AotI Offline (Unofficial) Expansion: Despair and Hope

Topics about modding PSU. The home of the offline project.

Re: AotI Offline (Unofficial) Expansion: Despair and Hope

Postby Willster369 » Tue May 31, 2016 2:05 am

So, I am using the advanced type .exe and data file and they seem to work fine, but I saw you said they have "place holder" stats and was just wondering if that makes them unusable or if they're okay to play with.
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Re: AotI Offline (Unofficial) Expansion: Despair and Hope

Postby Agrajag » Wed Jun 01, 2016 4:02 am

They won't crash or anything, but they have dumb stats. The AotI ones (Acro-, master) don't actually gain stats for leveling them.
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Re: AotI Offline (Unofficial) Expansion: Despair and Hope

Postby Willster369 » Wed Jun 01, 2016 4:48 am

Ah, okay thanks for the info. Great work so far, I'm super hyped for the future of your project :)
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Re: AotI Offline (Unofficial) Expansion: Despair and Hope

Postby Agrajag » Sun Jun 19, 2016 4:24 pm

Was going to try to wait until I wasn't the last post, and then I wasn't, and then it was three weeks later, and now I've forgotten what I was going to talk about (maybe boss music? that's pretty redundant, too), so...

Levels of Plausibility
What do you mean "wild Rappies may not accept you as a companion"?

Let's not mince words here: PSU is a PS2 game from 2006. It's buggy, slow, and ugly.

Despite how I may pretend, nothing I can do will fix that. At the end of the day, it'll still be a PS2 game from 2006. What I [i]can
do is "fix" (note: not pretending this isn't subjective) a fair number of the gameplay elements.

So, in that regards, a fairly simple scale for how plausible things are, as applied to monsters:
1. Already done (thing is already complete, or well on its way): Enemy stats are changed.
2. Almost certainly will be done (plan is complete, implementation is not): Boss stats are changed (note: thanks JamRules for pointing out a way to get into some of the PSP2i files).
3. Probably will be done (don't know exactly what's required, but have a good idea where to find it): Allow more unique enemies per block.
4. May be done... eventually (requires a bunch of extra work that's also not complete): Add new enemies.
5. Maybe if I rewrote the game from scratch... (not plausible in the game engine): Add new bosses.

Or, to be more specific:
1. Enemy stats require editing one of two files. One global one (which I've been able to edit for years--remember the april fool's "everyone dies in 1 hit" thing from a few years back), one per monster (which has been mostly understood for years--this is how those Infinity stat tables were calculated back in the day).
2. Bosses share the global file with normal enemies, but each boss also has its own stat file(s) in combination... where each boss uses a (sometimes totally) different format. Would be extremely difficult to sort out, but with Infinity included, every boss has at least two sets of stats that can be compared to figure out what changed.
3. When enemies are loaded, their assets get put into a rather small list. If you go over the list's limit, new enemies will either not load (if you have Vanda, Vahra, Delsaban, Gohmon, and Pannon, the Pannons will not spawn at all) or load but be invisible (if you have Polty, normal Vahra, fire Vahra, ice Vahra, and lightning Vahra, the lightning Vahra will be present but invisible because they didn't load the "lightning Vahra" textures). Theoretically, if I could isolate any all the situations where that list is read or written, I could expand it and allow you to have 30 different monsters in every block or whatever, but while I've isolated part of the enemy loading routine, it would still need a fair amount of research.
4. An enemy is a collection of files (at minimum, a model, a parameter file, an ActData file containing mystery data, an AtkData file containing attack metadata, a collection of animations, and a few other things), where all the files for a given enemy are defined in the .exe. Adding new enemies would mean fully understanding the model format, figuring out how the actdata file works, expanding the list in the .exe (where I don't actually know how that list works yet), and a few other things--and each of those is a significant amount of work. This is still a lot simpler than the following one, though, seeing how enemies are generally self-contained--if you replace everything about a Vahra with the respective data from a Vanda, it will be a Vanda in everything but name (...as far as I know).
5. Bosses are directly controlled by the .exe. They have a bunch of control files, but in the end, even if I understood all of them, adding even Bil De Golus ("it's like De Ragan, but ground element...?") would require a substantial amount of asm work... as would the next boss that got added, and the next one, and the next one.

Somewhat of note, some of these things will bounce between levels depending on if it's D&H trying to do it or Clementine trying to do it. For instance, trying to add full type customization (like in PSP2/i) would probably be a 4 for me (would require adding hooks in a lot of places--load the type from a custom place, check if various bonuses are applied in the 5 different damage calculations, etc), but would probably be a 2-3 for Clementine (you have full control of the server, and the server's the one that does damage calculations, tells the client what weapons are available in each type (which doesn't have to be consistent globally!), etc).

I'll try to include a plausibility when I'm talking about things in the future. I try not to let my crazier wanderings into the public ("what if hitting enemies with Zonde would cause extra Zonde bolts to fire off at any nearby enemies?"), but there's still a lot of room in between "can be released individually", "will probably be in the initial release", and "will be released... someday".
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Re: AotI Offline (Unofficial) Expansion: Despair and Hope

Postby Riggy » Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:06 pm

Sounds like a lot is planned for this, I am very excited to see it completed. I don't post often but I definitely lurk enough and keep up to date with what's going on. Keep up the good work Agrajag!
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Re: AotI Offline (Unofficial) Expansion: Despair and Hope

Postby Agrajag » Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:57 am

You know when you're working on something, and you get it 90% done, and then the remaining 10% takes forever to figure out?

Yeah, that describes the past few weeks.

Been working on something that won't really improve the initial release (maybe the one after that, though!), wanted to show it off, but the last bit is being a pain. If I don't have it "done" by this weekend, I'll show what I have.
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Re: AotI Offline (Unofficial) Expansion: Despair and Hope

Postby Riggy » Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:22 pm

I know that feeling all to well. It's usually that last bit that is always a pain. I'm looking forward to seeing what you plan to show off this weekend!
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Re: AotI Offline (Unofficial) Expansion: Despair and Hope

Postby Agrajag » Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:17 am

Alright, so...

Image

That's a screenshot from PSP2i.

Image

That's what I've been working on. Ignore the lobby ghosts, that's just because I put it over Clyez 1F for convenience.

Everything's perfect!... except I can't find the right combination of flags to make the floor and magma look right, and the smoke is broken, and...

Basically, I've written something that'll convert PSP1/2/i models to a PSU equivalent. All the other files kept the exact same format, so once you convert those two things (and correct the filenames/identifiers for everything else--PSU uses an "X", PSP1/2/i use a "U"), you have a perfectly usable PSU map. This is going to be of minimal use for the initial D&H release (I'll admit, I'm really just doing this because it's fun), but eventually...

(Because it's strictly a data file change, it'll work for Clementine, too. Just needs something that'd use it; once I get the material flags sorted, I'll see if I can whip up a quick mission that people can see them on.)

There aren't that many maps that are in PSP1/2/i that aren't in PSU. It's mostly just the boss arenas, Helga's arena in PSP1, various cutscene areas, and Clad-whatevernumberitwas from PSP2 that weren't brought over for third update, but... I feel like if I can fit things into the portable arenas, it'll help a fair bit for variety, similar to that one event mission that put De Ragan into a fire-contaminated area. Also: Helga's arena in PSP1 looks awesome.

On the technical side:
PSU uses "xvr" textures. They're an offshoot of the PVR textures that were used in so many games before them, just with a few more formats--for instance, they support DXT1 and DXT5 textures, although these were used remarkably rarely. They have two headers because Sega; one's in the NBL table of contents (it looks a lot like the PVR header, with the GBIX/XVRT chunk), one's in the file itself (which looks completely unique).
PSP1 uses "gim" textures. These are a PSP standard format; a couple things can read/write them, but PuyoTools has a nice library called GimSharp that'll do it. All the PSP1 ones I've seen are palettized, kinda like GIFs.
PSP2/i uses "uvr" textures. These use similar pixel/palette data to the GIM ones, but they have a header like one of the ones in XVR textures.

PSU's "xnj" models and the PSP games' "unj" models are structured fairly similarly. Only issue is, while the PSP games use material/vertex formats that match the PSP standards (so ppsspp's debugger will tell you exactly what's happening), I suspect they rolled their own for PSU... essentially, despite a multiple year head start on the PSU format, I managed to leapfrog it in a week of looking at the PSP1 format. Note also that PSU characters don't actually use the same model format or the same texture format or the same animation format as anything else in the game.


Yes, this is very closely connected to the "secret project" I talked about last year.
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Re: AotI Offline (Unofficial) Expansion: Despair and Hope

Postby Riggy » Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:32 pm

That is rather exciting to see. Seeing content ported into PSU is awesome. I hope you are able to find the texture combiner flag so things show up properly. You mentioned clad 6 wasn't in PSU, I thought it was added in the third supplemental update? Unless you were talking about the full area with the shops, cafe, and little wing?
Image

I also had a few questions about the project. Since you are bringing a lot of online content offline does that mean room tickets that moves your room to Parum, Neudaiz, and Moatoob will be available? Since the project has developed a lot over the years, what is the projects finished content goal going to be? Will you be able to select third supplemental content missions individually or will they be randomized on existing missions like current released Mission packs?
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Re: AotI Offline (Unofficial) Expansion: Despair and Hope

Postby Agrajag » Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:05 am

Hey, I know those people.

Yeah, I mean the actual one with the shops and stuff. The one in third update removed everything but the main room; those doors are backed into the geometry, so you can't actually open those doors, no matter what you do.

Room tickets are a problem. I'm not actually sure if any of the infrastructure for them exists offline, so I can't really promise that I'll ever get them working. The final version will have all the online-only decorations (similar to the old small add-on, but with them actually dropping from monsters/boxes or available in shops, as appropriate).

As of right now, all online free missions will be available as as they were online (just consolidated down to the main district on each planet); if I can find a fun way to handle unlocks, I would like to add something so there's some sort of sense of progression, but regardless, the "randomly selected mission" thing was purely a matter of convenience, it won't work that way in the real one.

First release's goal is pretty much stats, items, and free missions. In other words, everything must have stats (this may be particularly big on units, if the rework gets done), most gear must be available (I do have thoughts on a few of them, things like exchanges and upgrades that may not be available initially), and all available missions should work. After that is events, exchanges, and story stuff, then... actual ambitious things (see previous post). As always, I have no actual timetable for any of these.
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