I’ve kind of realised that I’m not doing frequent enough updates. Perhaps it’s time I got into the habit of doing weekly updates just so you know what’s going on and that I’m not totally idle.
So yes, I’ve certainly slowed down with producing videos. It’s not intentional but I’ve kind of lost the motivation a little due to how long the last few videos have taken to produce and the amount of crap I’ve had to deal with when it comes to the Source engine.
Generally I just don’t look forward to launching Hammer, dealing with the crap content pipeline and essentially basically showing things that I’d imagine most of you have already seen; it doesn’t make me feel especially productive. I’m looking to do videos on other things, but I’m afraid I don’t have anything in the pipeline quite at this time.
I’m gradually looking at switching my format to doing more analytical works which is something I’ve always wanted to focus myself towards, primarily in written articles as I can cover more than I could in a video. There are two articles in the works at the moment, one focusing on Unreal Engine 2 and another that covers the last Half-Life 2 video I produced.
On the side as well, I’m spending considerably more time now writing code for projects such as reverse engineering the model format in Requiem Avenging Angel and working towards my open-source Hogs of War project, though I’ve taken some time away from those two specifically to focus on a game I’m working on in my free time which unfortunately is unrelated to the purposes of this website but I might sneak a little plug in for it when it’s closer to completion in the future.
With regards to the Requiem Avenging Angel model format, I guess I might as well begin going into some of it here considering we already published some our work so far.
For starters, Requiem features two separate model formats. One specific for static meshes which is quite simplistic and then another for it’s models that use skeletal animation, which also appear to support multiple textures. Both of the formats use slightly different structures from one another but for the time being we’ve primarily focused on the more simplistic model format.
The very first byte in a static model is a flag that declares how the model will appear within Requiem’s engine. Through some experimentation we were able to determine that the default state for this, which is flag 0, causes the model to use standard Gouraud shading, where as flag 1 results in flat shading and flag 2 results in an unlit model.
After this the file then contains the name of the texture sheet the model will use. This begins with a 32-bit integer that lets us know the length of the string, this is a little unusual and doesn’t appear to have been retained in the animated model format as far as we could tell, but afterwards is followed immediately by the texture name itself. The texture name in each of the models never exceeds 64 bytes. We can then load in the texture name using the length provided within the file.
After which we then immediately stumble into some data declaring the rest of the contents of the model. This begins with a 16-bit integer outlining the number of vertices within the model, then followed by another 16-bit integer that unfortunately I don’t appear to have noted down, oops, and then finally one last 32-bit integer that lets us know how many faces the model features (I think we may have concluded that the vertices was a 32-bit integer as well? My notes suck!)
Finally, we can move onto actually loading the data of the model, such as the vertices and faces. This I will leave for a more dedicated article at another time; we’re planning on going over the model format again over the course of this week but I can say that the vertex coordinates made very little sense to us and they’re something we’re actually still very stuck on. The other noteworthy feature of Requiem’s model format is that faces do not use fixed sizes, and can have any number of triangles per-face (we’ve seen instances of at least 6/7 triangles per-face).
Anyway that concludes this weekly update, hopefully I can keep this up!