Author Topic: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction (Big Update January 2017!)  (Read 21630 times)

-Archmage-

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In light of MegaGlest heading to a larger audience(Steam), I thought I'd dig up some of my old work on the MegaGlest-Refit project from years back, and basically finish the refit.
Originally the refit worked on gameplay and faction structure as well as graphics, but I decided to take a less controversial and more additive path for this project. Therefore, there will be zero gameplay changes in this mod, though I do have a few suggestions for the developers(which I would be willing to help with). All XML changes are graphical in nature, to add particles, fix animation speeds, or re-synchronize sound effects.

Change-log: Done    Work-In-Progress    Not Started

Anubis Warrior: 3 Animations Redone
Desert Camp: Model/Texture Enhanced, Completely Re-animated, New Construction Model
Farm: Model Enhanced, Partial Re-Texture, Reanimation, New Construction Model
Ibis: 3 Animations Redone, Texture Enhancement
Mummy: 3 Animations Redone (left the classic death anim alone), Texture Enhancement
Obelisk: Model Redone, Simulated Fracturing Destruction Animation, Particles Added to Replace Mesh Effects
Priest: A few new animations.
Pyramid: Texture Enhancement, Mesh Optimization + Shading Update, New Construction Model
Scarab: Complete Remake
Slave: Complete Reanimation
Snake: Model Redone, Animation
Spearman: Complete Reanimation
SpearThrower: Complete Reanimation

Sphinx: Complete Remake
Temple: Model Enhancement, Texture Enhancement, New Construction Model



Downloads

Development:
GitHub Mod
GitHub Source Files

Andy's Dec 26th 2017 Repack(Certified Latest Version):
Andy's Repack - dropbox.com

0.98 Final:
Download - 26MB - 1-6-17 - Google Drive
Download Mirror - megaglest.org

0.98 Final - Source Files:
Download - 261MB - 1-6-17 - Google Drive
Download Mirror - megaglest.org

0.7 Beta:
Download - 32MB - 7/21/16 - Google Drive



Gameplay Suggestions for Devs:

Air Pyramid: Remove this unit. It makes 0 sense historically and the Sphinx already hits air units.
Chariot: An iconic unit that is missing from this faction. Would use the popular Egyptian bow. A fast late-game ranged unit.
Neith Bowman: The bow is a very common Egyptian weapon that isn't in this faction at all. Neith is the goddess of war and hunting, so I figure it's an appropriate name. An elite archer unit.
Medjay: Elite Soldiers during the 18th dynasty, basically Pharaoh's Guards in a sense. Would play well as a late-game, expensive infantry unit.



Pictures!

Gallery of Changes (January 2017)
« Last Edit: 27 December 2017, 04:37:40 by -Archmage- »
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filux

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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction
« Reply #1 on: 24 June 2016, 21:01:52 »
Remember about translations, if you have any choice then try to avoid names like "Medjay"  ;) which is ~ untranslatable and will be a bit confusing.

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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction
« Reply #2 on: 24 June 2016, 23:17:55 »
It's great that you are renewing this effort, Archmage! :)

Titi (who would need to comment on any changes to the default tech tree) is not going to be able to comment for a couple weeks.

But keep in mind that you can always make alternatives available on your own, such as for testing / prooving your point, so don't let the lack of feedback discourage you on that.
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Carl the Great

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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction
« Reply #3 on: 24 June 2016, 23:59:25 »
You forgot the Chicken! Is the chicken have to be re-made too?

From the starting thread, it appears that MegaGlest-Refit might have been put on hold for a long time due to declining progress. I hope this turns out really well, somehow better than the Refit; we haven't seen any interesting modifications for months to be honest.
Thanks!  ;)

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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction
« Reply #4 on: 25 June 2016, 02:21:42 »
Remember about translations, if you have any choice then try to avoid names like "Medjay"  ;) which is ~ untranslatable and will be a bit confusing.

We could use Medjay for English, and then use the closest derivative for other languages. Though perhaps it could be called Pharaoh's Guard, which I imagine would translate to most common languages. I just hate using generic names for everything.

It's great that you are renewing this effort, Archmage! :)

Titi (who would need to comment on any changes to the default tech tree) is not going to be able to comment for a couple weeks.

But keep in mind that you can always make alternatives available on your own, such as for testing / prooving your point, so don't let the lack of feedback discourage you on that.

Thank you. :D I'd rather wait for Titi to respond, because I'm intending for this to update the Megapack shipped with MG by default. If he's not on board then there's little point of adding units.

You forgot the Chicken! Is the chicken have to be re-made too?

From the starting thread, it appears that MegaGlest-Refit might have been put on hold for a long time due to declining progress. I hope this turns out really well, somehow better than the Refit; we haven't seen any interesting modifications for months to be honest.

The Refit project was just too much to do, and we didn't have enough skilled people to make much of a dent in the amount of work required. The concepts of the refit are still interesting though, and I feel like setting the MG factions in a fictional world like Tech and Magic makes a lot more sense. I've always found "Magitech vs Historically-based factions" to be a bad blend.

About the Chicken, isn't it good enough? Maybe the death animation where it runs around in a circle is kinda bad, but I don't think it's worth a full remake.

People need to get back into modding. Now that I'm out of school, I finally have some time and motivation back. I also feel that the bigger the punch MegaGlest can make on Steam, the better. Better graphics, and more mods will only help MG grow on Steam.

Edit: Added some Old vs New pictures on the first post. Check them out! :)
« Last Edit: 25 June 2016, 04:32:23 by -Archmage- »
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filux

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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction
« Reply #5 on: 25 June 2016, 04:36:40 »
We could use Medjay for English, and then use the closest derivative for other languages. Though perhaps it could be called Pharaoh's Guard, which I imagine would translate to most common languages. I just hate using generic names for everything...
Yeh but by this you are strengthening the language barrier, let's imagine situation: someone is playing multiplayer game with his native language (non english) and is trying to say for someone who is playing with english to move his unit  ;D what is a chance that this guy will figure it out (and he should figure it out very fast) "Pharaoh's Guard" > "Medjay", ~ no chance :P.
In such cases ~ best what translator can do is leaving this name untranslated ... but then untranslated content make a first impression like: "bad translation"/bug or like "not finished work".
... so always in such cases think about alternative names, but if you will not be able to find such ("good alternative") name, then we will somehow live with that  :).

... I'd rather wait for Titi to respond, because I'm intending for this to update the Megapack shipped with MG by default. If he's not on board then there's little point of adding units...
Are you ready to wait like a month?  :|


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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction
« Reply #6 on: 25 June 2016, 04:45:27 »
That's a very unlikely scenario, but very well. :P

And yeah, this whole thing isn't coming out until next month anyway. This is just the announcement for now. If Titi isn't back by the time I'm done, I have plenty of other mod ideas and other people's mods I can help with.
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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction
« Reply #7 on: 26 June 2016, 01:47:06 »
Since the megapack wasn't based on real units that culture had, It may be good to rename factions so their names are not specific to a real world empire. The topic of realism comes up often and I like a lot of the over the top units you can use. That would be a nice middle ground.

Maybe Egypt did not have air pyramids but the "Empire of the Sun" did. The name could be whatever.

Personally most important is modifying the textures of the infantry to look more uniform with magitech. Megapack faces look cartoonish and drawn, while magitech is more photo realistic.

Cartoons are fine, (all I make are cartoon units) and Realism is fine, but a combo of both looks amateurish. And I like to think of MG as more refined than an amature project.
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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction
« Reply #8 on: 26 June 2016, 06:24:49 »
Renaming the factions has been a popular idea before, and is exactly what we did in the MG-Refit project. This is definitely all up to Titi though.

No matter the faction name, the Air Pyramid has no purpose, is a last-minute concept, and has very rushed art. I think it should just be removed and see a sphinx upgrade or something instead.

I would argue that the poor animations are a lot more noticeable than the awkward facial textures. The issue is that we really are amateur artists, and none of us are paid for this stuff. I'm playing to my strengths by sticking mostly to modelling and animation, doing less texture work than I could. Also, this mod specifically is dealing with the Egyptian faction, which already has pretty good facial/humanoid textures. Though, honestly if you'd like to try your hand at realism, you could give me a hand. ;D
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victorj

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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction
« Reply #9 on: 26 June 2016, 22:48:21 »
oh so good, do you have image pyramid to show? This Egypt faction you did alone it?  It titi and softcoder going to add in megapack? on the original faction there is a low-quality pyramid, do you improve it?

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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction
« Reply #10 on: 27 June 2016, 03:10:40 »
Sure, I only gave the Pyramid a quick texture enhancement and fixed the over-saturated appearance, no geometry changes.

(click to show/hide)

I'm working on this alone currently, yes. I haven't spoken to Titi yet, I hope he'll be pleased with my work.
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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction
« Reply #11 on: 27 June 2016, 17:41:19 »
Worry not about the Chicken, it's up to you whether you want it remade or not.

Looking at high-quality textures here, just like atze did with the Refit from before!

Eliminator's Greek faction has an archer unit called "Artemis", which kind of looks like your archer. In other news, looking to see what this modification looks like!

(To be honest, victorj's post is like from a machine translator)
Thanks!  ;)

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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction
« Reply #12 on: 29 June 2016, 02:18:06 »
Quote
(To be honest, victorj's post is like from a machine translator)

I am learning English still but I admit to using grammar corrector because I'm me learn with itself.  :D

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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction
« Reply #13 on: 3 July 2016, 00:39:32 »
Sure, I only gave the Pyramid a quick texture enhancement and fixed the over-saturated appearance, no geometry changes.
https://forum.megaglest.org/Smileys/SoLoSMiLeYS1/happy.png
(click to show/hide)

I'm working on this alone currently, yes. I haven't spoken to Titi yet, I hope he'll be pleased with my work.

Archmage, I suggest to next faction to remake, I wish Rome, It seems like is more ugly.

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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction
« Reply #14 on: 14 July 2016, 02:16:45 »
Updates! :P

New Sphinx model (Early WIP)
(click to show/hide)

New Snake (Done)
(click to show/hide)

Farm Improved Model and Texture (Mostly Done)
(click to show/hide)

Remade Desert Camp (Complete with animations and construction model)
(click to show/hide)

Simulated Destruction Animation for the Obelisk
(click to show/hide)
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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction
« Reply #15 on: 14 July 2016, 18:27:09 »
My short opinion, maybe you will find some hints there.
- Sphinx - great legs and body but I have a impression that head is a bit too small vs body and beard is a bit too big vs face,
- Snakes - visually I love them,
- Farm - Imo too many leaves on the plant (especially those large bottom) so it looks a bit like "no one lives here for many months" and plant grows as it like;
  >   does the flag have a special meaning in a. egypt farm? as we have colored material on the roof maybe we don't need the flag?;
  >   now plant obscures slightly the animals but basically would be great if those chickens would move a bit even with static plant,
- Desert Camp - very dark material as for desert tent "today", but in the past historically it maybe has sense
- Obelisk - Imo too many details  and too much work ;D like in the destruction animation I see ~ 40 pieces when even 4 would be impressive vs 2 old one  ;);
  >   for me symbols on the old obelisk are somehow nicer because "less but larger" (even too large but still) but again who knows what they mean maybe historically it has a lot of sense in new version,
 

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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction
« Reply #16 on: 14 July 2016, 19:32:10 »
Sphinx: Agreed
Farm: Shrunk the bush by 25%, looks more maintained now. The chickens will be animated soon. The flag was there originally, I'm going to remove the teamcolor from the bigger piece of cloth. Besides, I need to show off my looping cloth simulation on that flag. ;)
Desert Camp: Brightened it up a bit.
Obelisk: I got a little carried away, but too much detail is far preferable in my opinion. I'll sharpen the texture, and possible rotate the model 45 degrees. The death simulation is a bit excessive I admit, but it looked so nice in Blender.  :look: The crappy texture filtering in MG is the reason the symbols don't stand out visually, the texture itself is quite high resolution.

When I release the beta shortly, I am going to need testing from people with smallish/low-resolution screens or slow hardware to let me know if there are any issues there.
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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction
« Reply #17 on: 15 July 2016, 20:27:56 »
My short opinion, maybe you will find some hints there.
- Sphinx - great legs and body but I have a impression that head is a bit too small vs body and beard is a bit too big vs face,
 
Sphinx in real life the is small head than body: 

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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction (Beta Up 7/21)
« Reply #18 on: 21 July 2016, 12:44:46 »
The Beta is officially launched!  :D (Check the first post)

Been working the last few days to patch up some old animations and finish some texture enhancements. While parts of it are still incomplete, I've remodeled multiple units from the ground up, done partial to full retextures and enhanced some already nice textures. Additionally, I've overhauled the majority of the animations one by one.

While the graphics may not be complete, the gameplay of the faction is fully intact and working perfectly.

For the purpose to seeing how it performs for those of you on slower hardware, I've left my source-resolution(up to 2048) textures in the beta. In the future, I'll be scaling things down to appropriate resolutions, but for now it's going to eat your VRAM. I also haven't re-done the destruction for the obelisk yet, so that jumps from ~360 polys to ~9900 when it dies. Please let me know if that causes any noticeable drop in performance. ;D

Correction: The Obelisk texture is my fault. MG has Anisotropic Texture Filtering now, I'll adjust the model/texture in future updates to stand out more.
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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction (Beta Up 7/21)
« Reply #19 on: 21 July 2016, 12:54:32 »
WOW!! These are really really really good.
Thanks.
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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction (Beta Up 7/21)
« Reply #20 on: 8 August 2016, 09:23:22 »
Indeed, those models look very good!
But take care that there are not too many vertices!

- Obelisk: Only use this ( I asume ) vertice intense model for the destruction, not for the other static models of the obelisk. Those should have only very little vertices!

- The animated desert camp looks very nice! ( I hope not too many vertices too! )

- The sphinx for sure has too many vertices.

- Hint for the snakes: Place a plate under the snakes which is set to unvisible but selectable. This helps selecting those small thin snakes a lot.  Maqybe you can make the snakes a bit bigger too, because curently they are very thin and that does not work well with the way MG renders.

Try Megaglest! Improved Engine / New factions / New tilesets / New maps / New scenarios

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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction (Beta Up 7/21)
« Reply #21 on: 8 August 2016, 19:47:32 »
Besides the destruction animation, the Obelisk has 488 triangles.

Desert Camp: ~2700 triangles

Sphinx: ~3600 triangles

Snakes: In test runs I've had no issues selecting them, I was originally going to add the plane. If it's a notable issue for others, I'll add it in.

Personally, I've encountered no performance issues. If you guys would try testing the mod on various hardware configs that would be great.

Alternatively, we could have an object quality toggle of some sort for very low end hardware, as we can easily include the old models.
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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction (Beta Up 7/21)
« Reply #22 on: 8 August 2016, 22:35:28 »
My performance analysis:

Here's a small stress test "benchmark" album.

I setup a 3x Mega AI x4.9 vs 3x Mega AI 4.9. I let the modded one run for longer, and it reached nearly 1000 concurrent units with still no framerate issues. I took screenshots on empty parts of the map and screenshots over 3 mega bases all mushed together. There's a frame-rate/VRAM counter in the top left. Keep in mind, I'm running the game at 3440*1440(2.5x pixel count of 1080p), which should be why the VRAM usage is that high.

Results: Not much of an impact for me. I had somewhat lower frame-rates with the mod, but there were more units and bigger bases in most of the modded screenshots I have.

Further, I did a second test. I changed the initial unit counts a bit... 10 sphinxes, 15 desert camps, 10 farms, and 10 obelisks. About what you'd expect to find in a giant base. Both factions were spawned in exactly the same map and tileset, with one magic faction on the other side of the map.

Frame-rate difference? About a 23fps drop. From 427.5 to 404.7. VRAM usage increased by around 80MB.
I also underclocked my GPU as far as I can (to 525MHz), and locked MegaGlest onto one CPU thread, then ran the same test. Found a slightly larger performance hit, still running full res and everything.

In other news... the resolution setting in the options menu does absolutely nothing for me.
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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction (Beta Up 7/21)
« Reply #23 on: 8 August 2016, 22:56:36 »
Based on your findings and report, you probably have a fast computer with a medium to upper class dedicated graphics card.
Have you also tried any of this on an Intel GPU?
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Re: Re-Mastering the Egypt Faction (Beta Up 7/21)
« Reply #24 on: 9 August 2016, 12:58:53 »
Yeah. Specs in my signature.

I have a mobile broadwell processor in my laptop. I'll try to get MG running on that, and provide an update.

This is kind of why I'm asking for people to test out the mod. I don't really like slow computers, so I don't have one. :P

Edit: Here is the mod benchmarked the same way on an Intel HD 5600(mobile integrated graphics processor). MG is running at 1080p, highest possible settings(except for shadow mapping, because shadow mapping doesn't work). I see the same performance dip, though a bit more pronounced with a lower power GPU, it's still maintaining a fantastic framerate. The fps drop from 106 to 93 fps could easily be undone with reduced settings. ;D

I would like to note, the only lag I've ever encountered in MG has always been CPU/network based, having more to do with mass pathfinding than polycount.

Edit 2: I can and probably will take a stab at reducing the polycount of the sphinx in the near future.
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