viernes, 8 de julio de 2011

Kakariko Village in Perfect Dark

Kakariko Village in Perfect Dark finally becomes a reality!
Download the patch from here
After almost five months since I released the Kakariko patch for GoldenEye, finally the Perfect Dark version is finished. It hasn't been five months of constant work since I found some difficulties back in November that I thought couldn't be fixed. That was the time when I published this video. In it you can see the rain and the functioning windmill, all added by Wreck, as upgrades from the GoldenEye version. What you can't see is the level lagging after a new human player or a sim was added, making it unplayable. Importing the map from GoldenEye was easy (just needed to change some textures because the old textures IDs where used already with PD textures. You can see how the level looked back then in the 'Bizarre' map), but adding sims wasn't that easy. I was sure it had something to do with portals (elements that 'unload' parts of the level that aren't on screen), because the map ran smoother without doors and windows, which worked perfect in GoldenEye, than with them.

So I stoped working on the map for a while, waiting for some of the 'veterans' tocame up with a solution. I started working in other PD/GE related projects (I hope to write about them soon). And finally, on mid Febraury, Ollllo and oldyz thought that using the custom texture pack feature that some emulators have, I could improve Kakariko performance. It was a really nice idea, because it was thruth that Kakariko has a lot of textures and some experiments with very few textures made the level a lot less laggier. What I had to do was reducing textures at a 25% of its original size, and then load the right textures with the texture pack on emulator. It wasn't the best solution, since it will only work on PC, but it was the only way to do it until then.

Meanwhile SubDrag added some features to the editor, like cloning tris from background (that was a suggestion of mine :P) which gave me the chance to optimize the map and save some textures. I worked on the map to make it more like the original: I added transparencies to the mountains, erased some redundant tris... I was ready to use Ollllo's idea, but then Zoinkity appeared...

Zoinkity warn us that reducing the size of textures will affect the way they are drawn in polygons (UV stuff) and that it was needed to change those UVs so textures will display fine once the texture pack is loaded. If I was going to use that method, a lot of work should be done. But Zoinkity also talked about the way Perfect Dark manages portals, which is a bit different that in GoldenEye. SubDrag suggested that I should create some new areas between the outside and the insides. And that really improved performance!
Combining that with my expermients of reducing the ammount of details in the level to gain smoothness, the idea of making different maps so the players could decide which performs better for their gameplan came up.

I just needed to correct sims behaviour (I did it simplier, although they still have some issues in parts of the level) and I did the pots more like the originals. After choosing the colours of the skies and appropiate names for the maps, the patch was finished. Thanks to SubDrag I didn't have to substitute any of the original PD maps this time.

Maps are ordered by performance. Top maps are smother and lower lag with many players. 'Abandoned' and 'Playground' allow for 4 human players quite smothly, while 'Noche cerrada' lags more. 'Stormy' is the most spectacular version of the level and the closest to the original, but it lags with more than 2 players. 'Bizarre' is a mix of bugs and funny stuff that happened through this five months, so it's an old map and lags more often than any. There's an easter egg in the soundtrack section; it's experimantal so it doesn't sound very well.

The utilities I used were:
-The same that in the GoldenEye patch.

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