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Suggestion for new Zelda Classic engine

Zelda Classic Zelda Classic Nintendo 64 Quest Zelda 64 Zelda 64 Classic Ocarina of Time Majoras Mask creator

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#1 ObnoxiousOboe

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 03:08 AM

Hello everyone!

 

It's been a while since I have contributed to the forums, since I have been sort of limbo for the last few years.

 

A thought just occurred to me. BikdipOnABus, the creator of Bikdip's Adventure and Mitch, had suggested an idea in one of his latest videos on making a Zelda Classic 64 for making your own Ocarina of Time/Majora's Mask-style quests from scratch. We could use sprites (actors) and terrains from the 64 games, and we could even use our imagination as to how we want to map our quests out, what new items we can create, and what cutscenes we can come up with. 

 

Now there are actually a couple hacking programs that allow you to hack Ocarina of Time, but they are overly cumbersome and there are scripting issues with it. They were on Romhacking.net, but it is right now inaccessible due to lack of funding.

 

So why not just make a new program that allows you to take your quests to the next level: 3D! It may sound kind of complex at first (but Zelda Classic in general can be a little complex to utilize if you're new), but I think it would be fun if we could create our own OoT/MM quests.

 

Credit goes to BikdipOnABus for suggesting this very innovative idea. His partner, Martin Giadrosich, was the creator of Voyager of Time.

 

What do you guys think? Drop me a reply below!  :slycool:

 

 


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#2 Anthus

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 03:31 AM

A thought just occurred to me. BikdipOnABus, the creator of Bikdip's Adventure and Mitch, had suggested an idea in one of his latest videos on making a Zelda Classic 64 for making your own Ocarina of Time/Majora's Mask-style quests from scratch. We could use sprites (actors) and terrains from the 64 games, and we could even use our imagination as to how we want to map our quests out, what new items we can create, and what cutscenes we can come up with. 

 

That would be awesome, but it would take hundreds, maybe thousands of hours for one or even a few people to make. Those things are really complex. On top of cloning a 3D action game, and all of its enemies, physics, and objects, you're also asking for out of the box the ability to just plop some actors, maps, rooms, and scenes together seamlessly and have a game. It's never that easy. Even with a full fledged 3D editor the things your talking about would likely require tons of scripting within said engine. MM is really specific, and has tons of stuff going on at once. I know it only took a team of about 20 people to do it in like 18 months, but it's all about volume. They had an engine. They had a professional staff of coders, writers, artists, and designers. I would love this, but I don't think such a thing will happen with ZC anytime soon (been using it since 1999/ 2000).

 

 

Now there are actually a couple hacking programs that allow you to hack Ocarina of Time, but they are overly cumbersome and there are scripting issues with it. They were on Romhacking.net, but it is right now inaccessible due to lack of funding. 

 

If you can't grasp ROM hacking using UoT, and SharpOcarina, then you will have a lot to learn with a full featured custom 3D Zelda maker. You must understand how complex these things are, and how many years, and hours went into reverse engineering the game to make those programs possible. If you have the time, the OoT modding community is just waiting for that killer app (pun kind of intended). However, no one has made a complete awesome OoT mod, cause it is freaking hard. I've tried.

 

 

So why not just make a new program that allows you to take your quests to the next level: 3D! It may sound kind of complex at first (but Zelda Classic in general can be a little complex to utilize if you're new), but I think it would be fun if we could create our own OoT/MM quests.

 

Again, I totally agree here, it would be awesome, but the time, and resources required to make such a thing are pretty much non-existent at this point. To make a 3D OoT/ MM/ WW clone even with an existing engine would take quite some time. I'm not saying it's impossible, but to find the people willing to do such a thing, well, let's just say it's a "right time, right moment" type of thing.

 

Okay, I promise I'm not really a douche, but this idea is basically a pipe dream at this point.


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#3 Moosh

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 05:49 AM

Making a 3D Zelda game is a lot more technical than making a 2D one. I can't imagine how a 3D map editor would work out, short of doing some Minecraft cube-based nonsense or expecting people to model maps on their own in an external program and import them. Hey, speaking of external programs, there's our other elephant in the room. ZC currently has an internal tile editor that's kinda crap and a palette editor that's even crapper. A 3D Zelda Editor would require a bunch of new stuff like modelling, texturing, rigging, and animations. I don't imagine anyone working on such a project would want to reinvent that many wheels (some pretty large wheels at that), meaning as the user you gotta learn a bunch of external programs. Joy...


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#4 Gleeok

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 06:18 AM

One problem with 3D tools and modern 3D engine and game development is it kind of sucks: It's very technical, has a long learning curve, and is very time consuming. This goes for developers, mappers, scripters, artists, modelers, etc. alike. I wouldn't even think about making a 3D Zelda-like game without pre-existing tools and a full-size team of people generating content. All of these people will expect to be paid too, of course.

That said, I think it's a cool project if those guys get it going. Be sure to keep us updated if it goes somewhere. :)
Good luck with the project.
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#5 Juanson

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 08:45 AM

While this is a very intersting idea, I  think we should just stick to 2d until Zelda Classic can master every 2D Zelda right now we can make a Carbon Copy of Zelda 1 and we are heading to make Games like ALTTP and LA  Hoping later down the line we can do such complex stuff we could remake MC easily I think Id rather stay in 2d and Master it fully then go to 3d 



#6 Anthus

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 11:59 AM

Moosh also has a good point about how one would actually make content for the engine. Using an external program like Sketch Up would probably be best for something low-poly like an N64 game. Blender could also be considered for a project like this, as it's already a modelling, animation, and rigging program. You could make anything you'd need for a game from models, to environments, to even textures using the wide array of Blender plug-ins. The problem with Blender is it is really hard to use, at first. It's a bit unconventional in some ways, but powerful none the less. Oh, and it does have a built in game engine, using GUI logic bricks, or its own scripting language. But again, the amount of time to bring all of these things together.. Man, if I was rich, I'd seriously pay someone to do it. :P

 

If you really want to get into 3D Zelda making, I'd recommend these things if you haven't checked them out already:

 

  • Google Sketch Up - Free version | This is a basic modelling program. It's really easy to pick up and use, but also has some more complex features. It was made for drafting blueprints, and such, so it can get as complex as you want it to.
  • Blender | Completely free, and open source. Has a huge community of avid users, and they are pretty friendly. This is a good place to look if you want to use something more robust, and fully featured. Again, don't expect to learn it in a week.
  • Utility of Time | This is a ROM hacking tool (don't ask where to get ROMs ;)). You can look at stuff, and move stuff around in an OoT ROM, but it is kind of tricky to set up properly, and requires a somewhat specific hardware configuration (emulated, or real) to really work properly.
  • Sharp Ocarina | Another ROM hacking tool. Used to bring custom maps into an OoT ROM. But, we can't pretend that's easy. :P

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#7 kurt91

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 02:35 PM

Yeah, I'm going to echo the others on this one. I don't really think that a 3D version of ZC is going to be as accessible as you think it is. Rather than argue the whole thing, let me try something else.

 

SketchUp is probably the 3D tool with the lowest learning curve to get to the point where you can make a N64-styled 3D environment. Let's say that hypothetically, we had a tool to painlessly import a finished level model from SketchUp. I would like you to go download SketchUp and whip up a small area. Design something along the lines of Kokiri Forest or Kakariko Village. Room to wander around, plenty of little niches and places to hide secrets without being too unnatural-looking. Don't bother modelling the inside of the buildings or whatever, just a single location.

 

Once you have that done, keep in mind how long it took to do and how much work it was. Now, let's play-test it. There are a handful of fairly easy to use importers for Super Mario 64. It's not the same game, but it's an engine that's on par with what you're wanting to do graphically. It should be as close as you can get to plug-and-play. I'm pretty sure that it's simply having the importer patch the rom automatically to allow level imports, then replacing locations. Load up your model, and run around the area you made to make sure that it plays how you want. Know that you're going to have to make adjustments for playablility, and that editing a 3D model to not look like an obvious patch-job is going to be more difficult than just swapping a few tiles.

 

Got it running perfectly? Great! Now, keep in mind how many of these areas you're going to need for even a short quest. For a very short quest that still feels like a complete project, I'd estimate something like the first child portion of Ocarina of Time, with a final level tacked on, so you would need an overworld, a few side areas, three main dungeons, and a final dungeon.

 

Don't think that I'm trying to discourage you at this point. Making a 2D ZC quest is a long process as well. However, if you're still keeping up with me here, we're almost done! Now, there are a huge number of 3D engines that can run your desired quest. I mean, we have Ocarina of Time hacking, and there are a number of easy-to-use 3D engines like BlitzSonic and stuff, so I'm sure that there's a fairly simple Zelda equivalent. Hell, show that you have a substantial idea and a good amount of the modelling work done, and I'm sure that you'd easily be able to find somebody willing to slap together a rudimentary engine for you to work with. (There are how many different variations of BlitzSonic out there?) You're obviously planning something N64-styled, so you don't need to worry much about lighting or anything beyond basic textures.

 

Like I said, there ARE 3D engines out there for you to use. The only thing is, they aren't as obvious as the 2D engines because the level design alone is such a big step up from 2D design. It's a lot of hard work to plan out a fully-3D environment that's fun to play through.

 

Even so, I'll make you a deal. No sarcasm, I'm being 100% honest here. I've been considering teaching myself how to build stuff with Unreal Engine 4. I found a website with a bunch of "idiot-proof" tutorials on the process, and I'm honestly interested in learning. Get a few models together, like a dungeon and the surrounding area, and I can sit down and see if it would work as a first project to help learn the ropes in the program. Best offer you're probably going to get on this site, honestly.


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#8 Anthus

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 03:01 PM

Even so, I'll make you a deal. No sarcasm, I'm being 100% honest here. I've been considering teaching myself how to build stuff with Unreal Engine 4. I found a website with a bunch of "idiot-proof" tutorials on the process, and I'm honestly interested in learning. Get a few models together, like a dungeon and the surrounding area, and I can sit down and see if it would work as a first project to help learn the ropes in the program. Best offer you're probably going to get on this site, honestly.

 

Oh, I've got the models. Let's do this.

 

These images are huge, so I'm posting links to avoid long loads (click to enlarge on imgur).

http://imgur.com/PHAS6hA  Lava river area.

http://imgur.com/TR9hRmW  We all love long, winding water levels, right?

http://imgur.com/ScTugpY  Cause I sure do.

http://imgur.com/1YrsD7C  Pretty N64ish.

http://imgur.com/jlYbOK0  Incomplete Autumn themed dungeon.

http://imgur.com/VQJuvFK  Kinda-hard-to-decipher area from the lava river.

http://imgur.com/MupaRLA  Blocked out volcano area.

http://imgur.com/fHlwu0l  Bridge room in the Autumn area.

 

These are not exactly professional grade, and the one issue is that all of the walkable surfaces, or floors are completely flat. There are elevation changes of course, but the ground will always be flat, save for a few very rare cases. Let me know if you want the .skb files to check some of these out. I dunno if I'll ever use them, but if someone else wants to, go nuts. I have more, but these are the most thorough ones. I also made a bunch of OoT style rooms, which I'll also link to.

 

OoT Rooms for my cancelled OoT mod that would basically put in an enemy gauntlet like the cave of ordeals in TWW, or the cave of whatever in TP. These use textures from the Community HD OoT texture hack.

http://imgur.com/ySsU6LJ  Ice room.

http://imgur.com/vjiJGDM  Fire room. reused in the lava river area above.

http://imgur.com/WzEt1Jf  3D AlttP, but I quit when ALBW was announced.. Yeah.. that's why I quit.

http://imgur.com/E8tF1dK  Spirit/ Light room.

http://imgur.com/M28uvys  Forest room

http://imgur.com/STDafM6  Really quickly made SM64 level for testing stuff (Rayman2 textures, mostly as well as observing some of the hardcoded, course based camera work)

http://imgur.com/hK4yFJa  Uhh. A Wii? Sorry.

http://imgur.com/antGKac  Cave room.

 

 

Sorry to hijack this thread, but hey, models, man. Come to think of it, the OoT modding scene has evolved since 2013-14 when I started this. I might get back into it, and make this mod, in some capacity. 80% of the modelling is done. Stuff will have to be re-textured, unfortunately since the N64 only let's you import models with textures at a maximum of 32x64 pixels. The Hi-res texture mod would then have to be re-applied to the mod. I'd be a lot more motivated if I could somehow magically have access to MM's enemies too. 


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#9 kurt91

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 11:50 PM

Holy shit! You know, when I made that offer, I figured I'd be getting one model or two at most, and would be having to wait until I went back to the dorm building at college in a month. (I'm taking summer off and I'm at home with family right now) I didn't think I'd be getting 16 models in under three hours! Little bit overwhelming, to say the least.

 

Those models look really good, though. Did you really do them all in SketchUp? Did you figure it all out as you go, or did you see some kind of tutorial?

 

Anyways, Unreal doesn't look too difficult to figure out from what I've read so far. The first step, roughing in what you want to make, actually looks on par with or easier to work with than SketchUp, and the detail work is actually pretty simple as well. You import in premade structures, and just start replacing pieces with the premade stuff. (Premade meaning you either get it from online, or make it yourself in an external program) There's also a few basic gameplay engines in place for testing, so you can mess with things with a generic first-person, third-person, driving, or flight engine and see if the level has the right sort of feel for what you're going for.

 

I haven't looked into the Blueprinting aspect of it yet, but from what I've heard from other people, it appears to be some sort of system similar to Game Maker, where you can potentially put everything together without any real programming knowledge, although knowing how to program would obviously make it easier to pull off more unique and complicated stuff.

 

By the way, if you can get an .obj exporter for SketchUp, I *think* you can just import it directly into Unreal Engine as a static mesh (premade structure). If you don't want to wait on me trying to figure out what the heck I'm doing, you could probably just plug and play those levels directly into the engine as-is.


Edited by kurt91, 04 August 2017 - 11:51 PM.

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#10 Anthus

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 01:34 PM

Holy shit! You know, when I made that offer, I figured I'd be getting one model or two at most, and would be having to wait until I went back to the dorm building at college in a month. (I'm taking summer off and I'm at home with family right now) I didn't think I'd be getting 16 models in under three hours! Little bit overwhelming, to say the least.

 

Those models look really good, though. Did you really do them all in SketchUp? Did you figure it all out as you go, or did you see some kind of tutorial?

 

Thanks, and yeah, all of these were made in SU. Even the texturing, which takes a really long time cause I'm really inexperienced with it. I've been sitting on these for a while though. I started getting into making 3D stuff in about 2011, and a lot of these are from around then through 2014. Then I kind of stopped for a while. I have made a lot of stuff since, but I suck at texturing, and it takes for ever, so I usually just stop at making models. Most of these only took about 10-20 hours. A few hours a day for a week or so.
 
As far as a tutorial, no, I just kind of winged it. I started using SU in about 2008-9, and got rally hype cause I thought making models meant making a game, but I still had a lot of fun with it. I learned as I went. I have a lot of really shitty models, and it does take patience. The program is easy to use, but has some quirks with some things.

 

 

Anyways, Unreal doesn't look too difficult to figure out from what I've read so far. The first step, roughing in what you want to make, actually looks on par with or easier to work with than SketchUp, and the detail work is actually pretty simple as well. You import in premade structures, and just start replacing pieces with the premade stuff. (Premade meaning you either get it from online, or make it yourself in an external program) There's also a few basic gameplay engines in place for testing, so you can mess with things with a generic first-person, third-person, driving, or flight engine and see if the level has the right sort of feel for what you're going for.

 

There are a few OoT remakes that have used Unreal, and Unity. They look really nice, but they are pretty much striclty tech demos at this point.

 

 

I haven't looked into the Blueprinting aspect of it yet, but from what I've heard from other people, it appears to be some sort of system similar to Game Maker, where you can potentially put everything together without any real programming knowledge, although knowing how to program would obviously make it easier to pull off more unique and complicated stuff.

 

By the way, if you can get an .obj exporter for SketchUp, I *think* you can just import it directly into Unreal Engine as a static mesh (premade structure). If you don't want to wait on me trying to figure out what the heck I'm doing, you could probably just plug and play those levels directly into the engine as-is.

 

As far as an .obj exporter, Sketch-Up requires you to obatin the "Pro" version. But, there is a completely legitimate way around this. Basically, SUs format can be opened in Blender, with a plug-in for Blender. Blender can then freely export the .dae files and textures to an .obj file.
 
SharpOcarina, and ToadsTool (SM64 editor) both use .obj files as the importable format for N64 levels/ scenes/ rooms. I have been able to successfully get a few levels into SM64 to test, but I have not been able to get anything into the OoT debug ROM. It just doesn't want to cooperate, and the modding community has gone a bit silent, and help is hard to find, and most documentation, and tutorials are quite old.


#11 CDi-Fails

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 02:37 PM

Assuming that anyone reading this thread wants to get their 3D models working in the actual OoT engine, here's some useful info:

 

Ocarina of Time can handle about 2k polygons on console with a well optimized mesh; above that and it'll start to lag. By well optimized, I mean small texture size (not necessarily dimensions, but byte size) and a very low poly collision mesh. Textures generally should be below 64x64-- those that are 64x should be color indexed with a 4x4 color palette/16 colors, and anything above needs to be an intensity or intensity alpha texture. Since dungeons are split into multiple rooms, the visual meshes can be a little higher poly for each room than you'd expect, but too much detail in the geometry itself will inevitably raise your poly count in the collision mesh, which is always loaded as part of the map's scene and will therefore contribute to mapwide lag. Due to the restrictions, it can be a bit hard finding that sweet spot that conveys a theme properly without blowing up the poly count, but once you do find it, your maps are guaranteed to feel like true Zelda 64 maps.

 

As for actually getting the map into the game, use Nokaubure's latest version of SharpOcarina for the best results. It's not perfect, but it's the best there is... for now. In order to get the best visual effects ingame, smooth shading should always be enabled when importing these maps since proper vertex coloring isn't supported yet. Do note that the smooth shading isn't being calculated 100% correctly because SharpOcarina has some issue with processing vertex normals, so maps are sort of dark. You can sorta fix this by brightening all the lighting colors a bit, but it's hit or miss. It's also worth mentioning that the map importer built into SharpOcarina is a bit strange. Sometimes it can mess with maps. To be on the safe side, export your maps to binary room/scene files first, then inject with the Hylian Toolbox map injector. 0x35CF000 is a good starting point in free space to inject into.

 

Regarding making an engine similar to Ocarina of Time's engine:

 

The OoT engine uses the F3DZEX.NoN.fifo microcode (Fast 3D Zelda Extended, No Near Clipping, First-In First-Out microcode). All display lists are built around this microcode, and lucky for you guys, it's pretty well documented. Just take a look at the CloudModding wiki's entry for F3DZEX and you'll be able to see how N64 processes all of OoT's maps, and also how OoT's maps are constructed. For even more in-depth information, you can read the N64 Programming Manual that's leaked online. That has a pretty comprehensive outline of how the N64 actually renders display lists. This should help with faithfully recreating that visual flare OoT has.


Edited by CDi-Fails, 07 August 2017 - 02:40 PM.

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#12 Anthus

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 02:06 PM

Assuming that anyone reading this thread wants to get their 3D models working in the actual OoT engine, here's some useful info:

 

Ocarina of Time can handle about 2k polygons on console with a well optimized mesh; above that and it'll start to lag. 

 

Does that 2k polys also count Link's polygons, and any other object/ actor/ NPC's polygons? I remember a similar number worked for SM64. Mario uses more polys than you'd expect, but I forget the exact number.



#13 CDi-Fails

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 04:40 PM

Does that 2k polys also count Link's polygons, and any other object/ actor/ NPC's polygons? I remember a similar number worked for SM64. Mario uses more polys than you'd expect, but I forget the exact number.

That applies to just the map itself. Actors usually aren't poly heavy enough to bog down the game, and Link is always present so estimates for how many polys it takes to lag a map shouldn't ever include Link's poly count (which is like 800ish faces, I think).


Edited by CDi-Fails, 08 August 2017 - 04:41 PM.

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#14 Anthus

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 01:10 PM

I'm bumping this cause I went ahead and made a package of some of the models I showed above. I sent these to kurt91 privately, but I'll drop them here in case anyone else wanted to take a look. Here is what I also told kurt91 about using them,

 

  • These are all quite old. Not a big deal, but it's worth mentioning.
  • None of these have textures except for a couple, and they are either one room only, or crudely mapped built-in SU textures.
  • I suck at texturing, and it is hard no matter what program you use.
  • I paid zero attention to the 'scale' or measurements when making these. You'll have to scale them accordingly. Thankfully, they are all pretty low-poly, and shouldn't give you too much trouble.
  • There are no extra objects. No torches, switches, doors, platforms, anything. These are all strictly "level models".
  • Don't expect to be able to make a full game with these. They are really "proof of concept" and "me dicking around" more than anything. :P
  • however, they may be decent learning tools, or at the very least, fun to look at.

The biggest problem with these, like I mentioned earlier in this thread, is that they lack a lot of textures, for the most part, and have not been tested in a real playable 3D setting in any capacity, so the design might not be as good in a game. In fact, most of the "LttP" ones are designed with the idea that there would be a top-down camera like ALBW, so there is no ceiling, for example (I made these before ALBW was announced, and pretty much died from happiness when a real 3D semi-remake was announced). 

 

[Grab them here] - You will need Google Sketch-Up to view these, but it has a free version which works just fine for these.





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