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Posts: 18
Reply with quote  #1 

Hey, folks.

First off, wanted to thank the Artemis developers for making one of the most enjoyable games I have ever had the privilege to play.  Went to a small convention with a friend who had a bridge setup and helped him run it (assembling things, running wiring, testing), and played it for the first time.   I can't remember the last time I had that much fun playing anything with anyone.

That being said, I really enjoy being able to modify games and produce content for them.  It seems that in this case, what I'd want to be able to do is create custom ships (NPCs and player ships), and possibly develop a custom HUD (LCARS, I guess?).   That brings me to my two questions:

1)  If I'm planning on using 3DSMax to do my modeling (Or maybe Maya, I haven't really decided yet), what sort of scaling do I need to use to make sure that my ships are a proper size compared to the environment around them?  I don't want to make something that looks fine in modeling software, but then I get it in-game and it's either super gigantic or really tiny.  Both would be pretty crappy.

2) My second question involves modification of the HUD.  If I were interested in designing a custom HUD for use with the game, what does that entail, exactly?  Do I just need to find the graphics files in the stock Artemis game and start replacing them?  Is there some sort of definition file I need to edit or something as well?  Will my replacement graphics need to be the same exact size of they would be meant to replace?

I apologize for asking such general questions which might be difficult to answer, but I figured this would be a good place to start, and I appreciate ahead of time any effort given to help me with this initial research I am doing.

I plan to invest a lot of time playing Artemis with my friend and their group, as well as experiment with the generation of additional content on my own.  Depending on financial stuff, I could definitely see myself wanting to build my own bridge system at some point in the future when I have the resources to invest in doing so, it truly was an amazing and immersive experience, and I am simply amazed at how cool it felt to be a part of a functional starship team.

Thanks to anyone who reads this and offers guidance/advice, and thanks again to the authors/developers of Artemis for producing such a unique and incredible game.  I will be telling everyone I know about this, and have already bought the game on Steam.  I bought it while I was playing (on my laptop) and had it downloaded before my second mission was over.

Fish Evans

Posts: 361
Reply with quote  #2 
go into the Dat folder and grab your self the Artemis.dxs model, use that as a template size for your 3D Moddles, try not to exceed those dimensions when creating the model. there is some play on that but not huge amounts.

When you are defining the vessal in the VessalData.xml file use the grid references in DeleD to locate the weapons, engine effect etc. you will also find in the vessalData.xml a marker called Scale... the game will scale up/down the model (and the placement of the engine effects etc) for you baised on what you put in there.  So you can make the ship appear huge or tiny.

If you create a ship that is much bigger then Artemis in the 3D moddeling stage then the ships "icon" in game will end up too big or small and may end up spreading over other ships icons. so build it to the size of the Artemis and then scale it in VessalData to suite.

all the HUD elements that you can change are located in the Dat folder, its a question of replacing them with what you want. you cant change everything but that the starting place for that. Have a look at the star trek mod and you will get an idea of whats possible.

Posts: 18
Reply with quote  #3 
The thing is, do I have a way to open .dxs models inside any general 3d modelling programs such as 3DS or Maya?  Or is that the format that gets generated by the Artemis tool for compiling/etc. custom ships?

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Posts: 1,955
Reply with quote  #4 
.dxs is the native format of DeledCE, a free low poly geared 3d program.  There is an export to .obj function or plug-in as well as a .obj and .3ds import plug-in, so that's the easiest way to get stuff from Max into the game.  

You can check your models in the Artemis Ship Tool (last download on the Downloads page of the Artemis main page).  There's also something weird about the texturing for Artemis - it needs flipped in the U axis (of UV texture mapping), but that's easy enough to check in the Ship Tool.

Please feel free to check out the TNG mod - I've replaced every ship in the game (and added others), changed the sounds and music and implemented an LCARS HUD replacement with some assistance from various folks.

Note - this is in no way intended to be an official position of Thom or Artemis, as I am not an official representative of the creator or game.

Posts: 18
Reply with quote  #5 
Awesome!   Thanks for your advice.  I'm going to start messing with it for sure, I'd really like to get into modifying the game.  I'm huge into modding any game I play, I almost get more enjoyment out of creating content than playing games, sometimes.

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Posts: 2,737
Reply with quote  #6 
Consider scripting missions too.

Always good to have some more missions to play. [wink]

Posts: 18
Reply with quote  #7 
I definitely will consider that for sure.   Currently, I'm learning the Maya interface to start working on my first custom ship, probably a NPC ship at first.  I think I can figure out the modeling process for sure, but skinning will be another beast entirely.

I've piddled with 3D stuff in the past, but I have no idea how the skinning process is going to go at all.   I guess I'll have to learn about UV mapping and stuff like that after I get this model together.
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