Daggerfall Unity Beta 0.11.0 - Milestone Accomplished

Discuss Daggerfall Workshop news articles.
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Interkarma
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Daggerfall Unity Beta 0.11.0 - Milestone Accomplished

Post by Interkarma »

A slightly different update for the first official beta release. I take an ultra-condensed look at the history of the project and the people involved. I also make a heartfelt plea for it to be allowed continue into an uncertain future as ownership of The Elder Scrolls passes into new hands.

https://www.dfworkshop.net/daggerfall-u ... omplished/

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AlexanderSig
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Re: Daggerfall Unity Beta 0.11.0 - Milestone Accomplished

Post by AlexanderSig »

Congratulations! Thank you for your persistence :)

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JorisVanEijden
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Re: Daggerfall Unity Beta 0.11.0 - Milestone Accomplished

Post by JorisVanEijden »

Congratulations!

Thank you for sticking with it for all these years. You are one of the kindest, most intelligent people I've ever had the pleasure to work with.

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pango
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Re: Daggerfall Unity Beta 0.11.0 - Milestone Accomplished

Post by pango »

Nice write up, you're right that they're still a lot of people that never heard of the project yet and may hear about it as it reaches beta stage.

And of course I also join the plea, let's hope Daggerfall Unity can continue its happy life. I think it makes sense from a pure business perspective, but some official acknowledgement would be great.
When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.
-- Charles Goodhart

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emmathepony
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Re: Daggerfall Unity Beta 0.11.0 - Milestone Accomplished

Post by emmathepony »

When the project reaches 1.0, hopefully there is media coverage like earlier this year from sites like PC Gamer. The thirst for TESVI is creeping up ever so slightly and I'm sure people will want to replay all the older games to get in the mood for it. :mrgreen:

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Interkarma
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Re: Daggerfall Unity Beta 0.11.0 - Milestone Accomplished

Post by Interkarma »

JorisVanEijden wrote: Thu Dec 17, 2020 6:27 am Congratulations!

Thank you for sticking with it for all these years. You are one of the kindest, most intelligent people I've ever had the pleasure to work with.
Thank you Joris. :) I was most humbled by your understanding of the quest system when you entered development, and I sometimes regret this system didn't start a year or two later so your insights could be further integrated. My choice to start from TEMPLATE might have accelerated early development of quest system, but it also baked in some very odd limitations and misinformation that could have been avoided if started at a later date. You at least helped overcome many of these limits and the final quest system is better for your review and upgrades. Cheers mate. :)

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Interkarma
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Re: Daggerfall Unity Beta 0.11.0 - Milestone Accomplished

Post by Interkarma »

I've started expanding the summary of each core developer in that article. Oh boy, this is hard to do. Summarising years of everyone's work in a few sentences each is just painful. If I neglect anyone or fail to cover something you're proud of, please don't be offended. Just ping me and I'll add it. My goal is to never fail giving credit. I'm just overwhelmed and having trouble condensing so much work into so little space.

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King of Worms
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Re: Daggerfall Unity Beta 0.11.0 - Milestone Accomplished

Post by King of Worms »

Beautiful article mate, it was a nice read, I love these kinds of summarizing retrospectives. It made me go back to 2015 when I saw the "Daggerfall Tools for Unity - Features" video which left a major impression on me. I saw even some earlier vids before that, but 2015 for me was the year of no return as soon after that I went to these forums and started my silent lurker career :lol:

And I saw awesome things being built here

"Pity I cant contribute by anything..."

TLDR, Following is some recap of my career here, its long, dull and misses a lots of things, otherwise it would be endless:
Spoiler!
So in 2016 I made a account solely for the purpose of cheering ppl up for the work they do. Because it felt bad to me, that the achievements presented here were quite often welcomed with silence. And I thought if I show here that outside ppl care about the project, it could motivate the devs to just carry on and deliver the game :D

I was hoping that maybe one day, the opportunity to add some "monkey job" type of contribution would arise, like... press Enter 1000000 times and I would probably do it

Instead of that, Alexander Sig told me about the old buried Drop Box which was alive since DaggerXL forums. It was a place where the ancient modders shared the texture assets in a hope they will basically remaster Daggerfall one day. And he needed me to rename the files to the format DFU will accept.

So I started renaming the files manually, like a proper noob. One after another, the textures went thru my hands and the maniac idea started to materialize in my head. I renamed em all, placed em in the streaming assets and saw the game is upgraded with them. But the results were not stellar. Too many artists, too many bugs and inconsistencies...."So if these textures can be injected into the DFU... and I can view the originals in the Imaging... I can remake em on my own, in a better quality."

Only issue was, I did not know how to create a texture and use Photoshop. I had no idea about seamless tiling, I created a texture by cutting out a image and it looks bad in-game. So I learned how to make it tile seamlessly, use brightness, colors...
And that takes us to 2017 here, with my 1st re-texturing thread viewtopic.php?f=14&t=632

That took one year, and it ended up with me completely reaching the limits of DFU and stalling any PC. Injecting the textures as a loose files has reached its limits. And at the limits, progress is being made! This is what was going on always with this mod, pioneering my way forward, reaching the limits, and overcome them with the support of the core devs.

So at that time, compression of the loose files was created by Interkarma and you have that option in game settings till today. It also made me to better understand textures, VRAM, RAM, bit depth, size....

There was a side project, where I messed up with NPC sprites, this happened at the same time as textures, and the thread from 2017 can be find here: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=817 That quickly turned to my desire to REMASTER EVERYTHING!!! :twisted: I started to work on HUD, menus, game sprites, MOBS up-scaling, But also a better knowledge of all the files which are in the Daggerfall, so I started to pick the unused assets with better quality as a base etc... Again, LOTS of technical issues to overcome, hitting the PC limits... but at the end of 2018 some NPCs started to resemble the quality we have now at the end of 2020..

Somewhere around 2018 the XML files for texture properties started to be a thing. With that text file you could setup basic smoothness of the texture... and you could provide a normal map, which made the texture look semi 3d. With all this new data, the already overburdened engine/PC definitely hit its limits the hard way no matter what optimization I have utilized.

Around that time, Lacus told me I should move from loose files in the Unity editor. The thing I wanted to avoid so much. Another scary program. Strange empty windows which did nothing but frustrate me. He told me, I could create a materials from the loose textures. Showed me the awesome pictures of the 3d textures in the editor. That made me do it. And the transition to Unity also made me almost destroy my PC in rage. It was painful process.. in my desperation, where I wanted to end everything, including my life, the person called Quasifex came from heavens above and created a 1st set of materials, and a instruction video of the process..

Than the next chapter of Dream started, creating the physically based materials, separating the files in the DFMOD packages like you know them today, huge optimization processes in the background. This took at least a year, but realistically its a process which never stopped since than.

Around 2019 Ive realized, I have basically all graphical assets and that Im not too far away from COMPLETE REMASTER. I "just" needed to get the SOUNDS, MUSIC, CINEMATICS under the hood. And the dreaded and feared PAPERDOLL PROJECT.

Sound was relatively easy, because I got a permission to use Cleaned sound clips from Pango, and I had just to take it up to the level I wanted Dream to sound. Created lots of new sounds, tweaked the existing ones..

Cinematics were harder, but I managed to get the ppl using AI interested in it and the results came quickly. Pango than cleaned the sound of the vids, I created the new vids which were bad and done.

Music, relatively easy - I managed to get a permission to use Bytemixers score as a official DREAM music.

I packed it all in Unity, as I was already quite good at it.

Last step was paperdoll. That is a story... of pain and suffering. And I dont want to spend much time on it. Lets say, I never wanted to do it, because I knew its insane. More than "remastaring daggerfall alone" insane. More like "build a house with a pitchfork" insane, as I once said... but... somehow I got into it... and one eternity later its almost done in 2020/r3.. 16 000 files. ;)
So I went from 0 to this during these 4 years. It was a crazy journey, where I met many awesome ppl and learned a lot. Most importantly, I had SO MUCH FUN. More fun than I had playing games these years. In the times when I was really diving deep into the DREAM, it was a obsession. A priority. There were times I was jobless and I just poured 16h a day into this, 7 days a week, 4 weeks in month and I will NOT tell you for how long :lol:

If I wanted to sum up my contribution to this project, It would definitely be "pioneering of the complete asset swap modding system in a cooperation with The Lacus" Basically, Lacus paved the way and I went thru it from start till the end, following his steps in a close vicinity to him, telling him what is wrong, and he fixed it so it worked for others who decided to follow in the future. I also told him, what systems Id like to have opened, where I want the road to go if possible. There were 100s of things we solved thru PMs. Im quite sure when he saw my name in PM or thread requesting something for 100s time, I was not high on his "I like this person" list :lol: Nevertheless it was a epic journey in my eyes.

Bottom line is, we went thru this path, and created a road from it, with no holes. Everyone can come, mod any asset, and it will be possible and just work the way its supposed to.

Damn this was long and boring post, Im sorry :D

Grats on the Beta mate, its awesome milestone!!!

PS: The Dream Team credits... its full of people. And I would like to once again thank to everybody mentioned there. Because those were the friends Ive met on this loooong journey. Ppl who gave me support, many times in a very dire times! And ofc the core devs, all the guys mentioned in the Interkarmas article. Was a honor to be a part of the project with all of them. And indeed, the one and only... the digital god... I told u will be my digital god if you can do it, and you did. Great job Interkarma!!!
Last edited by King of Worms on Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ralzar
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Re: Daggerfall Unity Beta 0.11.0 - Milestone Accomplished

Post by Ralzar »

Are we doing walls of text? Okay :D

I still remember back in 2015-ish when I discovered the UESP patched version of Daggerfall which pulled me back into playing it and allowed me to actually play through the Main Quest etc. I was as hooked on it, perhaps more, as I was in the 90s. But after a while I burned out because there's only so much to do before it starts getting a bit same-y.
Back then Daggerfall Unity was being talked about and people had started giving up on Daggerfall XL. Having already been on a few hype-trains on the internet I figured neither would ever come to much more than a pipe-dream where it looked good if you managed to get it to run but good luck actually playing it like normal Daggerfall.

Then a few years later I got that Daggerfall itch again (this usually happened every time I started playing a new open world game and it just made me remember how much better Daggerfall did a bunch of stuff). So I went back and popped by the subreddit and wow, Daggerfall Unity was playable now?! As a complete Daggerfall experience?!
So I installed that and was super happy for a few hours until all the flaws from unfisished content and weird design decisions started to grate on me. That's when I discovered Daggerfall had mods.

This might be hard to believe now, but I was actually not a person that cared about mods at all. It always sat kinda wrong with me to change the actual official product. Like you weren't playing a real game? You were just making obstacles for yourself to beat? Hard to explain, but I just never felt any enthusiasm for modding games before this. But Daggerfall was always so rough that I hardly considered it a finished product. I saw mods for Daggerfall more like community patches.

So once I discovered mods like Roleplay&Realism, my mind was blown because it implied that instead of waiting for the (clearly not happening) dream of a new Daggerfall-like game, it was possible to mod the existing game into what I always felt it could have been.

With no real coding skills I had no way to actually do anything myself though, so I became one of the big theorycrafters on the forums, spitting out ideas like messages in bottles, hoping they would wash up by someone able and willing to make a mod of it. Which was fun, but a bit frustrating since the amount of acutal mod creators was pretty limited.

So in the end I managed to get Unity up and running and started digging around in the code. Then started dissecting Hazelnuts mods to figure out how they worked and if I could emulate it. Then at some point I suddenly realized I knew how to build a mod, how to check where in world you were and how to do a couple of basic debuff effects.

This let me cobble together the first rudimentary framework for Climates & Cloaks, at which point I started burning the candle in all the ends I could find. The early versions of C&C felt more like I created it through force of will rather than any understanding of code :D

Since that initial hectic time, I've mellowed out a bit as I have created most of the ideas of mods I wanted and could see some way of doing. Along the way I got a LOT of help from the modding community. Particularly Hazelnut and BadLuckBurt was invaluable to get me up and running through constant hand-holding (and facepalming) in the discord chat. These days I mostly help out new people while keeping my eye out for any bugs reported for my mods while waiting for inspiration to strike again.

Anyway, as I was winding down to say, this project and community has been a big positive addition to my life and I'm so happy to see it still rolling forward.

Congratulations on reaching beta!
My released mods

"I feel like Ralzar specifically wrote those mods for me and then said "Use them". Just so he could watch me die more."
-FuzzyBeanPlays

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King of Worms
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Re: Daggerfall Unity Beta 0.11.0 - Milestone Accomplished

Post by King of Worms »

Lets read the walls the walls the walls.... of the developer :)

(Paraphrasing the "worth a buy" game reviews on utube)

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