Blogs

 

*IMPORTANT* Entry 5# - The Prodigal Knight has been delayed indefinitely.

Hey everyone,   Well, this is a post I had hoped I'd never have to make, but here we are. I regret to say that the final film in my series: "The Prodigal Knight" is on an INDEFINITE hiatus. This is due to my main voice actor for Zekk becoming AWOL and failing to meet various deadlines and (recently) no longer responding to my emails at all. Because of this, I have finally decided to part ways with this voice actor. I want to say now, that I hold no ill will against this person, this is not a character assassination or a rant against him, but I can no longer continue to delay this film because of him. I have an understanding of his situation and I wish him all the best, but I don't feel it's fair on myself to be kept waiting any longer whilst wondering if I will ever receive the final sets of lines to complete the film.  What does this mean for the project? Well, first of all: IT IS NOT DEAD. This project WILL eventually be done, I promise. This setback, however, means I must now re-cast Zekk for this final film and find a new actor to re-record ALL of his lines for this film, not just the remaining few. I won't be happy with releasing a film where the lead changes voice halfway through. They don't do it in the movie industry, and I don't see why I should either. This will take time, yes, but I have all the lines written and ready to go, to be sent in one large batch to whoever eventually takes the part.  Auditions for the part are now OPEN. If you are interested, please contact me directly on here. Or, if you have a recommendation for a voice actor, please send it my way. Please note I am NOT able to offer any voice actors any form of payment other than my undying gratitude and an early download link to the film before it goes public. I will not being looking into paid voice acting sites, either.   If you want to audition for the role, you must fit the following criteria: - Have access to  HIGH QUALITY/professional level recording equipment. I am not *too* picky, but background noise and/or gaming headset mics are a no go.  - Have a link to at least one existing showreel you are willing to share with me, so I can hear your work before considering you. - Be punctual when replying to emails and meeting deadlines. - Able to act using a deep and confident tone. For further reference, please consult my previous films to see how Zekk sounded.   Please remember: This is a BIG part, with a lot of lines. Please don't audition for this role if you are not up to the commitment.   Thank you to everyone who has stuck with me as I make it through this film. It will see the light of day, I promise. And I hope you will all agree when I say it will be worth the wait.   ~ DV

DarthVarkor

DarthVarkor

 

Blog #82 - VO should be done last in large projects

This blog post is actually for my own reference so I don't have to seek out which of the many posts I've mentioned it in. When folks mention their "big modding project" or their "huge overhaul" of either KotOR1 or KotOR2, here's what I used to quote...     If you actually wish to see if a large scale project will make it to release, see if they follow this advice.  If they don't, that project likely won't make it.  You may use the above quote to remind folks when "the next big thing" rolls around.

#4: Mods from the KOTOR Saga

The need at all for this blog post blog post brings warm feelings to my heart. We’ve always had a decently-sized community, but we were always kind of under the radar of the modding community. I’ve had people who have known me for years as a modder tell me they were surprised to find out I was involved with the movies as well. But it’s true - I’m one of the animators for the KOTOR Movie Saga. More than ten years ago, I was inspired by the original KOTOR Episode I to make my own projects. I initially made some comics, which I’ve posted about here, and I later started my own movie adaptation of KOTOR II (which I still haven’t finished). The director of Episode I @KOTOR_Trilogysaw the work I was doing there and asked for help with Episode II to do a few things he couldn’t do on the Xbox version. I also worked with him to update Episode II when we screened it at MAGFest, and then we were asked to come back within a year for Episode III. At the time, @DarthYcey was working on his own KOTOR II films and he came on board so we could actually get the film done in time. We now consider his Meetra films as a continuation of the Loganverse trilogy in one shared KOTOR Cinematic Universe, but that’s a whole mess of a story that I won’t get into right now. Anyway, @Jenko also joined us and more recently directed the special edition of Episode I, which just had its birthday last Thursday. So that’s the four of us. Mr Director and his three animators. We’re currently in preproduction on two new projects: Revan, a prequel trilogy set during the Mandalorian Wars, and Heroes of the Old Republic, an anthology webseries of little side stories that wouldn’t fit in the films. Until now, all these goings-on have occurred in the shadows. We never drew any attention on LucasForums. I think I posted Episode III when it came out and nobody replied. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d put it down to LucasForums not having a very active fan media section. There were forums for for it, but not a lot happening in them. People went to the site for mods. On the other hand, a lot of Loganverse fans (myself included) discovered the movies because they were specifically looking for Star Wars fan films or new KOTOR content, and weren’t necessarily interested in modding the game. So there isn’t as much overlap as one might think. Recently, though, I’ve noticed we’ve started to attract more notice - or in more cases, actually, I’ve learned that certain individuals were already aware of the films and just never mentioned it to me (maybe because they didn’t know I was aware of and involved with them). Whatever the case, we’re out in the open now and while it wasn’t a big secret before, I’m now trying to be more open about my involvement and exactly what that entails. And that segue brings us back to the matter at hand. Lately, I’ve seen requests for some material from our films to be released as mods. I want to talk about why that hasn’t happened so much and what you can do to maybe change that. First, I want to point out that not a lot of our stuff would work as mods. The scenes in the films were recorded solely for film purposes and utilize a lot of camera tricks and editing that can’t be done in the game. Most of the scenes aren’t complete in-game cutscenes. Even when I do program an entire scene, I don’t input each specific camera angle in the dialogue file that you’d need to do for a mod. Instead, I record the entire scene from every camera angle and turn the footage into a multi-cam sequence in Adobe Premiere. I do it that way because the game generally forces you to change angles at the start of a line of dialogue, but we don’t always want to do that when editing a film. Mr Director even asked me about this one time - he was wondering if, provided they had all the right files, someone could execute a scene and essentially see the whole movie in the game. And I could probably do that, but it would involve a lot more work than is necessary to make the movie and I’ve only ever done what’s needed for the movie. Unless we specifically plan for a scene to be released as a mod, it’s not a realistic prospect. What’s more eligible for release would be the assets we use to create these scenes - characters, outfits, locations, that sort of thing. And there hasn’t been much of that - yet. We’ve had to hold ourselves back a few times when we thought stuff would be filmed on the Xbox and therefore couldn’t utilize any modded assets. A few times this wasn’t necessary, and if I could redo things with that knowledge, Episode III would look a fair bit different. Canderous wouldn’t wear blue armor and a lot of the characters on Korriban wouldn’t wear officer uniforms. There were only a few cases where we knew we would record on PC and could do whatever we wanted. The earliest such case I recall is the Sith outpost scene early in the film (the one recorded in the Vulkar base). Since Logan had changed so much between films, Mr Director wanted his outfit to change too. We knew that I’d be recording that scene and that Logan would change clothes early in the film, so it wasn’t a problem to give Logan a custom outfit there. I dug through my files and we ended up using a texture I’d made years earlier. Another one that stands out is the Zabrak character Kondor Moderro. I remember making that the night I got back from the Episode II screening. We had a creative meeting in Mr Director's hotel room; he told us his plans for the character and asked if it was possible to add a new alien to K1 since we’d have to record all Moderro's scenes on PC anyway, given that he was a new character. Bastila’s outfit was another addition and in that case it was actually because there wasn’t a mod for it. Again, we knew her scenes would be another PC thing (you can’t use the Xbox freecam during those duels) so Mr Director thought of changing her outfit. He saw something he liked online but the mod was never released, so I came up with an approximation to use for the film. Things have changed since then - from now on, we’re recording everything on PC and the new projects involve new characters and locations that most definitely will involve new assets. But from our past works, only a few isolated bits come to mind. And for those, the most common scenario is that it simply hasn’t occurred to us to release it. As I mentioned before, Mr Director is an Xbox guy, and of the animator trio I’m the only one who has released mods at all. I’ve been on the modding scene as long as I’ve been working on these movies, but the other guys only got into this stuff for the films. So the real question is why JC hasn’t released anything. Again, the usual answer is I didn’t think of it. I’m really bad at releasing things. I have tons and tons of unreleased material - unfinished or abandoned project, things I changed my mind about, or some stuff I just haven’t used yet. Logan’s Episode III outfit was one such case. That was one of a bunch of textures I made back in 2009 and I still haven’t used the others for anything. I have a backlog of useless assets and a lot of it I don’t think is worth releasing. Not necessarily because it’s bad (and a lot of it is) but because of the futility of it. “A bunch of robe recolors I made in 2009” doesn’t sound appealing for a mod. Plus there’s all the work required to test the mod (I don’t get much time to play the games these days) and write up a proper installer so it will be compatible with other mods (I usually manually edit my 2DAs and other files and have a totally garbage build with years of such clutter that barely works for recording purposes) and taking screenshots (I hate taking screenshots) and so on. The mods I actually do release are only released thanks to a focused, concentrated effort to release them instead of letting them sit on one of my hard drives forever. There’s more in there I’ve forgotten than I remember. My incompetence aside, there are a few cases where we’re specifically reluctant to release our assets. It’s not the case for everything, and we likely could be persuaded to release some things, but it’s an ongoing concern for us that our films contain a lot of new content and don’t come across as footage of a 15-year-old video game. We want everything we make for the films to look and feel new, and to release that content, if you could see all the same stuff outside of our films, there’s a risk it could detract from that experience. I don’t feel that way about everything, but I do have mixed feelings. And because I’m not working on these films alone, even if the material in question is something I made on my own, if it’s I made it specifically for one of the films then I wouldn’t feel comfortable releasing it without getting the other guys’ approval first. And even though I think they’d probably say yes for some of it, I haven’t done so because there isn’t anything I’m particularly motivated to release. I made all this stuff for the films, not as mods. That goes for a lot of my own stuff as well. Some assets I have made with several uses in mind, such as my head resource, which end up being used in the films but weren’t made with that specific intent. When tha does come to mind, I do set it aside for release. But most of the time, I’m in one of two mindsets on this. Film, or mod. I don’t usually think of doing two things. If there’s anything from our films that you’d like to see released as a mod, the most proactive thing you can do is let us know. We can only say no on a case by case basis and we have to know what in particular people want released. It’s not like we’re hoarding all our files, but even though we know that generally there’s probably stuff from our films that people would want, we aren’t inclined to upload anything in particular without some nudging first. We gotta know what you want then and you gotta make us let it go. So if you make a mod request for it, then we can address the matter. I couldn’t end this post without a little promotion. If you want to talk about the movies to us directly, you can join our new discord. And if you’re reading this but you haven’t seen any of our KOTOR movies, the best place to start is with the Episode I: A Familiar Path Special Edition.

The Sith Code X The Revanchist

While ago, I'm surfing through Youtube using the keyword "The Revanchist", trying to find anything interesting and then, the main page leads me to a song by Trivium which the band I've known from about 2006 with their song "The Crusade"; to be short- one of the best Metal band out there! \m/. Then I'm like "wow, Trivium's new song, and the Revanchist? Interesting, let's see..." and the first thing on my mind listening to the first 30 seconds of the song was "this gotta has to be some speech in it. It has to!". Not long, I remember the voice submitted by @DarthVarkor to @Sith Holocron's "Korriban Expansion: Working [only] on the Voice Files (WIP)" thread, I downloaded the file and played the voice along with the song and they fit perfectly; with no cut-drag edit required! From there I contacted SH to ask about it and SH suggested that it would be more consistent if the voice is male and suggested @UnusualCharacters to get a go with the VO. I contacted UC to do the VO and here are the result. A mash-up of Darth Revan's "The Sith Code" whom recited by UnusualCharacters and Trivium's "The Revanchist", with an end-credits dedicated to mods which are currently used on my KotOR playthrough. Hoping y'all enjoy this video, as much as I do! Note: Kinda feel the Force is strong with this coincidence, like the Sith code was meant to be there along with the song in the first place 🤣

ebmar

ebmar

 

Entry #4 - "Where's The Prodigal Knight?"

"I have no set release date in mind, but I'm looking at Spring/early Summer potentially, though, don't hold me to that!" - Me in my January 2018 blog. Oh boy was I right on the "don't hold me to that" part...   So, hey guys! It's been over five months since my last entry, so I thought I'd give you all an in-depth update on TPK, and why it's taking so long. Before I explain I just want to make one thing clear: This project is not dead. It's alive, and you will see it this year, I promise. In March I uploaded a new trailer with a release date of "Spring 2018", as I don't need to tell any of you, that release time came and has now gone. Truthfully, I can't give an exact date yet, this is because I simply don't know, and I really don't want to rush anything. I've been working on this film since June last year, and it's been a very busy twelve months. So starting from the beginning... - June 2017: Legacy of the Sith is released, I go straight into production on TPK. Complete the first 3-5 minutes of the film quite quickly. - Late June 2017 - July: I went on holiday for nearly two weeks, and with also visiting family I was away for pretty much a month. No progress on the film. - Late July - end of August 2017: Resume work on the film, around 25 minutes is complete by the end of August. - September 2017: My first semester of my final year at university starts. Open the flood gates to the hell of third year work. - September - November 2017: Consistently balance working on the film and uni work. - November to December 2017: Our film shoot at uni starts, 12 hour exhaustive days. I go straight into the edit of that film after. Still find some time to work on the film. Just arriving on Malachor V. - End of December 2017 - Semester ends! I have about an hour of the film done. First teaser trailer released on Christmas Eve. Go home for Christmas, eat a lot of food. - January 2018 - Return to uni and film work. - February to April 2018: Film work slows down, waiting on lines from actors and my uni work ramping up. I have another film and a 10,000 word dissertation ahead of me all due by May. - April 2018: Film shoot begins. 12-14 hour days shooting, the most exhausting few days of my life. Straight into edit after, deadline is not far away. I also finish my dissertation in this period. - May 2018: All deadlines are handed in. By this point, I have not worked on the film in over a month. FINALLY receive some lines from a voice actor. Back to work on the film. I hit around an hour and 25 minutes. - Late May 2018: Officially wrap SHOOTING on TPK. Begin working on promotional material whilst I wait for lines. - June 2018: As of now, the film is done EXCEPT for lines from voice actors. Every After Effects shot, colour grade, part of the sound mix, etc. is done. All I have to do on my end is plug the lines in when I get them and create the credits sequence.   So that's where I am at. As you can see, I have been incredibly busy, but, I've tried my hardest to work on the film where I can. I really can't wait for it to be done so I can start releasing the promotional material (got a couple of nice surprises planned) and then the film itself. If all goes well, and I receive all the lines by the end of July, then the film will be out for AUGUST. But, again, don't hold me to that. Thank you all for bearing with me through this, I promise it'll be worth the wait! Want even more proof it's nearly done? Here's a screen shot from my final mix timeline, once I receive the lines from my actors the next 30-40 mins will be exported and join this timeline below to fill in the gaps. (The film has been edited slightly out of sequence):   TL;DR: It's nearly done minus lines from actors.

#3: Porting

I’m glad to be able to talk about porting. It’s not the subject itself that I find as mysterious and alluring as some forumites seem to, but it’s been such a taboo topic for so long that I find it refreshing to be able to talk about everything I’ve been repressing. Porting content from one game to another within the same series (e.g. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords) is now allowed on Deadly Stream. Because I’m allegedly “staff”, I was told about the change of policy a couple days before the official announcement, and I was shocked. I’m still shocked. Honestly, it feels weird discussing the topic even now. Not in a bad way - like I said, it’s rather liberating - but in an I’m still having trouble believing this is a thing sort of way. This would’ve been my tenth anniversary on LucasForums, if it were still online, and I was on the FileFront forums for a bit before that. Porting was always banned and I don’t remember when it wasn’t. When Deadly Stream went online, it maintained the same rules, and now that’s changing. It’s a shift in policy older than this website, put in place before many users here even played the games. It’s a surprise, to be sure - and I expect a welcome one for many. Given the nature of this modding website, I expect anyone reading this likely knows well enough about porting, but not everyone is a modder or PC gamer and I have been asked before what porting is and why it’s a big deal. Porting is taking copyrighted content - models, textures, music, or what have you - from one game and putting it into a different game. It’s a kind of modding, but the distinction is that regular old modding works within the confines of whatever game is being modded, editing the existing assets and/or adding new content created by the modder, while porting involves something that wasn’t in the game and that the modder doesn’t have the rights to. Why is this a big deal? It isn’t in some communities. Different sites have different rules, and some do allow it. But it wasn’t allowed in the KOTOR community until now, though I feel I need to add a qualifier to that. It was kind of unclear. Porting was certainly against the rules on LucasForums, and with LucasForums went the KOTOR community. While I was a reviewer for KOTORFiles part of my job was to make sure the mods I reviewed didn’t have anything that wasn’t allowed. We were, for example, instructed to be on the lookout for TSLRP when the beta was leaked. If you were to ask me if porting were allowed I think I’d say no, but I don’t think that was an actual FileFront rule. JK3Files hosted mods that ported content from Jedi Outcast to Jedi Academy. There were also a few KOTOR mods I suspected of ported content - textures I recognized from Jedi Academy, for example - as well as mods that included other copyrighted material like music and sound effects. Fortunately, though, nothing ever came under my review that called for an examination of the laws of porting. To further complicate matters, the official release of MDLOps - still hosted on StarWarsKnights.com - contains a tutorial on how to port the Tenloss disruptor rifle from Jedi Outcast/Academy to KOTOR. Bit of a mixed message there. Regardless, on LucasForums porting was certainly verboten. But for a long time, this was a moot point. There was a lot in the modding realm we couldn’t do. Until a few years ago, we couldn’t work much with head models - the animations would break, or something worse would happen. And unless you used Taina's Replacer, which didn't allow change in vertices, the smoothing would break. Even if you could get a model from point A to point B, it wouldn’t look as nice as it did back at A. Different tools could only handle different things. KAurora couldn’t do animations. MDLOps couldn’t convert lights or lightmaps, emitters, or walkmeshes. I don't know if room animations didn't work or if nobody ever tried it. All these things and more would break even if you were keeping a model in the same game. Most of these issues were only resolved last year with the development of KOTORMax, MDLEdit, and the updated MDLOps. For this reason, perhaps, porting as a reality was a rare concern. Only two cases from those days stand out in my memory, both of which involved screenshots taken in K1 to make textures in K2, and both of which deemed ok by the administration. On Deadly Stream, there was that fiasco with the credits. More often than not, the matter was merely theoretical - someone would unknowingly request something that required porting and be shot down for it. It was forbidden as a theory even though it wasn’t much of a possibility and I don’t know why. It was a rule from before even my time and I’ve never heard the issue properly debated. Porting wasn’t allowed, and you weren’t allowed to talk about why it wasn’t allowed. I find that a bit unsatisfying, so I’ll try to see things from both sides of the issue and debate myself. Argument A: Porting is a copyright violation. It’s taking something that’s not yours and distributing it without the copyright owner’s permission. In more extreme cases, publishers have moved to shut down mod projects/websites for fear of losing sales, such as with conversion mods that would remake a game in another engine. Modding as a whole is already on shaky legal ground, so it’s not wise to attract that sort of bad attention. The line is drawn here. Argument B: Porting isn’t anything like pirating a game because it involves a fraction of the content and requires the framework of a game to access it. It’s unlikely that any mod would negatively affect a game’s sales. If anything, more mods for a game is a good thing and content ported from one game to another draws interest in both. There’s nothing illegal about porting for personal use. The only part in question is the distribution of game assets - but that applies equally to all mods. The only difference is from which game the assets originated. It doesn’t make sense to apply a different standard of rules, especially for games in the same series that already share a lot of assets, like KOTOR. Those are the essential arguments, as I see them. At the risk of earning Kreia’s wrath, I’m not going to take a side. This is a bit of a coward’s way out that I can take because I’m a modder and I can port stuff myself if I want to and not rely on downloading it from Deadly Stream - more on that in a bit - but that really is how I feel. I don’t see it as a matter of what’s right or wrong or what’s legal but rather what you think is a good idea and how much of a risk you want to take. Some communities take a risk and never have any trouble. Some - not many, but some - have taken the same risk and had their mods taken away. It’s a subjective matter, and maybe that’s why I’m a little bitter about the LucasForums days - because I see it more as a decision we should make as a community rather than an ultimatum that must never be questioned (even if most of us don’t know who made the decision or the rationale). But whether or not it was entirely by choice, that was what the community decided and I went along with it. That was then, this is now. It seems the community has gone in the other direction, and I’ll go along with it. The question has become not what is allowed but what is and isn’t possible. I imagine, in the coming days, as more people ask this question there will be some poking and prodding to explore the new horizons. So I thought I’d save anyone reading this a bit of time by admitting that I’ve known how to do a lot of naughty things for a while now. I’ve been porting for personal use - not to make mods, but for my film projects that demanded it. Characters from different games interacting with each other, locations we wanted to use in another context, or just things that were useful for cinematic purposes - K2 has a lot more animations than K1. I’ve already been poking and prodding for years now and I no longer feel the need to hide it. I’m not going to go into much technical detail yet - perhaps when the modding wiki is online, if it's permitted - but I can answer some general questions right now.   For K1/K2: Can we port head models? Yes. There is some difference in the bone structure for each game, but there’s a specific process that works. It’s not even a huge difference, but it makes the lips of K1 heads clip in K2 and leaves K2 mouths gaping open in K1. My guess is Obsidian changed things during their development of the facial animation system that was never finished. The fix is essentially to copy the skin onto the appropriate game’s set of bones. Can we port body/full body models? Yes. Without any qualifiers. PCs? Party members? Aliens? Really? Yes. What about robes with capes? Yes. The supermodels would have to be edited to include the cape bones and their animations, but it could be done. I had one go at it but it’s a bit shoddy at the moment. Can we port other animations? Yes. With a few caveats. 1.) K1 has a limited number of animations that can be scripted, though new cutscene animations are an option. 2.) K2 has more combat animations than K1 and under different names. A couple bugs in K2 stem from failure to account for this, and unless they’re named properly for K1 the same sort of problem would occur. 3.) K2 has a ton of other new animations and they’re added all over the place, which complicates any sort of porting. Can we port models with their own special animations, like Darth Nihilus? Yes. The same animation concerns apply, but that’s it. Can we port textures - fancy ones, like bump maps and ones with animations? Yes. The TPC format doesn’t change, so even in the event that we’re unable to properly decompile to TGA/TXI, simply copying over the TPC is enough. I have a texture archive for K2 that includes all of K1’s textures (and any that happen to share the same file names are overridden by the K2 versions). Can we port areas? Probably. I’ve had one definitive success - m14aa, the Jedi enclave courtyard - and a few partial successes or failures. But it’s still early days and I suspect the problems may have been procedural. The courtyard has grass, running water, and room animations - all the things I’d expect to go wrong first - and zero problems. Lightmaps, which used to be destroyed during ASCII conversion, load fine thanks to the new tools. There is a difference in how each game is lit, so a ported module may end up too bright or too dark, but that can be fixed in the .are file. Good signs so far, but not enough for me to be confident in a hard yes yet.
While we’re on the subject, since some of you seem to have been left out of the loop, we can also edit areas now. You might’ve seen area fixes in recent mods, but I’m talking full on editing like changing the lighting or texture mapping or adding a door to a new module.  This would come in handy, for example, if one wanted to make new area mods that connect to the existing game, or integrate cut ones like the Czerka warehouse, or restore modules on Dantooine or Korriban that were left out of K2. Can we port feats/lightsaber forms/prestige classes/the upgrade system/the level cap/everything hard-coded? No. These were never porting issues. These game mechanics run directly through the game’s executable rather than an external file that we can mod.   For the MMO: Can we port items? Yes. See MDLOps’ tutorial. Can we port vehicles? Yes. I ported the Mantis bounty hunter ship to K1 as part of an area model on Taris. I stripped it of its bump maps because I didn’t know how to work with those at the time, but I imagine if we could figure out how to convert the formats those could be included as well. Can we port character models? Probably. But you’d have to weight it to KOTOR’s set of bones, which isn’t easy or fun work. That’s kind of why there aren’t a lot of new character mods at all for KOTOR. I’m not at all familiar with how the MMO models are set up so I can’t comment further. Can we port areas? Maybe? I can import the models into 3ds Max. To get one in KOTOR would be a lot of work - making new lightmaps and walkmeshes, replacing any emitters like running water with KOTOR standards, almost as much work as making a new area from scratch - but I don’t see why it wouldn’t be possible. Of course, KOTOR has issues with vertical space - can’t have one walkmesh on top of another - so there may be issues with the designs, depending on the area. But I don’t think poly count or anything like that would be a problem. The MMO seems to average around KOTOR’s level, some things better, some worse. I really just haven’t had the time to try it yet. These are all just my general impressions so far and your individual success may vary. But overall I'd say there’s a lot we can do and not a lot we can’t do - just a lot we weren’t supposed to do until now. The point of this blog isn’t to encourage porting, exactly. It’s your choice whether to do it or not. Because of the rules (the old rules) I’ve always strived to use assets that are in both games wherever possible. It’s more challenging that way, but it almost always resulted in fewer complications. Even with porting allowed, I’ll probably still do that in the future. It's simpler. But now that, surprisingly, after all this time, that is a choice people can make, I want to put this information out there so those of you who are interested in stepping down this path may do as you choose. I’ll be available on Discord if anyone wants to see some more examples of my porting attempts or get a more thorough overview of the process. Personal opinions not endorsed by FileFront Deadly Stream.

Blog #80 - Looking for a small voice part to be filled

I've been converting the Imperial Agent storyline into a audio drama.  From time to time, I need to have folks do the lines for droids and aliens because - as it's an audio drama - I can't rely on subtitles.  I'm looking for a someone to record the lines below  if they're interested.  British, Irish, Welsh, or Scottish accents preferred but I'll listen to all submissions.  Male or female voices welcome.  Mono or stereo.  MP3 or WAV. Lines: I request your attention.  I have an urgent message for you from Grand Moff Ilyan Regus. [Editor note: use pronunciation for "Moff Iyan Regus" using attached sound file as a guide line] Grand Moff Regus is the commander of Special Forces. I am patching you through now.  Ilum is accessible by starship.  I am uploading relevant star maps as directed. Operation Dark Ice is of critical importance.  You should proceed to Ilum now. T9 M6 ending transmission. Darth Malgus represents a critical threat. Grand Moff Regus and the War Council request your immediate presence. Access granted. Removing Darth Malgus from the Galaxy is the top priority.   Moff Ilyan Regus.mp3
 

Look Back and Forward

Twelve years ago in Boston, I went to a release event for Drew Karpyshyn's first Darth Bane novel, Path of Destruction. I was so excited to meet the man who wrote my favorite video game of all time. When I got there, I was one of about 6 people there, two of which were my parents who graciously drove me, and it felt a little awkward to be honest. Drew read a passage from his book and opened it up to a Q&A afterwards. I asked him about the possible KOTOR connections that might be in his book (the passage he read has included the mention of Selkath), my Mom politely asked him about his other works in fiction, and then it was done. The 501st showed up in some Stormtrooper armor, which was cool, I got my book signed and off we went. It was a nice little event. Over the years as each book came out and then the Revan novel, and then TOR, I would email DrewK who would actually engage in back and forths with me about characterizations of Revan, the Exile, and lastly the apparent non-twist ending of Dynasty of Evil (I still don't understand this one). Overall, don't really know where I'm going with this other than to say that Drew was a nice fella, and I'm appreciative for the experience and whatever slight connection I made with him. So, that's that. Also, if I said that I was working on voice lines for you, I still am. Trying to get paid work now that I'm in the proper state, so that's been my absolute focus - but I will get back to the fan stuff soon. Best, UC

The Unknown

Minutes ago I am having this abstract thoughts. If the Jedi have their own code: There is no emotion, there is peace. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. There is no passion, there is serenity. There is no chaos, there is harmony. There is no death, there is the Force. And the Sith: Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me. Is there any "cult(s)" in Star Wars franchise with a code that is in between these two? I'm a rookie in Star Wars thing [the first time I'm into Star Wars was when playing KotOR, which is about early March this year I believe], not many things I know beside the fact that there are the Sith and the Jedi. Actually, because of this thoughts I kind of wanting to start a mod [in the future- there are still unfinished projects now; sorry peeps 😛] that create an NPC(s) that represents this "in between" faction. Moments ago, I googled searching the fact for "do Heaven and Hell exist in Star Wars?" to at least, legitimate-check it. And the result; it does- point to this reference. So, using that as starting point I concreted these random words that is coming out of my head to be a "code" and name the "cult"; the Unknown. Believe in there is no Heaven nor Hell. Believe in their existence. Believe in there is something in between. Believe in the Unknown. Maybe one of you reading this could tell me if there are already factions that is beside the Jedi and the Sith, because this idea kind of bugging me now [the idea of start a story about the Unknown to tell the truth 😛, but maybe if you are interested on kick-start this concept; knock yourself out! ] Again, thank you for reading this [if you have been reading this]. And I am sorry- for the inconvenience may I have caused from this writing. May the Force be with you!

ebmar

ebmar

#2: JC's Mod Showcase

I've gone back and edited the descriptions of some of my mods - Sound Effects for K1, Blaster Visual Effects for K1, and Blaster Visual Effects for K2 - because I've started a new thing. It's a video series I'm calling my Mod Showcase. I felt that the previous setup wasn't doing a very good job of showing what the mods were all about. With the sound effects, the screenshot was... obviously not helpful in the slightest because that's not how sound works. The Blaster Visual Effects mods do have a more visual thing going on, but I have firsthand experience of being unable to judge these mods by still images alone. When the games' paused it's kind of just a big blur. It really isn't the same thing as seeing it in motion. I needed to watch the blasters fired from multiple angles when I was working on the mod to decide how I felt about my changes, and I kept going back and forth on the issue. For a while I wasn't sure if I was making things better or worse. I can't tell you how many kath hounds I killed during testing. So, in both cases, I thought having video would help to give people more of an idea of what the heck the mod does does and maybe more of an incentive to download it. The videos serve as a more in depth preview, for those of you who only take a cursory glance and judge the mod by its screenshots (I'm certainly guilty of this myself). I do a bit of before and after also go into a little technical detail about how I've done things from time to time. I've only done two so far, but I might continue this format with my other mods. These were the only ones that stood out to me as needing a more involved explanation, but I already know what my mods do, so a second opinion would help. Let me know if you have any specific requests. Also, to my surprise, with the site upgrades Deadly Stream automatically embedded my YouTube videos when I pasted the links. I didn't have to fuss around with it at all and was able to put them in the descriptions with no difficulty. I'd actually had this idea for a while and made the first video without considering how to get it onto the site. We could embed YouTube before, but I wasn't sure if it would work in a mod description, and then I wasn't sure how to do it in the upgrade. And then it went and did it on its own, so it definitely gets a pass on ease of implementation. It's too early to say whether my showcase is a good idea, but I do think some other mods could benefit from a video preview (particularly other sound effect mods) and if you were worried about having to fuss around then you don't have to worry about that. Many kath hounds died to bring you this information.  
 

Uncensored Look at my Home Recording Space

Greetings, meatbags. Last time I posted in this blog was quite a while ago, so I thought I'd share what my recording space currently looks like in Texas.  The rundown: It's a big ol' closet with moving blankets strung up on the walls and draped above me like a circus tent. The equipment: I've been slowly adding more and more to my space throughout my various moves. First off, the second most important instrument you have (after your voice). I've had three mics throughout my 6 or so years recording VO. I started off with the respectable Blue Yeti USB mic, moved on to the AT2020 and now have landed at the E-100S Condenser Microphone. This thing is good for me to help bring out the natural bass in my voice, but is not markedly better than the AT imo. If you're looking for a good starter mic of your own, I'd recommend the far more affordable AT. Next is the Audio Interface, which is necessary if you're using a non-USB microphone like I am. I use the Focusrite Scarlett Solo, which is a plug and play type setup and has never steered me wrong.  The next most important part, is your recording software. Audacity is free and it's what I've always used.  Extras: Music Stand to hold your copy (or script), mic stand, stool to place laptop on, LED clamp light to see copy, dog trainer clicker to mark mistakes with loud pops in recorded track.  That's all there is to it. Til next time. - UC

BDSM [a Break Down of Stereo and Mono]

No clickbait intended So, after reading some very constructive discussion between @JCarter426 @Kexikus and @DarthParametric in @VarsityPuppet's Ajunta Pall WIP thread, I'm having a little understanding of- why Mono channel would better be implemented rather than Stereo channel for Action, Force Powers, Blasters, and Lightsabers Sound FXs on this game [and I believe in other games too]. It is relevant for the said example to use Mono channel, because- for example, we would want to hear a humming sound of lightsaber on the left side of the speaker when the camera is facing right [something to do with voice panning- if I recall correctly] won't we? And those would not be possible with Stereo channel I'd supposed. The exception would be for dialogue VO on cutscenes- I believe those would be most suitable for Stereo channeled .WAVs or .MP3s as the reason is obvious; for immersion purpose and deep mental involvement of contexts been told. Personally, I am still hoping that Stereo channeled SFXs would be possible to be utilized in-game as me and @CarthOnasty having a plan to alter the Star Map opening sound; to something different than vanilla. The sound has been made, but is still in Mono channel now. Thank you for reading this [if you have been reading this]. Cheers, and may the Force be with you 🙏

ebmar

ebmar

 

Where the Wookiees At *TSL*

In TSL, there are no wookiees, except for a single angry Wookiee...   I'm fairly certain if you have that infamous NPC Overhaul you may run into a few more, but there are no important wookiee characters.
In K1, there's an entire planet of them.  
I'm not suggesting porting Kashyyyk to TSL, but it would be interesting to see wookiees show up as a sidequest or potential companion interaction.
For instance, if you had Hanharr mabye you'd run across some wookiees on Nar Shaddaa, either free them or sell them into slavery.
This would allow character development of the PC for LS or DS points, it would highlight Hanharr's disregard for his people, and it would allow the PC an influence opportunity, more XP, and if you had Mira vice versa, though Mira has actual voiced lines, while Hanharr has alien VO.  
The location could be changed, but Nar Shaddaa seems the most believable location.   Hanharr and wookiees are prime real estate for modding since they use Alien VOs and are not very prominent in TSL.   Wookiees could show up as slaves of Czerka on Telos, and need to be freed, or captured and sold to the Exchange or G0T0.   Additionally, a Big Z could easily make a cameo and have a hostile interaction with Hanharr resulting in the death of Big Z, or Hanharr for that matter...  
Not sure if i'll ever do this, but if I did work on a content driven lore expansion mod, wookiees would be included.

jc2

jc2

Blog #78 - So much for Coruscant . . .

RAGEQUIT!   Well, this project at least.   Here's what I wanted to do. The Landing Video would have covered all three areas of the mod preceded by an orbit shot.         The pan would have been quick but the EH green screen would have only shown up after the pan stopped moving.   (I even had a skybox set up for the fountain module - no one ever pointed out that there's a blue Dantooine sky above that room but I sure as hell noticed it.)     On to Part 4 though . . .     (The takeoff video would have been much shorter - going straight from a take off (part 4) to leaving Coruscant's orbit (part 1).)   The problem was even after acquiring 3DS MAX, Adobe After Effects (for the engine glow) and having NWN MAX, I could NOT get the buildings to load up. The frustration is extreme. It's too much work for a mod that I wasn't ever really crazy about in the first place. Not having something to release at least saving me the pain having the release be either outright ignored or nitpicked.   Hopefully, one of you have loads more talent than I do because I'm tossing in the towel on this one.

Blog #77 - The "LucytheAlien" Situation

Since many of you lack the intestinal fortitude to ask me directly why she was banned, allow me to illuminate you. Multiple times, she violated Rule 6 - the bumping rule. She was warned many times via PMs not to do this but she continued to do so. She even bragged about doing so here.  
Let's not forget here continual complaints that folks weren't working non-stop about mods he put in requests for. Modders will work on mods at their own pace and badgering them about it isn't going to increase that pace.   Twice, she violated Rule 3 - Flaming/Harassment - when she PM'd me (and presumably others) to complain in a profane manner about previous complaints. Because of the language used in the Private Messages, I wouldn't be able to post them here. (I've deleted them from my Inbox so don't bother to PM me to ask to see them.) By the way, she also complained about delays on the boards. She continues to complain about mods not being created on her schedule off the site. Here's a choice example from YouTube.

Here's something you might be forgetting: I don't get paid for this job. Modders don't get paid for making their mods, either. Do any of us need ceaseless aggravation from folks that can't be patient and/or abide really simple rules of discourse? Like it or not, this forum does have rules and by using this site, the user has agreed to abide by those rules. Follow the Rules and you'll not get banned. It's really as simple as that.

I've deleted most of LucytheAlien's threads that lacked any responses. If she's not going to be here to respond, the deleted threads really serve no purpose any longer. Threads she initiated that had received responses remain.   Here's what the site owner has to say about this situation, by the way.
   
The matter is now closed. Move along. Move along.  

Blog #76 - Using M4-78 EP with Snigaroo's KOTOR2 Mod Build

Snigaroo - one of the administrators over at the KOTOR2 Subreddit - dislikes using M4-78 EP. That's his right. However, when I do my next play-through of KOTOR2, I want to use both the KOTOR2 mod build and the M4-78 EP. Might anyone have any suggestions what the install order would be in this particular situation? You should assume that I am using the 4CD version of KotOR2 and that I am playing on a Windows 7 computer.   I'm leaving this blog open as I have no idea when M4-78 EP will return to Deadly Stream.   I'm also not asking for any additional mod suggestions. When I'm satisfied that I have the Mod Build and M4-78 EP working well together, I'll make a new blog asking for suggestions.
 

Bao Dur's Extended Intro [Help Wanted]

Kotor 2 is riddled with cut content, while TSLRCM restores most content and other big projects like M4-78EP restores their respective content there is still a small handful of cut content still hanging around and this one I will be discussing may or may not be known as commonly as let's say the GenoHaradan.   Recently, I discovered some cut lines for Bao Dur's intro that indicate that this was going to be different than how it goes in Vanilla/TSLRCM. As always, I cannot restore this original intro in a way that works as it'd essentially have to cut more dialogue to restore even fewer dialogue but I have restored a select number of lines into the normal Intro in a way that does work.   Help wanted!: As I own a Windows 10 PC I cannot download/use the tools to make Lip Syncs for the cut lines. If anyone owns a Windows 8 PC or under/can actually run the tools required to make Lip Sync and knows how to make them feel free to reply to this blog/PM me about this and I will give you details on what lines that need to be Lip Synced.   Here is what I got so far     I have been recommended to not release what I've got as this is a bad first impression so if anyone is interested in working with me with the Lip Syncs be my guest, also tell me what you guys think of the lines.

N-DReW25

N-DReW25

#1: JC's Toolbox

I thought I’d start one of these blog things. I’ll be using them to announce... things. First up is the release of a mod that’s five years late.   Veterans of the LucasForums era may remember a mod for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords called “JC’s Toolbox”. It added what I called “a collection of items for developers, filmmakers, and cheaters of all kinds”. It let you do things like open and close doors, get free items and XP, teleport, spawn characters, and play animations, and it granted full control over the party system so you could add or remove party members wherever and whenever. I initially sought out these functions while making videos with the game, and also found them to come in handy with mod development.   Before I made the Toolbox, I relied on a few different mods - the Whereami Armband, Call of Aid, Teleporter 2000, and the Wrist Console - to perform these functions. Most of these mods performed their function through armband items; you could equip the armband on your player character, and then it would fire the mod’s script when activated. The Wrist Console was a little different, using Mira’s wrist launcher as a template instead. But they all gave you an item that, instead of creating an energy shield, would fire a custom script to teleport you or spawn characters or whatever. I even made my own edits to a couple of these mods, adding more features like animations and unused camera modes that were left over from Neverwinter Nights. I used these for years before deciding to learn how to make a proper armband myself instead of hacking someone else’s.   In the process, I also learned that armbands and wrist launchers weren’t even necessary: there’s an unused item type called “Plot Usable Item” that functions like an armband, but the function is available so long as the item is in your inventory. You don’t have to equip it at all. I believe this was used for the sonic device on the water suit in the first game, the one that lets you kill sharks. It still functions in KOTOR II, and since you don’t need to equip it to use it, I could access more than two of them at a time. The entire party could access them, too. That was much more convenient than the previous setup. So I decided to rebuild not only my mod hacks, but also many of the original functions of those mods, to give myself a set of Plot Usable Items to replace all the old tools.   With accessibility being a non-issue, I decided to make several tools, each with a limited scope. My hack of Call of Aid had gotten particularly crowded, so I wanted to avoid that. Each new tool would specialize in a specific area, such as spawning characters, playing animations, or managing the party system. And I overdid it. The initial release of JC’s Toolbox contained eighteen usable items. I ended up making the actual Toolbox item just to be able to fire the other seventeen from the same place.   According to my records, I released the K2 version of my Toolbox in December 2012, and over the following year I made a couple updates to that. I didn’t release a K1 version. There was a good reason for that. A bunch of my scripts wouldn’t work. It took me five years to figure out why.   I was never compiling scripts for K1.   It’s rather embarrassing, but that’s that’s the truth of it. I compile my scripts through a batch file, and I have a different one for each game. When I first set up the K1 compiler in 2009, I neglected to edit the file to change the game number. On top of that, I wasn’t aware of some significant differences in scripting for each game. I knew Obsidian added many functions, but I didn’t realize they had changed a few of them too - common functions like ActionStartConversation, DestroyObject, and CreateItemOnObject. Several functions have been altered to pass more parameters in K2. For example, when creating an item in K2, you can specify whether the player will be alerted through the GUI or whether the creation will be hidden. I first learned how to script in K2, and you could say I developed some bad habits and wrote all my K1 scripts under the assumption that they worked the same as they did in K2. And because both my compilers were set to compile for K2, I was never told otherwise. No error messages, no scripts that wouldn’t compile, nothing. The compiler was reading K2 scripts and writing K2 scripts, so as far as it was concerned, nothing was wrong.   For nine years, I was writing scripts for the wrong game.   For the most part, these scripts did work. I’m amazed how much of it did work. Even though the scripts were compiled for the wrong game, even with the differences in those functions, they did run. After all, I wouldn’t have gone so long without noticing the problem if the scripts didn’t work. I’m only now realizing how many oddities I encountered can be blamed on this mix-up.   Up to a point, my scripts would run properly. Even if my script was compiled for the wrong game, most of the functions are the same, so it was happy. Then it would reach one of these functions that Obsidian had changed. It would get to an extra parameter that didn’t belong in K1. That’s where the trouble began.   With CreateItemOnObject, the parameters are the item name, the object to receive the item, the number of items to create, and then whether to hide this process or not. In K1, the script was happy to put in the item, and the object, and the amount, but when it got to that last bit, it couldn’t take it anymore. The function wasn’t coded to allow a fourth parameter. So it would execute the first three parameters, and then it would get stuck. That meant it would actually create the item, as I intended. But the rest of the script wouldn’t run. Not just the rest of that function, but the rest of the entire script.   That’s how these bugs would play out. My script would run up to a point, and then mysteriously stop running. It all makes sense to me now, but understand that for years and years, I didn’t have any reason to assume there was a connection between these oddities, or that they could all be blamed on such a simple mistake. As far as I was aware, they were isolated incidents beyond my control. I thought that was just the way things were, and developed some workarounds, like executing CreateItemOnObject in a separate script, that let me do things the wrong way for nine years.   And even doing things the wrong way, I still managed to achieve most of what I wanted. But these bugs crippled the Toolbox for K1. I started working on it shortly after the initial release of the K2 version, but certain scripts just would not behave. I released a few betas of the K1 version that lacked the misbehaving features, but I held off on an official release until I could get them to work. I could never figure that out. I only realized my compiling issue recently, by happenstance, and from there I was able to unravel the whole mess. It was all because of a stupid mistake that was Past JC’s fault.   Now, JC’s Toolbox for K1 is ready for release. It’s a collection of items for developers, filmmakers, and cheaters of all kinds. It lets you do things like open and close doors, get free items and XP, teleport, spawn characters, and play animations, and it grants full control over the party system so you can add or remove party members wherever and whenever. It’s five years late, but it works. And it was programmed for the right game.

JCarter426

JCarter426

Blog #75 - Seeking questions for the M4-78 Documentary (covering the M4-78 EP!)

Are you familiar with the M4-78 documentary series that Xuul and I have done? If so, be aware that I'll eventually have to sit down and work on the next chapter. (A new chapter will be on its way to the sometime in the near future - have no fear.)

The next chapter that's coming to the playlist covers Darth Stoney's version of M4-78. That means the one I'll have to start writing after that is the M4-78 Enhancement Project. If you've played the EP and had any head-scratching moments, what better way is there to get those answers than by posing a question or two that I can present to the makers of the mod to have them answer and/or explain?

There's lots of material to cover here: the initial version, the 1.2 update, the 1.3 update that's exclusive to Steam (and I've never even played), and the 1.4 update still being worked on right now by zbyl2.

If you have questions about the past or current versions up to 1.3, would you please let me know by listing them below? I'll credit you in the video as long as it's a family friendly name. (You may also be un-credited, if you so desire.)

I would suggest holding off on questions about the future version, as I plan to split the M4-78 EP content into more than one part. I might even do a walk through video once the 1.4 material has been covered. (Apparently, I'm a masochist and my work is never done.)

To our viewers, thanks for your patience in our slow roll out of the content. Your enjoyment is why I do this.
 

From Now On....

Every mod I've created has had one bug or flaw. From its design and finding out how to make things work, all the way to the finished product.   It seems that I will always update my mods at least 2 times before I'm satisfied and haven't cause some1's game to crash.   ========> On that note, thank you for downloading my mods and experiencing this pain with me. <========   I will continue to improve and renovate my mods, but I'm still hitting walls on limitations. I can't script enough, I use the wrong function at the wrong time/place, etc... I end up fixing a door, but permanently locking another, because Bioware cloned that door. Despite my constant spree of failures and bugs, I don't want to quit, nor stop helping those who've downloaded my mods.   I had a vision to mod. I put effort to mod. I published a mod. And I have the responsibility to maintain that mod's quality. I cannot overstate how important bug testing and reporting is to me.   Reflections on Mishaps: I cannot skin or model, both attempts have been meet with clear failure. For the most part, I try to test out my mods before publishing them, but sometimes my tests are incomplete, for example, SF Door Fix, I only tested the first door, unaware that there was a door in the next module with the same tag,resref, and name.   Current mod failure: Resisting Arrest on Manaan, which can cause party members to be stuck indefinitely. I want to fix this mod, but it's low on my list.   Reflections on Success: Shanilia (as far as I know) is without bugs, but I am skeptical, when I have time to play kotor again, I will fully test out Shanilia and see if everything I wanted exists in the game.
Save Mission: My most popular mod, simple content adding mod, but even that had to undergo editing - considering my current knowledge I may try to splice lines to create a more immersive conversation. Additionally, the PC reply options are long winded, so I may want to change that.   Tool Bag: was a personal best for me, it may not be as good as T3M4 being a workbench in k1 as he is in k2, which has been done by many modders. I wanted to learn how to replicate BOS:SR and Call of Aid, how were they able to activate a script with an armband and how could I use that for my own nefarious needs. I learned how to do this, expanding my modding knowledge, and now the PC doesn't have to lug around T3M4 in k1, because, no offense to the little guy, but he's borderline useless. (Note: Which is why I have plans to renovate, making him and HK-47 more reliable in combat)   As always, mods done by request are less enjoyable, but more rewarding - because people are thankful that you've done something for them to address a part in the game they wanted to change.
SF Door Fix, Save Mission, Massage Choice, Train the Handmaiden, Train Disciple, Mentor Band, Party Leveler 1&2 (which was renovated by another modder and released with additional changes, part of me really enjoyed seeing someone take an idea I had and improving it, the other part of me was frustrated to a lesser extent), and lastly, who can forget Kill Marlena. (Improved Grenades was pseudo requested tbh).  
In general, my modding centralizes on adding content through items and dialogue, small gameplay changes.  
Current project that's taken priority is Train Disciple, hopefully, I can put a significant amount of effort into that over the next few days. I have a save game thanks to N-Drew directing me to female saved Games in our Saved Games category on DS, (special thanks to Darth_delator).   On other news, Lehon Mandalorian Expansion (LME) is still looking for voice actors... and there are about 10 bugs needing to be addressed, over all though, it looks like I will be able to finish the project in the Summer of 2018, which is good news. I should be directing all my efforts there, but I've been procrastinating lately.  
Well, that's what's been on my mind recently.   Stay tuned for my April 1st mod release of Taris J'ika!   -JC2

jc2

jc2