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General Category => AI War Classic => AI War Classic - Mods & Modding => Topic started by: Baleur on March 25, 2010, 03:13:18 AM

Title: Baleur Art Mods: Starfields!
Post by: Baleur on March 25, 2010, 03:13:18 AM
Hey  ;)
I'll start a small "space environment gfx overhaul" project, and here's the first part changing the starfields!
I pretty much started this because while i loved the gameplay, i felt that AI War is lacking in the space-feeling, especially in the galaxy map (which will be my next mod in this project).
And of course it's okay to be used in whatever manner you users, or devs, want  :)
Feel free to edit the textures yourself to find something that suits you!


Included a backup of the original textures as well as two versions of this mod.
The first "Bright" version can be a bit messy on the eyes :P
The second "Recommended" version is slightly darkened (by altering the gamma curves) for some more contrast.

Install
1. Copy the contents within the mod folder of choice to "C:\Wherever\AI War Fleet Command" (overwrite existing files)
2. Select the Colored starfield option ingame if it isnt already and enjoy!

Uninstall
1. Copy the contents within the backup folder to "C:\Wherever\AI War Fleet Command" (overwrite existing files)

Download mirror! (if the attachment doesnt work here)
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=091KU6JX
Update: Added two passes of 0,2 pixel gaussian blur, for a hardly noticeable but eyefriendly softening of the smallest stars in both versions :)


Without further ado, screenshots!!  :D
As a sidenote, it appears much less "messy" ingame due to camera panning which eases your brain thanks to depth perception, something thats hard to convey in screenshots.

Bright version

(http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/755/aiwarstarfieldmodbright.jpg)
(http://img175.imageshack.us/img175/755/aiwarstarfieldmodbright.jpg)
(http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/755/aiwarstarfieldmodbright.jpg)

Recommended version

(http://img714.imageshack.us/img714/8683/aiwarstarfieldmodrecomm.jpg)
(http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/8683/aiwarstarfieldmodrecomm.jpg)
(http://img104.imageshack.us/img104/8683/aiwarstarfieldmodrecomm.jpg)
Title: Re: Baleur Art Mods: Starfields!
Post by: RCIX on March 25, 2010, 03:22:24 AM
X, Please add this to the official release, it just resonates with the nebula field in a way that just looks so much better. If Baelur improves the nebulae at all, i will simply cry from the beauty ;)
Title: Re: Baleur Art Mods: Starfields!
Post by: Baleur on March 25, 2010, 04:57:25 AM
I did a 5min attempt at the nebulas, mostly distorting the existing ones to make some more wispy shapes, looked quite good but i'll make more tests later.
First up next time is the galaxy map visuals, got some great plans for it ;) (star clusters, nebulae streaks, other goodies)
Title: Re: Baleur Art Mods: Starfields!
Post by: Mánagarmr on March 25, 2010, 05:31:44 AM
They're very pretty! My only gripe is that they are slightly "messy" as in "too many stars". It might cause some visual confusion in the heat of battle. Otherwise they're gorgeous!
Title: Re: Baleur Art Mods: Starfields!
Post by: keith.lamothe on March 25, 2010, 07:22:38 AM
Those do look really nice :)
Title: Re: Baleur Art Mods: Starfields!
Post by: Ozymandiaz on March 25, 2010, 07:37:38 AM
Looks good!
Title: Re: Baleur Art Mods: Starfields!
Post by: Baleur on March 25, 2010, 10:50:33 AM
Mini-update! An almost only sub-concious softening of the very smallest stars, hardly noticeable but easier on the eyes :)
Download link updated.
Title: Re: Baleur Art Mods: Starfields!
Post by: XRsyst on March 25, 2010, 03:03:15 PM
Wow, looks great!  MOAR!
Title: Re: Baleur Art Mods: Starfields!
Post by: HitmanN on March 25, 2010, 05:08:27 PM
The last two look quite nice, but I'd still prefer less bright stars, and some more variance to the density. Aside from a few clusters around some of the bright big stars, the stars seems rather evenly spread. As opposed to busy clusters, there should also be some gaps of near-starless fields as well, I think.

Overall might be a bit too busy for my gameplay tastes (trying to focus on tiny icons becomes all the more harder when there are gazilling tiny stars around them that jump at you constantly. ;p ), but as an eyecandy it does look good. :)

I should probably try my hands at some custom starfields as well. Could be fun. :D
Title: Re: Baleur Art Mods: Starfields!
Post by: Baleur on March 25, 2010, 05:30:46 PM
Yeah i want that too, but the problem is that the game uses a series of randomly chosen "boxes" to make up the starfield, so there's not really anyway to have a nice cohesive background with spaces and big clusters without them repeating next to each other and stuff :/
Title: Re: Baleur Art Mods: Starfields!
Post by: HitmanN on March 25, 2010, 05:45:34 PM
So... if repeating is unavoidable, just have a box full of stars and another near empty. They'll just repeat the same as now, but you'll have some empty gaps here and there too. :P I'm sure it takes some thinking and planning, but with some randomness to each tile, the repeats shouldn't look too bad.

I really should probably try it myself before trying to sound like I know that for sure, heh.
Title: Re: Baleur Art Mods: Starfields!
Post by: keith.lamothe on March 25, 2010, 07:42:55 PM
Dunno how intensive it would be, but I'm pretty sure the visual starfield generation has nothing to do with the simulation or anything like that, so an alternate rendering mechanism (i.e., just loop sequentially through available textures) would be possible.  How much of a priority it would be is another matter, relative both to how much work it would be (dunno right now) and community interest.
Title: Re: Baleur Art Mods: Starfields!
Post by: vonduus on March 26, 2010, 06:20:13 AM
Wow, just saw the pics. They will definitely go to my AIWar folder right away! Beautiful!!!!

Thanks Baleur.
Title: Re: Baleur Art Mods: Starfields!
Post by: Baleur on March 26, 2010, 06:24:49 AM
So... if repeating is unavoidable, just have a box full of stars and another near empty. They'll just repeat the same as now, but you'll have some empty gaps here and there too. :P I'm sure it takes some thinking and planning, but with some randomness to each tile, the repeats shouldn't look too bad.

I really should probably try it myself before trying to sound like I know that for sure, heh.

Yeah m8, i suppose it could be done by a pro, but the thing is, the squares are like 128x128 pixels or something. So they are really small ingame too.
So basically you'd have a tiny black void next to a tiny star cluster and so on. And do avoid tiling you'd need an average ammount of stars at the borders so it'd be like little potholes in space :P
Title: Re: Baleur Art Mods: Starfields!
Post by: HitmanN on March 27, 2010, 02:43:06 PM
Still sounds better than equal spread everywhere, me thinks.
Title: Re: Baleur Art Mods: Starfields!
Post by: I-KP on March 27, 2010, 06:24:15 PM
Very pretty.  Please don't make them the default in the game tho: camouflages both sprite and icon zoom levels into obscurity. 
Title: Re: Baleur Art Mods: Starfields!
Post by: eRe4s3r on March 27, 2010, 08:13:07 PM
It does look very pretty ;)

Alas, the colored starfield (made by no one else but me! ,p) was made with perfect visibility and 0 visual annoyance in mind - i experimented with these fancy starfields but at some point you have to see your icons instead of fancy starfields... also large stars make the repeating shifted pattern visible... which is why i added none at all in the end.
Title: Re: Baleur Art Mods: Starfields!
Post by: Mánagarmr on April 01, 2010, 12:09:39 PM
Been using this for a while, and now going back to stock. It simply causes way too much strain on the eyes.
Title: Re: Baleur Art Mods: Starfields!
Post by: vonduus on April 01, 2010, 05:18:20 PM
Been using this for a while, and now going back to stock. It simply causes way too much strain on the eyes.

I agree. It is a very beautiful starfield, but somehow I had major problems with finding my ships. So I am also back to the standard layout.
Title: Re: Baleur Art Mods: Starfields!
Post by: SmileyFace on April 22, 2010, 11:42:32 AM
Very pretty! They're colourful and engaging, but... far too busy considering they're a background graphic. I imagine they would induce eye strain or even targeting difficulties during prolonged play.

Also, the big stars have reflector telescope lens spikes which shouldn't be there given the game isn't viewed through a telescope :) It would probably be best to remove the large stars altogether so the background is not so clearly tiled.