There’s been a lack of activity on here, and it’s not that I’ve been inactive but more that I’ve been working on a few projects inspired by this website but I’ve been against posting about them on here, for some very strange reason. It’s about time this changed and I finally decided to go through some of the things in the pipeline which I’ve written about below, especially important when I’m asking you all to support this website.
For me, the primary function of this website has always been about preserving video-games, whether through informative videos, replications, documentation or just through archiving content. Towards this end, I’ve worked on a number of projects, on and off, with different goals to meet this end.
OpenPork is a project that aims to reverse engineer Hogs of War, personally one of my favourite games (and the origin of my online name, hogsy). Currently the plan is to overhaul the project to possibly implement a free open-source remake of the game.
Right now work is being done on an editor for the project, so that the different formats within Hogs of War can easily be modified and then correctly exported again, ensuring that we have a full understanding of how the formats work before going ahead any further with the project.
Most of the game’s content has now been reverse engineered, though the code on GitHub hasn’t yet been updated with the recent findings, but there’s absolutely no reason why a project such as this wouldn’t be possible.
Unfortunately this isn’t something I’ve touched for a while, very much due to a lack of interest when looking for others to contribute, but the project aims to essentially reproduce how Valve’s Team Fortress 2 was intended to be back in 2003.
The project’s main issue isn’t so much as a programming problem but more of an issue with content; I must confess I’m not the most proficient at modelling or modifying models, though I’ve made poor attempts as you’ll see in this project. All the project needs are reasonable place-holders, but unfortunately I didn’t have the time to look into producing so many of these myself and it didn’t feel good not being able to at least give the game some proper love in that department.
The project does feature some custom content produced by Marco “Eukos” Hladik, which has greatly helped things along, though unfortunately the models produced weren’t completed and in some cases they lack some of the necessary adjustments for the objects using the models to function correctly.
Currently about 70% of the original code that was leaked in 2003 has been brought over to Source 2013. If any interest were to arise in this again then I would love to continue working on it!
Alliance aims to convert all the content used in the cancelled X-COM Alliance into formats that can more easily be viewed, as well as potentially used in any future projects aimed at reproducing the cancelled title. It’s as complete as it’s going to get for some time, especially as some of the original models are saved by a considerably older version of 3D Studio Max that use plug-ins that I can’t appear to find archived anywhere.
Below you can see one of the Alliance Trooper’s shuffling around in Valve’s HLMV to ensure that it’s correctly rigged. This is unfortunately due to how we had to pull the models which resulted in us having to rig them again to the correct skeleton, but the end result isn’t all that different to the originals. The benefit of this is that any future project using the models can benefit from using skeletal animation, rather than relying on per-vertex animation as the game originally intended to use (a by-product of using the Unreal Engine at the time).
I really want to return to this project at some point in the future and finish the work that was started, potentially even producing a complete recreation of the game, but time is time and it’s not something I’m willing to spend on this quite at the moment.
Command-line application that has only been tested on Linux, but it will allow you to extract the contents of each MAD / MTD package used within Hogs of War and other Gremlin games (these formats have been used by Gremlin since 1996!)
Gremlin Soccer aims to tidy up the leaked source-code for Gremlin Interactive’s Actua Soccer / Euro Soccer and port it to modern platforms such as Linux, Windows and macOS. It’s a painful process, so help is appreciated.
The platform library is something of a utility kit I’ve been working on for my personal use for sometime. Recently I’ve started to expand it out a little more with the plan of molding it into its own framework which can be used for a wide range of different projects, such as OpenPork.
The library really needs to mature before I would recommend it to anyone personally, especially because most of what you’ll find here has already been done better elsewhere in more specialised libraries, such as DevIL
It’s been in development for such a long time that it’s unfortunately quite an odd mix of features, but right now the library supports a number of functions that will make life a little easier between multiple platforms, as well as providing some basic windowing functions, an abstraction layer for 3D rendering, an image loader that supports VTF (Source Engine), TIM (PSX), TIFF, PPM, FTX (Heavy Metal FAKK 2 amoung others) and DTX (LithTech) formats, a load of maths stuff, a console similar to that of id Tech titles such as Quake, and the list goes on.
Right now SDL2 is being wedged in to temporarily support the library in some areas as it’s expanded, though in the long-term there should be as few dependencies as possible.
One of the goals of the library is to abstractify a large number of formats through seperate APIs; the end application doesn’t need to give a damn about the specifics of what it’s loading or dealing with, it will just be passed back the data it needs. A big thing here has been to add support for formats used by a number of other games, with a recent addition being support for MAD/MTD packages within the library through a new package API. The end goal is to add utilities that can be used to convert existing formats into the libraries own unified format.
There are also plans to implement a small scripting language similar to BBC BASIC which will be compiled down and run within its own VM, which can be used for producing small applications that can be run through the in-built console or to control how objects in a game may behave.
That pretty much concludes our tour. If there’s anything you think you would be interested in helping out on then I would love to hear from you and you can easily contact me at email@example.com