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(Help Wanted) Darkstone: Evil Reigns Master Thread (Help, Patching and Modding)

Discussion in 'Codex Workshop' started by Poseidon, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. Ithamar Literate

    Ithamar
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2020
    Messages:
    35
    Good to hear it works for you too now! And don't feel sorry for asking so many things, I'm happy to help if/when I can. I already found out more stuff about Darkstone while creating the mtf tool, so it was useful for myself too (and I like doing this type of work anyway).

    Regarding the PSX version of Darkstone, I did watch some YT videos with gameplay, it looks quite different UI wise too indeed. Is there any chance I could get a copy of those files, then I could investigate further.

    Had a bit of a chat with Poseidon about Darkstone (in his #general channel actually) and he sounded at least somewhat interested in what we are doing, so maybe we can "wake up" the Darkstone fans and create a more active community again.

    I've also started a wiki on my GitHub page based on stuff I found while doing all of this, I don't think there's currently anything on there you don't know yet, but it might be worth keeping an eye on, as there's lots more to come ;)

    Also, I'm cleaning up my code for the Darkstone reimplementation, and putting it up on Github too. On there is also a link to where you'll be able to see my progress live online.

    I have tomorrow (ehhhh today, Wednesday) off from work, so I'm hoping I'll make some good progress.

    Just out of curiosity, what timezone are you in? I'm in The Netherlands, so GMT +2 currently.
     
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  2. Golden-Dragon Literate

    Golden-Dragon
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2020
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    I wish I could upload the PSX version or link the Darkstone Rom, but I think it is not allowed.
    Well google will help you;)

    I'm in Germany, GMT +1
     
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  3. Poseidon Educated

    Poseidon
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2016
    Messages:
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    Yes, I am definitely interested and I'm around to talk and all that. I can create some "mod" channels in my Discord if you'd like :D Glad to see things happening.

    Maybe we can poke Dysterkvist as he seemed interested too!
     
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  4. Ithamar Literate

    Ithamar
    Joined:
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    Cool, I guess we can start out using your "game-stuff" channel to post some info, and depending on reactions go from there. I'm not sure this little project deserves a separate channel yet. I'm a bit in doubt when/how to give this more visibility, as I don't want people to get hyped and discouraged again before I get somewhere further along....

    Although we have two angles here indeed, the modding one, where my mtf tool should help anyone looking into modding the existing Darkstone, and the "reimplementation" one, which will take a little time to become "worth playing". I've already set things up so my progress on that is auto-published on https://game3dee.github.io/darkstone/ , so people can see and play with what is there from time to time, and I understand I might have to suck it up and do some blogging/vlogging to keep interest.

    Just to be clear, though my time is somewhat limited, I **am** serious in getting this reimplementation done, or at least through to actual playable state. The modding tools/documentation is a nice overlapping thing that can help keeping interest in Darkstone going too....

    Oh, on a sidenote, I just tested my current Darkstone room renderer locally with the 4k texture pack, and it works out of the box :D
     
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  5. Golden-Dragon Literate

    Golden-Dragon
    Joined:
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    Good to see you around Poseidon. I thought you lost interest, glad that's not the case.

    I encourage you guys to keep posting updates, plans, ideas, recommendations and all kinds of Darkstone related stuff here. Even, if it is just minor changes/updates. So we can keep the Darkstone community active. This way people won't lose interest and thinking the project is kind of dead.

    Maybe we can get more people to join. Pokes at Dysterkvist ;)
     
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  6. Golden-Dragon Literate

    Golden-Dragon
    Joined:
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    The Darkstone Web looks super cool. I really like it. I hope there is more to come :)
    I'm very glad to hear that you are serious in this, Ithamar. It's understandable that you just have limited time for this project. I'm happy to see anything more from it, even if it's just once per week.
     
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  7. Ithamar Literate

    Ithamar
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2020
    Messages:
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    Thanks Golden-Dragon and Poseidon for all the encouragement, that really helps in staying motivated! :) Yeah, "Darkstone Web" is looking pretty nice, and a good start. I've spent today trying to figure out the model format for the animated characters, and it is a bit slow but progressing. Hopefully I'll have that working over the weekend. Since I've gotten quite far with the room format (the "levels"), I also took a look at the full "Questing" setup.
    Darkstone is quite interesting, as per quest you define a few central "rooms" (dungeons or outside areas), and Darkstone itself (randomly) generates the terrain around it. You define actions that can be taken (and quest items to find, like the crystals, or the Horn Of Plenty ;) ).
    Anyway, besides the room format, most of it is plain text, as you can see in the "data/scripts" directory. It just refers to elements in the room definition. So I think once I have the animated characters working, I'll finish implementing the "traps" in the rooms (traps funnily enough is the Darkstone name for any interactable object, like stuff you can loot, doors you can open, etc), and with those things in place, I can finally start looking at adding some interactivity. I'll probably skip over the real "rpg" features first, and just let you walk around in the rooms and interact with objects (but not (yet) track all character attributes and such).

    I'll be quite happy when I'm at that point, from there on I might try attracting some more attention to the project, to get people involved more, since there's something more tangible there then, it'll look more like a game then just yet-another-level-viewer ;)

    Anyhow, thanks for the support and lets keep Darkstone alive :D
     
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  8. Ithamar Literate

    Ithamar
    Joined:
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    Oh, also, I found this Darkstone trainer on Github, it was created about 6 months ago, so fairly recent. Thinking about contacting him and seeing if he's still interested in Darkstone ;) I'm not much of a trainer user, but looking at the code he clearly did his research on internals of Darkstone too, so he could be of help in further modding.
     
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  9. Golden-Dragon Literate

    Golden-Dragon
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2020
    Messages:
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    Now you mentioned it, I remember. The World and level areas in Darkstone are different when it comes of generating things around it. One time, I tried to make a custom quest in the Quest Editor. My thought was: If I put monsters (AMAZD4) from the land of Serkesh in Ardyl, then I would get better loot and more EXP. But that was not the case. These Amazons generated the same low level items like goblins and skeletons. The EXP was lower too. Back in Serkesh the mobs dropped higher level items and gave more EXP. Like there is some kind of level cap for each world area. Most people don't notice, because they never reach Legend difficulty or grind past Level 60+. What I was doing in the end was: skipping Ardyl, Marghor and Omar and grind in Serkesh only. That's something I want to change, if I could. Killing mobs in RPGs should always be rewarding.

    Pilgrim did some changes to the ITEMOBJECT.DAT and MONSTERCLASS.DAT. Maybe that's the way to go. Do you know how to change these .dat files?

    And yes, I agree 100%. That's very good start.:D And to be honest I can't wait more.
     
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  10. Golden-Dragon Literate

    Golden-Dragon
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    That's a good idea. Maybe he can share some information or even join.:)

    Just a couple of months ago, I tried to reach out to Pilgrim and asked him about his mod. Sadly he never response to my e-mails. I also did send emails to all people in the Darkstone community like the owner of Thanatos Darkstone Realm and to Peter from dsdb.it-taucher.at. Peter was very nice and gave me even some contacts from other members of the community.

    A big shout out to Peter.:salute:

    I even send messages to Paul Cuisset the lead designer of Darkstone in Facebook and twitter.

    None of these response to my mails except for Peter. I think they are not active anymore.:( Well at least I did try it.


    One thing I want to ask you guys and anyone who's out there(don't be shy guys). Did anyone of you did play the Darkstone Android port from 2014? Is there a difference compare to the PC/PSX version? Did they change anything at all or is it just a straight port with no bug fixes. I'm curious if there is some kind of improvement.:P
     
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  11. Poseidon Educated

    Poseidon
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2016
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    63
    The interface was redone to a more "modern" look that is suitable for touch controls and they implemented a basic "Quest Log" which helps, apart from that, I don't think anything else was changed.

     
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  12. Golden-Dragon Literate

    Golden-Dragon
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    Looks quite interesting. The inventory looks very different. Same goes for the artwork. And the quest log is indeed an improvement. Is there a way to extract Android games? I don't know much when it comes Android/Mobile/Iphone games.
     
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  13. Ithamar Literate

    Ithamar
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    Poseidon Thanks for the video!

    Indeed, this is quite interesting, as my intent is to make Darkstone Web work "everywhere", e.g. desktops, smartphones, tablets, possibly even smart TVs if we ever get that far. Anyway, alternate UIs, and especially touch UIs, are on my mind.

    The quest log looks nice, the suggestions like "Talk to the guard" is really helpful for first-time users too. Also, the quest markers above the heads of quest givers is a nice touch as well, no longer hunting them down in town would be nice ;)

    Golden-Dragon I do know how to extract Android apps, but even having videos like this to simply see how they solved things is really helpful already.

    On that subject, if you anyone have suggestions to change things in Darkstone's UI or gameplay, and are borrowing ideas from existing other games, it would be great to have the game mentioned, or have a pic/video of what you would like to have "copied".

    It is not my intent to transform Darkstone into something completely different, but stuff like what we see with the PS2/Android ports are definitely interesting and possible.
     
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  14. Golden-Dragon Literate

    Golden-Dragon
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    Yeah, I agree. Darkstone should not be something completely different and retain its charm. The two PSX and Mobile versions are very helpful for improvements.

    Adding features from other games like share stash/stash in town or a second weapon slot would be really great. I have many suggestions in mind. And I'm open for any kind of idea/improvement/suggestion/feature from other games.

    Regardless of gameplay/bug fixes, there is a lot. I would suggest to make things that are already in the game be more useful but not OP. I have a list for that but that comes later.
     
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  15. Ithamar Literate

    Ithamar
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    Golden-Dragon I love to hear those ideas, and collect them somewhere for easy reference. Even though we're still quite early in development, as I start copying the "standard" Darkstone, it helps to know what changes are coming in the future, and make sure the code can easily cope with that.

    I've invited you on GitHub.com so you would be able to edit the Darkstone (web) wiki freely. If you feel like it, we could use that to capture ideas about changes in Darkstone Web's gameplay/UI compared to "standard" Darkstone. If you prefer another method/tool/site/whatever, that's fine too ;)

    I just think it is good to collect stuff we discuss here, or on Discord, in a central place where we can easily find stuff back. This forum is great, but finding back specific suggestions / requests for changes is a bit more time consuming here ;)

    Anyway, I just love reading this stuff as it makes me even more motivated to get Darkstone Web going :D
     
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  16. Golden-Dragon Literate

    Golden-Dragon
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    That's very nice of you to invite me on GitHub.com but I think I am not much of a help. I don't know how to code/program stuff etc. All I can do is to test things, if you provide me the tools and show me how to run them. Sorry, wish I could help you with coding.:(

    The Darkstone web wiki is perfect for collecting data, ideas, suggestions and changes.

    I don't think you will like the list I've made, since it contains mostly Skill/Spell/Affix/Item changes and some things for endgame. My idea behind it was to make weak affixes in Darkstone more useful.

    I wanted to collect more ideas and suggestions from other peoples before posting them, since we are in early stage of development.
     
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  17. Stormcrowfleet Arcane

    Stormcrowfleet
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Messages:
    856
    I remembered this game because of you guys mentionning it.

    If you need coding (I know some basic C), I could help with small stuff.
     
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  18. Golden-Dragon Literate

    Golden-Dragon
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2020
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    Hi Stormcrowfleet,
    that's fantastic. Thank you very much.:)
    If you have some suggestions or ideas, feel free to post them here.
     
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  19. Stormcrowfleet Arcane

    Stormcrowfleet
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Messages:
    856
    I've never modded any game. Consider me 100% noobish. I've never opened a game file: I'm a non-gamer software developper. Consider me a tool more than anything else: if you need to dabble into the code, especially the base C code, then you can ask me to do it. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to suggest anything on my own!
     
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  20. Golden-Dragon Literate

    Golden-Dragon
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    Jun 12, 2020
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    That's good enough. You can always share some idea to make the game better.
     
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  21. Ithamar Literate

    Ithamar
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2020
    Messages:
    35
    Hi Stormcrowfleet ,

    Welcome and thanks for the offer! I was a non-game software developer for most of my development years, and started dabbling with game development/modding in my spare time a couple of years ago. In the end, a game is just another kind of application ;)

    My Darkstone work so far is mostly Javascript, just because that is what I've been using in my day job over the last couple of years, but before that, I spent most of my development time in C/C++, so familiar with that too ;)

    As Golden-Dragon already said, we're also collecting ideas on what mods are wanted, both for potentially doing modding of the original right now, and for deciding how close the reimplementation will look.

    Oh, and Poseidon actually created a #game-modding/#darkstone channel in his Discord, for who wants to have some live conversation ;) I'm using idling in there, we use Discord at work too ;)

    Anyhow, welcome, the more the merrier :D
     
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  22. Stormcrowfleet Arcane

    Stormcrowfleet
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
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    I know a bit of Javascript (learning it atm actually) so it's not too bad.

    I haven't played Darkstone since it came out, so I might be a bit off. But my first question would be: what about framerate, resolution and UI? That is generally what's problematic with old games that needs to be modded and made better.

    I'll check out the discord thanks.

    EDIT: I'm not super profficient with Discord. How can I find a discord channel using "#game-modding/#darkstone" ? When I try to search for it in the public servers, there is no result found.
     
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  23. Ithamar Literate

    Ithamar
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2020
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    Sorry, I should have been clearer about Poseidon's Discord Server, here is the link: https://discord.gg/CwtWyqM . Once you are in his server, you'll see the channel list and the darkstone modding channel is there.

    Feel free to use me for any JS questions, wether or not related to this Darkstone project ;)
     
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  24. Ithamar Literate

    Ithamar
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2020
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    Quick update on my progress: I've been able to export 3d models from the DATA/SKELETONS/ directory, they are in "parts", and I still need to figure out the way to "assemble" them into a single model, but I'm getting really close! Hopefully I'll have that sorted and integrated into Darkstone Web over the weekend!

    Can't wait to get to the point to walk through town instead of just viewing it :D
     
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  25. Golden-Dragon Literate

    Golden-Dragon
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2020
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    That is very exciting. NPCs walking around :)

    Do you think it's possible to change/edit the 3d models? What program did you use? Do you mind sharing them.

    Things are getting better and better.:)
     
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