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New file format for modding cnc3


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#1 Hostile

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 10:45 PM

Well I can't talk about the gameplay, the factions, and alot of things. I can talk about some files used.

INI (most of them) will be replaced with XML files. Modding these will be so much easier, especially for global changes.

W3D format will be replaced with W3X format. This will allow model changes to be done within an XML file as well as the 3dmax file. (I will find out more about this via future communications)

Our existing SDK tools will not work for modding cnc3. We'll be getting a new w3x viewer, exporter, and many other tools. It will be released a few months after the game. They are currently working on it now.

#2 Fingulfin

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 07:34 AM

Oh no. . .

Moving to XML files? So, will the coding process be the same, or will it be "dumbed down"? I just finished learning SAGE INI, I don't want to learn another EA Coding language... I am definitely going to be buying (and modding) this game, but just the suggestion that we might be learning a new format of coding discourages me.

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#3 ambershee

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 08:30 AM

So the rumours were true after all. Moving from one soft architecture to another doesn't really mean much mind, all they've effectively done is change the file extension on a text file.

I wasn't aware it was possible to dumb-down SAGE's ini configuration scripts.

Hopefully, the new format will allow for increased versatility in modding, so that modders aren't as restricted to the existing features of the game as they were before. If it is or isn't, I get the feeling this would be a byproduct of the change, not because it was intentional (unless Mr Asset.Dat Creator has a new set of surprises for us).

I'm always very, very dubious when they say that the tools will come out after the game. If this is anything like previous experiences, it's going to be a LONG wait. It took years just to get a decent exporter script for the W3D format, let alone anything else...

#4 Grobi

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 09:40 AM

I agree about the wait for the tools. I would imagine the wait will only be increased if they have something extra to add in the toolset or to the actual game itself.

I've never modded a command and conquer game before, but I might just start with this one. Even if it will be the littlest of addons.

#5 ambershee

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 02:57 PM

This is the same argument as with BfME II etc - there is no need for wait for them to release a set of tools after the game is released, I can see no reason why there should be any delay.

Why not just distribute the tools used to construct the game, just like other games do? It's not as if you can't deal with the licensing and legal issues whilst CnC 3 is in development.

#6 Hostile

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 04:37 PM

I don't have time to add much now, but there is no asset.dat file, there will be more flexibility with the xml files, they are already working on the SDK.

I actually got to watch and question an EA modeler creating a destruction animation for a civilian building. You'd be surprised. It's a program that does the destruction mesh animation. Cheaters. ^_^

But I was made aware so far there are only 4 damage types. :p So we suggested strongly at the summit to increase that for obvious reasons.

There will be no legacy code from previous games, zilch. So much for tunnel logic with unit filters. :(

I wasn't aware it was possible to dumb-down SAGE's ini configuration scripts.

Reading this stuff over and over again from you is really getting old. Seriously dude...

#7 Phil

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 10:07 PM

While this means that about all my previous modding knowledge is gone, I'm still very happy to hear this. XML is just so much better. It's far more logical to use it. And in the end, it's a new challenge afterall :p

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#8 Fingulfin

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 11:54 PM

Ok... Wow, I actually should be happy.

I have a history of joining communities one year after the game goes out of style. This time I'll be here to learn with everyone else! Should be interesting to be in a community where nobody knows anything about how the engine works. Instead of joining a dying community, I can be part of a growing one. Should be interesting!
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#9 Phil

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 09:53 PM

Counts for me aswell...

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#10 Hostile

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 02:34 AM

All of us will be on a learning curve. but it's good to know so many people are determined to "figure it out" we'll be fine with this many good heads in one place.

#11 Nemoricus

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 12:07 PM

I'm in to help figure the the game out.

After all, I only really got into the games years after they came out.
This should be interesting.

Edited by Nemoricus, 17 December 2006 - 12:07 PM.

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#12 Boomerang Python

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 01:38 PM

INI's and XML are really quite similar, we've been modding Empire at War for a while now and theyre really quite the same, the only problem with EaW is that its not really that moddable..
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#13 Calamity_Jones

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 06:27 AM

It's also crap.

Moving swiftly on. The best thing with Generals in my opinion was how easy it was to make particle effects. It was a great system. You could make a particle and colour it however you wanted, then whip as many particles together as you wanted into an FX list... then you can do all sorts of fun things.

EAW sucked, you could use their particles or fuck off.

the tags really annoy me in XML's too... :p They're easy to use though... so long you don't go missing tags off O_o
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#14 MaryJo

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 01:01 PM

I'm in to help figure the the game out.

After all, I only really got into the games years after they came out.
This should be interesting.


Same here, i'd love to learn some new modding skills, and better if the game is brand new :huh: .


 


#15 Phil

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 07:19 PM

That's good to hear. We will be happy with every capable modder we get, so that this place will really become the spot for modding CNC3 :p

In other words: you're always welcome :huh:

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#16 sam

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 05:41 PM

the tags really annoy me in XML's too... :dry: They're easy to use though... so long you don't go missing tags off O_o


Use Dreamweaver, it'll pick up missing tags ;)

Editing models with xml files could be fun, however im guessing its likely to be little more than scaling and rotation of models you've already created, i.e. you can't just open an xml file and start making a tank, but you may be able to use bits of things you've already created, slap them together a bit like lego and presto new model.......maybe :sleep:
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#17 ched

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 04:04 PM

well even if it's just a little bit of information, like the texture each mesh uses, or the scale, or anything like that, then it's better located in the W3D than in the main unit code :p
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#18 spyVspy

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 04:32 PM

I've heard from 'sources' the new format allows swapping textures on a model in game, as opposed to changing out the entire W3D for a new one when there is a state change. To me that hints at textures being refernced in the XML for a unit.

I'm actually more interested to know what texture channels are supported for a model, i.e. diffuse, normal, luminance, opacity.
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#19 ched

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 04:49 PM

I've heard from 'sources' the new format allows swapping textures on a model in game, as opposed to changing out the entire W3D for a new one when there is a state change. To me that hints at textures being refernced in the XML for a unit.


actually, BfME already supported this using the SubObjectsUpgrade logic. You could Show/Hide any subobject of a model, or update any texture.
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#20 Master Windu

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 07:21 PM

Yeah, ched's right, BFME could do that, but in CNC3 i'll bet that they have made it easier and the texture is referenced close to where the model is, so that you won't have to go searching through the unit's XML to find the tag. Also, some people had a problem in BFME that if they changed the texture, the unit would become extremely shiny and weird-looking, and i'll bet they've changed that in cnc3.
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