viernes, 8 de julio de 2011

Forest Temple in GoldenEye

This place gives me the creeps ...

Dowload the patch here
The forest Temple was my favourite dungeon in The Legend of Zelda - Ocarina of Time. Since I wandered the Lost Woods even before than beating the Deku Tree, I always wanted to climb those broken stairs and enter that mysterious building. When I was finally able to do it that place amazed me: the graphics (vines everywhere, dark corridors, light contrast), the music, the twisted corridors, the final boss...
When I finished Kakariko Village I was sure I would port the Forest Temple to GoldenEye aswell. I already did some tests a year ago (1) (2) (3) with some tools the Zelda64 scene had, but the outcome wasn't very good. When I polished my method during the making of Peach's Castle I knew Forest Temple would be the next.

Ripping the map was easier than ever. The different rooms matched perfectly (the only ones that didn't were additions of mine, such as the Sacred Forest Meadow view and the boss room, which will be accesible in the future Perfect Dark port). In a few hours the first step was done.

While creating the clipping I was very ambitious because I added some falls that GoldenEye doesn't like too much. But the biggest issue were some ladders, specially the longer ones. I couldn't make them work no matter how, even fixing one would break another one that worked before... I spent a few days trying to figure it out, until I asked Subdrag. It was as easy to fix as clicking an order in Editor. He also helped me fixing some portal issues I had (apparently having clipping in the same plane as a portal isn't a good idea. You have to slant it a little).

It was possible to wander the map now and check how it will work for multi. I noticed that it was hard to reach some areas and that some rooms had too much traffic. So I added some ladders and falls here and there.
Another issue that took a few days to fix were the doors, specially the ones with vertical opening. They had a lot of graphical glitches and sometimes didn't even let the player through.
After that I placed the weapons and spaw points to make the map was 100% playable. Because it's a big map, I added a third set of the two weakest weapons.

Last thing to do was vertice shading. The orginal textures didn't look like the original at all (4), so a lot of work would be needed. What I did was paint almost all surfaces with a pale brown I extracted from the original game, and a darker brown for the corners. Then I used Lighting Sources from Editor in order to give the map a more realistic look (this is the tool I used in the Peach's Castle map).
I spent a couple of days shading because the map is big and I also used more than one or two lights in most of the rooms and many tests were needed. In the end I'm very pleased of the looks of the map.

Knowing that Sogun Studio's second anniversary was coming, I also did a makeover of Kakariko Village. That map already had performance issues running on emulator, but I recently found out it was unplayable on console. So I tried to fix it.
With the help of Subdrag, we splited the map in a lot of rooms expecting less parts of the map would be loaded on memory and then boost performance. It worked quite fine but the distant portals blinked, ruining the looks of the map. We tried a new and more in-depth split, but the portal issues remained. In the end, the only solution was to lower drawing distance in order to hide those blinking portals (and gaining an extra performance boost in the process). Now the map is really smooth when there's no much on screen, although it keeps the low framerate in long distances. Lastly, I improved the level looks with Lighting Sources as well.
Because I know someone would prefer the old Kakariko with his longer view distance and constant framerate, that on is also included in the package and has some improvements too (lighting sources and optimized geometry thanks to mirrored textures).

The utilities I used were:
-'1964 v1.1' emulator and 'Nemu 64 graphics (combine debug)' graphic plugin in order to rip the geometry as VRML and textures as BMPs
-'3D Studio MAX R6' to merge the VRMLs and convert them to FBX.
-Autodesk FBX converter 2012 to convert the FBX to DXF (Autocad) and OBJ (for Deled)
-'AutoCAD 2004' to model clipping and add some parts to the map.
-'DeleD CE' to chop the level and export as OBJ.
-'Irfan View' to edit some textures.
-'GE Setup Editor' to edit the GoldenEye rom: adding textures to the rom, injecting the level, fix and colour textures, adding shadows and lights, edit the colision (clipping) and portals, put guns and spawn points, modify the skies settings, change the image and name of the map... and creating the patch.

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