Anybody still playing D2?

The place to promote and link to Descent levels - both multiplayer and singleplayer - D1, D2 and D3.

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DarkFlameWolf
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Fri Apr 16, 2004 3:15 pm

dayum, if all this talk about upgrading DMB2 is gonna spark a whole new slew of Descent 1-2 levels. Don't you think we may need to upgrade Descent 1 and 2 themselves? Maybe add some primitive graphical enhancements? (like light coronas and primitive fog and smoke trails?) Just a thought.
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Post by Diedel » Fri Apr 16, 2004 3:47 pm

Update:
  • Extended block file format added. It will save wall, trigger and special segment info (fuel center, robot maker, reactor) in the block file. Block file extension is ".blx". DLE-XP determines block file type by the file description in the block file's first line. (Ooh, how I hated it that I could not ex-/import blocks with walls ... :P)
  • DLE-XP is done and ready for testing! :D
(Heh, when I had started looking into the source code, I had thought I will never make this, but once I had implemented the first feature (properly z-ordered rendering), I got hooked ... :roll: )
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Post by Diedel » Fri Apr 16, 2004 3:50 pm

DarkFlameWolf,

imho you are perfectly right. I have installed the D2X source code for MSVC 6, but currently cannot create an exe file due to a missing WinMain function. Bradley Bell from icculus.org, who is maintaining the D2X open source project, has told me that the SDL should create a Main macro/function for an application using it, but I had no time yet to figure how to link the whole stuff.

Once I've got D2X compileable and running, I might at least try to fix the bugs causing the frequent crashes with certain levels. Adding new graphical effects is another story, as I have no clue about graphical programming or OpenGL (yet).
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Post by Kyouryuu » Fri Apr 16, 2004 8:37 pm

I'm not sure how you'd do any of those effects based on anything currently existing in Descent. I suppose the Mercury Missiles had some pixelated "smoke" effects though. :)
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Post by Diedel » Sat Apr 17, 2004 1:46 am

You could add a lot of effects to D2, e.g. colored light, a kind of volumetric light based on cube boundaries (-> under water/lava effects), light coronas (which aren't more than a bright bitmap glued to a light). It's all a matter of gfx programming (ok, I know something, just not the details of OpenGL or 3D math 8)).
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Post by Tyranny » Sat Apr 17, 2004 2:02 am

hum...well, I fixed the error message it was giving me. Forgot to put the FULL path to the D1/D2 pig files. However now when I try to open a level the whole program crashes.

I select a hog file, it brings up the usual window, when I select either the rdl for D1 or the rl2 for D2 and click open it hangs, then the Windows Error Report window opens and when I click "Don't Send" it closes the program.

Any ideas?
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Post by Diedel » Sat Apr 17, 2004 2:28 am

Does this happen for every hog file? I am asking because I never encountered that problem (just worked with DLE-XP). If not, with which hog file does this happen? What OS are you using DLE-XP on?
Update #1: Bryan must have had the same problem and has found the reason. I have fixed the problem Bryan has reported to me. I hope this will fix your crash.
Update #2: I have just fixed another issue that might have caused crashes when loading a file.
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Looking for testers

Post by Diedel » Sat Apr 17, 2004 2:50 am

Bryan and I are looking for a few more people who'd be willing to thouroughly test DMB-XP. PM me if you're interested. :) Testers will get fully working versions of DMB-XP, but might have to agree to some guidelines like not passing DMB-XP on to others etc.
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Post by Tyranny » Sat Apr 17, 2004 2:15 pm

Can you offer the updated demo with those fixes then?

Also, I might be interested in testing it, though I'll admit that I can only do as much as my old level building routine would allow. If it doesn't choke while building a full level thats about all I can offer :P

My only real concern is inspiration, after building 86 D1/D2 missions I'm kind of drained in that department. I haven't bothered making one for almost 8 months now, I think thats the longest inbetween levels I've gone.
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Post by Diedel » Sat Apr 17, 2004 3:33 pm

Tyranny,

I always make and publish a demo too when I fix bugs in DLE-XP. ;)

Re DMB-XP testing please see my new thread about this topic. :)

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Post by Sirius » Mon Apr 19, 2004 6:13 pm

Awesome. Some features that we really should have had long ago... well, if Descent.NET ever comes out maybe it'd have a bit more use. :) Unfortunately even Descent 2 is eight years old now.

In addition, now that the source is out I guess future changes are much easier... like if we can go beyond 900 cubes at some time in the future. (What's wrong with 2000-cube levels? With today's computers? ;))

What exactly does said testing entail? Just using as much of the software as possible, reporting whatever bugs one might find?
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Post by Diedel » Mon Apr 19, 2004 7:15 pm

For one part, yes. For the other part, it means trying to go to the limits of D2/DLE-XP, and seeing whether everything works right, like wall/trigger handling when deleting cubes, proper segment handling (paste/replace/align), seeing whether all the dialogs work the way they should, whether all values input are processed properly (particularly concerning robots), etc. So, it also means playing around with DLE-XP and exploring every corner just to see whether it works, and works they way it should or the way that makes sense most.

Ofc with the source code in hands you can go beyond the current limits, and even add new features, like more and bigger textures, light coronas, colored light, transparency, volumetric color, or new features like triggers tied to robots, etc.

Btw, you could have 90.000 cube levels with 512 MB RAM. ;)
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Mon Apr 19, 2004 8:12 pm

I was wondering if one could employ multi-layered texturing, like featured in the Direct3d version of Unreal. Where a texture looks like one thing from afar, but when getting close to it, you see all the fine details. That was a cool graphical effect, one I'd like to see attributed to D2.
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Post by Diedel » Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:56 am

That wasn't multi-layered texturing, that was LOD (level of detail) rendering depending on the distance. ;)
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Post by Sirius » Tue Apr 20, 2004 3:26 pm

Descent 3 had 'mip-maps' or something like that that performed essentially the same task though.

But to do this you'd need to update Descent 2, not just the mission editor.
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Post by Diedel » Tue Apr 20, 2004 3:38 pm

Afaik mip-maps are for different LOD rendering.

I have the D2X source code and MSVC project, and once i've got it running I'll take a look into it's code.
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Post by Kyouryuu » Tue Apr 20, 2004 5:43 pm

Descent 3 mipmaps I don't think worked in the same way, though.

In Unreal Tournament, with a good video card, you'll see that as you approach a wall, instead of pixeling or blurring, another "layer" of texture is plastered on the wall. I've never seen Descent 3 do this.
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Tue Apr 20, 2004 6:11 pm

Agreed Kyo.
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Post by Diedel » Wed Apr 21, 2004 2:04 am

Mip mapping means keeping several versions of the same texture with different resolutions and thus sizes. You start with a very big and detailled texture and filter and size it down in several steps for several levels of detail. The closer you get to a polygon in game, the larger it appears (naturally), and a more detailled version of its texture will applied. The renderer can also interpolate a new texture from a pair of textures belonging to that poly's mip map.

Ofc it might be that Unreal will also apply another texture layer to a poly when you get close enough, but that would be a different technique.

Generally spoken, texture multi-layering has not primarily to do with LOD rendering, but simply with applying effects and structure to a base texture. Unreal 1 did up to 6 passes on a texture, some of which were layering textures, others alpha blending, etc.

Btw, if this discussion continues, we should probably open a new thread for it. :wink:
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