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The Rising Empire: Chapter 1, Part 1 (Almost done)


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Coruscant ghetto. Near the Industrial Sector...

I finally got around to adding those, building MD3 models, to my portal sky, and I renevated my strip club into a kinky Rave joint...


Ok. Screenshots.

First off, I need more lighting! But that's gonna take a bit, so choke on these for the moment:




I need to make some crappy (I mean "realistic ghetto" crappy), industrial buildings, for the other side of the sky. I don't want it to look like nice buildings are surrounding everything. On one side of the skyline - the Coruscant we all know and love, and on the other side - The trashy, run-down ghetto of Coruscant, filled with industrial plants, swoop gangs, and nightclubs. (Think of it like East Germany, 14 years ago - or the worst Chicago has to offer.)


(I know I've said it before) I'm Just about done but I need more lights, and a few more walkways and paths (for when the chase begins).

But I'm thinking about leaving most of the paths that I wanted, out.

Since you can really, only run from a legoin of Stormtroopers, on Coruscant for so long (And I can't be adding too much more to this already huge, minimum exploration, level). I still have yet to finish the main character model (That's not him in the picture), but I'm not working on any other chapter of the series, until this one is done.



The real action doesn't begin until Level 2, when you're down on the lower streets, stealthing your way past the Troops, in dense smog, so you can find a way out of the city sector's perimeter lock-down. And don't think it ends if you suck at stealthing - Stealth is only an option. But it'll be much harder if you blast your way through. I'm thinking about replacing the stealth/blasting, with a swoop/speeder chace (or use both) - But I'll have to see how it goes.

Anyway, I'll stop here before I give away the whole crappy plot...

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The FPS is a little doggy in areas (most areas the player won't be anyway). I'm still eliminating some old, unneeded brushes, from when I first started mapping this, so It's been getting better with that, and some caulking. If worst comes to worst, I'll fog it up and have it raining, so not everything is in view at once (Which might look better).


Quick Outline:


What you're seeing now:

Chapter 1: About 3 levels (map 1 is mostly, just a large interactive cutscene)


Totally different from Chapter 1:


Chapter 2: 4-5 Non-linear maps. Jumping from area A to B to D to C and vice-versa. a lot of exploring involved, and this *should* be the longest playing chapter in the series...


Chapter 3: About another 4-6 levels depending on which path is taken. (I'm considering 3 different chooseable paths - land, sea, air, type of thing. With at least 3 levels for each path, and additional paths within those paths.) Confused? Not as much as I am - And I'm the creator.


So, that's how it works. I have a few levels of Chapter 2 started, and I started on the end of Chapter 3, but I'm not distracting myself with any other Chapters, until the First one is finished.

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  • 1 month later...
building MD3 models? did they come with JA, or are they custom?


Totally custom.

Speaking of custom - Instead of wasting my time trying to learn "easygen", I've decided to make a bunch of MD3 terrain models, with phong-like texturing (Like Raven did with Hoth).

I simply make a large terrain model, and divide it up into 4 or 5 seperate models for Radiant. It saves on FPS, brush count, and time too. This'll save alot of time editing. Plus it gives me a bit more freedom...


On to the update:


I've been a bit busy, lately, but I've been progressing none the less. These screenshots also show off the new model of the main character, of the story.



Once again: All of Part 1, Level 1, of The Rising Empire is mostly one gigantic interactive cutscene, that will probably lag for people with low-end machines (it probably won't be that bad if you turn down your display settings [Dynamic Glow, detail shaders], but you'll be missing out on alot of the visual crappyness, that I've been working on). But if you can run Doom 3 on high display settings, you shouldn't have a problem with this.



So anyway, now that I've achieved the visuals, and atmosphere I've always wanted, I can move on to scripting the cutscenes, and finishing levels 2 and 3. (More action, less scripting, except for the end of level 3)

Then, if I'm encouraged, enough - I'll continue Part 2, and Part 3 (if I'm not dead by then)


Here's a WIP shot, I've been meaning to post, from one of the last Levels in Part 3:



Yes, it's a tower, and I'm thinking I won't use it, since after developing the story, and adding to the abundance of cliches, I've already achieved - I figured the Emperor of this world, would most likely reside in the city's 3,000 year old palace...

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No, it would be a bloody awful MP map. I've already tried it - the MP engine handles it differently, and it's laggier (is that word?), then when it's played in SP. Besides, it's just not set up to function as a MP level - design wise...

...so stop asking, I didn't start this to make MP levels - and everyone asking me isn't gonna change my mind.


No, the tower is FAR from Coruscant. And where do you get "Anime" from that sword? (I knew I shouldn't have posted that screenshot!) It's just a simple, single-handed medieval sword...

...don't ask how a planet with a Medival/Renaissance/Industrial Revolution setting fits in with Star Wars. It doesn't. Unless it's previously undiscovered semi-industrial civilized planet (Simple steam engines, basic technology) that the two main characters get stranded on.

Ask no more. It'll make sence one you get the whole story, which I may post, as a spoiler, for those of you who don't care about having the story ruined. But right now I must concentrate on... PART 1!

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  • 1 month later...

I just learned how to make pre-rendered animation in 3D Studio MAX. After rendering, I can mix the sound, and other animation bits, with an awesome video production program, I got awhile back. (I can even use BLUE/GREEN SCREEN with it!)


Needless to say, The Rising Empire is now gonna have Pre-rendered cutscenes.

This will save compiling time, FPS, and loading time in the levels themselves. It also looks F*cking awesome!


Here's a short low quality video clip, of the opening cutscene, after sound production:


Right click the link and "Save Target As"

It's about a 500 Kb download.


Music is from "Shadows of the Empire" (the actual sound track)


Big Thanks to SciFi3D.com, and their vast archive of 3ds/MAX models. Thanks to the authors, of the Star Drestroyer, and Coruscant models/textures. They made it that much easier.

And thank you, Keshire for giving me those animation tips, I probably wouldn't have even attempted this, before.


Now, I know I've been promising this release since Jedi Outcast, so I really can't continue promising this. But It'll be done, one way or another, this year, or early next year. Even if I have to break some fingers on the way.

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Good work! Prerendered cutscenes are a splendid addition to your level. It's very kind of you to post updates sometimes, but even kinder it would be to post them every now and then, so that this awesome project would not be forgotten.


And try not to break your own fingers: You need them for mapping.

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Ok, here's a higher-res version,


about 1 MB.


It's now at 512x384. Too small? Don't care. I got work to do.

This one is a bit revised, from the low-res one. I've added the scrolling star field, just after the opening text crawl, (hence the different placement of the music) but I removed it from the preview, so it wouldn't be a huge download.

If you do download it - you're automatically obligated to give detailed feedback, on this forum. =) How it sucks and why. Or you could tell me how the close-up Star Destroyer, isn't detailed enough. I dunno. Discuss.

Tell me what I should add or take out.


Reminder: This story takes place 8-10 years before ANH, so Super Class Destroyers weren't around yet (don't even know if Imperal class was around that far back, but who cares). So whatever.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Anyway. Another update:


These shots are from Chapter 1, level 2 of the Rising Empire. (Might just become Level 3, time permitting.)


Security Checkpoint, just outside the lobby of the Imperial Research Facility, on Coruscant.



Jarron, standing in the lobby. (he never actually sets foot in this area. He only sees it from the vent shafts, in cutscenes.)



Vent-shaft view of the lobby.



Level 2 was originally gonna be a stealth, or speeder chase through the streets of Coruscant, having the two main characters, eventually make their way to the Facility, after shaking the Stormtroopers.

Since a whole level dedicated to this, really isn't *too* relevant - I'm gonna have to remove it and have a cutscene in it's place, unless I get a whole bunch of free time...

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  • 3 months later...

After trying for weeks to keep the ammount of detail, and the FPS on my Coruscant map, at happy median, I finally just decided to rid myself of the FPS killing, portal sky - since nothing in the portal sky moved, anway. In the end, it was the slightly, high-poly models, I had in they sky that lagged me to death (ME, one of the most tolerent, people, of lag.)...


Just about 4-6 days ago (I lost track of time), I was working in 3DS MAX, on cuscenes, when it finally hit me, that the possiblity to render six opposing angles of a scene, to create a skybox, in MAX, was logically, a reality.


After searching forever, on how to do it, I got practially nothing, and some dead links. Then I just went for it, and tried doing it myself.


I was really close from the start. I placed 1 camera, then copied it 5 more times, and pointed them in exact opposing directions. Which almost worked, but the corners didn't match up just right. Anyway long story short - Using logic, I changed the Frame of View (FOV) on each camera to 90 digrees, horizontal, and they matched up perfectly, and it works like a friggin, charm!


So, now in light of this, the FPS in my map has now doubled, while it still *appears* to have just as much detail, or more (which is all I wanted, to begin with). And, I think it actually looks much better now:




Anyway. This map is done, in the game-play and visual department. I now, need to script, cutscenes. Like this one, here:

15510.jpg And render a few others...


After that, just a short trip through the sewers, into the Imperial Facility, and a few explosions later - this'll be all set for release - with or without the bonuses (Optional paths - Stealth vs. Guns-blazin', special moves, ect..)


Comments, anyone?

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Originally posted by Antizac

I was really close from the start. I placed 1 camera, then copied it 5 more times, and pointed them in exact opposing directions. Which almost worked, but the corners didn't match up just right. Anyway long story short - Using logic, I changed the Frame of View (FOV) on each camera to 90 digrees, horizontal, and they matched up perfectly, and it works like a friggin, charm!

Glad you figured out a workaround on your own, but there's a much easier way to set it up using Reflect/Refract maps on a primitive box. You don't even need a camera. If you want to know, just let me know - I've used it for creating some of my skyboxes.


This project does just keep looking better and better, Antizac. I really hope you finish it, and if there's anything I can ever do to help just let me know. :)

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Oh, yes! It looks great! It's good to know you went through the trouble of trying and trial to have such a fabulous skybox. I'm certainly looking forward to this project (even if 3 months long silent periods make me forget it every now and then!).

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  • 1 month later...

Wow, I didn't realise it's been over a month already...

I've been really busy, otherwise, with family junk, and other personal matters. Plus I destracted myself for a few weeks, on some free, addictive, online RPG (it is evil I say).

But after seeing the new Episode III trailer, I got my mind back to where it needed to be.


Well, time for another monthly update:


Tram Station, in the works...

...I'm trying not to spend too much time on this, it'll be pretty simple. The Main character (player) starts here, after getting off the tram.

A cutscene will play, when the player gets on/off the lift to the surface, since building architecture all the way to the surface, will just take up too much time and resources.

I need to finish this thing now! That hologram, will eventually be a hologram of Coruscant.



This was something that was bugging me since I built it. During a cutscene, the main characters are on the roof, escaping capture and a certain character is knocked off the roof, and falls through the skylight, several floors below...



...Well for that to happen, I'd need to have him thrown, 20 feet, somehow. But after realising that a balcony and large windows, would be a great addition to the suite - I built the balcony on the skylight side, extending over the skylight. So, now the scene will play out much better. (I'm quite proud of how that worked out.)


I have a cutscene (following the Video flyby cutscene), that involves Vader, (on one of those Stardestroyers) in a conference room with a General. I'll have screenshots, once I get it working 100% correctly, and have a space skybox with Coruscant, outside the windows.


This is really close to being done. It's mostly just scripting, and nit-picky things. (I've never been this close to finished. Plus, I've got a great start on the map that follows it, and even the others after that.)


Until next month.

(Nah, I'll try to update, earlier. Really.)

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