in terms of a single playthrough. If we have something that doesn't really boost player's effectiveness or range of tools (like a radar boost or something), then the player will at best only use it very briefly to experiment, if at all, before ignoring it in favor of a more effective option for the rest of the map.

-AAs need to fit in with existing systems. Something that regenerates health, for example, nullifies us having carefully paced distribution of health packs across the map, removing a significant component of player's thinking and a significant drive to explore; changing distribution to compensate would then put player at a disproportionate disadvantage when using any other non-HP-related AAs. (Keep in mind Halo 1 distributes vitality equally between shields and health, rather than the 70/30 shields/health distribution from H2 and onward.)

Taking all of that into account, only 3 AAs that had the potential to do what we want with the system made their way into the aforementioned prototype system, and even those suffered from disproportionate effectiveness and minimal potential for varied use; hence, it was cut so that we could dedicate the resources to improving other areas of TSC:E.

If AAs been there from the start, then there's no doubt that we would've made sure to design things to ensure we could take advantage of the many potential benefits AAs can bring -- but I think the amount of time the map's taken so far should explain why we didn't go back and spend another year completely overturning all our BSP and encounters, instead deciding that TSC:E was still good enough to stand without them.

Quote: --- Original message by: RabbitFood
Also, I think you mentioned before the the Pistol in TSC:E will not act like the SPV3 one, but similar to the H1 settings. Is this correct?

Pistol is roughly (a hair less) accurate than the H1 pistol at a rate of fire ~equal to the H1 pistol. It can fire up to around twice that fast for a considerable DPS increase, at additional cost to accuracy. To stop that from getting out of control, base damage has been decreased by a small amount -- the modified damage H1 pistol did to Elite shields becomes the damage rate across all units. (i.e., headshot kills are as quick or quicker than in H1, but bodyshot killtimes are nerfed a bit in compensation for the huge DPS increase that can come from higher rates of fire).

Fun facts on that H1 pistol damage rate -- the tag you get with your HEK lists damage as a flat 1.0x across all unit materials, but tool does some magic to it when the map compiles that modifies vs. Elite shield to 0.8x -- you can see this if you look in memory after a map is loaded to the game. More interestingly, the tag's 0.2-2.0 degree error is also modified to 0.2-0.4 -- that's a pretty huge increase! (The Plasma rifle also gets hit by tool, going from 0.5-5.0 degree error to 0.25-2.5 degree error!)

We don't have a confirmation of course, but this is the likely answer to "what did Jason Jones do to the Pistol?" Even more fun fact: tool doesn't do this when compiling a multiplayer map. On Xbox, multiplayer modifies the Pistol and PR to the above values somewhere after the tool compile -- but more importantly, Halo PC does not! So effectively, Halo PC players in multiplayer have been using an old, ineffective beta version of the Pistol and PR the whole time.

Quote: --- Original message by: RabbitFood
Well I have a question. The BR in the TSC:E mini-vid things had the same ammo/color mechanic as the Assault Rifle. In the SPV3 Trailer, the BR had the green tint on the ammo display to show it was an older model, apparently. Is this difference staying in TSC:E?

we're keeping the color change

If it makes you feel better: as pretty much everything on the list isn't my job (other than those large waterfall VFX, which are harder than one might think, mostly due to engine issues that may or may not be reasonably circumventable), I'm spending quite a bit of time this week working on some special fun things that almost certainly wouldn't have got in if we'd shipped earlier. The one upshot to a super protracted development cycle like this is it means we get the time to cram all kinds of neat extras into neat places - there should be a fair amount of additional entertainment value after the first playthrough beyond simply repeating for better performance.

As mentioned, the decrease in item completion rate mostly serves to highlight what the "real" big to-dos are. As the weekend rolls around there should be a lot more free time for us all to leap on those big suckers and wrangle them off the list.
Edited by Ifafudafi on Sep 10, 2014 at 02:00 AM

2 days, 8 items struck down. That doesn't necessarily mean we're now locked at a rate of 4 items per day; we may go slower, or we may go faster.

In fact, the weekend's about to start (i.e., extra time) and it's a 3-day weekend at that. Let's see how far we can get
Edited by Ifafudafi on Aug 30, 2014 at 12:47 AM

Quote: --- Original message by: darknesssamurai
which weapons (that we have already been introduced to), are getting upgrades/new projectiles/fx changes?
Edited by darknesssamurai on Aug 28, 2014 at 09:50 PM

Basically every effect in the game has been redone since a50 2012. In fact, I'll look through an HEK+ listing of all TSC:E's effects right now -- these are the only things we're still holding over from the stock game:

effects\glass collision.effect
effects\panel death.effect

Replacing the waterfall spray is on the to-do list, and activate_panel is just a sound. (Maybe I'll even knock out the other two just for completion's sake if I get the time.) And it's not just the stock stuff; pretty much every effect from a50 2012 has been further improved if not outright replaced. Explosions in particular have been hugely revamped, and plasma projectiles also have much more beefy impact effects. And then there are the new shield depletion effects, and the new sparks, and all the new material impact effects... 2.5 years of making this thing came with a lot of gaps in core development that I by default tended to fill with further effect improvements. (ask siliconmaster about me and my blood fx some time.)

Gameplay-wise, it's just a whole new thing. An immense amount of both in-theory design thought and and in-practice testing has gone into the weapon set, to the point where there's no way I can cover even a fraction of it here, beyond just quoting out-of-context stats for weapons (which would be about as useful as describing a five-course meal (the meal being TSC:E) by listing measurements of the utensils). Every single gun's behavior has been re-thought and reconstructed not just to be effective and satisfying in and of itself, but also to contribute to the broader experience of the map as a whole.

I can start by saying that our Carbine is now fully-automatic with an accelerating rate of fire, but explaining why would require me to explain what we're doing with our Pistol, which would require me to explain our interpretation and application of unique weapon roles, which would require me to explain even more about other guns, as well as start getting into broader shooter design... everything is there for a reason, everything touches everything. Maybe once the map is released I'll take the time to write out a huge devblog. There's plenty of material.

Quote: --- Original message by: RabbitFood
I'd say that most weapons have had some tweaks. Hopefully the Spiker.

Spiker is a total boss now; no other (non-power) weapon is better at hosing down big groups of Grunts and Jackals

Quote: --- Original message by: Echo77
Would you happen to have a side view of the grenadier rifle by itself?


Quote: --- Original message by: killzone64
what of the new opensauce update that was supposed to release alongside. i have put off the majority of my projects waiting for this update... will it still be released on the 29th?

OS team operates on their own schedule, so I can't give you anything solid -- but I doubt you'll see it tomorrow. It's possible that it will release before TSC:E. It's possible that it won't. It definitely won't release any later than TSC:E, since TSC:E will be incorporating some of the new tech.

Quote: --- Original message by: boogerlad
I wouldn't mind waiting a lot longer for the "demon tree" and the other little things.

Specifics on the demon tree (and the reasons why we may decide to cut some elements) are lag's domain -- I'll let him elaborate if he wishes -- but I can say that if we're considering cutting something, it's because it has the potential to be a huge timesink that can bottleneck big portions of development, drain resources from critical tasks, and/or (usually and), while probably nice, won't improve the map to the point where we'll hate ourselves for not having it.

Most TSC:E devs have things they wanted but couldn't make happen -- but that's normal in just about any project, especially one of this scale. We have to be able to draw a line of "well yes that would be neat, but we also need to get this finished and released in a coherent way." If a project keeps increasing its scope and adding new features every time an idea pops up, without considering the time/effort cost, you end up with
Quote: --- Original message by: Oskarmandude

That's not to say we haven't let ourselves have new ideas -- we've expanded beyond existing plans on more than one occasion, because sometimes a couple extra months really is worth it. If you told me about ~20% into the project that we'd have [redacted] and [redacted], or that we'd take [redacted] and turn it into [redacted], I would have asked to go back with you in your time machine so I could live in this amazing future world. (Little would I know -- I would live there anyway, because the amazing future world is now!)

Quote: --- Original message by: boogerlad
how is the team kept organized? Is git used or some other sort of version control?

Communication is handled through a private forum and AIM. We do version control with Mercurial for both our tags and our scripts. (Lag set that up and can probably tell you more if you want any thing more specific.) (Yes, lag does a lot of things. Most of the things, really.)

Quote: --- Original message by: RabbitFood
But then the question remains, what is the Shredder?

one of the surprises we don't want to ruin

Quote: --- Original message by: Delicon20
If that's considered the home stretch I'd hate to see what the list looked like a year ago.

It's not like all of these will take a week each -- we'll already be crossing a couple of things off before we go to bed tonight

Quote: --- Original message by: RabbitFood
I noticed on the list, "AR/GL" and "Shredder"

Is the Shredder the new Spiker replacement we saw hinted in the SPV3 trailer?

AR/GL is the AR/GL

TSC:E is not SPV3


To get it out of the way: TSC:E isn't coming out on the 29th anymore.

When, then? Just below, teh lag has posted a list of all the things we need to finish before we're ready to ship. When this list is empty, the map will be released -- and we'll cross tasks off the list every day as they are completed.

Mod (and general game) development is a very volatile process. It's a normal and healthy part of any project that strives to be the best it can, but it also means we haven't wanted to say anything too concrete for fear of having to backpedal later on. (We did give concrete info with release dates, twice, and look where we are now).

Now that we're in the last stretch, though, the vast majority of things have been locked down, and we can lift most of the secercy-veil we've been hiding under. Part of that process is opening up this final to-do list to you guys; but we'd also like to compensate for the delay by inviting you to ask any questions you'd like about TSC:E.

Obviously we still have a lot of suprises we don't want to ruin, but we'll try and answer whatever we can if it's on-topic and everybody stays polite about it.

Halo CE General Discussion » CMT RETURNS! New project and team details inside! Jul 12, 2014 01:03 PM (Total replies: 10208)

Quote: --- Original message by: Higuy
It slightly bothers me that the entire team CMT and OS people haven't bothered to just start making their own game at this point. Alot of talent stuck in a very old engine.

tell me about it man

Quote: --- Original message by: NewDoubleO1
Sorry noob question but um... is TSC:E part of Spv3 or are they completely distinct projects?

They're distinct projects that share art assets (effects, models, textures, sounds) and a few team members. TSC:E is headed up by Teh Lag and myself; Masterz handles SPV3.

When SPV3 happens, though, it will use the TSC:E BSP in place of the stock TSC, because why use the old one when there's this shiny new thing ready and waiting for

Halo CE General Discussion » CMT RETURNS! New project and team details inside! Jul 12, 2014 02:22 AM (Total replies: 10208)

Quote: --- Original message by: MatthewDratt
It's looking good!

Will the new version of OS be released alongside the project or sometime before?

You'll know as soon as we know
Edited by Ifafudafi on Jul 12, 2014 at 02:22 AM

Halo CE General Discussion » CMT RETURNS! New project and team details inside! Jul 12, 2014 01:14 AM (Total replies: 10208)

Hello, Halo friends. An update from the TSC:E team:

The Silent Cartographer: Evolved will release on August 29, 2014.

"August 29th?"
"Wait! You said it was coming in July!"
"That's not July!"
"Why isn't it coming in July?"

funny you should ask

TSC:E was planned to launch alongside a headlining new Open Sauce feature. The usual problems with hacking one's way through a now-13-year-old zombie engine have not been kind to the OS team; and so, getting this feature out in time for TSC:E's release became very unlikely. While we did promise July, giving ourselves an extra month to polish and improve the rest of the map -- allowing the OS guys the time they need work things out -- was something all of the TSC:E team were happy to take advantage of.

The feature is Directional Lightmaps.

These add directional information to Halo's lightmaps. Part of that means "just better" lighting, with light bouncing and accumulating more and more accurately; but the big deal is that they allow lightmaps to bring out normal maps on BSP textures.

This is a seemingly small addition with practically enormous consequences. You already know what normal mapping does with directional lighting on game objects -- allowing for the same detail on BSPs means we can bring the environents to a level of fidelity that was simply not feasible until now, at very little cost to your computer and almost no cost to our lighting process.

(For the technically minded, here's further information on what exactly is involved with this kind of tech)

We just got DLMs online in TSC:E's BSP -- we've been waiting on that to accompany this announcement; the above test pictures are less than an hour old, and there's still a lot of debugging and testing to do before they're fully ready -- but we've developed a number of other cool new things since we last checked in, including:

-switching seamlessly between an underbarrel grenade launcher and regular grenades with a GL-weapon equipped
-a new two-piece Shade turret that you can knock off its base with a well-placed Warthog ram
-a checkpoint warning system that lets you know when the game wants to save, but can't because you need to take cover
-a new system that allows you to use the two healthpacks inside Warthogs

...and this is all happening alongside a constant process of asset optimization, through which we've trimmed literal dozens of megabytes and literal hundreds of tagslots -- giving us even more space to use for things like the new Grunt.

TSC:E will be absent from the upcoming CE3 presentation -- Masterz has plenty of SPV3 content to fill that space -- but be assured that this latest release date is the real deal. Expect to hear a lot more as that day approaches.
Edited by Ifafudafi on Jul 12, 2014 at 01:34 AM

Time: Wed December 17, 2014 7:38 PM 172 ms.
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